1964 Presidential Election Essay Research Paper The — страница 2

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led by Kennedy, began to soften its stance on those issues. Taking the Democrats place were the Republicans, the party of Abraham Lincoln, The Great Emancipator. Barry Goldwater was the perfect representative to lead the Republican Party under their new racial edict. The presidential race of 1964 has been described as, a decisive turning point in the political evolution of racial issues (Carmines, Stimson, 47). The debate, passage, and signing of the Civil Rights Act divided the country with the longest congressional debate in the nation s history (Black and Black, 149). While Senator Goldwater was one of the few non-Southerners who voted against the Civil Rights Act, he was not a racist, although he did become a frequent companion to the Southern Congressmen and white Southern

segregationists (Black and Black, 150). Many of Goldwater s supporters believed that he would collect the majority s vote from his home region, and it was thought he could get the Midwest vote as well. With no chance to win electoral votes from California or New York, Goldwater knew he had to win the South to win the election. Goldwater hoped that his position as a right-winged Republican, who opposed the New Deal and The Great Society legislation, would win him the Southern vote. He also sought to exploit other issues important to white southerners, such as his opposition to many of Kennedy and Johnson s foreign policies, but especially the federal government s involvement in racial change in America (Nelson, 386). After Johnson assumed the presidency after Kennedy s

assassination in 1963, there was little doubt that he would be the Democratic nominee in 1964. The only minor dissent by a Democrat was from Governor George C. Wallace of Alabama. Wallace entered three primaries, polling 43 percent in Maryland. He talked of establishing a third-party candidacy, but eventually backed off (Nelson, 386). During the Republican Convention in San Francisco, there was a lot of tension between Goldwater and many other members of the Party. The lingering bitterness from the primaries between Goldwater and New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller did not help matters. It was during his acceptance speech at the Republican primary that Goldwater made his infamous call for a moral crusade, declaring that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation

in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. While meant to be a defense of conservatism, it merged with previous statements Goldwater had made advocating the use of tactical nuclear weapons. Johnson used this, and other derogatory statements from other Republicans about Goldwater, to paint him as an extremist who would surely end the age of man on Earth. At many Goldwater rallies in the South he was quoted as saying, Our aim, as I understand it, is neither to establish a segregated society nor to establish an integrated society as such. It is to preserve a free society. Forced Integration is just as wrong as forced segregation (Black and Black, 152). That statement was a political posturing by Goldwater to demonstrate to African-Americans that he was not a racist, although he did

want to send a message to White Southerners. The Democratic platform focused on health care, education, welfare, housing, and jobs (Dunham, 127). Republicans knew they wouldn t get the Black vote, so they opposed government s involvement in those issues, hoping to appeal to White Southern Democrats. Senator Goldwater created controversy in the election by saying that if he were to win the presidency he would reduce the United States support for NATO, sell the Tennessee Valley Authority, and change the Social Security System (Durham, 127). On the economics end, Goldwater was also conservative. He supported reduced regulation of business by the Federal Trade Commission, and less government spending (New York Times, 10A). Goldwater s explanation for his economic positions was

governmental limit would spark free-market competitive capitalism (New York Times, 10A). On a lighter note, something called the Cola Wars became prominent during the 1964 election. Goldwater fired the first barbs in the Cola War when he produced a soft drink called GOLDWATER , distributed by the Gold-Water Distributing Company of Granite City, Illinois. Not to be outdone, Johnson responded with Johnson Juice , distributed by the Ladybird Distributing Company also of Granite City, Illinois (http://www.gono.com/virmus/tour/1964pres.htm). The 1964 election saw the dawn of a new age in media. For the first time the networks and print media made a joint arrangement in getting a fast county on the votes coming in (Dunham, 129). This allowed them to make projections on who the winners