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 at 4:28 PM.

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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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    Capital Regional District
    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 at 4:46 AM
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  3. Titanicus Very Well-Hated Member

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    Aug 24, 2018
    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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    Corpus Christi, TX
    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...
     
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  5. DakotaTimeTraveler Well-Known Member

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    Sounds too ASB.
     
  6. jacobk Active Member

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    Oct 30, 2015
    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.
     
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  7. thorr97 Well-Known Member

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    Nov 14, 2009
    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.
     
  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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