Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Daisy, Daisy

The Clinton campaign is updating the Daisy ad.

For those of you who are under the age of 60, the original Daisy ad was used only once by the Johnson campaign in 1964 against Sen. Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee.  At the time it was very controversial to suggest that a candidate for president would consider using nuclear weapons.  But in 1964, Barry Goldwater was such an extremist on war, civil rights, and American exceptionalism that LBJ could call him out on it in a TV ad, even if it only ran once.

Today, of course, Barry Goldwater’s views are considered mainstream by the GOP and he would not have made it through the primaries because he was too liberal: he supported a woman’s right to choose and LGBTQ rights including marriage equality and gays in the military.  He was in favor of smaller government and more freedom, and meant it.  (He also said that was the reason he voted against the civil rights and voting rights acts in 1964.)

I don’t know if this new version of the ad by the Clinton campaign will have the same impact as the original one, but it’s not hard to see that the point is still the same: who do you trust with the power to destroy the world?