Mr. Conservative: Goldwater on Goldwater Reviews
Now given what I believed to be Goldwater's strong conservative stance (that's what it says in the title!), I was surprised that HBO should produce such a documentary on him, with John Barry / Ennio Morricone sounding music, nostalgic home movies, a smiling Hilary Clinton ("I was a Goldwater girl!"), tear-filled eyes and not a single testimony by anyone who actually disliked the man: everybody loved him! This is such a far-cry from the character assassination coupled with ominous music that conservatives usually get in documentaries. They're treating as if he was some sacred liberal cow like Hugh Heffner!
But there is a reason for this: "Mr Conservative" was not a Conservative but a libertarian, which means that to the modern leftist media, he was half right, because on ethical issues, which are the divisive ones today, he was a liberal. In fact, apart from his support of economic freedom and his opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (on constitutional grounds, and out of respect for property rights and freedom of speech and assembly), he was the perfect liberal, and his belated rehabilitation is not at all an accident: he was in favour of gays in the military (he had a homosexual grandson, who says "being in the military is not about sex"); he was a staunch supporter of legalised abortion (his own daughter even got an abortion, which he never condemned and she never regretted); he was a great friend and ardent supporter of pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor; he talked the talk about Jefferson "separating Church and State"; the religious right "scared the hell" out of him (though he described himself as a "very religious" person, he didn't go to Church every Sunday); he had Jewish origins (and the documentary is produced by one Tany Cohen); and he was "multicultural" in that he spent a lot of time with the Hopi and Navajo Indians of his home state, Arizona (which somehow makes up for his opposition to government-enforced desegregation.)
The time is therefore now ripe for a recuperation of the Senator by the U.S. left. Well, as far as I am concerned, they can have him, he's one of them.
The documentary is quite pleasant to watch, with its mixture of warm-hearted personal recollections and archive footage, and C.C. Goldwater, the Senator's granddaughter who did the voiceover and interviews, is really cute, which almost compensates for the inclusion of the unsufferable James Carville.
I was a bit disappointed, however, that some facts were left out of the picture. For one thing, "The Conscience of a Conservative", which was published under Goldwater's name and sold 3.5 million copies, was not written by him, but by L. Brent Bozell Jr, a Catholic convert whose name is never mentioned in the documentary, and who will never get a sympathetic treatment by the likes of HBO. And second, the issue of Goldwater's connections with the maffia is never mentioned, nor is his belief that there was a government cover up about UFOs.
The only point of the documentary seems to be to provide inspiration for today's leftists and maybe to insinuate that modern conservatives have hijacked the Republican party, which should return to its true liberal origins.