Quotations by Goldwater, Barry


A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) American politician
Speech, West Chester, Pennsylvania (21 Oct 1964)
Added on 20-Oct-10 | Last updated 20-Oct-10
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When you say “radical right” today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party away from the Republican Party, and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) American politician
“Barry Goldwater’s Left Turn,” The Washington Post (28 Jul 1994)
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Added on 14-Jan-16 | Last updated 14-Jan-16
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I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell right in the ass.

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) American politician
(Attributed)

When asked what he thought of Jerry Falwell's suggestion that every good Christian should be against Sandra Day O'Connor's nomination to the Supreme Court. John Dean later claimed he was there and that the news media "changed the anatomical reference" from "nuts."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Oct-15
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If I’m going to lose, it will be on my terms.

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) American politician
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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You don’t need to be “straight” to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight.

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) American politician
Washington Post, opinion piece (Jun 1993)
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My faith in the future rests squarely on the belief that man, if he doesn’t first destroy himself, will find new answers in the universe, new technologies, new disciplines, which will contribute to a vastly different and better world in the twenty-first century. Recalling what has happened in my short lifetime in the fields of communication and transportation and the life sciences, I marvel at the pessimists who tell us that we have reached the end of our productive capacity, who project a future of primarily dividing up what we now have and making do with less. To my mind the single essential element on which all discoveries will be dependent is human freedom.

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) American politician
With No Apologies (1979)
Added on 3-Dec-15 | Last updated 3-Dec-15
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Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the 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.

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) American politician
Discussion with John Dean (Nov 1994)

Quoted in John Dean, Conservatives Without Conscience (2006). Full text.
Added on 4-Nov-11 | Last updated 4-Nov-11
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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.

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) American politician
Essay, Washington Post (13 Jul 1994)

Full text.

Added on 13-Jul-11 | Last updated 13-Jul-11
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Today’s so-called “conservatives” don’t even know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right. It’s not a conservative issue at all.

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) American politician
Interview, Los Angeles Times (1994)
Added on 1-Oct-15 | Last updated 1-Oct-15
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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 alternative.

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) American politician
Speech (1981)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) American politician
Speech, accepting the GOP Presidential Nomination, San Francisco (16 Jul 1964)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 12-Nov-15
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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.

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) American politician
Speech, accepting the GOP Presidential Nomination, San Francisco (16 Jul 1964)
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See Acton.
Added on 12-Nov-15 | Last updated 12-Nov-15
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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.

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) American politician
Speech, accepting the GOP Presidential Nomination, San Francisco (16 Jul 1964)
Added on 19-Nov-15 | Last updated 19-Nov-15
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By maintaining the separation of church and state, the United States has avoided the intolerance which has so divided the rest of the world with religious wars. … Can any of us refute the wisdom of Madison and the other framers? Can anyone look at the carnage in Iran, the bloodshed in Northern Ireland or the bombs bursting in Lebanon and yet question the dangers of injecting religious issues into the affairs of state?

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) American politician
Speech, US Senate (15 Sep 1981)
Added on 19-Jul-11 | Last updated 19-Jul-11
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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.”

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) American politician
Speech, US Senate (16 Sep 1981)
Added on 7-Jan-16 | Last updated 7-Jan-16
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On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. 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.

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) American politician
Speech, US Senate (16 Sep 1981)
Added on 10-Dec-15 | Last updated 7-Jan-16
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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?

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) American politician
Speech, US Senate (16 Sep 1981)
Added on 17-Dec-15 | Last updated 7-Jan-16
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