Friday, December 17, 2004

Bob Dylan shall be free (#10)

Here's the stanza I can't get out of my head this afternoon.
Now, I'm liberal, but to a degree
I want ev'rybody to be free
But if you think that I'll let Barry Goldwater
Move in next door and marry my daughter
You must think I'm crazy!
I wouldn't let him do it for all the farms in Cuba.
--Bob Dylan: I Shall Be Free No.10 (click here for the rest of the lyrics)
Remember when Goldwater was a right-wing nut? Before Reagan and then Dobeliou (the frenchified version of Double-U, just to piss Dobeliou off) pushed Barry's memory to the center?

It's great to see Bob getting his due recently with Chronicles & 60 Minutes.
It was great to go see him play in Bethlehem PA exactly a month ago with my son (here's the playlist). It was the only time I had seen him since 1974. He's not the same. He played keyboards rather than guitar. But he's still Bob. And when he played the last verse of a scorching Masters of War the place (or at least I) went nuts. I couldn't help picturing Dick Cheney having "the big one" a la Fred Sanford, and the joy that that would bring to the world.

-- True Blue Liberal


True Blue Liberal said...

I found this great comment on Goldwater & 1964 in a speech from Martin Luther King Jr given on 11 December 1964:
"Another indication that progress is being made was found in the recent presidential election in the United States. The American people revealed great maturity by overwhelmingly rejecting a presidential candidate who had become identified with extremism, racism, and retrogression. The voters of our nation rendered a telling blow to the radical right. They defeated those elements in our society which seek to pit white against Negro and lead the nation down a dangerous Fascist path."
- -

What would Martin think of Barry's heirs, Ronnie and Dubya?

marcparella said...

Some of us believe we made a mistake in 1964 and elected a man who pandered to any group in order to win votes. LBJ did a grave service to this country by thrusting us in to an unwinnable war. He wasn't interested in Civil Rights and he is quoted for saying: "I'll keep those n**gers voting Democratic for the next 200 years."

I'll take "Extremism in the Defense of Liberty" over LBJ's opprobrious comments any day.

Goldwater stood for things today that the Left has just gotten around to. Goldwater came out in favor of Gays serving in the military long before anyone on the Left was braved enough to talk about it. He made it rather clear that he was against religious groups and their leaders from influencing the political process. Then there was the Walter Jenkins affair. Goldwater was a man of character and integrity and talked bluntly about issues. We are a greater nation for his service.

Goldwater wasn't a racist -- not even close. He supported the 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights Bills. He was a member of the NAACP and integrated Phoenix Public Schools when he was Council Member -- long before Brown vs. Topeaka School Board. He also was a founding member of the Arizona Air National Guard -- the first integrated military unit in the country. Goldwater had an African-American on his staff in the 50s -- that was unheard of at the time.

If you did some homework, you might be surprised to learn what Goldwater actually stood for and fought for, and why some of us see his campaign as a major milestone in American History.