“If you unite behind a man you don’t believe in, it’s a lie”
This old campaign ad from the 1964 election hits a little too close to home. Made by LBJ’s campaign, a remorseful Republican wishes he would’ve attended and fought at the national convention.
The anonymous confessor lights a cigarette, leans back and says:
“Sometimes I wish I’d been at that convention in San Francisco. I mean, I wish I would’ve been a delegate, I really do, because I would’ve fought, you know? And I wouldn’t have worried so much about party unity because if you unite behind a man you don’t believe in, it’s a lie.
I tell you, those people who got control of that convention, who are they? I mean when the head of the Ku Klux Klan, when all these weird groups come out in favor of the candidate of my party, either they’re not Republicans or I’m not.
I’ve thought about not voting in this election, just staying home, but you can’t do that because that’s saying you don’t care who wins and I do care. I think my party made a bad mistake in San Francisco and I’m going to have to vote against that mistake in November.”
Freaky, right? [Insert adage about those not knowing history and history repeating itself]
The election of 1964 was particularly nasty. The Republican convention was chaotic but ultimately nominated Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater.
Goldwater was destroyed by LBJ in the general election.
As I wrote in today’s edition of Morning Insurrection, I’m bored of the false choices and increasingly annoyed with the insistence that I must support _____ candidate or the republic will surely perish. I am not compelled to vote for any remaining candidate simply because they’ve managed to survive the island thus far. Votes are not entitlements, they must be earned.
I respect the opinions of many of my fellow bloggers who make well thought out cases for rallying behind candidate X, but I must dissent. I cannot stand Trump, and will under no circumstance vote for him now or ever — I’ve never been shy in admitting as much. Nor do I feel pressed into false choices that say I must support Cruz or we’re stuck with Hillary. These are not yet provable realities; they’re campaign gimmicks.
This whole cycle is far from over. There is no clear winner, not even Trump (who doesn’t win majorities). Like Professor Jacobson, I’m looking forward to the convention this year. It might be our last, best chance, or it might be 1964 all over again.
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