“A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have.”
- Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater was an American politician who is best known for his conservative views and his run as the Republican Party's nominee for President of the United States in the 1964 election. Here are some interesting facts about Barry Goldwater:
Early Life and Military Service: Barry Morris Goldwater was born on January 2, 1909, in Phoenix, Arizona Territory. He came from a wealthy family and was raised in a politically active household. Goldwater had a passion for aviation and became a pilot in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. He served as a flight instructor and later flew combat missions in the Pacific theater.
Business Ventures: After the war, Goldwater returned to Arizona and worked in the family business, which was primarily in department stores. He became the owner and operator of Goldwater's, a department store chain that expanded across Arizona. Goldwater's success in business helped fund his political career.
Political Career: Goldwater began his political career in the 1940s and was elected to the Phoenix City Council in 1949. He later served as a United States Senator from Arizona from 1953 to 1965 and again from 1969 to 1987. Goldwater was known for his staunch conservatism and was a founding member of the modern conservative movement in the United States.
The Conscience of a Conservative: Goldwater published a book in 1960 titled "The Conscience of a Conservative," which became a seminal work for the conservative movement. The book articulated his conservative principles and criticized the growing influence of liberalism in American politics. It remains influential to this day.
1964 Presidential Election: Goldwater's most notable political achievement was securing the Republican Party's nomination for President in 1964. However, he faced a significant defeat in the general election, losing to incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson by a wide margin. Despite the loss, Goldwater's campaign energized and laid the groundwork for the future conservative movement in the United States.
Goldwater Institute: After leaving the Senate in 1987, Goldwater remained active in politics and public policy. He founded the Goldwater Institute, a conservative think tank based in Arizona. The institute focuses on limited government, free markets, and individual liberties.
Opposition to Civil Rights Act: One controversial aspect of Goldwater's political career was his opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While he believed in equal rights, he argued that the Act violated states' rights and exceeded the federal government's authority. This stance caused him to lose support among some minority communities and more moderate Republicans.
Conservation and Environmentalism: Goldwater was an early advocate for conservation and environmental protection. He played a key role in the passage of the Arizona Strip Wilderness Act of 1984, which designated a vast area of northern Arizona as a protected wilderness.
Personal Life and Legacy: Goldwater was married to Margaret "Peggy" Johnson from 1934 until her death in 1985. They had four children together. Goldwater passed away on May 29, 1998, in Paradise Valley, Arizona. He is remembered as a principled conservative and a significant figure in American political history.
Barry Goldwater's political career and conservative principles had a lasting impact on American politics, shaping the Republican Party's ideology and influencing subsequent generations of conservative leaders.