Barry Goldwater Book Outline

Barry Goldwater:The Conservatives Potential


Chapter 1- Goldwater composes a differentiation between a liberal and a conservative by defining both in character. He characterizes a liberal as a person political or otherwise who calls for broad sweeping changes that would solve minor problems within the state; these changes would satisfy only a percentage of the people of our nation. Goldwater then defines himself and his colleagues as those who find the nation’s civilian’s “unique,” and the far-reaching goals of the liberals to broad. He finds that making minor changes to an already broad system more necessary; what some politicians consider ‘cutting the fat.’

Chapter 2 – Goldwater offers that government’s progressive reforms go too far and that repeal of many of the outdated improvements to the Constitution over time may be in need of repeal. This sounds somewhat like Jacksonian persuasion; however, it was that persuasion that, breaking down of the original pledges, that led to the greatest reforms to our constitution. He offers proof of this need by admitting that the government is largest corporate trust in our nation. Goldwater quotes remarks from Tocqueville in his argument of the (then) current government intrusions into the states realm of government; stating that this type of guardianship of the government over its people was foretold.

Chapter 3- Goldwater explains that intervention on the part of the government was necessary, due to the states “unsatisfactory performance.” He maintains that the powers given to the states in the constitution, and taken away in the progressive era should belong to and go back to the state. He also tells exactly how the federal government has used its power to push states to reform when they would not have done so on their own accord. The United States offers Grants to the states on cash dollars matched to provide the peoples welfare. Goldwater considers these types of grants “bribery.” It was his belief that the states should have been mandated to these things not paid in part to the state’s welfare.

Chapter 4- In this chapter, Goldwater argues a difference between states rights and civil rights; he considers this an “imaginary conflict.” He blames civilians for the mismanagement of their constitutional guardianships; stating negligence pertaining to civil rights is, “a shameless misuse by people who ought to know better.” He does cite an inconsistency in the constitution; the government has no say in education that power goes to the individual state by the tenth amendment. Brown v Board of Education brought this matter to light at the Supreme Court level making education at some rate a national issue. The creation of the 14th amendment solved legal disputes of this type, however left the states the power to oversee education, moreover, it did not solve civil rights disputes nationwide concerning desegregation of schools; it only added a separate but equal clause. Goldwater saw this as a gross misuse of Supreme power to interpret the constitution and serious upheaval of a certain groups civil rights.

Chapter 5 – This chapter notes the fallacies placed upon farmers by governmental restrictions. Goldwater believes that “the policy of price supports and production controls has been a colossal failure.” He is definitely against government control of agriculture, and in a certain period of our history, the national government did not control farmers. Until the FDR administration, when a governmental agency formed to regulate agriculture. This agricultural administration did not support the farmer so that he could better survive his labor; it supported commerce by controlling farm production. His correction to this wrongdoing is to “return agricultural freedom and economic sanity” to the individual farmer.

Chapter 6 - The rhetoric of a strong willed man on the topic of labor leaders ensues, with the Kennedy Ervin “Labor Reform Bill being rewritten into The Landrum Griffith bill. Goldwater felt strongly that union leaders held too much power; he felt it damaged politics by influencing the vote, and compromised laborers who feared their union representatives. The measures that legislators went through to get the average person a good wage were over expounded and these are the measures that if refined would tighten the union leaders govern of employees. Again, if people could choose to join or not join a union, the leader would have to respect the rights of those who choose to join; else they may leave that association. A comparison is made of Union leaders to robber barons and their regulation with acts like the Sherman antitrust.

Chapter 7- Goldwater brings to light our lack of a fight for tax cuts; he feels we are obliged to give the government whatever amount they choose to obligate usno matter the toll. He thinks that the government abuses its right to tax our income by treating personal incomes as a “common pool.” A “fair share” defined in a different manner would better suit Goldwater as “legitimate.” He then defines “fair share:” he feels that income taxes should be similar to sales taxes , a percentage not based on income, but a round number evenly usurped. In addition, spending cuts made before tax cuts could alleviate inflation and other ill side effects of tax cuts and a yearly 10% cut in all undesirable expenditures. Notably, the cuts are the ones that Goldwater informs the nation of in the content of his book. This would reduce the government ability to spend and stay a welfare state.

Chapter 8- The fear of communism, Marxism, fears Goldwater as the welfare state expounds the nation’s deficit. HE goes on to tell the truth of the nation’s growing bad habit to spend too much of its income on welfare, the blame goes to the republicans who promised spending cuts, however increased government spending, especially in the form of welfare, which only serves to spread the nation’s wealth. His plan to alleviate this is not to put a democrat in office; he feels a democrat could do no better. He suggests that the government no longer engage itself in those it does not belong; notably the ones outlined previously. If the need for these programs still exists, they are to be the duty of local and state authority. (How very Jeffersonian)

Chapter 9- Finally, Goldwater concurs! “Education is one of the greatest problems of our day.” However, he is quite contrary on his means to solve this intrinsic problem. Again, state and local authority; these problems are not in the realm of the national government as the Constitution exists in its form. There is no “convincing” information that leads him to believe that the need for National intervention is in need. In the 1950’s there were about 230 school districts in actual need compared to 42,000 school districts in all according to Arthur Flemming, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. Goldwater’s proof is in his figures.

Chapter 10- In this chapter Goldwater compares early military threats to our fledgling nation to the threat of communism and the cold war. In the game of Risk, if you take over Asia you have the best chance of winning the game; this is the basis of Goldwater’s thoughts on our countries need to fulfill the obligation of overcoming our foes in the Soviet Union and their spies in our country. His plea is for peace, a peace where Americans and others may maintain freedom. He feels that the alliances that we maintained at that time were not quite up to Parr and that we should widen alliances to other non-communist countries. In addition, we should better maintain pacts so that communism does not further spread, such as in Iraq and Cuba. He refers to the financial aid we offered other countries and asked if that aid was necessary in their fighting off Communism; were these countries able to raise their own forces.

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