Since it is likely another Senator from Arizona will lose a Presidential race, I thought it might be interesting to take another look at Barry Goldwater.
Here is the Wikipedia article on Goldwater. I’m going to ignore the mafia stuff at the end of the article.
If I would have been active in politics during Goldwater’s years, I would have disagreed with him strongly. However, Goldwater would NEVER have allowed most of the garbage that passes for Republican politics today. If someone would have shouted, “Kill him,” about LBJ, I have no doubt that Goldwater would have given that person the tongue lashing of a lifetime.
Barry Goldwater would have also supported same sex marriage. That alone today would make him persona non grata in the Republican party.
Goldwater was not a bigot. I think his vote against the Civil Rights Act 1964 was wrong, but he didn’t dish out a line of racist bullshit to support it. That is something that I, as a liberal Democrat can respect. Goldwater is well known as one of the best friends the American Indian ever had.
I think I’d love watching Goldwater take on the Religious Right today. “Every good Christian should kick Jerry Falwell in the ass” would have only been his start.
If I was stepping into the voting booth in 1964, I would have voted for Johnson. But, I’d send Barry a letter telling him why and I wouldn’t be surprised if he showed up at my door one day to talk about it.
So, what’s the debate? Has Goldwater gotten an unfair treatment based on the “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” quotes? Even if you disagree with him on some thing, isn’t he worthy of respect? Was Goldwater’s service to the United States a net good?