Read a Book!: Where I Stand

January 6, 2009

Where I Stand

Sen. Barry Goldwater


My roommate gave me a mildly damaged first edition paperback of Sen. Barry Goldwater’s Where I Stand, saying something along the lines of, “See, politicians have been selling out to book publishers for a long time.”


Reading though this book, a couple of thoughts ran though my mind. One, there is a surprising amount of parallels betwixt Cold War foreign policy and our current Mohammadean based terror foreign policy. Simply sub in modern people in their past party counterparts (Obama for LBJ/ “this administration”; Republicans for “me”) and one pretty much gets the stated policies on this War on Terror.


Secondly, massive feelings of disappointment at the last primary season washed over me; reading though this book re-emphasized what I thought the Republicans needed this election season: someone who could clearly and passionately present the conservative position for the issues of our day. What we got, instead, was a wimpy “maverick” that “[goes] both ways in D.C.” (to steal a line from JibJab). Reading though Goldwater’s nomination acceptance speech, he consistently hits you on how whole-heartedly he believes in his cause and in his party; McCain could not even put forth a feeble attempt to help the people down the ticket, as far as I remember. It was a shame that Goldwater lost (especially since we lost off of a TV commercial that was baseless if one actually read though his positions on nuclear weapons); it was also a shame that McCain beat the folks that would have presented the conservative cause with clarity and passion (like Duncan Hunter).


The book does get a little repetitive conceptually and half of the book is speeches (Nomination Acceptance Speech, Speech on Voting against the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Speech on Voting against the Civil Rights Act of ’64, Speech to the Party Platform Committee), but overall everybody should read this if they can get a hand on it to get an historical understanding of conservative principles.


Read This Book!


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