Ronald Reagan Needed Barry Goldwater . . . and American Politics Needs Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump
I was having trouble finishing Before the Storm, Rick Perlstein's book about the 1964 Lyndon Johnson/Barry Goldwater election, but Donald Trump renewed my interest; like Goldwater, Trump is a political outsider, and like Goldwater, he is galvanizing an angry conservative minority that feels that no other politician is speaking for them . . . and like Goldwater, if Trump gets nominated, I'm pretty sure he is unelectable and will lose in a landslide . . . but Perlstein-- who is a liberal-- understands the significance of the loss; Goldwater paved the way for Ronald Reagan, and Goldwater paved the way for an organized and radical conservative movement in America . . . to read about a more tactical politician, check out the second book in his historical trilogy (Nixonland) but if you want something that explains what is going on right now in America, read Before the Storm, which is subtitled Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus . . . if you want to read something shorter on the same theme, there's a good article in The Week and I also highly recommend Dan Carlin's podcast, Common Sense . . . his analysis of the first televised GOP debate, "Trumping the Playbook" explains the influence an outsider can have on typical political rhetoric and why we should appreciate and enjoy the waves these folks create, whether or not we are for their policies . . . so I'd like to give a big thanks to Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, for shaking things up and making it real.