tv Barry Goldwater the Conservationist CSPAN August 10, 2016 2:34pm-3:34pm EDT
the radio app makes it easy to follow the election wherever you are. it is free to download. get audio coverage and up to the minute schedule information for c-span radio and television plus podcast times for public affairs, book and history programs. stay up to date on election coverage. the radio app means you always have c-span on the go. coming up next, environmental historian brian allen drake explores barry goldwater's commitment to environmental preservation and looks at how this commitment evolved over his lifetime. the kansas city public library hosted this hour long event. >> well, good evening and welcome to the kansas city public library.
i am henry fortunato, director of public affairs. i want to thank you all for participating in my ongoing stealth campaign to provide speaking opportunities for all of my buds from graduate school. my -- all the guys i went to graduate school with at the university of kansas. tonight's entrant in that category is brian allen drake. an up and coming environmental historian who studied under the incomparable donald warster and now a lecturer in history at the university of georgia. but before i tell you any more about brian, let me introduce the topic of his talk by adapting an opening line that another one of our fellow graduate students used every fall on the first day of the undergraduate history classes that he taught. 100 years from now, he would say, all of you will be dead.
how's that for a wake-up at 8:00 in the morning for sleepy undergraduates? 100 years from now, all of you will be dead, and unless you accomplish something utterly extraordinary or perpetuate some horrible evil, the odds are no one then alive will remember you. he would then go on to say that even if you do get into that rarefied zone where your name lives on, the odds are it will be as a caricature, which is to say you'll be remembered all right, but possibly for the wrong thing. which brings us to barry goldwater. 50 years ago today, today, right now, the then senator from arizona known as mr. conservative accepted the republican nomination for president at the cal palace in san francisco.
only two things about that moment in time are generally remembered. first, a phrase from goldwater's speech, which in its mangled form goes something like this. extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. and second, the fact that goldwater went on to suffer an electoral defeat of landslide proportions at the hands of lyndon johnson. but what if we are remembering barry goldwater for the wrong things? what if there is a different barry goldwater, someone who wrestled with apparent contradictions between his intellectual beliefs in limited government and his personal attachment to the great outdoors? that in a nutshell, i think, is the question that brian drake is going to explore in tonight's presentation. an original lecture developed just for us titled "barry goldwater, the conscience of a conservationist."
the talk draws on his first and recently published book, loving nature, fearing the statement, and antigovernment politics before reagan. it's published by the university of washington press. it's for sale after this talk, and he'll be signing copies. one last comment before i depart. a month from now, it will be, hard to believe, 15 years since i went back to school to begin work on what i called my middle-aged masters degree. brian drake was in both of my first two classes that semester. in the early sessions, i was struck by the cogency of his arguments and his unerring ability to decipher the readings, many of which were rather opaque and somewhat slow going. when we started to write papers which were peer reviewed by other class members, i was struck again by brian's phenomenal talent for writing. his ability to produce scholarly work that was totally
accessible. brian had cracked the code, the first one in both classes to do so. some people never quite figured it out, but i digress. in his remarks tonight, i have no doubt that brian will demonstrate that talent for all of you. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome brian drake. >> thank you. thank you, thank you very much. let me begin by saying some nice things about henry. who is one of the most -- one of the smartest, wittiest, most erudite people i know, and he is a treasure, and you're lucky to have him here. thank you very much for those comments. i also wanted to say as well, it's a thrill to be here in kansas city. i love this town. this is a great town. i love this region. big fan of the great plains, and i have been reminded of that over the last 48 hours or so.
what a great place it is. so thank you for that. i think it's time to cut to the chase, and i wonder if we might begin by hearing those famous words of barry goldwater from 50 years ago today at the cal palace. if we could queue that video to begin -- or not. >> i will remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. and let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. >> there they are, in somewhat edited form. before i talk about that, let me
tell you a little about myself. as henry mentioned, i'm an environmental historian. what that means is i study the influence of nature on human history, and the reciprocal human influence on nature. what do people think about nature, how do they treat nature? how does nature respond in turn and effect us? it's sort of a back and forth. one of my favorite historical topics. when i was in graduate school, i got interested particularly in the environmental movement. who became an environmentalist, why did they become an environmentalist, what happens when other parts of their life intersect with their environmentalism, and particularly, i got fascinated by people who became environmentalists that you would never expect. you can kind of see where this is going. one of the things i love about historical study is when historical actors go off script. when they do things that you do not expect.
that you would never expect. i like the fact that people are complicated. that's a truism, i realize, but it is a truism for a reason. i think sometimes we lose sight of that. people are complicated. and i wanted to explore that. so my two interests came together in my book, and they come together in this talk today. so i want to explore the complicated world of arizona senator and environmentalist barry goldwater. who accepted the republican nomination, as you know, for president 50 years ago today. now, the complicated world of barry goldwater, if you remember barry goldwater, know much about him, complicated is not a word that is normally associated with the senator from arizona. it might even elicit a laugh. the classic image of goldwater, of course, this is one of his campaign posters. the classic image looks something like this. barry goldwater was extremely conservative. predictably and extremely conservative. the distilled essence, you might say, of political conservatism, an opponent of the new deal, an equally vociferous opponent of lyndon johnson, opposed to
welfare, opposed to regulation, opposed to excessive taxes. a defender of traditional morality, an opponent of unions. militantly anti-communist, supporter of the military, et cetera, and so forth. we can tick them off. they are -- put together, he almost emerges as a kind of cardboard cutout. a statue, an ideology attached to a warm body. uncompromising, aggressive, perhaps even according to his critics, dangerously so. and you can see that in just a couple film clips that i would like to show you now. can we run communism video? these are from the -- this is from a great website. this is a 1964 campaign commercial from senator goldwater.
>> hand over your heart. ready, begin. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america. >> to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god. [ speaking foreign language ] >> liberty and justice for all. >> i want american kids to grow up as americans. and they will if we have the guts to make our intentions clear. so clear they don't need translation or interpretation, just respect for a country prepared as no country in all history ever was. in your heart, you know he's right. vote for barry goldwater. >> there is his famous campaign motto. needless to say, this very intense anti-communism made critics rather nervous, and the johnson campaign took full
advantage of that. if we could run just another weapon, please. this is a lyndon johnson campaign commercial from that same year. >> on october 24th, 1963, barry goldwater said at the nuclear bomb, merely another weapon. merely another weapon? vote for president johnson. the stakes are too high for you to stay home. >> the next one, yeah, the next one is even more famous. you may remember this. this is the infamous daisy commercial of 1964. if we could run that as well, please. it's a little bit longer. >> one, two, three, four, five,
seven, six, six, eight, nine, nine. >> eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. these are the stakes. to make a world in which all of god's children can live. to go into the dark, we must either love each other or we must die. >> vote for president johnson on november 3rd. the stakes are too high for you to stay home. >> again, maybe the most famous political cartoon in all of american history. you'll notice, not mentioned by name. it's understood you're supposed to know who is being referred to. barry goldwater scared many democrats and many republicans as well. i would like to finish one more
commercial before we get into the meat of this. the is lesser well known, but note there's an environmental element here. this is a commercial called ice cream. >> used to do. they used to explode atomic bombs in the air. now children should have lots of vitamin a and calcium, but they shouldn't have any cesium-137. these things come from atomic bombs and they're radioactive. they can make you die. do you know what people finally did? they got together and signed a nuclear test ban treaty, and then the radioactive poisons started to go away. but now, there's a man who wants to be president of the united states, and he doesn't like this treaty. he would vote against it. he even voted against it. he wants to go on testing more bombs. his name is barry goldwater.
and if he's elected, they might start testing all over again. >> vote for president johnson on november 3rd. the stakes are too high for you to stay home. >> all right, now in 1964, as in 2014, don't expect nuance in our political ads. and ads from both sides, i think, were misleading. lyndon johnson was not a socialist dictator, not josef stalin with a texas drawl. and barry goldwater was not a warmonger, a dr. strangelove-esque type character. if you look at his whole life, his whole political life and his life in general, utwhat you find is barry goldwater often went off in interesting and unexpected directions. he was a more supple thinker than he was given credit for, not just from his opponents but also his supporters. examples, something you're
probably familiar with. at the end of his life, he broke with the republican party over the influence of the religious right. he was not a fan of jerry falwell and pat robertson. he championed the right of gay people to serve in the military. supported a democrat, karen english, in 1952 when she ran for congress. he was a supporter of planned parenthood for his entire life. he was also a member of the naacp. which was, for white supporters of segregation, maybe the most hated organization in the country. he even, of course, as you probably know, had a warm reputation with -- forgot this picture. this is from his 1968 senate campaign. great picture, there he is in his backyard, in this photograph, graces the cover of a book on the '64 campaign. but goldwater, of course, was
good friends with his -- one of his big political rivals. that was john f. kennedy. they in fact talked about campaigning together. imagine that in 2014. going on the campaign trail together and debating one another but still remaining friends. so back to the commercial, the last one that i showed. the idea that goldwater's election would be kind of environmental disaster is especially relevant to this idea of goldwater being complicated. the famous maverick streak of the senator from arizona extended to environmental issues. so let me begin by telling you about barry goldwater. he was born in phoenix, arizona. first of january 1909. and he was the son of well-to-do department store owner named barron goldwater. he was an adventurous kid, a little wild, a lot wild actually and ended up in military school in stanton, virginia, because of his wildness. he loved to do all the things that boys did, play pranks, run around with his buddies.
he loved to camp. he loved to ride. he loved to hunt. an area around camelback mountain, i don't know if you've been to phoenix, but if you fly into sky harbor airport, look to the north and you'll see camelback mountain. it's the most famous natural icon. this is a picture as barry goldwater would have seen it, covered in houses mostly now. another shot. wide open spaces, these wide open spaces had a significant influence on goldwater, for the whole of his life in fact. he's useful experiences in the desert are going to shake his environmentalism as an adult. so let me tell you a little bit about his mother. who was crucial to this. josphine goldwater had d
tuberculosis. she did not expect to live long, she ended up living for several decades, maybe it worked. she met barron, married him, had three children, and she loved nature. deeply. one of the things she loved to do in fact was go on car camping trips. this was 1920s. in the 1920s, this is when we had car camping. it used to be in some ways the domain of the wealthy. you got on a train and go to yosemite. now you get on a train and head to yoe similar. me she took the kids with him. i believe that's barry goldwater at the wheel. he did a lot of driving. there there are on the colorado river, this was at yuma, arizona, on their way over to southern california. jo lectured her chicken, she
believed she was not an intensity religious woman, but she believed that god was present mostly in his creation and so she was very keen to point that out. that the real church so to speak was the wild. and that was a lesson that barry goldwater took to heart. just, you know, really wonderful experiences. as barry got older, he continued this tradition. he picked up a camera. before he did that, picked up a rifle before he did that. this is barry goldwater on the left with a rifle in hand. mother isson the left. this is one of their many ca camping trips. as he became an adult, he continued this. he got into photography. when he got married, one of the first christmas gifts gave him a camera. started lugging the camera around the arizona country side and learned to fly and would take aerial pictures. and so he became pretty a
remarkable artist. this is something we didn't always appreciate in 1940, elected to the royal society of photographers. on the basis of this book. got a couple of shots here. there he is on the levis. like this one as well. this is 1940 and look at some of anesthes these pictureses here. one more here, this is later in life. wearing those same levis in his house in scottsdale with his camera, cactus, and american flag. i thought asking if this could be my book cover, but we went with something else. this is one of his smots. i love this one.
gorgeous. it is not bad. he was friends with ansil adams, they were different politically, but they shared a love for photography. this is a wonderful shot. my favorite maybe of all. that was this one. monument valley in arizona. and look at those clean lines. this is a man who has an eye for light and shadow. and an eye for that pristine adams-like look. i love this photograph, one of my favorites. one more, he was also a famous photographing native people, navajo man most famous and reproduced photograph. again, long before becoming a politician, he was a man who was thinking about the wilderness, thinking about nature. briefly. he goes off to military school as i mentioned in virginia. comes back home to go it the
university of arizona. he does not finish because his father dies and he takes over the goldwater store. he ends up being a businessman. gets married himself, has three children. and begins in the 1930s, begins his career as a conservative. you would expect, deeply opposed to dell nor roosevelt, did not like the new deal for a variety you have reasons. that'll be appropriate. around about this time, around about 1939, 1940, he got a chance to go on a trip through the grand canyon. now the grand can job, the colorado river was a different place. there was only one dam on it. and that was hoover dam. the rest ran wild. not many people in 1940 had gone down. goldwater would be a member of the 139 expedition to go down the colorado river and the 73rd
person. joined the neville's expedition, there was a couple, but he joined one in the summer of 1940 and darn if he didn't make it all the way through the grand canyon. and it was an incredible experience for him. he kept a journal and he took a lot of photographs. i'll get to in a second. i want to read you an entry in his journal on that trip. and i quote, the tall spires near the rim looked as though god had reached out and wiped a brush of golden paint across them. giving them below the heights, can yacht is fill wld a blue haze, not all like smoke. the river winds, lazy and brown and above this grandeur, tinted in the pastel shades of evening. end quote. we were going john mur there for a second.
he took a camera and a still camera. hundreds and hundreds of photographs, 3,000 feet of moving picture and he went on a speaking tour after he emerged from the canyon. there were times when he was showing the film and the pictures five times a day, over 10,000 people saw it in the year or so after he went through the grand canyon. and this, i would argue, had something to do with his political success. he decided to run for phoenix city council in 1948. people were voting for him primarily on the issues.
they also voted because he was the man that ran the canyon. that gave him the cachet. it was such a romantic image. that cowboy image, outdoorsman image i think was crucial. he had the canyon as a backdrop. he finds out he has a talent for politics and decides in 1952 to run for senate and he win us. he wins. this is something of a bell weather democrats always dominated state of arizona. and now we had a republican junior senator in 1952. this is the shifts that have brought us to current political math. he knocked off earnest and joined carl hayden. washington, d.c. as a young senator he gets a lot of dirty jobs, he has to do the reelection tour going around giving rubber speeches and that
sort of thing. he has agenda was typically conservative, when he smoke the floor of the senate, he railed against labor unions. he was not an environmentalist as we would recognize it today. yet, but we would get there. i'm going to switch gears for just a second. i want to tell you a little bit about environmentalism. that's important as well. you'd know a little bit about that. it is a product of the 1860s. environmentalism is very old. . you go back 200 years, you will find what we recognize in environmentals, asking their governments to regulate and things like that. it's a very old movement. as the industrial revolution gets bigger and bigger, what you
see is more damage. and what we got in the turn of the century, era called the progressive era. the emergence of what was known as conservation. conservation is the first organized environmental movement in the area. what a con invitationist was you were usually middle class and they believed -- there are a few principles. one was the that industrial revolution that unrevlated economic growth was destroying natural resources. they were not opposed to growth. don't interpret that as an anti-growth idea, but the idea was that growth was done in an unsustainable way as we would say today. what we need to do is have scientific experts that are working for the government to manage resources in a way that they didn't disappear.
scarcity and so on and so forth. wonder where the u.s. service force comes from or bureau of land management, any federal bureaucracy merges from this period. and so it's very use-oriented. it's have pro-government. it believes the government has a duty in fact to do what it can to manage resource development. here's one of the big ironies, if conservation had a political home, it would be in the republican party. this was an idea strongest in the gop. you think of teddy roosevelt and others. and i'll touch on that later. some conservationists also said, we should preserve land not for economic listen reasons, but just because it's beautiful and spiritual. we should have wilderness areas and national parks. think of john mure.
sometimes they would fight. inside the concentration movement, there were pro-growth and wilderness preservation people. it was a civil war, they could get very angry at one another. but by the time barry goldwater is on the scene, conservation is the dominant environmental ethic in the country. this is a philosophy informing everyone and outside the government. how they treat the natural world. so, when goldwater starts out, he is a conservationist. he believed very much in economic growth. he was an avid champion as you might challenge of economic growth. and he was in fact an avid intense advocate of what was called reclamation. forgive me if this is simple here, you were far enough west in georgia and they don't always know about reclamation which is where i teach, but conservation is often believed is that rivers
that were not dammed were wasted. they should be tamed. rivers should be tamed and made to work for the good of the country. the way we tame a river is put a dam on it. and so the government very early in this progressive era got involved in dam-building. starting in 1902. and this was the idea that informed the new deal. the new deal of fdr and those folkings loved their dams and i'm sure you know all about that. go to hoover dam, grand coolly dam, think of the tva, these new deal projects because new dealers who already of course believed in an aggressive government, they gravitated towards this naturally. goldwater gravitated to it as well. as an arizonan who wanted economic prosperity and a place where there was not a lot of water. he recognized it had to happen, even federal reclamation. and this put it in an interesting situation because it's only the government that can build these really massive
dams. so what you have is goldwater in an awkward position of asking, sometimes even demanding at the government dams in west. at same time as he was lam basting the tennessee valley authority and the southeast. he called it galloping socialism. and there's galloping socialism on dead run basically. again, he then did some gymnastics to pull that off, i think. he would temporarily transform into a loose constructionist for instance the constitution to, to deal with that. and you look at some of the major dams of the period and he was a big supporter. he supported what was called the echo park dam in the 50s. right in the middle of dinosaur national parks. it was defeated in 1956 after a pretty intense fight, much of
environmental groups got it together and fought it, but he was a big champion of that dam. he said don't worry about it, it's not going to destroy the aesthetics and we need the water. we need the water. he was a big supporter of the central arizona project in the bridge canyon dam. i don't know if anybody knows about this, the central arizona project brings fwraert lake havasu in north western arizona all the way down to phoenix and tucson some 300 miles. it's coal-generating plant that provides the power to pump that water that originally it was going to be done by a dam called the bridge canyon dam which was going to be built inside the grand canyon national park. and that would never fly today. and you can imagine even then the uproar was intense. goldwater, a man who loved the grand canyon still was a supporter of that. he said don't worry about it, it's going to be fine. and so again as i was saying before, he's not only an environmentalist yet, the final thing he does, he votes against
the wilderness act of 1964, the wilderness act created the official government wilderness designation which you see today all over the place. he was a big opponent of that, but not for the reasons that you might expect. here's what we start to see the first flicker of barry goldwater, the environmentalist. he stood up in 1964 and said i'm opposed to the wilderness because i love wilderness so much. what the act will do is be like a four-star rating for a hotel. if you make an area wilderness area everyone will want to go there. and when they do that, they're going to destroy it. through overuse. betterness to leave it alone. it's a very interesting argument and it has a lot of merit to it because in places like the grand canyon, that's precisely what's happened. it's been loved to death. he warned that's what would happen with the wilderness act. so moving on, in 1964 as you know, decides to run for president and goat a couple of
shots here, there he is getting this. oh, there he is, giving the speech. classic goldwater look here. like this one as well. there's a blue, he had a bluegrass band called the goldwaters and there they are performing as you know folk music in 1964 was not usually associated with conservatives, but this was the kind of conservative version of that. this is of course a goldwater girl. not appear to be hillary clinton who was a goldwater girl as you may know. but the results -- oh, getting ahead of myself. the result as you know, were not good for barry goldwater. he was beaten pretty severely and here is the map of the results. now just a couple of things. he funded his campaign partially through the sale of a photography called "the face of
arizona." i've been fortunate enough to see this thing and it is beautiful. a white leather-bound book with all kinds of photographs, captioned by the senator himself, fabulous. and pictures, it's a kind of book that any environmentalist would be proud to own today. and i like that. i think that's really interesting that he's funding his campaign with this. $2,500 and you have one of the first hundred autographed copies. that was a lot of money in those days. but second of all, after goldwater goes down to significant defeat, you'll notice again as well, the only place he wins is his home state in the deep south. i always tell my student why is did a jewish republican member of the naacp win the south? because we're in the middle of a very important political shift. but that's for another lecture, i suppose. what does he do out of office? what does he do? something very interesting, this is camelback mountain today, surrounded by suburban sprawl.
but you'll notice there's no development on the mountain and one of the reasons for that is because of barry goldwater. he was associated with and one of the main organizers of the group called save the camelback mountain foundation i believe is the name. and they went around collecting money, working with land owners to buy the rights in order to preserve this mountain untouched. one of the ironies they had to rely on the conservation fund is to help them because they couldn't raise enough money. goldwater for years worked very hard to keep development off camelback mountain. go hiking there too. go go hike there today, it's fabulous, little you have to, but wonderful view. this whole mountain is the worth the fight. so in the mid-60s out of the political eye, he was preserving landscape. in phoenix. so let's go back though to -- there we go. to history again. now, after world war ii is when
conservation starts to become what we would call today environmentalism. couple things are going on. in the 1950s, we have mass we have massive economic growth. creates a big middle class. what do middle class people want to do? they've got money and they want to buy things, tvs and automobiles, and they want to take that automobile and they want to go on a road trip to the national parks. they want environmental amenities. they want natural experiences as part of their middle class lifestyle and they began organizing and insisting that their government do things to protect those environments that they like. that they enjoy. and so you start to get in the suburbs, i have a friend who wrote an interesting book. what you get in the suburbs is the birth of environmentalism. environmentalism, it's very -- it's kind of -- i wouldn't call it a radical movement, but emerges out of maybe the least radical population in america, the middle class. and it becomes very strong and
people get interested in sprawl and loss of green pays and clean air and clean water and so on and so forth. and liberals pick up on this. lyndon johnson if you read the great speech, he talks about preserving green space and preserving the natural world. liberals begin to associate -- see themselves of the savers of the middle class lifestyle. and so, liberals like lyndon johnson pick up on this. they begin to adopt environmentalism. this is the liberal environmentalism that the government has a duty they argue to protect nature for people's use and enjoyment. then comes the protest of the late '60s. anti-vietnam protests and the civil rights movement.
by 1970, earth day, april 22, 1970. off slew of legislation like the clean air act and later the clean water act and dangerous species act and all sorts of things. the development of the epa in 1970 on and on and on. all the -- i think major pieces of environmental legislation that we are familiar with today, most are emerged and signed by richard nixon. arguably the second most important environmental president after teddy roosevelt. also a republican as you know dwb not like environmentalists, he tended to see vote whers he looked at earth day rallies. things have changed. it's a different world in 1970 than it is 1964.
he was freaked out by this. he wrote a letter and said i could not believe what i had to do. our air pollution problem is getting out of hand. he also noted while he was flying that everywhere, he called it gauging in cutting from suburban growth. this makes me nervous. we should do something about it just like every other american. he's getting concerned about this. he's very mainstream i would argue when he comes to his response to the environmental problems of the period. i first read this quote, i had one of the moments that historians have where you think smoking gun. listen to this, he wrote a book in 1970 called conscious of a majority. and he wrote -- it was usual goldwater stuff until you got to the next to last chapter. it was called saving the earth.
listen to this paragraph. i happen to be one who spent much of public life defending the public community, free enterprise system and local governments from a federal bureaucracy. thus it is that my attitude on the question of pollution seems to have caused more than customary interests. i'm very frank about how i feel. i have discussed it with newspapers, reporters, and speeches and nationally televised talk shows. i feel definitely that the nixon administration is absolutely correct in cracking down on companies and corporations and municipalities that continue to pollute the nation's air and water. while i am a great believer in the free competitive enterprise system. all that it entails, i'm even stronger believer in the right of our people to live in a clean and pollution-free environment. to this end, it's my belief that when pollution is found, it should be halted at it's source,
even if this requires stin gent government action against important segments of our national economy, end quote. that sound is basely a spurge of what, well. i thought that was a really phenomenal example of the changes that are going on. he's reacting to responding to the currents of his time. he's not frozen in time. so, he goes on, and i'll refer you to my book on this, there's too many examples with he goesen to support all of nixon's environmental initiatives, he usuals crack downs on copper mines in arizona, he pushes for federal welderness areas, even though he's voted against the legislation that made those possible. he worked to expand the grand canyon national park, double it will in size. he worked with the liberal liberal democrat on that. he tried to limit voting down the grand canyon. but on and on and on, earth day itself as you can see here, he
is at the university in new york. where he gives a rip roaring speech, cast investigating us or pumping smoke into the air and said essentially in coat, clean air is more important than a healthy economy. an he urged people to join planned parenthood to prevent overpopulation which at the time was a big environmental concern. basically, speaking and voting and in ways that are impossible to imagine today. final thing is the glenn canyon dam. page, arizona, lake powell, 186 miles long smp rinking right now because of lack of water. goldwater proved to get it even though it was one of the most scenic stretches of the colorado and by mid-70s, he changed his tune. glen canyon dam had done it.
it stops all the stilt from and reduce the temperature of the water like 47 degrees. you can't swim in colorado as i once discovered when i was 17 thinking it was the desert and it would be great. nearly didn't make it out. this was in fact the biggest political mistake of his life. voting for the dam. even bigger than his vote against the civil rights act. the vote against the wilderness act. that's astounding. now, as i said, goldwater was a man who responded to change. he responded to the tenor of the time. and what you'll find as well is that this environmentalism, it comes and goes. by the mid-70s and late 70s within he started to retreat a little bit. i think he had buyer's remorse. he supported epa and he was kind of shocked when it actually began to regulate.
or at least regulate in a way that he thought was excessive. and he began to have doubts about the epa. by the 1970s, he was grumbling that it should be eliminated. the sierra club thought his grand canyon proposal was too, was not greasive enough and they got into a big fight and quit the sierra club of which he was a member for many years. my favorite files i have his very indignant letter of recommendation. he didn't like either environmentalist opposed the super sonic transport was spoeszed to be the american aircraft. pretty good it would cause terrible climate changes and those were overblown. at the time there was some concern. gold water liked everything that flew. so their opposition made him mad. gold water responded to that as
well. they disliked him because he was an anti-environmentalist. and he was very good at that job. and so their bumper stickers back in the '80s outdammed them. again, he is responding to the rise of the reagan rights. but, he never entirely abandoneds shiz environmentalism. if you look at his late career, you see a couple of interesting things. first of all you see that in 1984, sponsored the arizona wilderness bill. the arizona wilderness bill provided for 28 federal wilderness areas in the state of arizona. now again, remember, he voted against the legislation that made that possible. wilderness act in 1964, in 1984,
the ashes of the sage bush was state legislators in the west arguing that land that was in the control of the federal government should be given back to the states. and that environmental regulations of federal land were too stringent. even as the embers from that movement were still smoking, here's goldwater who was a big champion of the rebellion authorizing the wilderness act or proposaling the wilderness act. later on, joins an organization called republicans for environmental protection. which is now called conserve america. now, i don't to want read too much into this. . that argument is essentially they still exist. the argument was republicans have a strong environmental tradition and that we've gotten away from that they said. we need to get back. in a way we're sending a message
that you wouldn't like for the direction of the republican party was going. and as you know, we've seen this all over the aspects of the life. he disagreed the religious right. he was going to champion the rights to observing the military and so on and so forth. he's a maverick. got to apply to his successor john mccain. that maverick has a green tint it. and it's still there in the 1980s. let me finish by noting that this couple things. he dies -- he retires in 1986, dies in 1988, and his ashes, some of them anyways are spread over the grand canyon which is an appropriate place for them to be. and i think there are just a couple of lessons that we can pull from this. harry will attest, my graduatingedgraduating advisor said so what.
we learn some things here, first of all we learned that environmentalism was very, very powerful movement. and it could appeal to lots of people. it could sometimes show up in the most unusual places. it wasn't just a movement. it was in fact a sea change i think in the way people felt about the natural world. and it affected all kind of things. it's not a movement that belongs to one side of the political spectrum or the other. and related is there is a strong republican environmental tradition. and when we look back in 2014, i think that's an interesting question. today, today you don't often associate environmentalism and not federally environmental regulation with a republican party. i think as it lot to do with a complicate complicated answer that the republican party has swung to the right on as a result of a number of things. reagan's famous line he said, government is not the solution,
government is the problem. when you say that you do make it difficult for goldwater's environmentalism to exist anymore, i think it has a lot to do with why it sort of disappeared. and there are lessons for both sides. i think conservatives can look at environmentalism and not think of it as an alien anoly is that it is the civil rights of the conservative movement. it is everyone. and that we're all in it together. especially in this era of significant change and unprecedented we're going to need everybody. and i think we can look back to history and draw lessons from that. i think with that maybe i'll yield the balance of my time as they say in the senate. and wait for your questions, thank you, thank you very much. [ applause ]
>> thank you. in your estimation, what current presidential candidate or potential presidential candidate or national politician most resembling barry goldwater and his kind of nuanced conservatism? >> well, you're asking essentially -- environmentally minded republicans. you know, honestly not many that are springing to mind. the last one i think of honestly, olivia snow. there's a regional thing. republicans come from new england or they come from california, oregon, washington, they tend to be more environmental from other regions of the country. denials too if they're from the west can be less environmental. but that's one i think that's an interesting observation is you don't see a lot. that's an interesting historical puzzle that is another book. and i confess in my introduction, i don't really dig deeply into it, i wasn't sure the answers. i think it's going to take my
thought. go ahead. >> i was fascinated to learn that the republicans really did oe ridge nato environmentalism. so, i learned something tonight. >> okay. >> and then i'm equally astounded that they have moved so far away from something that was such a background from them. especially think now about the state of oklahoma, extremely conservative, they now have three times the number of earthquakes that california due to the fracking. but it seems that consequences be dammed as their policy now. and it ties back in, what is it going to take for the republicans to return to their conversation conversation. historians are bad at predicting the future. my chinese history professor told us three weeks before the square that it would never
happen. so i'm going to avoid predicting the future. again, this is where a useful example we can look to the past. if barry goldwater can do it, i think anybody can do it. maybe that sends a lesson that it doesn't make you maybe a traitor to your ideology to embrace these things. you know, i don't know. again, i lay in bed and think about questions like that, i don't have a good answer for you, but i think we have examples of the past. >> given the fact of what you said that he was apparently quite a bit ahead in terms of being environmentalist and calling himselves that. do you think -- or did he ever candidate that he resented when the left kind of took that over? >> uh-huh. >> and became, you know, standard bearers of it and he had been interested in trying to
do things long before they ever -- >> he did, he did, one of the things that he didn't lake was what he considered the extremism of some environmentalists. he thought that for instance the opposition to the air pollution caused by the sst was absolutely just ridiculous. and that it was motivated more by ideology and the anti-technology, anti-modernist feeling. he was never that -- he was never as direct as you, but uninfer in comments that he did resent. he believed -- he said in moderation in a pursuit of justice is no vice, except for environmentalism. >> he died in '86? >> '98. retired in '86. >> what sounds like he might have actually been interested in the whole environmental change
that's happening -- >> yes. >> given what he knew -- >> yes, i think that's -- >> happened to him in his own state. >> yes, yes, i think that's a great observation. i thought about this a lot. i think climate change, he would be concerned about it. i don't have any doubt. when you think about somebody for long enough, feel like you can get into their head. i don't doubt that he would be concerned about it. especially because as a national security aspect, and he was very concerned about scarcity back in the oil crisis day in 1973 that he was really panicked and if the resource side of climate change would make him very nervous. he would also warn you against being too nervous and always go for the middle ground. he wouldn't like -- he wouldn't want you to go too out there. but he would certainly -- i have no doubt he'd be concerned. >> you seem to have a tendency to go from one street to the other in this country.
>> we don't like nuances. >> seems to be a word that we can live with easily. >> parallel avenue, goldwater was categorized as such a warmongerer. if you have any feel for what might have come of a goldwater presidency in relation to vietnam -- >> i'm going dodge that question if at all possible. you know, again, one of the things they warn you in graduate school, it's difficult to say. you know, again, the warmonger thing is overblown. i don't think he was going to nuke vietnam. i don't know. i don't mean -- in all seriousness, i don't mean to dodge, but i think experts who are better more versed in foreign policy and that thing
are better suited to answer that question. i don't know. i don't know. great question for late night debate. [ inaudible ] >> that would be interesting, national defense thing. he expressed about ddt, he was not really all -- landed issues and preservation was more his interest, but he did a couple times wonder about ddt. he would have been nervous. i don't know. i didn't find enough to get a sense of how he might go there. maddening what you don't know sometimes. [ applause ] thank you. >> while congress is on break this week, we're showing american history tv programs normally seen only on the weekend here on cspan 3. coming up i'll look at the life and legacy of 1964 presidential
candidate barry goldwater. in two hours, his 1964 republican presidential nomination acceptance speech. and that's followed bay lake at barry goldwater's impact on america's conservation program starting in the 1950s. american history tv prime time continues tonight with a look at the 1964 presidential campaign of barry goldwater. it begins at 8:00 eastern with the contenders. two-hour discussion at the life and career of the republican nominee. at 10:05 p.m. eastern, barry goldwater's nomination acceptance speech. and at 10:50, look at his role in the conservation movement in the 1950s and '60s. >> at cspan.org, you can watch the programming any time at your convenience on the desk top, here's how. go to our home page.
cspan.org and click on the video library search box. here you can type in the name of a speaker, sponsor of a bill, or even the event topic where you can get a list and click on the program you'd like to watch. or refine your search with the many search tools. if you're looking for the most current programs and you don't want to search. our home page has many ready for the immediate viewing. such as the washington journal or the events we covered that day. c-sp c-span.org is a public cable provider. check it out at cspan.org. now the contenders, our series on key political figures who ran for president and lost, but who nevertheless changed political history. over the next two hours. the life of former arizona senator barry goldwater. who was the republican candidate for president in 1964. this was recorded in phoenix, this was recorded in phoenix, arizona at