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I don't know this for a fact, but I assume I'm part of the decided minority on Kos that has personal memories of the 1964 Republican Convention.  It was in the Cow Palace in San Francisco.  I was in college at the time and didn't have access to a television set.  Indeed, I don't even remember whether there was gavel-to-gavel coverage of each day's proceedings, but I did watch some of it (Goldwater's acceptance speech, for example) and saw more on newsreels (they used to have them at the movies before the cartoon and the main attraction).  I read even more; the best account (my opinion) is in T. H. White's The Making of the President, 1964.

The general impression it left was one of a national political party immolating itself.  I remember Nelson Rockefeller being shouted down.  I remember the chorus of rage when former President Eisenhower delivered his line about "sensation-seeking journalists".  I remember the nomination of an utter nonentity (before and since), Bill Miller, for VP, "because he drives LBJ nuts."  And I remember Goldwater's messianic acceptance speech.  Evidently, no one had bothered to tell him beforehand, we elect Presidents, not messiahs, in this country.  I also remember, quite distinctly, that based on the tenor of that convention and of Goldwater's remarks before, during, and after the convention, the Democrats' "little girl with the daisy" commercial was a perfectly fair comment and spot-on.  It was one of those things that, although horrible, was difficult to tear oneself away from, kind of like those "lion eats zebra" segments in a wildlife movie.  

It had been pretty clear before it began that President Johnson was headed for a solid win.  After, the win became a foregone conclusion and the overwhelming landslide that election turned out to be became a distinct possibility.  For four years, the Goldwaterites had been preaching the gospel - "if we only give the electorate a chance to vote for our dogmas, they will; no compromises".  (Sound familiar?)  Well, they did, but the electorate didn't want any part of it.  Goldwater carried only his home state and the "deep" south.  Democrats rolled up the biggest majorities they had had in Congress since 1958 at least; possibly since 1936.  It wasn't until 1980 that the conservatives managed to nominate one of their own again.

Since 1992, I have made a practice of tuning out the Republican Convention.  I don't watch it on t.v.  I don't read about it.  I know what they're selling and I'm not buying.  I have voted for exactly two Republicans in my life - never again!  But this year, I may have to watch, because this year's convention promises to be a cross between a traveling carnival and a public hanging with a generous dose of family feud thrown in for good measure.  The assembled delegates are going to leave absolutely no room for doubt about the sheer lunacy, not to mention the bigotry and general hatefulness, they, their party, and their candidates stand for.  Assuming the anti-Obama abuse doesn't become so vile I have to throw something heavy at the t.v., it is going to be entertaining, to say the least.

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