Norman Thomas, Barry Goldwater and a Debate on Ideas

Here is a debate between Democratic Socialist Norman Thomas and conservative Republican Barry Goldwater that took place on November 1961 at the University of Arizona. Though Thomas and Goldwater were at opposite ends of the political spectrum, they both believed in the democratic idea of a healthy debate of differing viewpoints. Both were opponents of the totalitarian communism of the Soviet Union and they both were deeply committed to our constitutional government.

Norman Thomas is not well known today. But in the mid twentieth century, he was the most influential Socialist in America until Bernie Sanders entered the political scene. Thomas was a Presbyterian minister, a Democratic Socialist and six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America. In 1932, Thomas received 800,000 votes as a presidential candidate. During the 1930s Thomas was an outspoken critic of Joseph Stalin, and he advocated that the United States open itself to Jewish refugees trying to escape Nazi Germany. During World War II, Thomas was one of the few public figures to oppose President Roosevelt’s internment of Japanese Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor. He also campaigned against racial segregation, and anti-labor laws and practices. After World War II, Thomas worked with labor leaders like Walter Reuther to try to organize an anti-Stalin Left. During the 1960s, Thomas was an opponent of the Vietnam War.

Barry Goldwater was an Republican Senator from Arizona and one of the the most influential conservative voices in the GOP. Though Goldwater lost the presidential elections to Lyndon Johnson in 1964, Goldwater had a lasting influence in moving the Republican Party towards his conservative libertarian style politics. During the 1980s, Goldwater opposed the influence of Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority in the Republican Party because he saw the Christian Right as a threat to the separation of Church and State. During his later years, Goldwater became a strong supporter of gay rights, pitting him against the social conservative segment of his own party.

About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Angelo Lopez has had illustrations published in Tikkun Magazine, the Palo Alto Daily News and Z Magazine. From April 2008 to May 2011, Angelo's cartoons were regularly published in the Tri-City Voice, a weekly newspaper that covers the Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Neward, Sunol and Union City areas in California. He did a political webcomic starring his cartoon character Jasper for the progressive blogsite Everyday Citizen. Since December 2011, Angelo does a regular weekly political cartoon for the Philippine News Today, a Filipino American newspaper based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Angelo is a member of the Sunnyvale Art Club, and the Northern California chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. During the 1990s, he was a member of the part-timer workers SEIU unit in the city of Sunnyvale. Angelo won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 and 2018 Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial cartooning for newspapers with a circulation under 100,000. He has also won the 2016 RFK Book and Journalism Award for Editorial Cartoons. Angelo won first prize for the Best of the West contest in 2016 and third prize in 2017. Angelo is married to Lisa Reeber. They enjoy taking walks, watching movies and hanging out with their nieces.
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