With loudmouth Donald Trump the front runner of the GOP and Kim Davis playing the Christian martyr and the popularity of the Republican Party at an all-time low, should the GOP have listened to Barry Goldwater decades ago?
Some have coined the late Senator Barry Goldwater the ” Godfather of Conservatism.” Senator Goldwater was very outspoken in his disdain with the influx of the religious right. Here are some of Goldwater’s pearls of wisdom on that subject:
"I am a conservative Republican, but I believe in democracy and the separation of church and state.? The conservative movement is founded on the simple tenet that people have the right to live life as they please as long as they don’t hurt anyone else in the process.”(In a 1994 Washington Post essay)”The religious factions will go on imposing their will on others.”“I don’t have any respect for the Religious Right.”“Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell’s ass.”“A woman has a right to an abortion.”
Goldwater felt the matter of abortion was one for the courts. In 1981, Senator Goldwater made the following remarks in the U.S. Congressional Record:
There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C,’ and ‘D.’ Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of ‘conservatism.’
Goldwater is on the record saying that his beloved Republican party would be ruined if the religious right gathered any sufficient strength within the party:
"Well, I’ve spent quite some years carrying the flag of the ‘Old Conservatism. And I can say with conviction that the religious issues of these groups have little or nothing to do with conservative or liberal politics. The uncompromising position of these groups is a divisive element that could tear apart the very spirit of our representative system if they gain sufficient strength."All of this ties into the mass exodus of the George Wallace Southern Dixiecrat to the open arms of the Republican Industrial elites. With this new anti-civil and voting rights voting blocks now in the flock, the Republican Party had to shift some gears and what transpired was Lee Atwater's infamous, “Southern Strategy.”
Massive resistance was a policy declared by U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd, Sr. of Virginia on February 24, 1956, to unite other white politicians and leaders in Virginia. In a campaign of new state laws and policies to prevent public school desegregation after the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision in 1954. Although most of the laws created to implement Massive Resistance were negated by state and federal courts by January 1960. Some policies and effects of the campaign against integrated of public schools continued in Virginia for many more years. Many schools and even an entire education system were shut down in preference to integration.
It is becoming more evident since the government shutdown the Republican Party may be in need of some serious soul-searching Could we see this same old George Wallace crowd move in with the Libertarians, Tea Party, and Religious right and form a new third-party in this country?
"The religious factions will go on imposing their will on others Unless the decent people connected to them recognize that religion has no place in public policy.? They must learn to make their views known without trying to make their views the only alternatives. . .? We have succeeded for 205 years in keeping the affairs of state separate from the uncompromising idealism of religious groups, and we mustn’t stop now. To retreat from that separation would violate the principles of conservatism and the values upon which the framers built this democratic republic."[Barry Goldwater]Needless to say, Senator Goldwater fell out of favor and now with some of his warnings ringing true. Donald Trump and Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis examples thereof. There is a hint of in- fighting going on with the Republicans. However, with these gerrymandered districts throughout not just the South but the entire country creating “safe zones,” many Republicans seem just fine with their blind indifference to the point of shutting down the government and circumventing the Constitution.