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.