Barry Goldwater and Lyndon Johnson are back in our political consciousness.
Thanks to some quality Internet sleuthing by Quartz, a television ad for Lyndon Johnson's 1964 presidential campaign resurfaced online this week and draws striking similarities to the GOP upheaval in the 2016 presidential race.
The video features a man claiming to be a Republican and expressing concerns about Barry Goldwater's presidential run, the same way many people are expressing reservations about Donald Trump today.
In 1964, Goldwater was an Arizona senator, challenging conventional conservative beliefs with far-right, extremist views that went counter to Republican Party lines. In fact, a paragraph from Goldwater's 1998 Washington Post obituary could be a modern-day profile of Trump:
During his 1964 presidential campaign, Mr. Goldwater was attacked by Democrats and opponents within his own party as a demagogue and a leader of right-wing extremists and racists who was likely to lead the United States into nuclear war, eliminate civil rights progress and destroy such social welfare programs as Social Security.
Goldwater captured only 52 electoral votes in that 1964 election, to LBJ's 486, and lost the race in the biggest landslide defeat since 1820, when James Monroe was elected in the third and last unopposed presidential election in United States history.
Some people believed the LBJ video ad was too pitch-perfect to be real.
But when we come to Senator Goldwater, now it seems to me we're up against a very different kind of a man. This man scares me.
Now maybe I'm wrong. A friend of mine just said to me, "Listen, just because a man sounds a little irresponsible during a campaign doesn't mean he's going to act irresponsibly." You know that theory, that the White House makes the man. I don't buy that. You know what I think makes a President -- I mean, aside from his judgement, his experience -- are the men behind him, his advisors, the cabinet. And so many men with strange ideas are working for Goldwater. You hear a lot about what these guys are against - they seem to be against just about everything -- but what are they for?
The hardest thing for me about this whole campaign is to sort out one Goldwater statement from another. A reporter will go to Senator Goldwater and he'll say, "Senator, on such and such a day, you said, and I quote, 'blah blah blah' whatever it is, end quote." And then Goldwater says, "Well, I wouldn't put it that way." I can't follow that. Was he serious when he did put it that way? Is he serious when he says I wouldn't put it that way? I just don't get it. A President ought to mean what he says.
Snopes investigated and found that the video was authentic and not staged.
See for yourself.
—Posted by Eric Ortiz