This year on February 14th, Arizona will be 100 years old. I thought I would occasionally post some interesting history about my state. One of Arizona’s most captivating characters was Senator Barry Goldwater. He was born Barry Morris Goldwater on January 2, 1909. He served five-terms as a United States Senator from Arizona. In the 1960’s his outgoing and magnetic personality earned him the nickname of “Mr. Conservative”.
In the 1964 presidential election, Goldwater was the republican representative and lost by a landslide to Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson. This ended up being one of the largest landslides in history. It would be five years before Goldwater would return to the Senate. His specialty was defense policies and being behind the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 getting passed through the senate. This act “restructured the higher levels of the Pentagon by increasing the power of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to direct military action”. In 1974, he was also the one who “urged President Richard Nixon to resign when evidence of a cover-up in the Watergate scandal became overwhelming and impeachment was imminent. By the 1980’s, the increasing influence of the Christian right on the Republican Party so conflicted with Goldwater’s libertarian views that he became a vocal opponent of the religious right on issues such as gay right and the role of religion in public life.” (from Wikipedia)
By the 1990’s, he retired in Arizona still occasionally voicing his strong opinion about politics and those politicians. In 1996, he suffered a massive stroke and was diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. He died on May 29, 1998 of complications from the stroke. Goldwater will be remembered for his political views and changes but also for all those famous Goldwater quotes. Here are some:
1. American business has just forgotten the importance of selling.
2. Hubert Humphrey talks so fast that listening to him is like trying to read Playboy magazine with your wife turning the pages.
3. I could have ended the war in a month. I could have made North Vietnam look like a mud puddle.
4. Think any man in business would be foolish to fool around with his secretary. If it’s somebody else’s secretary, fine.
5. I will offer a choice, not an echo.
6. I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
7. I wouldn’t trust Nixon from here to that phone.
8. If everybody in this town connected with politics had to leave town because of chasing women and drinking, you would have no government.
9. If you don’t mind smelling like peanut butter for two or three days, peanut butter is darn good shaving cream.
10. It’s a great country, where anybody can grow up to be president…..except me.
11. Nixon was the most dishonest individual I have ever met in my life. He lied to his wife, his family, his friends, his colleagues in the Congress, lifetime members of his own political party, the American people and the world.
12. The income tax created more criminals than any other single act of government.
13. You don’t need to be straight to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight.
14. When I’m not a politician, I’ll be dead.