It was both unfortunate and disastrous that the Republican Party nominated Barry Goldwater as its candidate for President of the United States. In foreign policy Mr. Goldwater advocated a narrow nationalism, a crippling isolationism, and a trigger-happy attitude that could plunge the whole world into the dark abyss of annihilation. On social and economic issues, Mr. Goldwater represented an unrealistic conservatism that was totally out of touch with the realities of the twentieth century. The issue of poverty compelled the attention of all citizens of our country. Senator Goldwater had neither the concern nor the comprehension necessary to grapple with this problem of poverty in the fashion that the historical moment dictated. On the urgent issue of civil rights, Senator Goldwater represented a philosophy that was morally indefensible and socially suicidal. While not himself a racist, Mr. Goldwater articulated a philosophy which gave aid and comfort to the racist. His candidacy and philosophy would serve as an umbrella under which extremists of all stripes would stand. In the light of these facts and because of my love for America, I had no alternative but to urge every Negro and white person of goodwill to vote against Mr. Goldwater and to withdraw support from any Republican candidate that did not publicly disassociate himself from Senator Goldwater and his philosophy.
While I had followed a policy of not endorsing political candidates, I felt that the prospect of Senator Goldwater being President of the United States so threatened the health, morality, and survival of our nation, that I could not in good conscience fail to take a stand against what he represented.
Just saw a conservative blogger condescendingly ask if President Obama knows that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican
I usually ignore such nonsense, but since this misleading claim can be so easily and quickly debunked:
- King had no strong allegiance to either party, believing that “the Negro should be more of an independent voter…this would give him more bargaining power” and stating “I’m not inextricably bound to either party.”
- In 1956, he wrote in a letter to Miss Viva O. Sloan, “I haven’t fully decided which candidate I will vote for. In the past I have always voted the Democratic ticket.”
- He also supported John F. Kennedy for President but, despite urgings from friends, decided not to publicly endorse either candidate. “I felt that Kennedy would make the best president. I never came out with an endorsement.”
- He strongly opposed the Vietnam War, in part because he felt money used to finance the war should instead be devoted to anti-poverty programs: ”A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
- Later in life, he was a self-identified democratic socialist: ”There must be a better distribution of wealth, and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism.”
In the future, let’s try not to rewrite history.
“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”