Barry Goldwater was born on this day in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1909. Senator Goldwater died in 1998.
Our family arrived in Wisconsin from Cuba in Sept '64. One month later, Mickey Mantle played in his last World Series. The Cardinals beat the Yankees in 7 games.
Two months later, Pres. Lyndon Johnson beat Republican Barry Goldwater in a huge landslide. In fact, calling it a landslide may be moderate. LBJ got 61% of the vote. No one has come close to that except for Nixon '72 and Reagan '84!
However, Goldwater won in so many ways.
First, he introduced Ronald Reagan to the country. In October 1964, Mr. Reagan delivered that great speech A time for choosing:
"You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, "There is a price we will not pay."Second, he introduced me and others to the conservative movement. Eventually, I joined Young Americans for Freedom and committed myself to certain political principles: love of family, the free market and a strong national security posture.
There is a point beyond which they must not advance.
This is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater's "peace through strength."
Winston Churchill said that "the destiny of man is not measured by material computation.
When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits--not animals."
And he said, "There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness."
In the 1970's, our generation knocked on doors and licked envelopes supporting Republican candidates. We helped Nixon win in '72. We suffered a major setback with Watergate but turned it around in '78 when Republicans had a huge election night.
Why did the Republicans become a majority? Because we had ideas. The author of those ideas was Barry Goldwater. The spokesman became Reagan.
In 1980, Reagan carried 41 states, elected a Republican Senate and I had one of the happiest nights of my life. In so many ways, Goldwater's mission was complete because Reagan was a devout follower of Goldwater's ideas.
George Will summarized Goldwater in 'The Cheerful Malcontent'
"We -- 27,178,188 of us -- who voted for him in 1964 believe he won, it just took 16 years to count the votes."Goldwater died in 1998. (Read his obituary)
He was one of the most consequential figures of the last 50 years. Besides Reagan, no one created more conservatives than Barry Goldwater.
Last, but not least, his books were a delight!