The Far Right

I’m listening to Thom Hartmann’s radio show. He just talked about Nelson Rockefeller’s speech preceeding Barry Goldwater at the 1964 Republican Convention, warning of the takover of the party by right-wing extremists. So I looked it up.

The atmosphere at the Republican convention was heated as Nelson Rockefeller stepped up to the podium to address the belligerent crowd: “During this year I have crisscrossed this nation, fighting … to keep the Republican party the party of all the people … and warning of the extremist threat, its danger to the party, and danger to the nation,” he said, taking his time as the crowd cheered “We want Barry!” “These extremists feed on fear, hate and terror, [they have] no program for America and the Republican Party… [they] operate from dark shadows of secrecy. It is essential that this convention repudiate here and now any doctrinaire, militant minority whether Communist, Ku Klux Klan or Birchers.” It was, according to many, Nelson Rockefeller’s finest moment — but it did little to stop the conservative wave that was transforming the GOP.

Goldwater responded with his famous line: “Let our Republicanism, so focused and dedicated, not be made fuzzy and futile by unthinking and stupid labels,” he summoned the crowd. “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice — and let me remind you also, moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

Do you think Rockefeller was warning us of what’s happening to the country today.