In Your Heart, You Know He's Right: Goldwater's America and Beyond

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Titanicus, Jun 12, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: PROLOGUE: IN YOUR HEART, YOU KNOW HE'S RIGHT

    Titanicus Very Well-Hated Member

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    IN YOUR HEART, YOU KNOW HE'S RIGHT
    In Your Guts, You Know He's Nuts.

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    Senator Barry Goldwater, 1964

    PROLOGUE
    Huh, Barry Goldwater 1964. Wait, what? Barry Goldwater? That's not possible.

    Well, seems like it is, or will be. I don't know how I'm going to do it yet, but I'm going to figure out. We're going to have a Goldwater Presidency. We're going to need some sort of massive Democratic screw-up. But it's going to happen. There'll probably be multiple PODs required for this sort of thing to happen because Goldwater was "ahead of the times" in the Republican Party for being a conservative in the times of the Republican Party being an alliance of moderates, conservatives and liberals.

    Since this is my "second timeline" that I'm making, I'll be making an update here after I finish my update on the first one. It'll be concerning the election and how everything fell where it needed to be for his victory in the 1964 elections.

    That might include candidates being changed or different circumstances, but I think it'll be interesting. We'll be seeing a different America.

    Optimistically, I may update on this weekend. Let's hope that comes to pass.
     
  2. Electric Monk Does Your Believing For You

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    Keep JFK alive and have his scandals come out into the open—perhaps LBJ is forced off the ticket as could have happened IOTL if JFK lived and Johnson wants revenge? Or JFK pisses off Hoover too much?

    You need to devastate the Democratic nominee for Goldwater to have any chance really. Multiple PODs is too easy, the right one with plausible butterfly effects is doable :).
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
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  3. Titanicus Very Well-Hated Member

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    You need to devastate the Democratic candidate very badly.
    I did indeed have an idea of keeping JFK alive with Oswald assassinating Edwin Walker 1963. He gets caught and sentenced. Technically if Kennedy stepped down during the Cuban Missile Crisis, that would be super bad. However, the odds of that happening are really low, so I'm still going to need some thinking through.
     
  4. Unknown Member

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    Here's one way: have LBJ and JFK die on November 22nd, 1963; John McCormack declines to run and the Democratic field is wide open, for starters...
     
  5. DakotaTimeTraveler Well-Known Member

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    Sounds too ASB.
     
  6. jacobk Well-Known Member

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    Besides the sleeping around, Kennedy was also using a lot more drugs than the public knew about. If he had a more messy falling out with Max Jacobson ("Dr. Feelgood", himself a heavy user of amphetamines), some ugly information could have leaked to the press.
     
  7. thorr97 Banned

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    Perhaps still have JFK assassinated in this timeline but then have info about this involvement with Marylin Monroe and rumors of the Kennedy Clan's involvement in her death also leak out. LBJ could be sideline by corruption charges or perhaps some "special dirt" the Hoover had on him. Considering how dirty the politics he played was in both his House years and in Texas before that, there probably was at least some several things which would've been bad for Johnson had they become known.
     
  8. Kerguelen Prime Specimen

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    Maybe have Goldwater lose the Republican convention in '64 to Rockefeller allowing him to run in '68 instead.
     
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  9. Threadmarks: What Brought Down Kennedy: Beardsley Affair (1964)

    Titanicus Very Well-Hated Member

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    In 1964, the presidential election was held under great duress in the USA and would be not any less close than the one that was held four years ago. With the Cold War moving its nuclear shadow over the world, the United States included, the country would remain restless. Despite this, the election in 1960 seemed to be a net positive for the United States. President John F. Kennedy was considered by many to be a stabilizing force in the Cold War as he maneuvered the waters of crisis, especially during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It seemed that John F. Kennedy would be a shoe-in for the nomination in the DNC and the subsequent general election. It would, however, turn out completely differently. In 1963, during his visit to Texas, President Kennedy was unable to handle the dispute between Texan Democrats, liberals - led by Ralph Yarborough- and conservative governor, John Connally. Worried that they might lose Texas in 1964, the President visited to reconcile the two wings of the Texas Democrats. Ironically, some parts of the more conservative wing of the Democratic Party would walk out on the party preceding the 1964 presidential election. While the President himself was somewhat skeptical on pushing the Civil Rights Act, afraid of backlash from his own party and a complete capitulation in the South, he and Vice President Johnson continued to lobby for it's push through Congress. In the mid-summer of 1964, the Civil Rights Act would be passed as Vice President Johnson used his influence and bully-tactics to strong-arm Democrats and Republicans into supporting Kennedy's efforts. It was, while a popular issue, still somewhat divisive as politicians and people alike argued about it's rightfulness. Famously, then-time Senator Goldwater would vote against it. While he was certainly not against Civil Rights, he disagreed with some parts of the Act. Accurately, Senator Richard Russell Jr. would tell to the President that his strong support for civil rights legislation will "not only cost you the South, it will cost you the election." However, political historians to this day seem to have reached a conclusion that the election was more affected by Kennedy's sexual escapades rather than the Civil Rights Act.

    Marion Fay "Mimi" Alford Beardsley was born in Texarkana, Arkansas and would, despite her lowly position as a White House intern, receive major news coverage in 1964. Offered a position as a White House intern for the summer in 1962, she would be asked back for the following summer in 1963. In 1963, on her fourth day in the White House press office, she was offered to join a group in the residence's swimming poll, which the President joined as well. In the next days, the affair would, more or less, spiral out of control. Following a cocktail party the next day, she was offered a personal tour of the home by the President, after which Kennedy would lead her into his wife's - Jacqueline Kennedy's - blue powder bedroom. In that room, the President and Beardsley would proceed to have sex which was Mimi's first sexual encounter. During the next 18 months, the affair would continue. In August, 1963, they ceased their sexual relationship, although Beardsley retained her position in the White House. While their relationship cooled down, Beardsley would be dismayed as she would be dropped from the trip to Dallas. Either way, the circumstances escalated as Beardsley deduced that she was pregnant in October when she visited President Kennedy. Informing President Kennedy, he reportedly tried to convince Beardsley to have an abortion and tried to bribe her to stay silent, promising some "gifts". However, Beardsley refused to carry out an abortion, saying in the next few months, hounded by the press that, "I could not abort my first child - I just found it too repulsive." While initially Beardsley would keep the affair and subsequent pregnancy a secret, she was disturbed and as Kennedy distanced himself, was forced to confess the situation to her fiance, Tony Fahnestock, who had been engaged at the time. Fahnestock, while deeply hurt and angry, was understanding of the situation and promised to support Beardsley. The affair would not become public until August, around a year after the sexual encounter that impregnated Beardsley and when their - at the time - unrecognized child was around two months old. In the following months - even up to the election - the issue of Kennedy's affair would constantly waver over the airwaves. Nominated as the first hard-conservative candidate in the Republican Party in a while, Barry Goldwater used the affair to his advantage, portraying that the election was not a question about economy, but about integrity and national defense. While most pollsters predicted a Kennedy landslide before the Beardsley-Kennedy scandal, the question if the President would win re-election was a more doubtful than certain now. With the Beardsley scandal came along other allegations against the President as he was forced on the defensive. In a crucial moment before the elections, prominent southern Democrat John Connally, defected from the Democratic Party on the fourth of September and registered himself as a Republican. At the same time, he also began the "Real Democrats for Goldwater" movement as Connally endorsed Goldwater in the presidential election and invited other southern Democrats to switch parties, concluding that the Democratic Party had abandoned the South - and the whole of America - not only in morality, but also in legislation.

    While debates could have shored up support for Kennedy, the President refused to debate Goldwater throughout the period preceding the elections, afraid that he might come under fire for his affairs. Goldwater would famously stage a "mock debate" between himself and Kennedy, where he would mostly talk about his positions in contrast to the ones of the administration. In his one and only "debate" on the 9th of September, 1964, Goldwater would say, famously, in the end that "the only reason President Kennedy is not here is because he's afraid he'll be under fire for his impregnation of a 19 year old girl - to that I say, yes, he will." Upon the revelation that John F. Kennedy pushed Beardsley for an abortion, it even infuriated his more most loyal supporters - mainly Catholic Americans, who viewed this as immoral and repulsive, many of which decided to close their eyes and vote for Goldwater in 1964. As morality began to become a dominant issue of the political scene of 1964, the achievements of the Kennedy Presidency began to be clouded. From August until November, allegation & revelations dogged the Kennedy campaign as more scandalous information was revealed, even suspicions that Kennedy used narcotics. At the same time, the Kennedy campaign attempted to portray Goldwater as an out-of-touch radical who would destroy the world with nuclear weapons. Airing the now-infamous "Daisy" and "Confessions of a Republican" advertisements. While they garnered attention, they were overshadowed by the larger scandals involving the Kennedy administration as they consumed the front pages of both serious newsletters and more less-serious gossip magazines, while at the same time were called as "over-exaggerations" by Goldwater's supporters as he was forced on the defensive on some selective issues. At the same time, Goldwater rejected support from controversial groups such as the Klu Klux Klan, which had supported Goldwater's candidacy throughout.

    In the span of a few months, the popularity of the "American Royals" and their Camelot was eschewed with each revealing newspaper until the label could not be applied anymore. However, Kennedy's escapades were not the only focus. Many also paid attention to the campaign's ideas about Vietnam and Social Security. Goldwater campaigned on being a supporter of intervention in Vietnam, going so far to even suggest deployment of nuclear weapons while the Kennedy administration was more ambivalent. Throughout the election campaign, Goldwater focused his message being that the Democratic administration and party had given up on containing communism abroad. While Kennedy supporters pointed out Kennedy's firm actions during the Cuban Missile Crisis, they were dismissed by Goldwater supporters that the success in one area does not mean that America should be irresponsible, especially confronting communism in Asia. Through the campaign, Kennedy and Goldwater distinguished their foreign policies in contrast to each other. At the same time, Goldwater espoused his criticism of the "drift towards a welfare state" - as he put it - claiming that America should not capitulate to self-indulgence and privilege at the expense of the common taxpayer. While the message of Goldwater's campaign didn't ring well with liberals, it was more accepted by fiscal conservatives and other more right-leaning groups that opposed what they believed was the over-reliance on the federal government in recent decades, alongside with the federal governments' involvement in affairs that should be relegated to the states.

    The election was closer than some expected as the Kennedy Campaign won narrow victories in Vermont, New Hampshire, Montana and other states as they found the "radical right wing" Goldwater not having an calm enough head to run the United States into the Cold War, but it would not be enough for victory. It was, however, massively contrasted by those who saw the Kennedy Administration as "immoral" among other negative connotations and believed that Goldwater was the man to restore "honor" to the White House. This perception was massively influenced by the Beardsley Affair, which continued to have a severe impact on the election as voters saw personal character as a large reason for their rejection of Kennedy. While Kennedy's charisma was certainly in abundance, it would be not enough to save his reputation. Riding on Goldwater's coattails, the Republican Party picked up multiple Senate and House seats during the election season as Americans went on to elect both their President, Senator and Representative. Despite Kennedy's fall from grace in the past few months, some saw Goldwater as unacceptable even despite Kennedy's actions and California, West Virginia, Ohio, Minnesota and other states decided to vote for the Kennedy ticket. It would not be enough to save the Kennedy Presidency. Only after one term, Democrat would be replaced by a Republican in the White House.


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  10. Mark E. Well-Known Member

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    The affair with an intern, along with evidence of impairment from drugs, would make a good one-two punch to take out JFK's popularity.
     
  11. Seandineen Member

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    How would the man from Arizona handle the Dominican Republic crisis?
    Lyndon got cover from the oas.
     
  12. SandroPertini98 Well-Known Member

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    Vietnam is going to be nuked, I guess. Leonid will not take this well.
     
  13. LuckyLuciano Well-Known Member

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    I wish you´d have gone over the Republican primaries and convention. I think Goldwater would´ve been in a better place to win the nomination without Kennedy´s assassination. He was close with Kennedy, and his death left him distraught and contributed to a poor campaign on his part, he also received lots of mail following the assassination that accused him of creating a climate of hate. However, I don´t understand why you chose William Miller for VP in TTL as well, after all Miller was bottom of the barrel tier and chosen because he drove Johnson mad reportedly (not rlly a factor ITTL) and the more factual reason being other Republicans viewed Goldwater as toxic. With a collapsing Kennedy image, I´m sure at least a couple of moderates would want to hitch their wagon, most notably Scanton. Also I´m surprised Goldwater has so quickly condemned someone he once called his friend. IIRC he had wanted the 1964 election to be a debate of ideals and values between him an his friend, not one of toxic attack ads. Also could you explain some of your choices for the election map, like Montana going for Kennedy. Could you provide more insight on these choices?
     
  14. Titanicus Very Well-Hated Member

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    Aug 24, 2018
    Yeah, you are right. I considered going over the nomination process, but the real POD being the affair, I ended up completely ignoring/forgetting whatever results an alive John F. Kennedy would have yielded.

    Related to what I said above. It's also rumored that Johnson didn't even know Miller. But you're right either way. Sorry.

    I suppose I should put Scranton on the ticket.

    Yes, he did want it to be a debate of values and ideas and really hated being against Johnson who used every trick in the book. But I'm pretty sure that the shock over what Kennedy had done might warp his perception of him just as it shattered the image of the super-charismatic Camelot. Why I picked Montana? Well, I was playing around in the election atlas, trying to figure out how to get a Goldwater victory. Basically, the election, while a Goldwater victory, despite the Kennedy scandals, is still narrow. Goldwater's victories in states turn out to be rather narrow, barring the South. Why Montana goes blue? Honestly, I was looking at the electoral map and thought that I've given Goldwater a more comfortable victory than I'd want, so I decided to give Kennedy Montana. In hindsight, it makes more sense for Montana to go red.

    Really, I'll probably remake the election wikibox, considering I made multiple mistakes (including Johnson, not Kennedy being next to the "blue" box).
    Thanks for your feedback. In hindsight, I have made some mistakes.
    Perhaps I should make the RNC the next update to "clear it up" - or should I move on?
     
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  15. LuckyLuciano Well-Known Member

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    Would like to add: still a very interesting POD, I never even knew about the Beardsley affair, very interesting POD
    Would definitely like to see more
    Please don´t say sorry just wanted to offer some knowledge and ask for more insight
    Apologies if I came off as rude in my post, I was in a rush and typed it quickly :biggrin:
     
  16. historybuff Well-Known Member

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    JFK was accused of having sevreal affairs, never knew about the one you mentioned. Any ideas for Goldwater's cabinet?
     
  17. Chapman Proud Member of the Wolff PAC

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    I've heard vaguely about JFK doing something like this, taking an intern from the WH pool to a bedroom and, well, doing what JFK did best. It's a brilliant choice, I think, and it's made so much better by the fact that abortion was even discussed...in a panic, seems like he might suggest such a thing even knowing the risk of blowback. But it adds such fodder to Goldwater's campaign, and essentially vindicates him in the eyes of the electorate (or, at least, 287 EVs worth of the electorate).

    Even in victory, Goldwater just barely scrapes by - still losing some important Republican states. But it's a hell of a plot so far, and i'm looking forward to more. What becomes of RFK, and the rest of the Kennedy clan?
     
  18. Seandineen Member

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    Everett Dirksen Attorney General Thomas Dewey Secretary of defense.
     
  19. Titanicus Very Well-Hated Member

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    I had a large "hiatus period" because I had to stay in the hospital for a few days, then went off to France and then off to a "camp". I didn't really have the stomach or mood to make a post here and I only read all the feedback you guys gave me today because I hadn't been paying much attention. I apologize for my long period of absence, but I'll get a post ready up within the week. Next post will be a bit about the Republican Convention - hitching a moderate to the ticket - and an updated wikibox for the election and the rest of said post will probably be about the beginnings of the administration and Senate, House, I suppose. Of course, there will be fallout from Kennedy's loss in the Senate and House.

    My worst results will probably be in regards to what will be his Cabinet because I'm not very well-versed in that sort of stuff. If anyone has any ideas, feel free to put them out here.
     
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  20. triscreen Well-Known Member

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    A great start! I'll be reading along!

    The one sad thing is that Ohio's prediction streak has been shattered...

    Curtis LeMay would make an excellent Secretary of Defense.
     
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