With the stinging defeat of the Republicans in the 1964 Presidential election, many thought the ultra-conservative wing of the Republican Party, led by Barry Goldwater would be a dead issue by the 1966 mid-term elections. But that appears to be far from the case. With civil unrest, and protest to the Vietnam War growing, Goldwater was probably right in his attitude of biding his time, waiting for voter apathy towards the party in power. And by 1968 his timing was right.
But in 1965, it was still a case of assessment and speculation on a far-off future. This Meet The Press panel interview takes place in June of 1965 when Goldwater was not in public office, but rather Citizen Goldwater and the titular head of the Republican party.
Sen. Barry Goldwater: “We need Republicans. Now if a man runs not as a Republican but as something else, you can’t count him as a Republican. He may not be able to get elected as a Republican in New York City, and I might say I’m a poor one to speak on this because I don’t live in New York City, I can’t vote there, and I have no business trying to influence votes one way or another up there. I happen to be a vice-President of the National Municipal League, and we have pushed non-partisan city elections. I got into politics on a non-partisan ticket. But I was a Republican and I let people know about it.”
He goes on to discuss his opposition to a Third Party and several items which would no doubt condemn him to the status of Liberal by today's standards. It's interesting to consider just how far right the Republican Party has come since the days when Barry Goldwater, during the 1964 campaign was object of an impromptu billboard commentary to his "In Your Heart, You Know He's Right" to the accompaniment of " . . .Far Right."
He would not be perceived that way today I'm afraid.