Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Mr Libertarian

I finally watched the recent HBO Documentary: "Mr. Conservative: Goldwater on Goldwater". Absolutely amazing. My gut reaction is one of both awe and wonder. Wonder in a sense of curiosity as to what this country could have been had Barry Goldwater defeated Johnson in '64. I'll forego the list of 'Great Society'-based catastrophes that LBJ wrought upon us; but, needless to say, I believe that we are worse off for the loss. And awe in the sense that Goldwater was, and is, probably the closest our country has ever come to electing a true-blue, classical liberal (e.g., libertarian) to the White House. O' to dream.... Indeed, Goldwater was a staunch individualist in the wild-west, John Galt mold. A man's man who believed that America was great because of its people and inspite of its government. To be sure, he morally despised the growth of the federal government and spent his 30 years in Senate fighting to tear down the New Deal, Fair Deal, and Great Society. At the same time, Goldwater believed that the social-conservatives, led by the religious-right, would ultimately prove to be a cancer upon the Republican Party - what amazing foresight. He was pro-choice, with respect to abortion, and pro-gay rights because he simply believed that the state had no right interfere in one's personal life or limit the rights of any individual simply because that person's lifestyle fell outside of the mainstream. This same belief, with respect to the constitutional limits placed upon state power, dictated his views on Civil Rights legislation, which in turn, won him few supporters within the black community and media establishment. Most importantly, he was a politician with consistent convictions, an intellectual ability to articulate those convictions, and an enviable confidence as to the correctness of his views. A testament to this assertion is the fact the Senator Goldwater and President Kennedy, great personal friends, planned to travel together by plane across the country throughout the '64 campaign in efforts to duplicate the Lincoln-Douglas campaign model. Too bad there aren't any Goldwater-Republicans left.
Side note: Newt has been proposing that the '08 Campaign adopt the basic facets of the Lincoln-Douglas model. We can only hope...