Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Images from Conventions Past

When I was a kid we used to watch the political conventions on television every night. Not, as you might imagine, because my parents were particularly political but because it was a time before cable and there was literally nothing else on television.

1964 - Republicans
It was a different time. Republicans held the convention in San Francisco (nowadays the mere mention of that city will cause a Republican to turn around three times and spit) in a place with the embarrassing name of the Cow Palace. Gov. Nelson Rockefeller (R-NY) was booed when he spoke. The nominee, Barry Goldwater, was so radical he wanted to end the Vietnam War by using nuclear weapons.
I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. ~ Goldwater, 1964
1968 - Democrats
So many memories. CBS's Dan Rather was punched and dragged off the convention floor by police on live TV. In a separate incident, CBS's Mike Wallace was also forcibly removed from the convention floor by police. And then there was the Chicago police riot. Determined to remove anti-war protesters the police attacked unarmed civilians with brutal force. They used so much tear gas it could be smelled inside the convention. Nobody remembers what nominee Hubert Humphrey said.
Fuck you, you Jew son of a bitch. ~ Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago to Sen. Abraham Ribicoff (R-CT)

1972 - Republicans
Planned for San Diego until it was discovered that International Telephone & Telegraph had paid a $400,000 bribe to pay for the convention in exchange for Nixon's Justice Department dropping an antitrust case against them. Really it was to avoid the protests planned for San Diego. The convention itself was scripted up the wazoo and utterly boring.
Nixon's the one
Nixon's the one
Nixon's the only one
We believe in Nixon
Nixon's the only one.
~ 1972 campaign song

2008 - Democrats
Still a stirring sight.

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