Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) was an influential American politician and a five-term U.S. Senator from Arizona. He was also the [Republican Party]('s nominee for President in the 1964 election, which he lost to incumbent Lyndon B. Johnson. Despite his electoral defeat, Goldwater played a pivotal role in the resurgence of [American conservatism]( and is considered a key figure in the development of the modern conservative movement. ## Early life and business career Barry Morris Goldwater was born on January 2, 1909, in Phoenix, Arizona Territory, to Baron and Joanne Goldwater. His father was a Jewish immigrant, and his mother was of Yankee Protestant descent. Goldwater was raised as an Episcopalian, though he respected his father's Jewish heritage. After attending Staunton Military Academy in Virginia, Goldwater enrolled at the University of Arizona but left before completing his degree. In 1930, he took over the family business, Goldwater's Department Store, following his father's death. Under Barry's leadership, the business expanded and became one of the most successful retail enterprises in the Southwest. ## Political career Goldwater's political career began in 1949 when he was elected to the Phoenix City Council, where he served for two years. In 1952, he won a seat in the U.S. Senate, representing Arizona. Goldwater quickly gained a reputation as a staunch conservative, advocating for limited government, states' rights, and a strong national defense. He also spoke out against labor union abuses and [[The New Deal]] policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. ## 1964 Presidential campaign Goldwater's conservative views and charismatic personality attracted national attention, leading to his nomination as the Republican candidate for president in 1964. His campaign focused on limited government, individual liberty, and a strong military to counter the expansion of [[Communism]]. However, Goldwater's positions on issues such as [[civil rights]], social security, and nuclear weapons were seen as extreme by many, and his candidacy was met with resistance from both Democrats and moderate Republicans. Goldwater's opponent, President Lyndon B. Johnson, successfully portrayed him as a radical who would endanger the nation's security and social programs. As a result, Goldwater suffered a landslide defeat, winning only six states in the Electoral College. ## Impact on the conservative movement Despite his loss in the 1964 election, Goldwater's campaign had a lasting impact on American politics. His candidacy inspired a new generation of conservatives, including future President [[Ronald Reagan]], who delivered his famous "A Time for Choosing" speech on Goldwater's behalf during the campaign. Goldwater's emphasis on limited government, free markets, and strong national defense laid the groundwork for the modern conservative movement and the eventual resurgence of the Republican Party in the 1980s. After his presidential defeat, Goldwater returned to Arizona and won re-election to the Senate in 1968. He continued to serve in the Senate until his retirement in 1987. During this time, he focused on defense issues and became an influential voice in military and foreign policy matters. He also played a significant role in the development of the U.S. space program. Despite his conservative reputation, Goldwater also had a strong libertarian streak. He was an early supporter of gay rights and later in his career, criticized the growing influence of the religious right within the Republican Party. After leaving the Senate, Goldwater remained active in politics, often speaking out on issues of national importance and serving as a political commentator.