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Politics and Argument

On September 7, 1964 during the Presidential campaign between Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater,  Johnson’s campaign broadcast a controversial television advertisement that is now known as the Daisy Ad.


It portrayed a little girl picking petals from a daisy while counting up to ten. During the count, a baritone voice off camera took over the countdown, culminating with a visual showing the explosion of a nuclear bomb. The ad only aired one time but impacted the election results.

The Johnson campaign was trying to convey  that electing Barry Goldwater as president also meant  the danger of a nuclear war. Goldwater’s campaign had been handing out a bumper sticker for supporters to put on their cars that said In your heart, you know he’s right.

After the Daisy Ad had aired on television, the Johnson campaign handed out a bumper sticker in response to the Goldwater sticker that said In your heart, you know he might” and “In your gut, you know he’s nuts.

Johnson won the presidency by a landslide with 61.05 percent of the vote.  At the time, this result was the widest popular margin of the 20th century.  In the actual count of the Electoral College , Johnson defeated Goldwater by margin of 486 to 52. In state count,  Johnson won 44 states, versus Goldwater’s six. The impact of the vote also gave Democrats the largest majorities in Congress since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s election in 1936. A Senate with a 68-32 Democrat majority and a house with a 295–140 Democratic margin.

Prior to that ad, the election was considered a close contest. After the TV ad, Goldwater was apparently viewed as dangerous and reckless. The voters convinced themselves.

Yesterday, I sat in an arbitration hearing and listened to the opposing counsel’s argument about our client’s injuries. At the conclusion, my closing included a reference to politics and how a Ted Cruz supporter would have a difficult time convincing a Hilary Clinton supporter to change their vote.

It’s hard to win an argument. I usually learn from arguing that I never learn anything from arguing. So I went in search of a quote on how to win an argument. I was reminded that A man convinced against his will… is of the same opinion still!. I just hope that the arbitrator came without opinion!!!!

And for pic o’ day, maybe sometimes its just more fun to fit in:


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