Senator Barry Goldwater on would-be Senator Roy Moore

 

Barry Goldwater (R-AZ)
Senator Barry M. Goldwater (d. 1998)

 

I’m very sad that the Democrat Doug Jones took that Senate seat in Alabama.  On the other hand, my sorrow at his victory is considerably mitigated by my delight that his Republican opponent, Roy Moore, lost.

 

“Roy Moore Does the Impossible”

 

“Roy Moore Just Disproved the Legend of Trump”

 

“Alabama Conservatives Made Their Stand”

 

“It’s Never Fun to Lose a Senate Seat, But the GOP Dodged a Bullet”

 

Good riddance to Mr. Moore.  I hope that we hear little to nothing from or about him in the future.

 

***

 

As Steve Bannon’s temporarily successful appeal to Evangelical anti-Mormonism demonstrated, many of those on the Religious Right are not precisely our friends, which raises an important question:

 

“Remind me why Mormons hang out with the Religious Right?”

 

Personally, I’m a libertarian-leaning limited-government conservative because that’s where my principles and my understanding lead me.  I have no illusions about some of those with whom it’s necessary to form political alliances.  They despise Mormonism and fear Latter-day Saints.

 

***

 

The late Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) was my first political hero.  He could easily have been referring to Judge Roy Moore sometimes, even though Moore hadn’t yet really come to prominence, because Moore repeatedly showed his willingness to ignore the Constitution and to exceed his authority as a judge when he felt (whether sincerely or not) that he had a mandate from God to engage in judicial tyranny and legislation from the bench.  I opposed him for this sort of nonsense even before accusations of sexual misbehavior arose against him.  This were mere icing on the anti-Moore cake:

 

Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed. Their mistaken course stems from false notions of equality, ladies and gentlemen. Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences. Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism. 

From Senator Goldwater’s acceptance speech as the Republican Presidential candidate, San Francisco (July 1964)

 

Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.

Said by Senator Goldwater in November 1994, as quoted in John Dean, Conservatives Without Conscience (2006)

 

And, while I’m at it, here’s a more general statement from Mr. Goldwater that I love:

 

I have little 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 their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is “needed” before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ “interests,” I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.

Barry Goldwater, The Conscience of a Conservative (1960), 15

 

 

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