The Goldwater Myth

A concluding thanks to our friends at the Claremont Institute and the Claremont Review of Books for affording us the privilege of rolling out a few of my favorite pieces from the new issue. Check out the new issue’s table of contents at the link; we’ve only been munching like a giraffe at the top of the tree with our three previews from the new issue this week. Subscriptions to the CRB are only $14.95 a year; subscribe here.
Thanks to a senior moment on the part of Senator Kennedy, “the Goldwater presidency” has returned to the news this past week. Does Senator Barry Goldwater have anything to teach conservatives today? According to Andrew Busch, the social conservatism of the modern Republican Party was born precisely in Barry Goldwaters 1964 presidential campaign. And yet, these days, Goldwater conservatism is somehow regarded as distinctly libertarian, different from the social conservatism of, say, Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush. But Busch’s thoughtful re-examination of that fateful campaign reminds us of Goldwater’s lesson for conservatives, then and now: “liberty is not only compatible with morality, it depends on it.” Professor Busch’s essay is “The Goldwater myth: Why Barry Goldwater was not a ‘Goldwater Republican.'” Professor Busch is professor of government at Claremont-McKenna College and the author of Reagan’s Victory: The Presidential Election of 1980 and the Rise of the Right.

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