The Conscience of a Conservative null
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- Publisher : Bottom of the Hill Publishing (June 1, 2010)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 84 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1935785028
- ISBN-13 : 978-1935785026
- Item Weight : 4.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.98 x 0.17 x 9.02 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,921,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Given the current political landscape, I was drawn to further research this politician I've heard a mixed-bag of discourse about. Barry Goldwater's curious path through decades of dramatic social and political change is the kind of story a novelist wouldn't dream of trying to sell - it's that fantastic. His larger than life character is what is, perhaps, best remembered, especially his rants and outbursts on the campaign trail that may have cost him the presidency, and the support of his own party. Given that simple description, it's no wonder that some talking heads are comparing a certain current presidential candidate to the powerhouse that was Barry Goldwater.
But what is lacking in that comparison, and what Goldwater's "Conscience of a Conservative" highlights so well, is the underlying, deep-seated, thoughtful and intelligent prose of a man obviously full of conviction. His knowledge of the Constitution, and his desire to not trample on it is unyielding. He's not unreasonable, as so many would have us believe. He acknowledges that certain aspects of life are not what they should be in the late 50s. But he suggests - nay, he commands, that the path to rectifying these situations must be through the proper paths laid out by the Constitution. Admittedly, when he wrote, he was much more eloquent than when he seemed to get overly excited on the campaign trail.
I adored the majority of this book. Whether I agreed with his views or not, it was obvious they were well thought out and intelligent. I could see why his arguments might make sense. I did become frustrated towards the end of the book. His views on anti-communism, while sound, seemed to go off on quite a passionate tangent - almost to the point of a rant. Reminded me of what happens with many publications by well-known political figures: their agenda gets the best of them at some point, and without an editor reeling them in, the tangent takes over. He has some interesting commentary during this section about negotiations, which you almost wonder if some of today's politicians have snatched up verbatim to use regarding current events.
I highly recommend this book to anyone planning to cast a ballot - ever. I think it's important to be an informed voter, and Goldwater can teach all of us a few things about the Constitution.
One may as well ask, why bother reading Paine's "Common Sense?" I mean we won the war didn't we?
Let me preface this short effort by confessing that this reader is far from qualified to judge a mind as superior and unique as that of the late great Senator Barry Goldwater. I just read about the world. He changed it.
We live in a very confusing time politically, when substantive issues find little foothold in the national discussion, when we elect leaders who have never demonstrated proven leadership, when the electorate cares more about the craft of spin than the exposition of truth, when bipartisan governance is sacrificed to government by bureaucracy or executive fiat. We have become a nation of fluff, and few politicians know how to think through the issues, short of keeping their images untarnished and their records moderate.
With Sen. Goldwater, we meet a politician that believes in good governance at any cost. His standard of good governing? The Constitution, American Law, and the security of the American people. That's it! If the Constitution doesn't grant the Federal Government the power, then lawmakers need to stay out of that issue. Common Sense. If a foreign policy doesn't advance the American cause of freedom at home, then it's a poor idea. Common Sense.
Now we know that this book was underwritten by the Wm. F. Buckley organization, but it's the Senator through and through. It's Common Sense for the modern mind. He challenges us to meet the heart of issues head-on with no equivocation and no moderation. Pick a side. Is it Constitutional? Is it legal? Does it make us safer and secure our way of life?
We have lost our way. We have forgotten how to think like our fathers did. The Conscience of a Conservative was written to help us remember.
Top reviews from other countries
Barry Goldwater clearly expounds the core principles of US constitutional conservatism that has dominated movement conservatism since Barry Goldwater's own ill-fated run for the White House in 1964.
For British conservatives, this book does have a lot of relevance despite its consistent reference to the US Constitution as it forms an important part of understanding how classical liberalism began to reemerge in the 1960's and would, under Reagan and Thatcher, become the dominant political economic theory from the 1980's to the present day.