Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 21, 2014 / 21 Nissan, 5774

Goldwater lost in a landslide --- and won the GOP future

By Jeff Jacoby




JewishWorldReview.com | To the recent spate of 50th-anniversary reflections on key political and cultural milestones — the 1963 March on Washington, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Beatles' appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show — here's one to add: The presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater, the most influential also-ran in modern American politics.

Goldwater was nicknamed "Mr. Conservative," but now even liberals adore him. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. penned an essay a few years back effusive in its praise for Goldwater, whom he described as an exemplar of civility, decency, and integrity. Goldwater was "neither mean-spirited nor racist," wrote Kennedy; he challenged the liberals of his time through "sensible argument and honest conviction." A 2006 documentary produced by CC Goldwater, Barry's liberal's granddaughter, is strewn with such liberal tributes; Hillary Clinton, James Carville, and Walter Cronkite are among those who attest to the man's statesmanship and charm.

How things have changed.

In 1964, Goldwater appalled the political establishment. Though the blunt-spoken Arizonan's bestseller, "The Conscience of a Conservative," had made him a hero on the right even before his White House run, liberal commentators seemed shocked to discover that his conservatism was for real. When he declared, in his acceptance speech at the Republican convention in San Francisco, that "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue," they were aghast.

What followed was one of the most ruthless campaigns of invective in US political history. Goldwater and his conservative supporters were repeatedly likened to Nazis, madmen, and warmongers. Jackie Robinson said he knew "how it felt to be a Jew in Hitler's Germany." Lyndon Johnson's notorious "daisy" commercial showed a little girl picking flower petals, until she is overwhelmed by the mushroom cloud of a nuclear explosion. A month before the election, the cover of Fact magazine blared: "1,189 Psychiatrists Say Goldwater is Unfit to be President!"

Conventional wisdom said Goldwater didn't have a prayer, and conventional wisdom was right. On Election Day, the Republican ticket suffered a crushing defeat. Johnson amassed 61 percent of the popular vote, the highest percentage in presidential campaign history; Democrats at every level swept to lopsided majorities reminiscent of the FDR landslide of 1936. Goldwater — the most ideologically conservative GOP nominee since Calvin Coolidge — hadn't just lost, he'd been buried.

What that meant, said the nation's most respected political analysts, was obvious: Conservatism was political poison, and the GOP had just swallowed a near-fatal dose.



"Barry Goldwater not only lost the presidential election yesterday, but the conservative cause as well," pronounced James Reston of The New York Times. "He has wrecked his party for a long time to come." Time magazine said Republican conservatives had been so completely humiliated "that they will not have another shot at party domination for some time to come."

But about that, conventional wisdom was dead wrong. So were the Eastern liberal Republicans who had long dominated the GOP. They didn't seek to roll back the vast increase in government programs that Democrats since the New Deal had embraced; their pitch to voters was that they could manage those programs with more businesslike efficiency. Many establishment Republicans were as turned off by Goldwater's ardent conservatism as Democrats and media liberals were. The chairman of the New York Republican Party called the Election Day debacle the "shattering price" the GOP had paid for its "erratic deviation from our soundly moderate 20th-century course." The voters had spoken, and conservatism had been "decisively vetoed."

Hardly.

Conservatism was no suicide pill, it was the Republican future. "In your heart, you know he's right" had been a much-mocked Goldwater campaign slogan ("In your guts, you know he's nuts" was one rejoinder), but it became increasingly clear that the heart of the Republican Party did indeed incline rightward. Goldwater may not have been a very good presidential candidate, but millions of Americans found his conservative ideals refreshing and inspiring.

Pundits declared that Goldwater's landslide defeat in 1964 would leave the GOP, and the conservative movement, a hopeless wreck for years to come. But Republicans went on to win 5 of the next 6 presidential elections, and conservatism became the heart and soul of Republican politics.

Even as Goldwater was losing 44 states, there were remarkable signs of grassroots enthusiasm for his political message. Historian Steven Hayward points out that the Goldwater campaign received more than 1 million contributions, 400,000 of them in amounts under $10. Four years earlier, Richard Nixon's campaign had received only 40,000 contributions.

In 1964, the GOP's center of gravity began its decisive shift to the West and South. Of the 12 presidential elections that followed 1964, Republicans have won seven, and every GOP ticket since the Goldwater campaign has included a conservative. Who doubts today that conservatives constitute the party's base? Until 50 years ago, Republican presidential hopefuls competed for the imprimatur of the party's liberal establishment. Now, even the Republican establishment calls itself conservative — while Goldwater, savaged by Democrats in 1964, is described with affection and admiration by Democrats in 2014.

Goldwater lost a presidential election, but he changed the face of American politics. All winning candidates appeal to the mainstream. But only the most influential redirect it.

Jeff Jacoby Archives

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


© 2014 Boston Globe

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast