As I drive past the Goldwater Memorial.
Barry was a military expert who, like all of us, wanted a defense second to none. Never was he anxious to go to go war. They was nothing he found more repugnant than war.
Even so, Senator Goldwater often stated that the United States should not make avoidance of war a foreign policy objective. The Soviets and Chinese he believed were waging war while this country was Waging Peace. He had legitimate concerns of the Soviets supporting uprisings in Latin America, Africa, and Indo-China. Goldwater completely ignored our support of Right Wing Dictators in the same areas. BG did not seem to fully grasp the idea of peaceful co-existence as the middle ground between all out war and surrender. In his book the Conscience of a Conservative, Goldwater even suggested the withdrawal of recognition from the Soviet Union. The United States cannot remake the world in our image. Not having diplomatic relations with a nuclear power is risky, to say the least.
Goldwater was a man of great compassion and social concern. Nevertheless, he did not see that horrible poverty in any country is fertile ground for any extreme dictator of either the Left or Right. The world gains nothing by replacing a Communist Government with a Right Wing Dictator whose policies are just as bad. We learned one big lesson from the aftermath of World War II. For the Nazi to become a Communist, or the reverse, requires no real change. They are identical twins.
In the late 60s, Senator Barry Goldwater retracted to do some degree his views. One thing remained consistent. Barry Goldwater did not want to commit American troops to distant battlefields. Wars of liberation to him were part of the Communist design to spread our strength so thin in so many places that we would become vulnerable in our more strategic areas. He wanted to limit our commitment to air power and military aid. Would we have had the Vietnam War with Barry Goldwater in the White House?