At the Huffington Post, blogger Jayne Lyn Stahl writes: “You’ll recall, too, that Barry Goldwater was a staunch supporter of Richard Nixon in his bid for the White House against John F. Kennedy in 1960.”
Well, that depends on what the meaning of the word “staunch” is. After RN reached a platform agreement with Nelson Rockefeller, Goldwater called it a “surrender” that would “live in history as the Munich of the Republican Party.” At the convention, he let his name go into nomination, then withdrew it, telling conservatives to get back to work “if we want to take this party back some day, and I think we can.”
The rest of the article is even less accurate. Nay, it is downright incoherent. Consider:
Forty-five years ago, when Goldwater lost handily to LBJ, a president whose social programs were not unlike those of our current president, Goldwater supporters then rallied behind Ronald Reagan in his presidential bid in 1981.
Though Reagan was a liberal Democrat in his youth, he took the Goldwater bait because he needed not just the numbers, but the demographics, to get reelected. While it may have appeared that Ronald Reagan went to the same country club as Goldwater, Reagan was not a Goldwater Republican. He was just doing what he had to do to keep his power base.
Reagan, who ran in 1980 (not 1981) was a Goldwaterite before he even considered running for office. Indeed, his political career took off with his 1964 TV speech for Goldwater.