Who was Senator Barry Goldwater?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Known as Mr. Conservative, Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) was the Republican candidate for President in 1964. He was soundly trounced by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who had become the nation's leader following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Goldwater served as a senator from Arizona for five terms--both before and after running for President. Goldwater is credited with recharging the conservative movement in America, setting the example for the later conservative candidacy of Ronald Reagan. He was a staunch opponent of the Soviet Union, labor unions and welfare programs. Goldwater also had very strong libertarian leanings as well.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Senator Barry Goldwater was a Republican from Arizona.  He was one of the most famous conservative figures of the 1960s.  He ran against Pres. Lyndon Johnson for the presidency in 1964, losing in one of the most lopsided elections ever.

Goldwater is very famous for having been extremely (for the time) conservative.  This came out most famously in his attitudes about foreign policy.  For example, Goldwater discussed the idea of using nuclear weapons in the Vietnam War.  He is also known for saying that "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice."  In other words, he was saying that he knew he was an extremist but that he thought that was a good thing.

Because people saw him as an extreme and scary figure (go to YouTube sometime and search for and watch the "Daisy Girl" ad), Pres. Johnson was able to beat him quite easily.

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