The race for the open U.S. Senate seat in Arizona got a lot more interesting when Richard H. Carmona, the Democratic candidate, recently staged an event in front of a statue of the late Sen. Barry Goldwater and touted the endorsement of two members of Goldwater's family, daughter Joanne Goldwater and granddaughter CC Goldwater.
Mr. Carmona's nose must have been growing when he attempted to paint himself as "Mr. Goldwater," because he is running against Sen. Jeff Flake, Republican, one of the most conservative members of Congress and a former executive director of the Goldwater Institute.
Goldwater has many descendants, but unfortunately, just a few of them share the senator's strong limited-government philosophy. His son Barry Goldwater Jr. is one who does, and he is supporting Mr. Flake. Some of the senator's relatives, such as Joanne and CC, apparently share his libertarian roots in their support for abortion and homosexual rights. Those positions represent a very small part of Goldwater's overall views. The majority of his views are reflected in the ones held by Mr. Flake, not his Democratic opponent.
As one of the original founders of the Goldwater Institute, I can attest to the difficulty of keeping track of the various opinions of Goldwater family members. The differences in some cases have been extreme. When Goldwater died, his widow actually tried to take the Goldwater name away from the Goldwater Institute because of her views, which differed greatly from the understanding that I and the other founders had regarding where the senator stood.
I think Sen. Goldwater was essentially a libertarian, but not just on the two social issues mentioned above. He believed in limiting government powers across the board. So does the Goldwater Institute.
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