“We are conservatives,

“This great Republican Party is our historic house. This is our Home.

“Some of us do not agree with every statement in the official platform of our party, but I might remind you that this is always true in every platform of an American political party… We can be absolutely certain of one thing — in spite of the individual points of difference, the Republican platform deserves the support of every American over the blueprint for socialism presented by the Democrats….

“Yet, if each segment, each section of our great party were to insist on the compelte and unqualified acceptance of its views, if each viewpoint were to be enforced by a Russian-type veto, the Republican Party would not long survive….

“Now, radical Democrats, who rightfully fear that the American people will reject their extreme program in November, are watching this convention with eager hope that some split will occur in our party. I am telling them now that no such split will take place. Let them know that the conservatives of the Republican Party do not intend by any act of theirs to turn this country over, by default, to a party which as lost its belief in the dignity of man, a party which as no faith in our economic system, a party which has come to the belief that the United States is a second-rate power…

“While Dick and I may disagree on some points, there are not many. I would not want any negative action of mine to enhance the possibility of victory going to those who by their very words have lost faith in American…. Republicans have not been losing elections because of more Democrat votes – now get this – we have been losing elections because conservatives often fail to vote.

“Why is this? And you conservatives think it over. We don’t gain anything when you get mad at a candidate because you don’t agree with his every philosophy. We don’t gain anything when you disagree with the platform and then do not go out and work and vote for your party. I know what you say, “I will get even with that fellow. I will show this party something.” But what are you are doing when you stay at home? You are helping the opposition party elect candidates dedicated to the destruction of this country…. Now, I implore you, forget it. We have had our chance and I think the conservatives have made a splendid showing at this Convention. We have had our chance. We have fought our battle. Now lets put our shoulders to the wheel for Dick Nixon and push him across the line.

“This country is too important for anyone’s feelings. This country, in its majesty, it too great for any man, be he conservative or liberal, to stay home just because he does not agree. Let’s grow up, conservatives. If we want to take this Party back, and I think we can someday, lets get to work.” — Senator Barry Goldwater, 1960 Republican Nominating Convention, Chicago, IL.

Substitute Dick Nixon for John McCain.


  1. ProfG says:

    Chris, I’ve been looking everywhere for a copy of this speech online. All I can find is his 1964 speech. Where did you find this?

  2. Here’s hoping the result will be the same as 1960. Interestingly enough, though that 1960 electoral map is pretty different from recent ones, Kennedy would still win under current reapportionment but the Electoral College vote would be a little tighter than it was then.

  3. IndyInjun says:

    I enjoyed the speech and agreed with nearly every word except for “You are helping the opposition party elect candidates dedicated to the destruction of this country…”

    This is not valid when your own side has very clearly done more damage than the other party ever dreamed of.

  4. ProfG says:

    Chris, I have that book, I just never wanted to type the whole dang speech out. I was hoping it was actually posted somewhere, it’s a lot better than his 1964 speech.

  5. Progressive Dem says:

    “Now, radical Democrats, who rightfully fear that the American people will reject their extreme program in November.”

    For Barry Goldwater to categorize the Kennedy Johnson ticket as radical and extreme shows just how far from the center he was. History shows that the Kennedy administration was quite moderate, and Goldwater proves it was him that was radical and his movement that was exteme.

  6. Chris says:

    Kennedy was moderate. Johnson wasn’t. And Goldwater _was_ extreme at the time when even the Republican Party had accepted a cradle to grave welfare state.

    Goldwater laid the foundation for the limited government conservative revival. It took a more well polished speaker, and 4 years of malaise to fufill Goldwater’s objective: an anti-communist limited government conservative in the White House.

  7. Progressive Dem says:

    First of all the 1960 election, like every other election is about electing a president, not a vice president. Goldwater was referring to Kennedy, not Johnson. Four years later, LBJ was empowered because he beat the sh*t out of Barry Goldwater.

    LBJ was far from extreme. Remember those people in rioting in the streets? They didn’t think LBJ was extrme (at least not in the way Barry Goldwater was thinking). To conservatives, I suppose passing the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act were extreme? How about his Viet Nam policy? Was that extreme, too. Ask any conservative candidate running for federal offcie if favor abolishing Medicare. If you value community colleges and the greatly expanded college opportunities that are availble today, you can thank LBJ. History will look favorably at Johnson, particularly since Bush has eclipsed him in pouring money down a rathole.

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