Goldwater Flashback

Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.

So we all know that Trump has had an outburst or two and Clinton has “health issues,” but is it fair for us to armchair diagnose public figures?


Before whatever we call this insane election cycle there was the election of 1964: LBJ vs Goldwater.

So as the history books tell us, Goldwater was a bit wacky and there was a survey sent to lots of psychiatrists, asking them to (without even meeting the guy) diagnose him. The chosen man of ’64 on the GOP side would have been Rockefeller, and anything to make Goldwater seem crazy would have been good, right?

Honestly, not so much.

A lot of psychiatrists answered the survey and used words like paranoid, unstable, etc.

Goldwater, much like Trump, got large crowds and did not have the backing of the establishment. But the party still rode the USS Goldwater to an electoral beating in November.

Following the election, there was some legal action and a settlement with the Goldwater crew was made.


This was the birth of what’s called the “Goldwater Rule.” It is an unspoken rule among metal health professionals basically calling them to resist a “diagnosis” of a public figure’s crazy.

It’s truly ironic that we have descended back into the depths of a fear election and strayed so far from a positive and clear message that isnt steeped in mental and physical health accusations.


Trump is sort of an enigma to me. He confuses me because instead of appealing to higher ideals of strength in unity, fairness, and the ideals that made this country great he beats his chest. He calls names. Trump degrades and lowers the level of public debate in this country.

Trump is like an expert hunter trying to snare a portion of the electorate into voting for him. His traps made from the sinews of fear, the ropes of hate, and the rhetoric of vitriol.

Trump traps supporters in their own fear and promises to save them from their own creation. Instead of relying on a position of moral strength and ideals, he descends down the rabbit hole and into the darkness of our national past.


Hillary Clinton is in a tight spot with this strategy. If she tries to be meaner to Trump than he is to her, she loses. If she tries to be scarier than Trump and make him a villain, she loses.

Clinton has a path to victory that avoids Trump altogether: stay on message.

Clinton has detailed policy positions, and whether you agree with them or not, they are very thourough. Clinton has remained level headed and calm through this campaign, Trump has not.

Trump will have to keep raising his voice, raising his hate, and elevating his theatrics to gain more and more attention because he believes that his primary campaign formula will carry over into the general election.

It won’t.

The leaders of the GOP likely know this, and when they watch his ship go down in flames they will appear more moderate, more palatable, or the good guys. They cant replace him now, it looks like they are afraid or don’t have faith in their own supporters.


So here is our call to decency, let’s not descend into the rabbit hole. Let’s not follow suit and get dragged down by hate and despair on either side.

Let’s not be extras in this political comedy that is playing out in real life, and stick to our values that have gotten us so far already.