Friday, November 09, 2007

On Goldwater and the legacy of the conservative movement's enigmatic father

The American Conservative's Daniel McCarthy has a superb essay about Barry Goldwater's legacy, and the current strain of liberal revisionist history of the man Pat Buchanan called "the father of us all."

I highly recommend this weekend reading.


...But if the Republican Party is full of pretenders, where does one look for Goldwater’s true heirs?

To answer that question, one has to look to the sharpest division that split the Goldwater movement of the ’60s. It wasn’t the division between libertarians and traditionalists, it was the division that separated idealistic libertarians and traditionalists alike, the campaign amateurs, from the campaign professionals. The conservative movement still pays lip service to economic liberty, social order, and military strength—but on all three points, Republicans have become hollow men who have preserved the rites of Goldwaterism but who long ago lost its spirit. That was an amateur spirit—in both the best and worst senses of the word—and it drew together in common cause traditionalists and libertarians as different as Brent Bozell and Goldwater speechwriter Karl Hess.

...The conventional wisdom overvalues politics and undervalues the philosophy of the movement: it overlooks the ways in which Goldwater succeeded far beyond the electoral success of a Johnson or a Nixon—or a Bush. The Conscience of a Conservative continues to be read today because it isn’t a political tract, a soulless campaign book of the sort generated by every other modern presidential effort.

The idealism and amateurism of the Goldwater people inspired a movement in a way that political professionals never could: indeed, the cynical professionalism and win-at-all-costs mentality of today’s conservatives, best represented by Karl Rove, has had the opposite effect. Goldwater galvanized America’s youth—Young Americans for Freedom grew directly out of Youth for Goldwater. Under the professional Republicans of the past decade, on the other hand, conservatives have lost whatever momentum they had with the next generation...


John Galt said...

excellent post Josh

John Galt said...

excellent post Josh

Insurance Advice Guy said...

The answer to your question is contained in the post farther down the page. I'll copy/paste it here for you:

Ron Paul raises $4.2 million in 24 hours
Congressman Ron Paul (R - TX) raised $4.2 million dollars in last 24 hours for his Presidential campaign. This represents the single largest fundraising day by any Republican this cycle.

From AP:

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, aided by an extraordinary outpouring of Internet support Monday, hauled in more than $4.2 million in nearly 24 hours.

Paul, the Texas congressman with a libertarian tilt and an out-of-Iraq pitch, entered heady fundraising territory with a surge of Web-based giving tied to the commemoration of Guy Fawkes Day.

Fawkes was a British mercenary who failed in his attempt to kill King James I on Nov. 5, 1605. He also was the model for the protagonist in the movie "V for Vendetta." Paul backers motivated donors on the Internet with mashed-up clips of the film on the online video site YouTube as well as the Guy Fawkes Day refrain: "Remember, remember the 5th of November."

Paul's total deposed Mitt Romney as the single-day fundraising record holder in the Republican presidential field. When it comes to sums amassed in one day, Paul now ranks only behind Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton, who raised nearly $6.2 million on June 30, and Barack Obama.

Paul spokesman Jesse Benton said the effort began independently about two months ago at the hands of Paul's backers. He said Paul picked up on the movement, mentioning in it speeches and interviews.

"It's been kind of building up virally," Benton said.

The $4.2 million represented online contributions from more than 37,000 donors, fundraising director Jonathan Bydlak said Monday night.

Ron Paul is as close to a Barry Goldwater Republican as you are going to get. And, the message is attracting supporters and money.

Check out