I managed to acquire a big batch of Goldwater buttons, mainly from a bulk purchase on online. This got a bit out of the reverse chronological order of the section mainly because his influence on modern political thought started with his 1960 publication of The Conscience of a Conservative which helped form many later opinions on conservatism throughout the latter half of the 20th Century.
But that's Goldwater the congressman/author. What about the rest of him? He was anti-union as a young man, flew supplies in the war, tallying time in 165 different types of aircraft and retired from the reserves as a Major General.
He was anti-communist throughout his political career and famously voted against censuring Sen. Joseph McCarthy. He was a five-term Senator from Arizona from 1953 to 1987, with only the four years around his failed presidential bid outside of power.His running mate was Bill Miller, a New York politician who'd served as a district attorney, congressman and chairman of the Republican National Committee.
And they lost in 1964 badly. Lyndon Johnson thrashed Goldwater on the way to re-election, with the senator carrying only his home state and a sizable portion of the Southeast. Republicans largely felt he was a setback for the party, given his hardline stance on nuclear weapons and far right wing stances on the economy.
He returned to the Senate in the next term, retired from politics in 1987 he became an outspoken critic of the evolution of the Republican party as religious interests drew power. He scolded his protege and sitting president, Ronald Reagan on the Iran-Contra scandal and later distanced himself from the new image of the right wing of the Republican party, which he felt had changed around him.
He died in 1998 at age 89.
You just don't see enough gold buttons these days ...