By: Larry Grossman  | 

Barry Ponders Reasons For Defeat; Doesn’t Consider Looking In Mirror (Vol. 30, Issue 4)

The time has come for recriminations. Barry Goldwater is in the process of investigating why he lost the election, I don’t imagine that he'll consider looking in the mirror. Richard Nixon is calling for a new Republican leadership of the center. It seems that Rockefeller, Javits, Case and Lodge are too far “leftist” to lead the party out of its quagmire. That's what happens to losers, I guess.

How ironic that the Goldwater forces are bitter at those elements within the party that refused to support their candidate. If Barry were going to lose, why shouldn’t all good Republicans have committed political suicide?

These post-election repercussions merely serve to point up the ludicrous nature of the “choice” which the GOP presented to the nation. If Goldwater is the apostle of conservatism, I mourn the

death of the conservative tradition in America. Many observers, with some measure of insight, have called President Johnson the actual conservative candidate in the past campaign. However, I feel that the well-worn tags of “liberal” and “conservative” have lost all significance in the past few months.

I recall the days when to be a “liberal” was to be a supporter of Adlai Stevenson. An “ultra-liberal” probably meant that one was voting for Norman Thomas. Quite suddenly, Granpa Lyndon Johnson, the great consolidator, is the carrier of the torch of “liberalism.” 

To be conservative used to mean that one admired General Eisenhower. This summer, a campaign was initiated that tried to call “conservative” the selling of TVA, reversing Civil Rights legislation, and wearing glassless glasses (for the photographers.)

Poor Ike

There is one vignette of this campaign that will remain with me for a long time. The elder statesman of the GOP, General Eisenhower, was asked what he thought of the proposed platform before it was brought before the convention. “Ike” called it a fine statement of Republican principles. After the bitter floor fight in which Governor Rockefeller was hooted and booed, Ike stated that perhaps it would have been better to denounce the Birch Society, retain Presidential control of nuclear weapons and… well, you get the idea. 

I’ll never forget old faithful Clare Booth Luce seconding darling Barry with all of the expressive gesticulation necessary for the occasion. She sounded for all the world like a kindergarten teacher. 

Then there were Senators Keating and Javits ‘sitting on their hands as tumultuous applause greeted the nomination of Goldwater. Keating, resembling a cow with indigestion, led a group of New Yorkers out of the hall. He claimed that he didn’t feel well. I wouldn’t have either in his place. 

And Barry lost. But we know why.

1 - The “liberal” republicans conspired against’ him.

2 - “Sensation seeking columnists and commentators” conspired against him. 

3 - The pollsters conspired against him. 

4 - The newspapers conspired against him. 

5 - The Communists and “Pinkos” conspired against him.

I know that many people try to escape blame by placing it on others. But come now Barry, isn’t this going a little too far?