Daily Beast: Barry Goldwater Was First Tea Party Member

Image: Daily Beast: Barry Goldwater Was First Tea Party Member

Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 12:08 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Arizona GOP Sen. Barry Goldwater's "extremism in the defense of liberty" speech at the 1964 GOP convention set out many of the same principles that form the core of tea party philosophy 50 years later, The Daily Beast reported.

"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," Goldwater declared in the July 16 speech where he accepted the GOP nomination. "Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

The speech was designed to distinguish him from his moderate Republican rivals, New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and Pennsylvania Gov. William Scranton, who both said Goldwater was too conservative to capture swing voters, which ultimately happened with his overwhelming defeat to Democrat Lyndon Johnson.

Nevertheless, the Daily Beast said, "As we look back on the 1964 election with today's tea party conservatives in mind, it's clear that Goldwater's beliefs have outlasted his resounding defeat."

The website added, "The roots of today's tea party conservatives, especially Texas Republican Ted Cruz, have been attributed to a long list of Republican politicians, from Joe McCarthy to Ronald Reagan, but over the last half-century, no major Republican figure has had such an impact on conservative thought as Barry Goldwater."

Goldwater set out his philosophy in his book, "The Conscience of a Conservative," published in 1960, in which he articulated his distrust of government and arguments against progressive taxes and the welfare system.

"On government, taxes, and welfare, Goldwater was a tea party presidential candidate before there was a tea party," the Daily Beast said.

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