In my article today on the history of the Republican Party as a party of big government and tyranny, I forgot to mention one of the most important historical aberrations – Goldwater.
It seems to me that (1) his free market rhetoric, even if genuine, was not respresentative of the GOP establishment, which found him offensive, (2) we can only guess if his rhetoric was genuine (he might have been more like Reagan than I used to give Reagan credit for!) and (3), he was a shameless warmonger. Of course, Johnson was a warmonger, too, but it doesn’t change the fact that Goldwater was not the paragon of liberty he was made out to be.
Even if he was the real thing — an economic libertarian/warmonger — I don’t think the GOP is in any way the Party of Goldwater. The Republicans have gone downhill since then, and he was a high point in 148 years of championing statism.11:41 am on October 29, 2004 Email Anthony Gregory