Conservatives Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Goldwater’s Presidential Campaign

By Ali Meyer | November 19, 2014 | 11:44am EST

Sen. Barry Goldwater (1909-1998).

( -- Conservatives and family members of former presidential candidate Barry Goldwater celebrated and reflected on Goldwater’s impact on politics and conservatism over the past 50 years at an anniversary dinner to honor his memory, held at the Liaison Capitol Hotel in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 18.

“Fifty years ago as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Senator Barry Goldwater lost the 1964 election in a landslide. In defeat, however, he proved to be the most consequential loser in American politics," said the Heritage Foundation at a Goldwater anniversary forum, prior to the dinner.

"By mobilizing a large conservative grassroots coalition – the first of its kind to win the Republican nomination – his conservative ideas and straight talk galvanized the modern conservative movement and sowed the seeds of a national political revolution,” stated Heritage.

“Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Let me remind you further that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue,” Barry M. Goldwater, Jr. recalled of his father’s words from 1964 when the Senator Goldwater accepted his party’s nomination.

“Goldwater set the stage for the resurrection of a passionate belief in liberty and redefined our two-party system,” Goldwater Jr. continued.

“In his book, The Conscience of a Conservative, published in 1960, Senator Goldwater said this about our philosophy, about our beliefs, said his son: ‘The route differs between the conservatives and liberals of today is that conservatives take into account the whole man, while liberals tend to look only at the material side of a man’s nature. The conservative believes that man is in part an economic and animal creature, but that he is also a spiritual creature with spiritual needs and spiritual desires.

Barry Goldwater Jr. spoke about his father on the 50th anniversary of Barry Goldwater's run for the White House on Nov. 18, 2014 in Washington, D.C. ( Starr)

“‘Conservatism therefore looks upon the enhanced threat of man’s spiritual nature as a primary concern of a political philosophy. Liberals on the other hand, in the name of concern for human beings, regard the satisfaction of economic wants as a dominant mission of our society.’”

“So, he was saying that each of us are a spiritual being and that our spiritual being is what makes us so different, each of us are different from each other, and each of us have our own desires, ambitions and passions and where we want to go,” Goldwater Jr. explained.

“But my father taught me that when government decides to give something to a particular group, he has to first take it away from the productive side of our society,” he said.  “Government really creates nothing, it only takes and redistributes.”

“Tonight we’ve come together to celebrate a very powerful idea of liberty,” Goldwater Jr. said. “We’ve come to know and recognize a movement - conservatism. We’ve come together tonight as brothers and as sisters to remember a man who had a very powerful influence on the two-party system and on us. With fond memories of battles we’ve fought, friends that we’ve made and of losses that we loathe, we salute Senator Barry Goldwater.”

Other speakers who recalled the memory of Barry Goldwater and spoke at the event were Michael Goldwater;  author and activist Phyllis Schlafley;  former Congressman John Shadegg; Jack Cox, trustee of the Barry and Peggy Goldwater Center; Mike Antonovich, supervisor of the County of Los Angeles;  Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), and publisher and author Al Regnery.

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