Books: Barry Goldwater, Conscience of a Conservative

I’m embarrassed that I took so long to read this.  It certainly lives up to its reputation as the bravest, most straightforward book written by a sitting elected official.  Goldwater telegraphs exactly the play he would run in 1964.   It would bring tears to my eyes if someone could distill the progressive equivalent:

“The turn will come when we entrust the condudct of our affairs to men who understand that their first duty as public officials is to divest themselves of the power they have been given.   It will come when Americans…decide to put the man in office who is pledged to enforce the Constitution and restore the Republic.  Who will proclaim in a campaign speech:  ‘I have ilittle interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size.  I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom.  My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them.  it is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on tghe poeple an unwarranted finacial burden.  I will not attempt to discover wither legislation is ‘needed’ before I hav efirst determined whether it is constitutionally permissable.  And if I should later be attacked of neglecting my constituents’ ‘interests,’ I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cuase I am doing the very best I can.”

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