Barry Goldwater was one of the strongest icons of conservatism in America, and remains a standard for many leaders. The legacy of this senator and his bid for the presidency is one filled with trial and error, and a determination to succeed at all costs.
Barry was an adventurer to say the least, and he held an unparalleled respect for the constitution and the concepts of freedom. He was a backcountry outdoorsman and a private pilot. Throughout his life, he gained an appreciation for the nations public lands, especially in Arizona. He took his love for the outdoors to a new level with photography. The photos taken are a testament to a true understanding of the culture and history that made America great. From Navajo tribesmen, to the great western deserts, Barry had a fascination with the west, and his handiwork can be seen below.
Barry started his political career with an initiative to restore accountability in government, and ousted gambling and prostitution rings in Phoenix. He became a council member in 1949, and his slate continued to win for the next several decades. Goldwater also had a close friendship with Herbert Hoover, who undoubtedly had an influence on his life. In early In 1952, he was elected to represent the state of Arizona as a US Senator. During his time in office, Barry fought steadfastly for the principles of smaller government and individual freedom. He is one of the few republican candidates that was able to win in this state.
The Goldwater campaign for president was unsuccessful, but brought him to a new level of public respect. He ran in 1964 against Lindon B. Johnson, who painted Goldwater as an ultra conservative and extremist. Johnson felt that the unwavering dedication to fiscal conservatism and the need to exterminate communist ideology was too far right. Attacking the legitimacy of Barry, and portraying him as a war hawk, Johnson beat Barry. With constant attacks and Johnson’s disrespect towards Barry, even to the point of excluding him from his inaugural address, the public knew Goldwater was not who he had been portrayed as. Truthfully, he was a man who fully understood the economic challenges facing America, along with the real threat of communism.
In Arizona, the people chose Goldwater again, and he returned to the US Senate in 1968. Citizens knew that while the left chose to try and desecrate his campaign, Barry was a man of the people. He understood the struggles of Americans at every economic level, and applied conservatism in a way that truly showed its positive effect on everyone. Today, Barry is seen as a true Titan for the conservative movement. On college campuses everywhere, students are working to promote the principles of conservatism that helped Goldwater appeal to so many people.
“I would remind you that 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.”
– Barry Goldwater
in 2017, Americans are faced with divisive and tumultuous times. The left has portrayed conservatives as racists and extremists, while a growing “new conservatism” is trashing the ideas that helped Goldwater appeal to so many people. With a nation divided, and everyones reactions on a hairpin trigger, it’s imperative that we revitalize the ideals of Buckley, Goldwater and Reagan. Showing that true conservatives care about the history and culture of America, as well as the need for people to have freedom with their money.
Economically, and socially, conservatism appeals to people in a much greater way than any leftist progressive idea. Goldwater said “Equality, rightly understood as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences; wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.” The new left likes to lump as many people into their categories as possible.
Goldwater would most likely tell leftists today that conservatism is not the viewpoint of regression, but rather the viewpoint of logic and reason. This view assumes individuals can act rationally and live a life worth living. Millenial progressives depend on government entitlements, that is until they reach the age in which their earnings start being cut short by the same entitlements they so desperately needed.