In 1964, Senator Barry Goldwater was nominated by the Republican Party as its candidate for president. (Trivia question: who was his running mate?) His acceptance speech, delivered at San Francisco's Cow Palace, is famous for his declaration: "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the defense of justice is no virtue." As is so often the case, Goldwater (to whose campaign I donated 25 cents that year; a lot for a nine-year-old on a dollar-a-week allowance, and the last money I gave to a right-wing candidate or cause) did not write that speech. A man named Karl Hess did so.
I met Karl Hess in 1976 when he was artist-in-residence at the University of Illinois. He was a welder. He had become an anarchist and a tax-rebel. He lived by barter. DePauw friends of mine, also anarchists, had worked with him during Winter Term in a project he had organized in Washington, D.C. We went to a deli for lunch at one point---we bought---and, on the way, proudly pointed to a sign that read "Don't Vote---It Only Encourages Them." Another billboard read: "VOTE (it won't do any good but) VOTE anyway.
I understand frustration with elections. I do not share Hess's views. (He died in 1994.) I will vote tomorrow. I would urge others to vote as well.
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