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What would Barry Goldwater say about how politics is practiced in the United States in 2015?

Last night's GOP debate made me think of the Kennedy-Nixon debates in 1960


Jeb Bush during last night's debate.
We watched the GOP debates last night.


We watched the whole GOP presidential debate last night on CNN.  We weren't glued to our television, but we got the gist of all the comments from the candidates.  Nothing was said that got us excited nor did we produce any extra bile from any of the feigned anger and sharp exchanges.  Best part was probably the thimble full of Baileys that we had during the whole thing.

But, it did remind me of the first presidential debate that I watched between Kennedy and Nixon in 1960 when I was a freshman in high school.  

With two buddies, John Hebert and Bill Young, we watched from the small apartment that my mother and I lived in on Marquette Street in Bay City.  The television set was black and white and it was portable.  

It was a historic moment.  That was the first time such a debate was done on live television.  Bay City was a blue collar town that had a strong identification with labor unions.  

But, there were lots of doubts about Kennedy.  It had a high proportion of Lutherans and Catholics with the Lutherans kind of wondering if the Pope might move into the White House.  Really, that was the talk among many.  During that time there was a social gap between the two groups.  The town stopped the night of the debate.  People watched and they talked about it.

That debate cinched it for Kennedy.  The contrast between he and Nixon was stark.  It was an easy choice for my neighbors.  

We didn't have the same reaction last night.  None of them on either side are moving me.