March 28, 1994
The editorial page of the Daily News wishes to declare its undying devotion to Barry Goldwater. Yeah, that Barry Goldwater. This is not a new thing for us. Actually, we've always been fond of the old cowboy. We even liked the way he used to tell the truth about nuclear war 30 years ago, even though he sometimes sounded like he sort of dug it. Truth was always the core of what made Goldwater the hero of all those young conservatives of the early '60s. His massive loss in the 1964 election, oddly enough, quickened their takeover of the Republican Party and led to a quarter-century of success for them.
May 30, 1998
Barry Goldwater will be remembered and revered for his brand of conservatism, but even more for the part of Goldwaterism that sadly never became the norm: bluntly speaking one's mind. That a straight-talking politician seems so rare is an indictment of a politics that operates like a feedback-loop between polls and pols. Not only do politicians feel safer recycling buzzwords swiped from focus groups, but for some of these characters, speaking one's mind, Goldwater-style, is based on a false premise: that they have strong ideas of their own. The Arizona Republican didn't need anybody telling him what to think.
May 30, 1998 |
Former Sen. Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona, the plainspoken godfather of Republican conservatism whose landslide loss in the 1964 presidential election nonetheless triggered the movement's rise to national power, died yesterday at the age of 89. He died "in his own bed, in his own room, as he wished, overlooking the valley he loved with family at his side," according to a statement issued from the family home in Paradise Valley, Ariz. President Clinton remembered Sen. Goldwater as "an American original," adding: "I never knew anybody quite like him. " John McCain, the Republican who succeeded Sen. Goldwater in the Senate, said that America "never had a more ardent champion of liberty than Barry Goldwater.
March 28, 1994 |
Looking down on his valley and back on his career, Barry Goldwater, who 30 years ago was en route to a creative defeat in the presidential election, has no regrets. Nor should he. He lost 44 states but won the future. Today, his walk is slower, his emotions are mellower and his features, after 85 years of squinting into Southwest sunsets, are more than ever a craggy map of Arizona. But he is content. He should be. He catalyzed conservatism's breakthrough. The protests of the 1960s did not begin at Berkeley.
October 21, 2012
1. f. Herbert Hoover, 1928. 2. g. James K. Polk, 1844. 3. b. John C. Fremont, 1856. 4. i. Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1932. 5. j. Woodrow Wilson, 1916. 6. c. Barry Goldwater, 1964. 7. a. Bill Clinton, 1992. 8. h. Ronald Reagan, 1984. 9. d. Warren Harding, 1920. 10. e. William Henry Harrison, 1840.
October 2, 1988 |
This is about the American Civil Liberties Union and the interesting role it is playing in the presidential campaign. This is not a commentary on the virtues of the ACLU, virtues that some say are enormous; nor is it an audit of the ACLU's warts - warts that others contend are considerable. This is about the political image of the ACLU and how that image is perceived by the voters as the presidential campaign winds down to an ultimate moment of truth in November. There's an old wives' tale that suggests that in politics, perception is fact.
November 11, 1986 |
Among the absences that will diminish the 100th Congress, Barry Goldwater's stands out. He will be missed. There was an earlier me who would have been flabbergasted to say so. But as Goldwater vanishes into his violently beautiful Arizona sunsets, let it be said that many of us misread him and owe him a squaring of accounts. The misreading began with a book, not a very good book, which the senator may not have actually written, but certainly signed and subscribed to. The Conscience of a Conservative was neither historically nor philosophically searching, and was dismissed as a shallow apologia for a socially irresponsible individualism: "Pseudo-conservatism," the late Richard Hofstadter labeled it. But Barry Goldwater believed it, and it sensationally stirred the juices of conservatives, making this prickly Arizonan a great hit on the mashed-potato circuit and an instant idol.
August 20, 2004 |
Pete Hamill was a longtime columnist for the New York Post Once upon a time in America, there were public figures like Barry Goldwater. He was a rock-ribbed conservative Republican. I disagreed with almost all of his political positions and could never have voted for him. He was against the trade unions that gave my father a life with dignity. He was a rigid Cold Warrior. He once suggested that my home city of New York be cut off from the United States and floated out to sea. But, oh, how I miss him now. Above all his other qualities, I miss Goldwater's extraordinary penchant for straight talk.
June 4, 1998 |
"Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive/But to be young was very heaven!" So wrote Wordsworth of how his generation felt on first hearing news of the French Revolution. And so it was when the news came that Barry Goldwater had defeated Nelson Rockefeller in the California primary of 1964 and was the Republican Party's certain nominee. From the day after Richard Nixon's defeat in 1960 until the coup at the Cow Palace in San Francisco in 1964, when the Arizonan was nominated, the Goldwater movement was the conservative movement.
July 10, 2012 |
Politicians are so famous for their spin that it's hard to find examples of pure honesty on the campaign trail. And as much as voters say they want honesty, truth-tellers tend to have difficulty getting to — or keeping — the Oval Office. President Jimmy Carter never used the word malaise in the famous speech he gave on July 15, 1979. But that's how the sermon has been remembered. Carter began by criticizing himself, reading aloud Americans' thoughts on what was wrong with his presidency.