Do you recognize this? The Democrat promises not to send ground troops to a foreign place and warns that the GOP candidate is unfit or does not have the temperament to be president.
I am not talking about 2016 – I’m talking about 1964! This is from Kenneth T. Walsh:
The 1964 campaign was also noteworthy because Democrats pioneered the kind of negativity that has become a staple of American politics ever since.
They succeeded in scaring the country into opposing Goldwater, a conservative senator from Arizona who was portrayed as extremely far right and warlike.
In one famous TV ad, the Johnson campaign showed a little girl in a flower-filled meadow. In the commercial, the girl suddenly looked up and a mushroom cloud appeared on the screen. Johnson’s voice was then heard saying “These are the stakes” – an obvious suggestion that Goldwater would blunder into a nuclear war.
The ad was so effective that it ran only once on network television. More than that seemed overkill to Johnson and his handlers.
I’m sure that some of you have seen the anti-Trump ads in swing states. There are more coming! They don’t show you a little girl and a mushroom cloud. They show you a bunch of other stuff, from Trump saying this or that. The Clinton strategy, as was the case with LBJ in 1964, is to avoid issues and to scare voters.
To be fair, Senator Goldwater was a very serious man in 1964. In other words, the LBJ campaign never found any quotes about the candidate calling women names and so on. Trump’s past, and 3 am tweets about beauty contestants, have made it easy for a Clinton campaign out to demonize him.
Beyond the negative ads, there is “incrementalism” in Iraq. We are heading back to Iraq at the same time that the Obama administration is denying it. It does remind you of LBJ and 1964, as Jennifer Rubin wrote:
Recall that after President Obama took office the Pentagon requested a significant stay-behind force (24,000), which Obama cut again and again down to a paltry 5,000. He did not push for a deal with the Iraqi prime minister to keep even that number in Iraq. As predicted, Iraq soon devolved into disarray and the Islamic State found a stronghold.
Iraq is not exactly like Vietnam. In the former, we are going back, whereas we had not committed to the latter.
However, my point is that a Democrat is not telling the truth about our options in the region. Sadly, the media are so in the tank for Hillary Clinton, so desperate to preserve the Obama “he ended wars” legacy, that they are overlooking the story.
We will be talking about U.S. troops fighting in the region next year in these pages. It’s a shame that debate moderators are asking about the birther issue rather than the mess over there.