In a very real sense, the modern conservative political movement began with Barry Goldwater. Had it not been for the Arizona senator it might have taken years or even decades for conservative ideas to break into the political mainstream, Ronald Reagan would be remembered today not as one of our greatest presidents, but as a "B" movie star and television host, and many of those who since the 1960s shaped our nation's politics would not have had an opportunity to do so.
Goldwater: 50 Years Later
A 50th anniversary look at the conservative legacy of Barry Goldwater and his 1964 presidential run.
By Barry Goldwater Jr.
A half-century ago, Sen. Barry Goldwater strode to the podium of the Republican National Convention in San Francisco to accept his party's presidential nomination. He declared, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vise." Let me remind you further: "Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." Published November 17, 2014
It was fall 1964. A young Phil Crane, armed with Hollywood good looks and a freshly minted Ph.D., had wangled a job in the research shop of Barry Goldwater's Republican presidential campaign.
President Reagan told us, "There is no better way to establish hope for the future than to enlighten young minds."
Barry Goldwater was the favorite candidate of every correspondent who appreciated a good story. I covered his 1964 presidential campaign for the old National Observer, the late, great Dow Jones newsweekly, and he never let us down. He was blunt, irreverent and unpredictable, often mocking the press caricature of him as a reckless gunslinger from the Old West. He was great copy.
Barry Goldwater's little 115-page book, "The Conscience of a Conservative," was published in 1960, long before running for president had occurred to the senator from Arizona, or much of anybody else. But Goldwater was already the undisputed champion of conservative ideas and policies in the Senate, and had traveled thousands of miles making speeches, campaigning for aspiring congressmen and senators, and raising money for the Republican cause.
Barry Goldwater is rightfully an icon of the American conservative movement for decades since the 1960s, and it is a privilege and an honor to contribute to his remembrance on the 50th anniversary of his presidential campaign. What many Americans may not know, however, is the role then-Sen. Goldwater played in the U.S. relations with my country, the Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan), usually termed by the senator as "Free China." His contribution to the U.S.-Taiwan relationship made him a figure of enormous importance and won him profound respect on the other side of the Pacific as well.
Barry Goldwater was responsible for recruiting and inspiring many of the people who built the infrastructure and organizations that to this day form the bones and sinews of the conservative movement.
Excerpts from the speech delivered by Ronald Reagan on Oct. 27, 1964, in support of Barry Goldwater's candidacy for president. It affectionately has become known as "The Speech" and is widely credited for catapulting Mr. Reagan and his vision for conservatism onto the national stage.
Back in 1964, "conservative" was a dirty word in New York Republican circles. The party was under the thumb of the original RINO (Republican in name only) Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, who believed he was destined to be elected president in 1964.
Who was Barry Goldwater, universally known as "Mr. Conservative," and how did his '64 presidential campaign ignite a conservative revolution?
The following are excerpts of Sen. Barry Goldwater's presidential nomination acceptance speech in 1964.
I never had the opportunity to meet Barry Goldwater, but I feel like I knew him.
When Barry Goldwater accepted the 1964 Republican nomination for president, he gave a speech that galvanized his audience and went on to serve as a catalyst for the American conservative movement for decades to come. Now, a wide array of conservative luminaries — historians, politicians, journalists, former Goldwater associates — have joined forces to organize the Barry Goldwater 1964 Campaign 50th Anniversary Dinner and Forum, set for Tuesday in Washington.