Our Daily Bleg: The Source of Goldwater’s Discomfort?

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Our resident quote bleggar Fred Shapiro, editor of the Yale Book of Quotations, is back with another request. If you have a bleg of your own — it needn’t have anything to do with quotations — send it along here.

I recall hearing that shortly before his death, Barry Goldwater said that the current Republican Party was so conservative that even he was uncomfortable in the party.

Can anyone help me track down the precise quotation and where it was printed?



RT

Yeah, this is not really accurate. Goldwater was the real conservative, the current party is the liberal one. To Bob Dole: "We're the new liberals of the Republican party. Can you imagine that?" A sarcastic comment saying how what used to be conservative is now considered being a "liberal Republican".

Nylund

Reagan, Nixon, and the Bushes just said all that coded racists stuff (ie, the southern strategy), and all the talk about evangelical Christians to get people to vote for them. Problem is, people thought they meant it and based a party around it, and now, to be a part of the party you really do have to mean it. whether or not that quote is true, its the truth.

RJ

Well for "conservatives" and most republicans Sandra Day O'Connor definitely under-delivered. So it's too bad Goldwater was wrong.

I'm not sure why they're looking for the quotation other than to help a democrat cause, but I believe at the time there were many "conservatives" that had forgotten about state's rights. Fortunately McCain believes that the social conservative issues (i.e. abortion) should be left to the states. This is the main issue and unfortunately although I have the quote I don't want to share it since it will most likely be used out of context.

The abortion issue is why Goldwater said this and again, most of today's conservatives, including McCain, believe that abortion is a state issue and not in the constitution which I'm sure Goldwater would've agreed with. Also Goldwater never seemed to track with changing medical information regarding the issue either.

I feel confident that JFK would not recognize his own party either.

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Jean

At this web page:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/daily/may98/quotes30.htm

I found this:

On conservative religious activists in the GOP: "When you say 'radical right' today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party away from the Republican Party, and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye."

Also, in a brief google search:

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?“It's wonderful that we have so many religious people in our party, ... They need to leave their theologies in their churches.”

and this:

“It's wonderful that we have so many religious people in our party, ... They need to leave their theologies in their churches.”

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Jean

Sorry, the quote I sent before was truncated. Here is the entire paragraph:

"However, 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.' "

Quote by: Barry Goldwater

(1909-1998) US Senator (R-Arizona)

Source: Congressional Record, September 16, 1981

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tim

@Holmes' man

You are new to blogs aren't you?

Holmes' man

This seems markedly different from most blegs. Generally, I can go through to read all of the amusing comments/quotes that other people come up with. Presumably, they are quotes that posters didn't look up, rather they knew them already. This seems strikingly more like turning to the masses to do your research for you.

morgan

I would post here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cc-goldwater/why-mccain-has-lost-our-v_b_137150.html

His granddaughter may very well know the answer to this, or be able to help track it down.

Don Bosman

I believe the phrase Goldwater is said to have said - That The Republicans have become too conservative - came from an article in the 'Atlantic' refering to Goldwater and McGovern.

I claim to be a Goldwater liberal which confuses this generation's adults and annoys my contemporaries until they figure out that it pretty well sums up their views too.

LGE

When you say "radical right" today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party away from the Republican Party, and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.

The Washington Post (28 July 1994)

Don

“The New Right-–just like FDR had his New Left–-they’re nuts.... They expect from conservatism some things that no political philosophy could or should deliver.”

Quoted in his obituary in the Los Angeles Times:

http://articles.latimes.com/1998/may/30/news/mn-54847

johnleemk

I am frankly surprised you have not referred to Wikipedia on this one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Goldwater

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A few years before his death he went so far as to address the right wing, "Do not associate my name with anything you do. You are extremists, and you've hurt the Republican party much more than the Democrats have."

--

The article cites The Betrayal of America by Vincent Bugliosi for that quotation, so you'd probably have to go there to start tracking down the original source.

Then again, maybe none of the quotes mentioned so far or on Wikipedia are what Fred has in mind?

catherine the great

Love this bleg, because this is the very reason I am voting a straight Democratic ticket. The Republicans are currently sailing straight towards theocracy.

.

All hope is gone for them until they choose to separate church and state. (Before I realized this, thanks to some great Objectivist thinkers, I voted Republican 99% of the time.)

.

David K. Williams, Jr.

I highly recommend "Conscience of a Conservative" by Barry Goldwater.

It sums up AuH2o's political philosophy. He was a libertarian. He believed in small government,both fiscally and socially.

He was a republican back when it was possible for the Republican party to state it believed in limited government with a straight face.

Reject the systemic mediocrity of the two party system. Vote for any third party lawfully on your ballot.

If you really want more government regulation and redistribution of wealth, vote for Nader or McKinney. If you really want smaller government and free markets vote Barr and the Libertarian Party.