“What has Barry Goldwater ever done for Culpepper?” Lyndon Johnson bellowed to the citizens of Culpepper Virginia, in the 1964 presidential campaign. In fact, Goldwater had just done something for a majority of the white voters in Culpepper and throughout the South. He had voted against the Civil Rights Act.
After signing that historic act that year, LBJ foretold the future in a remark to Bill Moyers: “I think we have just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time to come.” The big political story of the 1960’s, missed in punditry then and nostalgia since, was the rise of the right. From today’s perspective, the real winner of the ’64 election was Barry Goldwater.
Rick Perlstein, author of “Before The Storm”;
Robert Dallek, professor of history at Boston University and author of the Lyndon B. Johnson biographies “Lone Star Rising” and “Flawed Giant.”