I was in elementary school when the Johnson-Goldwater presidential race occurred. My most vivid memory of this time is at recess when the older elementary kids would form two lines facing each other and shout, "Johnson!" "Goldwater!" "Johnson!" Goldwater!" at each other for most of recess.
I don't know how this started. None of us had a clue about the issues in the race. We knew who our parents were going to vote for, and that was enough to set us to shouting at each other.
I've thought a lot about this memory in recent weeks. One thing I thought is, what a waste of recess time. Of course, the reason this memory popped up in my mind is all the shouting that has been going on in this year's campaign for president. A lot of shouting, two very divided sides, not much listening.
After the election, though, things seemed to go on as usual. Johnson was accepted without questioning as president, whether or not you voted for him or agreed with him. I learned much later in life that Goldwater was considered a dangerous candidate by many. Would things have been different if he had been elected? Who knows. The election process was a given, and our president might be criticized, but he was also respected as our president.
It is my hope that we, the American people, will again embrace our election process and go forward with a new president. We are so lucky to have the right to vote.