1964 Conservatives Not Popular

When the Conservative movement in the United States began has caused its share of controversy  over the years.  There are many  people with different ideas.  Some say there is  no specific  date or time.   The conservative movement has gradually just evolved into something that could attract support from different groups.  This translated into votes on Election Day.   I can understand this position but different people did emerge who consolidated their ideas into victory.

Barry Goldwater gave rousing speeches on conservative ideas both on the Senate  floor and at various cities in this country.  Senator Goldwater  had handsome and sharp facial features.   He was marvelous when photographed with the red mountains of Arizona in the background.   Nevertheless,  we all know about the 1964 Republican National Convention and the disastrous campaign  that followed.  It was a combination of things that we can talk about later.   Candidates that appear strong and confident during the primaries get weak and tentative after they get the nomination.

The Republican Convention in 1964 dropped to an all time low in democratic  procedures.   The crowd booed  Governor Nelson Rockefeller in his speech  condemning extremism from both ends of the political spectrum.  Goldwater made that famous phrase.   “Extremism  in the defense of freedom is no vice.  Moderation in  the pursuit of Justice is no virtue.”  Those words chilled millions of people.   During the campaign,  Barry Goldwater was only sometimes  articulate.   President Johnson and his staff often used dirty tricks to make Goldwater and other conservatives look bad.

On a positive note 1964 proved that a man from the west and a sparsely populated state could at least win the nomination.  Senator Goldwater voted against Civil Rights Act just two weeks before the convention in San Francisco.  As a result,  for the first time since Reconstruction  a Republican Nominee won, and easily won,  the five states of the Deep South.    Goldwater also won his home state of Arizona  but  with  a shaky 50.4% of the vote.   Only with these exceptions could Conservatives claim they carried the day.

More on this later.


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