What Would Barry Do?
By M.S. Jackson, Libertarian Party Pennsylvania Member & USMC Sergeant - Iraq
The stage was set for a moment of greatness in American History. An optimistic conservative from Arizona set his sights on the upcoming Presidential Election, building upon years of faithful service as a Senator respected by men on both sides of the aisle.
However, this respected Arizonan known for his loyal service to Country was not John McCain, and the year was not 2008. For this was 44 years past, at a time when America, while herself a young nation, was not without problems we find familiar today. The man was a symbol of her strength and kind spirit, a warm man named Barry Morris Goldwater. Viewing the spectacle that has quickly become this Presidential election, I often wonder if Barry would find himself out of place in the whole experience of it. He was certainly no stranger to foes slinging mud. The controversial “Daisy” ad ran by President Johnson depicting a young girl, serene and innocent, picking flower pedals in a meadow while unaware of the immanent disaster as an ominous voice counts down to Nuclear Armageddon. The ad was distasteful, but effective. America saw Goldwater as a dangerous warmonger, threatening to cast all before him into catastrophic destruction.
But today, 44 years after a time when attack ads based not entirely in reality could desecrate the image of a man America barely knew, it’s easy to see the cosmic stars align as history repeats itself. The mudslinging is vast, perhaps more voluminous then ever. Two pre-packaged candidates wax rhetoric and empty promises while America looks on in fading interest. The issues are tough questions and demand tougher answers, and yet Obama and McCain seem unable to coherently answer them. It seems we’re stuck with two options; hope for Change and see what happens, or pull the lever again for a man who compromises principle for personal prosperity.
It’s hard to picture John McCain as a Senate successor to Barry Goldwater; the men seem polar opposites on a myriad of issues. But it isn’t hard to imagine how Goldwater would confront Obama’s empty promises and the Hope for Change; he’d announce to the world that “The man is a flat out Socialist.” Ever outspoken, Goldwater could always be counted on to tell you exactly what he was thinking.
So what would Barry do, if he were alive and active today? I believe he’d take the stage and tell us all just how this government is “getting to be like a cookie factory.”
This month's official Libertarian Newsletter of Pennsylvania printed my article. :D
Full adobe file available here.