John Maniscalco's Reviews > The Conscience of a Conservative

The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry M. Goldwater
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Mar 23, 09

Read in March, 2009

When Goldwater wrote this in 1960, it was the first articulation of the modern conservative platform. Goldwater makes the case that, unlike the left which measures man in only economic terms, the right includes consideration of man's spiritual needs, of which the desire to be free is paramount. In short, he advocates a strict constructionist view of the Constitution, local control, and the empowerment of individual rather than the collective. What will strike readers as they read this book is that there is no mention of social issues, demonstrating that conservatism was primarily concerned with man's economic and individual liberty rather than attempt to create a moral social order. Conservatives looking to develop a winning strategy would be wise to reread this book. Additionally, Goldwater's chapter for combating communism could easily apply to winning the war on terrorism, something the Obama administration ought to read up on.
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