Friday, November 04, 2011

Barry Goldwater tried to warn us, but did we listen?

It is too bad for the Republican party, and for Americans in general, that Goldwater's words were not heeded.

Here is another quote from Goldwater that I find myself in fervent areement with:

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?

You know I think that Jon Huntsman is the only Republican among the current crop of candidates who I believe Goldwater would have been able to stomach.  In my opinion we need many more like him these days. 


  1. You know, I was just thinking about Jon Hunstman yesterday . Here the GOP has a sane, attractive, accomplished candidate, and they are literally throwing their money at ol' Black Walnut. Let's forget about the sexual harassment , Herb is a complete moron whose basic political knowledge is limited to the number nine. It's like the Republicans live in an alternate universe or something . Incredible.

  2. angela2:46 AM

    I absolutely disagree with almost everything Goldwater stood for. He did not vote for the Civil Rights Act and he helped to usher in modern conservatism. But its true—the Moral Majority freaked him out.

    He was very Libertarian about government getting into people's bedrooms and bodies too and said so.

    Hasn't the worm turned? Goldwater was an old school republican that I totally would not have supported and definitely fought against. But I probably would have been able to keep my food down around him. But his conservative predecessors are the stuff of nightmares and nausea.

  3. Amazing. The voice of sanity and reason from Goldwater. This demonstrates how extreme things have become. My memory of him is much less charitable, but this makes me view him in a different light.

  4. AJ Billings3:00 AM

    Wow!! Go Barry..

    I had no idea he was such a 1st amendment hero...!!!

    No matter how many times I try to point out to my conservative friends that we can't have laws based on the bible, they will not compromise.

    They hate the idea of Sharia, and think it's awful, but somehow, they see rill 'Merica as being all Xtian, all the time.

    No logic, no reasoning, no amount of fact based dialogue means anything.

    It's their gun and bible, and they mean to cling to it :)

  5. Anonymous3:16 AM

    So there WAS a time when the repub. party had SANE, intelligent members in their group? Of course, that was many years ago. The loons have taken over since then.

  6. Anonymous3:36 AM

    Now i remember why we were.....yes i said "were".......once a great country.....

  7. Goldwater hated the New Deal, labor unions, and what he called the welfare state as well as being an imaginary communist hater. He also apposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is why people did not listen to him.

  8. Anonymous3:42 AM

    well barry goldwater is also to blame for a lot of this crap by giving ronald reagan street cred. i blame goldwater!

  9. WakeUpAmerica3:49 AM

    Sounds like Goldwater was prophetic!

    Gryphen, do you know what has happened to Leah Burton? Her blog has been essentially dead for the last month.

  10. melissa3:53 AM

    I'm by no means a Republican but as an American it saddens me that this is what the Republican party has come to. It's disgusting to realize that a person is not considered to be a 'correct' Republican if they aren't Christian, and a specific type of Christian at that. I have friends and family members who used to identify as Republican...they stopped voting for the GOP after George W. Bush's first term because they couldn't stand what the party had become.

  11. I do not understand the religious right."Herb" Cain was charged with and settled two cases of sexual harassment, has told numerous lies trying to explain his way out of the charges, and yet the religious folks blame the media and not him.

  12. Wow! Of course, the republicans didn't listen. They were too interested in getting into office courting anyone they could. Now they have one hell of a problem.

    When you see Mitt Romney saying he is a tea bagger just to get the "crazy" vote you they are screwed (too bad!).

  13. I agree completely G.

  14. Eppito5:17 AM

    I'd been thinking of Goldwater just a few days ago but couldn't recall his name. He was ahead of his time; prescient beyond belief. Supposedly he is quoted as saying the following regarding Gays in the military: "Can they shoot straight? Then what's the problem?"

  15. Tom Joad5:26 AM

    IF, the republicans lose the 2012 Presidential race and lose seats in the house and senate, (again IF),
    then in 2013 we will see repubs calling on saint goldwater like they do reagan now.

    The far right will be banished for a long time. I think even they know it, that is why the continued and intensified push for far right agenda.

    It is now or never for the far right.

  16. Anonymous5:52 AM

    only one question 3:00 a.m.: - you call them friends? Sincerely, that's a puzzler.

  17. Anonymous5:56 AM

    Yes, 3:16 - there was.

    Interesting story - there was a prominent, midwestern, lifelong republican who died this past summer. He was in his 90's. Word has it that in 2008 he demanded to be taken from his nursing home down to the county courthouse to register as a Democrat, because he could no longer stomach the Teathuglicans either.

  18. Anonymous6:17 AM

    Thank you for reminding us of these excellent quotes.

    I really wonder, now that aging Republicans are at the point where mental arthritis has likely set in, will they be able to:
    1) Recognize that GOP has betrayed them to the oligarchy, of which they are most definitely not members
    2) Be able to actually vote non-Republican.

    Doubtful, is my guess, but I'd like to be wrong about that.

    Republicans with brains: time to jump ship!

    After all, the Democratic Party has some 1% oligarchs in it, too, so you'll have someone to admire and metaphorically suck up to.

  19. Isn't Goldwater's 1964 loss what wound up energizing the religious nutcases? Didn't Goldwater inadvertently cause the very thing he did not want?

  20. Anonymous6:48 AM

    A few of us from my office were walking to lunch yesterday and happened to pass our local Occupy group, which is very small (very conservative Texas town). A few of my colleagues made sarcastic remarks. It took all I had not to laugh out loud. OMG, the homeless guys on local occupy watch have more grace and dignity than any of the clowns (save Huntsman) on the GOP primary field.

    How can these smart people fail to see this?? Amazing. The epitome of cognitive dissonance.

  21. Anonymous6:50 AM

    As a former GOP'er,I agree.Huntsman will get nowhere because he is normal,sane,and intelligent.This time.But 2016 may be a different story.

  22. This has to be a first -- 12 of the first 15 comments visible are from folks who actually identified themselves.

    I guess the legions of Palin trolls aren't interested in discussing Barry Goldwater.

    And Bristol has no idea who he is.

  23. Anonymous8:02 AM

    with the other candidates crashing and burning, maybe this is the time for attention to turn to former new mexico governor gary johnson - his easy to remember moniker is "who the hell is gary johnson"

  24. Marleycat8:58 AM

    I never liked Barry Goldwater, however, when you hear something legitimately good come from the mouth of a politician, it's okay to acknowledge that - even if it's from a dead racist, RWNJ!

    Disavow the rest of his garbage, but he was right on this one. We cannot ignore or underestimate the dangers of the religious fundamentalists - they have been steadily gaining power since Barry Goldwater made this statement.

    This is why many of our civil rights are being weakened, even lost, today. These fundamentalists want POWER over every citizen in this country.

    It's not even really about "religion" - it's about the rabid religious right being used by Wall Street, Big Money, the 1%, to repeal our civil rights, equality, dismantle public, education, unions, minimum wage, etc.

    "Patriotism" and the Constitution are the other memes they use for the same end - and likewise, it's not really about anything but the acquisition of ALL the money and power for those at the top, and to ensure no equitable sharing of wealth/power trickles down to We the People.

  25. Gasman11:25 AM

    As reasonable as those quotes sound, Barry Goldwater is in many ways the father of the modern GOP. Today's Republican Party is what it is because of Barry Goldwater. The GOP's extremist obstructionism is straight out of Goldwater's playbook.

    To wit:

    "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!"


    "I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them."

    While he may seem quaintly sane by comparison with our current Republicans, today's dysfunctional GOP is the beast that Goldwater hath wrought.

    Fuck you very much, Barry. May you rot in hell.

  26. Beldar Olympus Conehead3:33 PM

    As several commenters state, it's a disturbing sign of the (end?) times when Barry Goldwater is held up as paragon of reason and sound judgment.

    Thank doG you keep returning to this issue, Gryphen. If the thumpers - of ANY stripe - get to establish the theocracies they desire the primary enemy of the state becomes the large numbers of thoughtful people of moderation and tolerance.

    Won't you join me in prayer:
    Oh, mighty Zeus, We beseech thee to keep non-believers safe and free from the clutches of the evil fundies!

  27. Anonymous8:03 PM

    I saw this linked in your comments the other day, and it amazed me. The old school GOP may have been full of closted and open bigots, but these quotes are amazingly telling, they sound like they come from free thinking liberal leaning democrats today.

    Truth remains relevant, no matter the source.

    Seeing Romeny bow at the altar of the teaparty, ebracing a porucpine to align himself with a group of idiots and bible thumpers was very telling of his character, or lack thereof. Another hypocrital sound clip to be used by the democrats, should he be the last one on the island.

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  29. Goldwater's vote on the 1964 Civil Rights Act was the most courageous vote in the history of the United States Senate. He knew he would be labeled a racist and probably knew that he wouldn't win the Presidency. But he came out against a civil rights bill that was indeed unconstitutional - and moreover was the wrong direction in fighting against prejudice and wrongful discrimination. Goldwater already knew that a more powerful force was brewing: Social Convention.

    So much of what we do today is based on Social Convention from how we speak to the simple fact that still let women on elevators first. Convention affects how we dress, what we eat, what brands we buy from, and how we raise our kids.

    In time, Convention would have won the day and our nation would have seen greater racial integration. The fiber of our society would have been stronger because the cure of prejudice would have come from the actions of others rather than the dictum of federal law.

    Goldwater did something so remarkable: he voted his conscience.


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