A stunning primary season had come to a close, and "Republicans of the old order were shocked and amazed to realize that the nomination had been virtually locked up" by a candidate "defying the rules of the game of politics as customarily played."
Sure, he had come on strong, but the establishment types had never faced up to the possibility that this contender, "with all his seeming handicaps as a presidential candidate, could win the prize."
"When they did wake up, it was far too late to do anything effective about it."
Okay, okay — this is not actually a story about Donald Trump. And while many others have made the comparison between his unlikely rise and the Barry Goldwater insurrection of 1964, it's still striking to read the news coverage of that race and the ways it echoes the current era's.
We found an article from the July 13, 1964 edition of The Washington Post in which syndicated columnist Marquis Childs explained how the conservative senator from Arizona had seized the GOP nomination for President. Under a headline as click-worthy as a piece of today's explanatory journalism ("How Goldwater Conquered GOP") Childs wrote that "if the organization the Goldwaterites have put together is not in fact a new political party, it is certainly a new kind of Republican Party."
"What [Goldwater] said. . . however hair-raising it may have sounded to others, fitted to a tee the ideology of grassroots Republicans in the Midwest and the South."
The original story is republished in full below this photo.
Goldwater would go on to lose the presidential election to Democratic incumbent Lyndon B. Johnson in the widest margin of popular votes ever — 61.1 percent to 38.5 percent.
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