Talk:Barry Goldwater

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RJJensen 16:55, 5 December 2008 (EST)

Barry Goldwater

I see some recent stretching to include people like Goldwater as libertarians. You are too good a historian to muddle the waters with throw-away lines such as "many of his later views were libertarian". Yes? So? Many of his views would, today, be considered near leftist as well. Historians need to resist revisionism. In his time, by his own definition, Goldwater rejected libertarianism, and self-branded himself a conservative. Goldwater did not believe in abortion as a substitute for abstaining or birth control, nor did he support "abortion on demand". Many views held by even Ted Kennedy could be considered "conservative", but that hardly gives license to brand him one, or make the statement "some of his views are conservative", that would be misleading, IMO. --₮K/Talk! 16:55, 5 December 2008 (EST)

well I knew Goldater personally since 1958 and followed his career very closely. After 1980 or so he was libertarian on most social issues, while remaining conservative on defense and spending issues. In his heyday as a conservative leader (1960-64) he rarely mentioned social issues and they were seldom on the agenda. Here is what Bill Buckley said of Goldwater:
Conspicuous here was his defense of Supreme Court decisions involving abortion, gay rights, and the separation of church and state. Most followers of the senator were surprised, and abashed, especially at his defense of abortion.from National RreviewDec10, 2004

RJJensen 17:01, 5 December 2008 (EST)

  • Ditto for me. My family were neighbors at the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach, CA, for several decades. But this is straw snatching, trying to paint the man as a libertarian, by a few high-profile pronouncements later in life, to somehow add cred to the libertarian cause. Find your own hero's, but kindly do not snatch our conservative ones! I do not disagree with showing, with cites, his later libertarian views (many of which I agreed with), but putting him, and others, with the help of another libertarian editor, into the libertarian category, and implying some "conversion" isn't being honest. --₮K/Talk! 17:19, 5 December 2008 (EST)
Conversion? well, I think Barry was always a libertarian but only became outspoken about it in the 1980s when social issues got high on the political agenda. When he was a leader of the conservative movement (1958-64) he rarely mentioned social issues of any kind--he never mentioned abortion, for example. (he did mention gays in 1964 in the Walter Jenkins scandal--a top LBJ aide was arrested during the election campaign-- but did not condemn it.) His libertarianism after 1980 was not a "few" statements it was his high profile fight to get O'Connor on the Supreme Court. He was at that time a very powerful Senator and his views are quite important. RJJensen 17:42, 5 December 2008 (EST)
Perhaps he should not be in the category libertarianism in which I placed his page. He may not have self-identified, but he had many more libertarian views (and even some pro-abortion ones, which many libertarians disagree with, myself included) than many of self-identified libertarians do. As such, he was a major influence that both the conservative movement and the libertarian philosophy should respect. Sulli 18:24, 5 December 2008 (EST)

Why was this deleted?

"Goldwater was defeated in 1964 after Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson used the fabricated Gulf of Tonkin incident to boost his reelection." It's factual and enlightening. Also, I wouldn't describe Goldwater as losing the leadership of the conservative movement. The movement adopted him, not vice-versa.--Andy Schlafly 21:57, 14 January 2009 (EST)

Exactly. In point of fact, Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley, Bill Bennett, George Deukmajian and Newt Gingrich all claimed to be carrying on Goldwater's fight and always credited him as being the titular conservative leader while he was alive. Goldwater was adopted as its leader just prior to the 1964 Republican Convention, due to his strong opposition to the Eastern, liberal wing, under Nelson Rockefeller's domination. --₮K/Admin/Talk 22:03, 14 January 2009 (EST)
The Gulf of Tonkin business had very little to do with the election (and Goldwater supported it); it misleads the readers about Goldwater's problem. He did lose the leadership of the movement, as the followers shifted to Reagan, and Goldwater seems to have lost interest in the national movement. There was no doubt whatever in 1960, 1961 and 1962 and 1963 that he was the #1 conservative leader by far--the "just prior" suggestion is flat wrong. While others acknowledged Barry's role, they did not call him their leader after 1964. RJJensen 22:13, 14 January 2009 (EST)
Being attacked by a foreign nation provides a HUGE boost in popularity to a sitting president. No one doubts that LBJ lied about the Gulf of Tonkin in order to boost his reelection chances. It worked. I'm not sure what you mean by saying Goldwater "supported it." He certainly did not support that kind of lying.
Goldwater was adopted by the conservative movement for just a few years around 1964. Reagan was not adopted by the movement until 1976, and even then only temporarily, until a more permanent relationship began when Reagan ran a conservative campaign in 1980.--Andy Schlafly 22:36, 14 January 2009 (EST)
Johnson actually thought the US was being attacked. And indeed the North Vietnamese were making plans for systematic attacks on US Marines in South Vietnam. But it made little difference in the election, which is the point here. The draft Goldwater movement began in 1959 -- I remember talking to Clarence Manion about it at the time. the goal was to find a leader who could win the presidential nomination and Goldwater was by far the most available leader. RJJensen 12:34, 15 January 2009 (EST)
Maybe if you believe McNamara and Rusk's assertions. What's clear is that Johnson had been provoking an attack for some time, hoping for just such a retaliation, real or imagined. Whether the attack was real or not, he had been pushing for one which would all but ensure his reelection, and presenting the attack as unprovoked was a singular act of deceit. - Rod Weathers 12:44, 15 January 2009 (EST)
I think it's a left-wing view that the Communist attack was faked or provoked. Fact is the Communists had decided long before to overthrow the US ally by force, and both LBJ and Goldwater strongly opposed them and wanted to use the US military to stop it. RJJensen 12:47, 15 January 2009 (EST)
Of course the North Vietnamese wanted to overthrow the South. That's patently obvious and quite beside the point. Johnson wanted an clear attack against American forces which would allow him to escalate operations and give him political capital. The left-wing view is that Johnson was convinced the attacks were real and was forced by necessity, thus absolving him of blame or responsibility. - Rod Weathers 12:57, 15 January 2009 (EST)