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The Quotable Goldwater

Barry Goldwater has left a legacy of thoughts and political ideas by way of his own writings, his speeches, and his interviews with the media. Here is a collection of his quotations.
  • "None of us here in Washington knows all or even half of the answers. You people out there in the 50 states had better understand that... If you cherish your freedom, don't leave it all up to big government." From his 1962 book Why Not Victory?
  • "Nations do not arm for war. They arm to keep themselves from war." From Why Not Victory?
  • "We must make clear that until its goals of conquest are absolutely renounced and its relations with all nations tempered, communism and the governments it now controls are enemies of every man on earth who is or wants to be free... 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." Acceptance speech, Republican Convention, 1964.
  • "In your heart, you know he's right." From Goldwater's 1964 campaign commercials.
  • "No Republican could have beaten Johnson." Interview in PBS documentary, 1992.
  • "We've had our chance. We've fought our battles. Now let's put our shoulders to the wheel of Dick Nixon and push him across the line... This country in its majesty is too great for any man, be he conservative or liberal, to stay home and not work, just because he doesn't agree. Let's grow up, conservatives. If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let's get to work." Speech, Republican Convention, 1968.
  • "There's been no decision made. We made no suggestions. We were merely there to offer what we see as the condition on both floors." Aug. 7, 1974, after meeting with Richard Nixon shortly before his resignation.
  • Looking back at Watergate: "This is a hell of a government, and this country's lived through a lot of bad things. It's lived through some presidents that weren't quite up to par, and it's lived through some conditions that you and I can remember that weren't good, but we've lived through them." 1992 CBS interview.
  • "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 alternatives." 1981 speech.
  • On Bush's election loss in 1992: "It was just a hell of a bad campaign. If he had continued to campaign after the war in the Persian Gulf, he would have won it, but he quit campaigning. He had a bunch of idiots in the White House advising him." November 1992 ABC interview.
  • "I don't think there was any Reagan revolution. This country is based, its economy is based, on free enterprise. The government's based on a constitutional democracy. And all Reagan did was t continue what Harry Truman did and George Washington started." November 1992 ABC interview.