The Goldwater Myth
In which David Frum points out that a large contingent under the republican big tent believes in a dangerous myth.
The myth is the myth of the Goldwater triumph of 1964. It goes approximately as follows:
In 1964, after years of watered down politics, Republicans turned to a true conservative, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater. Yes, Goldwater lost badly. But in losing, he bequeathed conservatives a national organization â€“ and a new champion, Ronald Reagan. Goldwaterâ€™s defeat opened the way to Reaganâ€™s ultimate triumph and the conservative ascendancy of the 1980s and 1990s.
This (the myth continues) is the history we need to repeat. If we can just find the right messenger in 2012, the message that worked for Reagan will work again. And even if we cannot find the right messenger, losing on principle in 2012 will open the way to a more glorious victory in 2016.