Such history can be found, not in textbooks or mainstream media, but in Professor Donald T. Critchlow’s “The Conservative Ascendancy,” where he also recounts how 40,000 civil rights demonstrators denounced Goldwater at the 1964 convention as “Hitler”-- after moderate Republicans like William Scranton started a smear campaign based on Goldwater’s opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Continuing the campaign, then-CBS reporter Daniel Schorr spread the lie that Goldwater, in an effort to appeal to right-wing elements in the U.S., was planning to meet with right wing (Nazi) representatives on a trip to Germany. Goldwater was partly of Jewish heritage and did not have the trip planned until after the convention.
But such smears continue. D.L. Hughley, former host of a CNN program, remarked that the 2008 GOP convention looked “like Nazi Germany.”
The New Haven case has proven Goldwater’s prescience, though. Such rigging towards racial outcomes violates principles of fairness and undermines confidence in the abilities of certain groups. Yet, such efforts continue apace with moves to eliminate other tests like the ACT and SAT for college admissions because Asians and whites perform better as groups. We do not live our lives as groups, but as individuals.
We should follow the lead of Barry Goldwater and walk the walk, and forget the talk of the anti-constitutional advocacy groups who would sacrifice the dignity of the individual Hispanic in order to advance their own cause as saviors of groups of victims.
This column appeared originally in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 6, 2009