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Arizona Senator and 1964 Republican presidential candidate
Barry Goldwater

Barry Morris Goldwater (2 January 1909 – 29 May 1998) was an American politician, businessman and author who was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona (1953-65, 1969-87) and the Republican Party's nominee for President of the United States in 1964. Despite his loss of the 1964 presidential election in a landslide, Goldwater is the politician most often credited for sparking the resurgence of the American conservative political movement in the 1960s.


Goldwater, Barry (1909-1998), by Lee Edwards, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
Barry Goldwater, senator from Arizona from 1953 to 1965 and 1969 to 1987, was the most libertarian of all the major candidates running for president in the 20th century. As the Republican nominee in 1964, he proposed a voluntary option for social security, termination of the farm subsidy program, privatizing parts of the Tennessee Valley Authority, and keeping welfare 'a private concern.' No one should have been surprised by his antigovernment crusade given what he had written in his 1960 best-selling manifesto, The Conscience of a Conservative.


2 Jan 1909, Barry Morris Goldwater, in Phoenix, Arizona


29 May 1998, in Paradise Valley, Arizona

Web Pages

David F. Nolan - The Advocates for Self-Government
Profile page: includes photo, biography and the essay "Nolan: Innovator for Liberty" by James W. Harris
Republican Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign, with its emphasis on limited government (aided by the fiery rhetoric of his libertarian speechwriter Karl Hess), was a natural draw for nascent libertarians looking to change the world. [Nolan] was one of many libertarians attracted to that campaign. He became a founding member of M.I.T. Students for Goldwater. Largely due to his efforts, the chapter rapidly grew to become the largest Youth for Goldwater chapter in New England. In recognition of this achievement Dave was appointed Vice-Chair of Massachusetts Youth for Goldwater.


Upd35 Heroes of Freedom, by Reason, Reason, Dec 2003
"Eclectic, irreverent" list of individuals "who have made the world a freer, better, and more libertarian place by example, invention, or action", as chosen by Reason editors (includes the unknown martyr of Tiananmen Square and "The Yuppie")
Barry Goldwater. The iconic Arizona senator offered "a choice, not an echo" in his laughably doomed 1964 presidential campaign. He bridged the tradition of Western individualism with the then-barely-glimpsed future of Sunbelt anti-governmentism, inspiring later revolts such as California's Prop. 13. Though he might have used nukes in Vietnam, he more likely would have pulled out; he also helped convince Nixon to resign. A maverick to the end, he even supported gays in the military.
The Death of Politics, by Karl Hess, Playboy, Mar 1969
Discusses libertarianism, contrasting it with both conservatism and modern liberalism, including specific policy differences
There is no operating movement ... based upon a libertarian philosophy ... [T]here were strong possibilities of such a development in the 1964 campaign of Barry Goldwater. Underneath the scary headlines, Goldwater hammered away at such purely political structures as the draft, general taxation, censorship, nationalism, legislated conformity, political establishment of social norms, and war as an instrument of international policy ... [I]n a common political paradox, Goldwater ... has spoken of reducing state power while at the same time advocating the increase of state power to fight the Cold War.
Individual Rights or Civil Rights?, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Dec 1995
Contrasts the right not to be discriminated against with the right of freedom of association and concludes that one of them is invalid, also discussing private vs. government discrimination
Governments, because they coerce citizens to pay taxes, may not discriminate irrationally. This is precisely the distinction that was not made in the 1964 Civil Rights Act. That act struck down the Jim Crow laws in the Southern states, but it also outlawed private discrimination in hiring and so-called public accommodations. Some opponents of the act, such as Senator Barry Goldwater, favored barring discrimination by state governments but opposed banning private discrimination. He predicted that the ban would turn inexorably into a mandate for quotas—which is exactly what happened.
In Memoriam [PDF], by Jeff Riggenbach, ALF News, 2006
Biographical and memorial essay covering Joan Kennedy Taylor's varied career
She had also begun paying more attention to the world of politics. During the presidential campaign of 1964, in which she favored the Republican candidate, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, she helped to found the Metropolitan Young Republican Club of New York and served as editor of the group's newsletter.
It Usually Ends With Murray Rothbard: My Long and Winding Road to Libertarianism and Austrian Economics, by Joseph Salerno, 23 Jun 2005
Lengthy autobiographical essay recounting Prof. Salerno's progression from conservatism to anarcho-capitalism, from classical to Austrian economics, and meeting and getting to know Murray Rothbard
I ... knew little else about politics ... until Barry Goldwater began to campaign for the Republican nomination for President ... His firebrand anti-Communism greatly appealed to me at the time and after reading an article about him in Life Magazine in late 1963, I ... proclaimed myself a conservative ... My conservatism was reinforced by reading Goldwater's book Conscience of a Conservative and his biography, Barry Goldwater: Freedom Is His Flight Plan by Stephen Shadegg ... [I]n my American History class, the teacher organized a debate between the supporters of Goldwater and the supporters of Lyndon Johnson.
Karl Hess: An appreciation, by David Nolan, Libertarian Party News, Jun 1994
Memorial essay, discussing when and how Nolan met Hess and other recollections
I first met Karl Hess in 1979, 12 years after I read his book ... On first meeting Karl, I was a bit awestruck. After all, this was THE Karl Hess, author of Barry Goldwater's famous nomination acceptance speech, delivered at the 1964 GOP convention. Its most-quoted lines, of course, were the immortal words: 'Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice ... moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.' This ringing declaration had reinforced my devotion to Goldwater's candidacy 15 years earlier, and I was delighted to finally meet the man who had written the speech.
Related Topic: Karl Hess
Karl Hess and the Death of Politics, by Jeff Riggenbach, 13 May 2010
Transcript of the 6 May 2010 "Libertarian Tradition" podcast; includes a trove of biographical information
[T]he Randian influence was showing up unmistakably in ... the speeches delivered by the party's presidential nominee for [1964], US Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, for whose campaign Hess served as chief speechwriter ... After the ... campaign, Karl ... continued to ghostwrite a nationally syndicated newspaper column for Barry Goldwater for a while, and he wrote a book about the campaign, published in 1967 under the title In a Cause That Will Triumph. He even did a little speechwriting for the senator during his 1968 campaign to regain the senate seat he had given up four years earlier in order to run for president.
Paul Poirot, RIP, by Gary North, 21 Feb 2006
Memorial essay, focusing mostly on Poirot's role as editor of The Freeman
The high point in circulation [of The Freeman] had been the Goldwater campaign in 1964, with something like 35,000 subscribers, none of whom was required to pay for it. For comparison's sake, Richard Viguerie laid the foundation of the New Right in 1965 with a hand-compiled mailing list of the names of donors who had given over $50 to the Goldwater campaign. That list was under 15,000 people.
Why I am a Libertarian, by Mark Richards, 21 May 2008
Describes the persons (mainly his mother) and events that influenced the author in becoming a libertarian
In 1964 my mom gave me a "Goldwater for President" button to wear to school, which I did. My fifth-grade teacher was aghast! I wore that Goldwater button despite her snide comments. The teacher was rabidly pro-Lyndon Johnson and had no problem with my 10-year-old classmates wearing Johnson buttons, I guess I was becoming a libertarian at that age.
Why I Do Not Vote, by Butler Shaffer, 14 Nov 2000
After recollecting his early involvement in the Goldwater movement, Shaffer explains why advocates of liberty and social order should refrain from political participation and voting
I later became a member of the State Central Committee, the Young Republican State Executive Committee, one of the incorporators of Barry Goldwater's first national fund-raising campaign, and a member of the Nebraska delegation to the 1964 Republican National Convention. The Goldwater movement was the precursor to the modern Libertarian Party, and was largely energized by young men and women who were convinced that state power had become destructive of individual liberty and social order, and that 'working within the system' could change all of that. My experiences in the Republican Party convinced me otherwise.
Related Topics: Politics, Voting


Claiming Paine: The contested legacy of the most controversial founding father, by Katherine Mangu-Ward, Reason, Jul 2007
Review of the book Thomas Paine and the Promise of America (2006) by Harvey J. Kaye
Kaye is even more flummoxed when he has to explain why Paine would be quoted ... by prominent conservative politicians. Conservatives are, in fact, responsible for two of the most memorable recyclings of Paine in recent memory. The first was Barry Goldwater's declaration in the 1964 presidential campaign, "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue." It is often overlooked in other studies, but Kaye picks up an echo of a comment of Paine's: "Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle, is a species of vice."


Best of Both Worlds: An Interview with Milton Friedman, by Milton Friedman, Brian Doherty, Reason, Jun 1995
Topics discussed include: the new Congress, flat taxes, the withholding tax, the people who influenced him, what led him to write about policy issues, libertarianism and how his political views have changed over the years
Reason: ... How did you get involved in the Goldwater campaign?
Friedman: Through Bill Baroody ... [He] arranged sometime in the early '60s a number of dinners at his house at which Goldwater was present. Baroody was the brain trust for Goldwater. I was also at some of those dinners, so I got to meet Goldwater. And then when the campaign came along, Baroody asked me to serve as economic adviser ...
Reason: Were you impressed with Goldwater's acumen?
Friedman: It depends on what you mean by acumen. There's no doubt whatsoever that he's a man of principle and strong character.
Interview with Karl Hess, by Karl Hess, A. Lin Neumann, Reason, May 1982
Topics discussed include the Republican Party, National Review, AEI, Goldwater, Rothbard, anarchism, the Vietnam War, Carter and Reagan, fascism, urban enterprise zones, the environment, and authoritarianism vs. freedom
REASON: Did the movement change as the '64 campaign developed?
HESS: ... I think its last vestiges of individualism, or libertarianism, were dropping out of it by the end of the Goldwater campaign. The Goldwater campaign was really conducted against national power ... It was a flat-out anticommunist campaign, but there was still the antinationalist part of it. It didn't extend to the military establishment, except that Goldwater was against the draft—flat-out, no compromise, no possibility. It was Goldwater's first campaign pledge, to end the draft. End. E-N-D. No more draft.
Interview with Robert Poole, by Robert W. Poole, Jr., Karen Minto, William Minto, Full Context, May 1999
Topics discussed range from Poole's early influences, Ayn Rand, getting interested in policy analysis, the Goldwater campaign, the LP, Reason Foundation, the professionals who helped him the most and his passion for privatization
Poole: I was the literature director of MIT Students for Goldwater, the largest campus Goldwater group in New England ... My Objectivist/libertarian compatriots and I were dismayed by the campaign ... Many of us had fought hard to make sure he got the nomination (our forces took over Mass. Young Republicans, to be sure its delegates were all for Goldwater, not Rockefeller), inspired by the strongly pro-freedom, shrink-government rhetoric of Conscience of a Conservative. But what they ended up running was a wishy-washy, feel-good campaign based on the slogan, "In your heart you know he's right."

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Barry Goldwater" as of 7 Aug 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.