Saturday, May 31, 2008
Great Barry Goldwater Quotes
Barry Goldwater, Congressional Record, 16 Sept. 1981:
There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerfull ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus, God, or Allah, or whatever one calls the supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in A,B,C, and D. Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of conservatism
1982, Floor of the Senate. Jerry Falwell was vigourously working to derail Reagan's nomination of Saundra Day O'Connor to the Supreme Court. Goldwater had this to say about that....
"I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell's ass.""Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them."
Acceptance Speech for the Republican Presidential Nomination 1964 - Context: Kennedy had recently died and Johnson was milking the popularity. The party expected Goldwater to moderate his message, which was called "too extreme for the presidency," to position for the general election...
"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty, is no vice. And I would also remind you that moderation in the pursuit of justice, is no virtue."
From "Conscience of a Conservative."
"I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is "needed" before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents "interests," I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can."
Campaign Slogan, 1964
"In your heart, you know he's right."