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Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Confessions of a Republican - time for sequel or a replay?

You hear a lot about what these guys are against - they seem to be against just about everything - but what are they for? - The Living Room Candidate
William Bogert is the actor who played "Confessions of a Republican", but claims the views he expressed were (and are) consistent with his political positions.  Indeed, he says, he is a Republican but wants the party to return to being more like the GOP of conservatives, like Nelson Rockefeller.
William Bogert

A 1960s campaign commercial to support President Johnson's election has gone viral on YouTube because the messaging is vital to the 2016 political toxicity.

Confessions of a Republican is posted on The Museum of the Moving Image website and on YouTube.

Wikipedia reports:

In the advertisement, a jittery man in his late twenties speaks to the camera about his pride in the Republican Party's past, before admitting that he is frightened by Republican nominee Barry Goldwater. He expresses alarm at Goldwater's contradictory, confrontational political views and support from the Ku Klux Klan (the result of his opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964) and says that he is afraid of Goldwater's instability and aggressive approach, and fears that it might lead to a nuclear war with the U.S.S.R.. He explains that he believes that the party is making a great mistake, and that he will be voting for Johnson in the election.

The four-minute ad was produced by in July 1964. It was a requirement of the casting that actor William Bogert be a Republican. While Bogert was performing a script rather than expressing his own views and is not presented by name, he has described the ad as similar to his own viewpoint and said that he was allowed to improvise somewhat to include his own thoughts on the election. Bogert was interviewed about the ad in 2014, saying that he believed that Tea Party activists had many undesirable attributes in common with Goldwater, and that he had not voted Republican for a long time.

Transcript  (Simply transpose the name of Donald Trump, instead of Goldwater and either Democratic candidate 2016 for "Johnson")
Museum of the Moving Image
The Living Room Candidate - Transcript
"Confessions of a Republican," Johnson, 1964

[TEXT: Confessions of a Republican]

REPUBLICAN: I don't know just why they wanted to call this a confession; I certainly don't feel guilty about being a Republican. I've always been a Republican.

My father is, his father was, the whole family is a Republican family. I voted for Dwight Eisenhower the first time I ever voted; I voted for Nixon the last time. But when we come to Senator Goldwater, now it seems to me we're up against a very different kind of a man. This man scares me.

Now maybe I'm wrong. A friend of mine just said to me, "Listen, just because a man sounds a little irresponsible during a campaign doesn't mean he's going to act irresponsibly." You know that theory, that the White House makes the man. I don't buy that. You know what I think makes a President - I mean, aside from his judgement, his experience - are the men behind him, his advisors, the cabinet. And so many men with strange ideas are working for Goldwater. You hear a lot about what these guys are against - they seem to be against just about everything - but what are they for?

The hardest thing for me about this whole campaign is to sort out one Goldwater statement from another. A reporter will go to Senator Goldwater and he'll say, "Senator, on such and such a day, you said, and I quote, 'blah blah blah' whatever it is, end quote." And then Goldwater says, "Well, I wouldn't put it that way." I can't follow that. Was he serious when he did put it that way? Is he serious when he says I wouldn't put it that way? I just don't get it. A President ought to mean what he says.

President Johnson, Johnson at least is talking about facts. He says, "Look, we've got the tax cut bill and because of that you get to carry home X number of dollars more every payday. We've got the nuclear test ban and because of that there is X percent less radioactivity in the food." But, but Goldwater, often, I can't figure out just what Goldwater means by the things he says. I read now where he says, "A craven fear of death is sweeping across America. What is that supposed to mean? If he means that people don't want to fight a nuclear war, he's right. I don't. When I read some of these things that Goldwater says about total victory, I get a little worried, you know? I wish I was as sure that Goldwater is as against war as I am that he's against some of these other things. I wish I could believe that he has the imagination to be able to just shut his eyes and picture what this country would look like after a nuclear war.

Sometimes, I wish I'd been at that convention at San Francisco. I mean, I wish I'd been a delegate, I really do. I would have fought, you know. I wouldn't have worried so much about party unity because if you unite behind a man you don't believe in, it's a lie. I tell you, those people who got control of that convention: Who are they? I mean, when the head of the Ku Klux Klan, when all these weird groups come out in favor of the candidate of my party — either they're not Republicans or I'm not.

I've thought about just not voting at this election, just staying home — but you can't do that, that's saying you don't care who wins, and I do care. I think my party made a bad mistake in San Francisco, and I'm going to have to vote against that mistake on the third of November.

MALE NARRATOR: Vote for President Johnson on November 3rd. The stakes are too high for you to stay home.

(Maybe, America doesn't even need any sequel for this ad.  Rather, just remove the cigarette from the scene and play it again, just the way it is, thanks Mr. Bogert!)

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