And here’s the Daily Beast’s slideshow. It looks really good, if I say so myself!
PS. A very angry rejoinder from Ernie, which I am printing below:
Including Barry Goldwater’s picture under the caption “America’s Old School Haters” is absolutely despicable.
Do you know anything about Goldwater’s life-long history fighting bigotry? He desegregated the Arizona National Guard before Truman did so with our military; when he was on the Phoenix city council, he was a founding member of the NAACP and he remained a member until his death. He supported gay rights and he championed native American rights his entire life.
If someone like Goldwater can accurately be characterized as an “American hater” — then whom among us can pass the test for decency and morality or being an honorable person?
I feel his criticism very intensely, which is why I am sharing it; also because I think it’s important for everyone to realize that we’re not dealing in questions of who is better than anyone else. People are complicated–some believe bad things and do good things, some believe good things and do bad; also public personalities (especially public personalities whose books were mostly ghost-written) sometimes are, fairly or unfairly, remembered for what their followers projected onto them rather than what they were themselves. Abraham Lincoln left a legacy of racist quotes behind too.
I included Goldwater, as I told Ernie, not because I thought he was a racist, but for the conspiracism that he continued to promote quite late into his career (though he certainly did moderate many of his stands by the end of his lifetime). Martin Luther King’s words about Goldwater are apposite: “On the urgent issue of civil rights, Senator Goldwater represented a philosophy that was morally indefensible and socially suicidal. While not himself a racist, Mr. Goldwater articulated a philosophy which gave aid and comfort to the racist. His candidacy and philosophy would serve as an umbrella under which extremists of all stripes would stand.”
Frankly, I think Goldwater has a lot in common with Ron Paul (about whom Ernie and I have also publicly disagreed), who I suspect is mostly an honorable person but whose followers often cast him in a bad light. Like Goldwater, his ghostwriters have done him some damage too.
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