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I know I will probably get lambasted by Kossacks for daring to write about Barry Goldwater, or maybe not.  But this is not really for Kossacks, as much it is for Conservatives and maybe to provide some ammunition for Kossacks against their Conservative friends and family.

Barry Goldwater is a Conservative icon.  Some may say he is one of the founders of the modern Conservative Movement that was taken to the White House by Ronald Reagan and then greatly expanded by FOX News, Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan to the Tea Party today.

But the truth is that Barry Goldwater, who I am sure many Conservatives still idolize, would be disgusted by much of what he sees.  But don't take my word for it, take his...

On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.

I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in "A," "B," "C" and "D." Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?

And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of "conservatism."

Speech in the US Senate (16 September 1981)


A few more below that thing VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV

Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them.

Said in November 1994, as quoted in John Dean, Conservatives Without Conscience (2006)

The big thing is to make this country, along with every other country in the world with a few exceptions, quit discriminating against people just because they're gay. You don't have to agree with it, but they have a constitutional right to be gay. And that's what brings me into it.

Washington Post, July 28, 1994

Today’s so-called ‘conservatives’ don’t even 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. It’s not a conservative issue at all.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Or if conservatism means (6+ / 0-)

    stay out of my (bedroom) business and tend to your own, than Goldwater was really a true conservative as opposed to the pretenders in the Dixiec....uh, Republican Party.

  •  I'll Rec and Tip. (7+ / 0-)

    But I will state that Goldwater wouldn't last in today's GOP. He's much to moderate.

    What are their names and on what street do they live-David Crosby-"If I Could Only Remember My Name"

    by IB JOHN on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 01:59:06 PM PST

  •  Lambaste you? (8+ / 0-)

    Absolutely not.

    As abhorrent as much of Goldwater's program was to me back in the 1960's, he at least had some degree of integrity and a considerable degree of independence of mind. Both of those are sorely lacking with today's so-called "conservatives" (who are, by and large, nothing of the sort).

    •  I agree (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Its a New Day, sfbob, parakinesis, forgore

      Goldwater was not just a conservative but even reactionary in terms of reducing government "interference".  He cut taxes (and services) waaaay down in his state, but pretty judiciously; there seemed to me at the time to be less negative fallout from that than one might expect.  

      I was actually intrigued by his fiscal positions, and was watching to see how they would work out, though with great misgivings about making him President.  But the main reason I did not support him for President is that he was a major hawk; I could just see our country trotting off to war at the drop of a hat.  With too-recent memories of WWII I did not want that.  

      To me he seemed principled, consistent, and he did seem to really care about his constituents and about decent government.  

      Disclosure: I was a very young, female, small-town midwesterner, and quite politically naive.

    •  Also in contact with reality (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Even the most abhorrent quotes from Goldwater were about things that existed in the real world. He didn't shadow-box with fantasies like "death panels".

  •  Still remember Goldwater saying in late 90's (6+ / 0-)

    about Bill Clinton: " He's a good man."

    Notice: This Comment © 2012 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 02:00:16 PM PST

    •  AS Maddow pointed . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Its a New Day, parakinesis

      two sides competing provides a better solution than one side doing all the work.

      You can meet in the middle, you won't get everything you want but you will something and the other side will get something.

      The ACA while not perfect is an example of this. From Obama's 2009 speech

      There are those on the left who believe that the only way to fix the system is through a single-payer system like Canada's -- (applause) -- where we would severely restrict the private insurance market and have the government provide coverage for everybody.  On the right, there are those who argue that we should end employer-based systems and leave individuals to buy health insurance on their own.

      I've said -- I have to say that there are arguments to be made for both these approaches.  But either one would represent a radical shift that would disrupt the health care most people currently have.  Since health care represents one-sixth of our economy, I believe it makes more sense to build on what works and fix what doesn't, rather than try to build an entirely new system from scratch.  (Applause.)  And that is precisely what those of you in Congress have tried to do over the past several months.

      I would like a single payer system, but that is not realistic - yet.  I know it isn't a popular view, but work together to extent you if you can find people to work with you. Hopefully the GOP will come to it senses, though I doubt it at times.
  •  He cared about the environment, too. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    parakinesis, forgore

    He said his greatest regret was voting for Glen Canyon Dam.  I really think he would have joined the Democratic Party had he lived today.  

    We are all in this together.

    by htowngenie on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 02:10:25 PM PST

  •  goldwater (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    toys, parakinesis, aufbruch

    would no doubt have a hard time finding safe quarter in today's g.o.p.

    i was born in 1966, so i have wee little direct recollection of him, but from what i've learned of him over the years, he was consistent of principle (you listening, mitt?), and a reliably honest broker.

    good diary. i agree with your call that he offers stuff that may be of real value to today's g.o.p. if/when they might choose to do an honest bit of accounting and reflection.

    keep your eyes on the sky. put a dollar in the kitty. don't the moon look pretty. --becker&fagen

    by homo neurotic on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 02:12:18 PM PST

  •  OK, anyone who said this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    toys, Its a New Day, forgore
    "Every good Christian ought to kick Falwell right in the ass."*
    Can't be all bad...

    *Reportedly, Goldwater actually said "...kick Falwell in the nuts..."

    Another gem here

    A few years before his death he went so far as to address establishment Republicans by saying, "Do not associate my name with anything you do. You are extremists, and you've hurt the Republican party much more than the Democrats have."

    Pulled from the wikipedia page.

  •  Still remember Goldwater's response shortly before (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    parakinesis, forgore

    he died when asked about gays in the military. "I don't care whether or not they are straight, as long as they can shoot straight"

    "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

    by voroki on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 03:13:07 PM PST

  •  nice diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    parakinesis, forgore

    I recall vividly the answer Barry Goldwater gave to a question in 1984 when asked if the Reagan landslide that November night proved the power of conservatives. He replied that one often finds the seed of their victory in a prior defeat, and conversely the one can find the seeds of their future defeat in the blossom of a current victory.

    wisdom in that

    "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

    by kuvasz on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 03:13:41 PM PST

  •  I think Barry Goldwater was a true statesman no (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    forgore, aufbruch

    matter his politics. I'd take him over any Republican today and even a few Democrats. (I'm looking at you Lieberman)

    Despite his conservatism I believe he would look at the realities of the world today and partcipate honestly for the best solutions.

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