Liberty and Morality:
George Phillies and Barry Goldwater

George Phillies is a candidate for the Libertarian Party's nomination for President. He recently posted a recruiting piece for the LP at the Rational Review blog. Our response is on the right.

Phillies 2008: An Open Letter to Goldwater Conservatives » Rational Review

Posted on 06.03.07 by George Phillies  
Rational Review is a wonderful place, if not precisely a conservative site. This message is directly applicable to some readers. For the rest of you, the following is a message to forward to any conservative sites you know, because some conservatives already have been saved. They just need to learn where the pearly gates are located. What is a conservative?
Let me draw a few comparisons:  
Barry Goldwater wanted to reduce the size of government.
Name one politician in the last 50 years who did not want to "reduce the size of government," meaning, "reduce the size of the government programs favored by the other party."
Barry Goldwater was not a radical.
Do You Hate the State? by Murray N. Rothbard
George Bush conservatives offer “big government conservatism” and the largest expansion in welfare since Lyndon Johnson. George Bush is not even a Republican in the opinion of a majority of Republicans. [1] [2] [3]
Barry Goldwater supported a balanced budget. Adolph Hitler might have had a "balanced budget." Tyranny can be administered debt-free. The State is a cancer; our goal is radical surgery.
George Bush conservatives offer the largest budget deficits, funded and unfunded, in our history.  
Barry Goldwater said that “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.” Goldwater takes second place behind me as an "extremist." 
George Bush conservatives give us extremism, just not in the defense of liberty: extraordinary rendition, detention without trial, and torture.  
Barry Goldwater knew that secret police who listened to phone calls were Commies working for the KGB and Chairman Mao. George Bush calls the new Big Cheese at the defense department the "Czar."
George Bush conservatives bring us bigger and better American secret police, who use computers to listen to every single phone call and Internet message.  
Barry Goldwater was in love with technology. He was a jet pilot. His home was filled with high-tech gadgets. He ran for President of a country that strove to be the world leader in technology and science. I pretty much agree with Phillies so far.
Modern conservatives oppose stem cell research. OK, here's where we part company. Even George Bush does not oppose stem cell research. I can't think of a single conservative who does. The issue here is not stem cell research vs. no stem cell research, it's stem cell research that kills babies and produces no useable results vs. stem cell research that does not kill babies and has produced all the useable results so far. Adult stem cell research has produced numerous cures or productive leads, while embryonic stem cell research has been a complete dead-end. Why champion the research which kills babies and produces nothing rather than the research which has no morality-based opposition and is far more fruitful scientifically? More.
When asked about evolution, four Republican Presidential candidates expressed disbelief. Worse, the other six did not burst into laughter. George Bush believes in evolution. Everyone does. What Christian classical liberals reject is atheistic materialism. Many scientists accept creationism or intelligent design. Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project, can be called a "creationist dupe" by belligerent evolutionists who are motivated by a passionate atheistic (actually, religious) materialism.

Is it the Libertarian strategy to "burst into laughter" at a bloc of voters significant enough to swing any election? Opposing Darwinism alienates only a small slice of the electorate. Opposing state-imposed atheistic evolution wins a large voting bloc.

Barry Goldwater believed in personal privacy. For child molesters? If not, why not? What if the child "consents?" Who sez?
Bush conservatives want to introduce state identity papers.  
Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative viewed overpopulation as a problem. Planned Parenthood in Arizona was founded by Republicans, including Mrs. Barry Goldwater. The first Mrs. Goldwater, or the second?

Over-population is a myth. Planned Parenthood is a government-subsidized murderer.

George Bush conservatives believe that when we tell teenagers not to think about sex they do as they are told. When the Constitution was signed, there was no government agency that was keeping statistics on how many 13-year-old kids had sexually transmitted diseases. Today there is. Is this a mark of true progress? "Bush conservatives" are right to think kids will "do as they are told" as long as the government itself is not undermining this message by passing out condoms to entice kids not to "do as they're told." Social pressure today is solidly against virtue and morality, which the Founders agreed was the only thing that could guarantee a free state and protect us against tyranny and slavemasters.
Barry Goldwater desegregated the Arizona Air National Guard, because all airmen are the same color — Air Force Blue — and we should have one military for all Americans. In June 1993, Goldwater said that the military should admit gays and lesbians. He condemned workplace discrimination.
Bush conservatives are against gays. Period. Bush conservatives at the Air Force Academy harassed cadets who did not belong to the right Christian sect.
Why is a move to get more people into the military a mark of true libertarianism? I favor progressively banning more and more demographic groups from the military until there is no longer any standing army at all.

Is a move to have homosexuality accepted as normal a mark of true libertarianism? Do I have to be a heterophobe to be a libertarian? What constitutes being "against" gays? I am "against" embezzlers, but I fight to extend the full benefits of libertarianism to them, including restitution rather than prison. I oppose both embezzlement and homosexuality, but this does not mean I am not a libertarian. I am in fact an anarchist.

Barry Goldwater Conservatives are real American Conservatives.  
George Bush “conservatives” are everything but conservative. And they own the Republican Party, lock, stock, and barrel. Not in the opinion of a majority of registered Republicans, who turned Congress over to the Democrats in 2006. See the opinions above. Bush and Cheney call these people "kooks."
      I suspect the Reagan Revolution is over … unless the Republicans understand what happened this Election Day. It was simple: The Revenge of the Nuts.
      Yep. If asked to identify the exact moment the Republicans lost the Congress, I would not cite the day Jack Abramoff got arrested. Or when Tom DeLay got indicted. When Duke Cunningham and Bob Ney got convicted. When Mark Foley was unmasked. When Bush said neither troops nor Donald Rumsfeld would leave before he did. When Katrina stumped the feds for a week. When 100 soldiers died In Iraq in October. Nope, none of the above.
      That moment came in mid-October on the Laura Ingraham Show. David Kuo had just been on, claiming that his co-workers at the Bush White House referred to values voters as “nuts.” Laura flattened him like a pancake, then welcomed her next guest, Robert Novak, who casually let drop that Kuo was right. He, too, had been present many times when administration staffers called their voters-of-faith “nuts.”
      Now nuts, foodwise, are very nutritive and are unfairly maligned by being made synonymous with kooks. But that thought offers scant solace to a serious and earnest citizen who has just been consigned to the snack dish alongside the raisins. There are many fine people who vote Republican from a vision of limited government, restrained taxation and fiscal responsibility: they are certifiably normal.
Jay D. Homnick, "Republican Nuts Fall Off the Tree" - HUMAN EVENTS 11/17/2006
My message to Barry Goldwater conservatives:  
In 1989, Goldwater said the Republican Party had been taken over by a ”bunch of kooks.” He was right. These same "kooks" are critical of the current administration, and could be enlisted into the LP if they weren't mocked and ridiculed as "kooks."
You, the Goldwater conservatives, have lost control of the political party that you reformed. Your party is under the control of authoritarians who stand against everything that Barry Goldwater stood for. The only similarity between the 1964 Republican Party and the 2007 Republican Party is: They both spell its name “Republican.” I'm not here to defend neo-con authoritarians. But the "kooks" of the Religious Right are potential libertarians as much as they are potential authoritarians. They become authoritarian when forces of libertinism posing as libertarians advocate the violation of "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" and become a social or cultural force for materialism and debauchery.
When you support the Republican Party, you are lending legitimacy to the party of bridges to nowhere, highways to nowhere, skyrocketing national debt, corporate welfare, warrantless wiretaps, warrantless searches, detention without trial, and torture. Everyone from the John Birch Society to the "Reconstructionists" agree or could easily agree with all of this. Anti-Christian rhetoric only drives them away form the LP.
Barry Goldwater, pilot, could have told you: It’s time to bail out and get a new airplane.  
You should find a new political home, a home that supports the causes and positions that Barry Goldwater supported. That’s the opposite of the Bush conservative Republican Party, the Party that opposes Barry Goldwater’s causes and positions.  
We’re the Libertarian Party. We stand for small government, low taxes, and the entire Bill of Rights. We want to keep government out of your wallet, out of your bedroom, and out of your gun locker.  
If Barry Goldwater were alive today, there can be no doubt: Barry would be a Libertarian. Goldwater definitely placed liberty above morality. But moralists like Falwell can be invited into the Libertarian Party because morality can be promoted without the State.

Goldwater died a fairly lonely man. Democrats did not accept him; Republicans did not accept him. Do libertarians have to be outcasts? America's Founding Fathers fought for liberty, but they did not fight against morality. They were universally admired. Libertarians can be as well.

Please join us.
We’re the Libertarian Party: The Party of Barry Goldwater’s principles.
George Phillies is a candidate for the Libertarian Party’s 2008 presidential nomination. His campaign web site is located at As a matter of course, Rational Review will publish, unedited, the submissions of libertarian presidential candidates. For more information, or for assistance, contact us at