Elections in a Simpler Time

I really miss the day before PACs and big money took over political campaigns. There was a time when you could put on a campaign rally with a few convertibles and a handful of locals folks willing to don sashes and straw hats and wave at their neighbors. This Goldwater parade is headed north on Sprigg, passing the Ford dealership. The signs, of course, had to sport the union “bug.” Click on any photo to make it larger.

Goldwater Girls

Even national campaigns had campy things like Goldwater Girls wearing homemade costumes, shown here when Barry Goldwater made a campaign swing through Cairo.

Bury Goldwater

A couple of boys on bicycles with “Bury Goldwater” signs offered a counterpoint to the Young Republican floats in the 1964 SEMO Homecoming Parade. You had the feeling in those days that folks could support a candidate, but still have a cup of coffee with someone who backed the opposition.

Where did those simpler days go?

4 Replies to “Elections in a Simpler Time”

  1. This is one of the reasons I enjoy reading your Coming of Age in Cape Girardeau series. It reminds me of a time when life was much simpler. My life in Cape could be summed up in four statements … home, Boy Scouts, Central Football, and Central Golf. Those were the days …

  2. I agree that politics today are just plain crazy!! I prefer the days when big $$ were out of the picture and campaigning started “just before” the election! The simpler life was really better.

  3. “Simpler time” is often (usually?) the term we use to refer to “favorite illusion.” To quote an older neighbor who lived a few houses down the street in the 1960s: “Today is the ‘good old days’ thirty years from now.” These are the simpler times we will remember fondly and mourn a generation hence. Big money (i.e., power), I suspect, has never been out of the picture or off the table; it’s merely more visible now than it was in the days when more of the election drama played out in back rooms or under the table.

  4. I remember the days when every two years Thad Bullock would run for congress. I used to move pianos from his store along with my buddy Wayne Behnke and then get paid by eating for free at his cafeteria. At that time he was living in the old Marquette Hotel on Broadway down by the River. Now those were the days.
    Tim Luckett
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

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