The Goldwater Memorial-President Eisenhower and Senator Goldwater

As stated, Barry Goldwater won the 1952 election for his first Senate term as part of the nationwide sweep of General Eisenhower over Adlai Stevenson. Goldwater defeated the incumbent Democrat  Earnest McFarland.  Eisenhower carried 39 states.  The Republicans made their first inroads in the Border South.  With President Eisenhower, Goldwater had and on and off  relationship.  Eisenhower of course was the candidate of the Eastern Liberal Establishment and his course was certain to be to the left of what the Senator hoped.  Goldwater agreed with Eisenhower on some points.  Goldwater hoped  the President would try repeal some the programs from the New Deal/ Fair Deal.; but that was not in the cards.

There were occasions that the Senator could support the President ‘s ideas.  Goldwater opposed a Congressional Bill  for more dam construction at Hell’s Canyon in Idaho.  Largely thanks to Senator Goldwater,  Congress could not override the President’s veto for the canyon.  Ezra Taft Benson was not popular as Secretary of Agriculture. Nevertheless, Barry Goldwater agreed with the administration’s efforts to curtail price supports and quota controls on farmers.  Goldwater, liking Ike again, was against an increase in the minimum wage which they both felt would result in inflation and an increase in unemployment.   BG totally distanced himself from John Birch Society when they questioned the patriotism of President Eisenhower.

Nevertheless, it seemed like Senator Goldwater was on a collision course with President Eisenhower a good deal of the time.  He was against the administration’s proposal for medical care for the aged under Social Security, increased highway construction, foreign aid, and most of all education.   He fought the nomination of Earl Warren for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Brown vs. Board of Education Decision in 1954.   He criticized President Eisenhower for  sending troops  to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, AK.  Senator Goldwater felt that education and its funding was strictly a State and Local matter with no federal action justified.  The President later said privately to Goldwater that his selection of Earl Warren was a misfire.  Keep in mind though that Barry Goldwater and his supporters began the intergration of the Phoenix National Guard and public accomodations in Arizona.

Conservatism, aside from its basic philosophy,  is about and cents.  Barry Goldwater was appalled at $71.8 billion budget for 1956.   The surpluses and deficits for the following years were not consistent.  Surpluses-1956, 1957, and 1960.  The dreaded deficits-1954, 1955, 1958, and 1959.  Things would have been worse for Conservatives had Democrats been in the White House.  The opposition party was calling in formal papers and on the floors of Congress for increases in virtually every area.

Senator Goldwater still persisted by speaking to the whole Senate as follows “…We have no double standards of governmental soundness in America.  What is bad under the leadership of one party cannot possibly be good under the leadership of  the other…”   Goldwater often referred to the Eisenhower  Years as “A Dime Store New Deal.”


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