SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

August 14, 2013

Anderson: Barry Goldwater and optimism

Certain serendipitous events of last weekend have renewed my optimism about the 2014 election, and beyond.

On Friday, I attended the monthly Center-Right Coalition meeting at which we activists get together for updates and new ideas from various activist groups and candidates. There was a PowerPoint presentation from a new group called the NewMassPlaybook, introduced by Dean Cavaretta, who ran for the Legislature in 2012; he didn’t win, but he learned a lot about the Republican presence in Massachusetts during that experience.

Two young men, 19 and 17 years old, made the presentation. Well-spoken and confident, Mike Gorecki and Brian Senier showed data on Republican candidates for higher office winning, often by large margins, in the towns, but losing in the cities and, therefore, losing. NewMassPlaybook has a plan to reach out not only to other young people, but to voters of all ages, particularly in the cities.

I took them to lunch, because I had to know what made them like “us,” the Center-Right, at their age. They said they’d been inspired in grade school when they learned about Ronald Reagan: They’re the Gen Y’ers who are following the Gen X and Boomer “Reagan kids” into political activism because of President Reagan’s message and optimism!

I said I could relate to this, having started my own political activism because of Barry Goldwater. They said he’d inspired them, too, when they read “Conscience of a Conservative” in fifth or sixth grade. I ... was ... floored.

Serendipity. The next day, I was a guest at the Lynn Republican City Committee annual cookout, and one of the auction items was a Barry Goldwater pin — a little gold elephant wearing his trademark dark-rimmed eyeglasses. I eagerly bid for it and won the bid at $35!

More serendipity: The next day I saved almost half that amount from the sales tax holiday, buying several months’ worth of household goods, personal-care items and cat food! Total savings was $16.34, which went to the Lynn Republican City Committee to begin preparation for the 2014 election instead of to the state with its waste, inefficiency, mismanagement and corruption.

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