December 15, 2007

Who said it?

"There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.

"I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in A, B, C, and D. Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try and dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of conservatism."

Answer (highlight the space below):
Barry Goldwater

1 comment:

Jim Bouman said...

Barry Goldwater.

That's my untutored guess. But I googled it and found that it was correct.

I turned 21 a few weeks before the 1964 election, and prepared to cast the first vote of my life for President of the United States.

Goldwater was scary. I was living in Austin, Texas at the time and heard little but LBJ encomiums. I was torn: LBJ was clearly working on passing the Civil Rights Act, The Voting Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid, Job Corps, Head Start. But, his actions in SE Asia were ominous.

I went down to the voting booth in the local elementary school and made my X next LBJ's name. Then, I picked Jake Pickle, too, for Congress. Pickle, at least, turned out to be a great choice.

I wasn't out of the booth a minute before I began wondering whether I hadn't made a big mistake.

And, I had. I navigated the next eight quadrennial choices of Who-goes-to-the-White House? avoiding Democrats.

I still think Goldwater was way wacko. But I can't help thinking that he was more honest than the common run of Republicans and Democrats--and able to compromise. He could have hardly done worse than Lyndon on the Viet Nam issue. And we might have had a brief right-wing interlude, then--with that out of our collective system--been spared Nixon, Reagan, Bushco.