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‘Confessions of a Republican’: Why Is This Campaign Ad for LBJ Going Viral 52 Years After It Aired?

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1964 TV Ad for President Lyndon Johnson Bears Remarkable Resemblance to Questions Republicans Are Asking Themselves Today

In 1964 the campaign for Democratic President Lyndon Johnson aired an ad that to this day is still recognizable as one of the most impactful pieces in modern day advertising. It was the famous “Daisy” ad.

But the campaign also aired another ad, this one four minutes long and entirely different. “Confessions of a Republican” features a man who says he and his family have always been proud Republicans, but lately they are worried about voting for the Republican nominee for president: Barry Goldwater.

The man, who is played by actor Bill Bogert, a self-professed Republican at the time, talks about his uncomfortableness with GOP Senator Goldwater’s repeated denials of statements he made just days before, Goldwater’s extremism, the endorsements from “all these weird groups” like the KKK, and his clear desire to go to war. 

“I don’t know just why they wanted to call this a confession,” the ad begins. “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.”

“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.”

Wednesday night MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow featured the ad, suggesting viewers could replace Barry Goldwater’s name with Donald Trump.

The DNC should listen, do just that, and run this 24/7 in markets across America.

Quartz posted this short, two-minute version to Facebook two days ago. It’s been viewed nearly 12 million times.

This campaign ad from the 1960's is going viral

This "Confessions of a Republican" ad from the 1964 presidential election is going viral, thanks to its uncanny relevance to the 2016 presidential election.

Posted by Quartz on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The ad in case you saw it on Facebook or Twitter or Quartz yesterday, and wondered, yes, it’s is real. Snopes, which does a fairly good job at things like this (though not at things like this) verifies its authenticity. Also, it’s posted on the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library’s YouTube channel.

Here’s the full version, and below, the transcript.

Let’s hope GOP voters are watching.

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.

 

Image: Screenshot via Facebook

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Watch: Schumer Compares McConnell to Southern Segregationists for Blocking Voting Rights

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On Tuesday, following Senate Republicans’ lockstep vote to block debate on voting rights, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) gave a thunderous speech comparing Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to the southern segregationists who fought the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

“Republican state legislatures across the country are engaged in the most sweeping voter suppression in 80 years,” said Schumer. “Capitalizing on and catalogued by Donald Trump’s big lie. These state governments are making it harder for younger, poorer, urban and non-white Americans to vote. Earlier today, the Republican leader told reporters that, quote, ‘Regardless of what may be happening in some states, there is no rationale for federal intervention.’ The Republican leader flatly stated that no matter what the states do to undermine our democracy — voter suppression laws, phony audits, partisan takeovers of local election boards — the Senate should not act.”

“The Republican leader uses the language and the logic of the southern senators in the ’60s who defended states rights, and it is an indefensible position for any senator, any senator, let alone the minority leader to hold,” said Schumer. “When John Lewis was about to cross that bridge in Selma, he didn’t know what waited for him on the other side. He didn’t know how long his march would be. And his ultimate success was never guaranteed. But he started down that bridge anyway. Today Democrats started our march to defend the voting rights of all Americans. It could be a long march, but it is one we are going to make.”

Watch below:

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Pelosi Will Create Select Committee to Investigate January 6 Insurrection After GOP Kills Bill for Bipartisan Group

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has just told Democrats she will create a special Select committee to investigate Donald Trump’s violent January 6 insurrection, a deadly attempted coup.

The House voted to approve a bipartisan committee but Senate Republicans killed that bill.

Pelosi made the announcement as Senate Republicans killed debate on the voting rights bill.

 

This is a breaking news and developing story.

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GOP Senators Orchestrate ‘Blockade’ of Key Biden Agenda Bills: Voting Rights Bill Killed, Infrastructure in Doubt

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Republicans Tuesday evening killed debate on the For the People Act, a key component of Democrats’ agenda to protect democracy, expand and strengthen voting rights, and reduce the influence of dark money in elections. As Senators were voting on the motion to begin debate on the bill, news broke that the GOP Whip, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota had announced another critical piece of Democratic legislation, the infrastructure bill, was even further in doubt.

GOP Senators appeared to be orchestrating a complete and total shutdown of key legislation critical to President Joe Biden’s progressive agenda.

Democratic Majority Leader Schumer immediately denounced Republicans’ “blockade.”

Sen. Thune also said Republicans would oppose a slimmed down version of a voting rights bill:

60 votes were required to begin debate on the voting rights bill. The motion failed in a 50-50  vote. As voting was taking place GOP Minority Leader Mitch mcConnell could be seen huddling with other top Republican Senators including John Cornyn of Texas and John Kennedy of Louisiana.

The only option to pass the bill now would be for a simple majority of Senators agree to kill the 60-vote filibuster. Some are supporting a modification to 55 votes. Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona had steadfastly refused to support killing the filibuster.

“This is a dark day in this country,” Al Sharpton said on MSNBC.

“This is a dark day for Republicans,” host Nicolle Wallace replied. “Republicans won’t just walk over norms, they will burn them down,” she told host Ari Melber during the handoff.

Voting rights expert Ari Berman weighed in, chastising the GOP:

 

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