1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



The First Vote
Dan Duff

I’ll never forget the first time I voted for President of these United States. It was 1964. I remember spending so much time listening to the candidates that I developed a bad case of information overload. At the end of the day, however, I decided to vote for Barry Goldwater. I liked the way that boy talked, particularly what he said he intended to do with that little mess, Viet Nam. His idea of fixing the problem with Nam was to bomb them to kingdom come and then go in and see if we could find anyone left who could sign a surrender document. When friends asked me whom I was going to vote for I didn’t hesitate. “You’ve got to be crazy,”  hey said. “If you vote for Goldwater, we’ll be going into Viet Nam with a half a million troops. There’ll be riots in the streets, and the country will go to blazes in a hand basket.” I didn’t listen to my friends or to the TV ads or to the barrage of left-wing communist pinko news reports. I walked right into the voting booth and cast my vote for Goldwater. Well, Goldy didn’t win, as you know. The ironic thing though, was the fact that we still put a half a million troops in Viet Nam, and there were riots in the streets, and the country did go to blazes in a hand basket. So here we are closing in on another presidential election. And guess what? When I tell people whom I’ve decided to vote for they tell me I’m crazy. “If you vote for that fella,” they say, “old people will be eating dog food and some will have to choose between dog food or medicine.” They’re telling me that, “if you vote for that fella, children won’t get school lunches, and the country will be going to blazes in a hand basket. ”Maybe I am crazy, but I firmly believe there are far greater things at stake in this election than the pundits’ arguments over who the best man for the job is. There are things wrong with this country that need fixing, and four years from now may be too late. Now don’t try to call me an alarmist. I’m a realist! It is time to put petty politics aside and make some serious repairs to the Ship of State.
To this day I have NOT regretted voting for Barry Goldwater, and I sure hope I don’t have to regret voting for George W.