"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
Acceptance Speech - Barry Goldwater, GOP Presidential Candidate, 1964
Republican National Convention San Francisco, California
From this moment, united and determined, we will go forward together-dedicated to the ultimate and undeniable greatness of the whole man.
I accept your nomination with a deep sense of humility. I accept the responsibility that goes with it. I seek your continued help and guidance.
Our cause is too great for any man to feel worthy of it. Our task would be too great for any man, did he not have with him the hearts and hands of this great Republican Party.
I promise you that every fibre of my being is consecrated to our cause, that nothing shall be lacking from the struggle that can be brought to it by enthusiasm and devotion-and hard work!
In this world, no person-no party-can guarantee anything. What we can do, and what we shall do, is to deserve victory.
The good Lord raised up this mighty Republic to be a home for the brave and to flourish as the land of the free-not to stagnate in the swampland of collectivism-not to cringe before the bullying of Communism.
The tide has been running against freedom. Our people have followed false prophets. We must and we shall return to proven ways-not because they are old, but because they are true. We must and we shall set the tides running again in the cause of freedom.
This Party, with its every action, every word, every breath, and every heartbeat, has but a single resolve:
Freedom-made orderly for this nation by our Constitutional government.
Freedom-under a government limited by the laws of nature and of nature's God.
Freedom-balanced so that order, lacking liberty, will not become the slavery of the prison cell; balanced so that liberty, lacking order, will not become the license of the mob and the jungle.
We Americans understand freedom. We have earned it, lived for it, and died for it.
This nation and its people are freedom's model in a searching world. We can be freedom's missionaries in a doubting world. But first we must renew freedom's vision in our own hearts and in our own homes.
During four futile years, the Administration which we shall replace has distorted and lost that vision.
It has talked and talked and talked the words of freedom. But it has failed and failed and failed in the works of freedom.
Failures cement the wall of shame in Berlin. Failures blot the sands of shame at the Bay of Pigs. Failures mark the slow death of freedom in Laos. Failures infest the jungles of Vietnam. Failures haunt the houses of our once great alliances, and undermine the greatest bulwark ever erected by free nations-the NATO community.
Failures proclaim lost leadership, obscure purpose, weakening will, and the risk of inciting our sworn enemies to new aggressions and new excesses:
Because of this Administration, we are a world divided we are a nation becalmed.
We have lost the brisk pace of diversity and the genius of individual creativity. We are plodding at a pace set by centralized planning, red tape, rules without responsibility, and regimentation without recourse.
Rather than useful jobs, our people have been offered bureaucratic make-work. Rather than moral leadership, they have been given bread and circuses, spectacle and even scandal.
There is violence in our streets, corruption in our highest offices, aimlessness among our youth, anxiety among our elders. There is virtual despair among the many who look beyond material success for the inner meaning of their lives.
Where examples of morality should be set, the opposite is seen. Small men, seeking great wealth or power, have too often and too long turned even the highest levels of public service into mere personal opportunity.
Certainly, simple honesty is not too much to demand of men in government. We find it in most. Republicans demand it from everyone-no matter how exalted or protected his position.
The growing menace to personal safety, to life, limb, and property, in homes, churches, playgrounds, and places of business, particularly in our great cities, is the mounting concern of every thoughtful citizen. Security from domestic violence, no less than from foreign aggression, is the most elementary and fundamental purpose of any government. A government that cannot fulfill this purpose is one that cannot long command the loyalty of its citizens. History demonstrates that nothing prepares the way for tyranny more than the failure of public officials to keep the streets safe from bullies and marauders.
We Republicans see all this as more, much more than the result of mere political differences, or mere political mistakes. We see this as the result of a fundamentally and absolutely wrong view of man, his nature, and his destiny.
Those who seek to live your lives for you, to take your liberties in return for relieving you of your responsibilities-those who elevate the state and downgrade the citizen-must see ultimately a world in which earthly power can be substituted for divine will. This nation was founded upon the rejection of that notion and upon the acceptance of God as the author of freedom.
Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their version of heaven on earth. They are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies.
Absolute power does corrupt. And those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed.
Their mistaken course stems from false notions of equality.
Equality, rightly understood, as our Founding Fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences.
Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.
It is the cause of Republicanism to resist concentrations of power, private or public, which enforce such conformity and inflict such despotism.
It is the cause of Republicanism to ensure that power remains in the hands of the people. And, so help us God, that is exactly what a Republican President will do-with the help of a Republican Congress.
It is the cause of Republicanism to restore a clear understanding of the tyranny of man over man in the world at large. It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoid hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony-if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression.
It is the cause of Republicanism to remind ourselves and the world that only the strong can remain free-that only the strong can keep the peace!
Republicans have shouldered this hard responsibility and marched in this cause before. It was Republican leadership under Dwight David Eisenhower that kept the peace and passed along to this Administration the mightiest arsenal for defense the world has ever known.
It was the strength and believable will of the Eisenhower years that kept the peace by using our strength-by using it in the Formosa Straits and in Lebanon, and by showing it courageously at all times.
It was during those Republican years that the thrust of Communist imperialism was blunted. It was during those years of Republican leadership that this world moved closer to peace than at any other time in the last three decades.
It has been during Democratic years that our strength to deter war has stood still and even gone into a planned decline.
It has been during Democratic years that we have weakly stumbled into conflict-timidly refusing to draw our own lines against aggression-deceitfully refusing to tell even our own people of our full participation-and tragically letting our finest men die on battlefields unmarked by purpose, pride, or the prospect of victory.
Yesterday it was Korea. Today it is Vietnam.
We are at war in Vietnam-yet the President who is the Commander in Chief of our forces refuses to say whether or not the objective is victory. His Secretary of Defense continues to mislead and misinform the American people.
It has been during Democratic years that a billion persons were cast into Communist captivity and their fate cynically sealed. Today, we have an Administration which seems eager to deal with Communism in every coin known -from gold to wheat, from consulates to confidences, and _ even human freedom itself.
The Republican cause demands that we brand Communism as the principal disturber of peace in the world today -indeed, the only significant disturber of the peace. We must make clear that- until its -goals of conquest are absolutely renounced, and its relations with all, nations tempered, Communism and the governments it now controls are enemies of every man on earth who is or wants to be free.
We can keep the peace only if we remain vigilant and strong. Only if we keep our eyes open and keep our guard up can we prevent war.
I do not intend to let peace or freedom be torn from our grasp because of lack of strength or lack of will. That I promise you.
I believe that we must look beyond the defense of freedom today to its extension tomorrow. I believe that the Communism which boasts it will "bury us," will instead give way to the forces of freedom.
And I can see, in the distant and yet recognizable future, the outlines of a world worthy of our dedication, our every risk, our every effort, our every sacrifice along the way. Yes, a world that will redeem the suffering of those who will be liberated from tyranny.
I can see, and I suggest that all thoughtful men must contemplate, the flowering of an Atlantic civilization: the, whole of Europe reunified and freed, trading openly across its borders, communicating openly across the world.
This is a goal more meaningful than a moon shot-a truly inspiring goal for all free men to set for themselves during the latter half of the twentieth century.
I can see, and all free men must thrill to, the advance of this Atlantic civilization joined by its great ocean highway to the United States. What a destiny can be ours--to stand as a great central pillar linking Europe, the Americas, and the venerable and vital peoples and cultures of the Pacific.
I can see a day when all the Americas, North and South, will be linked in a mighty system, a system in which the errors and misunderstandings of the past will be submerged, one by one, in a rising tide of prosperity and interdependence. We know that the misunderstandings of centuries are not to be wiped away in a day or an hour. But we pledge that human sympathy-what our neighbors to the South call an attitude that is simpatico-no less than enlightened self-interest, will be our guide.
I can see this Atlantic civilization galvanizing and guiding emergent nations everywhere.
I know that freedom is not the fruit of every soil. I know that our own freedom was achieved through centuries by the unremitting efforts of brave and wise men. I know that the road to freedom is a long and a challenging road. I know that some men may walk away from it, that some men resist challenge-accepting the false security of governmental paternalism.
I pledge that the America I envision in the years ahead will extend its hand in help, in teaching, and in cultivation, so that all new nations will at least be encouraged to go our way-so that they will not wander down the dark alleys of tyranny, or the dead-end streets of collectivism.
We do no man a service by hiding freedom's light under a bushel of mistaken humility.
I seek an America proud of its past, proud of its ways, proud of its dreams, and determined actively to proclaim them.
But our example to the world must, like charity, begin at home.
In our vision of a good and decent future, free and peaceful, there must be room for the liberation of the
energy and the talent of the individual-otherwise our vision is blind at the outset.
We must assure a society here which, while never abandoning the needy or forsaking the helpless, nurtures incentives and opportunities for the creative and the productive.
We must know the whole good as the product of many single contributions.
I cherish a day when our children, once again, will restore as heroes the sort of men and women who-unafraid and undaunted-pursue the truth, strive to cure disease, subdue and make fruitful our natural environment, and produce the inventive engines of production, science, and technology.
This nation, whose creative people have enhanced this entire span of history, should again thrive upon the greatness of all those things which we-as individual citizenscan and should do.
During Republican years this again will be a nation of men and women, of families proud of their roles, jealous of their responsibilities, unlimited in their aspirations-a nation where all who can, will be self-reliant.
We Republicans see in our Constitutional form of government the great framework which assures the orderly but dynamic fulfillment of the whole man-and we see the whole man as the great reason for instituting orderly government in the first place.
We see, in private property and an economy based upon and fostering private property, the one way to make government a durable ally of the whole man, rather than his determined enemy. We see, in the sanctity of private property, the only durable foundation for Constitutional government in a free society.
And beyond that, we see and cherish diversity of ways, diversity of thoughts, of motives and accomplishments. We do not seek to live anyone's life for him we seek only to secure his rights, guarantee him opportunity to strive, with government performing only those needed and Constitutionally-sanctioned tasks which cannot otherwise be performed.
We seek a government that intends to its inherent responsibilities of maintaining a stable monetary and fiscal climate-encouraging a free and competitive economy, and enforcing law and order.
Thus do we seek inventiveness, diversity, and creative difference within a stable order. For we Republicans define government's role, where needed, at many levels, preferably the one closest to the people involved.
Our towns and our cities, then our counties and states, then our regional compacts-and only then the national government! That is the ladder of liberty built by decentralized power. On it, also, we must have balance between branches of government at every level.
Balance, diversity, creative difference--these are the elements of the Republican equation. Republicans agree on these elements and they heartily agree to disagree on many, many of their applications.
This is a party for free men-not for blind followers and not for conformists.
In 1858, Lincoln said of the Republican Party that it was composed of "strange, discordant,-and'even hostile elements." Yet all of the elements agreed on one paramount objective-to arrest the progress of slavery and place it in - the course of ultimate extinction.
Today as then, but more urgently and more broadly than then, the task of preserving and- enlarging freedom at home, and of safeguarding it from the forces of tyranny abroad, is great enough to challenge all our resources and to require all our strength.
Any who join us in all sincerity, we welcome. Those who do not care for our cause we do not expect to enter our ranks in any case.
And let our Republicanism, so focused and so dedicated, not be made fuzzy and futile by unthinking labels.
Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Modera tion in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
The beauty of the very system we Republicans are pledged to restore and revitalize, the beauty of this Federal system of ours, is in its reconciliation of diversity with unity. We must not see malice in honest differences of opinion, no matter how great, so long as they are not inconsistent with the pledges we have given to each other in and through the Constitution.
Our Republican cause is not to level out the world or make its people conform in computer-regimented sameness.
Our Republican cause is to free our people and light the way for liberty throughout the world.
Ours is a very human cause for very humane goals.
This party, its good people, and its unquenchable devotion to freedom will not fulfill the high purpose of the campaign-which we launch here and now-until our cause has won the day, inspired the world, and shown the way to a tomorrow worthy of all our yesterdays.