The Conscience of a Conservative

By Barry Goldwater | Go to book overview

Chapter One
The Conscience of a Conservative

I HAVE BEEN much concerned that so many people today with Conservative instincts feel compelled to apologize for them. Or if not to apologize directly, to qualify their commitment in a way that amounts to breast-beating. "Republican candidates," Vice President Nixon has said, "should be economic conservatives, but conservatives with a heart." President Eisenhower announced during his first term, "I am conservative when it comes to economic problems but liberal when it comes to human problems." Still other Republican leaders have insisted on calling themselves "progressive" Conservatives.* These formulations are tantamount to an admission that Conservatism is a narrow, mechanistic economic theory that may work very well as a bookkeeper's guide, but cannot be relied upon as a comprehensive political philosophy.

The same judgment, though in the form of an

____________________
*
This is a strange label indeed: It implies that "ordinary" Conservatism is opposed to progress. Have we forgotten that America made its greatest progress when Conservative principles were honored and preserved.

-9-

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