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May 21

Goldwater: The Most Consequential Loser in American Politics

Fifty years ago conservatism was considered a backwater ideology on its way to being consigned to the ash heap of history. Then came Barry Goldwater: cowboy, businessman and politician. In 1964 Goldwater mobilized a large conservative grassroots coalition, the first of its kind, to win the Republican nomination and take on incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson. He lost the Presidential election, but with his conservative ideas and unvarnished straight talk, Goldwater invigorated conservatives and the nation. Without Goldwater, we would never have had Ronald Reagan nor a “win the Cold War” strategy. 

George Will’s lecture is the first of four events to be hosted by the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics. These “Lessons for Conservatives from Goldwater to the Tea Party” will span the past 50 years of the modern conservative movement and look at Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan’s Presidency, Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America and the Tea Party. What can today’s conservative learn from these important events in modern political history? And what can we learn from their victories and their failures?

More About the Speakers

George F. Will
Syndicated Columnist for The Washington Post

Hosted By

Lee Edwards, Ph.D. Lee Edwards, Ph.D.

Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought, B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics Read More