Robert J. Donovan
The Future of the Republican Party
by Robert J. Donovan issued in 1964
to describe the condition of the
Republican Party after the loss of
Berry Goldwater to his Democrat
rival, Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.
Change the names, update the
Calendar, and you will have the
story of 2012 and what must the
Republican party do now? __________
This book, even though it was published years ago, is ripe for the education of 2016 and what path(s) the Republican Party must take.
The nomination of Senator Barry Goldwater for President July, 1964, was an event that was bound to have a wide effect on the character and destiny of the Republican party. It reversed the liberal trend of Republican Presidential nominations that had prevailed for a quarter of a century. It set the Republican party, at least temporarily, on a new course. It opened the floodgates of factionalism. Finally, as soon became apparent, it put the party once more on the road to defeat, which meant that after election day the Republicans would have to fight the battle of San Francisco over again in a long, tortured struggle to find the soul of the party and to redefine its purposes.
Since all these circumstances were quite evident soon after the San Francisco convention, it struck me that this was a uniquely good opportunity to take a fresh look at the Republican party. It was the right moment to pore over its history, to take a critical look at its campaign in 1964, and with the help of the best minds I could find, to try to glimpse might lie ahead.
Accordingly, on an assignment from the Los Angeles Times I spent nearly three months traveling about the country talking to politicians and scholars alike. I interviewed former Republican national chairmen, incumbent state chairmen and national committeemen, local campaign officials, and officeholders high and low. In hopes of getting a broader perspective I spent almost as much time around the American-history and political-science departments of colleges and universities as I did around political headquarters. To get a firsthand look at the campaign I traveled briefly with Senator Goldwater and President Johnson.
The nature of this book is reportorial. It grew out of a series of post-election articles in the Los Angeles Times. It is the product of an independent inquiry into the best opinion I could find on the present plight and future course of the Republican party.
ROBERT J. DONOVANFONT