Skip to comments.Goldwater in '08!
Posted on 12/22/2007 10:34:49 PM PST by BnBlFlag
Goldwater In '08
I've just now figured it out the right conservative candidate for these confused and disturbing times. I'm voting for Barry Goldwater, and nothing can stop me. Save I admit the inconvenience of Barry's residence in a venue other than the land of the living.
Still, I want to suggest to perplexed conservatives sorting through the credentials of Romney-Huckabee-Giuliani-Thompson-Paul-McCain that no one matches in substance and appeal the man who, in our hearts, we knew to be right: Barry himself. I want to suggest this not by way of whomping up some sentimental pilgrimage back to ye olden tyme. I suggest Barry as a model for the principled conservatism so many seem to seek vainly and despondently. Those Republicans, for instance, who can't figure out what the Republican message is or should be.
"The Republican Party," asserts Rich Lowry of National Review, "has run out of intellectual steam and good ideas." That's a preposterous state of affairs. Good ideas, as opposed to useful legislative enactments, never decline in potency.
Our guy Barry knew as much. Our guy whom Lyndon Johnson imagined he had disposed of in '64, only to find Barry's ideas taking up more and more space in politics knew clearly enough what he was about. Freedom was what he was about "the maximum amount of freedom for individuals that is consistent with the maintenance of social order."
That's from p. 13 of "The Conscience of a Conservative," which was the Goldwater movement's philosophical charter. Barry didn't write the book himself. He did something better: He thought it through. He concluded that the challenge for conservatives was "to preserve and extend freedom." He wanted not to expand government but to shrink it. He yearned to hear a presidential candidate say, "I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden."
Wow! So even young Hillary Rodham must have exclaimed while working as a Goldwater Girl in the '64 campaign the best thing Mrs. C. ever did, unless she should do a better one by renouncing politics.
How were we going to maximize freedom, Goldwater-style? For one thing, we were going to "make war on all monopolies whether corporate or union." We were going to reduce taxes and spending and wise up the citizen-taxpayer who may have "lost confidence in his claim to his money." Instead of throwing money at education, we were going to "raise standards" and brand "federal intervention in education" as unconstitutional. We were going to maintain not only our military strength but also our resolve to use that strength as the occasion demanded, given that we were "in clear and imminent danger of being overwhelmed by alien forces." (A multi-purpose depiction, that "alien forces" business, even in the post-Soviet era.)
The modern conservative can blow a little dust off "The Conscience of a Conservative" e.g., the federal government now effectively rules and runs the public schools while discerning the book's golden thread, which is ordered freedom. Who's ever had a better idea? Not even Ronald Reagan (who made his political mark in a nationally televised speech vainly boosting the Goldwater ticket).
The Goldwater program, shouted down in '64, isn't the point. The point is the ideas behind the program, starting with the notion which Jefferson and Madison would have endorsed that government is the means to particular ends, not the end-in-itself, as too many modern presidential candidates seem to imagine.
The straight-on quest for freedom why wouldn't that resonate far more powerfully than some laundry list of promises and proposals aimed at General Uplift? And what's stopping the present generation of would-be conservative champions from bearing down on that essential point? Don't they care? Because if they do, you can't necessarily tell from watching.
To find out more about William Murchison and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2007 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
I still have a “Goldwater ‘64” bumper sticker.
And Lowry should know, because that description has fit National Review as well for about the last 17 years.
Maybe we should dig up the elder Brent Bozell and run him. He wrote The Conscience of a Conservative.
I was too young to knock on doors, but Mom carried me on her hip when she went to the polls to vote for Barry.
BTW, Mom darn near divorced Dad when she learned he’d voted for LBJ. (He eventually admitted he was wrong.)
Did not Goldwater lose every state except 1 or 2? Why did he get beat so bad by a centrist democrat?
Personally, my heart yearns for conservatives but my brain pushes me towards a candidate who can win the center. That is where most voters are. 90% of voters never read party platforms or detailed policy statements of candidates. It is who do I like and whom can I trust.
Well, Goldwater carried Arizona, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.
He also set tha stage for the rise of the Conservative movement nationally and the eventual takeover of the South by the GOP.
Too bad all of the work done between then and now has been squandered by the limp wristed Girly men who are now once again ascendant in the Republican Party,
It wasn't a fair fight. LBJ was riding the recently-deceased JFK's coattails pretty hard. The shocked and grief-stricken country wanted Kennedy back, and failing that, JFK was closer than Barry.
Also, the Dems ran a REALLY dirty smear campaign to make Barry appear extremist. Remember the 1964 "Daisy Girl" ad?
> ... and failing that, JFK was closer than Barry.
Should be "... and failing that, LBJ was closer to JFK than Barry."
I still have one, it reads ‘Au H2O’ ... :)
There you go.
Meanwhile, Goldwater himself became much more like Rudolph Giuliani than Ronald Reagan.
AoH20...........Remember it well!
Romney-Huckabee-Giuliani-Thompson-Paul-McCainMaybe you can make the argument that Thompson isn't electable, or that he's not trying hard enough, or even that he's too old. I don't accept those arguments, but I suppose you can make them.
But to lump Thompson in with these others, in an article about conservative ideas, shows the shallowness and lack of ideas on the part of the writer.
This piece was posted a day or so ago. It isn't any better the second time.
AoH20...........Remember it well!Actually, you remember it poorly.
You’re right! I didn’t proof the post very well obviously. Sorry!
What do you make of this?
Kennedy was a centrist Democrat, LBJ was a far left Democrat especially for a Southern Democrat.
A hit piece in a minor paper spewing things that have been disproven over and over as if it is new information. For example: He has said, “The ultimate decision must be made by the woman.” is not a quote from Thompson.
Unfortunately Government is not about governing it is about power. The bigger the government the more power. Demoncrats know this and love it.
Goldwaters plan to reduce government had a small chance of gaining a foot hold in 1964 when nanny government was in its infancy but today when nanny government is deeply entrenched it has none. Today government is the single largest employer in the country which creates a huge constituency on its own let alone the constituency of the voters that the bureaucracy serves.
Such a platform has little chance of gaining a foot hold with the unaligned voters most of whom never heard of Barry Goldwater or his ideas of "to preserve and extend freedom.".
AS much as I hate it, the world we live in has grown more or less happily dependant on the nanny state. If we intend to regain the majority in the Congress and hold the White House we will have to come to terms with that fact select candidates and run campaigns accordingly.
If we are ever to reduce the tide of ever growing entitlements first we must regain Congress and then educate the public. It will be multi-generational project. The nanny state is 80 years in the making. Dont expect it to go away in a single election.