What do you think, Mole?

Recently you have taken to learning more about U.S. history starting, almost unbelievably, with Republican stalwart Barry Goldwater. I have to say I know nothing about this man… well, that’s not true. I know he was from Arizona and wore a cowboy hat. I also know that his father anglicized his name (previously “Goldvasser”) and that maybe he had a dog. I really only know all this cause you told me.

I also know that in 1964 Goldwater lost the race for President to LBJ. What if he didn’t though? Moley can you tell me one thing you think would be different about the world today if he had won?

Dear Ratty,

Whoa! That is some question! Thinking about the legacies of presidents, when in truth I really should be thinking about the legacies of prime ministers, but ours are just so colourless. The other day I saw a picture of Justin Trudeau doing yoga and it was quite an impressive Cirque du Soleil pose, but it didn’t move me. You know what moves me?  A picture of Barack Obama out on  a date night with the ineffably chic Michelle Obama. Or a picture of him bodysurfing in Hawaii. I think stuff like that  is the end all be all. I will repost that shit on Facebook, even though Facebook is so over. Facebook is the online equivalent of Michael’s: You want to hang out there for hours, but you certainly don’t want to tell anyone that you do.

Oh but I digress. The subject was Goldwater. He had some  extreme ideas. He was one of those shoot from the hip politicians who fascinated people because he managed to break free from the typical political rhetoric.  In a certain environment, people think being plainspoken is the most amazing thing. But it’s just so hypocritical. Can you imagine if that happened in a job interview. Rather than trying so hard to earn the respect of your interviewers by being so damned agreeable, imagine just shooting from the hip when asked a question like “where do you see yourself in three years?” Goldwater or his modern day equivalent, Donald Trump,  would say something like,  “I will have a great office and nobody deserves a great office like I do and I’m going to make you and your staff pay for it!”

Sorry, I invoked Trump there. But if Trump had a spirit animal it would definitely be Goldwater. Not that they’re entirely the same.  It’s pretty difficult to keep up with all of Trump’s outrageous remarks, and frankly, kind of boring. Goldwater was pretty outrageous too. The one thing I remember from learning about him on an American history podcast was his desire to use atomic weapons to remove some of the heavy foliage in Vietnam.  However Goldwater was definitely more meat and potatoes than Trump. This is one of my favourite Goldwater quotes: “If you don’t mind smelling like peanut butter for two or three days, peanut butter is darn good shaving cream.”

I like that kind of advice. I could imagine putting it on my Pinterest board.






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