I was 16 and watched on TV. I was in awe of Goldwater. WHY NOT VICTORY, THE CONSCIENCE OF A CONSERVATIVE, McCARTHY AND HIS ENEMIES, MASTERS OF DECEIT, NONE DARE CALL IT TREASON, and GOD AND MAN AT YALE contained some of my early lessons.
"I don't have any respect for the Religious Right. There is no place in this country for practicing religion in politics. That goes for Falwell, Robertson and all the rest of these political preachers. They are a detriment to the country."
"A lot of so-called conservatives don't know what the word means. They think I've turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That's a decision that's up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right."
He was wrong about the following:
"If they succeed in establishing religion as a basic Republican Party tenet," he told U.S. News & World Report in 1994, "they could do us in." "When you say 'radical right' today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye."
Without the evangelicals, the Pubbies have no majority so why spit on them?
These same books acquainted me with conservatism.