Somewhat hard to imagine this week 47 years ago Barry Goldwater was considered the epitome of the right-wing fringe element of the Republican Party. The fringe element that hi-jacked the party at the convention and set in motion the changes that would make it the party it somewhat is today. But, truths to tell, listening to Goldwater in this 1964 Paid Political Campaign talk and hearing the insanity passing itself off as political rhetoric this past week, one almost imagines Goldwater as something of a moderate or, dare I say, Liberal in comparison.
Take, for example this extract regarding his views on Social Security:
Barry Goldwater: “During my twelve years in the United States Senate I have voted for every improvement in the Social Security Act. I voted against those amendments that I thought would be detrimental, which would have been detrimental to the Social Security. Now this year, the Senate and the House both voted nice increases for the recipients of Social Security. We added a great many people who have not been covered and I voted for these things. Now the real enemy in my mind, on Social Security is the man who didn’t allow this bill to become the law and that’s the President of the United States, who wanted his way and he didn’t get it, so he just said to the conferees ‘stop everything’. So those people on Social Security or who were receiving Social Security will not receive these improved benefits this year. And it’s not Goldwater’s fault. It’s Johnson’s fault.
No getting around it - Goldwater wasn't a saint. His views on Civil Rights were legendary and his stand on military spending and Vietnam were in lock-step with the John Birch Society. But you really have to wonder what Goldwater would be thinking about this current lineup of Republican hopefuls.
Perhaps the sound of engines we hear in Arizona are actually those of Barry spinning in his grave.