I was a Goldwater for President supporter back in the 60s when he ran – still have the campaign button. I suspect in his later years he was suffering some form of dementia (Alzheimer’s??). He wasn’t the same person anymore. The Goldwater I like to remember is the Goldwater that wanted to end the war quickly and decisively; the one that believed that – whether socially or morally popular – if you owned a private business you could decide who you wanted to serve. But he was caricatured as a war monger ready to start nuclear WWIII, a racist, etc. He was none of those. When a reporter later asked him how he felt when LBJ bombed Hanoi, after having used that against Goldwater in the campaign, he responded, “In his heart, he knew I was right.” I about fell out of my chair laughing – perfect response. Some of his late-life thought processes are of no consequence to me – it was his 1960s and 70s positions that I choose to remember. Quite the same, if Ron Paul starts “losing it” in his later years, I choose to remember him for his 2012 and earlier positions.
They stopped making those kinds of politicians decades ago….