Conservative and Republican Presidential Candidate Barry Goldwater Top Ten Conflict Tips

In our series investigating conservative thinkers, I thought conservative Republican Senator and Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater would be another candidate for one of our Top Ten Conflict Tips. This posting is dedicated to my friend Robin who first introduced me to Barry’s thinking in the 1964 election.

  1. Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed. Their mistaken course stems from false notions of equality, ladies and gentlemen. Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences. Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.
  2. On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly.
  3. Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.
  4. I told (President) Johnson and old colleagues on Capitol Hill that we had two clear choices. Either win the [Vietnam] war in a relatively short time, say within a year, or pull out all our troops and come home
  5. Most Americans have no real understanding of the operations of the international moneylenders… the accounts of the Federal Reserve have never been audited. It operates outside the control of Congress and… manipulates the credit of the United States
  6. When you say “radical right” today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party away from the Republican Party, and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.
  7. The big thing is to make this country, along with every other country in the world with a few exceptions, quit discriminating against people just because they’re gay. You don’t have to agree with it, but they have a constitutional right to be gay. And that’s what brings me into it.
  8. The best thing Clinton could do — I think I wrote him a letter about this, but I’m not sure — is to shut up…. He has no discipline
  9. It’s a great country, where everyone can grow up to be President….except me.
  10. Nixon was the most dishonest individual I have ever met in my life. He lied to his wife, his family, his friends, his colleagues in the Congress, lifelong members of his own party, the American people and the world.
    Equality, rightly understood as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences; wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism
    Read more at
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About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Philosophy of Conflict, Top Ten Conflict Tips from Great Thinkers, US Political Conflict, Ways to handle conflict and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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