The 1964 campaign was also noteworthy because Democrats pioneered the kind of negativity that has become a staple of American politics ever since.They succeeded in scaring the country into opposing Goldwater, a conservative senator from Arizona who was portrayed as extremely far right and warlike.In one famous TV ad, the Johnson campaign showed a little girl in a flower-filled meadow. In the commercial, the girl suddenly looked up and a mushroom cloud appeared on the screen. Johnson’s voice was then heard saying “These are the stakes” – an obvious suggestion that Goldwater would blunder into a nuclear war.The ad was so effective that it ran only once on network television. More than that seemed overkill to Johnson and his handlers.
Recall that after President Obama took office the Pentagon requested a significant stay-behind force (24,000), which Obama cut again and again down to a paltry 5,000. He did not push for a deal with the Iraqi prime minister to keep even that number in Iraq. As predicted, Iraq soon devolved into disarray and the Islamic State found a stronghold.
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