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Rand On Barry Goldwater

In 1964, Ayn Rand endorsed Senator Barry Goldwater for President of the United States. She wrote several articles about the campaign for The Objectivist Newsletter. Excerpts from those artcles are provided below.

From "A Suggestion," The Objectivist Newsletter, October 1963:

In today's state of political confusion and contradictions, it is difficult to endorse any candidate with any degree of certainty. All one can say is that it appears, at present, that Senator Goldwater may become very much worth supporting, particularly in view of his recent stand on Cuba and the nuclear test treaty -- and most particularly because he seems to be our last chance to preserve two-party government.

If, between now and nomination or election time, Senator Goldwater should change his stand, or adopt some major form of "me-too'ing" compromise, or tie his candidacy to some doctrine of a mystical nature -- we will, of course, be free not to vote for him. At present, he is the best candidate in the field.

From "How to Judge a Political Candidate" The Objectivist Newsletter, March 1964:

If a candidate evades, equivocates and hides his stand under a junk-heap of random concretes, we must add up those concretes and judge him accordingly. If his stand is mixed, we must evaluate it by asking: Will he protect freedom or destroy the last of it? Will he accelerate, delay or stop the march toward statism?

By this standard, one can see why Barry Goldwater is the best candidate in the field today. [...]

In an age of moral collapse, like the present, men who seek power for power's sake rise to leadership everywhere on earth and destroy one country after another. Barry Goldwater is singularly devoid of power lust. Even his antagonists admit it with grudging respect. He is seeking, not to rule, but to liberate a country.

In a world ravaged by dictatorships, can we afford to pass up a candidate of that kind?

From "The Argument from Intimidation," The Objectivist Newsletter, July 1964:

I must mention, parenthetically and regretfully, that Sen. Goldwater is helping his enemies whenever he softens his stand. Vagueness lends plausibility to smears. While nothing can justify the misrepresentations on the part of the press, it is unfortunate that Sen. Goldwater has made their job easier by occasional lapses in the precision and consistency of his own statements -- as, for instance, in his speech at Madison Square Garden on May 12. Let us hope that the pressure of his enemies will not tempt him to compromise (in regard to the party platform, for instance) and thus to commit political suicide.

From "Special Note," The Objectivist Newsletter, October 1964:

As of this writing, Senator Goldwater's campaign has been conducted so badly that unless he changes his methods, he is moving toward defeat. Those who are active in the campaign should urge him to raise some essential issues, instead of the secondary matters and vague generalities he has been discussing. He has not presented a case for capitalism; he has not demonstrated the statist-socialist trend of his opponents.

From "It Is Earlier Than You Think," The Objectivist Newsletter, December 1964:

There was no discussion of capitalism. There was no discussion of statism. There was no discussion of the blatantly vulnerable record of the government's policies in the last thirty years. There was no discussion. There were no issues.

In psychological, if not existential, fact, the campaign ended in mid-October, when Senator Goldwater chose to concede his defeat in one of the least attractive forms possible. It was the form of a truly shameful switch: the attempt to substitute the question of personal "morals" for all the crucial questions of our age, and offer it as the cardinal issue of the campaign.

Omissions from the text are shown with bracketed ellipses. All other punctuation and spelling are from the originals.


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