One of the more frequent criticisms I hear regarding Hillary Clinton is that she’s a Goldwater Girl; a woman who, in her youth, volunteered on the presidential campaign for one of the most hyper-conservative candidates ever to run for the Oval Office – so conservative, in fact, that he was rejected even by the ultra-restrictive Republican electorate of 1964.
Well, it’s true. Hillary was a young girl in high school when she volunteered for the Barry Goldwater presidential campaign. However, according to her classmates, and the friends she made on the Goldwater campaign trail during this time, she was having serious doubts on some key issues. Some of them were even afraid that the Goldwater campaign might kick her out if they heard some of the things she was saying, especially about women’s rights.
In one of her classes, a teacher made her play the role of Lyndon Johnson in a mock debate, in order to “learn about the issues from the other side.” To her surprise, she found herself sympathizing with much of what Johnson had to say. It forced her to begin to re-evaluate some of her own ideas (Living History, p. 24).
By 1968, she had completely turned her perspective around, volunteering for the anti-war platform of Eugene McCarthy, and even traveling to New Hampshire to do canvassing. She still had a few conservative vestiges, as she worked as a Washington D.C. intern for Gerald Ford, and worked with the unsuccessful Republican primary campaign of Nelson Rockefeller. But by the time she graduated from Yale Law School, she was completely liberal. She also met another young law student there named Bill Clinton. Together they worked on George McGovern’s campaign in Austin, Texas, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Before you harp on Hillary for once supporting a radical republican in high school, ask yourself one thing: What did YOU believe in high school? Is it the same ideology you have now? I’m guessing not. We have all radically changed from our high school days, and for anyone to judge each other based on their high school selves is the ultimate in shallowness.
Besides, Hillary is now 69 years old. She was 17 when she was a Goldwater Girl. Are we really so stupid as to judge her for something she did more than half a century ago?
If we are, we all deserve a good “Trump” – right on the head.