In prime time on Thursday, July 16, 1964, Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., was launched to the Republican National Convention and the nation by the good unifier, Richard Nixon, who predicted that when Goldwater bought by, President Lyndon Johnson could be singing “Home on the Range.”

He urged the trustworthy to disregard the polls and the columnists, reminding them that “Mr. Gallup isn’t going to be counting the votes on Nov. 3.”

Far from being weaker than it was in 1960, Nixon stated, the Republican Party had extra congressmen, extra senators, extra governors, and extra state legislators. Ever the bridge builder, he talked about Pennsylvania Gov. William Scranton and New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, and such was their respect for the person who had put Alger Hiss in jail that the Goldwater delegates applauded the liberal governors politely.

Nixon continued:

America wants new management. It wants a person who will go up and down the size of the land crying out, ‘Wake up, America, earlier than it’s too late!’ This is a time, my fellow Republicans and my fellow Americans, not for the New Deal of the 1930s or the Fair Deal of the 1950s or the Fast Deal of Lyndon Johnson however for the Honest Deal of Barry Goldwater.

Make your resolution tonight a couple of man who has been referred to as Mr. Conservative, a person who’s now, by the motion of the conference, Mr. Republican, a person who after the best marketing campaign in historical past will probably be Mr. President—Barry Goldwater!

Watching from our marketing campaign communications heart on the Mark Hopkins Hotel, I noticed my hero, deeply tanned and silver-haired, guarantee his defeat together with his acceptance speech.

Goldwater walked slowly down the flag-draped catwalk to face on the rostrum, the place he was met by the martial notes of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Red, white, and blue balloons poured down from the rafters whereas a refrain of voices extra highly effective than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir chanted, “We need Barry! We need Barry!” San Francisco’s Cow Palace appeared able to explode.

>>> Purchase Lee Edwards’ ebook, “Just Right: A Life in Pursuit of Liberty”

The senator waited patiently whereas the conference chairman pounded and pounded his gavel till ultimately the good corridor fell silent. I positioned a replica of his tackle in my lap and adopted alongside.

“I settle for your nomination with a deep sense of humility. The Good Lord raised this mighty Republic to be a house for the courageous to flourish because the land of the free—to not stagnate within the swampland of collectivism, to not cringe earlier than the bully of communism.”

(He would encourage a free society, not assure a Great Society.)

“The tide has been working towards freedom. Our folks have adopted false prophets. We should, and we will, return to confirmed methods—not as a result of they’re previous, however as a result of they’re true.”

(Ways based mostly on the Ten Commandments and the Constitution, not Freud and the editorials of The New York Times.)

“This get together, with its each motion, each phrase, each breath, and each heartbeat, has however a single resolve, and that’s freedom.” (So exhausting to realize and really easy to lose, I assumed.)

“Tonight there may be violence in our streets.” (There had been Harlem riots, once more.)

“Corruption in our highest workplaces.” (Everyone knew Bobby Baker was not solely the clerk of the Senate however the panderer of the Senate. Baker would do something to win a vote for Johnson, together with arranging afternoon “dates” for randy senators on the Alibi Club within the Carroll Arms Hotel.)

“Aimlessness amongst our youth.” (Rebels whose solely trigger was themselves.)

“Anxiety amongst our aged.” (Who may blame them, with runaway federal spending and a Social Security system able to implode?)

“We are at warfare in Vietnam. And but the president, who’s the commander-in-chief of our forces, refuses to say whether or not or not the target over there may be victory.”

(President Goldwater would direct the Pentagon to win the warfare with overwhelming air and sea energy and with out nuclear weapons or U.S. floor troops.)

“Anyone who joins us in all sincerity is welcome. But those that don’t take care of our trigger, we don’t count on to enter our ranks in any case. What is required is concentrated and devoted Republicanism that rejects unthinking and silly labels.” (Like “Goldwaterism” and “right-wing extremism.”)

The senator paused, his face stern. The subsequent phrases have been underlined within the textual content: “And I’d remind you that extremism within the protection of liberty isn’t any vice!”

The delegates jumped to their toes, hollering their approval, whereas the conservatives within the galleries blew their horns just like the Israelites marching into battle.

Then he provided the opposite half: “And let me remind you additionally that moderation within the pursuit of justice isn’t any advantage!”

I sat earlier than the TV set watching our delegates exult within the phrases that sealed our defeat 4 months earlier than Election Day. The firebrand in me hailed the senator for throwing the gauntlet earlier than the liberals whereas the pragmatist in me winced.

From my marketing campaign diary:

The acceptance speech was a disappointment to me. It was too literary, too lengthy, too normal, and continued that ‘extremism-moderation line’ which can proceed to hang-out us all through this marketing campaign. … It was written for posterity which due to that speech and what it portends won’t embrace [Barry Goldwater] as president.

In these days there have been no spin medical doctors to work the information media and declare that the senator’s speech was one of the crucial sensible and evocative speeches in conference historical past.

If we had held a information briefing the following day, we may have positioned the extremism line in perspective with references to Patrick Henry (“Give me liberty or give me demise!”) and Martin Luther King Jr., who had endorsed extremism in his celebrated “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”

Goldwater stood by his phrases, remarking 30 years later once I interviewed him, “I’d make that speech once more, anyplace, any time—I feel it’s the most effective assertion I ever made.” But he by no means used the “extremism” line once more within the marketing campaign.

This tailored excerpt was taken with permission from “Just Right: A Life in Pursuit of Liberty” (Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2017).

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