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July 16, 2008





"Freedom is about authority." Er, ya, 4 legs good, or something. No, freedom is not about authority, you idiot, freedom is about proscribing the limits of authority. If you don't get that, basically, you are shitting on the American Revolution.


Oh no, freedom scares me! Barry Goldwater may not have been the ideal presidential candidate (most aren't), but he took a principled stand for freedom and limited government. American voters chose Johnson, and got what they deserved: four more years of the welfare-warfare state, inflation, debt and civil unrest - and a series of presidential candidates that offer us only a choice between big government and bigger government.

listener jeff

I know this isn't too important, but the Trinity site is actually quite a distance from Los Alamos. Los Alamos is in the northern part of New Mexico and the Trinity site is in southern NM. It's probably at least 200 miles. Los Alamos is the lab where bomb was developed and Trinity is where they thought it safe enough to blow the thing up and not affect anybody.


Right you are Jeff. That was lazy reporting on my part. The Trinity site was part of the Alamogordo Bombing Range, about 35 miles southeast of Socorro, New Mexico.


The speech is truly disturbing, but what I notice just as much is how well it is written ... building logically and with (admittedly misguided) eloquence throughout.

No political speechwriter working today, at least whose work I've been witness to suffering through, could come close to touching it.


Many believe the person who wrote Goldwater's speech was Karl Hess. Dig this passage from Hess's page on Wikipedia:

"As a speechwriter for Barry Goldwater, Hess explored ideology and politics and attracted some public interest. He was widely considered to be the author of the infamous Goldwater line, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue," but revealed that he had encountered it in a letter from Lincoln historian Harry Jaffa and later learned it was a paraphrase of a passage from Cicero."


Can anyone please explain to me what's so scary and shocking about the statement "[E]xtremism in the defense of liberty is no vice"? It neither scares nor shocks me. Goldwater was a true libertarian.


In a nutshell, context. For example, what's so disturbing about W. promising to deliver liberty to the Middle East? But Goldwater wasn't W., and having listened to some of the speech I'm also floored by how good a speech it is. Imagine a conservative movement where the principals have more than two brain cells to rub together and aren't rushing off to the bathroom for more action at the glory hole.

George F Somsel

I remember Goldwater's speech. Goldwater was my first Presidential vote. I approved of his statement then and I approve of it now. Moderation is only for those who are afraid to take a position on anything. I hope you are not moderate in your love for your wife and family. There is a need for passionate commitment rather than for wimpish laissez faire "let's get alongism." This is, of course, not true with all matters, but the founding fathers of this country were extremists who said such things as "Give me liberty or give me death."

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