Contrary to His Claims, Senator John McCain Is Not a Goldwater Conservative

While reading the September issue of Playboy magazine (honestly I read the articles, not just look at the pictures) I came a cross an essay by John W. Dean in the Forum section titled The Real McCain. Throughout the essay Dean explains why John McCain lacks the character traits that earned Goldwater his legacy.

While I could not provide a link to the  Playboy Forum essay for everyone to read (I suppose you’ll have to buy the magazine), I did find another column written by John Dean at the FindLaw website which provides much of the same information as the Forum essay does.
Here is some of what he wrote:
“By calling himself a Goldwater Republican or Goldwater conservative, John McCain invites the comparison, but that is an error on McCain’s part, for closer examination shows that he is not in the mold of Goldwater, notwithstanding his claims (or wishes) to the contrary”

“McCain seeks to use the federal government to generate greater patriotism and expand the nation’s greatness, while Goldwater – knowing the folly of empire and excessively large government – sought to maximize individual liberty and local autonomy”

“McCain has no problem whatsoever being a nasty if not a devious s.o.b. when he sees doing so as necessary to serve or accomplish a greater cause. Goldwater, on the other hand, rejected all incivility and dishonesty in public service, and refused to take the low road; for him, the ends never justified any means. McCain, we learn from Welch’s book, has wanted to be president since returning from Vietnam, while Goldwater was drafted to be the GOP standard-bearer. Stated a bit differently, McCain’s oversized ego provides him strength, while Goldwater curtained his natural strengths by always acting with great humility”

“McCain has spent much … time puzzling over Goldwater’s lack of embrace.” Indeed, McCain stated in his memoir Worth the Fighting For when discussing Goldwater, “I admired him to the point of reverence, and I wanted him to like me… He was usually cordial, just never as affectionate as I would have liked”

“Although Goldwater initially supported McCain’s run for the Senate, Goldwater knew an opportunist when he saw one, and did not like any of them.”

“…after assisting McCain win his Senate seat, Goldwater was forced to pull McCain up short for using his good name for fundraising, when McCain had tarnished his own name because of his involvement with the Keating Five.”

“…to understand how different these men are, and to see that McCain is cut from very different cloth than Goldwater. Goldwater considered public service a high calling, not an ego trip or power play. McCain was fortunate that Goldwater never publicly exposed him, but Goldwater was too good a Republican to do that and he thought too highly of McCain’s father to sink his successor in the Senate”

“…Had Goldwater publicized what I believe to be his true feelings about John McCain, I doubt McCain would be the presumptive nominee of the GOP in 2008. Goldwater’s political perceptions of others have proven extraordinarily prescient, so his reaction toward McCain is telling.”
In their new book Pure Goldwater, taken from the personal journals of the Senator, Dean and Barry M. Goldwater Jr., took Senator Goldwater’s own words  to give insight into the heart and soul of the man himself.  

I think a certain anonymous Republican blogger could learn a few things about what a real conservative is all about by picking up this book. I for one, plan on reading the book myself in the not to distant future. 
If you click onto the headline you can read John Dean’s column in it’s entirety at

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Filed under Barry Goldwater, Findlaw, John McCain, John W. Dean, Playboy Magazine, The Real McCain

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