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Phoenix rising: Arizona and the origins of modern conservative politics

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PHOENIX RISING:
ARIZONA AND THE ORIGINS OF MODERN CONSERVATIVE POLITICS
by
Jason Crabtree LaBau
A Dissertation Presented to the
FACULTY OF THE USC GRADUATE SCHOOL
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
In Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
(HISTORY)
August 2010
Copyright 2010
Jason Crabtree LaBau
UMI Number: 3418095
All rights reserved
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UMI 3418095
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ii
Acknowledgements
Thanks to my advisors Bill Deverell and Philip Ethington for guiding this project.
Their trust made my exploration of the material much more personally satisfying than it
might otherwise have been. I owe them my apologies for subjecting them to some
frustrated emails born of panicked realizations of my otherwise coveted independence.
Thanks also to Howard Gillman for rounding out my committee and providing a critical
political science perspective.
The History Department at the University of Southern California is full of great
professors, many of whom have also served as mentors. Karen Halttunen, Deb Harkness,
and Steve Ross have been outstanding administrators and friends. Richard Fox once
suggested to me that political history was no longer a viable field for a graduate student,
but his example and support since then have been invaluable in suggesting the ways in
which the study of politics can enhance a wide variety of historical work and
contemporary understanding. Terry Seip’s example as a true teacher who has spent his
entire career putting students first has been an inspiration since my first days on campus.
If I can live up to even a portion of that example, I too will be able to retire happily
someday.
Essential funding for this project was generously provided by the Charles Redd
Center for Western History, the Eisenhower Foundation, the Gerald R. Ford Foundation,
the Huntington-USC Institute for California and the West, the Arizona Historical
Foundation, and the University of Southern California. Thanks also to the archival staff
iii
at The Center for American History at the University of Texas, Austin; the L. Tom Perry
Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University; the Hoover
Institution Library and Archives; the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum;
the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library; the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library
and Museum; the Special Collections, Arizona State University; and the Arizona Jewish
Historical Society.
Facing tight budgets, the staff at both the Tempe and Tucson branches of the
Arizona Historical Society, Library and Archives went beyond the call of duty to make
their collections as accessible as possible to a graduate student on a tight budget. Thanks
to Melanie Sturgeon, Director of the History and Archives Division of the Arizona State
Library, Archives, and Public Records Agency for her patient assistance with my first
forays into conducting oral history interviews. Her guidance helped make those
interviews among the most enjoyable experiences of this project.
Special thanks go to Linda Whitaker, Susan Irwin, and Rebekah Tabah of the
Arizona Historical Foundation. The AHF has been like a home away from home for the
last three years (and I hope for many more to come). Their eager assistance and
thoughtful suggestions are unsurpassed in my archival experience. I sometimes feel as
though the book I should be writing would be titled “Everything I Know about Archival
Work I Learned from Linda.” Perhaps someday.
My father, David LaBau, has not only provided a real home away from home in
Phoenix, but also given extensive and invaluable feedback on drafts of this manuscript.
Our frequently long discussions about politics, religion, and human nature have
iv
inevitably made their way into this study and influenced my continuing quest to write
faithfully about historical figures in terms that do justice to them as complex individuals.
More than anyone else, this work would not have been possible without the
support of Elizabeth LaBau. Her willingness to move to Los Angeles and work at some
pretty crummy jobs while I brought in my graduate student stipend, her company when
the loneliness of dissertation work seemed overwhelming, and her firm prodding when I
was getting a bit too relaxed about life on fellowship support, and her help identifying
“that word” that’s stuck on the tip of my tongue, all add up to a debt I will be striving to
settle for some time to come. For all the travel encouragement, meals, library trips,
perspective, and celebrations over these six years, thank you. I promise someday there
will be fewer boring anecdotes about Barry Goldwater, the CGC, or the Arizona
Republican Party (but probably not fewer boring historical or political anecdotes. Sorry).
v
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
ii
Abstract
vi
Introduction
1
Chapter 1: Prelude: Frank Brophy, Bud Kelland, and Mid-Century Arizona Conservatism
22
Chapter 2: Non-Partisan Activism: Post-War Phoenix and the Origins of the Conservative
Republican Party
50
Chapter 3: Arizona Conservatives: The Political Philosophies of Arizona’s Most
Influential Republicans, 1950-1988
Figure 1: The Political Philosophies of Arizona Conservatives
106
109
Chapter 4: Mr. Arizona: The Political Ideology of Barry Goldwater
167
Chapter 5: Contested Conservatism: The Development of the Arizona
Republican Party, 1950-1988
230
Conclusion
300
List of Primary Sources
312
Comprehensive Bibliography
316
vi
Abstract
Phoenix Rising is an ideological and institutional study of the development of
conservative politics and the Republican Party in Arizona from the late-1940s through the
1980s. Over that time, conservative Republicanism replaced the New Deal regime as the
dominant political power in the state. During the same period, two distinct strands of
conservatism developed in the Southwestern Sunbelt state, competing within the
Republican Party for institutional and ideological dominance. One strand emerged from
the mid-century municipal reform movement in the capital city of Phoenix. Championed
by Barry Goldwater and his allies, this political philosophy was anti-statist and valuedriven in rejection of the New Deal transactional liberalism that dominated both major
parties at the time. It led the Arizona Republican Party to pursue a secular and strategic
assault on the dominant Democratic Party. An alternate conservatism rooted in
evangelical Christianity and an ideological approach to political activism arose within the
Arizona Republican Party in the early 1960s, challenging the secular, strategic
conservatives on the role of Christianity in politics and the importance of ideological
purity. The conflict between these competing strands of conservative thought shaped the
local success of conservative politicians, contributed to the national development of the
modern conservative movement, and prefigured ongoing divides within the Republican
Party of today.
This study challenges the notion of either race or virulent anti-communism as the
nucleus of modern conservatism by tracing its roots instead to a progressive-style urban
vii
reform movement and particular religious worldviews. It argues that the development of
modern Republican conservatism involved multidimensional intra-party contests in
addition to conservative-liberal conflicts between the major parties. While the internal
contradictions of the New Deal may have laid the foundation for its eventual demise,
several strands of conservative thought and political practice vied with one another to
emerge as the dominant alternative. In principle, these strands shared in common the
proposition, expressed often by Barry Goldwater, that the foundation of liberty was
man’s creation by God as a free individual, and that all government action must be
measured against that standard. Conflicting interpretations of this conservative principle,
however, generated divisions within the Arizona Republican Party that continue to
reverberate nationally.
1
Introduction
In 2008, John S. McCain III won the Republican Party’s nomination for President
of the United States. He was the eight man over the past half-century to be so nominated.
Of those eight, two were United States Senators from Arizona. 1 In 2005, Pres. George
W. Bush nominated two new members to the Supreme Court to fill vacancies left by
Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Arizonans and
arguably the two most influential justices in their more than two decades of joint service.2
Goldwater, McCain, Rehnquist, and O’Connor are only the most visible manifestations of
Arizona’s profound impact on American politics over the last half-century.
How did a relatively small state come to exercise such an oversized impact on the
national conservative movement and Republican Party? This rise to prominence was
remarkable considering that as late as 1950 no Arizona Republicans held a statewide or
federal elective office, the state House of Representatives included only seven
Republicans out of fifty eight seats, and there had not been a single Republican state
Senator since 1937. How, then, did Arizona Republicans rise to dominate state
government by the mid-1960s? What regional, institutional, and ideological
1
The eight men since 1958, with their respective states and years of nomination are: Richard Nixon, CA
(1960, 1968, 1972); Barry Goldwater, AZ (1964); Gerald Ford, MI (1976); Ronald Reagan, CA (1980,
1984); George Bush, TX (1988, 1992); Bob Dole, KS (1996); George W. Bush, TX (2000, 2004); John
McCain, AZ (2008). In fact, John McCain won the senate seat from which Goldwater retired in 1988.
However, Goldwater held Arizona’s other Senate seat when he ran in 1964.
2
See Joan Biskupic, Sandra Day O’Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most
Influential Justice (New York, NY: Ecco, 2005); Jan Crawford Greenburg, Supreme Conflict: The Inside
Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court (New York, NY: Penguin Books,
2007), 20; Walter Dellinger, “In Memoriam: William H. Rehnquist, the man who devised the natural law of
federalism,” Slate, 4 Sept 2005, http://www.slate.com/id/2125685
2
developments allowed them to shift the political alignment of the state so quickly and
effectively? What did they then contribute to the national ascendancy of conservative
politics?
Phoenix Rising is a study of the conservative Republican politics in Arizona from
the end of World War II through the Reagan Era. In identifying the political philosophy
of my subjects as “conservative” rather than neoliberal or libertarian, I follow the practice
and reasoning of historian Kim Phillips-Fein. Like the business leaders at the center of
her study Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal
to Ronald Reagan (2009), most of my subjects self-identified as “conservatives” and
shared with the broader conservative tradition an opposition to the principles of social
democracy and the New Deal political consensus.3 As this definition suggests, “modern”
conservatism was a distinct development from earlier forms, involving both new claims
about the meaning of the term “conservative” as an all-encompassing political identity
and a reaction 20th century political developments. As historian Patrick Allitt has argued,
Only after World War II did a genuine American conservative movement come
into existence, the word conservative now being used proudly and selfconsciously. It brought together a variety of interests and enthusiasms, of which
militant anticommunism, free-market liberalism, social and religious
traditionalism, and opposition to statist liberalism were the most important.4
The conservative Republican Party that developed in Phoenix and came to dominate
Arizona fit this mold, uniting activists and politicians around a common platform of
3
Kim Phillips-Fein, Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to
Ronald Reagan (New York: W. W. Norton, 2009), 321-322
4
Patrick Allitt, The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities throughout American History (New Haven:
Yale University Press, 2009), 159
3
states’ rights, free enterprise, anti-communism, and “traditional” values, recognized as
parts of a unified “conservative” political philosophy. That process was not always
tranquil, however. Significant divisions within the Arizona conservative movement
became apparent over decades of intra-party struggles. Though the Democratic Party in
Arizona had historically encompassed many who subscribed to portions of this political
philosophy, it was the Republican Party that ultimately succeeded in harnessing and
representing the various strands of modern conservatism. Since their shared origins in
the postwar period, the fortunes of the Arizona Republican Party and the modern
conservative movement have been tightly connected.
The modern conservative movement has attracted a great deal of scholarly
attention over the past two decades, generating a bounty of historical, political science,
and other academic studies on the subject. When tackling the subject in its national
scope, contemporary scholars have generally followed the examples of mid-1970s works
by John P. Diggins and George H. Nash in focusing on the intellectual, ideological, or
rhetorical development of right-wing politics.5 While none of these later studies entirely
5
John P. Diggins, Up from Communism: Conservative Odysseys in American Intellectual History (New
York: Harper & Row, 1975); George H. Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in American, since
1945 (New York: Basic Books, 1976); Thomas Byrne Edsall and Mary D. Edsall, Chain Reaction: The
Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics (New York: Norton, 1991); Mary Brennan,
Turning Right in the Sixties: The Conservative Capture of the GOP (Chapel Hill: University of North
Carolina Press, 1995); Godfrey Hodgson, Right Side Up: A History of the Conservative Ascendancy in
America (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996); John A. Andrew, The Other Side of the Sixties: Young
Americans for Freedom and the Rise of Conservative Politics (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University
Press, 1997); Donald T. Critchlow, The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political
History (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2007); Joseph E. Lowndes, From the New Deal to
the New Right: Race and the Southern Origins of Modern Conservatism (New Haven, Conn.: Yale
University Press, 2008); Patrick Allitt, The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities throughout American
History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009); Kim Phillips-Fein, Invisible Hands: The Making of the
Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Ronald Reagan (New York: W. W. Norton, 2009); Elizabeth
Tandy Shermer, “Origins of the Conservative Ascendency: Barry Goldwater’s Early Senate Career and the
De-legitimization of Organized Labor,” Journal of American History 95, no. 3 (December 2008): 678-709
4
ignored institutional developments, a few very recent works have specifically applied
political science methods to examine the institutional developments in areas of law,
government, and business at the heart of the modern conservative movement.6 Following
the example of Thomas Sugrue’s work on postwar Detroit, scholars have produced a
variety of studies over the last decade detailing the contribution of local, grassroots
activism in the development of the larger conservative political movement.7 Alongside
these works have come illuminating studies highlighting the impact of particular
individuals (including Barry Goldwater) and significant elections upon the rise of rightwing politics in the United States.8 Scholars have thus taken a wide variety of
approaches to the subject of modern conservatism, making this a particularly vibrant
6
Paul Pierson and Theda Skocpol, The Transformation of American Politics: Activist Government and the
Rise of Conservatism (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2007); Bruce J. Schulman and Julian E.
Zelizer, eds., Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard
University Press, 2008); Steven M. Teles, The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement: The Battle for
Control of the Law, (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2008)
7
Thomas J. Sugrue, The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit (Princeton,
N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996); Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New
American Right (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2001); Becky M. Nicolaides, My Blue
Heaven: Life and Politics in the Working-class Suburbs of Los Angeles, 1920-1965 (Chicago, Ill.:
University of Chicago Press, 2002); Robert O. Self, American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar
Oakland (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2003); Kevin Kruse, White Flight: Atlanta and the
Making of Modern Conservatism (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2005); Matthew D Lassiter,
The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press,
2006); Joseph Crespino, In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative
Counterrevolution (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2007)
8
Robert Goldberg, Barry Goldwater, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995); Dan T. Carter, The
Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of
American Politics (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995); Steven P. Miller, Billy Graham and the Rise of
the Republican South (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009); Donald T. Critchlow, Phyllis
Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman’s Crusade (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press,
2005); Rick Perlstein, Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus
(New York: Hill and Wang, 2001); Andrew Busch, Reagan’s Victory: The Presidential Election of 1980
and the Rise of the Right (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2005); Laura Gifford, The Center Cannot
Hold: The 1960 Presidential Election and the Rise of Modern Conservatism (DeKalb: Northern Illinois
University Press, 2009)
5
subfield of political history. Recently, the main historiographical point dividing this
scholarship has been the centrality of race in the rise of the conservative movement.
In 1991, Thomas and Mary Edsall placed race at the center of the conservative
ascendancy in their work, Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on
American Politics (1991). The Edsalls argued that
Race has become a powerful wedge, breaking up what had been the majoritarian
economic interests of the poor, working, and lower-middle classes in the
traditional liberal coalition. Taxes in turn, have been used to drive home the cost
to whites of federal programs that redistribute social and economic benefits to
blacks and other minorities.9
These issues, when joined with the “rights revolution” of the civil rights movement and
expanded civil and procedural rights recognized by the Supreme Court and with a
“rights-related reform movement” of Democratic Party electoral reforms, led to a chain
reaction of realignment that shifted white ethnic voters and Southern white populists from
the New Deal coalition into the arms of a newly-conservative Republican Party.10 In the
Edsalls’ argument, the 1964 Civil Rights Act served as a key turning point, the central
event that first distinguished the major parties in terms of racial politics in the minds of
voters. Johnson’s support of the measure and Barry Goldwater’s opposition solidified the
idea that the Democratic Party favored and the Republican Party opposed an expanded
role for the federal government in civil rights matters.11 What followed were uneven
attempts by the two parties to capitalize on this division, with the Republican Party
9
Edsall and Edsall, 4
10
Ibid., 4-5
11
Ibid., 7, 35-36
6
generally more successful in developing “right-populist, race-coded strategies” and
rhetoric that would shore up a conservative presidential majority. 12
While generally in accord with the Edsalls’ analysis, Joseph E. Lowndes posited
more of a dialectical relationship between racial and economic politics in From the New
Deal to the New Right: Race and the Southern Origins of Modern Conservatism (2008).
He argued that the modern conservative movement began to emerge earlier than the
racial backlash identified by Nixon campaign strategist Kevin Philips or the Edsalls
suggested. Economic-oriented anti-New Deal politics was later joined with the mounting
racial backlash to form a rhetoric of modern conservatism. His study of the Southern
origins of the conservative movement demonstrated that “race was increasingly
articulated in a language of economic conservatism both regionally and nationally, just as
conservative appeals were continually made by reference to racial identity.”13 While
Chain Reaction documented the ways in which economic political language was used as
a codifier for racial politics, Lowndes found that “race has been both an open and coded
signifier for popular mobilizations against redistribution, regulation, labor protections,
and myriad other aspects of neoliberal opposition to “big government.”14 Again,
Goldwater’s 1964 campaign is central to this process, with Lowndes highlighting
Goldwater’s simultaneous reluctance about directly championing the cause of
segregationists and success at crafting a language of economic conservatism that would
12
Edsall and Edsall, 10-11
13
Lowndes, 5
14
Ibid., 7
7
bolster outcomes desired by those same segregationists.15 Taken together, Chain
Reaction and From the New Deal to the New Right suggest the centrality of race in the
rise of the national conservative movement but also the difficulty of determining the
primacy of either racial or economic politics in the emerging conservative movement.
Matthew Lassiter’s study of politics in the suburban South, The Silent Majority:
Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (2006), argued that the emergence of the
conservative movement from the 1940s to the 1970s resulted from the combination of
three parallel developments. First, the suburban Sunbelt, with a two-party system
primarily responsive to large corporations and white-collar workers, was replacing the
Black Belt, domain of white supremacy and Jim Crow, as the center of political power in
the South. Second, the success of the civil rights movement and suburban reorientation
of Southern politics led to the development of a “middle-class outlook expressed through
the color-blind language of consumer rights and middle-class consciousness.” Third, the
parallel suburbanization of Southern and national politics contributed to the spread of this
new conservative suburban politics.16 Because each of these trends had its roots to a
greater or lesser extent in racial conflict, even the “color-blind” language of suburban
politics was deeply implicated in the racial politics that preceded it. Though conservative
politics may not always be about race coding in the manner articulated by Edsall and
Edsall, Lassiter argued that race remains at the heart of modern conservative politics.
15
Lowndes, 72-75
16
Lassiter, 3
8
In Lassiter’s reading of Southern suburban politics, the pivotal events are a series
of battles over school desegregation, which led to the ultimate victory of “color-blind”
and middle-class suburban politics over the massive resistance policies of white
supremacists.17 Goldwater serves primarily as a representative of the older white
supremacist tradition, heir of the Dixiecrat revolt of 1948 and precursor to George
Wallace and Spiro Agnew.18 In contrast, historian Dan T. Carter has suggested in his
political biography of George Wallace, The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the
Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics (1995),
that “Goldwater and his generation parroted the comfortable platitudes of the county club
locker room” in contrast with the fiery populism of the Alabama governor and
presidential candidate. Carter’s analysis of Goldwater thus flips Lassiter’s chronology:
Goldwater comes first with a white-collar, suburban politics that fails to reach a wide
enough audience and Wallace then follows with a more overtly racial populism with
greater appeal to white Southerners and white ethnic northerners. 19 This analysis is
supported by the work of both Godfrey Hodgson and Laura Gifford, each of whom trace
Goldwater’s South Carolina support in 1960 and 1964 not to the state’s white
supremacists but to the efforts of Gregory D. Shorey, Jr., Roger Milliken, and other
Southern Sunbelt business transplants.20
17
Lassiter, 18
18
Ibid., 230-237, 251, 265-266
19
Carter, 12
20
Hodgson, 97; Gifford, 149-156
9
At the very least, these competing claims about Goldwater’s appeal and place in
the development of the modern conservative movement suggest that the transition from a
politics of white supremacy to one of suburban “color-blindness” was neither as
unidirectional nor as easily periodized as Lassiter’s analysis implies. Rather, in various
local or regional contexts, the conservative political movement developed differently in
terms of both chronology and basic concerns. For example, Kevin Kruse has done an
excellent job of demonstrating how the lived experience of residents of Atlanta, Georgia
shaped their political ideology in relation to race and civil rights. In doing so he
identified a trajectory similar to that proposed by Lassiter.21 Becky Nicolaides similarly
identified race as a key factor in the political ideology and behavior of the residents of a
white working-class Los Angeles suburb. Though race became a fundamental element of
their political ideology, it actually developed as an additional modifier to a
homeownership-focused suburban political outlook that had been developing for decades
before the civil rights movement and desegregation backlash of the 1950s and 1960s.22
From the scholarship that is particularly devoted to race, the South, and/or suburban
politics, there is plenty of evidence that race was indeed a key factor in the emerging
conservative movement and accompanying Republican Party growth from the 1950s
onward. What is less clear is how broadly determinative that factor was in the
movements ultimate triumph outside (or even inside) the South.
21
Kruse, 6. See especially Chapter 3, “From Community to Individuality: Race, Resistance, and
Segregationist Ideology,” 78-104, for a superb example of how Kruse demonstrates the direct links
between the lived experience of local residents and shifts in political ideology and rhetoric.
22
Nicolaides, 2, 5-6
10
Kim Phillips-Fein has written the strongest argument for viewing economics as
the true center of modern conservative politics. In the opening of her work Invisible
Hands (2009), she proposed that
If we shift focus from cultural to economic issues, it becomes clear that the origin
of modern conservative politics and ideology predates the 1960s. And in this
sense the roots of the movement’s triumph can be found in the disaffection of
people very different form the white working-class conservatives who are so often
seen as central to its rise. It begins instead in the reaction to the New Deal. 23
In contrast to the argument by Edsall and Edsall, Phillips-Fein suggested that
conservative entrepreneurs applied the language of business conservatism to issues of
race, not vice verse. Goldwater’s 1960 book, ghostwritten by L. Brett Bozell, played a
key roll in this process, but the central players in Philips-Fein’s book are
those determined few, those ordinary businessmen … from companies of different
sizes and from various industries, who worked for more than forty years to undo
the system of labor unions, federal social welfare programs, and government
regulation of the economy that came into existence during and after the Great
Depression.24
Fundamentally, Phillips-Fein’s account of the success of the conservative movement is a
tale of moneyed interests successful dismantling much of the New Deal political regime.
Along similar lines, Elizabeth Tandy Shermer argued in her article, “Origins of the
Conservative Ascendancy: Barry Goldwater’s Early Senate Career and the Delegitimization of Organized Labor,” that Goldwater’s anti-union politics were central to
the process by which “Americans grew to distrust the economic pillars of the New Deal,”
23
Phillips-Fein, xii
24
Ibid., 129, xi-xii
11
a major conservative accomplishment.25 Shermer briefly discusses his racial views and
the racial climate in Arizona but neither of these elements figure as a key factor in
Goldwater’s conservative politics.26
Other scholars have less directly challenged the centrality of race to the growth of
a national modern conservative movement by focusing instead on various efforts at
movement building outside of or beyond the South. For example, in Lisa McGirr’s study
of Orange County, California conservatives, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New
American Right (2001), she chronicled how grassroots activists and conservative elites,
motivated by a combination of “western libertarianism” and “social and cultural
conservatism,” joined together to take over the California Republican Party.27 The
organizing efforts that accompanied Goldwater’s 1964 Republican primary and general
presidential election campaigns was central to this process, but real success came later in
the decade as anticommunism was eclipsed by “concerns over ‘law and order’ and
‘morality’ and attacks on ‘sophisticated intellectuals’” as the focus of conservative
outrage and activism.28 Particularly important in the long-range success of the
conservative movement was the growth of evangelicalism, successfully channeled into
the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan to the presidency.29
25
Shermer, 679
26
Ibid., 686-688
27
McGirr, 112-113, 9
28
Ibid., 185-186
29
Ibid., 16
12
McGirr’s local findings are bolstered by broader national studies. In Turning
Right in the Sixties: The Conservative Capture of the GOP (1995), Mary Brennan
identified a similar dynamic at work in which an intra-party battle between strategists and
ideological purists resulted in the triumph of the conservative movement within the
Republican Party, but only after it had been bolstered by the growing presence of “social
conservatives and religious evangelicals.”30 Goldwater’s 1964 campaign thus marked
both the early high-point of the ideological purists and the limits of their approach. 31
Donald Critchlow’s overview of the modern conservative movement, The Conservative
Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political History (2007), is organized around the
slow coming-together of grassroots activists and conservative intellectuals.32 On an
intellectual level, Godfrey Hodgson, in Right Side Up: A History of the Conservative
Ascendancy in America (1996), similarly identified anticommunism as the central
connecting link between conservative traditionalist/authoritarian impulses and populist
individualism that together form modern conservative ideology.33 Though issues of race,
civil rights, and desegregation made appearances in each of these works, they were not
regarded as central to the rise of the modern conservative movement in the same way as
much of the scholarship discussed above.
I argue that the history of the modern conservative movement in Arizona in the
postwar period is more in line with the findings of Phillips-Fein and McGirr than the
30
Brennan, 3-4, 142
31
Ibid., 85-86, 139-140
32
Critchlow, Conservative Ascendancy, 1
33
Hodgson, 17
13
Edsalls and Lassiter. The brand of Arizona conservatism embodied by Barry Goldwater
had its origins in the Sunbelt urban reform politics of Phoenix and links to the Republican
intra-party conflicts of the pre-World War II period. Arizona differed significantly from
the South and large urban centers of the North in the absence of large black population.
Further, Phoenix itself differed from cities such as Los Angeles or even Tucson in
lacking a history of Spanish colonial settlement and large resident or migrant Mexican
American population with the strength to mount early and effective civil rights
challenges.34 Though racial conflict was by no means entirely absent, race failed to
develop as a primary political organizing principle as it did in other regions of the
nation.35 The “color-blind” suburban conservatism that developed, though similar to that
identified by Lassiter and Kruse in the South, lacked the white supremacy/massive
resistance origins of the Southern movement.
This Southwestern Sunbelt ideology centered around individual liberties and free
enterprise appealed not only to fellow Sunbelt businessmen like South Carolina’s
Republican State Party Chairman Gregory Shorey but also to racial politicians such as
Strom Thurmond, especially once it led Goldwater to join Southern Democrats in their
34
Bradford Luckingham, Minorities in Phoenix: A Profile of Mexican American, Chinese American, and
African American Communities, 1860-1992 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1994); Philip J.
Ethington and David P. Levitus, “Placing American Political Development: Cities, Regions, and Regimes,
1789-2008,” in The City in American Political Development, ed. Richard Dilworth (New York, NY:
Routledge, 2009); Thomas E. Sheridan, Los Tucsonenses: The Mexican Community in Tucson, 1854-1941
(Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1986); Michael F. Logan, Desert Cities: The Environmental History
of Phoenix and Tucson (Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006)
35
For a study of the black civil rights movement in Arizona, see Matthew C. Whitaker, Race Work: The
Rise of Civil Rights in the Urban West (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2005). For an examination
of the relationship between the rise of conservative Republican politics in Arizona and the MexicanAmerican population, see Micaela Anne Larkin, “Labor’s Desert: Mexican Workers, Unions and
Entrepreneurial Conservatism in Arizona, 1917-1972” (Ph.D. diss., University of Notre Dame, 2008).
14
opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. That stance and his ultimate acceptance by
racial conservatives, however, should not obscure the fact that the origins of Goldwater’s
conservatism were distinct from that of his Southern supporters, highlighting the
importance of region as a factor in American political development.
Phoenix Rising is a study of Arizona politics with primary attention to intra-party
conflicts over the modern meaning of “conservatism.” The meaning of conservatism in
Arizona was worked out at the political level as a contest within the newly emergent
Republican Party as would-be leaders struggled to define the party in their own image by
securing nominations to political office and party leadership posts. That process itself
distinguishes the Arizona conservative movement from either the grassroots conservatism
documented in most local studies, the work of conservative intellectuals that is the focus
of national ideological studies, or the institution-centered work of Phillips-Fein and
others. As this contest unfolded, divisions hardened between secular strategists and
evangelical ideologues. His national reputation as an “extremist” in 1964
notwithstanding, Goldwater was actually the patriarch of the strategic camp within the
Arizona Republican Party.
In considering the national role of Arizona conservative politics broadly and of
Barry Goldwater in particular, one other work demands mention. Rick Perlstein’s Before
the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (2001) is an
excellent example of the illumination that can come from blending journalistic attention
to the details of a particular campaign with an academic attention to the larger context
and long-term trends that contribute to a political outcome. His work, focused on Barry
15
Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign, provides the best account of how that campaign
unfolded and why it ended with one of the most lopsided outcomes of twentieth-century
presidential elections. Attempting to duplicate that work in even a small measure is
outside the scope of this study. What is missing from Perlstein’s work, however, and
what I provide here, is attention to the specific political context from which Goldwater
immerged. Though, as Perlstein demonstrates, Goldwater’s campaign and nomination
owed a great deal to outside actors working on his behalf, Goldwater was not a blank
slate, a kind of conservative Manchurian candidate filled entirely or only with the
amalgamated political wished of his backers. Rather, he came to national politics with
his own political ideology which made him an appealing candidate to diverse groups
within the nascent conservative movement, and he left the stamp of those political
principles on the national stage.
What follows is the story of a particular Southwestern Sunbelt brand of
conservative politics that developed over several decades of internal conflict within the
Arizona Republican Party. Arizona conservatives were divided primarily into two
camps. One strand of Arizona conservatism traced its origins to the Phoenix municipal
reform government and to the party politics of Herbert Hoover. The other drew more
from a brand of isolationist, anti-communist, and religious evangelicalism characterizing
groups such as the John Birch Society. Particularly potent in this latter strand was a
strain of Mormon anticommunism that linked religious devotion with militant
conservatism starting as early as the 1950s. Each of these strands developed significantly
before Brown v. Board of Education and the ensuing fight over desegregation and in a
16
context that was absent the level of racial hostility that characterized the South and later
the urban North.
Methodologically, Phoenix Rising places regions, institutions, and ideologies at
the center of political development. In defining a Southwestern Sunbelt region I accept
the argument of Philip Ethington and David Levitus that “regions and regimes construct
each other reciprocally.”36 In the mid-twentieth century, a group of Southwestern cities
ranging from Texas to Northern California experienced significant urban reform
movements.37 These reforms contributed to a period of rapid annexation and
suburbanization as reform governments prioritized development over allocational or
redistributive policies.38 As these cities grew, they increased their relative strength within
their respective Southwestern states, reshaping the larger geographical area in their
image, much as suburban areas came to dominate the politics of the Sunbelt South. Thus,
a particular Southwestern Sunbelt region developed around a set of urban/suburban
36
Ethington and Levitus, 154
37
Bridges, 10, Table 1-1, These cities include Dallas, Austin, Albuquerque, Phoenix, San Diego, and San
Jose.
38
Here I adopt the schema of Paul E. Peterson of three types of city policies (development, allocation,
redistribution), but reject his basic assumption that cities themselves will always have an interest in
economic expansion. Rather, I accept the argument by Logan and Molotch that development policies are
not a uniform good for all residents, but are pursued by a smaller group of pro-growth advocates for whom
economic development is a matter of direct economic interest. The cities of the Southwestern Sunbelt were
prime examples of the success of this latter group in creating growth machines to promote the demographic
and economic growth of their cities. See Paul E. Peterson, City Limits (Chicago: The University of
Chicago Press, 1981) and John Logan and Harvey Molotch, Urban Fortunes: The Political Economy of
Place (1987; 20th Anniversary ed., Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2007)
17
centers with shared patterns of governance and growth.39 Phoenix was at the forefront of
this regional development, annexing more extensively and experiencing a longer
governing monopoly than any of its Southwestern competitors.40
The reform governments that dominated these Southwestern Sunbelt cities were
directed by governing regimes, “informal partnership[s] between city hall and the …
business elite,” in the words of political scientist Clarence Stone.41 Though informal,
these partnerships were relatively stable and, crucially, had “access to institutional
resources that enable[d them] to have a sustained role in making governing decisions.”42
In the case of Phoenix, these informal partnerships took place between institutions and
were relatively overt, even celebrated. A significant institutional link connected the
Phoenix governing regime with the Arizona Republican Party and provided the structure
through which a brand of conservative politics emerged and dominated the party from the
early 1950s.
In addition to regional and institutional developments, I follow a long tradition of
scholarly treatment of the Right that takes ideology seriously as more than a reflection of
39
Though I recognize the list of cities identified by Bridges (see note 35 above) as the core of this
Southwestern Sunbelt political region, other Western cities with similar growth patterns (such as Los
Angeles, Los Vegas, Houston, and Denver) certainly contributed to the rise of Southwestern Sunbelt
conservatism and the economic region in which it has had its most marked impact. While I believe that
Ethington and Levitus overstate the centrality of Los Angeles, their argument does suggest the significance
of the Southwestern Sunbelt in the current political alignment. See Ethington and Levitus, 167-170.
40
Bridges, 154, Table 7-2 and 193, Table 8-3; Kenneth T. Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier: The
Suburbanization of the United States (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), 139, Table 8-1;
Trounstine, 180, fig. 6.1
41
Clarence Stone, Regime Politics: Governing Atlanta, 1946-1988 (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press,
1989), 3
42
Stone, 4 (emphasis in original). Specifically, these governing regimes took the form of growth machines
explored by Logan and Molotch. See note 36 above.
18
raw economic self-interest or racial prejudice. 43 A closer examination of the distinct
political philosophies of Arizona’s prominent conservatives reveals a variety of
motivating factors and distinctive cultural commitments. Disagreements over party
strategy and the role of religion particularly divided Arizona conservatives as they fought
for dominance of government and party institutions.
The result of these regional, institutional, and ideological developments is best
expressed as a reshaping of local, state, regional, and national political culture in a
conservative direction. In this regard I adopt political scientist Amy Bridges’ definition
of political culture as “the practices, habits, and popular expectations of government and
politics, as well as the words, values, and moralities … generally available for
understanding and evaluating politics.”44 The conservative movement succeeded as the
national political culture shifted from that of the New Deal towards that of the New
Right.
Overview
The first two chapters of Phoenix Rising establish the foundation for the growth
of the Arizona Republican Party beginning in 1950 and the intra-party conservative
conflict that followed. After briefly reviewing the earlier history of Arizona politics,
Chapter 1 introduces Frank Cullen Brophy and Clarence Budington Kelland, two
Arizonans whose distinct political philosophies highlight central divisions within postwar
43
I have in mind here particularly the work of Diggins, Nash, Brennan, Hodgson, Critchlow, Allitt, Miller,
and Gifford.
44
Bridges, 24
19
Arizona conservatism. Brophy and Kelland also each had significant ties to national
conservative intellectuals and partisan groups whose opposition to the New Deal
preceded not only the civil rights movement of the 1960s but also the re-emergent anticommunism of the McCarthy era, linking Arizona conservatism to the longer tradition.
Chapter 2 pivots to a study of the Republican Party’s local roots, in which I argue that the
political culture nurtured in the mid-century Phoenix urban reform movement paved the
way for the rise of Republican conservatism. Simultaneously, the pro-growth municipal
regime provided crucial institutional channels through which conservative business
interests could shape local politics and Republican politicians could secure public office
in what was otherwise a state dominated by the Democratic Party. While Phoenix was
only one of many Sunbelt cities to witness the emergence of monopoly reform regimes
during this period, it was among the most successful in accomplishing its expansionist
goals and thereby reshaping state-wide politics in its image. Taken together, these first
two chapters reveal that Arizona was neither an isolated backwater unconnected to the
nascent national conservative movement nor simply a mirror reflecting broader national
trends. Rather, Arizona conservatives developed their own brand of business-oriented
conservatism in communication with the broader conservative intellectual and political
dialogue.
The next two chapters examine the individual political philosophies of leading
conservative Arizona Republicans. Chapter 3 introduces two key axes of division among
Arizona conservatives in the period: the role of religion and the commitment to
ideological purity. I explore the political philosophies of eight conservative leaders and
20
discuss their relative positions along these two axes, providing a sense of their
relationships and disputes. With some important exceptions, the chapter suggests a
general link between accepting religious evangelicalism as the foundation of
conservatism and a political commitment to ideological purity. Conversely, Arizona
conservatives who practiced a more secular brand of politics tended to be less committed
to ideological purity and more strategic in their efforts at party building. Chapter 4
provides a much deeper inspection of the political philosophy of Arizona’s leading
conservative thinker and politician, Barry Goldwater. In particular, I examine his
understanding of the appropriate role of government, arguing for a new interpretation of
his views on civil rights and “political extremism,” one which situates him within the
strategic secular wing of the Arizona Republican Party even as he appeared in 1964 to
represent the ideological wing of the national party.
Though Goldwater’s role after 1964 was more as a conservative icon and martyr
to the cause than a continuing leader,45 his impact on the Arizona Republican Party was
both substantial and sustained. Chapter 5 begins with a review of Goldwater’s
involvement in the state party and then turns to a chronological investigation of the
Arizona Republican Party from 1950 to 1988. As in chapters 1 and 3, I place particular
emphasis here on the intra-party conflicts that emerged as divisions within the
conservative movement became more or less prominent. I argue that two central threads
of conservative thought ran through the Arizona Republican Party during this period.
One political philosophy emphasized organizational efforts as the key to conservative
45
This was true even after Goldwater re-entered the U.S. Senate for three additional terms beginning in
1968.
21
strength while the other prioritized purity of principle as the best means to achieve
appropriate results. Contests between these competing impulses, and an accompanying
battle over the role of Christianity in conservative politics, determined the nature of the
political practice and conservative philosophy espoused by the party in any given period.
Generally, the party was most successful when strategists were ascendant, but eventually
evangelical ideologues came to dominate both the party and state politics.
A robust strategic conservatism arose out of the particularly successful
Southwestern Sunbelt reform movement in Phoenix, Arizona. From its origins in the
midst of a Democratic state and as a result of a long contest between competing
ideological visions, the political philosophy championed by Barry Goldwater was broadly
acceptable to conservative businessmen, racial and social conservatives, and members of
the Far Right. This combination was large enough in 1964 to capture the national
Republican Party but not yet the presidency. What made Goldwater such a powerful
conservative symbol despite his 1964 defeat was the promise of his political philosophy
for reshaping the national political culture. His committed followers saw in
Southwestern Sunbelt conservatism an ideology around which they could construct a
political movement to counter the New Deal-Great Society regime, launching both
Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan into the White House. Though it included a strong
anticommunist element and the type of suburban “color-blind” and “law and order”
rhetoric that would come to dominate Southern and suburban racial politics, the heart of
Goldwater’s Arizona conservatism was its rejection of the transactional politics of the
New Deal coalition in favor of anti-statist individualism.
22
Chapter 1
Prelude:
Frank Brophy, Bud Kelland, and Mid-Century Arizona Conservatism
As David R. Berman argues in Arizona Politics and Government: The Quest for
Autonomy, Democracy, and Development, Arizona politics passed through three political
regimes from statehood through the 1940s. The state constitution of 1910 and election of
Governor George Hunt in 1911 signaled the victory of progressive-labor Democrats. In
the 1920s, Arizona voters shifted toward the Republican Party.1 The state went for
Republican presidential candidates in 1920, 1924, and 1928. In 1920 the Republicans
accomplished three firsts for their party: reelecting a governor, sending a U.S. Senator to
Washington, and winning a majority of the state senate. Such local victories were shortlived as Gov. Hunt returned to office in 1923 along with an overwhelmingly Democratic
state legislature. A brief boost with Herbert Hoover’s 1928 campaign swept John Philips
into the governor’s office, the last Republican to serve in that office for two decades.
The 1930s brought a regime of one-party Democratic rule. From the 1932 to
1946 elections, Arizona Republicans elected only one state Senator for a single term and
averaged only one member of the state House of Representatives per term, often having
no representatives in either house of the state legislature. No Republicans won election
to state or federal offices between 1930 and 1948. In many cases, the Republican Party
1
David Berman, Arizona Politics and Government: The Quest for Autonomy, Democracy, and
Development (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998), 45-48
23
declined to even field a candidate for many down-ballot races. Berman refers to this
period as “One-Party Conservatism” because local politics were largely dominated by the
cattle, copper, and cotton industries.2
In senatorial and congressional contests, however, Arizona voters displayed a
preference for New Deal-oriented candidates focused on increased federal spending in
the form of water projects, defense spending, and government aid, especially during the
1940s. Ernest McFarland defeated sitting Senator Henry Ashurst in the 1940 Democratic
primary, rose to become Senate Majority Leader, and was a major sponsor of the G.I.
Bill. Carl Hayden, a permanent fixture of Arizona Democratic politics with roots in the
progressive-labor period, continued to win reelection to the U.S. Senate where, as
chairman of the appropriations committee, he worked for passage of President Franklin
Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation. Gov. Osborn, a champion of labor, won election and
reelection to four, two-year terms beginning in 1940. While organized business interests
generally opposed to redistributive efforts may have effectively controlled the state
legislature, Arizona voters also indicated a willingness to support liberal New Deal
Democratic politics.
Beginning in 1946, cracks began to appear in the one-party Democratic regime.
Foremost among these was the successful passage of right-to-work legislation. Backed
by the state’s major newspapers, the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, and other industry
groups, the Veterans’ Right to Work Committee succeeded in getting a constitutional
amendment placed on the 1946 ballot that would ban the closed shop. Though opposed
2
Berman, 48-51
24
by Gov. Osborn and much of the Democratic establishment, the measure passed and was
followed by an enabling act, also passed through ballot initiative.3 Several prominent
future Republican politicians were involved in the campaign, which proved to be a boon
for the party as a first step in demonizing organized labor as an impediment to economic
prosperity and individual freedom and in pealing away conservative Democratic votes.4
As the 1950s approached, Arizona Republicans were poised for growth.
Democrats were divided over labor issues and were torn between the demands of local
industry and the national regime. The right to work battle had deepened these fissures
while providing Republicans with a clear line of attack and the organizational experience
of a successful statewide campaign. Changes in the municipal government of Phoenix,
the state’s major population center, established both a pro-growth political culture and
institutional pathway that facilitated the rise of business-oriented Republican politicians.
The support of newspaper publisher Eugene Pulliam provided a sympathetic platform for
the newly-ascendant Republican Party. Toppling Democrats as the dominant political
party, however, involved more than simply offering candidates under a different party
label, especially when registered Democrats continued to outnumber Republicans more
3
Bradford Luckingham, Phoenix: The History of a Southwestern Metropolis (Tucson: University of
Arizona Press, 1989), 158; Michael S. Wade, The Bitter Issue: The Right to Work Law in Arizona (Tucson:
Arizona Historical Society, 1976)
4
Thomas E. Sheridan, Arizona: A History (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1995), 276; Elizabeth
Tandy Shermer, “Origins of the Conservative Ascendency: Barry Goldwater’s Early Senate Career and the
De-legitimization of Organized Labor,” Journal of American History 95, no. 3 (December 2008): 678-709
25
than four to one.5 Instead, the Republican Party of Arizona needed to develop a political
ideology that could unify Republicans while winning over conservative Democrats.
The development of a modern conservative ideology in the Arizona Republican
Party was a dynamic process that involved the negotiation of competing political visions.
This chapter examines the political philosophies of two prominent Arizona conservatives
who provided a link between national conservative politics and the Sunbelt state. Their
ideas illustrate the complicated terrain of modern conservatism during the period in
which Arizona Republicans began to achieve success.
Conspiracy Conservatism
Looking back, Barry Goldwater identified Frank Cullen Brophy as one of the key
leaders responsible for shaping modern Arizona.6 Brophy was born in Bisbee, Arizona in
1894 to a wealthy Catholic family. Educated at Yale, Brophy served in France during
World War I and took over the family businesses in banking, mining, and ranching upon
his father’s death in 1922.7 His banks weathered the economic storm of the Great
Depression relatively unscathed and put him in a commanding position among the state’s
wealthiest citizens.8
5
Total Registration of Voters for General Election – November 7, 1950 at Close of Registration, Oct 2,
1950,” Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records – History and Archives Division (hereafter
ASL), Secretary of State Collection, Box 1
6
Interview with Barry Goldwater, 16 Nov 1978, Arizona Historical Society, Library and Archives
(hereafter AHS), Tempe Branch (hereafter Tempe), Oral History Collection
7
8
Finding Guide, Brophy Papers, AHS, Tucson Branch (hereafter Tucson)
Interview of Frank Brophy by Patricia Clark, 19 Nov 1973, Arizona State University, Special Collections
(hereafter ASU), Evan Mecham Collection, folder “Frank Brophy Interview”
26
Brophy’s early politics were as an anti-Prohibition Democrat. He supported the
election of Carl Hayden to the U.S. Senate in 1928 and Franklin Delano Roosevelt as
President in 1932.9 He praised the president’s “first New Deal” for necessary efforts to
create jobs, promote financial security, and stabilize the economy.10 Following the
infamous Court Packing attempt in 1937, however, Brophy began to sour on the
president’s agenda.11 The following year he left the Democratic Party, becoming an
independent conservative who often found his ideals aligning more closely with the
Republican Party that emerged after World War II.12
Though he did not register as a Republican, he worked with others to strengthen
the Republican Party in Arizona following his split with the Democrats.13 Nationally, he
also helped bankroll William Buckley’s fledgling National Review.14 In Arizona, Brophy
was especially supportive of Barry Goldwater and Evan Mecham, two outspoken
conservative Arizona Republicans often at odds with each other. As he wrote to a
frustrated Mecham in 1963, “Barry Goldwater is one of the few redeeming features of the
9
Interview of Frank Brophy by Patricia Clark, 19 Nov 1973, ASU, Evan Mecham Collection, folder
“Frank Brophy Interview”
10
Undated manuscripts, AHS Tucson, Brophy Papers, Record Group III: Frank Cullen Brophy (hereafter
FCB), Box 35, folder 669; Interview of Frank Brophy by Patricia Clark, 19 Nov 1973, ASU, Evan Mecham
Collection, folder “Frank Brophy Interview”
11
Correspondence with Carl Hayden, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 38, folders 732-735; Interview of Frank
Brophy by Patricia Clark, 19 Nov 1973, ASU, Evan Mecham Collection, folder “Frank Brophy Interview”
12
Interview of Frank Brophy by Patricia Clark, 19 Nov 1973, ASU, Evan Mecham Collection, folder
“Frank Brophy Interview”
13
Letters, Frank Brophy to Evan Mecham, 18 Apr 1963 and 6 May 1963, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 40,
folder 782
14
Correspondence between Frank Brophy and William Buckley, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 50, folder 991
“National Review.” Brophy and Buckley later split over the John Birch Society. See Correspondence
between Frank Brophy and William F. Buckley, Jr., 1965-1967, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 52, folder 1003
27
Republican Party nationally, and the same goes for the state party.”15 Brophy was a
major backer of the effort to draft Goldwater as the Republican presidential candidate in
1960 but later complained that Goldwater had turned his back on the people behind that
movement when he ran in 1964, instead courting “respectable conservatives” who were
part of the nation’s problems.16 Despite such differences, Brophy continued to believe
that Goldwater was on the right side, blaming those around him for differences they had
over style or political philosophy.17 The two carried on correspondence well into 1975.
In one of his letters, Goldwater concluded,
I appreciate your constant communication with me. You have been a source of
inspiration, intelligence, and persuasion, and when I add to those feelings the
overwhelming feeling of friendship that has existed between the two of us and our
families for so long, it becomes one of the good parts of my life.18
The feelings of sympathy clearly ran both ways.
Though initially enthusiastic, Brophy’s support for Mecham was less permanent
and deep. Brophy was a key supporter of Mecham during and after the latter’s 1962 race
for U.S. Senate. Mecham’s candidacy was as much in opposition to the Republican
establishment as it was in opposition to Democratic Senator Carl Hayden, making the
support of a wealthy backer such as Brophy crucial. Letters between the two men during
15
Letter, Frank Brophy to Evan Mecham, 6 May 1963, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 40, folder 782
16
Letter, Frank Brophy to Paul Fannin, 12 Nov 1963, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 38, folder 720; Various
manuscripts, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 46, folder 916 “1960 Presidential Campaign “Goldwater for
President Committee”; Letter, Frank Brophy to Tom Anderson, Clarence Manion, and Pat Murphy, 21 Feb
1975, AHS Tucson, Box 47, folder 932
17
18
Letter, Frank Brophy to Evan Mecham, 6 May 1963, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 40, folder 782
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Frank Brophy, 15 May 1975, Arizona Historical Foundation (hereafter AHF),
The Personal and Political Papers of Senator Barry M. Goldwater (hereafter BMG) Alpha Files, Box 2,
folder 23
28
this period suggest that Brophy attempted to sooth Mecham’s irritation with Goldwater
and others, assuring the young politician of his help in bridging the intra-party
competition that was keeping him out of power.19 This was an odd role for Brophy, who
in other ways was a firebrand himself, a founding member of the John Birch Society
unflinching in proclaiming his own ultra-conservative views. 20 In a 1973 interview,
Brophy cast some light on the situation, at first demurring from mentioning Mecham by
name and then stating that though Mecham was “a traditional American or John Birchtype American [who] stood for all the things that I stood for that Carl [Hayden] was
opposed to.” “If he had won,” Brophy suggested, “it would have been too bad because
he didn’t turn out to be the brightest man I’ve ever known.”21
Frank Brophy’s political philosophy was a brand of conspiracy conservatism.
“Conspiracy” was a term he used himself to describe the national and international
political scene and the forces he was attempting to combat. As he explained to Barry
Goldwater in a 1975 letter,
I came to the conclusion that there was some sinister, but elusive, force at work
which was impossible to identify or even define adequately. The word
“conspiracy” is frequently used, but by the very nature of conspiracy, it has to be
a vague term. This gives super sophisticates, like Buckley, for example, the
19
Correspondence between Evan Mecham and Frank Brophy, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 40, folder 782
20
John Birch Society Promotional Booklet and attached letter from Robert Welch to Herbert Hoover, 26
Apr 1961, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum (hereafter Hoover Pres.), Papers of Herbert
Hoover – Post-Presidential, Box 204, folder “John Birch Society”; Letter, Frank Brophy to Evan Mecham,
23 Nov 1962, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 40, folder 782; Correspondence between Frank Brophy and William
F. Buckley, Jr., 1965-1967, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 52, folder 1003
21
Interview of Frank Brophy by Patricia Clark, 19 Nov 1973, ASU, Evan Mecham Collection, folder
“Frank Brophy Interview.” Unfortunately, Brophy’s death in 1975 prevented him from taking a position on
Mecham’s 1986 gubernatorial election, which may have cast additional light on his ideological position.
29
opportunity to sneer and chuckle at the simpletons who acknowledge the
possibility of conspiracy.22
Brophy believed that “the Conspiracy” had “as one of its main objectives [in 1952] to see
that Bob Taft never became President” and warned Ronald Reagan in 1966 that the
conspiracy would now target him.23 The conspiracy stretched back as far as 1750 and
was also responsible for the death of George S. Patton.24 Though the conspiracy was
vague and flexible, Brophy defined its outlines in notes he made for a 1952 manuscript
titled “Politics in a Changing World,” in which he identified three forces at work:
1. Communism
2. International Finance
3. International Do Goodism
All three consciously or unconsciously work to dominate U.S. To accomplish this
it is necessary to destroy Constitutional Government. To do this the Supreme
Court offered the quickest means of nullifying the Constitution. Packing of
Court, 1937.25
The conspiracy thus included communism, international finance, foreign policy, and U.S.
domestic policy. Brophy was also worried that the destruction of the two-party system
was coming about through bi-partisan, internationalist foreign policy, helping to explain
why he chose not to join the Republican Party after leaving the Democrats and supporting
Goldwater and Mecham.
22
Letter, Frank Brophy to Barry Goldwater, 28 Apr 1975, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 2, folder 23
23
Letter, Frank Brophy to Tom Anderson (National Chairman, American Party), 8 Dec 1975, AHS Tucson,
FCB, Box 47, folder 932; Letter, Frank Brophy to Ronald Reagan, 11 Jun 1966, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box
41, folder 797
24
Letter, Frank Brophy to Tom Anderson, Clarence Manion, and Pat Murphy, 21 Feb 1975, AHS Tucson,
Box 47, folder 932; Memo, Frank Brophy for Barry Goldwater (and Evan Mecham), 1961, ASH (Tucson),
Box 46, folder 926
25
Notes for “Politics in a Changing World,” 1952, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 35, folder 662
30
Brophy regarded communism as a serious internal threat to the United States.
Communists were well-placed in the “State Department, White House, Office of War
Information, American Service Newspapers” and Treasury Department. They were
responsible for establishing the International Monetary Fund and all the other errors of
foreign policy, international finance, and domestic policy since before World War II.26 In
keeping with Robert Welch’s declaration that President Eisenhower was “a conscious
agent of the Communists,” Brophy wrote that the war in Vietnam was “set in motion by a
puppet General, then in the White House.”27
Brophy’s conception of this vast conspiracy likely began with his own worries
about interventionist foreign policy. In an October 1939 letter to Carl Hayden, he argued
vigorously against intervention or militarization in response to the wars in Europe and
Asia. He questioned whether France or Britain would come to the aid of the United
States if the nation was threatened by a Western Hemisphere power. He felt that entry
into World War I had been a mistake and believed that extensive conquest by Germany,
Japan, and Russia could occur without danger to U.S. security or interests.28 Brophy
despised the word “isolationist” for its “implication of refusal to face the modern world”
and argued instead that those opposed to internationalists on the right and left should be
termed “nationalists” in reference to their keeping George Washington’s counsel against
26
Letter, Frank Brophy to Carl Hayden, 7 Dec 1950, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 39, folder 743; “American
Madhouse,” ca. 1950, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 40, folder 782; Interview of Frank Brophy by Patricia Clark,
19 Nov 1973, ASU, Evan Mecham Collection, folder “Frank Brophy Interview”
27
Letter, Frank Brophy to Barry Goldwater, 28 Apr 1975, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 2, folder 23
28
Letter, Frank Brophy to Carl Hayden, 10 Oct 1939, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 38, folder 736
31
foreign entanglements.29 Brophy believed the United States should keep its military
concerns focused exclusively on the Western Hemisphere and repeatedly decried what he
saw as an “anglophile” foreign policy that dragged us into unnecessary foreign wars.30
The list of foreign policy errors made by the United States due to this conspiracy
included: the U.S. entries into WWI and WWII; the international agreements made at
Tehran, Yalta, Potsdam, and Geneva; the demilitarization of Germany and Japan; the
abandonment of Poland and Spain; the communist capture of China and Cuba; the
liquidation of the British, French, and Dutch empires; and the wars in Korea and
Vietnam.31 In brief, Brophy came to believe that the entirety of U.S. Cold War policy
(accomplishments and failures) was executed as part of an international conspiracy.
Though communism and communist agents were an essential part of the
conspiracy, it also included the system of national and international finance. Brophy
regarded gold as “probably the key” of this system and traced the earliest efforts by the
conspiracy in the financial sphere to the Gold Reserve Act of 1934.32 From there,
monetary actions from the abandonment of the gold standard to President Nixon’s
29
“American Madhouse,” ca. 1950, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 40, folder 782; Speech notes by Frank Brophy
on “Current Political Situation,” AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 35, folder 662
30
Three Policies, undated, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 35, folder 666; Letters, Frank Brophy to Carl Hayden,
14 Aug and 7 Dec 1950, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 39, folder 743; “American Madhouse,” ca. 1950, AHS
Tucson, FCB, Box 40, folder 782
31
“American Madhouse,” ca. 1950, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 40, folder 782; Letters, Frank Brophy to Carl
Hayden, 20 Aug 1949 and 14 Aug 1950, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 39, folder 743; Letter, Frank Brophy to
Bonner Frank Fellers, 27 Aug 1971, Hoover Institution Library and Archives (hereafter Hoover Inst.),
Bonner Frank Fellers Papers, Box 5, folder 1; Letter, Frank Brophy to Clare Boothe Luce, 2 Feb 1962,
AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 40, folder 765; Letter, Frank Brophy to Barry Goldwater, 28 Apr 1975, AHF,
BMG Alpha Files, Box 2, folder 23
32
Letter, Frank Brophy to Bonner Frank Fellers, 31 Dec 1968, Hoover Inst., Bonner Frank Fellers Papers,
Box 5, folder 1; Interview of Frank Brophy by Patricia Clark, 19 Nov 1973, ASU, Evan Mecham
Collection, folder “Frank Brophy Interview”
32
devaluation of the dollar in 1971 were all part of the plot to strip Americans of individual
economic freedom.33 The conspiracy also included the establishment of the income tax
and the Federal Reserve System.34 Communist agents infiltrated the Treasury
Department in order to implement these actions and were also directly responsible for
establishing the International Monetary Fund.35 Also included in the conspiracy were the
International Labor Organization (ILO) and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
(GATT).36 As in foreign policy, Brophy regarded basically the whole of the national and
international financial system following World War II (both communist and capitalist) as
directly orchestrated by the conspiracy.
In the domestic sphere, Brophy was suspicious of both big government and big
business, which he felt had together corrupted the traditional free enterprise system. As
he explained at a Business-Education Conference at the University of Arizona in 1952, he
believed that America had been founded as the pinnacle of the free enterprise system, that
“the victory of Jeffersonian Democracy” over Hamilton’s “Old World point of view” had
led to a more hardy, robust system of free enterprise which was best exemplified by
western expansion. Under classic free enterprise “an occasional Astor made a fortune,
but the principal enterprisers … were those who ploughed rather than reaped.” Later,
33
Letter, Frank Brophy to Bonner Frank Fellers, 27 Aug 1971, Hoover Inst., Bonner Frank Fellers Papers,
Box 5, folder 1; Interview of Frank Brophy by Patricia Clark, 19 Nov 1973, ASU, Evan Mecham
Collection, folder “Frank Brophy Interview”
34
Letter, Frank Brophy to Clare Boothe Luce, 2 Feb 1962, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 40, folder 765; Letter,
Frank Brophy to Barry Goldwater, 28 Apr 1975, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 2, folder 23
35
Interview of Frank Brophy by Patricia Clark, 19 Nov 1973, ASU, Evan Mecham Collection, folder
“Frank Brophy Interview”
36
Memo, Frank Brophy for Barry Goldwater (and Evan Mecham), 1961, ASH (Tucson), FCB, Box 46,
folder 926
33
“proprietary influence in American business” had been supplanted by “a managerial
elite,” with “the manager representing a group of unknown absentee shareholders.”
Thus, “private property was becoming more and more private, just as free enterprise was
becoming less and less free.” These changes paved the way for the eventual communist
infiltration of America since “the new managers of capitalism [were] inept in almost
everything except their efficient handling of their immediate business operations” while
the communists were well organized in political matters.37 This understanding of free
enterprise connected Brophy, the wealthy owner-operator of vast banking, ranching, and
mining interests, with the western pioneer heritage and cast him on the side of the
independent adventurers against the bureaucratic managers that were sapping the country
of its individual freedoms. In this way he laid some of the rhetorical groundwork for
wealthy western conservatives like Barry Goldwater who would see no disconnect
between their inherited wealth and claims to the rugged individualism of pioneer
ancestors.
Brophy also believed that the very fabric of the nation’s government was being
eroded by the conspiracy. In response to a manuscript she had sent him, Brophy wrote a
letter to Clare Boothe Luce explaining his “little confidence in any democracy as a
practical instrument of government.” Rather, he lamented the emphasis on “democracy”
that had seeped into American politics, believing that a “Constitutional system of
representative government,” a republic balancing the desires of the various classes and
states, had always preserved the nation’s strength. Democracy, in Brophy’s political
37
Frank Brophy, Speech, “Free Enterprise,” 26 Apr 1952, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 35, folder 660
34
philosophy, was equated with demagoguery.38 Brophy also worried that American
society was being subverted by “the lethal job that the Supreme Court has done to our
Constitution” in expanding criminal rights and allowing for greater freedom of
expression by anti-establishment groups.39 The combination of these factors led Brophy
to predict in February 1975 that “the time is running out and the great American republic
we love will have been pretty well destroyed by the end of 1976.”40
There was a crucial spiritual element to Brophy’s apocalyptic vision of the vast
conspiracy threatening individual freedom and American government. A devout
Catholic, Brophy believed “the roots of the political and economic freedom that we have
known in the Western world during the past century can be traced directly back” to
Jesus.41 In listing three policies that would put America back on the right track, Brophy
described policy three as “A moral spiritual program. This is as vital as the other two, if
not more. Without a true appreciation for eternal values, the temporal accomplishments
have no validity.”42 In a letter to Lawrence Dennis regarding his book, The Dynamics of
War and Revolution, which laid out a fascist blueprint for America, Brophy expressed his
appreciation that Dennis’ work “condensed and put in an orderly manner, much of the
thinking that I have tried to do in recent years.” Brophy’s one criticism was “the
38
Letter, Frank Brophy to Clare Boothe Luce, 2 Feb 1962, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 40, folder 765
39
Letter, Frank Brophy to Bonner Frank Fellers, 27 Aug 1971, Hoover Inst., Bonner Frank Fellers Papers,
Box 5, folder 1
40
Letter, Frank Brophy to Tom Anderson, Clarence Manion, and Pat Murphy, 21 Feb 1975, AHS Tucson,
Box 47, folder 932
41
Frank Brophy, Speech, “Free Enterprise,” 26 Apr 1952, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 35, folder 660
42
Three Policies, undated, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 35, folder 666
35
exclusion of the spiritual element,” without which a true understanding of the human
condition was impossible.43 In fact, without “Christian standards of morality,” Brophy
believed that the “disintegration of free institutions becomes inevitable.”44 Religion was
the backbone of all that was best and worth preserving in America.
The opposite was also true: just as freedom was founded on religious principles,
the vast global conspiracy was “a satanic movement” “sired by Satan himself.”45 The
satanic movement had begun to subvert “from within, first the Protestant religion, and
then [through the 1950s and 1960s] the Roman Catholic religion,” diminishing “the
effectiveness of the Church in saving men’s souls and preserving human dignity.”46 In
this regard, Brophy was concerned about conservative friends who belonged to the
“Episcopalian-academic-social-register-interventionist-school,” a group that would
include Barry Goldwater and other prominent Arizona conservatives.47 Brophy shared
the concerns of Clare Boothe Luce that the Catholic Church hierarchy had become
43
Letter, Frank Brophy to Lawrence Dennis, 16 Jun 1941, Hoover Inst., Lawrence Dennis Papers, Box 3,
folder “Brophy, Frank Cullen, 1941-1960”
44
Frank Brophy, Speech, “Free Enterprise,” 26 Apr 1952, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 35, folder 660
45
Letter, Frank Brophy to Tom Anderson, Clarence Manion, and Pat Murphy, 21 Feb 1975, AHS Tucson,
Box 47, folder 932; Letter, Frank Brophy to Carl Hayden, 3 Jan 1951, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 39, folder
743
46
Letter, Frank Brophy to Bonner Frank Fellers, 27 Aug 1971, Hoover Inst., Bonner Frank Fellers Papers,
Box 5, folder 1
47
Letter, Frank Brophy to Lawrence Dennis, 16 Jun 1941, Hoover Inst., Lawrence Dennis Papers, Box 3,
folder “Brophy, Frank Cullen, 1941-1960”
36
insufficiently anti-communist, allowing liberal-minded clergy to persecute those who
took outspoken stands against the “satanic movement.”48
In the face of this danger, Brophy took St. Paul as his spiritual guide. After
documenting the “American Madhouse” that resulted from the conspiracy’s manipulation
of U.S. government and society, Brophy identified Paul as the exemplar of what would
be required to “somehow, in some mysterious way … find [our] way out of this world
madhouse that threatens to destroy us.” Brophy was drawn to two particular elements of
Paul’s story and teachings: his vision of the unseen and his call to stand for truth in the
face of overwhelming odds. As Brophy recounted the story of Paul’s conversion,
When he recovered his sight he saw more clearly than mortal man has ever seen.
He not only saw the common lot of men as he struggles [sic] along the road of
life, but he also saw into the hidden spiritual world were unmeasurable [sic]
forces are at work that effect the lives of all men.
Reinforcing this idea of the unseen forces, Brophy quoted the closing of Paul’s letter to
the Ephesians: “It is not just against flesh and blood that we are fighting. Our struggle is
also against principalities and powers that seek mastery of the world in these dark days.
We fight against malign forces in an order higher than ours.” Such a fight exactly
coincided with Brophy’s conception of a satanic conspiracy that was both active and
unseen. Brophy, like Paul, had recognized these unseen powers and was fighting them in
the same way that Paul had recommended to the Ephesians, by putting on the armor of
truth, justice, and faith and then speaking boldly against great odds.49 Brophy thus
48
Frank Brophy, political pamphlet, “Catholics, Communism and The Commonweal,” 1963, Hoover Inst.,
Norman Alderdice Papers, Box 91, folder 16
49
“American Madhouse,” ca. 1950, AHS Tucson, FCB, Box 40, folder 782
37
offered the highest of compliments when, following Evan Mecham’s defeat in the 1962
U.S. Senate campaign, he praised the candidate for “following [Paul’s example] pretty
faithfully.”
Brophy’s correspondence reveals significant exchanges with national thinkers and
leaders of the anti-communist movement, including William Buckley, Bonner Frank
Fellers, Tom Anderson, Clare Boothe Luce, Clarence Manion, and Lawrence Dennison,
shortening the intellectual distance between the southwest and the Eastern establishment.
Brophy shared the most in common with Clarence Manion. Both were conservative,
isolationist Catholics who left the Democratic Party over frustration with the United
States’ entry into the World Wars. Each championed robust anticommunism, fiercely
defended small business, and viewed America “as a nation on the brink of
totalitarianism.”50 Both became members of the John Birch Society and early supporters
of Barry Goldwater.51
Though Brophy’s willingness to speak of a “conspiracy” may have separated him
from his more rhetorically gifted peers, his isolationist, anticommunist, Catholic, and free
enterprise ideals were reflective of the fractured intellectual conservatism that existed
during the height of the New Deal consensus. Brophy’s conspiracy conservatism
represented one stand of conservative thought active in Arizona during and after World
War II, elements of which he shared with other prominent leaders of the Arizona
50
Kim Phillips-Fein, Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to
Ronald Reagan (New York: W. W. Norton, 2009), 81-83
51
Rick Perlstein, Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (New
York: Hill and Wang, 2001), 110, 44-45
38
Republican Party. His own religious brand of ideological conservatism often put him at
odds with more pragmatic conservatives and prefigured the debates that would shape the
conservative Arizona Republican Party for decades.
Establishment Conservatism
The political philosophy of Clarence Budington “Bud” Kelland presented Arizona
Republicans with an alternative brand of nationally-connected conservatism separate
from the anti-communist and conspiracy elements of Frank Cullen Brophy. Kelland’s
conservatism was instead rooted firmly in the Republican Party and the leadership of
Herbert Hoover.
Bud Kelland was born in Portland, Michigan in 1881 and graduated from the
Detroit College of Law in 1902. He then turned to writing full time, both as a journalist
and novelist. He published over sixty novels and two-hundred short stories before his
death in 1964, including publications in prominent national magazines. Editors of the
Saturday Evening Post found in 1960 that the magazine had printed fifty-eight serials,
one-hundred thirty-four stories, and six articles by Kelland. He was best known for
writing stories where the main character was “innocent, self-effacing and shrewd.”
Several of his stories were made into motion pictures, including most famously “Mr.
Deeds Goes to Town,” the 1936 Frank Capra movie starring Gary Cooper that was based
on Kelland’s short story “Opera Hat.” In 1937, Kelland moved to Arizona and became
heavily involved in Republican Party politics in the state. He also became a partner with
39
Eugene Pulliam in The Arizona Republic and The Phoenix Gazette, in which he wrote
regular editorials.52
From 1940 to 1956, Kelland served as the Republican National Committeeman
from Arizona, a position that led to some prominence in both state and national politics.
In 1942 he served as the national publicity director for the party.53 His most prominent
position came in 1952 when he was able to arrange for a prominent speaking slot at the
Republican National Convention for his friend, Arizona Gov. Howard Pyle. 54 During
that same convention, Kelland was assigned, along with John Foster Dulles, the task of
“condensing, emphasizing, and de-emphasizing” the platform subcommittee’s reports
into a fitting party platform.55 As a conservative unhappy with President Eisenhower’s
politics, Kelland soon fell out of favor with the national party leadership. In the years
after Eisenhower’s election he had difficulty delivering in a timely manner on the
patronage positions to which Arizona Republicans felt they were entitled with the new
administration.56
52
“Clarence Budington Kelland, Prolific Author, Is Dead at 82,” 19 Feb 1964, New York Times; “Clarence
Budington Kelland,” obituary, 19 Feb 1964, New York Herald Tribune; “Clarence Budington Kelland,”
The Internet Movie Database, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0445502/; Clarence Budington Kelland,
Editorial, The Arizona Republic, 9 Apr 1961, B-1
53
“Clarence Budington Kelland,” obituary, 19 Feb 1964, New York Herald Tribune
54
Letters, Bud Kelland to Barry Goldwater, 12 Jun 1952, and Barry Goldwater to Bud Kelland, 16 Jun
1952, AHF, BMG Correspondence, Box 68, folder 21 “K”
55
56
C.P. Trussell, “Rivals’ Views on Rights Stir Split,” 6 Jul 1952, New York Times, p. 1
Various correspondence, Eisenhower Presidential Library, Leonard W. Hall Papers, Box 171, folder
“Arizona Situation 1953”; Letter, Bud Kelland to Howard Pyle, 12 Aug 1952, ASU, Howard Pyle Papers,
Box 76, folder 25
40
In Arizona, Kelland was positioned at the heart of the growing conservative
Republican Party and its connection to Herbert Hoover. Kelland met the former
president sometime in the late 1930s and the two became close friends. Much of their
friendship revolved around the Bohemian Grove, a retreat in Northern California attended
each summer by leaders in business, politics, and the arts. Hoover, as a member, invited
Kelland as his guest for several years before the latter accepted. Kelland became a
regular attendee and later an official member able to invite his own guests.57 He was
among a small number of friends for whom Hoover purchased gift subscriptions to the
National Review in 1955.58 The two enjoyed fishing together and carried on a lively
correspondence.59 In a rare example of Hoover’s occasional dry humor and care for
Kelland, one letter read in full:
My dear Bud:
1. Your picture stands in a prominent place in this apartment.
2. It is the only personal photograph that I permit on these premises.
3. Everybody who comes in stops to look at this impressive gentleman.
4. They make kind remarks about you.
5. They want one like it.
6. My affections to Betty and you.60
57
Various correspondence between Herbert Hoover and Bud Kelland, 1937-1942, Hoover Pres., Papers of
Herbert Hoover – Post-Presidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 106, folder “Kelland, Clarence
Budington (1)”; Letter, Herbert Hoover to Bud Kelland, 19 Feb 1957, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert
Hoover – Post-Presidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 107, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington
(6)”
58
Letter, Herbert Hoover to National Review, 29 Nov 1955, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover –
Post-Presidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 241, folder “National Review”
59
60
“Hoover Leaves Hospital, Goes Fishing,” 14 Feb 1953, New York Times, p. 7
Letter, Herbert Hoover to Bud Kelland, 30 Mar 1959, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – PostPresidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 107, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington (6)”
41
The two continued their correspondence into 1964, when deteriorating health made letterwriting increasingly difficult.61 Each died that year.
As Arizona’s representative to the Republican National Committee, Kelland was
a key player in the state party’s initial growth. As with Hoover, Kelland’s friendship with
Gov. Howard Pyle involved the Bohemian Grove, where the two would often meet the
former president.62 In 1964, Pyle reflected upon those relationships in a letter to Jack
Williams, writing that he had recently lost “two of my most revered friends – Kelland and
President Hoover.”63 Kelland was also close to Barry Goldwater, who sought his advice
during the 1952 Senate campaign and whom Kelland later regarded as a something of a
political protégé.64 In 1953, Kelland’s friendships and political positions placed him in a
tight spot when newspaper publisher Eugene Pulliam was upset with the national party
over an unfulfilled patronage job and with Gov. Pyle over an anti-polygamy raid carried
out by state law enforcement officers and Kelland was called upon to smooth things
over.65 Kelland was also involved in the effort to convince Pyle to run for a third two-
61
Various Correspondence, between Herbert Hoover and Bud Kelland, 1964, Hoover Pres., Papers of
Herbert Hoover – Post-Presidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 107, folder “Kelland, Clarence
Budington (7)”
62
Letter, Howard Pyle to Herbert Hoover, 20 Aug 1951, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – PostPresidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 182, folder “Pyle, Howard”; Letters, Bud Kelland to
Howard Pyle, 12 Aug 1953, and Howard Pyle to Bud Kelland, 1 Sep 1953, ASU, Howard Pyle Papers, Box
76, folder 25
63
Letter, Howard Pyle to Jack Williams, ca. Nov 1964, The Center for American History, Stephen Shadegg
/ Barry Goldwater Collection, 1949-1965, Box 3H510, folder “Letters”
64
65
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Bud Kelland, 8 Jul 1952, AHF, BMG Correspondence, Box 68, folder 21 “K”
Letter, Bud Kelland to Howard Pyle, 12 Aug 1953, ASU, Howard Pyle Papers, Box 76, folder 25; Letter,
Len Hall to Bud Kelland, 29 Sep 1953, Eisenhower Presidential Library, Leonard W. Hall Papers, Box 171,
folder “Arizona Situation 1953”
42
year term in 1954 and Goldwater turned to him in 1957 to help arrange that gubernatorial
nomination for Paul Fannin by suppressing an effort to draft Rep. John Rhodes.66
Bud Kelland’s association with the conservative wing of the Republican Party
stretched back to the early 1940s, when Kelland lamented the “me-too” nature of
Wendell Wilkie’s presidential campaign and his insufficient commitment to building the
party apparatus.67 In 1948 Kelland wrote to Hoover complaining about the 1944 “defeat”
and 1948 “disaster” of Thomas Dewey’s presidential campaigns, again complaining that
the candidate had been too interested in his own victory and insufficiently committed to
strengthening the party organization.68 Like many of his Arizona compatriots, Kelland
was a firm supporter of Robert Taft in 1952.69
Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency generated a growing discontent from Kelland.
Following the 1952 election, Kelland characterized the election to Herbert Hoover thus:
It was, of course, a great victory for something. Maybe it was for the Republican
Party and Conservatism. I hope so. At least it was an uprising of which we
people, who imagine we are right-thinking, may be able to take advantage.70
66
Letter, Len Hall to Bud Kelland, 18 Nov 1953, Eisenhower Presidential Library, Leonard W. Hall
Papers, Box 171, folder “Arizona Situation 1953”; Letter, Barry Goldwater to Bud Kelland, 17 Sep 1957,
AHF, BMG Microfilm, CD 26
67
Letter, Bud Kelland to Herbert Hoover, 15 Jan 1941, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – PostPresidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 106, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington (1)”
68
Letter, Bud Kelland to Herbert Hoover, 5 Nov 1948, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – PostPresidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 106, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington (4)”
69
Letter, Bud Kelland to Herbert Hoover, 16 Mar 1952, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – PostPresidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 107, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington (5)”
70
Letter, Bud Kelland to Herbert Hoover, 15 Nov 1952, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – PostPresidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 107, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington (5)”
43
By 1954 Kelland was publishing editorials criticizing Eisenhower’s advisors for
muddling the election and failing to provide appropriate party leadership.71 Following
the election he wrote to Hoover repeating his complaint about Eisenhower’s failed party
leadership and coupling it with a criticism of Eisenhower’s policies, which he
characterized as merely “an honest and economical New Deal” instead of a new
conservative path.72 Kelland was sufficiently frustrated by what he saw as Eisenhower’s
willingness “to accept unholy compromises” that he decided not to attend the Republican
National Convention in 1956.73 He declared in a letter to Hoover that “Ike’s modern
Republicanism is not to be distinguished from Truman’s old New Deal.”74
In a December 1958 press release addressed to Republican National Committee
Chairman Meade Alcorn, Kelland issued his most vigorous denunciation of the
Eisenhower administration. He condemned “New Republicanism” as “pale pink parlor
socialism and a scarcely concealed foundation of Fabian Marxism” and charged those
who invented it with desiring “the destruction of the Republican Party as it existed from
the days of Abraham Lincoln.” He compared Eisenhower to “a façade with no solid
structure behind it. Like a stage set on a motion picture lot.” Kelland described the
president’s brother Milton as a “devious, dangerous, left wing … subversive.” “President
71
“Kelland, Fearful of a G.O.P. ‘Fall’ Cites ‘Stupidity’ of Men in Power,” 19 Sep 1954, New York Times,
p. 80
72
Letter, Bud Kelland to Herbert Hoover, 13 Nov 1954, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – PostPresidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 107, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington (5)”
73
Letter, Bud Kelland to Herbert Hoover, 6 Jul 1956, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – PostPresidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 107, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington (5)”
74
Letter, Bud Kelland to Herbert Hoover, 4 Dec 1952, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – PostPresidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 107, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington (5)”
44
Eisenhower,” Kelland summarized, “has permitted the virtual destruction of the
Republican Party and the undermining of our Constitution.”75 As Kelland wrote to
Hoover, Eisenhower was a double failure for, “his New Republicanism and his disloyalty
to the party that elected him.”76
Kelland’s own political philosophy emphasized individual freedom, free
enterprise, and (eventually) anti-communist interventionism. In his more optimistic days
early in the 1948 presidential campaign season, Kelland had written to Hoover,
The basic issue seems to be emerging at last, which is Individual Freedom. That’s
the battle line, between the New Deal which seeks to impair and restrict and
curtail human freedom, and the Republican Party which works to restore and
perpetuate it. The people are beginning to understand it and rise to it and
comprehend that every restriction must be scrutinized and resisted. If we hammer
it home we cannot fail.77
In a 1951 speech to the Arizona Motor Hotels Association, Kelland focused on the need
to preserve free enterprise by making acceptable compromises that would balance
appropriate regulation with dynamic economic freedom. Maintaining that balance into
the future would require “a vast, nationwide revival service … calling us back to the
ways of honor and integrity.”78 Thus, individual effort, not government action, held the
real key to maintaining freedom and regulating economic activity.
75
Bud Kelland, Press Release, 15 Nov 1958, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – Post-Presidential,
Individual Correspondence File, Box 107, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington (6)”
76
Letter, Bud Kelland to Herbert Hoover, 6 Nov 1958, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – PostPresidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 107, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington (6)”
77
Letter, Bud Kelland to Herbert Hoover, 18 Feb 1948, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – PostPresidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 106, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington (4)”
78
“State GOP Chief Scores Moral Breakdown In U.S.,” 28 Nov 1951, The Arizona Republic, p. 4
45
Kelland’s views on international policy were less secure. In January 1941 he
wrote a desperate letter to Hoover seeking guidance. He opened the letter by declaring,
“I am bewildered and wandering in a land where there seems to be no solid ground upon
which a man may take his stand. So I come to you for advice.” Kelland found himself
genuinely torn between a call for unity in the face of possible war and a need to speak out
against an administration he deeply distrusted. He wondered, “Does patriotism demand
individual dishonesty of thought and word?” In a passage illustrating the depth of his
certain about his uncertainty, Kelland wrote,
I believe that the Nazi system is a horrible thing, but I believe this because I have
been told and not because I have seen. But, evil as it is, I do not believe it aims at
or can achieve world dominion. I believe that the Nazi regime aims at security,
which is what we aim at ourselves. I am told and believe they have reared a
generation of quasi-monsters. I have been told, and to a degree I believe, that the
continued existence of Great Britain is necessary to us. I do admit it will be
beneficial to [us], but reason insists upon telling me that the New World,
Australia, South Africa, Canada, the United States will continue to exist if Europe
were to be abolished. But is it proper for me to hint at this?
I am at a loss to know how far we should go in giving aid to Britain. What is
peace and what is war? What do we gain that is better than what we risk?
Ultimately, his “main bewilderment” was
What is patriotism and what is subversion? How much of myself and of my
honesty must I surrender? How much must I be untrue to myself? How much
must I unite with what I fear and abhor?
I am standing in the midst of a great desert alone.79
79
Letter, Bud Kelland to Herbert Hoover, 15 Jan 1941, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – PostPresidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 106, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington (1)”
46
For a committed conservative used to speaking out and vehemently opposed to President
Roosevelt, the looming possibility of war seemed to turn his commitment to his country
against itself and against him.
Almost three years later, Kelland expressed markedly changed sentiments in a
speech to the Pennsylvania Council of Republican Women. His concerns allayed,
Kelland spoke out vigorously in defense of the nation’s decision to enter the war. On the
question of whether to “adhere to the traditional policy of avoiding foreign
entanglements” or to “undertake the unaccustomed and perilous role of active
intervention in world affairs,” Kelland argued that the country had held a vigorous debate
and “decided well. It has taken the side of courage against cowardice.” In a twist on his
earlier concerns that President Roosevelt was leading the country into war, Kelland
suggested that the Republican Party had taken the lead in the decision to actively engage
in the post-war world. With this decision made, however, he proposed unity between the
parties in matters of foreign affairs, to the extent that the parties should agree to negotiate
and adopt “identical foreign relations planks” so as “to eliminate the subject as a political
issue.”80 Not only had Kelland adopted an internationalist stance from his early
uncertainties about entering the war, he was now advocating an extreme example of the
kind of unity that had so troubled him. Though the calls for unity later dissolved in the
face of his usual outspokenness, he seems to have maintained his interventionist leanings,
80
Bud Kelland, Speech to Pennsylvania Council of Republican Women, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 18 Nov
1943, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – Post-Presidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box
106, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington (4)”
47
criticizing the Eisenhower administration in 1960 for having “borrowed Chamberlain’s
umbrella” in allowing communist forces to devlop in the Western Hemisphere.81
Perhaps the most significant aspect of Kelland’s political philosophy was his
belief in the absolute need for a conservative party in opposition to the politics of the
Democratic Party. In 1954 he declared in a letter to Hoover, “Either the Republican
Party is the conservative party of this land, or it is nothing.”82 In his 1958 press release
castigating Eisenhower, he predicted a walkout by conservative Southern Democrats at
the 1960 national convention and suggested that conservative Republicans should follow
their example and join them in creating a Conservative Party. This would force their
opponents to adopt their true designation of “Radical-Labor,” thus sealing victory for the
Right. As his example of the efficacy of such elections, where “the battle line was as
sharply drawn between Conservative and Radical Labor,” Kelland pointed to the 1958
Arizona senatorial election, a rematch between Republican Sen. Barry Goldwater and
Democratic Gov. and former Majority Leader Ernest McFarland. 83
Bud Kelland’s politics were both conservative and deeply rooted in the party
establishment. His work as a Republican Party activist and his friendship with Herbert
Hoover were the defining elements of his conservative thought. Even as he grew
81
Bud Kelland, “We Must Save America,” editorial, ca. 24 Mar 1960, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert
Hoover – Post-Presidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 106, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington
(4)”
82
Letter, Bud Kelland to Herbert Hoover, 26 Dec 1954, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – PostPresidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 107, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington (5)”
83
Bud Kelland, Press Release, 15 Nov 1958, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – Post-Presidential,
Individual Correspondence File, Box 107, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington (6)”; Letter, Bud Kelland
to Herbert Hoover, 6 Nov 1958, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – Post-Presidential, Individual
Correspondence File, Box 107, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington (6)”
48
disillusioned with the leadership of Wilkie, Dewey, and Eisenhower, he continued to
demonstrate loyalty to the Republican Party and never actually participated in the
conservative walkout he had imagined.
Conclusion
A comparison of Bud Kelland’s and Frank Brophy’s political philosophies
highlights key differences within conservative thought during the mid-twentieth century.
In contrast to Brophy’s belief that an international “conspiracy” was behind conservative
losses such as the defeat of Robert Taft in 1952, Kelland blamed more parochial forces
such as bungling leaders who were insufficiently committed to the growth of the party or
conservative ideals. Where Brophy was an outspoken and committed opponent of
internationalism, Kelland initially was torn over the question and later an advocate of the
“brave” choice of intervention. Kelland evidently wrestled with his own outspokenness,
wondering when silence might be appropriate. Brophy, on the other hand, was a firm
advocate of declaring his beliefs boldly, even in the face of severe opposition. Perhaps
most strikingly, where Kelland turned repeatedly to former President Hoover for strategic
advice in furthering both the Republican Party and the conservative cause, Brophy looked
to the Apostle Paul as an example in the surety of following the dictates of individual
conscience in pursuing divine truth.
The contrast suggests a central dynamic of Arizona conservatism in the postwar
period: the link between religious views and an ideological political approach. Where the
secular Kelland focused on organization, process, and strategy as central to political
49
outcomes, Brophy applied his religious faith in the power of right thinking and right
speaking (or, conversely, sinister forces) to the political context, leading him to
accentuate blunt outspokenness as a potent political tool. Out of the state’s rapid growth
and in relationship to these sometimes discordant strands of conservative thought, a
Republican Party emerged in Arizona that was aligned first with a strategic secular
conservatism aligned with a non-partisan, business-oriented reform movement and later
with an ideologically-oriented religious conservatism that coalesced behind Ronald
Reagan presidential campaigns.
50
Chapter 2
Non-Partisan Activism:
Post-War Phoenix and the Origins of the Conservative Republican Party
Prior to 1949, the Phoenix municipal government had established a reputation for
corruption and vice. In response, a group of young politicians and local business leaders
formed a non-partisan movement to reform city government. Backed primarily by the
wealth of the banking and real estate industries, the Charter Government Committee
(CGC) opened avenues of political cooperation between city government and business
groups as part of a governing regime that emphasized economic growth and efficient
management as the top priorities of municipal government. Through several election
cycles and with the support of the major local newspapers, the CGC succeeded in
establishing its brand of business-centered conservative politics as dominant political
culture. Through the work of CGC-trained activists and politicians, this particular nonpartisan political culture spread from the city government to county government, the local
school system, and on to the state level. Members of the governing regime also
effectively capitalized on this political environment to enhance the standing of the
Arizona Republican Party and propel their own careers as conservative Republican
politicians in state and federal office. An examination of the remarkable success of the
Arizona Republican Party following World War II therefore must take into account this
“non-partisan” activism and the particular organizational and ideological framework
established by the charter government movement.
51
Small-Town Politics
As the population of Phoenix exploded in the 1930s and 1940s, the government of
Phoenix developed a reputation for corruption, bossism, graft, and general incompetence.
A 1913 city charter revision, which banned overt participation by the major parties in city
government and instituted at-large elections, had contributed to increasing instability. 1
As political scientist Amy Bridges has written,
Nonpartisanship created an environment in which unity among politicians was
very difficult to achieve; in both the commission form and under city manager
charters, the tendency to disorganization and factionalism was very strong. The
result was the most common form of local politics in the Southwest: a
bewildering array of factions and personalities, transient alliances and "rings"
governing with little consistency, and few notable politicians - strongly
resembling in these characteristics V.O. Key's Southern Politics.2
The city manager position had become a focal point of charges of corruption and
inefficiency in municipal government, with each factional shift on the volatile city
council bringing the appointment of a new city manager. As a result, the position
underwent 31 changes in the 35 years between 1914 and 1949.3
Turnover and corruption was also rampant in the police department. A running
joke involved one person mentioning a former police chief and another asking, “How
many days did he serve?” The municipal police department not only tolerated but in fact
1
Bradford Luckingham, Phoenix: The History of a Southwestern Metropolis (Tucson: University of
Arizona Press, 1989), 67; Amy Bridges, Morning Glories (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press,
1997), 73
2
3
Bridges, Morning Glories, 73
Paul Kelso, “The Phoenix Story of Municipal Government – 1950-1963,” 12 August 1963, Arizona
Historical Foundation (hereafter AHF), Newton Rosenzweig Collection, Box 7, folder 9
52
profited from prostitution and gambling.4 Apparent crack-downs on vice could be
misleading. For instance, a drop in prostitution fines could actually signal more
prostitution, as corrupt officials sought to profit from the practice and therefore eased up
on their official enforcement in exchange for bribes.5 As a former assistant city attorney
and founding member of the Charter Government Committee later explained, before the
charter government movement “some people had no problem with tickets, some people
could do things and nothing would happen to them and the city was quite running wild,
and a question [arose] about whether or not everything was being accounted for
properly.”6 At the same time, drunk-driving charges were used to target political
enemies, including the fire chief on one occasion. 7 Whether such practices were any
more common than in other jurisdictions, the appearance of vice, corruption, and
incompetence became widely accepted in Phoenix.
An incident during World War II brought the crisis to a head and resulted in a
virtual coup in city government. On November 26, 1942, a fight broke out between a
black soldier stationed in the area and a local black woman. The fight grew larger as
military police intervened and attempted to round up black soldiers. Phoenix police
officers responded to the growing riot, joined military police, and then sealed off and
searched twenty-eight city blocks. Military police contributed armored personnel carriers
4
Bridges, Morning Glories, 81
5
Transcript of interview with Eli Gorodezky, 28 Jun 1978, Arizona Historical Society (hereafter AHS),
Tempe Branch (Tempe), Oral History Collection
6
Transcript of interview with Eli Gorodezky, 7 Feb 1985, Arizona Jewish Historical Society (hereafter
AJHS), Oral History Collection
7
Transcript of interview with Eli Gorodezky, 28 Jun 1978, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
53
and machine guns. The “Thanksgiving Night Riot” and accompanying response left
three dead, eleven wounded and 180 soldiers under arrest.8
The incident heightened existing tensions between local military leaders and the
city’s government. Four days later, the local commanding officer declared Phoenix off
limits to soldiers. In doing so, however, he emphasized a prevalence of prostitution and
venereal disease rather than the recent racial unrest. In an effort to convince local
military leaders to rescind the restrictions and reopen a valuable source of revenue, city
business leaders met with the mayor and city commissioners at the Adams Hotel for what
became known as the “Cardroom Putsch.” The meeting resulted in the firing of the city
manager, city clerk, city magistrate, and chief of police. Though military officials lifted
the ban on Phoenix three days later, the specter of rampant corruption and vice, whether
real or perceived, clung to the commission-manager government. The success of the
“putsch” also provided a counter-narrative in support of direct political intervention by
business leaders.9
These events and the accompanying narrative of a city in need of reform created
an opportunity for local business leaders to later exercise more lasting control over
8
Whitaker, Matthew C., Race Work: The Rise of Civil Rights in the Urban West (Lincoln: University of
Nebraska Press, 2005), 74-74; Bradford Luckingham, Minorities in Phoenix: A Profile of Mexican
American, Chinese American, and African American Communities, 1860-1992 (Tucson: University of
Arizona Press, 1994), 157
9
Thomas E. Sheridan, Arizona: A History (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1995), 273-274;
Luckingham, Phoenix, 143-146; Several CGC candidates later suggested that their accusations of vice and
corruption had been hollow, as recounted in Robert Goldberg. Barry Goldwater (New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1995), 80.
54
Phoenix municipal politics.10 They did so through the formation of the Charter
Government Committee, a legally non-partisan organization that served as a vetting
committee, campaign finance arm, and launching pad for Phoenix City Council members
from 1949 through 1976. In the process, the CGC helped lay the foundation for the rise
of the business wing of the state Republican Party, reshaping the political landscape in
which the major parties competed and launching the careers of prominent conservative
Republicans.
The Charter Government Committee
Responding to the vice, corruption, and inefficiency endemic in the existing city
government, Phoenix Mayor Ray Busey decided in 1947 that the time was ripe for a
major revision of the city charter. To this end, Busey assembled the Charter Revision
Committee, a volunteer group of Phoenix business, civic, and community leaders tasked
with preparing amendments to the city charter. 11 Against opposition from city
employees and labor organizations, the proposed amendments were adopted by Phoenix
voters in 1948 by a 38% margin. The amendments enlarged the city council from five to
seven members, ended staggered terms in favor of biennial elections of the entire city
council, waived a residency provision for the position of city manager, and stipulated that
10
Interview of Frank Snell by Kristina Minister, 1988, archival material at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of
Commerce (hereafter GPCoC)
11
Luckingham, Phoenix, 147; “Charter Revision Committee,” list of members, 24 October 1947, AHS
Tempe, Phoenix City Government Records, 1956-1966, Box 2, folder 11,
55
managers were to be hired based on their professional training and experience.12 These
last provisions opened the way for the council to choose a professionally trained manager
with experience in another city government, intended as a key step in changing the
pattern of quick turnover and political appointments that had plagued the office. Other
changes to the charter distinguished the legislative powers and oversight responsibilities
of the city council from the administrative responsibilities of the city manager. Where
the council members had developed a practice of working directly with specific
departments, the new charter specified that the council, as a whole, would exercise
oversight of city departments only through the city manager.
Because a faction opposed to the charter revision amendments retained control of
the city council, however, the approval of these provisions had little immediate effect on
the actual operation of the city government.13 Institutional rules separating legislation
and administration were of little efficacy when office holders in each category failed to
act upon such reforms, and the possibility of hiring professional city managers did not in
itself preclude cronyism. Concerned about lax enforcement of the new city charter, a
group of prominent business, and civic leaders (including many of the same men who had
been active in the “Cardroom Putsch” and the Charter Revision Committee) began
12
Jessica Trounstine, Political Monopolies in American Cities: The Rise and Fall of Bosses and Reformers
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008), 60; Bridges, Morning Glories, 107-108; Luckingham,
Phoenix, 148; Michael Francis Konig, “Toward Metropolis Status: Charter Government and the Rise of
Phoenix, Arizona, 1945-1960 (Ph.D. diss., Arizona State University, 1983), 35
13
Paul Kelso, “Phoenix Makes a New Start,” National Municipal Review, September 1950; “A Memo,”
editorial, The Arizona Times, November 7, 1947
56
gathering in the spring of 1949.14 Alfred Knight was the group’s leader. A property
developer, philanthropist, and head of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Knight had
participated in successful municipal reform efforts in Cincinnati.15 Around the same
time, Donald Webster, President of the Arizona Young Republicans, approached Dix
Price, President of the Arizona Young Democrats, about joining forces to field a
combined “non-partisan” slate of candidates that would end the corruption and
mismanagement in city hall. Learning of one another’s efforts, the groups joined forces
under Knight’s leadership and gathered on July 14, 1949 to form the Charter Government
Committee (CGC).16
The main actions of the GCG in that first meeting were the selection of additional
members and the adoption of the following Statement of Purpose:
The Charter Government Committee is a group of Phoenix citizens who have
voluntarily organized in the interest of obtaining an efficient management of the
affairs of the City of Phoenix. It is the sole purpose of this Committee to support
and elect a City Council that thoroughly understands the City Charter and during
their term of office will direct the management of the City of Phoenix in
accordance with the Charter as understood by the Citizens that strengthened it
during the last election. On December 13, election day, the Committee will have
completed its work and will disband. It is then the job of the Citizens of Phoenix
to encourage a good administration by evidencing an act of interest in what it is
doing. Good government depends on the interest of the Citizens. Public apathy
has brought us to our present situation. 17
14
Sheridan, Arizona, 274; Transcript of interview with Rhes Henry Cornelius, 22 July 1976, AHS Tempe,
Oral History Collection
15
Bridges, Morning Glories, 119; Transcript of interview with Eli Gorodezky, 7 Feb 1985, AHS Tempe,
Oral History Collection
16
Transcript of interview with Dix Price, 18 October 1978, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection; Brent
Whiting Brown, “An Analysis of the Phoenix Charter Government Committee as a Political Entity”
(masters thesis, Arizona State University, 1968), 31-33
17
Minutes of Meeting of Charter Government Committee, 14 July 1949, AHF, Newton Rosenzweig
Collection, Box 7, folder 7
57
In a telling rhetorical move, the Statement emphasized citizen participation as the key to
good government even as it announced the formation of an elite, exclusive, nontransparent political organization of the wealthy and elite. As political scientist Samuel
P. Hays suggested of the Progressive urban reformers, the rhetoric of greater citizen
involvement was a means to an end rather than a deeply held ideological position. 18 In
order to claim the reform mantle and distinguish itself from the politicians already in
office, the CGC had to simultaneously give lip service to broad participation and
minimize attention to the actual work of the committee.
This tension between elite governance and the rhetoric of popular participation
was reflected in four principles of reform government that Dix Price later outlined for
overcoming the narrative of corruption and vice that had plagued previous city councils.
First, Price suggested, “base it on sound principles, namely the charter changes.” Second,
“pick good, capable, honorable candidates.” Third, “get them elected.” Fourth, “get out
of their way and avoid every possibility of string-pulling and people saying it was the
government of the big business of the town, behind the scenes.”19 In other words, the
CGC had to be intimately involved in exercising power to establish good government for
the people and then appear immediately and completely uninvolved in order to avoid
criticism. This nearly untenable conflict required the CGC to adopt both a rhetoric of
18
Samuel P. Hays, “The Politics of Reform in Municipal Government in the Progressive Era,” Pacific
Northwest Quarterly 55 (1964), 157-169. Reprinted in Dennis R. Judd and Paul Kantor, eds. Urban
American Politics: The Reader (Fourth Edition, New York: Pearson Longman, 2006), 121-122
19
Transcript of interview with Dix Price, 18 Oct 1978, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
58
openness and complex organizational practices that would shield it from accusations of
inappropriate influence.
In the days and weeks that followed, the CGC took up the work of choosing a
slate of candidates, convincing them to run, raising the necessary funds, and coordinating
their campaign. A fifteen-member “Nominating Committee” carried out the search for
candidates.20 As one member later explained, the Nominating Committee focused its
search on
[Those] who had had a record of good community service – and that’s really the
best criteria, and we would select the people from lists of people who had been
active in community affairs … we’d get a list of those kind of people. And
people who were on the Boards and Commissions of the City … doing voluntary
service there. They were a good source of people who would be selected, and
then we’d go through service clubs and pick out prominent people there...21
Looking specifically for such nominees, especially on the “Boards and Commissions” of
civic and volunteer organizations, virtually guaranteed that potential CGC candidates
would be drawn from among the city’s business elite, those with time and means to
support such activities and the social connections to secure leadership roles. After a
period of private vetting, Committee members interviewed potential candidates. The
CGC made a point of not considering any candidates who approached the Committee for
backing.22
Especially in that first year, the Committee did not always succeed in recruiting
the candidates it courted. Margaret Kober, community activist and wife of a locally
20
Minutes of Meeting of Charter Government Committee, 14 July 1949, AHF, Newton Rosenzweig
Collection, Box 7, folder 7
21
Transcript of interview with Rhes Henry Cornelius, 22 July 1976, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
22
Interview of Newton Rosenzweig by Kristina Minister, 1988, GPCoC
59
prominent doctor, was sent to recruit a female member of the state legislature. When
Kober failed in her attempt, the nominating committee instead nominated her.23
Similarly, when the CGC found itself short by two candidates as the filing deadline
approached, they nominated Barry Goldwater, another member of the Nominating
Committee, along with Harry Rosenzweig, whose brother Newton was on the
Nominating Committee.24 According to their own accounts, even these individuals
needed some convincing, however, and the rationale used to persuade Goldwater perhaps
reflects an initial formulation of a political theme that the CGC would repeatedly pitch to
voters. According to an account by Dix Price, who was among the delegation tasked
with recruiting Goldwater, the future presidential candidate was initially reluctant to enter
elective political office, indicating that he knew little about government and had “a store
to run.” In response, the delegation explained to a member of its own nominating
committee, “Running the city of Phoenix is just like running this store. It’s a service
movement. Collecting garbage, police service, fire service, street service – it’s the very
thing you do in this store.” With that analogy and the assurance that his friend (and
fellow merchant) Harry Rosenzweig would also run, Goldwater signed on.25
23
Transcript of interview with Mrs. Leslie (Margaret) Kober, 18 June 1976, AHS Tempe, Oral History
Collection
24
Transcript of interview with Barry Goldwater, 16 November 1878, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection;
“Harry Rosenzweig,” biographical summary related to his award of Phoenix “Man of the Year” for 1975,
AHF, Harry S. Rosenzweig Sr. Collection, Box 2, folder 4; “Minutes of Meeting of the Executive
Committee of the Charter Government Committee,” 26 July 1949, AHF, Newton Rosenzweig Collection,
Box 7, folder 7
25
Transcript of interview with Dix Price, 18 Oct 1978, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
60
In early September, the CGC held a press conference in which it presented its
slate of nominees. The seven candidates campaigned together with the support of the
Charter Government Committee’s financial and society connections in the months
leading up to the November primaries. In a crowded field of 21 candidates, the worst
performing Committee nominee outpolled his closest rival by a ratio of almost 3:1,
eliminating the need for a December runoff. Leading the pack was Barry Goldwater.26
Though the Charter Government Committee stuck to its pledge of disbanding
following the election in order to demonstrate the purity of its intentions, previous
members of the Committee soon expressed worries about the lasting efficacy of their
efforts. Despite their pledge to leave matters to “the Citizens of Phoenix to encourage a
good administration,” they reconstituted the CGC in 1951. This began a pattern whereby
the previous chairman would re-launch the Committee every two years to select and back
a new slate of candidates.27 The tension reflected in the Statement of Purpose thus
became manifest in the intermittent nature of the Charter Government Committee’s
organization. This biennial regrouping and disbanding allowed members to argue that
the city council was free to act independently even though continued CGC support was
essential for any who hoped to retain their political office. From 1949 through 1974,
only one council member won election without Committee support, allowing the CGC to
direct Phoenix municipal policy for more than 25 years. 28
26
“Total Votes Cast at Primary Election,” 1949-1959, AHS Tempe, Phoenix City Government Records,
1956-1966, Box 2, folder 11
27
Interview of Newton Rosenzweig by Kristina Minister, 1988, GPCoC
28
Sheridan, Arizona, 321
61
Charter Government Political Culture
The Charter Government Committee drew on a century of urban reform in
America, accentuating especially progressive Era ideals toward an ultimately
conservative, business-oriented end. The foundation of CGC political ideology could
have come directly from Politics and Administration: A Study in Government, published
in 1900 by Columbia University political scientist and reform advocate Frank Goodnow.
Goodnow argued for the need of a limit to the political control exercised over public
administration. While recognizing that administration must be generally responsive to
the will of the people, expressed through their elected representatives, Goodnow argued
that the greater danger was that too much interference by those representatives would
hamper efficient and responsive government.29 Goodnow proposed that “reasonable
permanence of tenure is absolutely necessary for the semi-scientific, quasi-judicial, and
technical branches of the administrative services: and stressed the need for those branches
of government to be shielded from direct political control.30 To the CGC and its
advocates, pre-1949 Phoenix government served as the perfect example of the damage
done by too much political interference with administration, damage they proposed to
remedy.
The watchwords of city government during the period of Charter Government
Committee dominance were “efficiency” and “expansion.” The council stressed a level
29
Frank J. Goodnow, Politics and Administration: A Study in Government (1900) (Reprint, New
Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2003), 37-38
30
Goodnow, 85-87
62
of non-partisan professionalism in city management meant to contrast with their charges
of cronyism and bossism in previous administrations. As its first order of business, the
new city council replaced the city manager, a move that had become commonplace
whenever power shifted on the council, with previously itinerant office holders averaging
just over one year in office. In stark contrast, however, new city manager Ray Wilson
was a trained professional with experience in another municipality (Kansas City,
Missouri) and retained this position until his retirement eleven years later.31
Non-partisan professionalism extended beyond the council-manager relationship
to technocratic and independent operation of other city services. Two examples highlight
this quality, which the CGC and city council sought to cultivate. First, a rhetorical
question posed by Margaret Kober in the first CGC election became something of an
unofficial motto for the Committee: “Is there a Democratic or Republican way of
collecting the garbage?”32 Kober’s question, reflecting the call of urban reformers before
her, suggested that proper city management was commonsensical and non-ideological
and further implicated partisanship itself in the bossism of the past. If politics was the
problem, then the CGC’s slate of political novices with practical business experience was
the best solution. In backing up its campaign pledge of greater efficiency, the new city
council instituted professional training programs for city administrators, mechanized
31
Paul Kelso, “The Phoenix Story of Municipal Government – 1950-1963,” 12 August 1963, AHS Tempe,
Newton Rosenzweig Collection, Box 7, folder 9
32
Transcript of interview with Eli Gorodezky, 28 Jun 1978, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
63
accounting practices, and adopted new municipal service standards, including a new
method of trenching and covering the garbage collected by the city.33
A second example of this ethos of professionalism was a story linking traffic
citations with industrial recruitment. It was with great pride that a man involved with the
city’s effort to court Motorola recounted the following incident:
Motorola representatives came out – they were trying to decide on one of four
cities. One guy found a ticket on his car and asked how to fix it. The Chamber of
Commerce guy [serving as a city representative] said, “No one can fix it.” So the
Motorola guy said, “That’s the kind of town we’re looking for.”34
Though this may have seemed a small matter, it was an important symbol of the break
with earlier practices, when political connections had been the key to dodging or
receiving citations. Such stories reinforced the image that the CGC and its municipal
allies sought to cultivate, of a city in which law enforcement and city services were
professional and independent.
Beyond such professionalism, efficiency generally meant lower taxes and more
limited city services, often accomplished through consolidation, privatization, or passing
responsibility up to county or state government.35 The new city council lowered property
taxes 15% in 1950. Subsequent councils continued this trend, resulting in a 23%
reduction in municipal property taxes from 1949 to 1955. In 1954, the city council
moved to reduce hours worked by city employees, including fire, police, and
33
“A Six Year Record of Charter Council Achievement,” CGC campaign statement, 29 Sep 1955, AHS
Tempe, Governor Jack Williams Collection, Box 31, folder 362
34
Russell Pulliam, Publisher Gene Pulliam, Last of the Newspaper Titans (Ottawa, Ill.: Jameson Books,
1984), 136
35
Paul Kelso, “Phoenix Makes a New Start,” National Municipal Review, September 1950
64
transportation workers.36 Where scaling back was not possible, the city council sought
privatization. Their attempt to award a single private contract for garbage collection in
1954 was thwarted by state law, but in 1962 the council did succeed in privatizing
garbage disposal, approving a garbage compost plant to be built with private capital.37
Similarly, though voters initially rebuffed city approval of sale of the transit system in
1955, the council successfully sold the system four years later.38 City officials also found
opportunities to pass responsibility for certain city services to the county. This took place
for property tax assessment and collection in 1950, humane activities such as the dog
pound in 1956, and health care and facilities in 1957.39 Of course, passing such
responsibilities to larger jurisdictions did not necessarily relieve Phoenix residents of the
tax burdens for these services; cumulative property taxes on Phoenix residents actually
increased during the years when municipal property taxes decreased.40 Nonetheless, it did
help burnish the city government’s reputation for cost cutting and efficiency.
While efficiency, professionalism, and economic growth had all been important
elements of Progressive urban reform movements, the CGC added a more literal pro36
“A Six Year Record of Charter Council Achievement,” CGC campaign statement, 29 Sep 1955, AHS
Tempe, Governor Jack Williams Collection, Box 31, folder 362
37
“Present accomplishments of present City Council,” memo from Mr. Urie to Mr. Esser, 15 Sep 1955,
AHS Tempe, Governor Jack Williams Collection, Box 31, folder 362; Speech by Sam Mardian, Jr. before
Optimist Club of North Phoenix, Amsterdam House, 26 Mar 1962, AHS Tempe, Phoenix City Government
Records, 1956-1966, Box 4, folder 29
38
“Present accomplishments of present City Council,” memo from Mr. Urie to Mr. Esser, 15 Sep 1955,
AHS Tempe, Governor Jack Williams Collection, Box 31; Paul Kelso, “The Phoenix Story of Municipal
Government – 1950-1963,” 12 August 1963, AHS Tempe, Newton Rosenzweig Collection, Box 7, folder 9
39
Paul Kelso, “The Phoenix Story of Municipal Government – 1950-1963,” 12 August 1963, AHS Tempe,
Newton Rosenzweig Collection, Box 7, folder 9
40
“A Six Year Record of Charter Council Achievement,” CGC campaign statement, 29 Sep 1955, AHS
Tempe, Governor Jack Williams Collection, Box 31, folder 362
65
growth element to its reform agenda.41 Under CGC control, Phoenix followed a program
of rapid annexation, for which the reputation for efficient management was essential. 42
From 1950 to 1963, the city increased in size from 19.4 square miles to 222.6 square
miles, an eleven-fold increase in just thirteen years.43 Generally, proponents of
annexation made an argument of long-term stability: only with a single, centralized
municipal authority could the area continue to experience the positive economic
prospects enjoyed by the community. They pointed to Eastern cities such as St. Louis as
evidence of the dangers that could result from failing to annex surrounding areas.44
There were also short-term, fiscal reasons for annexation: in order to maintain the
program of low taxes and efficient city services, Phoenix needed an ever-expanding tax
base.45 In addition to the direct municipal taxation of newly acquired areas, annexation
brought increased revenue from state and federal sources based on population figures in
decennial and interim census reports.46 The city council kept such population figures in
41
Philip J. Ethington, “Urban Political Reform,” in Encyclopedia of American Urban History, SAGE
Publications, 2006
42
Luckingham, Phoenix, 161-162; Konig, “Metropolis,” 98
43
Paul Kelso, “The Phoenix Story of Municipal Government – 1950-1963,” 12 August 1963, AHS Tempe,
Newton Rosenzweig Collection, Box 7, folder 9. Between 1950 and 1980, the area of Phoenix increased
almost 2,000%, second only to Jacksonville, FL in percent growth among the twelve largest U.S. cities to
gain population between 1950 and 1980. See Kenneth T. Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier: The
Suburbanization of the United States (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), 139, Table 8-1.
44
“A Memo,” editorial, The Arizona Times, November 7, 1947; Transcript of interview with Jack Williams,
21 August 1979, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
45
Interview of Sam Mardian by Kristina Minister, 1988, GPCoC; Transcript of interview with Jack
Williams by Janis A. Gordon, 14 October 1992, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
46
“Remarks Before Membership Committee Meeting, Phoenix Chamber of Commerce,” 17 September
1952, Addresses of Carl Bimson, Valley National Bank, Phoenix, Arizona and Past President, American
Bankers Association, 1935-1968 (hereafter Addresses of Carl Bimson), Vol. 3
66
mind and vigorously pursued annexation drives in advance of such census reports.47 The
CGC was open about its expansionist, business-centered priorities, touting the business
and civic involvement of its members and pledging to run the city like a successful
corporation.48
As in other southwestern reform movements, the most prominent Charter
Government Committee backers were bankers and real estate developers, those poised to
benefit most directly from the expansionist policies.49 Both groups had financial interests
in the geographic and population expansion of Phoenix and the surrounding area, which
would fuel further construction of housing and commercial centers with accompanying
mortgage and building loans. Prominent developers active in the CGC included Alfred
Knight (founder of the CGC), Del Webb (a close friend of Barry Goldwater’s brother
Robert), and Sam Mardian (mayor of Phoenix from 1960 to 1964).50 Walter Bimson, an
active participant in both the Charter Revision Committee and the CGC, served as
President of the Valley National Bank as it invested heavily in expansion during the
1950s.51 These business leaders and their allies pushed the CGC to follow the low tax,
vigorous annexation policies that became the hallmark of Phoenix municipal government.
47
Interview of Sam Mardian by Kristina Minister, 1988, GPCoC; “Remarks Before Membership
Committee Meeting, Phoenix Chamber of Commerce,” 17 September 1952, Addresses of Carl Bimson,
Vol. 3
48
Radio broadcast speech by Margaret Kober, KOY Radio, November 2, 1951, AHF, Margaret B. Kober
Collection, Box 1, folder 4
49
Bridges, Morning Glories, 158; Trounstine, 89
50
Transcript of interview with Eli Gorodezky, 7 Feb 1985, Arizona Jewish Historical Society (AJHS), Oral
History Collection; Bridges, Morning Glories, 158; Transcript of interview with Robert Goldwater, 27 July
1976, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
51
Sheridan, Arizona, 274
67
Political scientists such as Samuel Hays, Amy Bridges, and Jessica Trounstine
have each highlighted the fact that monopolistic urban reform movements, like their
machine counterparts, tend to be responsive to only a narrow segment of the population.52
As the CGC sought to court a cross-section of upper- and middle-class voters, the
composition of the CGC’s first and subsequent slates reflected this fact. For example,
while members consistently denied ever asking potential applicants about their partisan
affiliation, it was clear that religion had been a significant factor in their deliberations: the
first CGC slate included one Mormon, one Catholic, one Jew, one Methodist, one
Presbyterian, and two Episcopalians, facts included in their campaign literature.53 The
slate also included the first woman to serve on the city council and the CGC included a
woman on each subsequent slate of candidates.54
Other measures of diversity either escaped their notice or took longer to achieve.
The announced retirement of Harry Rosenzweig in 1952 led to speculation that the
council might choose a resident of the poorer and more ethnically diverse South Side to
fill his seat. The appointment of Jack Williams instead reinforced the geographic
concentration of city council members, drawing attention to the fact that all seven council
52
Hays, 121-122; Bridges, Morning Glories, 11; Trounstine, 2 and 19
53
Interview of Sam Mardian by Kristina Minister, 1988, GPCoC; Interview of Harry Rosenzweig by
Kristina Minister, 1988, GPCoC; Campaign pamphlet for 1949 CGC slate, AHF, Newton Rosenzweig
Collection, Box 7, folder 7,
54
Transcript of interview with Rhes Henry Cornelius, 22 July 1976, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection;
Transcript of interview with Margaret Kober, 18 June 1976, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection;
Interview of Sam Mardian by Kristina Minister, 1988, GPCoC; “Members of Phoenix City Councils (19501977),” AHF, Newton Rosenzweig Collection, Box 2, folder 9; transcript of interview with Eli Gorodezky,
28 Jun 1978, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
68
members of the ever-expanding city lived within a one and a half square mile area.55
Faced later with calls for district or ward representation rather than the city charter’s rule
of at-large elections, the CGC began to increase the level of geographic diversity. 56
Starting with Adam Diaz in 1953, it also began to include one minority candidate on each
slate.57 As much as other candidates, these were chosen for their willingness to continue
the priorities of the CGC and, like Mrs. Kober and later women nominees, helped
minimize potential opposition without sacrificing the solidarity of the council or
threatening the dominance of business owners and white-collar professionals.
Members of the city council were also involved in gradualist desegregation
measures. Jack Williams, who simultaneously served as a member of the city council
and president of the Phoenix Elementary School Board, played a key role in shaping
school desegregation policy. As he recounted the incident later, a fellow member of the
three-person board (and later fellow city council member) moved to desegregate the
elementary schools one night in July 1953. With the other board member (“a
southerner”) in opposition, Williams cast the deciding vote in favor of desegregation.
When practical questions arose, however, Williams repeatedly implemented policies that
slowed or diminished the process. On the matter of timing, Williams decided that
integration would begin with kindergarten through second grade one year, third through
55
“Councilmen Good Neighbors,” map and editorial comments, undated newspaper clipping, AHF,
Margaret B. Kober Collection, Box 1, album 3
56
Transcript of interview with Governor Jack Williams, 21 August 1979, AHS Tempe, Oral History
Collection
57
Transcript of interview with Adam Diaz, 16 April 1976, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection; Interview
of Sam Mardian by Kristina Minister, 1988, GPCoC
69
fifth grades the second year, and sixth through eighth grades the third year. Regarding
the jobs of black teachers, Williams set up a quota system that maintained the small
existing percentage. When approached by the parents of a white child who was to attend
a school that was “essentially all black,” Williams declared an open door policy allowing
cross enrollment.58 What had begun as a bold move for civil rights was quickly diluted in
order to maintain the existing order in de facto rather than de jure form.
Barry Goldwater, perhaps the most prominent member of the initial CGC-backed
city council, quietly supported the efforts of the NAACP (as a member of the Tucson
chapter) and the Urban League. When his friendship with Harry Rosenzweig came into
conflict with the Phoenix Country Club’s policy of excluding Jews, Goldwater, who then
served as club president, pushed the board for Rosenzweig’s admission but not for
abandonment of its broader policy of exclusion. Mayor Hohen Foster and council
member Jack Williams took the lead in forcing Sky Chef, the Sky Harbor International
Airport restaurant, to integrate its facilities, a move which Goldwater later cited as the
premier accomplishment while he was on the city council.59
The gradualist desegregation efforts of the CGC and its allies suggest that racial
barriers in Phoenix were, as historian Matthew Whitaker has suggested, “more fluid and
less brutal” than in the states of the traditional South.60 It also reflects the incremental
approach taken by Phoenix’s small black community (around 5% throughout this
58
Transcript of interview with Governor Jack Williams, 21 August 1979, AHS Tempe, Oral History
Collection
59
Goldberg, Goldwater, 88-91; Transcript of interview with Barry Goldwater, 16 November 1978, AHS
Tempe, Oral History Collection
60
Whitaker, 270
70
period).61 Phoenix’s most prominent black civil rights leaders, Lincoln and Eleanor
Ragsdale, worked with civic leaders such as Barry Goldwater in their efforts.62 Though
not a key segment of the local governing regime as in Atlanta, black leaders were able to
work with the white elite in Phoenix to accomplish significant gains that kept pace with
those in other areas of the nation, without the levels of protest or violence experienced
elsewhere.63
The policies of the Phoenix City Council backed by the Charter Government
Committee contributed to a political culture in Phoenix that equated “good government”
with business models of efficient management, low costs, and eager expansion.
Representational diversity was a priority, but only within the upper class and its
professional and business allies. Where necessary, CGC allies cooperated in enacting
gradualist civil rights measures at the local level, principally through community efforts
rather than legislative or judicial policy making. These policies helped situate the CGC
as a moderate force in city politics and give credence to its claims of representing the
citizens of Phoenix broadly.
61
Whitaker, 17-18
62
Whitaker, 119-120
63
Whitaker, 160-163. For details on the Atlanta governing regime, see Clarence Stone, Regime Politics:
Governing Atlanta, 1946-1988 (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1989) and Kevin Kruse, White
Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press,
2005)
71
The Charter Government Regime
By establishing itself as the dominant force in Phoenix politics, the CGC
established a new political regime in which business organizations would exercise
increased influence on municipal policymaking. The Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
was a leading partner in the governing regime. That the Chamber would take an active
interest in municipal policymaking is unsurprising. It is the openness with which the city
council and Chamber of Commerce were able to cooperate under the banner of nonpartisanship and business-like management that is noteworthy in the case of Phoenix. 64
Perhaps the most striking example of city council-Chamber of Commerce coordination
was the “Valley of the Sun” promotional program. Rather than pursue an advertizing
campaign itself, the City of Phoenix gave money to the Chamber to do so. Combining
these funds with others from Maricopa County and Valley National Bank, the Chamber
of Commerce became the primary tourism promoter for central Arizona.65
The Chamber of Commerce also freely coordinated with the city council in its
efforts to annex surrounding areas and attract light industry, both major shared
priorities.66 As one Chamber of Commerce President reflected, the Chamber specifically
avoided “smoke-type, smoke-filled industries” in favor of “smokeless electronic and
64
In fact, this cooperation began early on when the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted in
1948 to “support the proposed City Charter Revision amendment in every way possible.” “Minutes of
Meeting, Board of Directors, Phoenix Chamber of Commerce,” 18 October 1948, GPCoC
65
Interview of Allen Rosenberg by Kristina Minister, 1988, GPCoC; “Remarks Before Membership
Committee Meeting, Phoenix Chamber of Commerce,” 17 September 1952 Addresses of Carl Bimson, Vol.
3
66
“Remarks Before Membership Committee Meeting, Phoenix Chamber of Commerce,” 17 September
1952 Addresses of Carl Bimson, Vol. 3
72
other light industries.” Uncoincidentally, the high-tech industries targeted also involved
high portions of non-unionized, white-collar workers, helping to expand both the CGC’s
base of support and the number of homeowners. Having worked to reshape city policy in
favor of such businesses, the Chamber then would pay to bring prospective investors to
the city and negotiate on behalf of the city council regarding tax and zoning
concessions.67 At the same time that members of the CGC regime were boasting that no
one could “fix” a parking ticket, they were coordinating efforts to adjust city tax and
zoning requirements in order to attract individual businesses. Ultimately, these
promotional efforts were effective in luring Motorola, AiResearch, General Electric,
Goodyear Aircraft, Kaiser, and Sperry Phoenix to the area.68
Asked later about the relationship between the Chamber of Commerce and the
city council, Sam Mardian (mayor of Phoenix from 1960 to 1964 and president of the
Chamber from 1973 to 1974) declared, “It was a very cooperative relationship.” He then
identified four other members of the 1959 CGC slate who were also members of the
Chamber and added, “it was a, I would say, Chamber of Commerce oriented group. And
therefore, the cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce was very strong.”69 With five
out of seven council members selected from the ranks of the Chamber of Commerce,
describing the council as a “Chamber of Commerce oriented group” was certainly an
understatement.
67
Konig, “Metropolitan,” 201-202
68
Amy Bridges, “Politics and Growth in Sunbelt Cities,” in Searching for the Sunbelt: Historical
Perspectives on a Region, edited by Raymond A. Mohl (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1990),
92
69
Interview of Sam Mardian by Kristina Minister, 1988, GPCoC
73
Writing in 1981 to dispute charges that the city council had been under the
“control” of the Charter Government Committee, Newton Rosenzweig (an original
member of the CGC, former city council member, and member of the Chamber of
Commerce) put forward this argument:
Now, with tongue-in-cheek, could it be that “control of the council” [was] really
by the Phoenix Junior Chamber of Commerce, rather than the CGC, since 4 of the
5 first mayors after 1949 were former Jaycee presidents (plus other Jaycees on
these councils)?70
In defending against what he imagined as a charge of conspiracy, Rosenzweig actually
confirmed an important reality: there was no need for overt “control” of the city council
by either the CGC or Chamber of Commerce as long as members of the council were
chosen by business leaders from among their peers and the groups were able to cooperate
openly on matters of shared priority. The members of the Committee and Chamber
certainly could count on past presidents of the Junior Chamber of Commerce to pursue a
sympathetic business agenda without providing specific direction between elections.
The case of Carl Bimson highlights the intimate relationship between banking,
real estate, and expansionist municipal policies in the CGC regime. An executive officer
and later president of Valley National Bank, Bimson drew on his institutional positions to
contribute to the growth of Phoenix and the surrounding area as much as any other single
individual. Beginning in the 1930s, Bimson spurred Valley National Bank to take up a
vigorous home loan program backed by the Federal Housing Authority. By the 1950s,
70
Letter from Newton Rosenzweig to the editor of The Arizona Republic, 27 July 1981, AHF, Newton
Rosenzweig Collection, Box 2, folder 30
74
Valley National had invested heavily in the residential growth of Phoenix. 71 This
investment gave Bimson a financial incentive to back the CGC and their pro-annexation
candidates. It also spurred Valley National Bank to join in promotional efforts of central
Arizona, in part by contributing to the “Valley of the Sun” campaign. In another
illustrative institutional confluence, Bimson served as the president of the Chamber of
Commerce while it administered the advertising program.72 The president of the valley’s
largest home lender was thus also in control of a promotional program funded by
taxpayer money from the city and county governments in order to attract new residents.
In the name of non-partisan “good government,” no one seems to have questioned this as
a potential conflict of interest. In the political culture of Phoenix, what was good for
business was good for the community.
Charter Government Electoral Politics
Though the Charter Government Committee was notable for both its margins of
victory and lengthy success, these factors were neither automatic nor sufficient
themselves to transform Phoenix political culture. As with so much in politics, the city’s
political culture was shaped by the dynamic campaign process as CGC candidates
defended their ideals of government against the claims of opposing candidates.
In 1953, the Charter Government Committee faced its first serious challenge since
its initial victory in 1949. Several politicians who had been associated with city
71
72
Interview of Carl Bimson by Kristina Minister, 1988, GPCoC
“Report of Activities of Phoenix Chamber of Commerce – 1952-1953,” 18 May 1953, Addresses of Carl
Bimson, Vol. 3; Interview of Carl Bimson by Kristina Minister, 1988, GPCoC
75
government before the charter revision formed an opposing slate of candidates called the
“Economy Ticket.” Their main pledge was to further the work of the present city council
by cutting even more waste from the municipal budget. They proposed to do so through
greater involvement of the city council in administrative affairs. The CGC successfully
fought back by reiterating its central pledge to carry out the charter reforms as they had
been intended, including a clear separation of responsibilities between the city manager
and the council. The resulting campaign focused primarily on procedural matters rather
than disputes over proper priorities, with each side accepting that efficient (low cost)
management was the key to municipal government.73
The election of 1955 saw the continuation of this basic agreement on the
principles promoted by the Charter Government Committee. The CGC’s campaign
literature proclaimed:
Good Management for a Large Business
Government of the City of Phoenix is a multi-million dollar business. Taxpayers
are the owners – the stockholders of this business.
An election is really a biennial stockholders’ session. If the business is efficiently
operated and moving ahead, the stockholders retain that administration.
Charter government candidates will continue good business administration in the
city hall. Six years of progress has moved Phoenix to a proud place among
American cities. Let’s keep it marching by again electing Charter Government
candidates.74
73
“Who’s Behind the Economy Ticket,” October 29, 1953, campaign publication, AHF, Newton
Rosenzweig Collection, Box 7, folder 7; “Draft of TV Script 6:30 PM Nov. 9 1953 – KPHO,” AHF,
Newton Rosenzweig Collection, Box 7, folder 7; CGC campaign pamphlet, undated (1953), AHF, Newton
Rosenzweig Collection, Box 7, folder 7
74
“Elect Your Charter Government Candidates,” Campaign pamphlet, 1955, folder 362, Box 31, AHS
Tempe, Governor Jack Williams Collection,
76
Opponents wrangled over process while agreeing on this basic premise of economic
advancement put forward by the CGC. That year a “Phoenix Taxpayers Ticket”
distinguished itself largely on the issue of ward representation. 75 Mike Parker, a
businessman running independently and endorsing candidates from other slates
(including the CGC), listed his top priority as “bringing industry to Phoenix,” a program
that was already being profitably coordinated between the city council and the Chamber
of Commerce.76 In the 1950s, the Charter Government Committee successfully
established its priorities as the basis of “good government,” effectively narrowing the
realm of viable political discourse to questions of process or degree. Even in the
oppositions’ choice of titles such as “Economy” and “Taxpayers Ticket” reflected the
level of consensus over “good” municipal government.
Voting patterns support the contention that the CGC regime was primarily
responsive to only a portion of the electorate: white affluent and middle-income voters.
According to calculations made by Amy Bridges, the 1959 voter turnout in middle
income areas (18.5%) was almost twice that of low income and poor areas (10.1 and
10.0% respectively), with turnout in affluent areas even higher (20.7%). Though Mayor
Sam Mardian took a majority of the vote from neighborhoods at each income level, his
support in affluent and middle income areas (83 and 71% respectively) was much greater
than in low income and poor areas (58 and 50% respectively). The combination of low
75
“Representative Government is Fair for All,” Campaign pamphlet, 1955, folder 362, Box 31, AHS
Tempe, Governor Jack Williams Collection,
76
“The Parker Story,” Campaign pamphlet, 1955, Box AHS Tempe, Governor Jack Williams Collection,
31, folder 362
77
turnout overall and higher turnout among the affluent and middle income voters resulted
in an electorate tilted toward the CGC. Though affluent and middle income areas
together accounted for 67% of the Phoenix voting age population, these areas accounted
for 78% of Mardian’s 1959 vote total. Those neighborhoods were almost entirely white,
while the poor neighborhoods, those most underrepresented, were majority minority,
almost 40% Hispanic and 20% black.77 The structure and political culture of Phoenix
municipal elections, especially the at-large representational scheme, favored middle
income and affluent white voters.
The support of the CGC by these voters was not an automatic process, however.
One unintended side effect of the city’s rapid growth and annexation program was a
growing raft of new voters who had to be educated about Charter Government principles
and accomplishments.78 From 1950 to 1963, voter registration in Phoenix increased from
30,000 to 180,000: 600% growth in thirteen years.79 Members of the CGC were aware of
the political challenges of such explosive demographic growth. Looking back in a 1981
letter to the editor, Newton Rosenzweig suggested the significance of support from other
community institutions in bolstering the charter government movement during this period
of expansion. He singled out the city’s major newspapers, The Arizona Republic and The
Phoenix Gazette, as “particularly effective in enlightening newer residents on the need to
elect candidates firmly committed to governing Phoenix in strict accord with all city
77
Bridges, Morning Glories, 141-147, especially Table 6-4 and Table 6-5
78
By 1960, 75% of Phoenix residents lived in areas that had been annexed over the last decade. See
Luckingham, Phoenix, 162
79
Internal memo to the CGC Executive Committee, 23 May 1963 (sic) [1964?], folder 10, Box 7, AHF,
Newton Rosenzweig Collection,
78
charter provisions.”80 Despite such support from Eugene Pulliam’s newspapers and other
CGC-aligned organizations, demographic growth contributed to increased political
competition.
With the explosive growth of both area and population, the Charter Government
Committee began to face strong ideological opposition for the first time. In 1961, the
“Stay America Committee” (SAC), a group of far-right candidates, challenged the CGC
by alleging that the city’s annexation policies and reliance on a professional city manager
were part of a communist plot to take over major American municipalities. A campaign
pamphlet created by The American Independent and distributed by the SAC identified
this plot as “Metro: A Socialist Scheme to Destroy Local Self Government.” 81 The Stay
America Committee attacked each part of the CGC platform, calling for district-level,
partisan elections to the council, an end to annexation, and a return to a mayorcommission system with a weak city manager. Such a government, the SAC argued,
would return Phoenix to “the American Way of Life.”82 Representing a more “moderate”
approach to government, the Charter Government Committee candidates once again
easily defeated their opposition.
Things became more challenging in 1963 as ideological slates formed on either
side of the Charter Government Committee. The CGC was again challenged from the
80
Letter from Newton Rosenzweig to the Editor of The Arizona Republic , 27 Jul 1981, AHF, Newton
Rosenzweig Collection, Box 2, folder 30
81
“Metro: A Socialist Scheme to Destroy Local Self Government,” campaign pamphlet, AHF, Newton
Rosenzweig Collection, Box 2, folder 8
82
Transcript of radio broadcast by Rev. Aubrey Moore of the Stay America Committee, 19 October 1961,
AHS Tempe, Phoenix City Government Records, 1956-1966, Box 2, folder 11,
79
right, this time by “HEAR” (Honesty, Economy And Representation), a committee that
contained six Republicans and one Democrat. On the left, the Committee faced
opposition from ACT (Action Citizens Ticket), composed of six Democrats and one
Republican and backed by Democratic, liberal, and labor organizations. 83 Such outside
backing was particularly noteworthy in this campaign. Though the CGC continued to
receive the firm support of Eugene Pulliam’s newspapers, the Arizona Republic and the
Phoenix Gazette, it faced significant newspaper opposition for the first time. The
Arizona Journal and The Phoenix Sun, both liberal papers, backed ACT. 84 Following the
primary election that eliminated the HEAR candidates, ACT also received lesser support
from the Evening American, a new, conservative, staunchly anti-Pulliam paper published
by Evan Mecham. In such an ideologically charged atmosphere, the support of Pulliam’s
papers was even more critical. Beyond their usual positive coverage of the CGC slate,
the Republic and Gazette also contributed by attacking ACT for its ties to organized
labor, a constituency that had previously been effectively vilified in the state by
Republican politicians and the conservative press.85 An internal post-election review by
83
“Primary Election,” KRUX (radio) editorial, 29 October 1963, AHF, Newton Rosenzweig Collection,
Box 7, folder 9; Whitaker, 164-167
84
Internal memo to the CGC Executive Committee, 23 May 1963 (sic) [1964], AHF, Newton Rosenzweig
Collection, Box 7, folder 10
85
Ibid.; Luckingham, Phoenix, 158; Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, “Origins of the Conservative Ascendency:
Barry Goldwater’s Early Senate Career and the De-legitimization of Organized Labor,” Journal of
American History 95, no. 3 (December 2008): 678-709
80
the CGC listed Pulliam newspaper backing as the most significant factor for victory in
1963.86
The 1963 election also marked the first time Charter Government Committee
candidates failed to win a clear majority in the primary election and had to compete in a
runoff.87 Following the defeat of HEAR in the primary election, many of those
conservative candidates followed Evan Mecham’s lead and endorsed the more liberal
ACT slate in a bid to oust the CGC. This occurred at a time when right-wing elements
were also wrestling for control of the state Republican Party.88 Among the positive
factors listed in the CGC’s internal post-election review as contributing to the slate’s
ultimate victory was this tantalizing line: “Letter to Republican voter list (not solicited
and not paid by CGC).”89 In a legally mandated “non-partisan” election, such a move by
either the Republican Party or the CGC would have been out of bounds, but someone
with access to the Republican Party mailing list apparently saw their efforts as part of a
common struggle. As one example of the links between the CGC and Republican Party
that would have made such a mailing possible, Newton Rosenzweig was the chairman of
the CGC Executive Committee that year and his brother and former city councilman
86
Internal memo to the CGC Executive Committee, 23 May 1963 (sic) [1964?], AHF, Newton Rosenzweig
Collection, Box 7, folder 10
87
“Election Results taken from Talley Sheets,” AHS Tempe, Phoenix City Government Records, 19561966, Box 2, folder 13
88
Letter from Newton Rosenzweig to Harvey Schechter of the Anti-Defamation League, 4 June 1965,
AHF, Newton Rosenzweig Collection, Box 12, folder 21
89
Internal memo to the CGC Executive Committee, 23 May 1963 (sic) [1964?], AHF, Newton Rosenzweig
Collection, Box 7, folder 10
81
Harry Rosenzweig was the finance chairman of the state Republican Party. 90 Such
connections between the CGC and the Republican Party were common.
Initially, the Charter Government Committee had billed itself as a response to
rampant corruption and vice. Waving the flag of reform, it helped establish a political
culture in favor of “business-like management” and rapid expansion. Election opponents
in the 1950s helped reify this political culture by adopting rather than contesting the
Committee’s basic tenet that economic growth should be the top priority of municipal
government. When serious ideological opposition did emerge in the 1960s, the CGC
effectively characterized its opposition (especially from the right) as dangerous
extremists, further bolstering its claims of moderation and advancing the development of
a political culture favorable to its expansionist policies.
Gorodezky and Diaz
The lives of Eli Gorodezky and Adam Diaz illuminate central facets of the charter
government movement, its impact on local and state politics, and the types of individuals
whom it elevated to positions of increased political power. Though their backgrounds
and official roles contrasted in the specifics, the shared pattern of their lives and civic
activity highlighted the movement’s broader institutional and cultural arrangements.
Eli Gorodezky was a native of Kansas City and the oldest son of grocery store
owners. He first came to Phoenix with his brother and grandmother in 1919 seeking a
90
Charter Government Committee letterhead, 1963, AHS Tempe, Phoenix City Government Records,
1956-1966, Box 2, folder 13; “Harry Rosenzweig,” biographical summary, AHF, Harry S. Rosenzweig Sr.
Collection, Box 2, folder 4
82
healthier climate for his bother’s asthma. After moving between Phoenix and Kansas
City through his childhood, he attended the University of Arizona.91 There he worked as
a reporter, earned a law degree, and developed lasting friendships with Jack Williams and
Barry Goldwater. These men later described him as “heroic” and “courageous,” likely
due in part to Gorodezky’s accomplishments despite suffering from spastic cerebral
palsy.92 That condition forced him to rely first on crutches and then, following multiple
surgeries, on a cane for the rest of his life. He had to consciously consider each
movement, from walking to eating, and needed help tying his shoes or getting up from
his frequent falls.93 Toward the end of his life, Gorodezky fondly remembered
Goldwater to Williams for having carried his books as a university student.94 Despite
such hardships, Gorodezky learned to play the piano and lived a life full of physical,
professional, and civic activity.95
Gorodezky began his political activity as an assistant city attorney from 19381940. Almost a decade before the adoption of the new city charter and formation of the
CGC, Gorodezky confronted the impact of municipal corruption head-on. He gained
firsthand experience with the turnover and corruption in the police department and by the
various administrative entities on behalf of prominent individuals. When, after repeated
91
Transcript of interview with Eli Gorodezky, 28 Jun 1978, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
92
Letter from Jack Williams to Barry Goldwater, 24 Jan 1973, AHF, The Personal and Political Papers of
Senator Barry M. Goldwater (hereafter BMG) Alpha Files, Box 24, folder 5; Letter form Barry Goldwater
to Jack Williams, 17 Oct 1985, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 24, folder 6
93
Transcript of interview with Eli Gorodezky, 7 Feb 1985, AJHS, Oral History Collection; Interview with
Elaine Warick (niece of Eli Gorodezky) by author, 18 May 2009
94
Letter from Jack Williams to Barry Goldwater, 11 Feb 1988, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 24, folder 7
95
Interview with Elaine Elaine Warick (niece of Eli Gorodezky) by author, 18 May 2009
83
delays, Gorodezky refused the city manager’s request to drop drunk-driving charges
against a prominent individual, he was forced from office. 96
Due to his disability, Gorodezky was not fit for military service. Instead, he
spent four years during World War II working for the Red Cross at Luke Field, an air
base outside of Phoenix.97 In 1945, he played a key role as the San Diego coordinator of
an airlift of Phoenix soldiers so they could spend Christmas at home with their families.
Coordinated by the Phoenix Junior Chamber of Commerce under the direction of Jack
Williams, Arizona pilots (including Goldwater) took their private planes and picked up as
many service men as possible. Though they had planned to bring seventy five
servicemen home, they ultimately delivered more than two hundred.98 Goldwater himself
brought eight men on his five-passenger plane.99 Gorodezky’s work for the Red Cross
was by no means his initiation into community service. He also served several times as a
board member of the Phoenix Jaycees, president of the local chapter of B’nai B’rith in
1940, and for more than 20 years as a board member of the Arizona Society for Crippled
Children and Adults.100 In the early 1960s, Gorodezky helped found the Barrow
96
Transcript of interview with Eli Gorodezky, 28 Jun 1978, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
97
Transcript of interview with Eli Gorodezky, 7 Feb 1985, AJHS, Oral History Collection
98
“Club Picks Man, Woman of the Year,” newspaper clipping, 13 Feb 1956, scrapbook in possession of
Elaine Warick; Letter from Jack Williams to Barry Goldwater, 24 Jan 1973, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box
24, folder 5
99
Letter from Barry Goldwater to Jack Williams, 30 Jan 1973, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 24, folder 5
100
“Club Picks Man, Woman of the Year,” newspaper clipping, 13 Feb 1956, scrapbook in possession of
Elaine Warick
84
Neurological Institute in Phoenix, serving as head attorney and later as president of the
Barrow Neurological Foundation.101
Unsurprisingly, considering his civic involvement and complaints about city
government, Gorodezky was among the first members of the Charter Government
Committee, invited by Alfred Knight to the initial meeting and there elected as finance
chairman for the group. Drawing on his previous political experience with municipal
government, he reacted to his fellow committee members’ estimate of $20,000 for the
campaign by stating to a friend after the meeting, “Boy, they don’t know anything about
politics, I can tell you that.”102 Ultimately, the CGC spent approximately $40,000 on that
first campaign.103
Gorodezky established a system of campaign finance that allowed the CGC to
raise the necessary funds without revealing either donors or amounts to their opponents.
He did so by establishing a fictional persona with a bank account: Vic Camp (short for
“Victorious Campaign”). Donors wishing to give to the CGC without attracting attention
would write checks to that name, Gorodezky would endorse and deposit the checks, and
he would then funnel the money to the CGC.104 In addition to maintaining this fictional
identity, First National Bank of Arizona also helped by loaning the campaign $5,000 in
101
“The Sixth Year of Operation: 1967-1968,” promotional/fundraising pamphlet, Barrow Neurological
Foundation, personal copy of Elaine Warick
102
Transcript of interview with Eli Gorodezky, 7 Feb 1985, AJHS, Oral History Collection
103
Transcript of interview with Eli Gorodezky, 28 Jun 1978, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
104
Though the CGC donor list was never made publicly available, following each election the city council
members were given a list of those who had contributed. Transcript of interview with Eli Gorodezky, 28
Jun 1978, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
85
seed money and later making its own contributions. Considering the stealth already
involved in these financial arrangements, it is not surprising that donors sometimes
expected city services to be for sale. Gorodezky recalled being offered campaign
contributions in exchange for the city purchasing a certain type of car for its fleet or for
the paving of a certain road. By his own account, at least, Gorodezky never accepted
such funds, perhaps reflecting the efficiency of the system he created and the overall
wealth of the CGC backers as much as any high ethical principles.105 As in the
distinction between fixing parking tickets and negotiating tax breaks, Gorodezky was
willing to take money under the table in support of pro-business policies but not in
exchange for specific favors.
In fact, Gorodezky later championed further deceitful tactics designed to further
consolidate the Charter Government Committee’s hold on Phoenix municipal politics
while diminishing the outward appearance of contol. Once serious ideological opposition
began to emerge in the 1960s, Gorodezky surmised that the CGC might be vulnerable
simply based on its continued status as the establishment. In order both to provide voters
with a choice of candidates and to retain control of the initial selection process, he
suggested that the CGC run an alternate “sub rosa” slate of candidates, one that would
receive the financial and strategic backing of the CGC even as they appeared to represent
an independent opposition. That way, no matter which candidates won election to the
city council, CGC members could be sure that their priorities would be enacted by the
resulting city government. When his fellow Committee members rejected the proposal,
105
Transcript of interview with Eli Gorodezky, 28 Jun 1978, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
86
Gorodezky suggested they instead endorse ten candidates for the seven available seats,
again providing voters with a choice among CGC-selected candidates. Though the CGC
rejected both proposals, they reflect Gorodezky’s creative flexibility in structuring the
political process to achieve his desired ends as well as the tensions inherent in the CGC
from its opening Statement of Purpose.106
Eli Gorodezky formally left the Charter Government Committee in 1964, but his
departure was not a break from the government reform movement or its policy
preferences. In that year, Milton Graham, the CGC-backed mayor of Phoenix,
established a committee to make recommendations for updating the city charter in light
of continued growth.107 Appointed Chairman of the Charter Revision Committee,
Gorodezky formally resigned from the Charter Government Committee in order to avoid
the appearance that the two were “one instrumentality.” Despite his wish to maintain the
appearance of the new committee’s independence, Gorodezky’s move between branches
of the governing regime was more analogous to a shift among corporate departments than
a change in employers. Rather than directly serving the CGC in the electoral process,
Gorodezky was now officially working for the CGC-backed city council in an effort to
strengthen the city charter in accordance with the CGC’s policy goals and in response to
the its electoral challengers. In that sense, the Charter Revision Committee of the 1960s
was replicating the work of its 1940s predecessor in refining the municipal political
structure to better implement the expansionist interest of the Chamber of Commerce and
106
107
Transcript of interview with Eli Gorodezky, 28 Jun 1978, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
James E. Buchanan, ed., Phoenix: A Chronological and Documentary History, 1865-1976 (Dobbs
Ferry, N.Y.: Oceana Publications, Inc., 1978), 55
87
their corporate allies. This time, however, revision of the charter was pursued under the
direction of an existing reform government that already promoted these policies. As in
the earlier effort, the Charter Revision Committee was ultimately successful for winning
voter backing for most of its proposed changes to the municipal government.108
While still serving on the Charter Government Committee, Gorodezky was
invited to speak to the Phoenix Retail Merchants about the success of the CGC.
Encouraged by his remarks and eager to incorporate similar changes at the county level,
the business leaders organized the Maricopa County Better Government Committee
(MCBGC) with the intent of electing a majority to the County Board of Supervisors (two
members of the three-member Board). For several years they ran a non-partisan slate of
candidates with Gorodezky serving as their financial chairman. As with the CGC, the
MCBGC presented itself as a non-partisan organization dedicated to electing reformminded officials who would follow principles of sound management. In the background,
however, Gorodezky used the same discrete financial arrangement, here also employing
the fictitious Vic Camp along with the anonymous J & J Committee. After a few years,
the Better Government Committee went a step further, adopting the sub rosa approach
Gorodezky had earlier suggested to the CGC by formally dissolving while continuing to
work covertly for the election of its favored candidates.109 Presumably less scrutiny of
county government and more restricted goals (two of three supervisors rather than an
108
109
Transcript of interview with Eli Gorodezky, 28 Jun 1978, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
Transcript of interview with Eli Gorodezky, 7 Feb 1985, AJHS, Oral History Collection; transcript of
interview with Eli Gorodezky, 28 Jun 1978, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
88
entire slate of candidates) allowed the MCBGC to take this additional step where the
CGC had been unwilling or unable.
In the early 1960s, while still involved in non-partisan politics at the city and
county levels, Gorodezky took up a third role as financial director for a group of
anonymous businessmen interested in exercising greater influence at the state level.
Operating independently of either political party, their goal was to covertly elect a
majority of sympathetic state Senators. Continuing to employ his well-oiled campaign
finance system, Gorodezky again collected money using his Vic Camp pseudonym and
funneling that money to state Senate candidates of both parties whose interests were in
line with his financial backers. Though a clear accounting of such success is impossible,
the group’s largest influence seems to have been in the court-ordered redistricting of the
state legislature in 1966. The contentious and complicated reapportionment process
provided an excellent opening for well-funded lobbyists. Gorodezky exercised his
group’s influence through powerful Democratic state Senator Harold Giss of Yuma,
surreptitiously providing him with redistricting maps that were (according to
Gorodezky’s later account) ratified with few changes.110 The reapportionment, which
allowed the Republican Party to simultaneously gain control of each house of the state
legislature for the first time in Arizona history, was a great success for those who sought
to replicate the expansionist priorities of the CGC on a statewide scale. 111
110
111
Transcript of interview with Eli Gorodezky, 28 Jun 1978, AHS Tempe Oral History Collection
Ross R. Rice, “The 1966 Election in Arizona,” The Western Political Quarterly 20, no. 2, part 2 (1967):
529-534
89
As late as 1951, Gorodezky had been an active member of the Democratic Party,
working as a precinct committeeman in Phoenix as Ernest McFarland prepared for his
1952 reelection bid. By 1958, however, Gorodezky’s name appeared as one of the
signatories to a letter from “Friends of Barry Goldwater” to the Arizona Jewish
community urging support in Goldwater’s Senate reelection bid against McFarland.112 It
is not clear whether Gorodezky ever formally left the Democratic Party, as many likeminded Democrats began to do as the Republican Party became viable. Because his
work often crossed party lines, it is equally likely that he remained a registered Democrat
while personally supporting Barry Goldwater, Jack Williams, and other Republican
friends and political allies, just as Goldwater’s own brother and business-partner Robert
did until 1964.113 Regardless of Gorodezky’s formal partisan affiliation, it is clear that he
was willing to work across the aisle in order to promote the expansionist, pro-business
policies of the CGC at the city, county, and state levels.
Adam Diaz was born in Phoenix to poor parents of Mexican descent and
prevented from enrolling in high school by his father’s death. Instead, he spent the
money that would have gone for books to purchase a bicycle so he could get to work.
Beginning at age 16, he began working as an elevator operator at the Luhrs Building, a
downtown high-rise that housed the exclusive Arizona Club and residential spaces for
some of the city’s wealthiest individuals, including the Bimson family, owners of Valley
National Bank. With the help of George Luhrs, Jr., Diaz was able to take some night
112
Campaign mailing, 1958, The Center for American History, Stephen Shadegg / Barry Goldwater
Collection, 1949-1965, Box 3H488, folder “Campaign Literature,”
113
Transcript of interview with Robert Goldwater, 27 Jul 1976, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
90
classes in shorthand and other business skills. Soon, in addition to his elevator shift, he
was keeping books for the Luhrs family, prominent property developers and Republicans
in what was then a predominantly Democratic state.114
Diaz’ position as elevator operator and his connections with the Luhrs family
brought him into contact with the city’s business, political, and social elite. He
capitalized on those connections by joining numerous local civic organizations and
raising money from his well-to-do acquaintances, especially for grants to help
impoverished children attend high school.115 Then, in the late 1940s, his penchant for
civic involvement and his work at the heart of elite Phoenix paid off. Institutionally,
geographically, and ethnically, Adam Diaz was in the right place at the right time. 116
As Diaz recounted later, Barry Goldwater was the one who first approached him
about joining the Charter Revision Committee established by Mayor Busey. Dix Price
suggested that Diaz would be an asset in their attempt to represent the whole city,
especially because of his organizational connections and cooperation with the schools.
The committee was meeting at the Arizona Club in the Luhrs building, so Diaz had
grown familiar with the members while operating the elevator. He also knew, therefore,
that their meetings were held during his work hours and that he could not afford to take
time off, which he explained to Goldwater and Price. The two men agreed to speak with
114
Transcript of interview with Adam Diaz, 8 Dec 1987, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection; interview
with George Luhrs, Jr. by Raymond Henle, Jan 1970 at Hotel Luhrs, Phoenix, Arizona, Herbert Hoover
Presidential Library and Museum, Oral History Collection
115
Final Report, Hispanic Historic Property Survey, City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office, 94-96,
http://www.phoenix.gov/HISTORIC/ethnicsvys.html
116
Transcript of interview with Adam Diaz, 8 Dec 1987, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
91
his boss, their close friend and social peer. George Luhrs supported the work of the
revision committee and agreed that Diaz could take time during his work hours to attend
the meetings, though Diaz was never officially appointed to the committee.117
Then, in 1953, with the Charter Government Committee facing its first serious
electoral challenge, and with desegregation and other civil rights issues drawing
increased attention in the Valley of the Sun, members of the CGC approached Diaz about
joining their slate of candidates. Though they suggested his organizational connections
were paramount, Diaz’ Hispanic identity was uppermost in his mind – as an electoral
impediment rather than an advantage. Again, his work schedule led him to decline their
suggestion, as council membership would require giving at least two days per week for
closed-door planning meetings on Mondays and official council meetings on Tuesdays.
Diaz’ prominent friends were not dissuaded. A delegation comprised of Harry
Rosenzweig, Barry Goldwater, and Dix Price again approached George Luhrs. Despite
the greater time commitment, Luhrs once more agreed to back Diaz, telling him to take
the necessary time off for the campaign and council duties and not to worry about money
because the Luhrs family would continue to pay him.118 Thus, after another victory by
the Charter Government Committee slate, Adam Diaz, a Hispanic elevator operator and
part-time book keeper became perhaps the most unlikely member of the Phoenix City
Council.
117
Transcript of interview with Adam Diaz, 8 Dec 1987, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection; Bridges,
“Politics and Growth in Sunbelt Cities,” 91
118
Transcript of interview with Adam Diaz, 8 Dec 1987, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
92
On the council, Diaz continued a pattern of deference to his colleagues, feeling
inadequate among professionals and business executives because of his limited
education. Though he personally opposed annexation because of the negative impact it
had on the downtown area, he went along with the major council priorities. His main
personal contribution revolved around the hiring and advancement of Hispanics in city
administration. When the city council was searching for a new auditor, they began to
advertize nationally. Diaz, wishing to promote local Hispanics, contacted Alex Cordova,
a CPA who had been educated at the University of California, Los Angeles and at
Arizona State University. Once Cordova applied for the position, Diaz began lobbying
his fellow council members, touting Cordova’s qualifications and questioning whether
his Hispanic surname would disqualify him. Diaz’s internal lobbying proved effective,
earning Cordova the appointment as city auditor and opening the path for future Hispanic
appointments and hiring, often shepherded by Diaz. In fact, Diaz was so successful in his
future promotion of Hispanic candidates that critics began to claim he was building a
“little Nogales” in city administration. Diaz insisted that the officials were qualified and
asked whether, considering such qualification, their ethnicity should be an obstacle.119
Though Adam Diaz’s feelings of educational inferiority led him to decline a
second term on the city council, he lobbied hard for a fellow Hispanic to fill his spot on
the council. Having secured a place on the CGC nomination committee, Diaz
approached attorney Valdemar (Val) Cordova (brother of city auditor Alex Cordova)
about running and helped to convince his CGC colleagues to support the nomination.
119
Transcript of interview with Adam Diaz, 8 Dec 1987, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
93
Val Cordova was a veteran of WWII and graduate of the University of Arizona Law
School, where he served as student body President and graduated with such future
political luminaries as Democratic Congressman Mo Udall, Republican state Attorney
General Bob Pickrell and Democratic Arizona Governors Raul Castro and Samuel
Goddard.120 Cordova himself went on to serve four years on the Phoenix City Council,
two two-year terms on the Maricopa County Superior Court, and five years as an active
federal judge for the District of Arizona.121 More significantly for Phoenix, Adam Diaz’
unlikely nomination and his efforts in selecting a Hispanic successor set a precedent for
future CGC slates that paralleled the results of his efforts in the city administration. From
1952 until the end of Charter Government Committee dominance in the mid-1970s, the
city council always included a CGC-backed Hispanic candidate.122
Like Gorodezky, Diaz’s civic activity did not end at his involvement with the
CGC. Continuing to draw on his elite connections, his membership in a diverse array of
social and civic organizations, and his elevated status as a former city council member,
Diaz successfully ran for the local school board. There he used his position to push for
the hiring of more Hispanic principles and superintendents, applying the same persuasive
arguments he had developed on the city council: emphasizing their qualifications while
suggesting that opposition reflected an anti-Hispanic bias.123 As with his work on the
120
Donald W. Carson and James W. Johnson, Mo: The Life & Times of Morris K. Udall (Tucson:
University of Arizona Press, 2001), 45
121
Final Report, Hispanic Historic Property Survey, City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office, 109,
http://www.phoenix.gov/HISTORIC/ethnicsvys.html
122
Transcript of interview with Adam Diaz, 8 Dec 1987, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
123
Ibid.
94
city council, Diaz’s efforts at increased diversity were generally limited to the
professional class. Inthat regard, his work matched the larger pattern of CGC
responsiveness ad emphasis on gradualist integration policies.
Diaz and Gorodezky came from opposite ends of the social and political
spectrum. Gorodezky was from an upper-middle-class family and rose to political power
in part because of his educational and professional opportunities and in part due to his
easy connections with other members of the Phoenix social elite. His struggles were of a
physical nature as he continued to face the crippling effects of his spastic cerebral palsy.
Diaz, on the other hand, was in good physical shape, allowing him to work on his feet
throughout his life, from his youth as an elevator operator to his old age as a McDonald’s
employee, where he took up a new career at age 80. His struggles came from his lack of
formal education, limited economic means, and identity as part of an oft-excluded ethnic
minority.
Despite their disparate backgrounds, Diaz and Gorodezky shared a common
characteristic in their devotion to and activity in a variety of civic organizations. When,
as one founding member of the CGC explained, members of the community went looking
for “people who were on the Boards and Commissions of the City … doing voluntary
service there,” Diaz and Gorodezky were well-positioned for political advancement in the
new regime.124 In this area, Diaz was the exception to the rule of elite leadership in
social organizations, having achieved prominence not by dint of his wealth or personal
status but as a result of his own diligent efforts and the patronage of George Luhrs, Jr.
124
Transcript of interview with Rhes Henry Cornelius, 22 July 1976, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
95
Both Diaz and Gorodezky leveraged their civic participation to become influential in the
formal structures of the charter government regime, participating in the Charter
Government Committee and serving in official capacities for the City of Phoenix. For
each, this service marked the apex of his formal political office holding, but not the end
of his civic involvement or the culmination of his political power.
Instead, Diaz and Gorodezky took techniques they had developed in charter
government service and employed them in furtherance of their ideals outside the confines
of the CGC and Phoenix municipal government. In doing so, they exported the CGC
political culture of business-like administration to the larger arena of Arizona politics.
For Gorodezky, this took the form of replicating the financial/electoral structures of the
CGC on the county and state levels, expanding the scope of political influence of wellfunded businessmen. For Diaz, this meant relying on the rhetoric of professionalism as
he pushed for greater diversity and opportunities for well-educated Hispanics in
government and education. Regardless of the divergent ends they sought to achieve,
these men spread the political culture and institutional framework of the charter
government movement through their subsequent activism. For Republican politicians
interested in furthering both their own political ambitions and a unified conservative
ideology, this process of suffusion would yield impressive dividends.
Charter Government Republicans
The Charter Government Committee was instrumental in launching several
successful conservative Republican politicians and political operatives. Among the most
96
noteworthy were Barry Goldwater, Jack Williams, and Harry Rosenzweig. The future
careers of these individuals highlight the CGC’s contribution to the post-WWII growth of
the Arizona Republican Party.
In addition to being a local celebrity for his trips down the Colorado River and
related slide show presentations, Barry Goldwater brought two other key assets to the
GCG and Republican Party.125 First, Goldwater’s roots ran deep in the conservative
business community. By the time Goldwater and his brother Robert took over
management of Goldwater’s, it had been a leading mercantile institution in Arizona for
two generations. Since the 1930s, Barry Goldwater had been leveraging this brand for
political purposes, writing occasional editorials attacking New Deal policies for what he
regarded as their interference with sound business principles.126 Second, Goldwater had
cultivated a long and close relationship with newspaper publisher Eugene Pulliam, whose
political influence in Arizona was rapidly expanding, providing him with a powerful
ally.127 With his celebrity, business credentials, and media connections, Barry Goldwater
was already an attractive candidate by the time he entered government service.
Goldwater’s first forays into politics were in non-partisan positions. In 1947,
Democratic governor Sidney Osborn appointed him to the newly created Interstate
125
Robert A. Goldberg, “The Western Hero in Politics: Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, and the Rise of
the American Conservative Movement,” in The Political Culture of the New West, ed. Jeff Roche
(Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2008), 13-46
126
“A Fireside Chat with Mr. Roosevelt,” guest editorial, The Phoenix Gazette, 23 June 1938; “ScardeeCat,” guest editorial, The Phoenix Gazette, 23 June 1939; “Came the Rains,” Guest Editorial, The Phoenix
Gazette, 22 February 1941
127
“Barry Goldwater Will Speak at Dinner in Indianapolis,” news clipping, 12 December 1940, AHF,
BMG, Barry and Peggy Goldwater Scrapbook, 1939-1941, 17
97
Stream Commission. Though given a lofty name, this body was really a lobbying group
charged with promoting Arizona’s water interests to the federal government.128 Osborn
was free to appoint members of either party, but he surprised observers by choosing three
Republicans out of the seven members, even though registered Democrats outnumbered
registered Republicans in the state by more than four-to-one.129 Apparently, Osborn
hoped that the inclusion of Republicans would bring the commission greater success in
lobbying a Republican-controlled Congress. Though Goldwater’s business ties and long
association with the river were likely the factors that led to his consideration as a
nominee, the appointment (and speculation that he would serve as chairman) was also a
reflection of his outspoken Republicanism in a state where the party had languished. 130
With his business background, appointed position on the bi-partisan Interstate
Stream Commission, and participation on the CGC Nominating Committee, Barry
Goldwater was an obvious choice for the first Charter Government Committee slate. In
fact, Goldwater garnered the most votes of any candidate in both the 1949 and 1951
elections. Goldwater’s Republicanism was largely muted by the non-partisan nature of
the election. The Republican Party, though, recognized these elections as a victory,
128
“A Good Commission,” The Arizona Times, undated clipping, AHF, BMG, Scrapbook 5: Aug 1951April 1952, 1
129
“Total Registration of Voters for General Election – November 7, 1950,” Certified by Secretary of State
Wesley Bolin, Box 1, Secretary of State Collection, Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records –
History and Archives Division
130
Bill Turnbow, “The Capitol Dome,” 5 February 1947, The Phoenix Gazette
98
noting in their party publication not only Goldwater’s success but also those of his fellow
Republicans Harry Rosenzweig and Margaret Kober.131
When entering partisan electoral politics in his 1952 run for U.S. Senate,
Goldwater used his non-partisan positions to maximum effect. The non-partisan nature
of his two government positions (seats on the Phoenix City Council and Interstate Stream
Commission) had allowed him to serve comfortably in both capacities. Upon officially
announcing his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, he gave up his position on the Stream
Commission, stating that he did so to protect its non-partisan status.132 Though his
appointment to the Commission had been prompted by partisan concerns, the rhetoric of
preserving the Commission’s efforts free from partisanship fit with his larger campaign
narrative. Specifically, Goldwater sought to strip Democrats of their exclusive claim to
represent Arizona’s water interests. He did so by declaring that getting more water to
Arizona was a bipartisan issue, much as Margaret Kober had declared of garbage
collections in their first city council race. This rhetorical move was backed up by his
long association with the Colorado River.133
On the other hand, Goldwater did not immediately resign his seat on the city
council. Though participating in a partisan political contest, he was not legally required
to resign his seat because he was running for a federal office.134 Maintaining his seat on
131
“Republicans Claim Phoenix Victory,” 5 January 1950, Plain Talk (Phoenix, Arizona)
132
“Goldwater Quits State Board,” 1 May 1952, The Arizona Republic
133
Undated radio transcript from 1952 Senate campaign, AHF, Stephen Shadegg Collection, (unprocessed)
Box 145
134
“Hohen Foster Becomes New Mayor Today,” 22 July 1952, The Arizona Republic
99
the much-lauded non-partisan council served dual purposes. First, the office continued to
serve as a key resume point for the relative newcomer to electoral politics. Second, it
provided an institutional framework from which he could comfortably launch campaign
attacks while maintaining his ideological stance as a politician above partisanship. This
was particularly useful for a Republican seeking to challenge the Senate Majority Leader
in a heavily Democratic state. Considering such positioning, it is unsurprising that
Goldwater’s initial senatorial campaign was largely focused on his reform credentials,
with the future Mr. Conservative emphasizing the need to cut wasteful spending
(including in the military) and lower taxes.135 To Goldwater, such issues were linked to
the threat of Communism, though that connection received a secondary emphasis in his
campaign. 136
Though less well known on the national stage, Jack Williams and Harry
Rosenzweig also embody the connections between the Charter Government Committee
and the Arizona Republican Party. Like Goldwater, each was a business owner, member
of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, and early participant in the CGC. Williams
accepted appointed to the city council in 1952 to replace Harry Rosenzweig, who had
moved outside the city limits. Like Goldwater, Williams kept an earlier government
position upon joining the council, choosing to continue his service as president of the
elementary school board. After a hiatus of two years, Williams agreed to run for office
135
Letter from Barry Goldwater to campaign manager Steven Shadegg regarding campaign issues, 10 July
1952, AHF, BMG Correspondence, Box 9, folder 12
136
“U.S. Senator Race Entered By Goldwater,” newspaper clipping, AHF, BMG, Senate Campaigns, Box
1, folder 2; Radio Script, 27 October 1952, AHF, BMG Senate Campaigns, folder “1952 Senate Campaign,
Radio and TV Spots”
100
on the CGC slate, this time serving as mayor from 1956 to 1960.137 In 1966, Williams
won the gubernatorial election as a conservative Republican. Serving two four-year
terms beginning in 1967, his priorities and concerns matched those of neighboring
California governor Ronald Reagan.138 In fact, Williams’ service as governor
corresponded with the heyday of Republican politics in Arizona. Due in part to
federally-mandated redistricting, the governor was able to work with the state’s first
Republican-controlled legislature in addition to its two Republican Senators and three
Republican Congressmen.
One of the signature accomplishments of the Williams administration was the first
mandate that high school students take a course in economics. Students desiring to test
out of the class could do so by passing a test including matching of phrases such as
“Government intervention in a free enterprise system” with the correct answer of “is
detrimental to the free market.”139 Williams and the Republican legislature had
succeeded in making a central provision of the charter government political culture part
of the state curriculum.
In large part, Arizona Republicans owed such success to Harry Rosenzweig, who
served as chief organizer and financier for the party and especially for Barry Goldwater’s
137
Transcript of interview with Jack Williams, 21 August 1979, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection
138
Transcript of interview with Jack Williams, 14 October 1992, AHS Tempe, Oral History Collection;
Bethany E. Moreton, “Make Payroll, Not War: Business Culture as Youth Culture” in Rightward Bound:
Making America Conservative in the 1970s, edited by Bruce J. Schulman and Julian E. Zelizer (Cambridge,
Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2008), 55-56
139
Bethany E. Moreton, “Make Payroll, Not War: Business Culture as Youth Culture,” in Rightward
Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s, Bruce J. Schulman and Julian E. Zelizer, eds.,
(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2008), 55-56
101
campaigns. A founding member of the Charter Government Committee, Rosenzweig ran
successfully on the initial CGC slates in 1949 and 1951. Though he left elected office
permanently upon his departure from the city council, like Gorodezky and Diaz he
remained active in civic affairs. In addition to serving as director of the Phoenix
Chamber of Commerce, he was a founding member of the Better Business Bureau of
Maricopa County and a major real estate investor.140 He worked for several years as the
chief financial officer of the state Republican Party and raising $1.5 million for Barry
Goldwater’s presidential bid. His political career culminated in service as Chairman of
the Arizona Republican Party from 1965 to 1975.141 During that period, the Party gained
control of both houses of the state legislature for the first time. In addition to the state
legislature, from 1969 to 1975 Republicans also occupied the governor’s mansion and all
but one position in the congressional delegation. Though various factors played a role in
these successes, Harry Rosenzweig’s organizational and fund-raising prowess was a key
ingredient. Along with Goldwater and Williams, Rosenzweig reflects the potency of the
non-partisan Charter Government Committee in establishing the future leadership of the
conservative Arizona Republican Party.
Conclusion
The charter government regime that dominated Phoenix for more than two
decades had a great deal in common with the Progressive Era urban reform movements
140
141
“Harry Rosenzweig,” biographical summary, AHF, Harry S. Rosenzweig Sr. Collection, Box 2, folder 4
Interview of Harry Rosenzweig by Kristina Minister, 1988, GPCoC ; Sheridan, 321; “Harry
Rosenzweig,” biographical summary, AHF, Harry S. Rosenzweig Sr. Collection, Box 2, folder 4
102
that preceded it and contemporary mid-century Southwest reform monopolies. The
Charter Government Committee and its allies borrowed the language of Progressive Era
reform, including the distinction between politics and administration and the rhetoric of
broad participation. The at-large election structure, instituted in Phoenix as part of the
1913 charter revision, biased the representational system in favor of the more affluent
voters. As in the Progressive Era reforms, business and professional allies at the head of
the movement focused on economic expansion as a top priority and relied on the help of a
sympathetic press.
Like other mid-century Southwestern reform monopolies, the CGC’s particular
formula for economic expansion involved a pro-growth program that emphasized rapid
annexation and the recruitment of high-tech industries. The Phoenix governing regime’s
approach to municipal government fit exactly with urban historian Carl Abbott’s
description of Sunbelt reformers:
As postwar reformers consolidated their hold on city governments, they
implemented their agenda of administrative modernization and economic
development. Businesslike government meant new budgeting, purchasing, and
personnel practices, the restructuring of operating departments, and the
recruitment of professional workers from a national pool.142
For the CGC and its allies, municipal government and business were almost perfectly
analogous; suggesting that administration techniques and those implementing them could
easily transition from business to municipal government.
The Phoenix governing regime also implemented several of the “bias strategies”
identified by political scientist Jessica Trounstine in her study of mid-century urban
142
Carl Abbott, The New Urban America: Growth and Politics in Sunbelt Cities, rev. ed. (Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina Press, 1987), 248
103
government monopolies, especially those related to “Information Bias.” The Pulliam
press formed a significant element of both the overlapping CGC and Republican Party
governing coalitions and helped establish a rhetorical monopoly in favor of these groups.
Rather than follow a pattern of “suppression of voluntary associations” identified by
Trounstine, Phoenix leaders instead co-opted such organizations, drawing candidates
specifically from the leadership of such civic groups. Non-partisan elections helped
diminish voter information and magnify the impact of the Pulliam press. Coupled with
the at-large election system and low voter turnout, these strategies and structures allowed
the CGC governing regime to maintain monopoly control of municipal government.143
Among Southwest reform monopolies, Phoenix stands out as among the most
successful. Compared to Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and San Jose, Phoenix reformers
organized and succeeded in establishing their political monopoly most quickly following
mid-century charter reforms.144 Among mid-century reform monopolies, the CGC
regime also stood out in terms of its impermeability and longevity; from 1949 to 1975,
only one non-CGC candidate won election. Though the CGC slate was defeated in 1975,
the newly elected Mayor Margaret Hance was a former CGC-backed city council
member whose priorities continued the practices of the governing coalition. Only with
the implementation of a ward-based election system in 1982 was the governing regime
brought to an end. 145 During the monopoly period, Phoenix also distinguished itself in
143
Trounstine, 32, Table 1.1, and 44-48, 57-58
144
Ibid., 84, Table 3.6
145
Ibid., 180, fig. 6.1; Bridges, 195-201
104
terms of annexation and population expansion. The Phoenix metropolitan population in
1980 was 8.11 times its 1940 population, compared to a median of 2.51 for the 127 metro
areas with populations over 300,000 in 1980. Only Las Vegas, Anaheim, San
Bernardino, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando, each of which had a smaller total population
than Phoenix, surpassed that rate of growth.146 Phoenix’s nearly 2000% expansion in city
area from 1950 to 1980 represents a rate of annexation unsurpassed by any city of
comparable size.147 Phoenix thus represents, in certain respects, the best-realized ideal of
the mid-twentieth century, pro-growth Sunbelt reformers.
In addition to reshaping municipal politics, the Charter Government Committee
regime also laid the groundwork for the rise of the conservative Republican Party in
Arizona by providing an alternative to the state’s predominant Democratic Party
structure. The establishment of a pro-business governing regime in the state’s largest and
capital city provided institutional channels through which banking, real estate, and hightech industries could shape politics outside of the state government largely dominated by
older mining and ranching industries. The political culture equating efficiency (low
taxes) and economic development with good government ran counter to the transactional
politics of the New Deal Democratic Party. In the schema of political scientist Paul E.
Peterson, the CGC shifted the focus of municipal government from allocational or
redistributive polities to developmental policies that “contribute to the economic well-
146
Abbott, 28-29, table 1.5
147
Jackson, 139, Table 8-1
105
being of the city.”148 In so doing, municipal reform advocates prepared the way for both
the business-oriented and values-centered conservatism of Sunbelt Republicans. As the
cases of Barry Goldwater, Harry Rosenzeig, and Jack Williams highlight, the CGC
regime and the ascendant conservative Republican Party overlapped significantly.
Contrary to the general findings of Peterson and others, urban government in Phoenix did
provide a valuable path to higher elective office. 149
The tripartite contributions of the charter government movement to the growth of
the Arizona Republican Party (institutional, political cultural, and demographic) are
highlighted in the impact of urban growth on statewide electoral politics. From 1944 to
1964, the total portion of statewide votes cast in the gubernatorial race from Maricopa
County (including the Phoenix metro area) rose from 43.1% to 55.0%. At the same time,
Maricopa County became increasingly Republican in voting behavior. In 1964,
Maricopa County’s percentage of Republican vote in the five top statewide offices
outpaced its percent of the two-party vote by three to five percent.150 Due in part to the
efforts of the CGC governing regime, the Arizona Republican Party was becoming
increasingly dominant in Maricopa County at the same time that Maricopa County was
coming to dominate state politics. The CGC’s particular brand of progressive
conservative urban reform thus paved the way for the rise of the modern conservative
politics of Barry Goldwater.
148
Paul E. Peterson, City Limits (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1981), 131-132
149
Peterson, 126
150
John P. White, “The 1964 Election in Arizona.” The Western Political Quarterly 18, no. 2, The 1964
Elections in the West (1965): 443-450
106
Chapter 3
Arizona Conservatives:
The Political Philosophies of Arizona’s Most Influential Republicans, 1950-1988
From the 1950s though the 1980s, the Arizona Republican Party moved from
extreme minority status to the dominant power in state politics. In 1950, the first
Republican governor in thirty years was elected. Two years later Arizonans elected their
first Republican Senator in twenty-six years and their first Republican Congressman ever.
By 1969, Republicans held both Senate seats, the governorship, two of three
congressional seats, and controlled both houses of the state legislature. In addition to
large scale patterns of migration that the state shared with the broader Sunbelt, key
individuals played a central role in orchestrating this shift in party dominance through
their political efforts. Among these influential Republican political leaders were an ad
man and evangelical Episcopalian, two radio broadcasters, a car salesman, a pastor, a
Jewish jeweler, a newspaper publisher, and a department store owner. Though all selfidentified conservatives, their unique political perspectives at times gave rise to sharp
divisions. It was in the contest between their personalities and political philosophies that
the shape and direction of the Arizona Republican Party developed in the run-up to the
Reagan Era. This chapter will illuminate the ideological origins of the modern
conservative Republican Party in Arizona during the latter part of the twentieth century
by examining the particularly political philosophies of eight prominent conservatives
Republicans.
107
The Republican Party that came to dominate Arizona politics was politically
conservative. It stood for states’ rights, free enterprise, anti-communism, and
“traditional” values. As the earlier cases of Bud Kelland and Frank Brophy illustrated,
however, there was a wide range of disagreement and outright animosity between leaders
who agreed on the general outlines of conservatism. At the time, activists spoke about
“establishment v. grassroots” and “right v. far right,” but those labels reflect more about
the attitudes and political posturing of the individuals using them than about the true
sources of conflict.
A more revealing approach to intra-party conflict considers Arizona Republicans
along two axes of conservative thought. First is their personal commitment to religion
and employment of religious language. From the early 1950s, certain influential leaders
in the Arizona Republican Party preached a message of evangelical Christian
conservatism that today’s practitioners would recognize a half-century later. For them, a
conservative philosophy of government stemmed directly from a Christian sense of Godgiven freedom and individual salvation. They were not shy about expressing their
conservative beliefs in religious terms. At the other end of this spectrum were secular
conservatives, including both non-believers and those we might call “practical atheists”:
individuals who personally believed in God but also believed in maintaining a distinction
between religious and political language.
A second axis to consider is a commitment to acting strategically or ideologically.
Strategic actors prioritized long-term party growth as a means to eventual conservative
victory whereas ideological actors saw the rightness of their principles as the greatest
108
strength of conservatism and were therefore unwilling to compromise those principles in
the service of partisan gains. At the far strategic end of this spectrum was Eugene
Pulliam, the newspaper publisher who did as much for Republicanism and conservative
politics in Arizona as anyone else but who also was more than willing to back Democrats
when he believed it was most advantageous. At the far ideological end was Evan
Mecham, who seemed to buck the strategic decision-making of the party elite at every
turn and went so far as to establish a new newspaper in Phoenix to combat the Pulliam
press with a more ideologically-committed alternative.
By setting these two axes at right angles, a grid is formed which can illuminate
the political divisions within the conservative Arizona Republican Party. The resulting
chart presents four quadrants which, read clockwise from the top left, include the
following categories: strategic evangelical, strategic secular, ideological secular, and
ideological evangelical. Positioning key individuals on this chart and examining their
respective philosophical positions reveals the complexity within Arizona conservative
Republicanism. (See Fig. 1)
Strategic Evangelical
Steven Shadegg presents the starkest example of the strategic evangelical. A
native of Minnesota who attended high school and theatre school in southern California,
Shadegg first came to Arizona in the early 1930s. There he combined his theatre
background with a penchant for writing and a natural gift for marketing, writing for radio,
national magazines, and movies. Beginning in the 1940s, he was hired to craft a series of
109
Figure 1: The Political Philosophies of Arizona Conservatives
Graph of the relative position of Arizona’s conservative Republican leaders in terms of
their religious commitments and prioritization of strategic action or ideological purity.
110
special publications promoting central Arizona in its quest for increased water
development, particularly the long-sought Central Arizona Project. During the same
period, Shadegg began to dabble in politics, first successfully working to elect a series of
Maricopa County sheriffs before graduating to a position as campaign manager for U.S.
Senator Carl Hayden, who was re-elected for a fourth term in 1950.1
In the early 1950s, Shadegg underwent a dual conversion. One part was political.
Like 80% of registered voters in Arizona in 1950, Shadegg was a registered Democrat.2
In 1952, however, Shadegg served as campaign manager for Barry Goldwater’s
successful Republican campaign for the U.S. Senate, in which he toppled Democratic
Senate Majority Leader Ernest McFarland. From that election into the mid-1980s,
Shadegg worked consistently as a Republican activist and campaign staff member,
helping to elect or re-elect governors, Senators, and Congressmen in Arizona and
throughout the nation.3
The other part of Shadegg’s conversion was religious. A lifelong Episcopalian,
Shadegg experienced an evangelical conversion around 1950 as an outgrowth of his anticommunist efforts. As president of the Phoenix Community Council he organized an
anti-communist panel discussion that included the new dean of Trinity Episcopal
1
Curriculum Vitae, Stephen C. Shadegg (ca. 1984), Arizona Historical Foundation (hereafter AHF),
Stephen Shadegg Collection (hereafter SS), (unprocessed) Box “Inventories”
2
“Total Registration of Voters for General Election – November 7, 1950 at Close of Registration, Oct 2,
1950,” Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records – History and Archives Division (hereafter
ASL), Secretary of State Collection, Box 1; Letter, Barry Goldwater to Bud Kelland, 8 Jul 1952, AHF, The
Personal and Political Papers of Senator Barry M. Goldwater (hereafter BMG) Correspondence, Box 68,
folder 21 “K”
3
Curriculum Vitae, Stephen C. Shadegg (ca. 1984), AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box “Inventories”
111
Cathedral in Phoenix, James Carmen. During a pre-panel meeting, Carman referred to
the “practical atheist” and later defined the term as “anyone who believes in God and
won’t do anything about it.” This sparked a period of self-examination for Shadegg, who
took confirmation classes and plunged into intensive involvement with the Episcopal
Church.4
From 1952 to 1967, Shadegg served on the Presiding Bishop’s Committee for
Laymen’s Work, an evangelical outreach program under the direction of presiding
Bishop Henry Knox Sherrill. At the General Convention in 1961, Shadegg was elected a
lay member of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, a position he held for ten
years. During that time he attended various national and provincial meetings as a lay
officer, getting to know especially the influential evangelical leaders within the church.5
A private discussion Shadegg recounted in an unpublished memoir suggests some
of the lessons he drew from these associations. Howard Harper, executive secretary of
the Presiding Bishop’s committee, told Shadegg that “We must learn to be before we can
do.” When asked to clarify that remark, Harper replied that “We must truly be servants
of God before we can do God’s work in His kingdom.” Shadegg reflected that, “Howard
Harper was truly God’s servant. He detested the bureaucracy of the central church. He
was alarmed by its drift towards secular humanism. His program was first be, then do.”6
Like Harper, Shadegg’s other Episcopal mentors were anti-hierarchical, anti-liberal, and
4
“It Was Never Nothing,” unpublished memoir, AHF, SS Writings, (unprocessed), folder “It Was Never
Nothing (memoir) (2 of 2)”, 178-179
5
Ibid., 179-182
6
Ibid., 180-181
112
prioritized the perfection of the spiritual self over organized attempts to aid in the
material situation of others, lessons he internalized and promoted.
Speaking at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States
in Miami Beach, Florida in 1958, Shadegg boldly declared to the lay members there
assembled that “the Church is not the governing structure or the ecclesiastical bodies, or
the tracts, or the prayer book – the Church in the world is you.”7 Shadegg quoted Acts
1:7-8 as the central call of Christ to practicing Christians:
It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his
own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon
you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and
in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.8
That call, he taught, was an individual call, not to “the Church on Main Street,” “the
clergy,” or “the national organization,” but to the lay members, who must serve as
witnesses of Christ in their various occupations and roles.9 This evangelical message,
that Christians’ main role in the world was to witness of their faith, was the core theme of
Shadegg’s religious preaching. It put him directly at odds with more liberally-inclined
members of the church who were stressing the need for community service and interfaith
activism.
True to his message, Shadegg did not confine his witness to religious settings. In
an earlier speech to the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce in 1951, Shadegg spoke of the
need for “Christian morals” to become the “laws of life” in domestic relations and for
7
“Where in the World is the Church?,” speech to General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the
United States of America LIX, Oct. 1958, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box 41, 2
8
Ibid., 4
9
Ibid.
113
“export” in order to increase freedom around the world. He lectured these business
leaders for being too “shamefaced about admitting God” and called upon them to make a
religious re-commitment. He told them,
I’m not talking about the superficial kind of religion which is usually associated
with a bunch of little girls in a Sunday School and a daisy chain on the church
lawn. I’m speaking of the necessity, the terrible necessity of admitting God’s
authority, of being governed by God, of practicing the principles of Christian
morality in order that we may retain our freedom. 10
The idea that religious devotion should attain its significance, its “terrible necessity,” as a
preservative of individual freedom is the key link between Shadegg’s evangelical
Christianity and his conservative political commitment, a link forged in the fires of his
anti-communist activism. Christian evangelism was not just about saving individual
souls but also, and crucially, about preserving freedom.
A speech Shadegg delivered to a group of Episcopalian laymen in 1956 highlights
the anti-communist fusion of his political and religious logic. After reviewing the
promises offered by communism to the hungry, the victim of war, and “the intellectual,”
Shadegg concludes that “these promises all emphasize the material aspect of man.”11 In
contrast, the message of Christianity is of “that ancient truth of the definition of man as a
spiritual being.”
Freedom is a necessary state of men, because man is a child of Almighty god,
with an important, immortal individual [soul,] because man is a spiritual being
first as well as a physical being.12
10
Speech, Steven Shadegg to Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, 17 Oct 1951, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box
54
11
“My Father’s Business,” speech, Steven Shadegg to group of Episcopal laymen, 1956, AHF, SS,
(unprocessed) Box 92, 6-7
12
“Ibid., 11
114
In this anti-materialist focus on individual freedom, Shadegg’s evangelical Christianity fit
comfortably with his conservative Republican activism. It allowed him to partner with
more fiscally motivated conservatives as each fought to preserve individual freedom
against the encroachment of a regulatory state. In an ironic result that must have
appeared disingenuous to liberal critics, Shadegg’s anti-materialist view of man actually
led him toward a greater embrace of free-market capitalism.
An example that Shadegg shared in his 1958 General Convention speech
illustrates this easy alliance between religious convictions and business interests while
also suggesting the easy corruption of politics. As he told the story, a group of Arizona
businessmen had met to discuss some proposed legislation, apparently put forward in a
blatant attempt to blackmail certain business enterprises. The group decided that the
most effective way to stop the legislation was to pay off certain legislators, with each
member contributing some fixed amount for that purpose. Suddenly one man stood and
declared,
This is an evil thing that one member of the legislature has done. His proposal
would injure more of the people in this State and on that basis, I will fight it. I
will give my share of the money, and more. I will give my time – I will appear on
the radio and the television – I will prepare newspaper advertisements, but I will
not be a party to your proposal to use money under the table to get this job done.
According to Shadegg, this “Churchman” was effective in redirecting the efforts of the
entire group, which instead spent more money and time to successfully defeat the
legislation rather than resorting to bribery.13 This story, echoing the political culture of
13
“Where in the World is the Church?,” speech to General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the
United States of America LIX, Oct. 1958, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box 41, 6-7
115
the Phoenix charter government movement, suggests the way in which evangelicalism
would promote best practices by business, thereby preserving free enterprise by obviating
the need for intensive state regulation.
One month after giving this speech, Shadegg wrote to Goldwater in the wake of
the Republican Party’s 1958 election trouncing to suggest a new emphasis for the
Republican Party:
The Republican Party must reaffirm that it, above all, is interested in the
individual, in opportunity for the individual, in responsibility, in a lessening of
governmental control and interference in the life of the individual.
This intense focus on the “individual” as the central concern of conservative Republican
politics (as opposed to small government, states’ rights, or traditional values) reflects
Shadegg’s particular evangelical religious convictions, particularly its linkage of the
spiritual nature of man with the preservation of freedom. His major criticism of
Eisenhower Republicanism, which he blamed for the party’s misfortunes, was that it had
adopted the approach of the communists and “anarchists who masquerade as liberals” by
seeking “to find a material [collective] answer for all of the problems which beset us.”14
In a speech titled “The Liberal Heresy,” Shadegg expounded upon the problems
with this materialist approach. He told a group of church members that liberalism was
dangerous to individuals’ God-given freedom because it corrupted not only the recipients
of government welfare (by teaching them dependence and entitlement), but also
charitable individuals (who were robbed of their opportunity for voluntary action). Taxes
14
Letter from Stephen Shadegg to Barry Goldwater, 17 Nov 1958, The Center for American History
(hereafter CAH), Stephen Shadegg / Barry Goldwater Collection, 1949-1965 (hereafter SSBG), Box
3H498, folder “Stalin Pamphlet”
116
were not simply a matter of worldly concern but of spiritual import as well, since money
was, when held by the earner, a representation of God’s gifts to an individual.
Throughout the speech, Shadegg used the noun “conservative” as a synonym for
“proselytizing Christian” as he called on conservatives to share God’s love individually
on a voluntary bases rather than adopting government welfare plans which restricted
freedom and damaged human souls. For this, of course, Jesus was Shadegg’s perfect
example. Drawing on New Testament accounts, Shadegg pointed out that Jesus had lived
a life of individual compassion rather than seeking to establish a collective mechanism
for dealing with the physical needs of others or reshaping the earthly government to
accomplish such ends. Where liberal Christians might point to millenarian prophecies of
peace and prosperity or the more radical portions of Jesus’ sermons for a guide to
collective community activism, Shadegg called upon Christians to emulate Jesus’ earthly
example by avoiding collectivist political solutions.15
Speaking at the Convention of the Diocese of Tennessee in 1961, Shadegg
applied his call for limiting collective action to the church as well, declaring that its
mission was not political, social, or hierarchical but individual and spiritual. Its mission
was not to seek justice, equality, or peace but rather to offer individual mercy. The
physical was to be secondary to the spiritual. In fact, there was no real need even for a
church hierarchy since the true church existed as a “personal commission” to be God’s
witness, an individual and spiritual mandate to be undertaken voluntarily. 16 From
15
16
“The Liberal Heresy,” speech, early 1960s, Steven Shadegg, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box 92
“God’s Mercy,” speech by Stephen Shadegg to Diocese of Tennessee Convention, Memphis Tennessee,
18 Jan 1961, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box 92
117
Shadegg’s perspective, the main body of the Episcopal church had strayed far from its
central role as a vehicle for spreading the message of individual spiritual salvation.
Despite his concerns about what he perceived as the church’s secular humanist
drift, Shadegg’s institutional Episcopal connections helped open political doors. Close
associates of Dwight Eisenhower, also serving on the Presiding Bishop’s committee
apparently suggested Shadegg for appointment on the Committee on Program and
Progress, established by the White House in 1959 to develop a long-term policy direction
for the Republican Party. There Shadegg had the opportunity to meet the president and
other significant party leaders. Richard Nixon attended each of the committee’s meetings
and Shadegg had the opportunity to engage him in lengthy discussions about political
philosophy. 17 Part of his committee assignment included travel around the West and
Midwest to meet with party leaders and activists. In the process, Shadegg cultivated
relationships that served him well as both Arizona State Party Chairman and campaign
consultant to ten Republican campaigns for the U.S. Senate in 1960.18
For all of his evangelical zeal, Stephen Shadegg was also a committed strategic
political actor. In 1952, when he ran Barry Goldwater’s successful campaign for the U.S.
Senate, he was a registered Democrat in a state where the Democratic Primary usually
determined the ultimate office holder.19 Four years later, Shadegg was still reviewing
Democratic campaign materials for Sen. Carl Hayden’s staff and assuring them that their
17
“It Was Never Nothing,” unpublished memoir, AHF, SS Writings, (unprocessed), folder “It Was Never
Nothing (memoir) (2 of 2),” 182-183
18
Speech to Arizona Republican State Convention, 23 Apr 1960, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box 40;
Curriculum Vitae, Stephen C. Shadegg (ca. 1984), AHF, SS, Box “Inventories”
19
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Bud Kelland, 8 Jul 1952, AHF, BMG Correspondence, Box 68, folder 21 “K”
118
Republican challenger would be only a “nominal candidate” against Hayden, not
engaging in “an active campaign” and delivering “no real campaign speeches.”20
In 1962, Sen. Goldwater, Gov. Paul Fannin, newspaper publisher Eugene Pulliam,
and Stephen Shadegg had all agreed on a similar plan of token Republican opposition to
Sen. Hayden. But the ideologically motivated Evan Mecham entered the Republican
primary determined to mount a real challenge to Hayden. Shadegg then entered the
primary contest with the intention of defeating Mecham and serving as the Republican’s
placeholder candidate.21 One lesson of that campaign was Shadegg’s continued
willingness to meld his evangelical beliefs with strategic political action. Shadegg
continued to stress his religious convictions that “this is one nation under God; that His
laws govern our actions; that His love and His promises provide man with the only real
security we can find on this earth”; that each of us is a “child of God” and responsible for
preserving freedom through “an eternal contract standing between the past and the
future”; all this while planning to allow a prime supporter of big government a free pass
in the general election.22
Shadegg’s contest with Mecham produced a bitter rivalry between the two. It also
directed Shadegg’s attention to the strength of the growing ideological movement.
Speaking outside Arizona in 1963, just after Mecham had again upset the party
establishment with an insurgent attempt at the state party chairmanship, Shadegg spoke at
20
Letter, Steven Shadegg to Paul Eaton, 19 Apr 1956, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box 54
21
“It Was Never Nothing,” unpublished memoir, AHF, SS Writings, (unprocessed), folder “It Was Never
Nothing (memoir) (2 of 2),” 246-250
22
Campaign pamphlet for “Steve” Shadegg, 1962, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box 145; TV commercial script
for Stephen Shadegg, 29 Apr 1962, Phoenix, Channel 3, 1962, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box 40
119
length about his disagreements with what he termed “the far, far right.” As usual,
Shadegg emphasized the contest between spiritual individualism over materialist
collectivism, declaring that the central question facing the nation was whether it believed
the words of Jesus: “Man does not live by bread alone.” Liberals, Shadegg argued in a
common refrain, mistakenly believed that “luxuries and comforts and material
accumulations are the be-all and end-all of life.” But Shadegg then went on to stake out a
position for Republicans in the center of the political spectrum, calling John Birch
Society founder Robert Welch “at least a fool” and castigating the Minutemen as worse.
“As I view the extremists on the right,” he stated, “they are so willing and determined to
have freedom they are willing to destroy freedom in order to achieve their objective.”
True conservatives, on the other hand, avoided the tyranny of the “monolithic structured
political state,” whatever the motives of its proponents.23
The errors of the far right, Shadegg suggested, were in their divisive approach and
their misapprehension of the real threats. Speaking of Mecham’s attempt at the party
chairmanship, Shadegg said,
[Mecham] was a man of rather limited experience, well-motivated, filled with a
desire to be of service. He might have made an excellent state chairman; but the
manner he chose, the way in which he contested … produced a serious split and
we in Arizona cannot afford to be divided. 24
This divisiveness was all the more troubling because of the seriousness of the stakes.
It is, I would suggest, the responsibility of the Republican Party to put aside petty
differences. This is no time for small disputes. For what hangs in the balance …
23
Untitled speech beginning with “Acknowledgements,” Apr 1963, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box 40, 6, 9,
10
24
Ibid., 16
120
is … not whether [our] political institutions shall be preserved in the manner and
form conceived by the founding fathers. What is under attack, what hangs in the
balance is, I would suggest, the dearest persuasions of the last six thousand years,
– love, truth, freedom, friendship and the recognition of man as something more
than the three dimensional material creature conjured up by Karl Marx. 25
Shadegg’s conservative political philosophy was rooted in religious convictions that
prioritized man’s spiritual nature. That conviction strengthened his own anti-communist
zeal and raised the stakes of his political activism. That much he had in common with
men like Mecham and Brophy. But where they focused their zeal on protecting a
Constitution they regarded as near-faltering, Shadegg’s concern was chiefly for the
individual, regardless of the whether “political institutions [were] preserved in the
manner and form conceived by the founding fathers.”26 Ironically, this conviction led
Shadegg to give greater priority to preserving traditional forms of civil political
participation and maintaining unity within the Republican Party than did his ideological
evangelical opponents.
Following Goldwater’s 1964 contest, Shadegg prepared a book chapter titled
“Conservatism and Political Action” in which he was highly critical of that campaign.
While bitter feelings resulting from his exclusion from the campaign’s inner circle were
certainly partially to blame for his negativity, the nature of his complaints is telling.
Shadegg disparaged the outspoken candidate for a “willful or unintentional neglect” of
conservative issues. At the same time, Shadegg declared that the balance of power in
elections was non-ideological and based on the “real or manufactured virtue or vice of the
25
Untitled speech beginning with “Acknowledgements,” Apr 1963, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box 40, 11
26
Ibid., 11
121
contenders.” In other words, Goldwater in 1964 seemed to be the opposite of Shadegg:
focused on the wrong conservative issues (secular rather than evangelical) and taking the
wrong tactics (speaking ideologically rather than strategically). In combination,
Shadegg’s conclusion was that Goldwater lost because voters saw him as a “radical
revolutionary” and Lyndon Johnson as the true conservative choice. 27 The specific thrust
of Shadegg’s criticism reflects the type of strategic evangelical conservatism he favored.
In 1950, J. Howard Pyle won election as Arizona’s first Republican governor in
20 years. Though Pyle was not directly involved in Phoenix municipal politics, his
ascension owed a great deal to the same political culture and institutional arrangements
that were simultaneously propelling the charter government movement. After early work
in real estate, Pyle became involved with The Arizona Republic and then radio
broadcasting. During WWII, Walter Bimson of the Valley National Bank hired Pyle to
travel in the Pacific theater and interview servicemen from Arizona. Upon returning,
Pyle was in heavy demand as a speaker, with the bank encouraging him to take every
such opportunity. Valley National Bank continued to support Pyle’s efforts, sponsoring
“Arizona Highways,” a regular radio program in which Pyle gave brief sketches of the
lives of individual Arizonans. Such programs linked Pyle’s career to the bank’s tourism
promotion efforts while also making Pyle a well-known figure throughout the state. His
most successful program, however, was the annual Grand Canyon Easter Sunrise Service,
27
“Conservatism and Political Action,” book chapter, Stephen Shadegg, ca. 1965, AHF, SS, (unprocessed)
Box 40
122
broadcast live around the world for 25 years. Pyle was the co-founder, writer, producer,
and narrator of the non-denominational Christian religious program.28
Pyle’s own religious views mirrored the Grand Canyon Easter Sunrise Service in
key respects. Well-known as a Baptist and son of a local minister, Pyle abstained from
smoking, drinking, or dancing, gave guest sermons at churches around the state, and
taught a regular Sunday school class.29 He was comfortable sharing scriptures, quoting
hymns, and giving sermons, but his remarks rarely included the kind of heavy-handed
moralizing that his background might suggest.30 In a 1953 address titled “How Firm Are
Arizona’s Foundations?,” Pyle spoke at length about economic and demographic matters,
highlighting Arizona’s balanced economy and rapid growth. He closed by paraphrasing
the Christian hymn “How Firm a Foundation.” While this reference highlighted his own
religious background, the message was solidly secular as he directed Arizona’s citizens to
have faith in such things as “the language of her limitless blue skies,” “unfailing
sunshine,” “friendly temperatures,” “fruitful soil,” “abundant resources,” “inexhaustible
scenic wonders,” and “priceless pioneering heritage of which we presently are sole and
only custodians.”31 It was this kind of gentle invocation of religious themes in
28
Neil M. Clark, “The Amateur Governor of Arizona,” Saturday Evening Post, 16 Jun 1951
29
Biographical sketch of Howard Pyle for Current Biography, 1955, Arizona State University, Special
Collections (hereafter ASU), Howard Pyle Papers (hereafter Pyle), Box 25, folder 1
30
For example, in response to remarks at a Brigham Young University Alumni Banquet in Mesa, Arizona,
28 Feb 1952, the local Mormon ecclesiastical leaders wrote to Pyle suggesting that “Your talks are always
outstanding and spiritual.” Letter, Phoenix Stake Presidency to Howard Pyle, 4 Mar 1952, ASL, RG1Goernor’s Files, Howard Pyle, Box 57, folder 6 “Religious Organizations, Miscellaneous Correspondence,
1951-1954”
31
How Firm Are Arizona’s Foundations?, speech by Gov. Howard Pyle, 25 Jan 1953, ASU, Pyle, Box 33,
folder 5
123
connection with natural beauty or human potential that characterized the Easter Sunrise
Service as well as Pyle’s other public religious commentary.
In celebration of Gov. Pyle’s election in 1950, a dedication service was held at the
First Baptist Church in Phoenix. Jokingly introduced as the “Rev. Governor Howard
Pyle,” he delivered a sermon that highlighted his approach to religion. Pyle focused
attention on the individual and called upon those listening to rededicate themselves to
their Christian lives. He spoke of “the gift that is in every man and every woman. That
gift is the gift of Divinity!” With that internal capacity, men and women were to partner
with God in carrying out his earthly work. “We are all share-holders in the most
important relationship in the entire universe – God incorporated,” Pyle declared.
Each of us is a branch office and we are either open and doing business or we are
closed to the possibilities of this life… No man can be a silent partner with God
and not be in step with the articles of our incorporation with God.32
While he was vague on the details of that business, Pyle hinted toward the need for
greater community effort, a fitting topic for a soon-to-be-inaugurated governor.
In a sermon delivered at the National City Church in Washington, D.C. in 1958,
Pyle elaborated on the role of the church. Pyle again emphasized “an atomic potency
within us” and argued that this universal divine potential was “the thing that has inspired
the various religious movements on which the world is depending for spiritual guidance.”
“We are not working alone for any one individual religious organization,” he declared,
“we are working for a world that needs that for which the church as an institution stands.”
32
Dedication Service for Hon. J. Howard Pyle, Newly Elected Governor of the State of Arizona, record of
proceedings, 1950, ASU, Pyle, Box 103, folder 4
124
This universal church shared the same mission as government: “to wisely serve the
general welfare at home and the cause of peace around the world.”
So, the challenges before us are akin. It’s a matter of salvation in this world as
well as the next. By salvation in this world we mean the development and
perfection of an atmosphere in which men can live and prosper in peace. Then
and only then can His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. As for salvation in
the next world, I’m sure this mission does not need elaboration here.33
Pyle’s conception of religion was less exclusive than ecumenical, less focused on the
spiritual aspects of next world salvation than the practical uplift of the world around us.
As such, the church was only one expression of man’s inner potential and purpose, a
purpose that also found expression in government service.
Pyle’s views on government mirrored those of the Charter Government
Committee, which was gaining ground in Phoenix during his four years as governor. In
his 1952 statement of reelection, Pyle suggested reorganization and tax reform as the top
priorities of state government. He suggested that reorganization would bring “better
government at lower cost” just as the CGC had promoted professional management as a
way of achieving better city services at a lower cost.34 At the 1952 Republican National
Convention, Pyle similarly adopted the language of the CGC, calling upon each citizen to
33
“The Church in Our Time,” text of speech delivered at the National City Church, Washington, D.C., 22
Jan 1958, ASU, Pyle, Box 29, folder 4
34
Statement on Re-Election, 17 Jul 1952, ASU, Pyle, Box 17, folder 8; The CGC had also emphasized
reorganization as a cost-cutting measure and consolidated 27 municipal departments into 11 during their
first years in office. Interview with Harry Rosenzweig, 9 Aug 1984, Arizona Jewish Historical Society
(hereafter AJHS), Oral History Collection
125
act as “a working stockholder” of the U.S. government and comparing the election to the
minutes of a board meeting in which the decisions of the owners were recorded.35
As was expedient for a Republican governor working with an overwhelmingly
Democratic state legislature, Pyle regarded compromise as a political virtue, declaring in
a message to the Arizona legislature that “all good Legislation is, to some degree, the
result of compromise.”36 His anti-partisanship ran deeper than mere political expediency.
Only a few months into his first term, Pyle lectured local politicians on their partisanship:
As far as I can see there has not been a single change in so-called political tactics
or idealism since the beginning of things.… All they know is how to tear down
someone and then climb over him. I hope and pray the Republican Party can be
encouraged to give the country a complete new kind of selfless service dedicated
to the ideal of America first and party second.37
These remarks sparked at least one angry letter from a Republican constituent, charging
Pyle with a bit of inconsistency. “I well remember the substance of your declarations to
the Young Republicans one summer day in 1950,” Richard Chambers wrote to Pyle, “that
day you wanted to dedicate yourself to ringing doorbells for the party – that day you had
the faith that many others share with me – that the Republican Party is the last earthly
instrumentality which offers much hope to save this country.” For Chambers and other
committed ideologues, the Republican Party had a special, exclusive mission to bear a
consistent conservative message in defense of the nation. Pyle, it seemed, has duped
them into thinking he shared this commitment.
35
“What Is Right For America?,” address by Howard Pyle to the Republican National Convention,
Chicago, Illinois, 8 Jul 1952, ASU, Pyle, Box 21, folder 1D
36
Message of Governor Howard Pyle to the 21st Arizona Legislature, 11 Jan 1954, ASL, The Public and
Personal Papers of Ernest McFarland, Box 186, folder 24
37
“Governor Lashes Both Demo, G.O.P. Parties,” The Arizona Daily Star, 16 May 1951, 7A
126
Barry Goldwater also questioned Pyle’s ideological consistency. In a 1960 letter
reflecting on the 1952 Republican National Convention, Goldwater wrote to Pyle that “I
must be equally candid with you and state I have never been able to understand how a
man who stood originally for MacArthur and then so strongly for Taft could transfer
those convictions to Eisenhower, when you were at one time openly opposed to him.”38
While Goldwater had, for procedural reasons, supported efforts of the Young
Republicans to cast their votes for Eisenhower, both he and Pyle were firm Taft
supporters at the convention. Pyle’s later decision to support and then work for
Eisenhower thus puzzled the conservative Senator. Goldwater was not alone in this
concern. Bud Kelland also worried that Pyle would be “seduced by the White House
janissaries” when he joined the Eisenhower administration.39 Hoover promised to contact
Pyle and “see if he is still a Christian.”40
For Pyle, however, such a consistent ideological vision was not the purpose of a
political party. In fact, almost the opposite was the case. In a surprisingly open and
personal response to a 1951 inquiry, Gov. Pyle gave this explanation of his reasons for
being a Republican:
Why am I a Republican?
In the beginning, I registered as a Republican many years ago when I was an
eighteen dollar a week garage mechanic. At that time, the motivating influence
38
Letter from Barry Goldwater to Howard Pyle, 24 Jun 1960, ASU, Pyle, Box 76, folder 6
39
Letter, Bud Kelland to Herbert Hoover, 29 Feb 1955, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
(hereafter Hoover Pres.), Papers of Herbert Hoover – Post-Presidential, Individual Correspondence File,
Box 107, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington (5)”
40
Letter, Herbert Hoover to Bud Kelland, 7 Mar 1955, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – PostPresidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 107, folder “Kelland, Clarence Budington (5)”
127
behind my decision was a tremendous devotion for the immortal Abraham
Lincoln and the things for which he stood. At that time all of the early principles
on which the Republican Party was founded were pretty well intact.
Since that time there has been a complete reversal of the basic contentions and
practices of the two parties. With the advent of the Roosevelt regime, so-called
Jeffersonian Democracy with its traditional emphasis on States Rights [sic] and
the “best government is the least government” went out the window.
With this development, the Republican Party, as far as I’m concerned, developed
a new reason for being. Today, as a Republican, I feel that my job is that of an
opposition to the socialistic trends that are slowly but surely weakening the
republic to which we pledge allegiance.
To me, the fundamental reason for a two party system is to maintain government
balance in keeping with the principles of our way of life. When one party or the
other swings wide of the mark, then it becomes the patriotic duty of the
opposition to take whatever view and whatever action is necessary to return our
government to the America that was envisioned by the framers of out
Constitution.41
Pyle recognized that the political ideology of both parties had changed in his lifetime.
Implicitly, he recognized that the Republican Party had replaced the strong federal
government principles of Lincoln with a states’ rights position in opposition to the New
Deal. Rather than disrupting his personal attachment to the party of his youth, this
ideological mutability became a central tenant of Pyle’s commitment to the Republican
cause, in which he served as a committed conservative doing his “patriotic duty” by
opposing the “socialistic trends” of the Democratic Party, dominant both nationally and
in his own state.
Two years later, Pyle’s response to a similar inquiry was both more detailed and
more forceful; his experiences as governor had hardened his commitment to states’ rights
principles. In this letter, intended for publication alongside answers from the forty-seven
41
Letter, 16 Oct 1951, Howard Pyle to Meldrim Thomson, Jr., ASL, Gov, Box 55, folder 2
128
other governors, Pyle identified “favoring centralization or opposing it” as the central
issue dividing the two American political parties since the fight over Constitutional
ratification. In recent years, the Democratic Party had come “to espouse a somewhat
Americanized version of European Socialism,” leaving the Republican Party with a
compelling need to shift its own ideology in response.
Support of the doctrine of States’ Rights – Home Rule – has given the Republican
Party such a central theme upon which to advance a consistent and constructive
program for American… Regardless of party affiliation Americans continue to
believe in the Constitutional guarantees of States’ Rights and local selfgovernment… So, we find today that the Democratic Party as such regards the
government as a beneficent force and favors the progressive surrender of power to
the central government, while the Republican Party thinks that men must find
salvation by individual effort and opposes the surrender of additional power to the
Federal government beyond the dictates of the Constitution.42
Pyle’s aggressiveness about states’ rights and the threat of European Socialism increased
during his time as governor and became a central focus of his political career.
A practical challenge to this principle had come in the spring of 1953 with a letter
from Barry Goldwater. Goldwater wrote to Pyle about the fact that money “had run out
in Arizona to pay social security to the Indians.” Previously, Carl Hayden had been able
to obtain the necessary funds from the federal government by attaching a provision to a
Senate appropriations bill (where he served as chairman of the Appropriations
Committee), but a delay had arisen that year. Goldwater suggested that the time had
perhaps come for Arizona to take over this cost since the state was running a sufficiently
42
Letter, Howard Pyle to Harold R. Luther, 12 Nov 1953, ASU, Pyle, Box 17, folder 7
129
large surplus.43 In a rare pointed response to Goldwater, Pyle suggested that this
involved a matter of principle “that I have been unwilling to surrender.”
If we had a barrel of money available, which we don’t have, we still wouldn’t be
justified in washing the Federal Government’s dirty linen in this connection…
The thing has been discussed at length around the Capitol and the legislators with
whom I have visited … would rather withdraw from Federal participation in Old
Age Assistance altogether than submit to this deal, because it’s fundamentally
unfair.44
Pyle, who had repeatedly suggested compromise and conciliating as the highest ideals
had found a principle he was unwilling to sacrifice in the name of expediency. States’
rights had become the central tenet of Pyle’s conservative philosophy.
Pyle’s religious and political philosophy was at odds with Stephen Shadegg’s
thinking in several ways. Though both men focused on the individual spiritual lives, Pyle
emphasized the activism of divine potential in partnership with God and others rather
than the need for submission to God. His declaration of parallel missions for religion and
government, suggestion that the church had a role in improving the earthly community
and promoting peace, and embrace of ecumenicalism all ran counter to Shadegg’s calls
for evangelical zeal and doctrinal fastidiousness in the face of communist threats. Yet
these disparate religious impulses ultimately led to very similar political approaches.
For these strategic evangelical actors, the strength of the Republican Party was
paramount. Whereas for Shadegg this was a matter of preserving individual freedom, for
Pyle it was about balancing American ideals to achieve “the general welfare at home and
43
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Howard Pyle, 6 Feb 1953, ASU, Pyle, Box 13, folder “Goldwater, Senator
Barry M. 1951-1953”
44
Letter, Howard Pyle to Barry Goldwater, 16 Feb 1953, ASU, Pyle, Box 13, folder “Goldwater, Senator
Barry M. 1951-1953”
130
the cause of peace around the world.”45 For Pyle, both “favoring centralization [and]
opposing it” were essential elements of the “two-party system” that made American
government great.46 Perhaps more than most of his contemporaries, Pyle recognized the
mutability of party ideology. Rather than tempering his partisan commitment, however,
that understanding seems to have spurred him to a greater commitment to conservative
principles, particularly states’ rights, which he saw as the aspect of the American system
of government that was currently most threatened. In their shared commitment to
strengthening the Republican Party, Pyle and Shadegg were both more than willing to
partner with secular strategic conservatives in accomplishing shared ends. This
partnership was eased by the fact that they shared with the strategic secular conservatives
a view of business as a positive manifestation of human nature, fitting as both a vehicle
for individual self-expression and an analogy for good government.
Ideological Evangelical
Three men who served in the Arizona Senate in the 1960s went on to become the
major proponents of a more ideological approach within the Republican Party. As former
Phoenix mayor and future Arizona governor Jack Williams commented in a 1965 radio
editorial, “Republican [State] Senators have done more to split the GOP in Arizona than
45
“The Church in Our Time,” text of speech delivered at the National City Church, Washington, D.C., 22
Jan 1958, ASU, Pyle, Box 29, folder 4
46
Letter, Howard Pyle to Harold R. Luther, 12 Nov 1953, ASU, Pyle, Box 17, folder 7; Letter, 16 Oct
1951, Howard Pyle to Meldrim Thomson, Jr., ASL, Gov, Box 55, folder 2
131
any other factor.”47 Two of these men, Evan Mecham and John Conlan, were Maricopa
County State Senators who represented the new wave of evangelical ideological party
activists.
Evan Mecham came to Arizona from Utah after his service in World War II and
soon became a prominent and prosperous auto dealer in Maricopa County. The
conservative Mormon48 entered electoral politics in 1960, successfully winning a twoyear term as a state Senator. His single term apparently did little to endear him to the
party establishment, for whose strategic approach he had little patience. When told by
Shadegg in 1962 of the plan not to actively oppose Sen. Hayden, Mecham replied that the
party should seriously challenge every Democratic candidate, something the strategic
actors did not think was possible or wise considering party resources.49 Though Mecham
won the contest against Shadegg, he lost in the general election against Hayden without
the support of either the Republican Party establishment (including Goldwater) or the
dominant Pulliam press.50 Over the course of his life, Mecham made several additional
bids for state office, including five campaigns for the governor’s office. A three-way
47
Radio Editorial, Jack Williams, 11 Apr 1965, Arizona Historical Society (hereafter AHS), Tempe Branch
(hereafter Tempe), Jack Williams Collection, Box 31, folder 355
48
Mecham was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the LDS
Church. Members commonly refer to themselves as “Mormons” or “Latter-day Saints.” I have chosen to
use the former term to identify the members, theology, and culture of the LDS Church. Though members
of other organizations may also be identified by this term, all “Mormons” in this study belong to the LDS
Church, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. The LDS Church owns and operates Brigham Young
University.
49
“It Was Never Nothing,” unpublished memoir, AHF, SS Writings, (unprocessed), folder “It Was Never
Nothing (memoir) (2 of 2),” 246-250
50
Jack L. August, Jr., “Old Arizona and the New Conservative Agenda: The Hayden Verses Mecham U.S.
Senate Campaign of 1962,” The Journal of Arizona History 41, no. 4 (winter 2000): 385-412
132
race in 1986 proved just the opening he needed for a brief and deeply troubled stint in the
governor’s chair. On April 4, 1988 he was removed from office through impeachment
proceedings before a scheduled recall election could take place or a criminal trial against
him could commence. 51 The firestorm of dissent he had provoked was closely tied to his
ideological evangelical approach.
Though Mecham’s short gubernatorial tenure would do the most to highlight his
contentious politics and Mormon religious beliefs, his ideological conservatism was clear
from the early 1960s. In his 1962 challenge to Hayden, Mecham easily won the
endorsements of such conservative bastions as Human Events and Americans for
Constitutional Action, but not the leading (and conservative leaning) Arizona
newspapers.52 In response, Mecham launched his own newspaper the following year. In
an opening editorial/advertisement, Mecham declared that The Evening American would
be an ideological vehicle “based on principle and belief” and free from party ties. It
would be “opposed to big government,” “the taxpayers’ newspaper” endeavoring “to tell
you why and how you are being taxed and what can be done about it.” He stated that
“Controversy and dissent have made our country great.”53 From its first issues, The
51
Pat Flannery, “Former Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham has died,” The Arizona Republic, 22 Feb 2008
52
Richard Wheeler, “Ev Mecham vs. Carl Hayden,” Human Events, 20 Oct 1962
53
“Where We Stand,” editorial/advertisement for The Evening American, Evan Mecham, Sep 1963, ASL;
“Mecham’s Running for Office,” list of campaigns and outcomes, ASU, Vertical Files, folder “Mecham,
Evan”
133
Evening American embraced such controversy, establishing itself as pro-segregation, proJohn Birch Society, and anti-Civil Rights in both editorial content and news reporting.54
Though many conservatives at the time decried the decadence of the Northeastern
“establishment,” Mecham took this criticism a step further, attacking the Pulliam press,
Charter Government Committee, Arizona Young Republicans, and even Barry Goldwater
for being inconsistently conservative. Mecham’s newspaper was a direct challenge to the
Pulliam press and he seemingly delighted in pointing out inconsistencies in its
endorsement decisions.55 Mecham himself refused to endorse the Charter Government
Committee during the 1963 municipal elections. Instead, he called for a systematic
reconfiguration of Phoenix governance, including district elections. 56 In a series of news
stories and editorials, including front page coverage, he was deeply critical of actions of
the Arizona Young Republicans for revoking the charters of two especially conservative
Young Republican clubs in Tucson. 57
By 1968, Mecham’s attacks on the “establishment” included direct challenges to
Barry Goldwater, the dean of the Arizona Republican Party who was preparing to reenter
the Senate. Mecham questioned the conservative credentials of “Mr. Conservative” and
depicted him as simply a “party man,” a charge he had leveled at Hayden in 1962. In a
54
See, for instance, Bud Lanker, “Mite of a Woman Holds Local Segregation Line,” Evening American, 3
Sep 1963, 4; Blake Brophy, “Birch Library Opens,” Evening American, 6 Sep 1963, 3; Sam Blair, “Reds
Found in Civil Rights Movement,” Evening American, 8 Sep 1963, 3
55
“Ho Hum,” Evening American, 29 Oct 1963, 7
56
“We Endorse Neither,” Evening American, 2 Oct 1963, 7
57
“GOP Purge Seen,” Evening American, 27 Oct 1963, 1; “Liberal GOP-ers,” Evening American, 28 Oct
1963, 7
134
lengthy editorial under his own byline, Mecham complained about procedural pressure by
“Barry-Harry and Co.” in order to get their nominee elected as Maricopa County
Chairman, thereby securing the smooth nomination of Goldwater and his allies. Mecham
went so far as to report that Goldwater, while currently in Nixon’s camp, had said he
could “feel all right” about voting for New York governor Nelson Rockefeller in the
upcoming presidential election.58 In the same piece he criticized Goldwater for asking at
the Maricopa County GOP meeting, “Why are we always the party of conflict? Why
can’t we get along together like the Democrats?” 59 Such prioritizing of party unity above
ideological purity (and especially any call to be more like the Democrats) was antithetical
to Mecham’s view of true conservatism.
In the early 1960s, Mecham corresponded closely with Frank Brophy, the wealthy
Arizona banker, conservative Catholic, and founding member of the John Birch Society.
Following Mecham’s defeat in 1962, Brophy paid Mecham a high compliment by
comparing him to the Apostle Paul and assured him that it was better to lose on the right
side than to have won on the wrong side. 60 Mecham agreed that ideological purity should
trump strategy and wrote to Brophy explaining what he thought was wrong with the
nation.
58
Evan Mecham, “Plain Talk” in American Weekly, 1 Feb 1968, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, folder
“Mecham, Evan”; Goldwater sharply rejected this assertion in a letter to Mecham: Letter, Barry Goldwater
to Evan Mecham, 5 Feb 1968, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, folder “Mecham, Evan”
59
Evan Mecham, “Plain Talk” in American Weekly, 1 Feb 1968, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, folder
“Mecham, Evan”
60
Letter, 7 Nov 1962, Frank Brophy to Evan Mecham, AHS, Tucson Branch (Tucson), Frank Cullen
Brophy Collection, Series 3-1, Box 40, folder 782
135
The modern feeling that to get along you have got to go along has seeped into the
bloodstream of so many otherwise fine people that the life blood of a great nation
is being gradually sapped until we will end up being one of the slave states in a
communistic world because people got so accustomed to going along for the sake
of harmony, even when it was wrong. It can get to be a habit you know.61
This was also a problem with the leadership of the Republican Party, which Mecham
regarded as insufficiently committed to the conservative principles it espoused. He
declared,
The strength of the Conservative cause is the strength that one gains from being
right, regardless of the opposition. This is the strength that Barry once had and I
hope returns to. If he does, he may become President. If he does not, he will be
another ‘also ran’ politician with nothing but honorable mention on the pages of
history.62
From Mecham’s perspective, this was the great lesson that strategic conservatives had
failed to learn: compromise would never lead to victory because real and lasting strength
came only in following correct principles. Any other approach could only lead to defeat.
In the midst all this campaigning and editorializing, Mecham does not seem to
have drawn particular attention to his religious views. Campaign literature biographies
generally closed with some mention of his church service as a bishop and in other
leadership roles, but in rather quiet terms.63 In a 1974 run for the governorship, an article
in The Arizona Republic noted some heavy religious tones at a campaign event, reporting,
“At one point the audience was encouraged to pray while members contemplated how
much they should contribute to the Mecham campaign fund.” That same article noted
61
Letter, Evan Mecham to Frank Brophy, 22 Apr 1963, AHS Tucson, Brophy, Series 3-1, Box 40, folder
782
62
Ibid.
63
Various campaign pamphlets, 1986, ASU, Vertical Files, folder “Mecham, Evan”
136
Mecham’s opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment and quoted him as saying, “I enjoy
being around women who enjoy being what God made them.”64 While Mecham’s
Mormonism and conservative political approach were known, it was not really until he
won election in 1986 that his Mormonism became a central and visible issue as
supporters and critics alike sought to make sense of the origins of his contentious political
philosophy.
Karen Johnson, a former Mecham aid and fellow Mormon, described Mecham’s
Mormon faith as having “a great deal” to do with his political beliefs.
We are taught in the LDS Church that we have a great responsibility to uphold the
Constitution of the United States, and the constitution of Arizona, the state that
you live in. And that we befriend that at all cost. And you stand up for it… Evan
was a great scholar of this Constitution. And I think that emanated from his
faith.65
Within the LDS Church, Mecham could look to two influential mentors: Ezra Taft
Benson and W. Cleon Skousen. Benson, who served as Eisenhower’s Secretary of
Agriculture and was regarded as one of the most conservative members of that cabinet,
was a Mormon Apostle, personal friend of Mecham, and supporter of the John Birch
Society. Mecham, who was a pilot and owned his own plane, would fly Benson around
to give talks “on the Constitution, on our freedom and liberty.”66
In one example of these addresses, republished by the John Birch Society as a
pamphlet entitled “The Christ and the Constitution,” Benson linked the work of Jesus
64
“Rally staged by Mecham has old-time revival flavor,” The Arizona Republic, 5 Sep 1974
65
Interview by author with former State Senator Karen Johnson, Show Low, AZ, 26 Jan 2010
66
Ibid.
137
with that of the Founding Fathers and compared the Constitution with the Ten
Commandments, suggesting that it too contained eternal truths and was written by the
hand of the Lord. He called on “Christian Constitutionalists” to fight for the preservation
of liberty, urging:
When a man stands for freedom he stands with God. And as long as he stands for
freedom he stands with God. And were he to stand alone he would still stand
with God – the best company and the greatest power in or out of this world.
Though God provided the greatest power and the assurance of eternal success, short term
results were dependent on the actions of mortals. “The question as to whether we may
save our Constitutional Republic is simply based on two factors – the number of patriots
and the extent of their obedience,” he wrote. Because God’s work always generated
opposition, “Today you can’t effectively fight for freedom and not be attacked … No
cross – no crown, no gall – no glory, no thorns – no throne.” Victory would not come “at
the cost of principles – for this is the surest way to destruction.” Furthermore, such
destruction was not only mortal: “Any Christian Constitutionalist who retreats from this
battle jeopardizes his life here and hereafter.”67 It is easy to see how Mecham, influenced
by this religious leader and close friend, would come to regard the conservative
movement as both a political and spiritual crusade of the highest stakes.
Where Benson provided the spiritual stature and guidance, fellow Mormon
conservative W. Cleon Skousen supplied the intellectual background and institutional
setting for Mecham’s “Christian Constitutionalism.” Skousen, a former FBI agent,
Brigham Young University faculty member, and Salt Lake City Police Chief, founded the
67
Ezra Taft Benson, “The Christ and the Constitution,” pamphlet, American Opinion, Dec 1964, Hoover
Institution Library and Archives, Normal Alderdice Papers, Box 53, folder 24
138
National Center for Constitutional Studies.68 The Center held seminars around the
country on the Constitution and American government, promoting anti-communist and
evangelical views. According to Johnson, Mecham “was a great scholar of this
Constitution” and “had taught Constitution classes.”69 Both the scholarship and teaching
platforms likely stemmed from Skousen’s organization and publications.70
The ties between Mecham’s religious beliefs and his political views became more
apparent from the moment of his inauguration. Both Benson (now prophet and president
of the LDS Church) and Skousen were in attendance with prominent seats. For some
members of the LDS Church, Pres. Benson’s presence signaled that God was backing his
governorship (as Mecham himself believed).71 For supporters, both Mormons and others,
the attendance of Benson and Skousen was a reassurance of Mecham’s conservative
credentials. But for critics familiar with these men’s views, their presence must have
served to accentuate Mecham’s association with groups such as the John Birch Society
and raised questions about Mecham’s ability or willingness to separate his religious
beliefs from his administration of the state.
Mecham quickly gained national notoriety when, seven days after entering office
and only one week before the holiday was scheduled, he canceled the state government’s
68
W. Cleon Skousen, “What is ‘Left,’ What is ‘Right’?” 1962, Hoover Institution Library and Archives,
Normal Alderdice Papers, Box 72, folder 28
69
Interview by author with former State Senator Karen Johnson, Show Low, AZ, 26 Jan 2010
70
The National Center for Constitutional Studies in fact took out three ads in the 35-page “Governor’s
Report” Mecham distributed throughout the state. The Governor’s Report: To The People of Arizona, Sept
1987, ASU, Arizona Collection, CE EPH P-10.0V1, folder “Governor’s-Report to the People of Arizona,
1987”
71
Karen Coates, “The Holy War Surrounding Evan Mecham,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought
11, no. 3 (Fall 1989): 66
139
paid Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, declaring that it had been created illegally by his
predecessor, Bruce Babbitt.72 Rather than stick with this procedural argument, Mecham
went a step further in declaring that King did not deserve a holiday.73 Accusations of
racism soon trailed the governor, charges stoked by his cavalier manner. Soon a
firestorm had erupted over his defense of the term “pickaninny.” In response to a
question by Morely Shafer of “60 Minutes” regarding his use of the term, Mecham
declared “I did not use the word. I don’t recall ever using the word.” In his September
1987 Governor’s Report, it states,
What he did was merely respond to an attack on the book written by his friend W.
Cleon Skousen, ‘The Making of America.’ It reprinted an essay written in 1932.
That essay used the term pickaninny in a historical sense. Mecham said he never
heard it used when he thought it was anything but endearing. (Note: The short
form “pickin” was use [sic] in the Sept. 1987 national geographic, pg. 406, by a
black African parent.)74
Rather than simply distance himself from his mentor’s controversial statements for
political expediency, Mecham doubled down in defending the term.
Race was not the only area in which Mecham risked angering wide swaths of the
Arizona electorate. At a press conference following his inauguration he declared that he
would seek legislation to severely limit abortions and to teach creationism in public
schools. Asked whether comments he made against discrimination extended to
homosexuals, the governor replied,
72
Virginia Dittrich, “The Mecham Term: A chronology of the administration from inauguration to
impeachment,” The Arizona Republic, 6 Jan 1988, F7
73
Mark Flatten, “Mecham says King is not worthy of a holiday,” Scottsdale Progress (Ariz.), 20 Jan 1987,
2
74
The Governor’s Report: To The People of Arizona, Sept 1987, ASU, Arizona Collection, CE EPH P10.0V1, folder “Governor’s-Report to the People of Arizona, 1987,” 23
140
I don’t think gay rights have anything to do with discrimination. I do not believe
that it is a legitimate alternative lifestyle…. When I talk about discrimination, I
talk about race, color, creed. When you start talking about gay rights, you start
talking about moral issues and that’s certainly a whole different ball game.75
He further declared that homosexuals had no place in government. Later Mecham told an
anonymous radio listener who identified himself as a gay Mormon: “If you are a member
of the same church I am, you have evidently changed your lifestyle, because the church I
belong to does not allow homosexuals to participate under any circumstances.”76
In an apparent act of desperation as his governorship was threatened by recall,
impeachment, and criminal charges, Mecham sent a mailing to out-of-state conservatives,
inviting them “to sell your house, pack your belongings, quit your job, and come to the
most beautiful state in the Union.” The letter went on to explain that Mecham needed
conservative help to fight “some of the most powerful and dangerous liberal groups in the
nation,” “militant gay leaders … demanding that the taxpayers pay for their AIDS
treatments,” and “the militant liberals and the homosexual lobby.”77 His appeal
apparently went unanswered, except for ridicule by the Arizona press. 78 Interpreted
through the lens of Benson’s arguments, God’s strength apparently was not matched by a
sufficient number of committed “patriots” to maintain Mecham’s office.
75
Mark Flatten, “Mecham says gays have no place in government,” Scottsdale (Ariz.) Progress, 6 Jan
1987, 2
76
Quoted in Coates, 68
77
Fundraising letter, Sep 1987, ASL, Vertical File on Evan Mecham
78
See, for instance, “Liberals and Homosexuals,” editorial, The Arizona Republic, 1 Oct 1987 and editorial
cartoon by Steve Benson in the same issue
141
Between September 7 and 12, 1987, the Doonesbury comic strip ran a series on
Gov. Mecham and the recall effort. The second strip depicted an interview between
reporter Roland Hedley and Evan Mecham which captures something of the complicated
relationship between Mormonism and politics in twentieth-century Arizona. In response
to criticism of racial insensitivity, Mecham is pictured as saying “It’s ludicrous! I’m a
Mormon! Tolerance is a basic tenet of my faith!” “So,” Roland begins to ask in the last
panel, “the charges against you…” “Lies!” Mecham interjects, “Lies spread by queers
and pickaninnies!”79 Mecham came from a Mormon tradition that, on one hand,
encompassed compassionate ideals of the potential divinity of all God’s children,
something akin to the religious views of Howard Pyle. On the other hand, the LDS
Church adopted specific policies that assigned groups or individuals a second class status.
Especially as taught by Apostle Ezra Taft Benson and W. Cleon Skousen, Mormonism
was nearly synonymous with an evangelical conservative political ideology and
uncompromising practice. Mecham responded to this potential conflict by gravitating
toward a conservative political philosophy that embraced the ideological evangelical
views of his mentors.
John Conlan was a promising young conservative with a rising career who
managed to upset the strategic Arizona conservative establishment at every stage. As a
young activist hired by Richard Kleindienst to travel the state on behalf of Paul Fannin’s
1958 gubernatorial campaign, Conlan got in trouble for mixing religion and politics.
79
Garry Trudeau, Doonesbury, 8 Sep 1987 (as printed early in the Tempe Daily News, 1 Sep 1987, A6)
142
According to Fannin, Conlan was fired from the campaign for “selling Bibles instead of
the work he was supposed to be doing.”80
A 1964 letter that made its way into Barry Goldwater’s files suggests that the next
stage of Conlan’s career was disrupted by similar conflicts. According to his immediate
supervisor at a conservative Christian education organization called Freedom in Action,
Conlan had at first seemed promising and was brought on to expand the organization
from its Texas headquarters into other states. But Conlan’s ideological vehemence
caused friction, even in that environment.
John talks conservatism, he talks principles, he quotes the Bible, but he is totally
immature in his thinking, and sadly deceptive in his dealings with those around
him. When he says Christian, he means those whom he decides are Christian.”
When Conlan was hired, he had been informed that the organization
hired only fundamental Christians on the staff, because they understand the
delicate balance between the two powers under which we live: Faith and the
Sword, of the Power of God and the power of government, both ordained by God
and important and necessary, but the Power of Faith must always be held highest.
Conlan was fired when he attempted to organize churches for political purposes, which
his supervisors felt was “‘worshipping the state,’ just as Socialists are doing today.”81
Whether working for the Republican Party or a Christian activist organization, Conlan
was unwilling or unable to maintain the distance between religion and politics that
superiors believed was appropriate. He was too much a committed ideological
evangelical to pass up the potential strength he saw in bringing these forces together.
80
Paul Fannin interview with Stephen Shadegg, 16 Nov 1984, AHF, SS Writings, (unprocessed) folder
“‘Arizona Politics’ Interviews”
81
Letter, Mrs. Cleo B. Liner to Jean [last name unknown], 12 Aug 1964, AHF, BMG Politics, Box 89,
folder 27 “Conlan, John B.”
143
Returning to Arizona, Conlan won election as a state Senator from Maricopa
County, serving from 1965 to 1973. There he continued to clash with strategic
conservative leaders. Eugene Pulliam, owner of The Arizona Republic and The Phoenix
Gazette and a major influence in Arizona conservative politics, told one labor activist that
“he despised John Conlan.”82 Jack Williams, the former mayor of Phoenix, future
governor of Arizona, and long-time radio host, declared in a 1965 editorial, “Republican
County Senators have done more to split the GOP in Arizona than any other factor.
Latest to ride rough shod over his own party was Senator John Conlon [sic].” According
to Williams, Conlan had engaged in unnecessary grandstanding by attacking the
Republican-dominated State Fair Commission for allowing liquor to be sold at the
Coliseum.
It played right into the hands of the Democrats who want and need that Fair
Secretary post as a patronage plumb. Why Senator Conlon [sic] would so hurt his
own party, heaven only knows. It is said he has strong feelings against the sale of
liquor. But he did not campaign on this issue… The Senator wants to win
support of the Dries … Let him take it out against the liquor industry in the state
and run on an out and out program of prohibition! Don’t let’s kick a group of fine
Fair Commissioners and a Fair Secretary in the face with an inconcealed [sic] bid
for political support. The Republican Party owes too much to [Fair Secretary]
Charley Garland to stand for this unfair attack. Garland, as much as any other
person, kept the Republican Party alive 15 or more years ago.
Williams specifically tabled a discussion of the merits of alcohol sales, emphasizing
instead that this attack was harmful to the party.83 Conlan’s unwillingness to subordinate
82
Transcript of interview with Darwin Aycock by Margaret Finnerty, 5 Sep 1978, AHS Tempe, Oral
History Collection, 42-43
83
Editorial Commentary, radio transcript, Jack Williams, 11 Apr 1965, AHS Tempe, Governor Jack
Williams Collection, Box 31, folder 355
144
party loyalty and strategy to personal moral views or ideologically charged expressions
was the key deficiency in Williams’ eyes.
In 1972, Conlan successfully ran for Congress from Arizona’s newly created
Fourth District. His campaign literature reflects membership in a mix of traditional
business and emerging evangelical conservative organizations, including the Phoenix
Junior Chamber of Commerce, the Arizona Christian Conference on Adult and Youth
Programs, and the Executive Committee-Billy Graham Arizona Crusade. He emphasized
“constitutional government” and “individual freedom” as key priorities. Among his
achievements in the state legislature he highlighted conservative educational matters
(anti-busing, teaching “Free Enterprise” in schools), anti-crime and anti-drug efforts,
economic issues (anti-tax, efficiency measures, establishing a Department of Economic
Planning and Development), and a few issues that would soon be claimed more
exclusively by liberals, such as an anti-pollution bill and consumer protections.84 His
ideological evangelical approach was only subtly present.
Upon entering Congress, however, Conlan’s ideological-evangelical orientation
attracted a national following of likeminded individuals. In a 1976 New York Times
Magazine article, Garry Wills suggested the breadth of Conlan’s appeal among
evangelical conservatives, writing that Charles Colson, former Special Council to Pres.
Nixon and founder of Prison Ministries, had begun suggesting Conlan as a future
presidential candidate. This possibility had also garnered the support of conservative
84
Campaign pamphlet, 1972, AHF, BMG Politics, Box 89, folder 27
145
strategist and direct mail pioneer Richard Viguerie.85 One constituent wrote to Barry
Goldwater worrying that the senator might be in need of saving because he had not
mentioned Jesus during an appearance on a Christian radio station. The writer suggested
that
John Conlan has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He gave his personal
testimony at the Scottsdale Christian Women’s Club of how he came to know
Christ as his Savior. Why don’t you get him to tell you about it? Ask him what
Christ means to him. You’ll be glad you did.86
Now an office-holder rather than a staff member for a campaign or activist organization,
Conlan was free to mix politics with Christian testimony as he saw fit, delighting likeminded voters and raising concerns among them about secular conservatives.
One of the most intriguing and telling examples of Conlan’s political philosophy
took place in relative secrecy. Following Richard Nixon’s resignation, Gerald Ford faced
the need to nominate a Vice President of his own. In the process of making his decision,
he solicited a “top three” list from staff members, friends, and Republican governors,
Congressmen, and Senators. Among the flood of responses (most suggesting Nelson
Rockefeller, Barry Goldwater, or Ronald Reagan) came this short note from John Conlan:
“Dear Jerry,
My attachment is my rationale for
my nomination of Billy Graham for
Vice President.
Cordially,
John
85
86
Garry Wills, “Born Again Politics,” New York Times Magazine, 1 Aug 1976, 52
Letter, from constituent (signature unclear) to Barry Goldwater, 18 Jan 1973, AHF, BMG Politics, Box
89, folder 27 “Conlan, John B.”
146
John B. Conlan
Member of Congress”87
Out of all the possible politicians, including Arizona’s own favorite son Barry Goldwater,
Conlan chose instead to nominate his religious hero, for whom he had once worked as a
press aide.
The attached rationale included a mix of ideological arguments and strategic
appeals. Conlan suggested to Ford that Graham was “Mr. Clean and Integrity,”
“respected by everyone of decency,” a “humble man of God,” “a man of quiet prayer ... a
good man to have at your side.” Though “nominally a registered Democrat,” Conlan
believed that Graham was “at heart a moderate-conservative Republican.” By choosing
Graham, Ford would immediately establish a “Unity Government” able to bring into the
Republican Party the “broadest political base ever seen in this country,” including
solidifying the South in the GOP, drawing in “up to 50% of the black vote,” and bringing
“6 million precinct/workers-supporters/contributors.”88 According to Conlan, Billy
Graham was the perfect package for cementing the growing link between the Republican
Party and the conservative evangelical movement, a connection that he believed would
lead to certain success.89
87
Letter, John Conlan to Gerald Ford, 13 Aug 1974, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum,
Robert T. Hartman Files, Box 19, folder “Vice President House Suggest (4) Co-Cz”
88
Attachment to letter, John Conlan to Gerald Ford, 13 Aug 1974, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and
Museum, Robert T. Hartman Files, Box 19, folder “Vice President House Suggest (4) Co-Cz”
89
In fact, Conlan had previously made an effort to draft Graham for a presidential run in 1964 as part of a
“program for injecting evangelicals into the political leadership of our nation.” See Steven P. Miller, Billy
Graham and the Rise of the Republican South (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009), 9899
147
The Rt. Rev. Bishop Joseph M. Harte became the Episcopal Bishop of Arizona in
1962, presiding over the state from the Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix. In doing so, Harte
inherited perhaps the most politically influential congregation in the state. His
congregants included Barry Goldwater, Stephen Shadegg, Richard Kleindienst, and
Denison Kitchel.90 Bishop Harte seemed to cultivate relationships with such politically
active Episcopalians through the state. When attempting to convince Goldwater to run
for governor in 1974, Harte emphasized having “talked this over with a number of
leaders in our state.”91 Comfortable as an advocate, Bishop Harte also spoke up in behalf
of Goldwater’s 1964 nomination, telling a reporter for The Living Church how
Goldwater’s beliefs had been shaped by the Episcopal Church, praising his faith in God,
and providing examples of times when Goldwater had born witness of his Christian
beliefs.92
Bishop Harte shared some of Stephen Shadegg’s evangelical zeal. His obituary in
The Living Church noted Harte’s missionary efforts and work establishing new
congregations in Arizona.93 Within the church, Harte also advocated for a more
doctrinaire approach. Particularly notable was his support for the Foundation for
90
Jack Williams, former mayor of Phoenix (1956-1960) and governor of Arizona (1967-1975), had grown
up in Trinity Cathedral but apparently left by the time Harte took over as Bishop. That departure did not
sever all connections, however, as Williams served with Goldwater as co-chairmen of Arizona’s
celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant
Episcopal Church in the USA in 1971 at Bishop Harte’s request.
91
Letter, Bishop Joseph Harte to Barry Goldwater, c. 1974, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 8, folder 2
“Harte, Joseph”
92
Reprint of Fritzi Ryley, “Barry as a Christian,” 26 Jul 1964, The Living Church, AHF, BMG Alpha Files,
Box 8, folder 2 “Harte, Joseph”
93
“Bishop Harte of Arizona Dies,” 16 Jan 2000, The Living Church, 6
148
Christian Theology, a group established in 1966 “to define and counteract the influence
of Humanism as a substitute for Christian beliefs” and to challenge “those who presume
… to involve the Church in social, political, and economic activities of our times.”94 This
was a brand of Episcopalian faith very much in line with Shadegg’s promotion of firm
doctrinal evangelism and anti-materialism. When the group held its second annual
national convention, it met in Phoenix, with Bishop Harte in attendance and Barry
Goldwater as the principle speaker.95
Harte’s main political passion, however, was the sanctity of life. In 1966,
concerned that momentum was building to legalize abortion, he began organizing
Episcopalians for Life. He led the organization as founder and president until 1983,
when the group was reorganized as the National Organization of Episcopalians for Life
(NOEL) and Harte took the role of Chairman Emeritus.96 Shortly after Bishop Harte’s
death in 1999, a fellow Arizona clergyman wrote to The Living Church with this story of
Harte’s anti-abortion zeal:
I well remember the unusually frosty morning of Nov. 14, 1989, when I met early
with Bishop Harte and about 30 other male and female Phoenix clergy (he and I
were the only Episcopalians) – to perform a sit-down blocking the entrance to a
noted Phoenix abortion mill (subsequently closed in 1998 by the state for criminal
negligence). This action was led by a black clergyman from Phoenix and turned
out to be a notable act of civil disobedience and protest. The clinic was delayed
94
Quoted from Foundation newsletters in Gardiner H. Shattuck, Jr., Episcopalians and Race: Civil War to
Civil Rights (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2000), 196
95
“Politics & the Church,” video produced by the Foundation for Christian Theology, AHF, BMG Media,
DVD 39
96
“He Truly Loved Life,” letter to the editor from Rev. Geoffrey W. Chapman, President, NOEL, 13 Feb
2000, The Living Church, 15; “History and Overview of Anglicans for Life,” Anglicans for Life,
http://anglicansforlife.org/about/history.asp, accessed 25 Feb 2010
149
about two hours in opening and the Phoenix newspapers carried rather
sympathetic front-page articles and pictures.
Some 20 of us spent about four hours in the Phoenix City Jail (they don't let you
keep on round collars in jail – for fear of hanging attempts, I suppose). It was a
precious time of witness which we spent reading psalms and singing and sharing
concerns and pro-life experiences. We were reminded of the story of Paul and
Silas in the prison in Philippi (Acts 16).
Joe was never afraid to get his hands dirty in any worthy cause. He walked the
talk.
Such zeal carried Harte behind the anti-participatory rhetoric of groups like the
Foundation for Christian Theology into direct engagement and civil disobedience in
behalf of his own ideological principles.
In the summer of 1980, as Barry Goldwater was running for his fifth and final
Senate term, he and Bishop Harte exchanged a series of letters that shed further light on
the nature of Harte’s political-religious outlook. The two had earlier discussed Harte’s
opposition to female clergy and support for both prayer and Bible study in public
schools.97 Now Goldwater wrote his friend for political insight into the recentlyenergized “evangelical movement,” of which he wrote, “While I have spoken with
several of them from Arizona, I can’t really make out what they want.”98
In the process of reassuring Goldwater, Harte emphasized his leadership of
Episcopalians for Life and a group called Episcopal Morality in Media, reported
receiving “over 100 newspapers of the Christian Right,” and keeping “in close touch”
97
Letters, Bishop Joseph Harte to Barry Goldwater, 20 Jun 1975 and Barry Goldwater to Bishop Joseph
Harte, 9 Jul 1975, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 8, folder 2 “Harte, Joseph”
98
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Bishop Joseph Harte, 12 Jul 1980, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 8, folder 2
“Harte, Joseph”
150
with Moral Majority. He also suggested that “it would be very smart if [Ronald Reagan]
would campaign this fall in the Churches. I would put voter registration clerks into every
church.”99 This certainly was not the type of separation between church and state
advocated by many of the strategic conservatives, including the evangelical Shadegg.
Rather, it reflected a brand of ideological conservatism intensely focused on reproductive
and other legally-charged moral and gender issues. Though Harte was only a few years
younger than Goldwater or Shadegg, his was a conservatism much more in line with the
ideological evangelical approach gaining the upper hand in both Arizona and the nation
while propelling Ronald Reagan into the Presidency.
Ideological Secular
The third state Senator from the 1960s who frustrated the strategic actors was not
an evangelical Christian but a Jewish conservative of the ideological secular mold.
During his time in the state Senate, from 1961 to 1964, Sam Steiger refused to go along
with Gov. Fannin’s attempts to work with the majority Democrats in the state legislature.
Rather than going along, Steiger attacked his partisan opponents.100 Steiger was a
dedicated conservative ally of Evan Mecham and Fannin later described their actions in
the Arizona state Senate by saying, “Neither of them were team workers.”101 Steiger was
99
Letters, Bishop Joseph Harte to Barry Goldwater, 18 Jun and 8 Aug 1980, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box
8, folder 2 “Harte, Joseph”
100
“It Was Never Nothing,” unpublished memoir, AHF, SS Writings, (unprocessed), folder “It Was Never
Nothing (memoir) (2 of 2),” 246
101
“Conversation with Paul Fannin,” interview conducted by Stephen Shadegg, 16 Nov 1984, AHF, SS
Writings, (unprocessed), folder “‘Arizona Politics’ Interviews”
151
a prominent supporter of Mecham’s 1962 Senate bid, joining him in the initial meeting
with Stephen Shadegg in which the two learned of and rejected the Republican’s plan for
an inactive general election candidate.
Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1966, Sam Steiger built a strong
record as a reliable conservative, earning a 100% rating from Americans for
Constitutional Action and a zero rating from Americans for Democratic Action in
1974.102 That same year he was on the League of Conservation Voters’ “Dirty Dozen”
list and earned a 95% rating by the American Conservative Union. 103 Years later, he
served as a chief staff member in the administration of Gov. Mecham, eventually
resigned, and was convicted of extortion in connection with that service.104 Later
exonerated, he ran against Mecham and others in the 1990 Republican gubernatorial
primary in which both men lost to real estate developer J. Fife Symington.105
Strategic Secular
The strategic secular quadrant includes most of those who became “the
establishment” of Arizona conservatism such as publisher Gene Pulliam, Paul Fannin,
John Rhodes, Harry Rosenzweig, and Barry Goldwater. Though committed
102
Grace Lichtenstein, “Arizona Republicans Select Steiger, Slain Reporter’s Friend, for Senate,” New
York Times, 9 Sep 1976, 33
103
Gladwin Hill, “Environmental Activists Hail Wide Victories of Their Candidates,” New York Times, 7
Nov 1974, 31; 1974 House Ratings, American Conservative Union, accessible online at
http://www.acuratings.org/ratingsarchive/1974/hse_alca.html
104
Transcript of interview with Sam Steiger by Julie Ferdon, 8 June 2001, University of Arizona Library,
Special Collections, The Morris K. Udall Oral History Project, 8-9
105
“Primary Results: Setting the Stage for November,” New York Times, 13 Sep 1990, B10
152
conservatives, these men were also party builders who worked strategically in achieving
gains for the Arizona Republican Party.
Eugene Pulliam was already a politically influential newspaper publisher when he
purchased two of Arizona’s leading newspapers, The Arizona Republic and The Phoenix
Gazette, in 1946. The owner of The Indianapolis Star along with several other
Midwestern newspapers and radio stations, Pulliam began vacationing in Phoenix in the
1940s, where he initiated his friendship with Barry Goldwater and support of Republican
state politics.106 After hearing Goldwater’s lecture, “A Trip Down the Green and
Colorado Rivers,” in 1940, Pulliam invited Goldwater to give the lecture in Indianapolis
the following spring for a group of 200 businessmen. As part of the trip, Goldwater
would also be Pulliam’s guest at the Governor’s Day Gridiron Dinner, which Pulliam had
chaired since its start 14 years earlier.107
As owner of the state’s largest newspapers from 1946 until his death in 1975,
Pulliam was not hesitant about leveraging the power of the press to suit his personal
political interests. An exchange with Herbert Hoover highlights his wiliness to shape the
editorial and reporting content of his newspapers. Following a nationally broadcast
speech in January of 1951, former president Herbert Hoover checked the major
newspapers to review their coverage. Unhappy with the reporting in the Republic and
Gazette, Hoover dashed off this telegram to his friend Pulliam:
106
Russell Pulliam, Publisher Gene Pulliam, Last of the Newspaper Titans (Ottawa, Ill.: Jameson Books,
1984), 130, 132
107
“Barry Goldwater Will Speak At Dinner In Indianapolis,” 12 Dec 1940, newspaper clipping, AHF,
BMG, “Barry and Peggy Goldwater Scrapbook, 1939-1941,” 17
153
What is the matter with your two papers in Phoenix? They opposed and
misinterpreted my speech as badly as any of the newspapers in this area. The
editors could not have read the speech. 108
Pulliam replied to “My dear Chief” by stating that “Your telegram just about broke my
heart.” He blamed “an old-time New Deal Democrat” editor, had new articles printed in
both The Indianapolis Star and Arizona Republic with positive takes on Hoover’s speech,
and assured Hoover that he had “talked to the boys at Phoenix and when you make your
next speech you will have an entirely different editorial story out there.”109 Influence,
more than independence, was Pulliam’s primary value in his journalistic pursuits. This
priority could also trump cost control, as when the editor of the Arizona Labor Journal
was told by the Republic’s editor that they paid for exclusive rights to the major liberal
nationally syndicated columns “So that you can’t use them.”110
Pulliam brought his Midwestern conservative roots to Arizona, including both
reformist credentials and a willingness to work across party lines in stemming what he
saw as the worst abuses of the New Deal. 111 Purchasing the Arizona papers right at the
height of the campaign for right to work legislation, Pulliam quickly took up the cause,
working alongside Republican Party activists in advocating both an amendment to the
Arizona constitution and later an enacting law backed by the Veteran’s Right to Work
108
Telegram, Herbert Hoover to Eugene Pulliam, 9 Jan 1951, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover –
Post-Presidential, Box 181, folder “Pulliam, Gene”
109
Letter, Eugene Pulliam to Herbert Hoover, 10 Jan 1951, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – PostPresidential, Box 181, folder “Pulliam, Gene”
110
Wes Knorpp quoted in Margaret Finnerty, “The Bug in the Desert: The Labor Movement in Phoenix,
1940-1950,” in G. Wesley Johnson, ed. Phoenix in the Twentieth Century: Essays in Community History
(Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1993), 188
111
Pulliam, Publisher , 167-168; Michael Francis Konig, “Toward Metropolis Status: Charter Government
and the Rise of Phoenix, Arizona, 1945-1960 (Ph.D. diss., Arizona State University, 1983), 67
154
Committee.112 Pulliam was also an early and vigorous supporter of the charter
government movement, active in both the 1947 Charter Revision Committee and the later
Charter Government Committee.113 CGC members suggested that such support from the
Pulliam newspapers was crucial to their continuing electoral success.114 Beyond simply
contributing positive press coverage, Pulliam also participated in the CGC directly,
helping to convince Barry Goldwater to run in 1949 and encouraging Mayor Jack
Williams to keep up rapid annexation projects for the city. 115 In 1961, Pulliam helped
pass a measure revoking the Phoenix housing code. This move provided cover for Mayor
Sam Mardian and other members of the Phoenix City Council to turn down federal funds
for public housing.116
As an influential publisher in both Indiana and Arizona, Pulliam linked the
ideology of local reform to national politics. In 1960, Pulliam published a series of
editorials in The Arizona Republic and The Indianapolis Star under the heading “The
Power to Tax Is … The Power To Destroy.” Reprinted as a single political pamphlet, the
six pieces argued for the abolition of the personal and corporate income taxes. While the
112
Thomas E. Sheridan, Arizona: A History (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1995), 276; Bradford
Luckingham, Phoenix: The History of a Southwestern Metropolis (Tucson: University of Arizona Press,
1989), 158
113
Sheridan, Arizona, 247
114
Internal memo to the CGC Executive Committee, 23 May 1963 [sic] [1964], AHF, Newton Rosenzweig
Collection, Box 7, folder 10, 7
115
Pulliam, Publisher, 134, 137; Ed Korrick Interview, 31 Jan 2000, Arizona Jewish Historical Society
(hereafter AJHS), Oral History Collection
116
Konig, “Metropolis,” 179-181. Pulliam adopted the constitution argument against the housing code
being put forward by Rev. Audrey L. Moore, a critic of Charter Government and opponent of the CGC as
head of the Stay American Committee ticket in 1961.
155
pieces included a broad range of conservative anti-tax arguments (including privacy
issues, deduction inequities, complaints about progressive taxation, and moral hazards)
perhaps most noteworthy is the suggestion that the federal government should “dispose of
all Federal corporations and properties that compete with private enterprise.” Without
providing any examples of such entities, Pulliam suggested that the funds earned and
saved through such privatization would produce enough funds to entirely offset the
abolition of federal private income taxes.117 Such a privatization scheme mirrors the
charter government approach of diminishing the municipal tax burden by passing
services on to the private sector or other levels of government.
Where other early CGC supporters would joke that in running against “gambling,
prostitution, and vice” they had attacked “the three things we like best,” Pulliam
especially emphasized law and order as a priority of good government.118 On a local
level, this served to bolster the political fortunes of the charter government movement,
which stood for professionalism, safety, and an end to bossism. Pulliam also foresaw the
ways in which this issue would develop nationally to the benefit of the conservative
cause. In a 1964 meeting with Barry Goldwater, Pulliam declared his conviction that law
and order would become the issue of domestic politics. At least partially convinced,
Goldwater had Pulliam draft the opening portion of his acceptance speech at the 1964
Republican National Convention. Though his controversial statement about extremism
quickly overshadowed the rest of the speech, the opening section established the same
117
“The Power To Tax Is … The Power To Destroy,” editorial pamphlet, Eugene Pulliam, 1960, Hoover
Institution Library and Archives, Normal Alderdice Papers, Box 72, folder 29
118
Interview with Harry Rosenzweig, 9 Aug 1984, AJHS, Oral History Collection
156
basic rhetorical ground that Richard Nixon applied to such effect in subsequent elections.
Goldwater declared,
We must, and we shall, set the tide running again in the cause of freedom. And
this party, with its every action, every word, every breath, and every heartbeat,
has but a single resolve, and that is freedom – freedom made orderly for this
nation by our constitutional government; freedom under a government limited by
laws of nature and of nature's God; freedom – balanced so that liberty lacking
order will not become the slavery of the prison cell; balanced so that liberty
lacking order will not become the license of the mob and of the jungle…
Tonight there is violence in our streets, corruption in our highest offices,
aimlessness among our youth, anxiety among our elders and there is a virtual
despair among the many who look beyond material success for the inner meaning
of their lives…
The growing menace in our country tonight, to personal safety, to life, to limb and
property, in homes, in churches, on the playgrounds, and places of business,
particularly in our great cities, is the mounting concern, or should be, of every
thoughtful citizen in the United States.
Security from domestic violence, no less than from foreign aggression, is the most
elementary and fundamental purpose of any government, and a government that
cannot fulfill that purpose is one that cannot long command the loyalty of its
citizens. History shows us – demonstrates that nothing – nothing prepares the way
for tyranny more than the failure of public officials to keep the streets from bullies
and marauders.119
These opening passages fit uncomfortably with an image of Goldwater as a libertarian,
anti-government conservative. Instead, they highlight the reform conservative
background he shared with Pulliam, an emphasis on professional government that was
strong enough to put down vice and corruption, a central tenet of the political culture of
the charter government movement.
119
Barry Goldwater’s Acceptance Speech, 1964 Republican National Convention, available online at
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/daily/may98/goldwaterspeech.htm
157
In a July 1969 letter to Goldwater, Pulliam suggested that the recent victories by
law and order candidates stemmed from “the rising tide of opposition to this continuing
‘kissing’ of minorities.”
Of course, the Republican Party can benefit greatly by this rising of the lower and
middle income group [of] families in American, but it has nothing to do with
Republican or Democratic politics. These people are voting against
discrimination of the worst sort – discrimination against law-abiding, Godfearing, tax-paying citizens. Some are Democrats, some are Republicans; but
they are all Americans and this is a normal and, thank God, truly American
protest against discrimination.120
Pulliam’s interest in law and order linked the colorblind and non-partisan local reform
impulses of the charter government movement with the national language of white
resistance and the Republican Party’s adoption of such language. In that regard, his
personal political ideology mirrored a national political shift that would connect the
southwestern sunbelt, mountain west, and traditional South into a conservative
Republican majority.
On the other hand, Pulliam was not always a reliable Republican backer. As early
as 1950, the chairman of the Arizona Republican Party wrote to the national party
chairman complaining about Pulliam’s support of Democratic Senator Carl Hayden. His
complaints reflect the Arizona party leaders’ surprise at this apparent departure from
what was otherwise a cozy relationship. They described a front page news article
praising Hayden as a reflection of “the largest problem we have in Arizona to
successfully win this election.” “As you know,” they wrote to the national party
chairman,
120
Letter, Eugene Pulliam to Barry Goldwater, 14 Jul 1969, AHF, BMG Alpha, Box 17, folder 14
158
Gene Pulliam is supposed to be a Republican… The understanding in Arizona is
that the ‘Arizona Republic’ is a Republican paper… The inner circle of
Republicans in this state have a tremendous respect and faith in Gene Pulliam and
it is possible that you may be of some assistance in bringing the situation to a
head. We don’t ask any editor to come right out and be pro-Republican; but the
least we can expect from the Pulliam papers is that his news articles on the front
page of a Sunday morning issue be at least neutral and objective in reporting. In
Arizona we have an opportunity such as has never existed before and we need an
even break from the Pulliam papers in order to win.121
The subject of the offending news article? The relative power brought to Arizona by its
senior U.S. Senator and member of the Appropriations Committee, a seemingly
straightforward political reality.
The Republican leaders’ response suggests several conclusions about Arizona’s
political culture. First, the Republican leadership, and apparently residents of the state,
expected Pulliam to consistently support the Republican Party as early as 1950.122
Second, they regarded absolute fidelity to the Republican Party and conservative politics
as “neutral and objective” reporting, “an even break.” Third, they regarded the Pulliam
newspapers’ influence upon the political process as a legitimate part of the effort to
improve the city and state. These expectations and assumptions suggest the extent to
which Pulliam and his allies were succeeding in establishing a political culture that
favored conservative Republican principles, even if the reporting in Pulliam’s papers
occasionally departed their general practice of pro-Republican and pro-CGC reporting.
121
Letter, Arizona Republican Party Chairman to George Gabrielson with copies to Bud Kelland and
Margaret Rockwell, 29 Aug 1950, AHS (Tempe), Rockwell Collection, Box 10, folder 136
122
In a 1976 letter to Pulliam’s widow, Goldwater wrote that “I have said time and again across these
United States that one of the great joys I had in coming back home to Arizona was to be able to sit down
with my kind of press,” suggesting his confidence that the Pulliam papers would provide consistently
supportive coverage. Letter, Barry Goldwater to Mrs. Eugene (Nina) Pulliam, 24 Jun 1976, AHF, Newton
Rosenzweig, Box 2, folder 9
159
Even as he generally worked on behalf of conservative, CGC, and Republican
causes, Pulliam continued to support some Democrats, especially where personal
friendships were involved and when he felt that their moderating influence would counter
more extreme ideological conservative Republican candidates. Thus, in 1962, Pulliam
supported Democrats Birch Bayh of Indiana and Carl Hayden of Arizona for the U.S.
Senate.123 In perhaps the most surprising example for Arizona conservatives, Pulliam
withheld his full support from Barry Goldwater in 1964. Goldwater met with Pulliam in
December of 1963 and felt he had the publishers support. According to Pulliam’s
biographer, however, “Pulliam’s memory of the meeting was that he advised Goldwater
not to run. He said he would lose badly to Lyndon Johnson and set the conservative
movement back several years.” In addition to such strategic concerns for the
conservative movement and Republican Party, Pulliam was also a friend of Johnson and
regarded the president as less of a liberal threat than his predecessor, thus diminishing the
need for Goldwater’s conservative response.124 Whatever his reasoning, Pulliam’s
ultimate endorsement of Goldwater was as tepid as could be. In an editorial on the
Sunday before the 1964 election, The Arizona Republic suggested that Goldwater
deserved Arizona’s five electoral votes as a symbolic show of support for the state’s
favorite son, since the votes would not be instrumental in deciding the election. “Lyndon
Johnson has been a good president,” it observed. Disparaging the conservative
campaign’s slogan (“In your heart, you know he’s right”), the editorial declared, “Down
123
Pulliam, Publisher, 233
124
Ibid., 250-251
160
in your hearts you know that Barry Goldwater has not always been right, but down in
your heats you also know that he has been right enough to deserve a vote of confidence
from the citizens of his home state.” Barry Goldwater won Arizona by only 1% of the
vote, capturing only four of Arizona’s fourteen counties.
Eugene Pulliam was instrumental in promoting a new political culture in Phoenix
and Arizona around the shared tenets of the charter government movement and the
conservative Republican Party. His support was crucial to both groups in winning
elections and in promoting the arguments that were favorable to their policies. Pulliam
linked Midwestern conservatism, local reform, and southern resistance, bringing together
central strands in what became the national conservative movement. But he was also a
strategic conservative who sought to counterbalance the more extreme ideological
conservatives through the support of moderate-to-liberal Democrats. Ironically, this
made Pulliam appear less conservative as he was more successful in promoting
conservatism. Having paved the way for early victories of the Charter Government
Committee and the Republican Party in Arizona, Pulliam saw the need to pull back
against what he saw as conservative excesses, even by close friends and political
champions such as Barry Goldwater.
Harry Rosenzweig was a major fundraiser and behind the scenes leader in the
Arizona Republican Party. He was well situated for this role from his childhood in
Phoenix, where he grew up as the son of a prominent businessman and as a close friend
161
of Barry Goldwater, Jack Williams, and Paul Fannin.125 Along with his brother Newton,
Harry took over the family business, Rosenzweig’s Jewelers, after their father’s death in
1943.126 Both were active in community affairs, with Harry serving as a founding
member of the Better Business Bureau of Maricopa County, Board Member of the
Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, and prominent member of several retail and merchants
associations. As their jewelry business grew into the largest in the state, the Rosenzweig
brothers also became active in real estate development, partnering with the Del Webb
Corporation.127 They were also active members of the local Jewish community, each
receiving the Medal of Honor from the Jewish Federation in 1976 for their work.128 As
befitting their political concerns, community involvement, and personal friendships,
Harry and Newton Rosenzweig were also founding members of the Charter Government
Committee. Harry was a member of the initial slate of candidates, serving on the
Phoenix City Council from 1951 to 1953.129
Harry Rosenzweig’s close friendship with Barry Goldwater was a defining aspect
of his personal and political life. Their friendship secure from childhood, Rosenzweig
125
“Harry Rosenzweig,” biographical summary, 1975, AHF, Harry S. Rosenzweig Sr. Collection, Box 2,
folder 4
126
Bernie Wynn, “‘Waterboy’ Rosenzweig Assumes GOP Helm,” The Arizona Republic, 30 May 1965,
12A
127
“Harry Rosenzweig,” biographical summary, 1975, AHF, Harry S. Rosenzweig Sr. Collection, Box 2,
folder 4
128
129
“Rosenzweigs get top Jewish Award,” The Arizona Republic, 5 May 1976, C-6
Harry Rosenzweig resigned from the city council in 1953, just two months after re-election, because he
had moved outside the city limits. The council appointed Jack Williams as his replacement. See
“Councilmen Good Neighbors,” map and editorial comments, undated newspaper clipping, AHF, Margaret
B. Kober Collection, Box 1, album 3 (1950-1953)
162
was probably the only one who could have corrected Goldwater as directly as he did in
one 1973 letter about the Senator’s poor constituent service:
If I didn’t love you so much, I wouldn’t care a damn whether your office ever
answered a letter or not, but on several occasions I have brought this to your
attention, it has always been passed over lightly. I have not put this on a personal
basis, but on the basis that I want your office to be the best. Over and over again,
people will visit and say, “What does it take to get an answer out of Barry’s
office?”130
For his part, Goldwater’s closeness with Rosenzweig was sufficient to prompt him to
intervene in Harry and Sandy Rosenzweig’s marital troubles and to approach them for a
$36,000 loan when he found himself unable to pay his taxes in 1980.131
Denison Kitchel, another close friend and political advisor to Goldwater said of
the two, “Harry Rosenzweig, of course, and Barry were very close. They were really the
center of what became the new Republican Party.”132 That political cooperation went
back to the Charter Government Committee, where each man was crucial in convincing
the other to run among the initial slate of candidates.133 In 1952 Rosenzweig served as
Goldwater’s finance chairman, contributing his own money and raising plenty of cash
130
Letter, Harry Rosenzweig to Barry Goldwater, 31 Mar 1973, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 19, folder 20
“Rosenzweig, Harry”
131
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Sandy Rosenzweig, 5 Mar 1970 and Letter, 14 Mar 1970, Sandy Rosenzweig
to Barry Goldwater, both AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 20, folder 2 “Rosenzweig, Sandy (Mrs. Harry)”;
Letter Barry Goldwater to Harry Rosenzweig, 22 Apr 1980, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 19, folder 21
“Rosenzweig, Harry”
132
Transcript of interview with Denison Kitchel by Robert Goldberg, 18 Nov 1989, AHF, Robert Goldberg
Field Collection
133
Interview of Harry Rosenzweig by Kristina Minister, 1988, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
163
from others.134 Rosenzweig continued as a chief fundraiser for Goldwater in 1958 and
1964, for the latter of which he raised between $1 and $1.5 million.135
After the 1964 defeat, which left both the national and state parties in some
disarray, Goldwater approached Rosenzweig about serving as the state party chairman.
Rosenzweig, who had worked as the state party’s finance chairman since 1960, agreed on
the condition that Goldwater arrange for support from the other major party leaders.
With the backing of Sen. Goldwater, Sen. Paul Fannin, Gov. Jack Williams, Rep. John
Rhodes, and Rep. Sam Steiger, Rosenzweig held the post of Arizona Republican Party
Chairman from 1965 to 1975.136 Bernie Wynn, The Arizona Republic’s chief political
writer, suggested that Rosenzweig’s main qualifications were as “a leader with a shrewd
business sense, a knowledge of politics and the ability to make peace between warring
factions,” someone who “believes in reasoning instead of fighting.”137 In other words,
Rosenzweig was a strategic conservative who would prioritize party strength over
ideological purity at a time when the conservative movement had left the party badly
134
Interview with Harry Rosenzweig, 9 Aug 1984, AJHS, Oral History Collection; Among the donors from
whom Rosenzweig raised money for the campaign was Gus Greenbaum, a member of the Chicago Outfit
who donated $5,000 per month throughout the campaign. See also Interview of Harry Rosenzweig by
Kristina Minister, 1988, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
135
Bernie Wynn, “‘Waterboy’ Rosenzweig Assumes GOP Helm,” The Arizona Republic, 30 May 1965,
12A; Interview with Harry Rosenzweig, 9 Aug 1984, AJHS, Oral History Collection; Interview of Harry
Rosenzweig by Kristina Minister, 1988, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
136
Interview with Harry Rosenzweig, 9 Aug 1984, AJHS, Oral History Collection; “Harry Rosenzweig,”
biographical summary, 1975, AHF, Harry S. Rosenzweig Sr. Collection, Box 2, folder 4
137
Bernie Wynn, “‘Waterboy’ Rosenzweig Assumes GOP Helm,” The Arizona Republic, 30 May 1965,
12A
164
shaken. His deep pockets and fundraising capacity certainly contributed to his ability to
help the party weather the storm and bring diverse factions together.138
Harry Rosenzweig’s conciliatory powers faced a major test in the wake of the
difficult 1974 election, which rattled the GOP nationally. In Arizona, the Republican
Party lost the governorship, the attorney general’s office, and control of the state
Senate.139 Rosenzweig responded to these defeats by suggesting that conservatives were
“going nowhere” and that Republicans must moderate their message to achieve victory.
As evidence of this electability argument he suggested that “Barry has moved away from
conservatism and so have [Rep. John] Rhodes and [Rep. Sam] Steiger.” He worried that
a primary challenge to Gerald Ford by Ronald Reagan might drive the party further
toward the Right, to its detriment.140
This sudden skepticism of conservatism is surprising given Rosenzweig’s long
history of bankrolling conservative politics. Furthermore, Goldwater, Rhodes, and
Steiger showed little outward evidence of having retreated from their conservative
principles. Rather, Rosenzweig’s language probably reflects his strategic secular
perspective in a Republican Party that was increasingly emphasizing ideological
evangelical politics as “true” conservatism. Rosenzweig had long had a strained
relationship with those elements of the party, including his own run against Mecham for
138
George C. McLeod, “GOP’s Rosenzweig: Dump Daddy Warbucks?,” Tucson Daily Citizen, 22 Nov
1974
139
Ibid.
140
“State GOP leader hits conservatives,” Prescott Courier, 18 Nov 1974, 2
165
the state party chairmanship in 1968.141 None of the winning candidates he mentioned
were from the evangelical wing of the state party and in that regard they too had come
under fire for being insufficiently “conservative.” This distinction may have been too
nuanced for Rosenzweig himself to express clearly and it certainly was not understood by
“Mr. Conservative” himself. In response to these comments, Goldwater wrote to
Rosenzweig suggesting that poor organization, not ideology, was to blame. He went on
to write that
The rebels who won, were going to win anyway, and the conservatives who won,
won because of their stand… I cannot associate myself with the idea that the
Republican Party move towards the Democrat Party. That’s not the way to
maintain the Republic, so let’s stay strong in the efforts to keep this Party in the
hands of those, like you and me, who have gotten where we are by being
conservative.142
Together, Goldwater and Rosenzweig had built a conservative Republican Party in
Arizona by balancing an outspoken articulation of conservative principles with the
strategic needs of the party. In 1974, Rosenzweig was responding to ideological pressure
by suggesting greater emphasis on strategic moderation. It was a path Goldwater was
more hesitant about embracing, at least as he understood Rosenzweig’s comments.
Conclusion
The Arizona Republican Party’s rise to power did not take place as a simple
contest between the main political parties but in the midst of simultaneous intra-party
141
142
Sheridan, Arizona, 320-321
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Harry Rosenzweig, 19 Nov 1974, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 19, folder 20
“Rosenzweig, Harry”
166
contests over ideology and strategy. These internal party contests, taking place in local
settings across the nation, ultimately resulted in the emergence of the modern
conservative Republican Party. In Arizona, the main divisions within the party centered
on (1) the extent to which the party should embrace Christianity as a political instrument
and (2) whether ideological purity or strategic party-building should take precedent.
Howard Pyle, Stephen Shadegg, Evan Mecham, John Conlan, Joseph Harte, Sam
Steiger, Eugene Pulliam, and Harry Rosenzweig represent the core leadership of the
Arizona Republican Party from 1950 through 1988. All were decidedly conservative but
with varied personal political philosophies. Those within the same conservative quadrant
often had the most compatible philosophies, though personal and political clashes still
arose on occasion. At no time were the members of any single quadrant sufficiently
dominant or unified to dictate the party line. Rather, control of the party stemmed from a
dynamic process of intra-party alliance and competition. These conflicts and alliances
are the subject of chapter 5. Before moving on to the process of intra-party conflict,
however, chapter 4 provides an exploration of the ideology of the most prominent leader
of the Arizona Republican Party: Barry Goldwater.
167
Chapter 4
Mr. Arizona:
The Political Ideology of Barry Goldwater
“I would 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.”1 Those two
lines, uttered by Barry Goldwater in his acceptance speech for the 1964 presidential
nomination of the Republican Parry, became his most famous words and the most
commonly used encapsulation of his political philosophy. Boiled down to a promotion of
“extremism” over “moderation,” the lines suggest that Goldwater was an ultraconservative in the mold of the John Birch Society, Minutemen, and white
segregationists. This view of Goldwater fits comfortably with a common narrative of his
1964 nomination as a fluke of history, the too-early nomination of a too-conservative
candidate before the country was ready for the moderated conservative rhetoric of Ronald
Reagan sixteen years later. However, this narrative does injustice to the more complex
political views of a major conservative spokesman and political thinker of the twentieth
century by giving too much weight to a few lines or a single national election and thereby
missing the moderating elements within his own political ideology. In order to
understand the true impact of Barry Goldwater on the Arizona and national conservative
1
Barry Goldwater’s Acceptance Speech, 1964 Republican National Convention, available online at
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/daily/may98/goldwaterspeech.htm
168
movements, this chapter will explore his political views on the nature of man, American
society and government, partisan politics, civil rights, and religion.
Though a religious sense of human nature was at the heart of Goldwater’s
conservatism, he was hesitant about denominational expressions in politics. Though he
could be a fiercely partisan Republican and was always an outspoken champion in
conservatism, his firm belief in the two-party system as a crucial part of American
government sometimes led him to embrace Democrats and keep his distance from fellow
Republicans. Though a champion of liberty and individual freedom, he withheld support
from the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Such seeming contradictions arose from the very
foundations of Goldwater’s conservative convictions, reflecting the political culture of
his native Arizona and shaping the political philosophy he contributed to the nation.
The Nature of Man
As he argued should be true of all political thinkers, Barry Goldwater’s ideology
begins with his conception of the nature of man. 2 Man, according to Goldwater, was
created by God as a free individual with an immortal soul.3 This condition would allow
2
Barry Goldwater, The Conscience of a Conservative, (1960; James Madison Library in American Politics
ed., Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2007)
3
Speech beginning “Mr. Mathews…,” ca. Jun 1952, Arizona Historical Foundation (hereafter AHF), The
Personal and Political Papers of Senator Barry M. Goldwater (hereafter BMG) 1952 Senate Campaigns,
folder “Speeches”; Speech beginning “Hello Arizonans. Today I ran an ad…,” ca. 12 Aug 1952, The
Center for American History (hereafter CAH), Stephen Shadegg / Barry Goldwater Collection, 1949-1965
(hereafter SSBG), Box 3H475, folder “Speeches”; Speech, “The Liberal and the Conservative – Today,” 3
Mar 1956, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J1, folder “1956, v1”; Speech, “No Time for Timid Souls,” Prescott, AZ, 3
May 1958, AHF, Stephen Shadegg Collection (hereafter SS), (unprocessed) Box 233; Speech, Phoenix,
AZ, 11 Feb 1959, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “Misc., 1955-Oct ‘57”; Speech, Phoenix, AZ, 27 Jan 1960,
AHF, BMG Media: Speeches, Statements, Remarks (hereafter Speeches); Reprint of Fritzi Ryley, “Barry as
a Christian,” 26 Jul 1964, The Living Church, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 8, folder 2 “Harte, Joseph
169
them to work out their own salvation and “full development as human persons.”4 For
these reasons, man’s freedom takes priority and precedence over other conditions,
including equality.5 While man is also created equal, this God-given equality is
secondary and fleeting, lasting only to the moment of birth. At that point, physical,
mental, emotional, and spiritual differences emerge. God-given equality is in the nature
of human worth and equal opportunity, not ultimate success.6 As Goldwater explained
the application of this principle in one speech, “every man is entitled to an equal position
on the starting line the race for personal achievement. But no man should be guaranteed
a preferred position at the finish line.”7 Instead, man’s accomplishments in life, whether
spiritual or material, were a result of his use of God-given freedom.
These twin God-given characteristics of man, boundless freedom and narrow
equality, meant that men and women were consummate individuals. Goldwater
vehemently rejected the notion of the “common man,” suggesting both that God-created
beings were anything but common and that individuals were too diverse to be regarded as
some indistinguishable mass, especially as parts of an economic class. 8 In contrast, he
4
Speech beginning “Mr. Mathews…,” ca. Jun 1952, AHF, BMG 1952 Senate Campaigns, folder
“Speeches”; Reprint of Fritzi Ryley, “Barry as a Christian,” 26 Jul 1964, The Living Church, AHF, BMG
Alpha Files, Box 8, folder 2 “Harte, Joseph”; Speech, Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, 6 Feb 1962, AHF,
BMG Speeches
5
Speech at Douglas, AZ, 27 Oct 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475, folder “Speeches”
6
Speech, 9 May 1956, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H480, folder “Press Releases & Speeches”; Speech, “Proposed
Civil Rights Legislation,” 24 Jul 1956, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J1, folder “1956, v2 & 3”;
7
8
Speech, Sun Valley, ID, 28 Sep 1961, AHF, BMG Speeches
Speech, “The Fallacy of the Common Man,” 3 May 1956, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H480, folder “Press
Releases & Speeches”; Speech, Federation of Republican Women, Washington, D.C., 4 Jan 1959, AHF,
BMG Speeches; Speech, Phoenix, AZ, 11 Feb 1959, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “Misc., 1955-Oct ‘57”
170
trumpeted “the whole man,” a unique individual that was both spiritual and material in
nature.9
According to Goldwater, man was inherently imperfectible and given to
temptation. No combination of external pressures or incentives could change this
condition; only hard work and personal responsibility could improve man’s spiritual
state.10 Instead, outside forces could only have the negative effect of infringing on man’s
God-given freedom. Thus, Goldwater was deeply suspicious of any large concentration
of power, whether in business, labor, or government.11 He estimated in 1952 that the
American people were “thirty percent slave.”12 Though he refrained from such specifics
later in his career, it is clear that he saw a continuing diminishment of freedom. The
other great threats to man’s individual freedom were collectivism and materialism, which
promised solace and stability but ultimately were capable only of diminishing freedom
and suppressing man’s spiritual nature.13 Goldwater’s conception of American society
and government stemmed from his belief in freedom as man’s most essential
characteristic and fear of infringements upon freedom as man’s gravest threat.
9
Speech, Prescott, AZ, 3 Sep 1964, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H511, folder “Speeches”; Barry Goldwater’s
Acceptance Speech, 1964 Republican National Convention
10
Draft book chapter, “Essay on Ethics,” AHF, BMG Writings, Box 113, folder 18 – later “The Politics of
Morality” in John B. Anderson, ed., Congress and Conscience (New York: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1970)
11
Transcript of Radio Ad, KOY, 7 Sept 1952, AHF, BMG 1952 Senate Campaigns, folder “Radio and TV
Spots”; Speech, “No Time for Timid Souls,” Prescott, AZ, 3 May 1958, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box 233;
Speech, Phoenix, AZ, 7 Apr 1961, AHF, BMG Speeches
12
Speech beginning “Mr. Mathews…,” ca. Jun 1952, AHF, BMG 1952 Senate Campaigns, folder
“Speeches”
13
Speech, “The Liberal and the Conservative – Today,” 3 Mar 1956, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J1, folder “1956,
v1”; Speech, “The Fallacy of the Common Man,” 3 May 1956, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H480, folder “Press
Releases & Speeches”; Speech, Prescott, AZ, 3 Sep 1964, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H511, folder “Speeches”
171
A Free Society
Barry Goldwater’s view of American society was remarkably rosy in contrast to
the dire warnings for which he became most famous. Fundamentally, Goldwater
believed that divisions within society were more apparent than actual. 14 In keeping with
his view of “the whole man,” he rejected class as merely a false division propagated by
political opportunists seeking to win elections by pandering to the people.15 Instead, he
saw American as a land of equal opportunity, thanks to God-given freedom and economic
and government systems designed to sustain that freedom. 16 Similarly, though more
problematically, Goldwater preached a color-blind rhetoric that diminished the divisions
between members of various racial groups.17 His statements in this regard reflect his
narrow understanding of God-given equality. While he personally extended to men and
women of all races the dignity and equality of opportunity that was their birthright as
children of God, he simultaneously understated the significance of the racial barriers that
diminished or foreclosed opportunities for success, especially in the material realm.
14
Transcript of Radio Ad, 11:05pm, 22 Oct 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H476, folder “Speeches”
15
Transcript of Radio Ad, KOY, 7 Sept 1952, AHF, BMG 1952 Senate Campaigns, folder “Radio and TV
Spots”; Transcript of Radio Ad labeled “Notes for Barry’s talk,” 22 Oct 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475,
folder “Speeches”; Speech at Douglas, AZ, 27 Oct 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475, folder “Speeches”;
Speech, “The Fallacy of the Common Man,” 3 May 1956, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H480, folder “Press Releases
& Speeches”
16
Transcript of Radio Ad labeled “Notes for Barry’s talk,” 22 Oct 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475, folder
“Speeches”
17
Transcript of Radio Ad labeled “Notes for Barry’s talk,” 22 Oct 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475, folder
“Speeches”; Speech, NAACP in Tucson, AZ, 12 Oct 1955, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder”; Transcript of
“Face the Nation” broadcast, 23 Oct 1960, AHF, BMG Speeches
172
Goldwater was a staunch supporter of capitalism or the “free enterprise” system,
as he and his conservative contemporaries referred to it.18 This economic system seemed
to fit perfectly with his conception of man, since it too recognized freedom as the
principle value and equality as only a fleeting initial state (if that). Compared to other
economic systems, free enterprise created greater economic opportunity, thus maximizing
the possibilities of God-given freedom in the material realm for each individual. 19 He
regarded free enterprise as the ideal accompaniment to the Constitutional system of
government; where the latter maximized individual liberties for spiritual success, the
former maximized economic freedoms for individuals’ material success. Together, the
parallel systems supplied the ultimate conditions for preserving and expanding upon
God-given freedom, the central characteristic of man, thus allowing each individual to
reach their highest personal state.20 Goldwater credited this synergy, more than any
government program, with the nation’s ultimately recovery from the Great Depression. 21
As a dedicated disciple of the cause of free enterprise, Goldwater constantly
encouraged fellow businessmen to evangelize on its basic principles. In one of his
earliest political publications, a 1939 guest editorial in the Phoenix Gazette, he took up
this theme. Titled “Scardee-Cat,” it castigated businessmen for being too afraid of
speaking up on behalf of the principles of free enterprise and then contribution to
18
Transcript of “Meet the Press” broadcast, 13 Jan 1974, AHF, BMG Speeches
19
Transcript of Radio Broadcast, 25 Oct 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H476, folder “Speeches”
20
Speech, “What is ‘Modern’?”, 30 Jul 1957, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “1957, v3”
21
Speech delivered at Casa Grande, AZ, 27 Aug 1952, AHF, BMG 1952 Senate Campaigns, folder
“Speeches”
173
American greatness. Rather than simply an attack on the New Deal, it was a criticism of
business leaders’ silence in the national debate about the future of the nation. 22 Later in
his political career he returned to this theme often when addressing business groups.23
A central focus of Barry Goldwater’s political thought and activism was the role
of Constitutional government in American society. Goldwater regarded the Declaration
of Independence as the supreme statement of our highest ideals, specifically in the line:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they
are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these
are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
He interpreted this statement in light of his understanding of the nature of man. That
meant regarding the declaration of equality in a narrow sense of equal opportunity at the
“starting line” and the reference to “unalienable Rights” as a declaration of broad, longterm freedom. Rather than a statement of collective goals regarding equal conditions of
life, liberty, and material possessions that government should seek to ensure, Goldwater
regarded this as a call for “the whole man” to achieve his greatest potential in both the
material and spiritual realms with the government seeking only to ensure his freedom to
pursue such success.24 With this statement, the Declaration of Independence forever
linked the political and the spiritual realms, since it pronounced God-given freedom as
the central concern of enlightened government. For Goldwater, that pairing of God-given
22
Guest editorial, “Scaredee-Cat,” The Phoenix Gazette, 23 Jun 1939, B7; Speech, Phoenix, AZ, 11 Feb
1959, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “Misc., 1955-Oct ‘57”
23
Printed Speech to Annual Meeting of Southern States Industrial Council, Asheville, NC, 27 May 1960,
AHF, BMG Speeches, Box 2, folder 12; Speech, “What’s Right with America,” American Industrial
Bankers Association, Hamilton, Bermuda, 12 Nov 1971, AHF, BMG Speeches
24
Letter from Barry Goldwater to Stephen Shadegg, 3 Jun 1960, AHF, BMG Correspondence, Box 9,
folder 22; Commencement Address, Arizona State University, 30 May 1961, AHF, BMG Speeches
174
freedom with individual striving was the nation’s only lasting goal and the animating
element of the best America had achieved, including especially the pioneering spirit and
western love of liberty.25
Just as the free enterprise system provided “the whole man” with maximum
material opportunities, the Constitution provided this man with his maximum spiritual
opportunities by preserving his liberty.26 A 1961 episode of Face the Nation, in which
Goldwater appeared alongside Senator Eugene McCarthy, suggests the impact of their
respective historical views of the Constitution in shaping their political ideology. In
explaining their views on the limited or expansive role of the federal government, the
Senators each pointed to the history of the early republic. McCarthy offered an historical
trajectory that stretched from the Declaration of Independence through the Articles of
Confederation to the Constitution. In doing so, he suggested that the Constitution be read
as a centralizing corrective to the weak Articles of Confederation, an attempt to better
achieve national ideals through a stronger federal state. Goldwater, in contrast, made no
mention of the Articles, instead tracing a direct line from the Declaration to the
Constitution. In doing so, he suggesting that the latter be read as a reflection of the
limited-government principles he identified as the core of the Declaration. 27 Those
alternative historical readings marked a clear boundary between conservatism and
liberalism of the period, between those who saw government as necessarily expansive
25
Letter from Barry Goldwater to William Russo (Lecturer in English at Curry College, MA), 27 Mar
1986, AHF, BMG Correspondence, Box 54, folder 4 “History Files”
26
Speech, “What is ‘Modern’?”, 30 Jul 1957, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “1957, v3”
27
Transcript of “Face the Nation” broadcast, 26 Jan 1961, AHF, BMG Speeches
175
and those who viewed its expansion with growing suspicion, believing that the main
purpose of the Constitution (as with the Declaration before it) was in protecting
individual liberty from an intrusive, oppressive state.28
Goldwater, then, saw the highest purpose of government as the protection of
individual rights.29 It paralleled God’s relationship to man, with liberty as the
government’s top priority.30 Further, just as God’s gift of equality was fleeting and
secondary to freedom, so too should the government place the protection of liberty before
attempts at “fraternalistic security” or other schemes that sought to create artificial
equality.31 To defend individual liberty, governments at all levels owed their citizens
reasonable maintenance of “law and order,” something that Goldwater saw as a necessary
element of any free society, not merely a “code for racism and repression.”32 Because
individual freedom was paramount, the means by which government achieved its goals
was as important as the ends themselves. For instance, while improved education or
greater equality of opportunity for blacks might be worthwhile ends, if the means to enact
them included greater federal control and the accompanying diminution of state, local,
and individual freedom, such programs were unconstitutional in the deep sense of
28
Transcript of Radio Broadcast, 25 Oct 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H476, folder “Speeches”
29
Commencement Address, Arizona State University, 30 May 1961, AHF, BMG Speeches
30
Transcript of Radio Broadcast, 25 Oct 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H476, folder “Speeches”; Political
pamphlet, “Barry Goldwater Speaks Out…”, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum (hereafter
Ford Pres.), William J. Baroody, Jr. Papers, Box 11, folder “Goldwater Campaign, 1964”
31
32
Speech, Phoenix, AZ, 11 Feb 1959, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “Misc., 1955-Oct ‘57”
Barry Goldwater’s Acceptance Speech, 1964 Republican National Convention; Speech, Prescott, AZ, 3
Sep 1964, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H511, folder “Speeches”; Speech, “Law and Order,” Phoenix, AZ, 11 Aug
1971, AHF, BMG Speeches
176
violating the core principles of the founding documents.33 The best government would be
business-like in its efficiency and infringe the least on individual affairs, both spiritual
and material, a goal Goldwater once described as “sterile” government.34
The correct government structure maintained individual liberties. Goldwater
believed strongly in a Constitutional government of separate powers, checks and
balances, and strict limits on government action.35 That included both balanced federal
branches and appropriate protections for the states and individuals from the federal
government. In that regard, the Tenth Amendment36 was a central pillar of the
Constitution, a requirement that the principles of decentralization be respected as part of a
federal system. As another limit on government, Goldwater emphasized that the
Constitution had provided for a republic, not a democracy, or at most a democraticrepublic.37 The idea behind both these provisions was to emphasize localism. Goldwater
constantly lauded local government as being the most effective, efficient, and responsive
33
Transcript of debate between Barry Goldwater and Stewart Udall, Tucson, AZ, Dec 1959, CAH, SSBG,
Box 3H505, folder “Speeches”
34
Speech delivered at Casa Grande, AZ, 27 Aug 1952, AHF, BMG 1952 Senate Campaigns, folder
“Speeches”; Transcript of Radio Broadcast, 22 Oct 1952 (mislabeled as 1953), CAH, SSBG, Box 3H476,
folder “Speeches”; Speech beginning “Mr. Mathews…,” ca. Jun 1952, AHF, BMG 1952 Senate
Campaigns, folder “Speeches”
35
Transcript of Radio Broadcast, 25 Oct 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H476, folder “Speeches”; Speech, late
Oct 1958, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H486, folder “Speeches”; Transcript of “Face the Nation” broadcast, 26 Jan
1961, AHF, BMG Speeches; Barry Goldwater’s Acceptance Speech, 1964 Republican National
Convention
36
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are
reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
37
Speech, Phoenix, AZ, 11 Feb 1959, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “Misc., 1955-Oct ‘57”
177
to the needs of the people.38 Just as he credited individual initiative for ending the Great
Depression, he hailed local volunteerism as the appropriate solution to the charitable
needs addressed by the federal welfare state.39 Charitable efforts, he argued, should be
addressed first through family, then community, local government, state government, and
only as a last resort through the federal government.40 As an example of this principle, he
repeatedly claimed that Native Americans would be much better off under the
supervision of the state governments than the paternalism of the federal government.41 In
other words, at heart Goldwater was a modern federalist: a firm advocate of states’ rights,
local control, and divided federal government as the best way to keep government from
interfering with individual liberties.
Even Barry Goldwater was not an absolute adherent to these principles, however.
Rather, he approached individual application pragmatically, willing to accept the possible
over the ideal. Rather than expecting an immediate roll-back of New Deal, Fair Deal,
New Frontier, or Great Society programs, which Goldwater recognized would be
disastrous, he proposed gradually shrinking the federal government to its proper size and
38
Transcript of “Barry Goldwater – The View from the Right” television broadcast, 8 Mar 1962, AHF,
BMG Speeches
39
Speech at Douglas, AZ, 27 Oct 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475, folder “Speeches”; Television ad,
“Questions and Answers,” CAH, SSBG, Box 3H487, folder “Television Adv.”; Speech, “The State of Our
Free Society: A Call to Arms,” Chicago, IL, 17 May 1966, Hoover Institution Library and Archives
(hereafter Hoover Inst.), Free Society Association Records (hereafter FSA), Box 6, folder “Goldwater
Speeches, 1966”
40
Transcript of “Barry Goldwater – The View from the Right” television broadcast, 8 Mar 1962, AHF,
BMG Speeches
41
Letter from Barry Goldwater to Stephen Shadegg, 10 Jul 1952, AHF, BMG Correspondence, Box 9,
folder 21; Transcript of Radio Ad, KOY, 7 Sept 1952, AHF, BMG 1952 Senate Campaigns, folder “Radio
and TV Spots”
178
functions. 42 His pragmatism was also a reflection of his views on the appropriate pattern
for charitable assistance: while he had believed that the federal government should
become involved only as a last resort, he provided no clear standard for demonstrating
when such a point had been reached.43 For example, Goldwater repeatedly expressed
support for certain New Deal programs, including especially the Federal Housing
Administration but also the Securities and Exchange Commission, Reconstruction
Finance Corporation, Social Security, old age pensions, and welfare (as it existed in
1952).44 Despite his general concerns about its new reach following 1938, Goldwater
recognized some need for federal government economic regulation under the Interstate
Commerce Clause.45 Goldwater himself proposed various programs of aid to the states,
including federal purchase of local bonds in support of school construction, greater tax
deduction or credits for local charitable work, and FHA-style loans for irrigation projects.
Each of these programs, Goldwater felt, appropriately addressed local needs that required
federal assistance in ways that promoted individual initiative, free enterprise, and local
42
Speech, Prescott, AZ, 3 Sep 1964, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H511, folder “Speeches”
43
Transcript of “Barry Goldwater – The View from the Right” television broadcast, 8 Mar 1962, AHF,
BMG Speeches
44
Transcript of Radio Ad, KOY, 7 Sept 1952, AHF, BMG 1952 Senate Campaigns, folder “Radio and TV
Spots”; Speech in Prescott, AZ, 18 Sep 1952, AHF, BMG 1952 Senate Campaign, Box 102, folder 17;
Speech in Tucson, AZ, 30 Sept 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475, folder “Speeches”; Letter from Barry
Goldwater to Stephen Shadegg, 10 Jul 1952, AHF, BMG Correspondence, Box 9, folder 21
45
Transcript of “Barry Goldwater – The View from the Right” television broadcast, 8 Mar 1962, AHF,
BMG Speeches
179
control.46 This was in contrast to programs like federal farming subsidies and education
aid, which came in the form of grants and increased regulation.
Goldwater saw the concentration of power in a centralized, bureaucratic,
collectivist federal government as the greatest threat to “the whole man,” American
society, free enterprise, and Constitutional government.47 While an enthusiastic anticommunist who declared it an “alien doctrine of an anti-Christian philosophy,”
Goldwater regarded it as only one possible means by which big government might
challenge individual liberty.48 In fact, as early as 1957, Goldwater declared that the
federal government was a greater threat than communism.49 In a debate about federal
education aid with Rep. Mo Udall at Arizona State University in 1959, Goldwater said,
The Congressman says he doesn’t fear Washington. Well, I fear Washington
because Washington is a symbol of centralized government. And this whole
debate is wrapped up in whether or not you and I, as American fathers and
mothers and citizens, are going to turn over to Washington one more segment of
our freedom.
I fear the actions of centralized government more than I fear Moscow. In fact, I
think the Congressman’s activities [in passing education aid] … have been
46
Speech, “Prosperity with Peace – A Republican Achievement,” 22 Oct 1955, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J1,
folder “1955, v3”; Transcript of “Barry Goldwater – The View from the Right” television broadcast, 8 Mar
1962, AHF, BMG Speeches; Speech in Mesa, Arizona, 23 Oct 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475, folder
“Speeches”
47
Printed Speech to Annual Meeting of Southern States Industrial Council, Asheville, NC, 27 May 1960,
AHF, BMG Speeches, Box 2, folder 12; Transcript of “Meet the Press” broadcast, 19 Nov 1961, AHF,
BMG Speeches; Speech, Tenth Anniversary Convention of Young Americans for Freedom, Hartford, CT,
10 Sep 1970, AHF, BMG Speeches; Transcript of “Meet the Press” broadcast, 13 Jan 1974, AHF, BMG
Speeches
48
49
Speech, Prescott, AZ, 1958, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box 145
Speech to National Reclamation Association, Phoenix, AZ, 7 Nov 1957, AHF, BMG Speeches, Box 1,
folder 17
180
motivated too much by the sputnik [sic] and not enough by the realities of what
American citizens can do.50
Whether Goldwater meant to suggest that Udall underestimated the positive or negative
capacities of American citizens was unclear. Goldwater’s vision of communism as a
secondary threat to homegrown centralization, however, was unambiguous.
Throughout his career, Goldwater denounced the homegrown “Welfare state,”
“super state,” and “socialism” for diminishing Americans’ God-given freedom.51 He
attacked oversized government at all levels and suggested that material support from
government diminished man’s “moral fiber” and “toughness,” the effects of which he
believed could be seen in American society.52 His constant refrain to those who might be
swayed by promises of federal aid was that the government was capable only of taking.
Federal largess was made possible only by taxing or borrowing from the American
people. The stipulations that accompanied such largess further limited the freedom of
local governments in spending such funds, thereby encroaching improperly upon
individual liberty.53
50
Transcript of debate between Barry Goldwater and Stewart Udall, Tucson, AZ, Dec 1959, CAH, SSBG,
Box 3H505, folder “Speeches”
51
Interview of Barry Goldwater by Dr. Keith Campbell, Fort Hays State University, KS, 7 Mar 1984, AHF,
BMG Speeches; Transcript of Radio Ad, KOY, 7 Sept 1952, AHF, BMG 1952 Senate Campaigns, folder
“Radio and TV Spots”; Speech, “Prosperity with Peace – A Republican Achievement,” 22 Oct 1955, CAH,
SSBG, Box 3J1, folder “1955, v3”
52
Speech, Tucson, AZ, 24 Oct 1957, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box 233; Transcript of “Barry Goldwater –
The View from the Right” television broadcast, 8 Mar 1962, AHF, BMG Speeches
53
Transcript of Radio Ad labeled “Notes for Barry’s talk,” 22 Oct 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475, folder
“Speeches”; Speech, “The Liberal and the Conservative – Today,” 3 Mar 1956, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J1,
folder “1956, v1”; Transcript of debate between Barry Goldwater and Stewart Udall, Tucson, AZ, Dec
1959, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H505, folder “Speeches”
181
America, for Goldwater, was a society and government which, at its best,
reflected God’s will for man. The national goal, set forth in the Declaration of
Independence and given structure in the Constitution, recognized the primacy of Godgiven freedom and individual attainment. Thanks in large measure to the free enterprise
system, Americans were free to pursue material success according to their own ambition
and talent. The Bill of Rights, separation of powers, and states’ rights served as
safeguards to preserve man’s spiritual and material freedoms by limiting the reach of a
grasping federal government. These protections were not impervious to corruption,
however. Just as man was imperfectible and open to temptation, so government could be
and had been corrupted. By 1952, Goldwater believed America was already well on its
way to a type of slavery akin to what individuals in Russia and other communist nations
were facing. His concern over such threats to freedom continued to mount throughout his
Senate career. Unlike some of his colleagues, however, Goldwater did not primarily see
the threat to freedom as part of an external communist conspiracy. Rather, he viewed the
greatest threat to individual liberty as a product of misguided government programs and
the failure of an additional corrective to government excesses: the “two-party system.”
The Two-Party System
Barry Goldwater regarded the “two-party system” as a crucial part of the structure
of American government, “an integral part of our governmental life” on par with other
protections to individual liberty such as the Bill of Rights, separation of powers, and
182
federalism.54 A correct balance between the two parties was essential for the proper
functioning of American government and society. Though fiercely dedicated to his own
Republican Party and adamant about the need to correct government excesses born of the
New Deal, Goldwater stopped short of suggesting that the Republican Party had a
monopoly on American values. He regarded both parties as patriotic and wellintentioned and suggested that “neither party can blame the other party, as a party, for the
things that have gone wrong in America.”55
John Birch Society spokesmen such as W. Cleon Skousen posited a political
spectrum that ran from conservatism at one end to totalitarianism (including socialism,
communism, and fascism) at the wrong end, with the Democratic Party falling
somewhere near the wrong end.56 Goldwater, in contrast, suggested a political spectrum
that ran from communism on the far left to fascism on the far right, with modern
liberalism and conservatism sitting on either side of an ideal American center point.57
Where the Skousen spectrum suggested the need for an uncompromising defense of
conservatism, Goldwater’s spectrum emphasized the relative proximity of the two parties,
their equal claims on American values, and the dangers of total dominance by either
partisan ideology.
54
Radio Report, “Two-Party System,” Feb 1954, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J1, folder “1954, v1”
55
Speech, Federation of Republican Women, Washington, D.C., 4 Jan 1959, AHF, BMG Speeches;
Speech, Phoenix, AZ, 27 Jan 1960, AHF, BMG, Personal, Speeches; Printed Speech to Annual Meeting of
Southern States Industrial Council, Asheville, NC, 27 May 1960, AHF, BMG Speeches, Box 2, folder 12
56
W. Cleon Skousen, “What is ‘Left,’ What is ‘Right’?”, 1962, Hoover Inst., Normal Alderdice Papers,
Box 72, folder 28
57
Interview of Barry Goldwater by Dr. Keith Campbell, Fort Hays State University, KS, 7 Mar 1984, AHF,
BMG Speeches
183
In keeping with this sense of the political spectrum, Goldwater identified many
benefits to the two-party system. Balanced two-party competition tended to bring out the
strongest and best candidates from each party.58 States would be stronger when they had
a partisan mix in their congressional representation.59 Most importantly, two-party
competition would lead to an ideal balance between the liberal and conservative
movements. On one side, Goldwater suggested, liberals would seek to expand the scope
of freedoms protected by government, “constantly looking for more freedom for the
individuals of this country.” Balanced against this expansionist impulse would be
conservatives focused on “the proven factors of the past … [who do not] want to
experiment as much as the Liberal.”60 For this process to be most effective, each election
needed to provide a clear choice between liberalism and conservatism. 61 Goldwater
recognized that such elections occurred rarely, if at all. Even as he accused the
Democratic Party of attempting to buy voters with government programs, Goldwater
looked forward to a day when the Republican Party would present a clearer alternative to
voters as a purer vehicle for conservatism. As early as 1953 he envisioned the great
realignment that would bring Southern Democrats together with Democrats and
Republicans of the Mid-West and West into a conservative Republican Party. 62
58
Speech, Arizona State Republican Convention, 22 Jan 1983, AHF, BMG Speeches
59
Speech, late Oct 1958, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H486, folder “Speeches”
60
Speech, Phoenix, AZ, 11 Feb 1959, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “Misc., 1955-Oct ‘57”; Radio Report,
“Two-Party System,” Feb 1954, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J1, folder “1954, v1”
61
Frank H. Jonas, "The Spirit of Contemporary Politics in the American West,” Western Political
Quarterly 18, no. 3, supplement (September 1965): 5
62
Journal entry, 12 May 1953, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 26, folder 1
184
Just as there were important benefits to partisan competition, there were also
attendant dangers of single-party government.63 “Bad government stems from a oneparty system,” Goldwater declared in 1954, “which breeds power politics, rule by
minorities, rule by the bosses, and contempt for the rights of the people.”64 Single-party
rule tends toward a “dangerous political climate in which conformity and sameness
replace vigorous dissent, creative differences, and meaningful principles.”65 The South,
in Goldwater’s estimation, particularly faced the difficulties of not having clear electoral
alternatives before the emergence of the conservative Republican Party. 66 As the
Republican Party in the South did gain momentum, Goldwater attributed this less to
battles over segregation than the desire for a real, ideologically-differentiated two-party
system.67 The dangers of one-party rule were not exclusive to the Democratic Party. No
party, Goldwater felt, could long maintain a monopoly on what was best for America.
Just as he saw the need to correct Democratic excesses through vigorous party
competition, he foresaw a day when a dominant conservative movement would be in
need of liberal correctives.68 For Goldwater, that partisan struggle served a vital function
63
Radio Report, “Two-Party System,” Feb 1954, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J1, folder “1954, v1”
64
Speech, 20 Oct 1954, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J1, folder “1954, v2”
65
Speech to Republican Platform Committee, San Francisco, CA, 10 Jul 1964, Ford Pres., William J.
Baroody, Jr. Papers, Box 8, folder “Goldwater, Barry – Speech to the Platform Committee, 7/10/1964”
66
Printed Speech to Annual Meeting of Southern States Industrial Council, Asheville, NC, 27 May 1960,
AHF, BMG Speeches, Box 2, folder 12
67
Letter from Barry Goldwater to Bourke B. Hickenlooper, 2 Jan 1963, Herbert Hoover Presidential
Library (hereafter Hoover Pres.), Hickenlooper, Bourke B.: Papers, 1934-1971, Personal Files, Box 14,
folder “Goldwater, Barry (S) – 1956-67”
68
Speech, Heritage Foundation Dinner, 22 Oct 1985, AHF, BMG Speeches
185
in the American system of government by balancing the competing impulses to preserve
and to expand individual liberty.
Goldwater was personally committed to the two-party system as much as he was
to other elements of American government that he believed were essential in preserving
man’s freedom. In a speech at the National Press Club in 1975 he identified himself first
as “a defender of political parties against those who would like to blame them for the
problems that exist in the United States” and only second as “an advocate of …
conservative principles and policies.”69 Throughout his life, when looking back on his
role in strengthening the Arizona Republican Party, Goldwater referred establishing and
strengthening a “two-party system” in his state.70 Furthermore, he repeatedly and
fervently rejected any efforts at creating a third party conservative movement, a popular
notion among conservatives before Reagan’s election.71 In 1968 he described a vote for
George Wallace as “a vote down a rat hole,” a threat to the two-party system, “which has
been the principle foundation of national political stability.”72 As the 1976 election
69
Speech, National Press Club, Washington, D.C., 14 Nov 1975, AHF, BMG Speeches
70
Radio Report, “Two-Party System,” Feb 1954, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J1, folder “1954, v1”; Letter from
Barry Goldwater to Jack Williams, 2 Jun 1968, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 24, folder 1; Speech, Arizona
State Republican Convention, 22 Jan 1983, AHF, BMG Speeches; Speech, Arizona Republican State
Convention, 1988, AHF, BMG Speeches
71
Transcript of “Face the Nation” broadcast, 23 Oct 1960, AHF, BMG Speeches; Press Release, 17 Jun
1965, Hoover Inst., FSA, Box 13, folder “Press-Release – FSA Announcement by Goldwater 6/17/65”;
Speech, “The State of Our Free Society: A Call to Arms,” Chicago, IL, 17 May 1966, Hoover Inst., FSA,
Box 6, folder “Goldwater Speeches, 1966”; Membership drive mailing from the Free Society Association,
“A message from Barry Goldwater,” ca. 1966, Hoover Pres., Hickenlooper, Bourke B.: Papers, 1934-1971,
Box 45, folder “Free Society Association”
72
Speech, “A Vote for Wallace is a Vote Down a Rat Hole,” 1968, AHF, BMG Speeches
186
approached, Goldwater rejected the suggestion of a Reagan-Wallace ticket on the same
grounds.73
Goldwater’s devotion to the two-party system shaped his view of the major
parties and their more ideologically committed bases. Though a dedicated opponent of
the Democratic Party, he rarely spoke of it as either a static or monolithic entity. He
expressed great praise for Thomas Jefferson as his personal political hero and repeatedly
appealed to Jeffersonian Democrats.74 Even as Goldwater railed against the failures of
the Truman administration, he praised “honest Democrats” and “sincere members of the
Democratic Party.”75 When he ran a second time against former Senate Majority Leader
Ernest McFarland, Goldwater drew on his view of party complexity by suggesting that
one of his strengths as a Senator was that he was a better partner to Democratic Senator
Carl Hayden than McFarland had been in their two terms together.76
In part, such rhetoric was simply good electoral strategy in a state still dominated
by Democratic voters. However, Goldwater’s commitment to the two-party system, a
commitment strengthened by personal relationships and loyalties, also played a role.
Barry’s uncle, Morris Goldwater, had been the primary male role model in Goldwater’s
youth. He was also a conservative Democrat who helped found the Arizona Democratic
73
Transcript of “Issues and Answers” broadcast, 15 Jun 1975, AHF, BMG Speeches
74
Speech in Scottsdale, AZ, 26 Sept 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475, folder “Speeches”; Printed Speech to
Annual Meeting of Southern States Industrial Council, Asheville, NC, 27 May 1960, AHF, BMG Speeches,
Box 2, folder 12
75
Speech in Scottsdale, AZ, 26 Sept 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475, folder “Speeches”; Speech in
Coolidge, AZ, 23 Sept 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475, folder “Speeches”
76
Speech, “Setting the Record Straight on the Copper Situation,” Yuma, AZ, 27 Aug 1958, AHF, SS,
(unprocessed) Box 233
187
Party and write the state constitution.77 Despite their ideological differences, John F.
Kennedy and Barry Goldwater became personal friends, with the president confiding in
Goldwater when he felt things slipping out of his control. Despite their brutal 1964
campaign, Goldwater and Lyndon Johnson also managed to find common personal
ground, meeting for drinks on Johnson’s last night in the White House.78 Goldwater
raised money for Democratic Sen. Carl Hayden and praised Democrat Bruce Babbitt as
ranking “up with the best of” Arizona’s governors, giving him a “nine or maybe a little
shade over nine” on a scale of 1 to 10.79 Even Truman, Goldwater’s early punching bag,
earned praise from the conservative Senator, repeatedly predicting in later years that the
president would be remembered as one of the greatest of the twentieth century for his
decisive leadership.80
Of course, Goldwater would not have been a devout Republican if he had taken
such positive views of the Democratic Party too far. Though he believed in a two-party
system of government, he was a committed conservative alarmed by the growing power
in the Democratic Party of the “self-styled Liberals of today.” Unlike the Jeffersonians,
these “pseudo-liberals,” led by “Labor boys,” embraced the growth of “a powerful,
central government” designed to supply “the materialisms of life.” Goldwater felt that
77
Letter from Barry Goldwater to William R. Hanna (Massachusetts history teacher), 19 Oct 1983, AHF,
BMG Correspondence, Box 54, folder 4 “History File”
78
Journal entry, 5 Nov 1976, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 26, folder 17
79
Interview of Barry Goldwater by Jack August, 16 Aug 1985, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 8, folder 7;
Letter from Barry Goldwater to Max Jennings (Executive Editor, Mesa Tribune), 4 Jan 1984, AHF, BMG
Alpha Files, Box 1, folder 17 “Babbitt, Bruce”
80
Interview of Barry Goldwater by Ed Edwin, 15 Jun 1967, Dwight Eisenhower Presidential Library, Oral
History Collection; Transcript of “Meet the Press” broadcast, 13 Jan 1974, AHF, BMG Speeches;
Transcript of “Face the Nation” broadcast, 22 May 1983, AHF, BMG Speeches
188
such projects denied “to man his rightful spiritual, ideological, and moral
independence.”81 Modern liberalism bred a “New Deal socialism” that eroded the whole
man’s freedoms and warped his character by appealing to only his material side.82
Modern Democrats achieved their results by preaching hatred and division (of class and
race) that Goldwater just did not accept as salient to American society.83 This interestgroup approach to politics offered Americans only a “static” view of history in which the
only possible progress was the eventual leveling of society in an effort to achieve equality
of outcome.84 In contrast, Goldwater believed that it was government which should be
“sterile,” making room for the dynamic process of spiritual and material innovation.85 By
1984, Goldwater was finally willing to go so far as to suggest that the leadership of the
Democratic Party was then lacking in patriotism and common American ideals.86
In contrast to the schizophrenic Democratic Party, Goldwater saw the Republican
Party as representing the best values of American government and society. It stood for
81
Speech, “The Liberal and the Conservative – Today,” 3 Mar 1956, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J1, folder “1956,
v1”; Printed Speech to Annual Meeting of Southern States Industrial Council, Asheville, NC, 27 May 1960,
AHF, BMG Speeches, Box 2, folder 12
82
Speech, “Prosperity with Peace – A Republican Achievement,” 22 Oct 1955, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J1,
folder “1955, v3”; Speech, “The Liberal and the Conservative – Today,” 3 Mar 1956, CAH, SSBG, Box
3J1, folder “1956, v1”
83
Transcript of Radio Ad, KOY, 7 Sept 1952, AHF, BMG 1952 Senate Campaigns, folder “Radio and TV
Spots”; Speech, “The Fallacy of the Common Man,” 3 May 1956, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H480, folder “Press
Releases & Speeches”; Speech in Scottsdale, AZ, 26 Sept 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475, folder
“Speeches”
84
Speech to Republican Platform Committee, San Francisco, CA, 10 Jul 1964, Ford Pres., William J.
Baroody, Jr. Papers, Box 8, folder “Goldwater, Barry – Speech to the Platform Committee, 7/10/1964”
85
Speech beginning “Mr. Mathews…,” ca. Jun 1952, AHF, BMG 1952 Senate Campaigns, folder
“Speeches”
86
Interview of Barry Goldwater by Dr. Keith Campbell, Fort Hays State University, KS, 7 Mar 1984, AHF,
BMG Speeches
189
God-given freedom and decentralized government as an essential element in the
preservation of that freedom.87 Outside of the South, it was the only feasible vehicle for
the conservative cause.88 The Republican Party’s efforts to preserve man’s
political/spiritual freedom along with its support for free enterprise marked it as the true
champion of freedom, material prosperity, and “the whole man.”89
Even within the Republican Party, however, Goldwater recognized a constant
danger of ideological factionalism.90 Preserving party strength and cohesion was a
difficult balancing act for one so dedicated to conservative ideology, but Goldwater’s
commitments to the Republican Party and the concept of the two-party system demanded
that he work for a course compatible with each of these ideals. Therefore, he constantly
emphasized the need for party unity while simultaneously emphasizing the need for
ideological commitment.91 In a 1959 address to the Federation of Republican Women
that highlights this internal struggle, Goldwater articulated several contrasts between the
major parties. Among these, Goldwater distinguished the Democratic Party’s “demand”
for “conformance” with the Republican belief “in having respect for all different
87
Speech, Tucson, AZ, 24 Oct 1957, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box 233; Speech to Republican Platform
Committee, San Francisco, CA, 10 Jul 1964, Ford Pres., William J. Baroody, Jr. Papers, Box 8, folder
“Goldwater, Barry – Speech to the Platform Committee, 7/10/1964”
88
Transcript of “Face the Nation” broadcast, 23 Oct 1960, AHF, BMG Speeches
89
Speech delivered at Casa Grande, AZ, 27 Aug 1952, AHF, BMG 1952 Senate Campaigns, folder
“Speeches”; Transcript of Radio Broadcast, 22 Oct 1952 (mislabeled as 1953), CAH, SSBG, Box 3H476,
folder “Speeches”; Speech, Phoenix, AZ, 11 Feb 1959, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “Misc., 1955-Oct
‘57”
90
Published Speech, “What Has Happened to the Republican Party in Michigan?”, 20 Jan 1958, AHF,
BMG, Personal, Correspondence, Box 59, folder 13
91
Speech, Phoenix, AZ, 11 Feb 1959, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “Misc., 1955-Oct ‘57”; Speech,
Arizona Republican State Convention, 1988, AHF, BMG Speeches; Letter from Barry Goldwater to
Republican Party [County] Chairmen, 13 Mar 1974, AHF, BMG Politics, Box 88, folder 29
190
viewpoints.” Then, only six sentences later, he declared that “any candidate who fails to
support these truths, is no Republican.”92 Enforcing openness while promoting
ideological commitment was a challenge with which Goldwater wrestled constantly.
As one approach to this challenge, Goldwater often spoke out in favor of policy
flexibility and against those who would seek to impose rigid ideological constraints on
party members. He called for independence for elected office holders, suggesting to his
fellow Republicans that each representative owed allegiance first to his or her nation and
only second or third to his or her party.93 He spoke up in favor of the necessity of
internal party criticism and dissent as both a matter of freedom and an essential means of
keeping the party on the right path.94 Throughout his career he heralded strategic party
building over conservative obstructionism, believing that conservatives needed to work
together with those of other persuasions to accomplish what was best for the country and
to strengthen the party for the future.95 A prime example of strategic approach to
conservative party building was his outspoken defense of President Nixon. Though he
had been a frequent critic of President Eisenhower’s “modern Republicanism,”
92
Speech, Federation of Republican Women, Washington, D.C., 4 Jan 1959, AHF, BMG Speeches
93
Transcript of Radio Broadcast, 22 Oct 1952 (mislabeled as 1953), CAH, SSBG, Box 3H476, folder
“Speeches”; Speech, Prescott, AZ, 1958, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box 145
94
Published Speech, “What Has Happened to the Republican Party in Michigan?”, 20 Jan 1958, AHF,
BMG, Personal, Correspondence, Box 59, folder 13; Speech to Republican Platform Committee, San
Francisco, CA, 10 Jul 1964, Ford Pres., William J. Baroody, Jr. Papers, Box 8, folder “Goldwater, Barry –
Speech to the Platform Committee, 7/10/1964”
95
Speech, New York, NY, 3 Mar 1961, AHF, BMG Speeches
191
Goldwater spent much of Richard Nixon’s presidency defending him on strategic
grounds as the most conservative leader for which conservatives could hope.96
Goldwater also worked against factionalism by avoiding the word “conservative”
when speaking at party gatherings, instead speaking of the “Republican philosophy” or
“the cause of Republicanism.”97 Such terms were synonymous for Goldwater, the
quintessential conservative Republican, so his language served as a rhetorical slight of
hand, at once inclusive and doctrinaire.98 In his 1964 acceptance speech, Goldwater
called on Republicans to unify around the cause of liberty despite their varying policy
preferences.99 In a 1964 letter to Richard Nixon he even went so far as to concede the
imperfection of his own conservative ideology, suggesting that it was only perfect in
comparison to the ideas of communism.100 In these ways and others, Goldwater
demonstrated a willingness to tone down his own conservative certainty in order to
appeal to a larger Republican base.
96
Speech, Waukegan, IL, 15 May 1969, AHF, BMG Speeches; Speech, Western States Republican
Conference, Honolulu, HI, 6 Nov 1969; Speech, Young Republican Leadership Training School,
Washington, D.C., 12 Mar 1970, AHF, BMG Speeches; Speech, “The Alternative to Nixon,” Semi-Annual
Meeting of the Republican National Committee, Denver, CO, 23 Jul 1971, AHF, BMG Speeches; Speech,
17 Dec 1971, AHF, BMG Speeches; Speech, Orange County, CA, 9 Oct 1972, AHF, BMG Speeches;
Speech, State Republican Party, Indianapolis, IN, 21 Jul 1973, AHF, BMG Speeches; Speech, Young
Republican Leadership Conference, Washington, D.C., 28 Feb 1974, AHF, BMG Speeches
97
Speech, Phoenix, AZ, 4 Nov 1964, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H511, folder “Speeches”; Barry Goldwater’s
Acceptance Speech, 1964 Republican National Convention
98
Press Release, 17 Jun 1965, Hoover Inst., FSA, Box 13, folder “Press-Release – FSA Announcement by
Goldwater 6/17/65”; Transcript of “Face the Nation” broadcast, 14 Nov 1965, AHF, BMG Speeches;
Speech, Arizona Republican State Convention, 1988, AHF, BMG Speeches
99
Barry Goldwater’s Acceptance Speech, 1964 Republican National Convention
100
Draft of letter from Barry Goldwater to Richard Nixon, 3 Aug 1964, Hoover Inst., Denison Kitchel
Papers, Box 3, folder “Nixon, Richard 1960-1968”
192
One measure Goldwater advocated for achieving the correct balance between
ideological cohesion and party unity was a simplified party platform. Goldwater disliked
detailed party platforms, or “shopping lists” of empty promises that neither party
delivered on once elected. He felt instead that parties should run on a brief, basic
statement of principles devoid of policy specifics, allowing candidates and elected
officials the flexibility of devising their own specific policy proposals within a broader
ideological framework.101 Herbert Hoover had discussed this idea with Goldwater and
the Arizona Republican Party had issued such a platform in 1958.102 That statement of
principles was credited with playing a major role in the state party’s success while
national Republicans suffered significant losses.103 Goldwater also chafed under toospecific Republican platforms containing provisions he disliked, especially the 1956 and
1960 provisions on federal aid.104
As a strategic conservative dedicated to the two-party system and to the internal
debate over specific policies reflecting conservative principles, Goldwater was often at
101
Speech, Sun Valley, ID, 28 Sep 1961, AHF, BMG Speeches; Speech to Republican Platform
Committee, San Francisco, CA, 10 Jul 1964, Ford Pres., William J. Baroody, Jr. Papers, Box 8, folder
“Goldwater, Barry – Speech to the Platform Committee, 7/10/1964”; Political pamphlet, “Barry Goldwater
Speaks Out…”, Ford Pres., William J. Baroody, Jr. Papers, Box 11, folder “Goldwater Campaign, 1964”;
Letter from Barry Goldwater to Herbert Hoover, 28 Apr 1959, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover –
Post-Presidential, Individual Correspondence File, Box 70, folder “Goldwater, Barry (1)”
102
Letter from Barry Goldwater to Herbert Hoover, 28 Apr 1959, and Letter from Herbert Hoover to Barry
Goldwater, 30 Apr 1959, Hoover Pres., Papers of Herbert Hoover – Post-Presidential, Individual
Correspondence File, Box 70, folder “Goldwater, Barry (1)”; Arizona Republican Party Platform, 1958,
AHF, BMG, Politics, Box 88, folder 28
103
“Why the Republicans Won in Arizona in 1958,” CAH, SSBG, Box 3H498, folder “Election Returns
(Primary, General); ‘Why the Republicans Won in Arizona in 1958’”
104
Transcript of televised debate between Barry Goldwater and Leonard Woodcock (VP, United Auto
Workers), Detroit, MI, ca. 1957/1958, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “Misc., late ‘75/early ‘58”; Transcript
of “Face the Nation” broadcast, 23 Oct 1960, AHF, BMG Speeches
193
odds with the more rigidly ideological wing of his party. He criticized a tendency of “the
conservative mind” to take “an absolute position,” to say “if the man does not fill their
mold down to his finger tips, then they are not going to vote for him.”105 Particularly
troubling to Goldwater was the threat of fanatical elements taking over the main parties.
While he condemned the Minutemen and Robert Welch as dangerous right-wing
extremists, he identified Americans for Democratic Action as a greater threat because of
its power within the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.106 His views on the John
Birch Society as a whole were more complicated, as suggested by a 1967 account he gave
of first learning of Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. As he recounted to an
interviewer for the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Goldwater first met Robert Welch
around Christmas of 1958 or 1959. Goldwater was visiting Welch’s brother’s house
when Robert came over with a copy of his book, The Politician. Goldwater read it that
night and returned it the next morning, telling Welch:
Here’s your book. I want no part of this. I won’t even have it around… If you
were smart, you’d burn every copy you have, because one of these days,
someone’s going to get a hold of this, and everything you’ve talked about wanting
to do is going to be tossed right out the rat-hole, because you’re too ridiculous
here. You can’t call Eisenhower and Harry Truman and Eleanor Roosevelt all
Communists. You know they’re not.
When Welch insisted he could “prove it,” Goldwater responded, “The hell you can.”
Then, however, Goldwater told the interviewer that the book was the only thing he held
105
106
Transcript of “Face the Nation” broadcast, 23 Oct 1960, AHF, BMG Speeches
Transcript of “Meet the Press” broadcast, 19 Nov 1961, AHF, BMG Speeches; Transcript of “Barry
Goldwater – The View from the Right” television broadcast, 8 Mar 1962, AHF, BMG Speeches; Political
pamphlet, “Barry Goldwater Speaks Out…”, Ford Pres., William J. Baroody, Jr. Papers, Box 11, folder
“Goldwater Campaign, 1964”
194
against the Society, declaring that the stated aims of the group were perfectly in line with
conservative American ideals: “Hell, if you couldn’t subscribe to these purposes, you
couldn’t subscribe to your church or your mother or your country, it was such a broadranging thing.”107 This was a distinction he repeated at other times, suggesting that
members of the group should be welcome in the Republican Party as long as they
participated as individuals rather than collectively as a pressure group.108
Barry Goldwater’s commitment to the “two-party system” as “an integral part of
our government life,” a “vital” and “positive force,” had a subtle but significant impact
on his political ideology and behavior.109 The main effect was to moderate his political
approach. His perspective on partisanship held as its goal a proper balance of the parties
rather than an all out victory. This contrasted with his approach to the fight with
international communism, in which he insisted on nothing less than total victory. These
two disparate goals emerged from Goldwater’s concern over one-party rule, a significant
threat to individual liberty. Internationally, the one way to resist domination by the oneparty state was to conquer communism. Domestically, the greater threat grew from
imbalance between the major parties or the disruptive potential by third-party
movements. Either outcome, total domination by a single party or the infinite
fragmenting of a multi-party system, would imperil the creative tension within the
107
Interview of Barry Goldwater by Ed Edwin, 15 Jun 1967, Dwight Eisenhower Presidential Library, Oral
History Collection
108
Transcript of “Face the Nation” broadcast, 14 Nov 1965, AHF, BMG Speeches
109
Radio Report, “Two-Party System,” Feb 1954, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J1, folder “1954, v1”
195
American system of government and God-given freedom with it. Only appropriately
balanced partisanship could preserve individual liberty.
The search for such balance colored Goldwater’s view of the major political
parties. It disposed him toward identifying positive traits and individuals within the
Democrat Party, even as he vigorously opposed the ideology of modern liberalism. It led
him to prioritize Republican Party unity alongside, and often above, conservative purity.
It generated in Goldwater an instinctive suspicion and skepticism of those who promoted
ideological certainty and rigidity. Though these more ideologically-oriented
conservatives were among his most ardent supporters, his embrace of them was tempered
by his suspicion of their all-or-nothing political approach. His concern that a shared
ideological consensus could be disrupted by divergent policy preferences led him to find
ways of avoiding such conflicts, as when he called for a revised approach to party
platforms and suggested that members of the John Birch Society should participate in
Republican politics only as individuals and not members of an organized pressure group.
Because Goldwater was working on behalf of conservatism in the midst of a
political system that he felt to be dangerously unbalanced, the distinctions between his
desired end of partisan balance and the goal of total victory espoused by many
ideologically committed political actors was not always apparent. But when confronted
with a choice, his commitment to balance that often led him to pursue strategic party
building above ideological purity.
196
Civil Rights
No examination of Barry Goldwater’s political ideology would be complete
without delving into his complicated relationship to civil rights, especially the black Civil
Rights movement and the crucial Civil Rights Act of 1964. In order to understand his
position on Civil Rights, however, it is necessary to first examine another issue that
Goldwater regarded as a matter of civil rights: the “right to work.”
Even before election to the Phoenix City Council, Barry Goldwater had worked in
support of right to work legislation in Arizona. In the late-1940s, Arizonans passed a
constitutional amendment and then follow-up legislation that forbade the closed shop.
Led by the Veterans’ Right to Work Committee, the measures were billed by supporters
as a matter of justice, liberty, and moderate compromise between the more extreme
options of total union power or abolition of unions.110 Goldwater was an early activist in
the cause and later a major proponent of the issue in the United States Senate.111
In promoting the right to work, Barry Goldwater repeatedly cast it as a civil right,
suggesting that it derived from other key civil rights. He declared that the right to work
was “co-extensive” with the unalienable right to life identified in the Declaration of
Independence, arguing that the latter would be meaningless if not paired with the freedom
to earn a living regardless of union membership.112 Citing the First Amendment
110
Michael S. Wade, The Bitter Issue: The Right to Work Law in Arizona (Tucson: Arizona Historical
Society, 1976)
111
Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, “Origins of the Conservative Ascendency: Barry Goldwater’s Early Senate
Career and the De-legitimization of Organized Labor,” Journal of American History 95, no. 3 (December
2008): 678-709
112
Speech, “Civil Rights Act of 1957,” 6 Aug 1957, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “1957, v3”; Speech, 9
May 1956, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H480, folder “Press Releases & Speeches”
197
protections on religion and assembly, Goldwater suggested a “freedom of association”
that should carry over into the workplace. Generally, he spoke of this freedom of
association as a civil liberty protecting workers from compulsory association with a
union.113 He argued that coupling compulsory unionism with political spending by the
union amounted to a double violation of First Amendment rights, restricting both
freedom of association and free speech.114 Further, he suggested that the protections of
“due process” in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments implied a right to work.
Goldwater felt that the Constitution should therefore include the unenumerated right to
work under the Ninth Amendment115 and argued on at least one occasion that such
implied rights should have equal weight and force of law as enumerated Constitutional
rights.116 He felt that government involvement in this issue was part of its obligation to
protect freedom.
As the Civil Rights movement picked up steam, Goldwater occasionally linked
his efforts against the closed shop with the Civil Rights movement, addressing what he
113
Speech, 9 May 1956, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H480, folder “Press Releases & Speeches”; Speech, “Civil
Rights Act of 1957,” 6 Aug 1957, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “1957, v3”; Transcript of televised debate
between Barry Goldwater and Leonard Woodcock (VP, United Auto Workers), Detroit, MI, ca. 1957/1958,
CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “Misc., late ‘75/early ‘58”; Speech, Sun Valley, ID, 28 Sep 1961, AHF,
BMG Speeches; Speech to Republican Platform Committee, San Francisco, CA, 10 Jul 1964, Ford Pres.,
William J. Baroody, Jr. Papers, Box 8, folder “Goldwater, Barry – Speech to the Platform Committee,
7/10/1964”
114
Speech, 9 May 1956, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H480, folder “Press Releases & Speeches”
115
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage
others retained by the people.”
116
Speech, “Civil Rights Act of 1957,” 6 Aug 1957, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “1957, v3”; Speech,
“Proposed Civil Rights Legislation,” 24 Jul 1956, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J1, folder “1956, v2 & 3”
198
saw as liberal hypocrisy on the subject.117 He argued that the closed shop and spending
of union dues on political matters amounted to unjust “tampering with the franchise of
Americans” and thus constituted “a Civil Rights problem of the North” in parallel with
black disenfranchisement but hypocritically ignored by northern liberals.118 In addition
to protection from compulsory unionism, Goldwater suggested that freedom of
association encompassed a positive right allowing all workers to join a union, regardless
of their race, and he chastised liberals for being unwilling to attack the discriminatory
practices of some unions.119 When it came to the broader Civil Rights movement,
however, Goldwater rejected arguments regarding unenumerated rights and chose instead
to prioritize federalist arguments even while professing personal anti-segregation
sentiments.
Barry Goldwater’s personal actions do suggest that he was opposed to segregation
and discrimination based on race. As an officer in the Arizona Air National Guard he
successfully pushed for desegregation. While in on the Phoenix City Council he and his
political allies worked to desegregate the local schools and the public facilities at Phoenix
Municipal Airport. He also donated to the local NAACP and Urban League, earning
plaudits from prominent civil rights activists in the area.120 As a United States Senator he
117
Speech, “Civil Rights Act of 1957,” 6 Aug 1957, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “1957, v3”
118
Speech, Phoenix, AZ, 11 Feb 1959, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “Misc., 1955-Oct ‘57”
119
Transcript of “Face the Nation” broadcast, 26 Jan 1961, AHF, BMG Speeches
120
Political pamphlet, “Barry Goldwater Speaks Out…”, Ford Pres., William J. Baroody, Jr. Papers, Box
11, folder “Goldwater Campaign, 1964”; Letter from Barry Goldwater to Nelson H. Rector of Atlanta
Georgia, 16 Jun 1961, AHF, SS, (unprocessed); Whitaker, Matthew C., Race Work: The Rise of Civil
Rights in the Urban West (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2005), 119
199
used his political office and personal connections on behalf of individuals who suffered
discrimination in government hiring and promotion.121 Perhaps most significantly, he
withdrew a right to work amendment from the 1957 Civil Rights Act, fearing that the
amendment “might be used in an attempt to defeat the entire right to vote measure.” He
declared that the right to work was “a civil right too precious to be used in any way to
prevent the enactment of legislation which will insure another civil right.”122 At least in
that instance, he was willing to subordinate an issue dear to him in order to promote black
civil rights.
Goldwater’s views on race and discrimination also reflect a mix of his concerns
about the political direction of the Democratic Party and his roots in the charter
government political culture of Phoenix. Rather than looking to the long history of
slavery and discrimination in America, Goldwater blamed Democrats in the South and
urban area for the problems faced by black Americans because they held political power
in those areas at the time.123 After the racial unrest of the 1960s, Goldwater blamed
liberals and liberalism for encouraging crime and civil disobedience.124 In seeking to
comfort President Ford after he had lost the 1976 election to Carter, Goldwater privately
121
Letters from Barry Goldwater to Jack Williams, 22 Apr 1968, 29 Sep and 14 Oct 1969, AHF, BMG,
Box 24, folders 1 and 2; Whitaker, 119-120
122
Speech, “Civil Rights Act of 1957,” 6 Aug 1957, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “1957, v3”
123
Basically, Goldwater argued that since Republicans did not currently hold political office in Southern
areas and major urban centers, the Democratic Party as a whole must be responsible for the difficulties
faced by black Americans. This argument missed the longer historical causes of the both discrimination
and political alignments while also falsely casting racism as merely a partisan issue. Speech, NAACP in
Tucson, AZ, 12 Oct 1955, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “Misc., 1955-Oct 1957”; Transcript of “Face the
Nation” broadcast, 14 Nov 1965, AHF, BMG Speeches
124
Speech, Tenth Anniversary Convention of Young Americans for Freedom, Hartford, CT, 10 Sep 1970,
AHF, BMG Speeches
200
suggested that Democrats since Franklin Roosevelt had been exploiting blacks and Jews
for their political advantage.125 In this mind, the Civil Rights movement reflected the
excesses of the new liberalism of the Democratic Party.
In contrast, when speaking to the Arizona chapter of the NAACP in 1955,
Goldwater suggested that the Republican Party would be more helpful to blacks by
opening up increased opportunities for material and political advancement. This was at
least somewhat disingenuous since he did so by emphasizing the culpability of Southern
Democrats, frequent political allies whom he foresaw as future fellow Republicans. The
benefits of Republican Party government that Goldwater listed for his NAACP audience,
however, do provide insight into a key distinction between his view of racism and that of
the liberal Civil Rights movement. As with the freedom of association, Goldwater’s
main emphasis was on civil liberties, freedoms from government-honored or -enforced
obstacles to success.126 This approach reflected Goldwater’s sense that the solution to
problems facing black Americans lay in an effort to increase “racial tolerance” rather
than a quest for rights and equality.127
Goldwater’s racial perspective was in keeping with the political culture of his
native Phoenix, where the Charter Government Committee took pains to select candidates
that represented a range of religious, political, occupational, and even gender diversity
125
Journal entry, 5 Nov 1976, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 26, folder 17
126
Speech, NAACP in Tucson, AZ, 12 Oct 1955, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “Misc., 1955-Oct 1957”
127
Transcript of Radio Ad labeled “Notes for Barry’s talk,” 22 Oct 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475, folder
“Speeches”; Speech, NAACP in Tucson, AZ, 12 Oct 1955, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder”; Transcript of
“Face the Nation” broadcast, 23 Oct 1960, AHF, BMG Speeches; Political pamphlet, “Barry Goldwater
Speaks Out…”, Ford Pres., William J. Baroody, Jr. Papers, Box 11, folder “Goldwater Campaign, 1964”
201
but was apparently oblivious to matters of race or ethnicity. The fact that race was not a
salient category for Goldwater and his allies cut both ways. On one hand, Goldwater was
not personally an advocate for segregation or discrimination and fought against it when
his personal relationships brought the impact of inequality to light. On the other hand, he
did not see the broader Civil Rights struggle as a parallel movement to his own quest for
freedom in the face of an oppressive state. Instead, he was suspicious of the movement
that seemed to embrace equality of material outcome as a goal to the detriment of
preserving freedom of opportunity and maintaining the proper balance between state and
federal government.
Goldwater’s expectations of how racial discrimination would end were in keeping
with his view of man, his understanding of American government, and this sense of racial
intolerance as the central problem. In response to the confrontation over the forced
integration of Little Rock Central High School in 1957, Goldwater refused to take sides
and in fact suggested that “To adopt one point of view and condemn those who hold the
opposite viewpoint will contribute nothing to the eventual solution to the problem.”
Instead, Goldwater called for “charity, understanding, and forbearance,” which he felt
would lead to a peaceful solution balancing the contributions of states’ rights, the federal
government, and individual dignity “to the continuance of our free way of life”128 This
path to integration, especially the need for balancing the rights of states, the powers of the
federal government, and the dignity of individuals, reflects Goldwater’s desire to
preserve creative tension and reveals his priorities regarding civil rights: preserving
128
Letter from Barry Goldwater to Dean Burch with attached statements, 3 Oct 1957, CAH, SSBG, Box
3H494, folder “General Files”
202
individual freedom from government interference took precedence over efforts toward
ensuring equality. Thus, this statement was not only a matter of political expediency but
also a direct reflection of Goldwater’s political philosophy. In the economy of heaven,
embraced by the government through the Declaration of Independence, liberty always
took precedence over equality of results.
These priorities shaped other aspects of Goldwater’s thinking about race as well.
In correspondence with Bishop Joseph Harte he suggested that while he felt South
African apartheid was wrong, he nevertheless worried that local clergy might be exerting
too much pressure in opposing it.129 In a 1968 debate with Senator Al Gore Sr.,
Goldwater argued that the key to solving the “urban crisis” lay in increasing the efforts of
private enterprise, the levels of homeownership, and the number of self-help programs,
steps designed as much to prevent the growth of government as to alleviate poverty and
crime.130 Reflecting the patience he had called for in addressing segregation, Goldwater
stated in a 1984 interview that he believed that God’s plan for the world involved the
eventual end of discrimination “in a couple of hundred years, maybe a little longer.”131
As he had suggested in other contexts, Goldwater’s God was not one to prioritize the
struggle for equality.
129
Letter from Barry Goldwater to Denison Kitchel, 24 Feb 1971, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, “Harte, Joseph
M.”
130
Notes for debate between Barry Goldwater and Albert Gore (Sr.), Arizona State University, 28 Apr
1968, Ford Pres., Gerald R. Ford Congressional Papers, Box D24, folder “Debate with Senator Gore,
Arizona State University, April, 28, 1968”
131
Interview of Barry Goldwater by Dr. Keith Campbell, Fort Hays State University, KS, 7 Mar 1984,
AHF, BMG Speeches
203
After voting for the Civil Rights Act of 1957 (and withholding his own right to
work amendment in order to help that bill pass), Goldwater spent the following years
struggling to articulate the principles that would explain his growing opposition to
federally-mandated anti-discrimination measures. In doing so, Goldwater invoked
several general principles, some of which were directly contradictory to earlier arguments
in support of the right to work. In 1961 commencement addresses delivered at Arizona
State University and Brigham Young University, Goldwater declared that certain
institutions and human relationships were simply “outside the authority of government”
and should remain that way.132 He suggested in another context that both discrimination
and the division of legislative districts were matters of morality that should not be
regulated by the federal government.133 He condemned the tactics of civil disobedience
as lawlessness that would be ineffectual in bringing about positive change. 134 In perhaps
his most startling claim, he began to declare in public and private that “the only civil right
which is mentioned in the Constitution is the right to vote.”135 Besides being factually
misleading, this statement was in direct conflict with his arguments against the closed
shop, in which he proposed an expansive definition of Constitutional “civil rights” that
132
Commencement Address by Barry Goldwater, Arizona State University, 30 May 1961, AHF, BMG
Speeches and Commencement Address by Barry Goldwater, Brigham Young University, 2 June 1961,
BYU Speeches of the Year, June 2, 1961 (emphasis in original)
133
Speech to American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, 11 Sep 1964, AHF,
BMG Speeches
134
135
Speech, Prescott, AZ, 3 Sep 1964, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H511, folder “Speeches”
Transcript of “Face the Nation” broadcast, 26 Jan 1961, AHF, BMG Speeches; Letter from Barry
Goldwater to Nelson H. Rector of Atlanta Georgia, 16 Jun 1961, AHF, SS, (unprocessed)
204
(thanks to the Ninth Amendment) gave equal weight to the unenumerated right to work as
to enumerated rights.
When it came to the struggle for black equality, Goldwater proposed a much
narrower form of Constitutional interpretation. Embracing the limiting principles of
federalism, Goldwater declared that though segregation was wrong, it was entirely a
matter of states’ rights rather than federal authority.136 Explaining why this was the case
was more complicated. In 1962, Goldwater declared that the federal government had no
authority in education.137 By 1964, however, he had conceded that the government had
some authority in education, but not public accommodations.138 Such a slippery slope
can hardly have been satisfying to Goldwater, who preferred a stable balance between
federal and state government in order to preserve liberty.
A pair of 1962 letters from Goldwater’s friend, legal advisor, and 1964 campaign
manager Denison Kitchel reveal Goldwater’s tortured attempts to find a Constitutional
reading that would create the appropriate static balance he had earlier suggested between
“states’ rights, the Federal government,” and “the dignity of the individual.”139
Following the forced admission of James Meredith to the University of Mississippi in
136
Letter from Barry Goldwater to Denison Kitchel, 19 Jun 1963, Hoover Inst., Denison Kitchel Papers,
Box 2, folder “Goldwater, Barry: Undated, 1947-1963”; Transcript of “Face the Nation” broadcast, 23 Oct
1960, AHF, BMG Speeches; Letter from Barry Goldwater to Nelson H. Rector of Atlanta Georgia, 16 Jun
1961, AHF, SS, (unprocessed)
137
Transcript of “Barry Goldwater – The View from the Right” television broadcast, 8 Mar 1962, AHF,
BMG Speeches
138
Letter from Barry Goldwater to Denison Kitchel, 19 Jun 1963, Hoover Inst., Denison Kitchel Papers,
Box 2, folder “Goldwater, Barry: Undated, 1947-1963”; Political pamphlet, “Barry Goldwater Speaks
Out…”, Ford Pres., William J. Baroody, Jr. Papers, Box 11, folder “Goldwater Campaign, 1964”
139
Letter from Barry Goldwater to Dean Burch with attached statements, 3 Oct 1957, CAH, SSBG, Box
3H494, folder “General Files”
205
October of 1962, Goldwater wrote to Kitchel outlining a Constitutional reading of the
situation that supported Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett’s resistance to court-ordered
desegregation. Goldwater requested two letters from Kitchel, one giving his legal
opinion and one providing his council as a friend. In his legal letter, Kitchel rejected
Goldwater’s suggestion that the Tenth Amendment could shield the states from federal
intervention in educational matters. The Fourteenth Amendment, Kitchel wrote
“delegated to the federal government the power to regulate in the field of education to the
limited extent of prohibiting racial discrimination.” Since all parties had accepted this
proposition since 1899, this matter should be considered settled.140
Writing as a private confidant, Kitchel expressed great concern over Goldwater’s
attempted legal argument “because your stand, being a legalistic one taken by a public
figure known to be neither a lawyer not a hair-splitter … gives the appearance of having
been contrived to permit the carrying of water on both shoulders.” The legalistic stand, it
appears from the letters, was a Constitutional Catch-22 in which the Fourteenth
Amendment allowed the Supreme Court to dictate integration and the Tenth Amendment
simultaneously rendered the order unenforceable. Such parsing was at once inconsistent
with post-Civil War Constitutional theory, a transparent attempt to have it both ways, and
a meaningful reflection of Goldwater’s core principles. According to his view of
government, such a federalist stalemate would be just the thing for preserving the
freedom of Americans from an ever-encroaching federal government, even though it
would come at the expense of equal rights for Southern blacks.
140
Letters, Denison Kitchel to Barry Goldwater, 12 Nov 1962, Hoover Inst., Denison Kitchel Papers, Box
2, folder “Goldwater, Barry: Undated, 1947-1963”
206
The 1964 Civil Rights Act brought all these issues to a head in the midst of the
contentious presidential election. Believing the provisions regarding public
accommodations and employment to be unconstitutional, Goldwater participated in the
filibuster of the bill.141 In correspondence to Dwight Eisenhower and Pennsylvania
Governor Bill Scranton, Goldwater explained the reasons for his opposition. To
Eisenhower he suggested that, unlike the 1957 Civil Rights Act which he had supported,
this one simply went too far. When added to other bills, it would “give the federal
government the power to destroy the state and federal relationship and would also move
actively – no, I would say, completely – into the planning and supervision of our
economic system.”142 In his telegram to Scranton, Goldwater lectured liberals,
suggesting that “It has been difficult for many to separate the symbol of this bill from the
practical actuality of all of its provisions.” Furthermore, Goldwater wrote, “I believe as
firmly as you do in the civil rights of our people, but I do not believe, as you evidently
do, that we should threaten the liberties of all people, including those we are now
concerned with, in order to be able to say that we have legislated.”143 With principles of
federalism and free enterprise both in jeopardy, the struggle for equality would once
again have to take a back seat to the defense of liberty.
141
Robert Goldberg, Barry Goldwater, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995), 196-197
142
Letter from Barry Goldwater to Dwight D. Eisenhower, 13 Jun 1964, Dwight Eisenhower Presidential
Library, Eisenhower, Dwight D.: Post-Presidential Papers, 1961-1969, Box 37, folder “Goldwater, Barry
(1)”
143
Telegram from Barry Goldwater to Gov. William Scranton, 19 Jun 1964, Dwight Eisenhower
Presidential Library, Eisenhower, Dwight D.: Post-Presidential Papers, 1961-1969, Box 37, folder
“Goldwater, Barry (1)”
207
The contrast between Goldwater’s approaches to right to work and Civil Rights is
illuminating. In the former instance he had argued for an expansive Constitution that
encompassed implied unenumerated rights (freedom from compulsory unionism) derived
from broad, unmentioned principles (freedom of association) and applied these rights
with equal force alongside enumerated rights (due process, free speech, voting) to both
federal and state government (thanks to the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments). Faced
with the liberal Civil Rights movement, however, Goldwater adopted a restrictive
Constitutional reading, one that emphasized instead the robust power of the Tenth
Amendment in keeping the federal government out of economic arrangements that were
properly the purview of the states. The Fourteenth Amendment was stripped of its
enforcement power in education and commercial areas, leaving the Supreme Court’s
decisions as merely moral pronouncements directed at recalcitrant Southern states and the
1964 Civil Rights Act as an unconstitutional imposition of federal power. The reasons
for his apparent Constitutional about-face go to the heart of Barry Goldwater’s political
philosophy.
With his inconsistent application of deeply held Constitutional principles,
Goldwater revealed something of his real animus toward labor – that despite his rhetoric
to the contrary, he did not regard the concentration of business power as equally
threatening with that of the unions. For, in arguing on behalf of the right to work,
Goldwater had claimed that in addition to a negative freedom from association, the right
encompassed a positive freedom to associate, a right that challenged racial discrimination
and segregation by unions. But when the opportunity came to apply the same Fourteenth
208
Amendment logic to challenge racial discrimination by businesses, he decided that this
took the federal government too far into areas reserved to the states and the people.
That Goldwater was willing to fight racial discrimination in personal and local
settings suggests that he was not unsympathetic to the difficulties faced by blacks in his
home state. Just as the Charter Government Committee had been most comfortable
choosing Adam Diaz, a friend of many CGC members, as the first Hispanic city council
member and then been open to his arguments in favor of the hiring of individual,
professionally-trained Latinos, so Goldwater was open to narrow efforts to increase
diversity and fight discrimination in behalf of those with whom he had some personal or
professional contact. But he rarely translated those experiences into sympathy for
Southern blacks or the larger Civil Rights movement to a degree sufficient to overcome
his other objections to measures like the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This localism also
paralleled his stated priorities for charitable work, which should begin with family,
community, and local government before moving to state and federal levels. That he
thought of antidiscrimination as a version of charity reflects his prescription of increasing
“racial tolerance” as the best path to removing obstacles to success for black Americans.
Goldwater’s approach also highlights the extent to which means mattered to the
conservative Senator. He believed that God-given freedom was intended to be permanent
and human equality fleeting. God’s priorities in these matters had been adopted by the
nation through the Declaration of Independence and now applied to Constitutional
government. From Goldwater’s perspective, the Civil Rights movement, especially as its
objectives were codified in the 1964 Civil Rights Act and court ordered desegregation,
209
brought liberty and equality into conflict by conflict by expanding the federal government
into area reserved to state and local government. In mandating equality for some, the
legislation and court decisions threatened the broader liberties of the many.
Goldwater was also wary of the Civil Rights movement’s motives. In praising the
two-party system, Goldwater had suggested that conservatism must be balanced by a
liberalism “constantly looking for more freedom for the individuals of this country.”144
On the other hand, a movement that sought to impose artificial material equality at the
expense of God-given freedom for all Americans had more in common with the
collectivist, statist approach of communism. As such, the Civil Rights movement was to
be resisted rather than embraced as a positive part of the creative tension that led America
on a path of continually increasing liberty.
None of this excuses Goldwater’s opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act or his
support of Southern segregationists. Rather, it suggests the complexity of his
conservative political philosophy and the difficulty of applying it to disparate situations
in ways that would appear consistent to others. Even slight changes in his political
philosophy might have placed him on the other side of the Civil Rights debate: a greater
sympathetic imagination for Southern blacks he had not met; a broader conception of
liberty as encompassing the economic rights of consumers as well as both owners; or a
clearly defined recognition of when a matter of “charity” became serious enough for
federal intervention. Any of these may have been sufficient to bring his Constitutional
reading of Civil Rights in line with his expansive approach to the right to work. Instead,
144
Speech, Phoenix, AZ, 11 Feb 1959, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J2, folder “Misc., 1955-Oct ‘57”
210
Civil Rights became another example of Goldwater’s concern for small government and
God-given liberty to the exclusion of other goals. In other words, it provided the prime
example of the way in which he was an extremist in defense of liberty.
Church and State
Barry Goldwater understood America and American politics as fundamentally
tied to spiritual concerns more than to any particular religion. The best of the United
States, especially its dedication to freedom, was spiritual in nature. Its spiritual strength
was the nation’s principle contrast with and main weapon against international
communism. In that regard, religion and churches were central to preserving American
identity and promoting essential political values. Beyond that effort, however, Goldwater
was wary of mixing politics and religion, a concern that would separate him from the
growing ideological evangelical wing of his party.
Goldwater conceived of the United States as a spiritual nation with a history that
was religious in nature.145 He declared that the American Revolution was motivated by
“faith in freedom and man’s destiny as a free child of Almighty God.” Such faith had
also been the main motivation in what the Arizonan regarded as his nation’s next greatest
triumph, the settlement of the West.146 Both undertakings, Goldwater taught, were
fundamentally spiritual endeavors in which brave men and women triumphed over
145
146
Transcription by author of “Politics & the Church,” AHF, BMG, Media, DVD 39
Speech beginning “Hello Arizonans. Today I ran an ad…,” ca. 12 Aug 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475,
folder “Speeches”
211
material obstacles. He pointed to the Mormon pioneers as a prime example.147 From this
sense of American spiritual history, Goldwater deduced that “the spiritual background of
American is really what made us” and that “the real America is religious America.”148
For Goldwater, the main link between the spiritual and political values of the
United States was the issue of freedom. As noted earlier, for Barry Goldwater freedom
was spiritual in nature.149 There was a real, and growing, danger in understanding
freedom in material terms, as a commodity that derived from material prosperity or could
be exchanged for other material goods. In order to combat the rising tide of materialism,
it was essential that churches reinforce the proper spiritual understanding of God-given
freedom. This shared interest in promoting and preserving freedom as a spiritual quality
was the key link between the efforts of church and state. With that link in mind,
Goldwater declared, “I feel that religion is more closely related to our form of
government than any form of government in the history of man.”150 Because “the United
States of America … [had] for its moral object the high dignity of man; and for its
political aim, ordered liberty – liberty under God and under law – with justice for all,”
religious faith was essential to preserving the republic.151
147
Speech, Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, 6 Feb 1962, AHF, BMG Speeches
148
Transcription by author of “Politics & the Church,” AHF, BMG, Media, DVD 39; Speech, “The State of
Our Free Society: A Call to Arms,” Chicago, IL, 17 May 1966, Hoover Inst., FSA, Box 6, folder
“Goldwater Speeches, 1966”
149
Speech, Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, 6 Feb 1962, AHF, BMG Speeches
150
Transcription by author of “Politics & the Church,” AHF, BMG, Media, DVD 39
151
Speech, Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, 6 Feb 1962, AHF, BMG Speeches
212
In Goldwater’s conception, the Cold War boiled down to a basic dichotomy:
communist materialism versus American spirituality. Goldwater promoted spiritual
power as the nation’s greatest tool against communist encroachment.152 Though
American government was designed to preserve and protect liberty, it could not cultivate
the necessary spiritual commitments on its own. Religion, not government, held the
power to change man’s nature and to instill the strengthening power of faith that was
essential for preserving God-given freedom.153 In an extended tribute to Ezra Taft
Benson in 1958, Goldwater identified the Secretary of Agriculture and Mormon Apostle
as a great exemplar of these principles, a man of unwavering faith who was therefore
unwavering in his defense of the principles of liberty. Goldwater even mentioned a time
when he had tried to influence the Secretary for his own state’s interest and found Benson
unmovable, a man “whose dedication to the principles of free economy is so great that he
will not sacrifice the opportunities of the next generation for an illusory victory in the
next election.”154
Though Goldwater referred to Americans as “a Christian people,” he did not
believe that the benefits of religious faith were confined to a particular denomination or
to Christianity as a whole.155 Just as he had praised Mormon pioneers for settling the
152
Speech, Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, 6 Feb 1962, AHF, BMG Speeches
153
Transcription by author of “Politics & the Church,” AHF, BMG, Media, DVD 39; Draft book chapter,
“Essay on Ethics,” AHF, BMG Writings, Box 113, folder 18 – later “The Politics of Morality” in John B.
Anderson, ed., Congress and Conscience (New York: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1970); Speech, Sun Valley, ID,
28 Sep 1961, AHF, BMG Speeches
154
Speech, Indianapolis, IN, 16 Apr 1958, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H493, folder “General Files”
155
Transcript of “Issues and Answers” broadcast, 15 Jun 1975, AHF, BMG Speeches
213
American West and infusing it with their commitment to God-given freedom, Goldwater
suggested that his own Jewish forebears had come to Arizona with a similar faith.156 In a
letter to his friend Newton Rosenzweig in 1955, Goldwater candidly shared his feelings
regarding Asian religions.
To me, one of the great deterrents to full Asiatic development is their religious
system, which is based upon segregation… If people are to remain free, people
must remember that freedom is a religious thing … and when they have religions
that do not recognize the dignity or sovereignty of man, then I question whether
they can ever fill the vacuums they now occupy.
On the other hand, the very existence of their religious fervor will, in my opinion,
be a great deterrent to godless communism, and we may find that the Asiatics will
resist communism longer because of this reason than other countries have been
able to do.157
While the language about “Asiatics” rings racist to modern ears, Goldwater actually
regarded Asians as equally capable with Americans. In his view, only those aspects of
their religious faith that promoted “segregation” rather than “the dignity or sovereignty of
man” prevented the Asian nations from reaching full economic, technological, political,
or spiritual development. He credited the positive aspects of their religious beliefs, “their
religious fervor,” with holding “godless communism” at bay even more effectively than
was the case in other nations. To those who would suggest that only Christianity could
effectively promote freedom, Goldwater asked,
156
Speech, Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, 6 Feb 1962, AHF, BMG Speeches; Transcription by author of
“Politics & the Church,” AHF, BMG, Media, DVD 39
157
Letter from Barry Goldwater to Newton Rosenzweig, 14 Mar 1955, AHF, Newton Rosenzweig
Collection, Box 2, folder 9
214
If the concept is valid, that God is the one that gave us freedom, isn’t it also
proper to believe that other peoples, even though our God is not theirs, could also
receive a spiritual spark that could do for them what this spark has done for us?158
The religious spark necessary for fighting communist materialism was as universally
accessible as the God-given freedom that was the heritage of all men and women. His
was not an exceptionalist vision of American religion.
While the churches’ mission of teaching spiritual freedom properly included an
anti-communist message, Goldwater felt that it was dangerous for churches to delve any
further into politics. Churches, along with veterans’ organizations, unions, and
corporations, were to stay out of the specifics of foreign affairs. Like other ideological
organizations, they should not participate in partisan politics as a special interest group.
Goldwater had personal experience with this in 1964 as national leaders in his own
Episcopalian faith sought to condemn his political stands as an institution. From
Goldwater’s perspective, politics had a perverting effect on outside organizations that
became directly involved, whether unions, churches, or businesses.159 He was
particularly critical of the anti-poverty and desegregation efforts of the National Council
of Churches, which he regarded as too political and thus a distortion of the true purpose
of religion.160 Goldwater shared with Stephen Shadegg a sense that the church should
focus primarily on individual spiritual salvation rather than organized efforts around
material welfare, an approach that also colored his stand on Civil Rights.
158
Transcription by author of “Politics & the Church,” AHF, BMG, Media, DVD 39
159
Ibid.
160
Letter from Barry Goldwater to Stephen Shadegg, 1 Mar 1961, AHF, BMG Correspondence, Box 9,
folder 22
215
Goldwater spoke out against those who would claim a religious mantle for
judging policy makers. He warned about “how fallacious it can be for anyone to arrogate
to himself the authority to render moral judgments on public figures for the way they
conceive a particular policy, program, or piece of legislation.” “It does no good,” he
wrote in 1969, “in our concern over ethics and the public trust to involve the church knee
deep in secular and legislative matters.”161 This personal conviction explains in part why
he found himself in 1980 so isolated from the evangelical political movement that he had
to write Bishop Harte to ask who the evangelicals were and what their political
perspective was.162
That ignorance was quickly addressed when President Ronald Reagan nominated
Sandra Day O’Connor to serve on the Supreme Court. Goldwater soon found himself
defending his friend and fellow Arizonan from those who believed that O’Connor was an
insufficiently committed opponent of abortion. Goldwater fought back mainly by
praising O’Connor’s religious and family values in general rather than addressing her
legislative or judicial stands on abortion, believing that such matters were beyond the fair
scope of debate.163 When evangelist Jerry Falwell suggested that religious conservatives
should write in protest of O’Connor’s nomination, Goldwater suggested that good
161
Draft book chapter, “Essay on Ethics,” AHF, BMG Writings, Box 113, folder 18 – later “The Politics of
Morality” in John B. Anderson, ed., Congress and Conscience (New York: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1970)
162
Letter from Barry Goldwater to Bishop Joseph M. Harte, 12 Jul 1980, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, folder
“Harte, Joseph M.”
163
Speeches in favor of Sandra Day O’Connor nomination to Supreme Court, July 9, 10, 13, 20, 21 and
September 9, 21, 1981, AHF, BMG Speeches
216
Christians should line up to kick Falwell in the butt.164 He inserted articles into the
Congressional Record regarding what he believed to be the dangerous efforts by Moral
Majority and other groups to fuse politics with religion, stating flatly, “I do object to the
idea of using religion as a political force.” He also inserted into the record comments
made by Prince Charles in a visit to Washington, D.C. in which the Prince of Wales
declared, “Nothing is more destructive than a happy sense of one’s own, or one’s
nation’s, infallibility, which lets you destroy others with a quiet conscience because you
are doing God’s work.”165 Goldwater agreed with this sentiment entirely, viewing the
Religious Right as another instance of over-zealous conservatives disregarding the
necessary political balance that preserved American liberty.
Goldwater’s personal religious convictions ran more toward the libertarian side of
the spectrum. He often spent Sundays in Arizona “out of church, but in churches that
God himself built, the bottoms of canyons, the few lakes we have, in the forests and on
the deserts.”166 He believed that the only true progress in society came from individual
acts of charity motivated by a desire to serve God and rejected attempts to legislate
morality.167 On the conservative end of the spectrum, this led him to a default position of
skepticism toward any Civil Rights legislation that went beyond voting rights and toward
164
Donald W. Carson and James W. Johnson, Mo: The Life & Times of Morris K. Udall (Tucson:
University of Arizona Press, 2001), 138
165
Insertion for Congressional Record, 10 Sep 1981, AHF, BMG Speeches
166
Transcription by author of “Politics & the Church,” AHF, BMG, Media, DVD 39
167
Reprint of Fritzi Ryley, “Barry as a Christian,” 26 Jul 1964, The Living Church, AHF, BMG Alpha
Files, Box 8, folder 2 “Harte, Joseph”; Speech to American Political Science Association Annual Meeting,
Chicago, IL, 11 Sep 1964, AHF, BMG Speeches; Draft book chapter, “Essay on Ethics,” AHF, BMG
Writings, Box 113, folder 18 – later “The Politics of Morality” in John B. Anderson, ed., Congress and
Conscience (New York: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1970)
217
efforts at promoting gender equality, such as the ERA. The same conviction also led him
to take more liberal stands in opposition to the Religious Right, including his pro-choice
stance on abortion and support of homosexuals in the military.168
Goldwater’s religious views thus reflect the complex way in which his
commitment to balance in the preservation of liberty tempered his application of
conservative principles. Goldwater’s references to Mormons and praise for Ezra Benson
highlight the internal tensions arising from this search for balance. As examples of the
spiritually pioneering project and proponents of self-sufficiency and small government,
the Mormons were quintessential Goldwater conservatives. In his role as Secretary of
Agriculture, Benson stood out as the conservative conscience of the Eisenhower
administration. At the same time, Benson was also an outspoken supporter of the John
Birch Society, a potential third party movement, and the increasing evangelicalism of
ideological conservatism. Individually, Goldwater admired such ideological evangelicals
like Benson for their firm, faith-based commitment to freedom but as a group he
chastised them for wading too deeply into political contests as representatives of their
faith. This separation was at once essential to Goldwater’s conception of ordered liberty
and totally incomprehensible to more ideological members of his party, who justifiably
wondered how their faith could be at once essential and dangerous. As with political
platforms, the danger lay in the specificity: general faith in God was essential for
168
Interview of Barry Goldwater by Dr. Keith Campbell, Fort Hays State University, KS, 7 Mar 1984,
AHF, BMG Speeches; Letter from Barry Goldwater to Jack Williams, 11 Jun 1993, AHF, BMG Alpha
Files, Box 25, folder 2
218
freedom, but in Goldwater’s experience narrow creeds served more often to divide than
to unify.
Extremism in the Defense of Liberty
Having explored Barry Goldwater’s political philosophy, it is worth returning to
those now infamous lines from his July 16, 1964 acceptance speech and examining them
in the light of that political philosophy to get a sense of what they might have meant to
him. 169
The rhetorical roots of these lines as an expression of Barry Goldwater’s belief
stretch back at least to 1954. In a radio report to Arizonans in February of that year,
Goldwater addressed the “Two-Party System.” Goldwater declared that “America was
made great by partisanship – not the partisanship of personality, but the partisanship of
principle,” encouraged Arizonans to “be partisan,” and pledged the Republican Party to
the “preservation of the two-party system of government for America.” Then, in
language that foreshadowed his 1964 address, Goldwater stated: “Indeed, it would be
more honorable to lose in defense of a principle than to succeed on a platform of
compromise.”170 Though paralleling his 1964 statements about extremism and
moderation, in context this line suggests the need for clearly articulated principles and
vigorous competition in the service of a balanced two-party system. This was a call for
169
The lines themselves were written by Harry Jaffa and approved by the main speech writer, Karl Hess,
along with other members of the campaign and the candidate himself. See Goldberg, 206-207. While
Goldwater did not come up with the words, he adopted them as his own and they appropriately represented
competing sentiments within his political thought.
170
Radio Report, “Two-Party System,” Feb 1954, CAH, SSBG, Box 3J1, folder “1954, v1”
219
unity in productive opposition rather than a rallying cry for the necessity of absolute
victory.
Barry Goldwater’s acceptance speech came at the culmination of years of open
warfare between the conservative movement and the “liberal” or “moderate” wing of the
Republican Party, both nationally and in his own state. For many conservatives, this
battle stretched back to the 1960 presidential campaign, when a closed meeting between
Vice President Richard Nixon and New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller resulted in a
party platform agreement that many found too liberal. The apparent under-handedness of
the move added to conservative displeasure and marked Rockefeller as a permanent
enemy of the conservative wing of the party.171 For Goldwater, this intra-party
ideological contest went back at least to 1952, when as a senatorial candidate and
Phoenix city councilman he had backed Robert Taft over Dwight Eisenhower, along with
most of the Arizona delegation to the national convention.172 Since then, Goldwater had
been railing against “modern” Republicanism at every turn, including as part of a loyal
opposition to the Eisenhower Administration and from the first page of The Conscience
of a Conservative.173 Moderate and liberal Republicans had responded in kind, linking
Goldwater with the “Far Right” and labeling him an “extremist.”
The acceptance speech was not Goldwater’s first concerted attempt to put the
issue of “extremism” to rest. A campaign pamphlet published by the Goldwater for
171
Laura Gifford, The Center Cannot Hold: The 1960 Presidential Election and the Rise of Modern
Conservatism (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2009)
172
Letter from Barry Goldwater to Howard Pyle, 24 Jun 1960, ASU, Pyle, Box 76, folder 6
173
Goldwater, Conscience, 1
220
President Committee closed with a statement on “the real issues.” Claiming that he
would not be diverted from “the central issues of this campaign,” Goldwater stated:
I am not impressed when those who offer neither principle not choice conjure up
phantom issues in an effort to divide and confuse – such phantoms, for example,
as the one about an “extremist” take-over of the Republican Party. This is a
standard tactic of the Democrats, and any Republican who uses it does so only to
promote disunity in out party.
This chastisement of fellow Republicans might seem like a hollow campaign tactic if not
for Goldwater’s repeated demonstrations of his commitment to party unity. He went on
to suggest that the danger of “political extremists” was principally on the left with groups
such as Americans for Democratic Action. Then he stated, “For myself, I seek the
support of no extremist groups – of the left or the right. I seek only the support of all
who believe in Republican principles.”174 Though reflecting Goldwater’s carefullycalibrated and long-standing position, such language did little to assuage the concerns of
liberals and moderates in the party, who saw themselves in his accusations of fomenting
disunity and hoped for a clearer repudiation of the John Birch Society and other rightwing groups.
In its broadest outlines, the acceptance speech was an attempt to unify the
Republican Party around a set of conservative issues in the context of this intra-party
competition. As such, it reflects the tensions between ideological purity and strategic
party building that were inherent in Goldwater’s political approach. Goldwater spent
most of the speech emphasizing the core principles of law and order, a strong stance
against international communism, resistance to concentrations of power, and the ideals of
174
Political pamphlet, “Barry Goldwater Speaks Out…”, Ford Pres., William J. Baroody, Jr. Papers, Box
11, folder “Goldwater Campaign, 1964”
221
free enterprise, and decentralized government. He then pivoted to an extended call for
party unity:
Balance, diversity, creativity - these are the elements of [the] Republican
equation. Republicans agree, Republicans agree heartily to disagree on many,
many of their applications, but we have never disagreed on the basic fundamental
issues of why you and I are Republicans.
This is a party, this Republican Party, a Party for free men, not for blind
followers, and not for conformists.
Back in 1858 Abraham Lincoln said this of the Republican party – and I quote
him, because he probably could have said it during the last week or so: "It was
composed of strained, discordant, and even hostile elements" in 1858. Yet all of
these elements agreed on one paramount objective....
Today, as then, but more urgently and more broadly than then, the task of
preserving and enlarging freedom at home and safeguarding it from the forces of
tyranny abroad is great enough to challenge all our resources and to require all our
strength. Anyone who joins us in all sincerity, we welcome. Those who do not
care for our cause, we don't expect to enter our ranks in any case. And let our
Republicanism, so focused and so dedicated, not be made fuzzy and futile by
unthinking and stupid labels.
I would 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....
We must not see malice in honest differences of opinion, and no matter how great,
so long as they are not inconsistent with the pledges we have given to each other
in and through our Constitution.175
After speaking passionately about conservative principles, Goldwater here offered a
compromise to his opponents: a request to sign on for the Republican “task of preserving
and enlarging freedom at home and safeguarding it from the forces of tyranny abroad” in
return for a vigorous defense of their right to intra-party dissent in the “application” of
these principles. As one element of his attempted rapprochement, Goldwater refrained
175
Barry Goldwater’s Acceptance Speech, 1964 Republican National Convention
222
from using the term “conservative” even once during his speech, instead trumpeting
“Republicanism.” Though committed to principle, Goldwater recognized the need for
party unity in the upcoming election and made a strategic gesture.
As part of this peace offering, the lines about “extremism” and “moderation” were
in one sense an attempted to highlight the mutability of such labels as a corrective to the
divisiveness that dominated the primary campaign. Neither moderation nor extremism,
Goldwater suggested, was separable from its object, so that if Republicans could agree on
general goals then they could move beyond such labels. On the other hand, Goldwater’s
commitment to the ideological contest, and perhaps a bit of his own ego, peeked through
in the mention of “unthinking and stupid labels.” Unfortunately for his campaign, the
terms “extremism” and “moderation” were not so easily separable from the meanings
they had taken on in American political discourse. Rather than diffuse the battle over
party labels, the lines alarmed those he sought to comfort and raised the concerns of
reluctant but crucial party leaders.
According to an account by Denison Kitchel written for the National Review,
Goldwater’s first attempt to explain the meaning of these lines was anything but clear.
Responding to Dwight Eisenhower’s request, the candidate called on the only Republican
living former president in his room at the convention the morning after the acceptance
speech. Eisenhower had worked behind the scenes against Goldwater during the primary
campaign, making his support now all the more critical. 176 After some awkward small
talk, Eisenhower asked about the extremism line. According to Kitchel, Goldwater
176
Goldberg, 192-195
223
replied that he meant just what he’d said, suggesting that the meaning wasn’t difficult to
understand. “Well, it is for me,” Eisenhower declared. “I got the impression you were
giving the extremists, the right wing kooks, a big pat on the back and slapping everyone
else in the face. Is that what you meant to do?” Goldwater spoke about party labels for a
bit, the way that “extremist,” “conservative,” “moderate,” and “liberal” had been misused
during the campaign, but that did not satisfy Eisenhower. “What,” he wanted to know,
“has that got to do with saying that extremism is a good thing?”
With Eisenhower honing in on the central ambiguity, Goldwater turned to his
campaign manager for help with an explanation. Kitchel focused on the qualifier “in
defense of liberty,” and suggested that “patriotism,” “defending the Constitution,”
“opposing Communism,” and “preserving our free enterprise system” were not wrong,
even if labeled “extremism.” Eisenhower was still concerned about the “extremism”
term, however. By adopting this term, Goldwater seemed to be supporting the actions of
groups such as the John Birch Society. Since Robert Welch, founder of the Society, had
labeled Eisenhower “a conscious agent of the Communists,” this had been a sore spot
both personally and politically for the former WWII general, one he brought up again in
this meeting. Though Goldwater denied that was his intent, he still seemed unable to
explain the real meaning of the lines. They were at an impasse, a deadlock that could
doom permanently doom Goldwater’s election from day one.
Then, according to Kitchel’s account, Goldwater suddenly came up with a perfect
personal example for Eisenhower. “There is no more extreme action than war. General,
in June 1944 when you led the Allied forces across the English Channel, you were an
224
‘extremist.’ And you did it in defense of liberty.”177 Puzzled for a moment, Eisenhower
then stood smiling and exclaimed “By golly, I get it! I see now what you mean. But
golly, that makes real sense. That’s great Barry – great, just great. I’m glad you came to
see me.” Then, turning to his brother, Eisenhower declared, “By golly, Milton I’m an
extremist – and damn proud of it.”178
While this explanation apparently calmed Eisenhower’s concerns about
Goldwater’s support for the John Birch Society, it is decidedly unhelpful as a concrete
explanation of the lines themselves. If war is the most extreme action and it is justified in
defense of liberty, Goldwater’s statement would seem to encompass all that the rightwing groups hoped for and that his moderate and liberal opponents feared. Rather than
providing a definitive explanation, the account is most revealing as a reflection of the
ambiguities inherent in the initial statement. In attempting to explain the lines as both an
example of the meaninglessness of labels and a stirring call to conservatism, Goldwater
and Kitchel were convincing in neither case. The only satisfying answer they could
provide to Eisenhower was deeply personal, an explanation that revealed more about
Goldwater’s comfort with ambiguity and Eisenhower’s eagerness for assurance than it
does about Goldwater’s political philosophy.
177
In fact, this is the language from Goldwater’s annotation of Kitchel’s initial draft. In the earlier draft,
Kitchel quoted Goldwater as delivering only the single sentence about ‘extremism.’ Such an explanation
would have been thin indeed and unlikely to convey all of what Goldwater may have had in mind by giving
this example.
178
Denison Kitchel, “Extremism in the Defense of Liberty,” ca. 1976, Hoover Inst., Denison Kitchel
Papers, Box 5, folder “‘Explaining Things to Ike,’ Draft, ‘Extremism in Defense of Liberty.’ Xerox
Copies”
225
A short time later, Goldwater received a pointed inquiry about the two lines from
Richard Nixon. Nixon quoted them succinctly as “Extremism in the defense of liberty is
no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue” and wrote, “The charge has
been made that in using these phrases you were, in effect, approving political
recklessness and unlawful activity in achieving the goals of freedom and justice.” Nixon
personally distanced himself from this charge in light of the line’s context within the
speech and his own familiarity with Goldwater. Nonetheless, he insisted that Goldwater
send along additional “comments” regarding the meaning of the lines.179
A draft of Goldwater’s response reflects more clearly the multiple layers of
meaning these phrases contained for him. Goldwater opened by praising Nixon for his
“efforts to strengthen and unify our Republican Party,” efforts which the candidate
needed Nixon to continue. He then organized his response around the issue of “context,”
first rejecting a “misplaced” emphasis on recent platform disputes as an explanation for
his statements. In doing so, Goldwater downplayed the notion that his remarks were an
attack on any particular segment of the divided party. He identified the paragraph
immediately preceding the lines in question as “the most important” context. “In that
context,” he wrote, “the sentences that followed were but examples.” This offers little
clarity, since the paragraph he pointed to contained both the offer of conciliation and the
jab about “unthinking and stupid labels.”
If the lines were intended to highlight the meaningless labels, then they should
have been negative or ironic in tone. Instead, Goldwater suggested that the lines were
179
Letter from Richard Nixon to Barry Goldwater, undated, Hoover Inst., Denison Kitchel Papers, Box 3,
folder “Nixon, Richard 1960-1968”
226
“chosen consciously and deliberately” to fit the context of the speech as a whole as
“examples of a quality – ‘firmness in the right’, as Lincoln put it – for which no
Republican, indeed, no American need apologize.” In a speech about “certain great
principles,” the lines were meant to suggest that “we must affirm [the principles]
unreservedly and we are conscience bound to believe them utterly.” This was especially
the case in light of the third level of context Goldwater suggested to Nixon, “the context
of the world we live in … a world divided between those who would liberate and those
who would enslave.” “Understood thus,” Goldwater wrote “I neither correct nor modify
my choice of words: I repeat and reiterate them. I submit that they exemplify, with
precision … a Republicanism to which all who truly call themselves Republicans can
wholeheartedly ascribe.”180
In presenting these overlapping contextual readings, Goldwater highlighted his
own ambivalence about the 1964 campaign. He rejected the notion that the lines were a
response to party division but insisted that there were part of a message of unity. He
rejected “extremism” and “moderation” as “stupid and unthinking labels,” as “mere
shibboleths,” but then employed them to “exemplify, with precision, the ‘banner of
principles’ which the Republican Party has honored me by making me its nominee for the
presidency.” In writing to Nixon, Goldwater himself was unable to provide a clear,
unified meaning for the troubling lines that reflected both his conservative principles and
his aim of a unified Republican Party.
180
Draft of letter from Barry Goldwater to Richard Nixon, 3 Aug 1964, Hoover Inst., Denison Kitchel
Papers, Box 3, folder “Nixon, Richard 1960-1968”
227
Read in their textual context and with an understanding of Goldwater’s larger
political ideology, the famous lines encompass multiple meanings. They are
simultaneously part of a call for unity reflecting a contentious intra-party conflict and a
stumbling block for his liberal and moderate Republican opponents who, like
Eisenhower, would have trouble signing on for “extremism.” The lines thus reflect
Goldwater’s continual and overlapping attempts at balance: the intra-party balance
between principle and unity, the balance of the two-party system, and the delicate balance
of federalism. In each instance, extreme effort was required in defense of liberty, but
always with proper balance rather than total victory as the goal.
The lines also suggest the difficulty inherent in Goldwater’s attempts to articulate
a clear political vision using terms fraught with contested meanings. Not only
“extremism” and “moderation” but also “liberty,” “equality,” “unity,” and “partisan” bore
specific meanings for Goldwater that varied significantly from the meanings they bore for
his opponents and some supporters. While the conservative wing of the party embraced
“extremism” was a proud label for ideological stalwarts, to the self-proclaimed
“moderates” it suggested a dangerous fanaticism. While Goldwater exalted “liberty” as
the central purpose of Constitutional government and God’s most precious gift, liberals in
both parties regarded his opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act as a firm rejection to the
principles of individual liberty and equal rights. Goldwater’s difficulties in expressing
his conservative views were not simply a matter of him being less articulate than his
descendents. Much of the language of modern conservatism was still being defined as he
sought the presidency in 1964.
228
Conclusion
The key concept in Barry Goldwater’s political ideology was freedom. The
preservation of individual freedom linked God’s purposes with those of American
government, enshrined in the language of the Declaration of Independence and the
structure of Constitutional government. Free enterprise was a perfect economic partner
for the system of spiritual freedom preserved by American government. The mission of
America was also religious in nature and in fact required religious teaching to preserve
the spiritual ideal of freedom in the hearts of citizens. This spiritual concept was most
potent in fending off the threat of communism, the pinnacle of collectivist materialism.
Confident that military might and religious preaching could keep the communist
threat at bay, Goldwater regarding an expanding federal government as a primary threat
to individual liberty. Though deeply concerned about big government, Goldwater’s
political philosophy was not simply libertarian. He recognized the need for some
government intervention in order to preserve liberty, calling for the forceful preservation
of law and order and for economic intervention in establishing a right to work. Nor was
Goldwater totally unsympathetic to calls for greater equality or efforts at material
assistance, but these were secondary priorities that he believed must be kept voluntary
and local in order to preserve liberty. Rather than the simple application of absolute
principles, protecting liberty from an intrusive federal government required a system of
carefully maintained balances. Some of these, including the separation of powers, checks
and balances, and states’ rights, were written into the Constitution. Goldwater also
229
believed that the two-party system was an inherent and necessary part of the preservation
of liberty. Along with federalism, the two-party system produced a sort of creative
tension that would simultaneously preserve and expand individual liberties.
Though personally religious, and sharing some of Stephen Shadegg’s views on
spiritual individualism, Goldwater was, like Harry Rosenzweig, deeply suspicious of
efforts to link religious belief and partisan politics. His dedication to the two-party
system as a foundation of American liberty compounded his suspicion of the evangelical
ideologues. Like the communists, New Deal “Labor boys,” and leaders of the Civil
Rights movement, Goldwater suspected that ideological and evangelical conservatives
(whether John Birch Society or Moral Majority activists) would disrupt the careful
balance at the heart of the American political system. In seeking to preserve individual
liberty by maintaining appropriate balance between competing forces, Goldwater guided
Arizona Republican politics as a committed strategic secular conservative.
230
Chapter 5
Contested Conservatism:
The Development of the Arizona Republican Party, 1950-1988
The rise of a conservative Republican Party in Arizona following World War II
unfolded as both an external contest with Arizona Democrats and an internal contest
between competing party factions. Its small initial size in a one-party Democratic state
contributed to a relative unity in that all the major Arizona Republican Party leaders were
committed conservatives. As illustrated chapter 3, however, their conservative political
philosophies diverged sharply, especially around the role of religion and whether the
party should prioritize purity of message or strategic action. From the election of Gov.
Howard Pyle through the removal of Gov. Evan Mecham from office, a series of intraparty conflicts took place that shaped the direction of the Republican Party and
influenced its effectiveness as a conservative political organization. Though he never ran
for state office or held a formal position in the state party apparatus, Barry Goldwater was
at the center of these conflicts for almost four decades.
Barry Goldwater and the Arizona Republican Party
The seeds of Barry Goldwater’s institutional role in the Arizona Republican Party
began in his childhood friendships with Harry Rosenzweig, Howard Pyle, and Jack
Williams. Rosenzweig served with Goldwater in the Phoenix City Council, and went on
to serve as finance chairman at the county and state levels, member of the Republican
231
National Committee, four-time state delegate to the Republican National Convention, and
finally as state Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party. 1 With Goldwater serving as
his campaign manager, Howard Pyle became Arizona’s first Republican governor since
1931, serving four years in that office and later serving in the Eisenhower administration
as a the chief coordinator for federal-local affairs. Jack Williams served two years on the
city council after Goldwater, four years as mayor of Phoenix (1956-1960), and eight
years as governor of Arizona (1967-1975). Between them, the four childhood friends
accounted for eight years on the Phoenix City Council plus four years in the Phoenix
mayoralty, twelve years in the governor’s mansion, thirty years in the U.S. Senate, and
ten years as state Party Chairman. Between 1950 and 1975, there were only four years in
which at least two of them were not serving in these offices. To the extent that they were
willing to coordinate, and they often did, they were positioned perfectly to shape both
party and state policy.
Participation in two non-partisan institutions further cemented Barry Goldwater’s
connections within the Arizona Republican Party. In addition to his relationship with the
Phoenix Charter Government Committee, Goldwater was a life-long member of the
Episcopal Church and attended the Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix. Though not particularly
outspoken in the details of his religious convictions, he was an active sponsor of the
church, donating time and money for repairs, upgrades, and support of the clergy. The
social connections forged through this activity proved to be the more significant aspect of
his church membership for the future of the state party. Other members of Trinity
1
Biographical Information for Harry Rosenzweig, 1975 Man of the Year, Arizona Historical Foundation
(hereafter AHF), Harry S. Rosenzweig Sr. Collection, Box 2, folder 4
232
Cathedral included Jack Williams, Steve Shadegg, Denison Kitchel, and Richard
Kleindienst. Goldwater was also particularly close to Bishop Joseph Harte, the chief
pastor at Trinity Cathedral in the 1970s and ‘80s and a dedicated conservative social
activist. Though Goldwater did not embrace the evangelical approach to religion favored
by Shadegg and Harte, these church associations strengthened the men’s social ties and
thus their influence on Arizona politics.
Barry Goldwater’s social connections along with his efforts as Howard Pyle’s
1950 campaign manager and successful 1952 senate campaign established him as the
patriarch of the Arizona Republican Party. He embraced this position in his dealings
with elected and party officials, many of whom were also personal friends and owed their
political position to his influence and assistance. Considering such relations, it should
come as little surprise that Goldwater felt free to give them direction on a range of issues.
For example, in a letter to Gov. Jack Williams, Goldwater simultaneously
complained about the failures at party leadership by previous governors, congratulated
Williams on his exercise of leadership in a delegate dispute, and chastised him for failing
to get a delegate spot for a particular activist.2 A few months later, Goldwater suggested
that Williams, acting in his unofficial role as party leader, should step in to guide a newly
elected (Republican) Maricopa County Sheriff by directing the actions of the newly
elected (Republican) Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, even though as governor he
had no formal oversight authority in the matter. In this same letter he twice instructed
Williams to bring Stephen Shadegg into his inner circle, suggesting that Williams arrange
2
Letter, 2 Jun 1968, Barry Goldwater to Jack Williams, AHF, The Personal and Political Papers of Senator
Barry M. Goldwater (hereafter BMG), Alpha Files, Box 24, folder 1 “Williams, John”
233
for Shadegg to occupy an adjoining office. 3 Even while Goldwater wrote that he was
leaving party leadership to Williams in order to focus on his Senate duties, he continued
to micromanage state party affairs.
Goldwater’s communication with his fellow federal legislators was no more
deferential. Following his four year Senate absence between 1964 and 1968, he was no
longer the senior member of the Republican delegation from Arizona. That did not keep
him from directing John Rhodes in campaign and legislative functions. In 1974,
Goldwater lectured the veteran House member, then facing his twelfth election, on the
importance of visits home to stave off political upsets in the Watergate-poisoned
atmosphere.4 Four years later, Goldwater was calling on Rhodes as the senior member of
Arizona’s congressional delegation (and House Minority Leader) to “CHARGE.” Lest
Rhodes wonder how best to lead, Goldwater directed him to coordinate regular meetings
between the Arizona delegation’s top administrative assistants.5
Such instruction was not offered exclusively to Goldwater’s friends. In the midst
of the disastrous governorship of Evan Mecham, Goldwater repeatedly wrote to Mecham
with counsel, advice, and reprimands. Only a few days into Mecham’s term, Goldwater
was already exasperated by the governor’s refusal to heed his counsel. About one matter
Goldwater viewed as sensitive, he wrote
3
Letter, 8 Nov 1968, Barry Goldwater to Jack Williams, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 24, folder 1
“Williams, John”
4
Letter, 13 Sept 1974, Barry Goldwater to John Rhodes, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 19, folder 2
“Rhodes, John J.”
5
Letter, 11 Dec 1978, Barry Goldwater to John Rhodes, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 19, folder 1
“Rhodes, John J.”
234
Please, please, please before you give these people an answer…consult with me.
I want to give you the latest expert advice…. I am serious about this Ev, don’t go
off without knowing what you are doing on this, please. 6
As Mecham’s governorship collapsed, Goldwater took behind the scenes steps to address
the situation and save the Arizona Republican Party should a recall election take place.
He and his allies went so far as to draft John Rhodes to run against Mecham, hire Richard
Worthlin to conduct survey work, and hold regular meetings to plan for the future of the
party.7
Though he had a strict policy of not involving himself in state primary elections,
he had no such scruples about heavy involvement in other state party affairs.
Foreshadowing their strained relationship in the 1980s, Goldwater had moved to keep
Mecham out of the party leadership as early as 1963. Shortly after his defeat in the 1962
U.S. Senate race, Mecham sought election as state Party Chairman. Concerned about the
direction in which he would take the party, Goldwater and John Rhodes flew back to
Arizona from Washington, D.C. and, along with Republican Gov. Paul Fannin and
Attorney General Bob Pickerell, endorsed Mecham’s rival, successfully preventing
Mecham’s election.8 More than a decade later, when a Mecham ally managed to wrest
control of the party chairmanship, Goldwater was not shy about directing his efforts in
that office. In 1976 he instructed Jim Colter to focus on registration and turnout efforts,
specifying that he should target new growth areas and districts in which Republicans
6
Letter, 25 Jan 1987, Barry Goldwater to Evan Mecham, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, folder “Mecham, Ev”
7
Letter, 19 Aug 1987, Barry Goldwater to Jack Williams, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 24, folder 7
“Williams, John”
8
Eddie Lee, “GOP in Arizona,” 28 Mar 1963, Washington Post
235
comprised at least 40% of registered voters. He closed by writing, “I hope you will not
mind my sticking my nose in your affairs but I want to help you young people all I can.”9
Goldwater’s direction was not limited to governors and state party chairmen. In a
1967 letter to Harry Rosenzweig, Goldwater revealed that he was holding regular
meetings with the Maricopa district Chairman and suggested that the state Party
Chairman should do likewise.10 A year later, in the midst of his 1968 senate campaign,
Goldwater was holding bi-weekly meetings with the county chairmen and questioning the
election prospects of his fellow Arizona Republicans.11 March 1974 found Goldwater
similarly engaged directly with the county chairmen, instructing them to focus primarily
on voter registration and turnout efforts while avoiding primary election bitterness. 12
Three months later he wrote again, warning of diminished turnout in Republican primary
contests in other states, growing voter apathy, concerns over inflation and rising living
costs, and the possibility of being prevented from campaigning in Arizona should Pres.
Nixon be impeached.13
It is telling that even Mecham’s allies, though they were constantly challenging
the party establishment Goldwater had put in place, recognized the senator’s preeminence
9
Letter, 11 Feb 1976, Barry Goldwater to Jim Colter, AHF, BMG Politics, Box 89, folder 1 “Arizona
Republican State Committee”
10
Letter, 1 Jun 1967, Barry Goldwater to Harry Rosenzweig, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 19, folder 19
“Rosenzweig, Harry”
11
Letter, 21 Sep 1968, Barry Goldwater to John Rhodes, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 19, folder 1
“Rhodes, John J.”
12
Letter, 13 Mar 1974, Barry Goldwater to Arizona Republican Party County Chairmen (form letters),
AHF, BMG Politics, Box 88, folder 29 “Arizona Republican State Committee”
13
Letter, 10 Jun 1974, Barry Goldwater to Arizona Republican Party County Chairmen (form letters),
AHF, BMG Politics, Box 88, folder 29 “Arizona Republican State Committee”
236
in Arizona affairs. Writing just a month after Mecham’s failed 1963 attempt at the party
chairmanship, Frank Brophy encouraged conciliation by reminding Mecham that
Goldwater “is the de facto head of the Party.” 14 Though expressing frustration at being
shut out of leadership, Mecham agreed.15 From governors and state chairmen down to
county and district chairmen, Goldwater was recognized as the leader of the Arizona
Republican Party and was more than willing to flex his political muscle in order to
preserve and bolster the Republican Party, guiding it in the ways he saw fit.
Initial Growth: 1950-1956
There had been a Republican Party in Arizona since before statehood and the
party did not take any official moves toward reorganization in the run up to the 1950
election. However, it quickly became clear in retrospect that the 1950 and 1952 elections
marked a watershed in Republican Party fortunes in the state. The Young Republicans in
particular began to exercise increased influence and to topple the elder power brokers,
beginning with their success in drafting Howard Pyle to run for governor in 1950.16
Goldwater served as his close friend’s campaign manager. In order to fill out the
Republican’s slate of state-wide candidates, he recruited John Rhodes, a lawyer and
14
Letter, 18 Apr 1963, Frank Brophy to Evan Mecham, Arizona Historical Society (hereafter AHS),
Tucson Branch (hereafter Tucson), Frank Cullen Brophy Collection, Series 3-1, Box 40, folder 782
(emphasis in original)
15
Letter, 20 Apr 1963, Evan Mecham to Frank Brophy, AHS Tucson, Frank Cullen Brophy Collection,
Series 3-1, Box 40, folder 782
16
Oral History interview with John J. Rhodes, 30 Nov 1992, Arizona State University (hereafter ASU),
Oral History Collection
237
Young Republican who had helped draft Pyle, to run for Attorney General. 17 Together,
the three of them flew about the state in Goldwater’s plane, logging 50,000 miles as they
built a campaign through Goldwater’s state-wide social network.18 In helping Pyle win,
the three men laid the groundwork for the Republican electoral resurgence to follow.
Their timing was particularly fortuitous because of the Eisenhower coattails that would
become available two years later when the national Republican Party overcame two
decades of defeat to put a man in the White House.
Pyle’s win reflected a confluence of events and practices that would continue to
propel Republican gains in decades to come. Strategically, Pyle’s nomination followed a
realization on the part of Republican operatives of the need for a candidate “from
Maricopa County, the center of the population.”19 In fact, Maricopa County (location of
Phoenix and the surrounding suburbs) accounted for 46.8% of the votes cast statewide in
1950. In subsequent years that proportion continued to rise, accounting for 50% of
statewide votes cast in 1954 and 55% of the vote by 1964.20 Registered Democrats
outnumbered Republicans by almost 4:1 in Maricopa County in 1950, a disparity in line
with the state overall, where Republicans made up only 18% of registered voters.21
17
Interview with John Rhodes by Stephen Shadegg, ca. 1984, AHF, Stephen Shadegg Collection (hereafter
SS), Writings, (unprocessed), folder “Arizona Politics Interviews”
18
Oral History interview with Barry Goldwater, 16 Nov 1978, ASU, Oral History Collection
19
Letter from Roman Hubbell to Margaret Rockwell, 20 May 1950, AHS, Tempe Branch (herafter Tempe),
Rockwell Collection, Box 8, folder 120
20
John P. White, “The 1964 Election in Arizona,” The Western Political Quarterly Vol. 18, no. 2, The
1964 Elections in the West (Jun., 1965): 443-450
21
“Total Registration of Voters for General Election – November 7, 1950 at Close of Registration, Oct 2,
1950,” Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records – History and Archives Division (hereafter
ASL), Secretary of State Collection, Box 1
238
Nevertheless, party operatives were right about the opportunities in the central Arizona
county; election returns suggest that Pyle received more than 22,000 votes from
registered Democrats in Maricopa and his 6305 vote margin there made the difference in
his election over the Democratic candidate, Ana Frohmiller.22
Pyle also benefited from the support of the Pulliam press. Eugene Pulliam had
purchased the two main Phoenix newspapers in 1946 and quickly entered the political
fray.23 In 1950, Pulliam backed Pyle for the governorship and his papers provided
positive press coverage, much as they had done for the new Charter Government
Committee candidates. As part of this coordinated effort, the Arizona Republic assigned
a sympathetic reporter to join Pyle on the trail. After the election, Pyle said of the
reporter in a letter to Pulliam, “His objective reporting, and thoroughly affable company,
made the closing days of the campaign very pleasant.” Pyle expressed his expectation,
shared by Goldwater, that Pulliam would provide “continued cooperation” in
strengthening “the two party system in Arizona,” a confidence that was not misplaced. 24
These strategic advantages of the Republican Party were matched by difficulties
within the Arizona Democratic Party. Ms. Frohmiller’s nomination reflected a disruption
within her party almost as much as her defeat signaled the setbacks to come. The
22
Bruce Bonner Mason, Arizona General Election Results, 1911-1960 (Tempe: Bureau of Government
Research, Arizona State University, 1961)
23
Russell Pulliam, Publisher Gene Pulliam, Last of the Newspaper Titans (Ottawa, Ill.: Jameson Books,
1984), 130; Thomas E. Sheridan, Arizona: A History (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1995), 276;
Bradford Luckingham, Phoenix: The History of a Southwestern Metropolis (Tucson: University of Arizona
Press, 1989), 158
24
Letter from Howard Pyle to Eugene Pulliam, 15 Nov 1950, ASU, Howard Pyle Papers (hereafter Pyle),
Box 15, folder 7
239
Democratic Party’s long-standing dominance in Arizona was such that it could fairly be
characterized as a one-party state as late as 1948.25 Stability in office was one result of
this dominance, with Carl Hayden having been in the U.S. Congress since statehood in
1912, George P. Hunt serving as governor for all but six of the state’s first twenty years
(the only six years of Republican governorship until 1950), and Governor Sydney Osborn
reigning from 1941 until his death in 1947. Such longevity is particularly impressive in
light of the fact that all statewide offices were up for reelection every two years until
1970. Ana Frohmiller herself was an example of such stability, having won election as
State Auditor for eleven two-year terms before running for governor.26 Her nomination
marked a disruption in this trend when she defeated sitting Governor Dan Garvey, who
had risen from Secretary of State to replace Governor Osborn in 1947 and been elected in
his own right in 1948. Frohmiller’s nomination was a successful challenge to the party
establishment of which she had long been a part, an establishment that was losing control
within the party at the same time that the Democratic Party was losing electoral strength
in Arizona.
Two years later, in 1952, Goldwater and Rhodes joined Gov. Pyle on the ticket as
candidates for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives respectively. Riding on the
joint coattails of Pyle and Eisenhower, they won election and began their long careers in
the federal legislature. Rhodes was elected president of the Republican’s freshman class
in the House of Representatives, served in the House for 30 years, and ultimately rose to
25
Paul Kelso, “The 1948 Elections in Arizona,” The Western Political Quarterly 2, no. 1 (1949): 92-96
26
Ibid., 92-96
240
become the Minority Leader after Gerald Ford ascended to the vice presidency. 27
Goldwater served 30 years in the U.S. Senate and was one of only eight men in the last
fifty years to receive the Republican Presidential nomination.
More important than the election of individual candidates, however, was the
impact of the Republicans’ campaigns on the political culture of Arizona. Specifically,
both campaigns permanently upset the Democratic Party’s claim of exclusive expertise in
supplying the desert state’s most potent political and material commodity: water. Ernest
McFarland, the Senate Majority Leader and Goldwater’s opponent in 1952, had preceded
Ana Frohmiller in challenging the Democratic Party establishment. In 1940 he had
successfully toppled sitting U.S. Senator Henry Ashurst in the party primary by running
as a water lawyer who could deliver federal reclamation projects to the state.28 He had
argued that seniority and impressive oratory were no substitute for results. By 1952,
however, McFarland and his congressional colleagues had repeatedly failed to win
passage of the crucial Central Arizona Project. Having served on the Interstate Stream
Commission when it negotiated the Lower Basin Compact and widely recognized for his
personal exploration of the Colorado River, Goldwater could rightly claim some expertise
of his own in the area. Rather than get into a contest over who could bring home more
water, Goldwater used his résumé to neutralize water as a partisan issue, directing
27
28
J. Brian Smith, John J. Rhodes: Man of the House (Phoenix, Arizona: Primer Publishers, 2005), 50
James E. McMillan, Ernest W. McFarland: Majority Leader of the United States Senate, Governor and
Chief Justice of the State of Arizona: A Biography (Prescott, Ariz.: Sharlot Hall Museum Press, 2004), 5456
241
attention instead to corruption, communism, and cronyism.29 McFarland was caught flat
footed, running a traditional campaign by proxy while he continued his duties as Majority
Leader and trumpeted his seniority.
John J. Rhodes was a Harvard-trained lawyer and son of a former Kansas State
Treasurer when he came to Arizona as a young Army Air Corps officer in 1943.
Stationed at Williams Field south of Mesa, Rhodes and his wife decided they liked the
area enough to settle permenently. When they went to register to vote, however, the
Justice of the Peace, whom Rhodes described as a “good old Southern Democrat,” tried
to dissuade them from joining the Republican Party.
I was a captain by then and I came in and Betty said, “We’d like to register.” So
he sat down at his old typewriter and started to fill out the paper. He said,
“Democrat, of course.” And I said, “No, Republican.” And he looked at me and
said, “Captain, are you sure you know what you’re doing?” I said, “Well, I think
I do.” He said, “You know, this is a Democratic state. You can’t vote if your
[sic] a Republican.”30
Of course, the Rhodes’ could vote as Republicans, but the JP’s point was apt in that they
were likely to have few meaningful choices as registered Republicans at a time when the
party regularly declined to field candidates for most statewide offices. John Rhodes not
only stuck with the Republican registration, he helped establish the Young Republican
Club and became involved with the Veterans’ Right to Work Committee.31 In 1950,
Rhodes was among the Young Republican leaders who, with Goldwater’s help, drafted
29
Robert Goldberg, Barry Goldwater (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995), 95
30
Interview with John Rhodes by Stephen Shadegg, ca. 1984, AHF, SS Writings, (unprocessed), folder
“‘Arizona Politics’ Interviews”
31
Michael S. Wade, The Bitter Issue: The Right to Work Lay in Arizona (Tucson: Arizona Historical
Society, 1976)
242
Pyle for the governor’s race and was in turn drafted to run for Attorney General, though
no one expected him win. With a Democratic Attorney General, Pyle looked to Rhodes
for legal advice during his first term. When party leaders cast about for a congressional
candidate in 1952, Rhodes was an obvious choice. Though he again doubted the
possibility of victory, Rhodes recognized the potential benefits to the party and to his
own fledgling legal practice, which received a boost from the name recognition that came
with political campaigns.32
Rhodes lacked water qualifications of his own with which to challenge his
opponent and initially declared that he would “not swim for public office.”33 By the time
the general election began in earnest, however, Rep. John Murdock appeared much more
vulnerable on the subject. A brutal Democratic primary had centered on Murdock’s
failure to move the CAP proposal through the House Committee on Interior and Insular
Affairs, even though he served as chairman of the committee. This gave Rhodes the
opportunity to include water along with his attack on New Deal excesses, creeping
socialism, and Eisenhower’s need for a Republican congress as campaign issues.
Ultimately, as for Goldwater, this mix proved sufficient to win Rhodes the office, forever
postponing the development of his fledgling law practice.
For Murdock and McFarland, the clock had run out on their attempts at passing
CAP and continuing the transactional politics of the New Deal in Arizona. Their defeats
signaled the emergence of a new brand of politics that challenged the very foundations of
32
Interview with John Rhodes by Stephen Shadegg, ca. 1984, AHF, SS Writings, (unprocessed), folder
“Arizona Politics Interviews”
33
Smith, Rhodes, 40
243
the New Deal premise. This Southwestern Sunbelt conservatism that arose out of the
political culture of the charter government committee was best exemplified by the contest
for the U.S. Senate between Senate Majority Leader Ernest McFarland and City Council
Member Barry Goldwater.
McFarland, apparently underappreciating the changing political climate in
Arizona since his overwhelming victories in 1940 and 1946, failed to engage sufficiently
in his own campaign. As Goldwater reflected later, “In fact, if Earnest McFarland had
run any kind of campaign, he would have beaten the hell out of me.”34 Whether that was
the case, other factors also contributed to McFarland’s loss. One of these was his
position as Majority Leader, which marked him as a member of the national party. In
traditional New Deal politics this was considered an asset, since it suggested that the
Democratic senator would be able to bring home plenty of federal money to aid his state.
McFarland embraced that logic and focused his campaign largely on his legislative power
as part of the leadership, highlighting his record of working with the administration to
bring money and water to the desert.35 Water was the first priority in the 1952 Arizona
Democratic Platform and McFarland was its chief pitchman, highlighting his pre-Senate
experience as a water lawyer and his battles with Republican California Senators
34
Interview with Barry Goldwater, 16 Nov 1978, ASU, Oral History Collection; Interview with Barry
Goldwater, 20 Dec 1976, Arizona Jewish Historical Society (hereafter AJHS), Oral History Collection
35
Speech by Ernest McFarland at the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner, 3 May 1952, Tucson, AZ, ASL, The
Public and Personal Papers of Ernest McFarland (hereafter EM), Box47, folder 12 “Jefferson-Jackson Day
Speeches 1942-1952”
244
Knowland and Nixon.36 By highlighting his strength in the Democratic Party and
focusing on delivering economic benefits, McFarland expected to rally the
overwhelmingly Democratic registered voters to his side and achieve easy victory.37
Water cut both ways as a campaign theme for McFarland, however. Though
water had long been regarded as the central issue of Arizona elections to federal office,
and had been the key theme of McFarland’s political life since his defeat of Sen. Ashurst
in 1940, its strength as an issue was waning, especially in this contest against Barry
Goldwater. Adding to McFarland’s difficulties, the holy grail of Arizona water
legislation, the Central Arizona Project, had not yet come to pass.38 During the
campaign, McFarland emphasized his confidence that “the fight can be won, in fact, that
it is on the eve of victory.”39 After twelve years in the Senate spent working toward this
goal, his declarations had likely lost some of their authority. McFarland also vacillated
on whether water was a partisan issue, both suggesting examples of Republican
obstruction and declaring that it was not a partisan issue.40 This indecision opened the
door for Goldwater to define the water issue on his own terms. Finally, the centrality of
the water issue in McFarland’s campaign reflected a misreading of the Arizona electorate
36
Arizona Democratic Platform, 1 Oct 1952, AHS, Fritz Family Collection, Box 11, folder 128; Speech by
Ernest McFarland, “Irrigation and Reclamation,” 24 Oct 1952, ASL, EM, Box 48, folder 14 “Speeches –
‘Water’”
37
Speech by Ernest McFarland, untitled (directed to “people of Tucson and southern Arizona”), 24 Oct
1952, ASL, EM, Box 137, folder 15 “Campaign Speeches by McFarland”
38
In fact, the legislation authorizing the Central Arizona Project would not become law until 1968.
39
Speech by Ernest McFarland, “Irrigation and Reclamation,” 24 Oct 1952, ASL, EM, Box 48, folder 14
“Speeches – ‘Water’”
40
Speech by Ernest McFarland, “Irrigation and Reclamation,” 24 Oct 1952, Arizona State Archives, EM,
Box 48, folder 14 “Speeches – ‘Water’”
245
which, rather than embracing further federal intervention, was growing increasingly
distrustful of the New Deal project.
Barry Goldwater won election with a two-fold campaign approach that first
neutralized any local advantages McFarland could claim and then nationalized the
election to take full advantage of Eisenhower’s coattails and growing dissatisfaction with
Truman’s Fair Deal. Locally, Goldwater’s key strengths were his deep ties to the state,
his expertise on water issues, and his position on the Phoenix City Council. In one letter
to 1952 campaign manager Stephen Shadegg, Goldwater listed concrete personal and
family connections with nineteen Arizona communities, including such tidbits as
2. Tucson. I am a member of the Tucson Consistory, “32nd degree” Mason, a
member of the Arizona Pioneer Historical Society of that city…
7. Erinburg. Erinburg [sic] was founded and layed [sic] out by my grandfather,
Mike Goldwater, in 1866…
8. Prescott. My family moved to Prescott in 1874 from Phoenix and established a
store there that is still in operation. My family and I lived there off and on during
our lives. My uncle, Morris Goldwater, was mayor of Prescott for 26 consecutive
years…. The ground that the Y.M.C.A. Camp is located on was donated by me in
1938…
11. Flagstaff. I am a past Director of the Museum of Northern Arizona and a
present trustee of the Indian Education Fund…
18. Martinez Lake. While stationed at Yuma Air Base I surveyed and constructed
the small airport at Martinez Lake that is now used by sportsmen from all over the
Southwest.41
41
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Stephen Shadegg, 20 Aug 1952, AHF, SS, (unprocessed), folder “(Goldwater
1952 Info)”
246
As this list suggests, Goldwater’s social connections stemmed primarily from his family’s
extensive business activities, his military efforts, and his interest in Arizona history and
geography.
Among Goldwater’s most important activities in appreciation of Arizona
geography was his 1940 trip down the Colorado River from Green River, Utah to its
mouth south of Yuma. After returning he published a book on his experience and also
began to share his film of the trip in lectures throughout the state. These lectures/film
showings, to which he flew his private plane, drew tens of thousands of viewers, making
Goldwater a household name throughout Arizona and earning him his first national
prominence.42 This experiential expertise on the Colorado River was complimented by
political expertise earned in his work on the Interstate Stream Commission, to which he
was appointed by Democratic Governor Sidney Osborn in 1947.43 While Goldwater
could have chosen to organize his campaign around the claim that this made him, rather
than McFarland, the most capable of delivering water to Arizona, he rejected this old
political approach.44 Instead, Goldwater chose to neutralize the issue, declaring that it
was a non-partisan issue which all Arizonans could support equally. 45 His work on the
42
Goldberg, Goldwater, 53-54 and 57; Letter, Barry Goldwater to Stephen Shadegg, 20 Aug 1952, AHF,
SS, (unprocessed), folder “(Goldwater 1952 Info)”; “Barry Goldwater Will Speak At Dinner In
Indianapolis,” 12 Dec 1940, newspaper clipping, AHF, BMG, “Barry and Peggy Goldwater Scrapbook,
1939-1941,” p. 17
43
“A Good Commission,” Arizona Times, undated clipping, Scrapbook 5: Aug 1951-April 1952, 1, BMG,
AHF; Letter, Barry Goldwater to Dean Smith, 30 May 1985, AHF, BMG Family History, Box 83, folder 36
“Reminiscences/interviews, dictation, correspondence with BMG for Dean Smith’s book”
44
Letter, Stephen Shadegg to Barry Goldwater, 15 Jul 1952, AHF, BMG Correspondence, Box 59, folder
“Shadegg, Stephen”
45
Speech delivered at Casa Grande, AZ, 27 Aug 1952, AHF, BMG, 1952 Senate Campaigns, folder
“Speeches”; TV Program Transcript, 13 Oct 1952, The Center for American History (hereafter CAH),
247
Interstate Stream Commission and continuing position on the city council, both nonpartisan political offices, gave added weight to such declarations. 46 By choosing
neutralization rather than direct confrontation on water, Goldwater was simultaneously
avoiding the traditional lines of Arizona political contests and delineating a new
conservative approach.
The main thrust of Goldwater’s campaign was a critique of the New Deal regime.
From his first campaign for national office he ran as an ideological reformer, committed
to increasing individual, God-given freedom and localized government by cutting waste
and shrinking the federal government.47 He highlighted his service on the non-partisan
city council and repeated the charter government movement’s emphasis on business-like
administration.48 From this position, he attacked Senate Majority Leader McFarland as
part of an oversized and corrupt federal government controlled by President Harry S.
Truman, the Democratic Party, and Communist sympathizers. Four verses of a radio
jingle aired by Goldwater’s campaign reflect his approach:
Stephen Shadegg / Barry Goldwater Collection, 1949-1965 (hereafter SSBG), Box 3H475, folder
“Speeches”
46
Newspaper clipping “U.S. Senator Race Entered by Goldwater,” 24 Apr 1952, AHF, BMG, 1952 Senate
Campaign
47
Speech beginning “Mr. Mathews…,” ca. Jun 1952, AHF, BMG, 1952 Senate Campaigns, folder
“Speeches”; Speech in Prescott, AZ, 18 Sep 1952, AHF, BMG 1952 Senate Campaign, Box 102, folder 17
48
Campaign Pamphlet, “Barry Goldwater as your U.S. Senator.” ASL, EM, Box 143, folder 18; Speech
delivered at Casa Grande, AZ, 27 Aug 1952, AHF, BMG, 1952 Senate Campaigns, folder “Speeches”;
Speech in Coolidge, AZ, 23 Sept 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475, folder “Speeches”; Speech in Mesa,
Arizona, 23 Oct 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475, folder “Speeches”; Radio Transcript, beginning “The
setting is a living room in Arizona.” ca. Oct 1952, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box 145
248
Voter, voter you be thinking
What a fine land this will be
When the chiselers have been driven
From your Washington, D.C.
Voter, Voter you be thinking
What a fine land this will be
When the commies are all chased out
Of your Washington, D.C.
Voter, Voter you be thinking
What a fine land this will be
When the taxes have been lowered
And there’s cash left for you and me.
Voter, Voter you be thinking
Mac’s an errand boy for H. S. T.,
Vote for Barry because Barry
Will work hard for you and me.49
In portraying McFarland as an “errand boy,” Goldwater repeatedly referred to him as the
“junior senator from Arizona,” an accurate title given Sen. Carl Hayden’s twenty six
years in the U.S. Senate at that point, but with the additional advantage of painting
McFarland as a mere stooge of the unpopular President Truman.50
Goldwater cast this contest, between himself and McFarland, between the
responsible Republican Party and the profligate Democratic administration, as a matter of
faith verse fear.51 He charged Truman, McFarland, and the New Dealers with peddling
fear to farmers, businessmen, and laborers, fear of foreign armies, and the future. With
49
“Barry Goldwater for U.S. Senator” (singing jingle), CAH, SSBG, Box 2.325/S; Radio jingle lyrics,
CAH, SSBG, Box 3H476, folder “Radio”
50
Speech in Prescott, AZ, 18 Sep 1952, AHF, BMG 1952 Senate Campaign, Box 102, folder 17; Speech in
Coolidge, AZ, 23 Sept 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475, folder “Speeches”; Transcript of Radio Ad , 22 Oct
1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475, folder “Speeches”
51
“Fear or Faith,” newspaper ad, 11 Aug 1952, Phoenix Gazette
249
this fear, the Democratic Party taught citizens to rely on an oversized federal government,
sacrifice their freedoms for economic security, and accept seemingly endless foreign
wars. “What has happened to us .. [sic] What has happened to America?” Goldwater
asked. “Fear is the tool of tyranny, faith is the weapon of freedom.”52 Where
Democratic anti-communism had led to entanglement in the Korean War, Goldwater
suggested an anti-communism that would look inward, purging communists and
communist sympathizers from government and scaling back government in ways that
would promote individual freedom. In response to “Powercrats” who sought unlimited
government control in promoting security, Goldwater called upon all honest Democrats
and Republicans to join in support of the idea “that Almighty God is the author of
freedom” and that “Faith has made this nation great” by electing him and other
Republicans to reverse the excesses of the New Deal and Fair Deal. 53
The 1952 election proved to be a major watershed for the Republican Party in
Arizona. Eisenhower won the state’s electoral votes, Gov. Pyle won reelection for
another two year term, Goldwater defeated McFarland, and Rhodes became the state’s
first Republican member of Congress. Republicans also succeeded in capturing the
attorney general’s office, thirty of the eighty state house seats (nearly tripling their largest
representation since 1932), and four state senators (the first elected since 1936). Though
they still had a long way to go in gaining dominance, Republicans were well on their way
52
Speech beginning “Hello Arizonans. Today I ran an ad…,” ca. 12 Aug 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475,
folder “Speeches”
53
Speech beginning “Hello Arizonans. Today I ran an ad…,” ca. 12 Aug 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475,
folder “Speeches”; Transcript of Radio Ad , 22 Oct 1952, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H475, folder “Speeches”
250
toward transforming Arizona into a two-party state. They had done so largely by shifting
the political debate from the local transactional politics of the New Deal (most
significantly the delivery of water) to a national effort to promote individual freedom by
scaling back the federal government.54 As Pyle’s campaign manager in 1950 and the
local leader of the national ticket in 1952, Goldwater was at the center of this
transformation.
Goldwater was also at the center of settling an internal party dispute over the
makeup of Arizona’s delegation to the 1952 Republican National Convention. Party
leaders, including Howard Pyle and Barry Goldwater were firm supporters of Robert
Taft, the conservative Senator from Ohio, over Dwight Eisenhower. But the Young
Republicans, many of whom like Rhodes had come to Arizona as servicemen, pledged
their support to the World War II general. The debate over apportioning delegates lasted
into the early morning hours, with a compromise finally reached that gave the Young
Republicans a few delegates. When party members returned later that morning, however,
a new move was made to reassign the Eisenhower seats to Taft supporters, securing a
unified delegation.55 Here Goldwater intervened on behalf of the Young Republicans,
suggesting that honoring the gentleman’s agreement from the night before and thus
maintaining party unity was more important than securing a united delegation for Taft.56
In playing peacemaker, Goldwater cemented his status as leader of the state party and his
54
Oral History interview with John J. Rhodes, 30 Nov 1992, ASU, Oral History Collection
55
Arizona Delegate Information, Dwight Eisenhower Presidential Library (hereafter Eisenhower Pres.),
Thomas E. Stephens Records, Box 20, folder “1952 Convention Delegates – Info (Alabama, Arizona,
Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut)”
56
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Howard Pyle, 24 Jun 1960, ASU, Pyle, Box 76, folder 6
251
support from Young Republicans such as John Rhodes. He also provided an early and
clear signal to fellow Arizona Republicans of his priorities along the ideological-strategic
axis.
The years following the 1952 election demonstrated the precariousness of early
Republican gains. The difficulty stemmed in part from Pyle’s most dramatic action as
governor, the 1953 state police raid on the polygamous community of Short Creek,
Arizona. The action began at 4am on Sunday, 26 July 1953 and included the removal of
children from their parents so that the juvenile courts could sort out custody and protect
the rights of the children and woman “forced into a shameful mockery of marriage.”57
Pyle had coordinated with the press during the confidential investigation that led up to the
raid and reporters were on hand as law enforcement officers carried out the action.58
Unfortunately for the governor, this aspect of the mission backfired as newspapers
(including the Pulliam press) printed pictures of children pulled away from their mothers
and soured public opinion regarding the action.59
In 1954 Pyle found himself at a disadvantage seeking reelection for a third term
against challenger Ernest McFarland. McFarland had emerged from the 1952 senatorial
election with his popularity relatively unscathed and managed to reunite the Democratic
Party around his candidacy. The raid on Short Creek had also damaged Pyle among a
core constituency: Arizona’s Mormon population. As he suggested to one interviewer,
57
Statement by Governor Pyle, for press release 26 Jul 1953, ASU, Pyle, Box 110, folder 7
58
Ibid.
59
David Berman, Arizona Politics and Government: The Quest for Autonomy, Democracy, and
Development (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998), 119-120
252
Arizona is very prominently Latter-day Saint [Mormon], and while the Latter day
Saints as a denomination do not in any way, shape or form concur in the Short
Creek type of activity [sic]. They’ve long since abandoned polygamy and are
openly opposed to it. Still, it was true … that many of our people out there were
the offspring of polygamous unions. The fact of the matter is, the Supreme Court,
Justice of the Supreme Court of Arizona [Levi Udall] was the child of a
polygamous union. So it was inevitable that this was going to mitigate subtly
against my re-election.60
In addition, Eugene Pulliam was among those troubled by the events at Short Creek,
apparently leading him to diminish his papers’ outright support for Pyle.61 Though he
still privately encouraged Pyle, Pulliam’s aid came in the form of advice about get out the
vote efforts rather than the kind of overwhelming public support that had carried
Republicans to victory in 1950 and 1952. Ultimately, in the diminished turnout of an offyear election, Pyle lost along with the rest of the statewide Republican ticket,
surrendering the governorship to Ernest McFarland. Republicans also suffered sharp
losses in the state legislature, though Rhodes managed to retain his seat representing
Maricopa County in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Two years later the Republicans searched in vain for a strong challenger to Gov.
McFarland. Goldwater, seeing Pyle as their best hope, sought to draft him for the race.
Because Pyle was by that time serving as an assistant to Pres. Eisenhower, Goldwater
wrote to the president asking for his help in convincing Pyle to run.62 Eisenhower
demurred, suggesting that it would be inappropriate for him to get directly involved
60
Oral History with Howard K. Pyle and Charles Masterson - #1 of 2, 11 May 1967 by Ed Edwin,
Eisenhower Pres., Oral History Collection
61
62
Pulliam, Publisher, 169-170
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Dwight Eisenhower, 21 Mar 1956, Eisenhower Pres., Eisenhower, Dwight D.:
Papers as President of the United States, 1952-1961 (Ann Whitman File), Box 16, folder “Goldwater,
Barry”
253
because “I feel that [Pyle] would take almost any request of mine … as constituting a
very great obligation upon him. I have no hesitation in discussing the matter with him on
a friendly and frank basis, but I would want him to feel that the choice is his.”63 Without
a prominent challenger, McFarland expanded his share of the gubernatorial vote by
40,000 and the Republicans failed to make significant gains in the state legislature or
other offices.
Another contributing factor to the 1956 losses may have been the divided focus
on the state’s two most talented political actors. Goldwater was serving as chair of the
Senate Republican Campaign Committee (SRCC). This appointment was a boon to
Goldwater, who was able to travel throughout the country refining his statement of
conservative principles and making the political connections that would eventually help
to launch his national career.64 This also meant, notwithstanding his efforts to draft Pyle,
Arizona Republicans missed out on the dedicated efforts of one of their most successful
campaigners. Stephen Shadegg, Goldwater’s 1952 campaign manager and arguably the
most successful strategist in Arizona during that period, also had his attentions divided.
In addition to his busy travel schedule for his work in the Episcopal Church, he served as
the Arizona State Chairman of Citizens for Eisenhower-Nixon and took time to review
63
Letter, Dwight Eisenhower to Barry Goldwater, 22 Mar 1956, Eisenhower Pres., Eisenhower, Dwight D.:
Papers as President of the United States, 1952-1961 (Ann Whitman File), Box 16, folder “Goldwater,
Barry”
64
Goldberg, Goldwater, 109
254
film footage for Democratic Senator Carl Hayden’s reelection campaign, who faced only
token opposition from the Republican Party.65
In the early 1960s, Arizona Republicans began to establish Southwestern Sunbelt
conservatism as Arizona’s dominant political ideology. Losses in 1954 and 1956,
however, confirmed the tenuousness of these developments, as missteps (the raid at Short
Creek) alienated key constituencies and organizational weaknesses (the near-absence of
Goldwater and Shadegg in 1956) resulted in significant setbacks. McFarland’s
gubernatorial victories and dominance of Democrats in the state legislature and other
statewide races suggest the continuing strength of the New Deal regime in state politics.
Arizona Republicans had not yet succeeded at convincing voters that their federallyfocused conservatism had resonance at the state level.
The Goldwater Machine: 1958
The 1958 elections in Arizona provided a more direct test of the organizational
strength and ideological appeal of Goldwater’s conservative politics. In a year in which
Republicans lost 13 Senate seats and 48 House seats, Arizona managed to buck the trend,
reelecting Goldwater and Rhodes while capturing the governorship. For Goldwater
especially, this election provided an opportunity to prove that his election six years earlier
had not depended solely on Eisenhower’s coattails as he once again faced Ernest
McFarland in a heated debate over the role of the federal government.
65
Curriculum Vitae, Stephen C. Shadegg (ca. 1984), AHF, SS, Box “Inventories”; Letters, Paul Eaton to
Stephen Shadegg, 13 Apr 1956, and Stephen Shadegg to Paul Eaton, Apr 19, 1956, AHF, SS,
(unprocessed) Box 54; Ross R. Rice, “The 1958 Election in Arizona,” The Western Political Quarterly 12,
no. 1, part 2 (1959): 267
255
The 1958 Arizona Republican Party Platform was a clear reflection of Goldwater
conservatism in exactly the form Goldwater preferred: a concise statement of principles
rather than a long list of policy positions. The eight points of the platform fit easily onto
a single page and focused largely on principles related to the federal government. It
promoted “honest, efficient” government, “economy in government,” a lowering of the
“stifling burden of taxation” and promotion of “free enterprise” through diminished
government “interference with private enterprise.” The second plank declared, in classic
Goldwater fashion,
2. Freedom of the individual, with equal rights and equal opportunity for all, is
the key to the greatness of Arizona and of our nation. The preservation of that
freedom demands that government restraints be kept at a minimum and that
both freedom of association and the right to work be protected.
Planks 7 and 8 similarly reflected the core of his political philosophy:
7. The ever-increasing centralization of power and authority is entirely
inconsistent with the preservation of our Republic. Governmental authority
must be decentralized and Arizona’s state, county, and local governments
must reassume their fundamental responsibilities to their citizens.
8. The United States of America must continue to be the bulwark of liberty.66
For a state platform in a year when only three federal offices were being contested (one
Senate seat and two House seats), this is a particularly federal-focused document and one
that established the tenor of the campaign for Goldwater and Rhodes. As Goldwater
described in a detailed election post mortem, “The 1958 platform … was a unique,
official, and uncompromising statement of the principles of true conservatism.”
Arizonans were “presented with a clear choice between true conservatism and New Deal66
Arizona Republican Platform of 1958, Eisenhower Pres., Dwight D. Eisenhower Post-Presidential
Papers, 1961 Principle File, Box 8, folder “Goldwater, Barry”
256
Fair Deal ‘liberalism’.”67 The conservatism they were offered was either was neither the
anticommunism of McCarthyism or the racial conservatism of the South, but the smallgovernment, business-oriented, anti-New Deal conservatism of the Southwestern Sunbelt.
For his part, Goldwater determined early on that the unions, especially the AFLCIO’s Committee on Public Education (COPE) and Walter Reuther, would be his main
emphasis.68 Believing both that COPE would get heavily involved in the effort to unseat
Goldwater and that such involvement represented the worst excesses of the relationship
between the unions and the Democratic Party, Goldwater’s decision to target COPE was
both strategic and ideological.69 In two television programs late in the campaign,
Goldwater focused exclusively on union leadership, suggesting that their aim was “to rule
America” and presenting a detailed critique of the modern national union movement.70
Such charges, and the counter charges that followed, contributed to a particularly
negative campaign.71
67
“Why the Republicans Won in Arizona in 1958,” Barry Goldwater, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H498, folder
“Election Returns (Primary, General); ‘Why the Republicans Won in Arizona in 1958’”
68
“Why the Republicans Won in Arizona in 1958,” Barry Goldwater, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H498, folder
“Election Returns (Primary, General); ‘Why the Republicans Won in Arizona in 1958’”
69
For more on Goldwater’s ongoing feud with organized labor, see Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, “Origins of
the Conservative Ascendency: Barry Goldwater’s Early Senate Career and the De-legitimization of
Organized Labor,” Journal of American History 95, no. 3 (December 2008): 678-709
70
“They Aim to Rule America,” 23 Oct 1958, and “Whose Union, Whose Money, Whose Boss,” 29 Oct
1958, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H487, folder “Television Advertisements”
71
Frank H. Jonas, “The Spirit of Contemporary Politics in the American West,” Western Political
Quarterly 18, no. 3, supplement (September 1965): 5-20
257
Beyond his critique of unions, Goldwater focused his fire on the national
government, contrasting his conservative approach to McFarland’s pledge to put Arizona
first. Goldwater declared in his opening campaign speech:
When I was sworn in as a member of the United States Senate, I took an oath to
serve and protect the Constitution of the United States. I committed myself to
serve the welfare and the future of all the States. With me, the United States of
America and the constitution comes first, ahead of any sectional interest. The
freedom and the future of the people of America is first in my heart and in my
loyalty. Without the protection of the Constitution, there would be no States, no
freedom, no future.72
Just as he had done in 1952, Goldwater focused on shifted the terms of the election from
the transactional politics of government largess to the value-oriented task of preserving
individual freedom, a shift that helped him rally Republicans and conservative Democrats
behind his candidacy.
With McFarland reeling from a conservative primary challenge and with
Democrats still outnumbering Republicans more than 2:1 in voter registration, crossparty appeals were crucial.73 In attacking McFarland and organized labor, Goldwater
continued to emphasize the need for bi-partisan cooperation. In closing the campaign, he
specifically linked himself with Democratic Senator Carl Hayden, suggesting that the two
worked together cooperatively and extolling the benefits of a divided senate
representation, which would put the state in a position of strength regardless of which
72
73
Opening Campaign Speech, Prescott, AZ, 10 Sep 1958, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box 145
Rice, “1958,” 267; “General Election Registration, Nov. 4, 1958,” Arizona State Archives, Secretary of
State Collection, Box 1
258
party might control the senate majority or administration.74 Campaign radio ads
suggested that 1958 was “the year for straight thinking, not straight ticketing.”75 In
contrast to McFarland’s emphasis on his work as Majority Leader, Goldwater stressed his
independence from the Eisenhower administration and the national party machinery. 76
All of this was in keeping with Goldwater’s convictions about the two-party system but
also an essential strategic move in a state where the Democratic registered voters
remained dominant but ideologically fractured.77
Goldwater and his allies viewed the 1958 election as evidence that voters would
choose conservatism over liberalism when faced with a direct ideological contest. Paul
Sexton, Goldwater’s field representative, brother-in-law, and former secretary to Herbert
Hoover, described the election in these terms:
One of the factors in the campaign was the pursuit of one of Mr. Herbert Hoover’s
statements made many years ago that “when there was a head-on collision
between the two philosophies of government, left-wing and liberal vs.
conservatives, there would be no doubt how the people would vote.” This
happened in the state of Arizona and Mr. Goldwater won.78
74
Speech, beginning “It is difficult for me to imagine…,” ca. Oct 1958, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H486, folder
“Speeches”
75
“Barry Goldwater for U.S. Senator,” 1958, CAH, SSBG, Box 2.325/S; Radio jingle lyrics, CAH, SSBG,
Box 3H476, folder “Radio”
76
Barry Goldwater for U.S. Senator,” 1958, CAH, SSBG, Box 2.325/S; Radio jingle lyrics, CAH, SSBG,
Box 3H476, folder “Radio”; Speech, beginning “It is difficult for me to imagine…,” ca. Oct 1958, CAH,
SSBG, Box 3H486, folder “Speeches”
77
78
Rice, “1958,” 266-275
Letter from Paul Sexton, 26 May 1959, quoted in Jonas, 5; “Why the Republicans Won in Arizona in
1958,” Barry Goldwater, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H498, folder “Election Returns (Primary, General); ‘Why the
Republicans Won in Arizona in 1958’”
259
With McFarland again emphasizing the transactional politics of the New Deal, Goldwater
and Rhodes were successful by focusing on national conservative issues outlined in the
party platform and running against union bosses, a shrewd move in a state with a history
of union opposition.
Paul Fannin, lacking the opportunity of running such a national campaign for
governor, instead took up the more locally oriented political approach of the charter
government movement. A past leader in the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Fannin had
active ties to the Charter Government Committee/Republican Party regime. A successful
business owner who had recently sold his gas business to the Standard Oil Company of
California, Fannin was free to run for political office. Actively recruited by Barry
Goldwater, his brother Robert Goldwater, and Arizona Republican Party Chairman
Richard Kleindienst, Fannin decided in 1957 to run for governor.
Initially the road to Paul Fannin’s election looked rocky, as Eugene Pulliam had
decided to back a conservative Democratic candidate, Richard Searles. However, despite
clear efforts by Pulliam’s papers to topple two-term Arizona Attorney General Robert
Morrison in the Democratic primary, Searles lost the election. With the defeat of his
preferred candidate, Pulliam turned his attention to defeating the liberal Morrison in the
general election and endorsed Paul Fannin. The dirt his reporters had unearthed during
the primary campaign finally had its intended impact and Fannin was elected as
governor.79 With such help from Pulliam, Fannin was able to run effectively as the clean,
outsider candidate who would bring good business administration to state government
79
Rice, “1958,” 266-275; “Conversation with Paul Fannin,” interview conducted by Stephen Shadegg, 16
Nov 1984, AHF, SS Writings, (unprocessed), folder “Arizona Politics Interviews”
260
and attract new industry.80 Even more than Pyle had done, Fannin brought charter
government political culture to the state level.
The 1958 election was also a great victory of Republican political organization.
Pulliam’s support was a crucial element of the campaign organization not only for Paul
Fannin, but also for Goldwater. Such was Pulliam’s involvement in the Senate campaign
that he became a crucial issue himself. In an election eve speech, McFarland directly
attacked Pulliam, referring several times to “Mr. Pulliam and my opponent,” “my
opponent and Mr. Pulliam,” and “my opponent or Mr. Pulliam” as though the newspaper
publisher and the senator had been running on a joint ticket.81 While the degree of direct
collusion is impossible to determine at this point, it certainly appeared to McFarland and
Morrison that the Arizona Republican Party and the Pulliam press were joined at the hip
in their opposition to the Democratic candidates.
Stephen Shadegg’s efforts as Barry Goldwater’s campaign manager also played a
central role in establishing the effective organization. Goldwater approached Shadegg
about running his reelection campaign in February 1956, providing plenty of time for the
type of detailed advance work that Shadegg preferred. He no doubt worked as
Goldwater’s chief liaison in hashing out “all foreseeable sources of friction on issues
[within the party] early in 1957” and selecting candidates “well in advance of the
80
“Why the Republicans Won in Arizona in 1958,” Barry Goldwater, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H498, folder
“Election Returns (Primary, General); ‘Why the Republicans Won in Arizona in 1958’”
81
Speech by Ernest McFarland, 3 Nov 1958, ASL, EM, Box 137, folder 2 “Speeches”
261
Primary” to ensure party unity during the election.82 In the spring of 1958, before
Goldwater had formally begun to campaign, Shadegg began recruiting a “Cell Group” of
campaign supporters through a carefully calibrated system of mailings. 83
As he later detailed in his book, How to Win an Election, Shadegg began with
letters in which he solicited input for the candidate on some issue. Nothing more than an
opinion was requested in the first mailing. Gradually, those who responded received
more mail asking them to give feedback on political pamphlets, newspaper coverage, etc.
and providing them extra materials they could pass along to their friends. Because the
Cell Group is not identified as an organization, either in public or in the correspondence,
those receiving these mailings were encouraged to feel as though there are part of an elite
group, even if, as in the 1958 election, they numbered around 3,200.84 The main purpose
of the Cell Group was to create a private network for transmitting and receiving
information, allowing the candidate to remain a step ahead of his opponent. This worked
wonderfully in Arizona, where Goldwater and Shadegg were especially well connected to
the news media. As Shadegg wrote,
In 1958 we had Cell Group members working for most of the radio and television
outlets in Arizona. We were informed immediately when the opposition tripled
its request for time on Saturday, Sunday and Monday immediately preceding
election day. This told us in advance that the opposition was coming up with
82
“Why the Republicans Won in Arizona in 1958,” Barry Goldwater, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H498, folder
“Election Returns (Primary, General); ‘Why the Republicans Won in Arizona in 1958’”
83
Letters, Stephen Shadegg to “Friends of Barry Goldwater,” ca. Apr 1958, Harry Rosenzweig to Barry
Goldwater, 19 Apr 1958, and Barry Goldwater to Harry Rosenzweig, 23 Apr 1958, AHF, BMG Senate
Campaigns, Box 1, folder 7; Stephen C. Shadegg, How to Win an Election: The Art of Political Victory
(New York, NY: Taplinger Publishing Co., 1964), 105-123
84
Stephen C. Shadegg, How to Win an Election: The Art of Political Victory (New York, NY: Taplinger
Publishing Co., 1964), 107
262
some new tactic, some new appeal, and we were able to turn the sudden flood of
buy orders into an ultimate liability for our opponent.85
In the same way, Shadegg was able to respond immediately to a particular smear put
forth by McFarland with immediate press statements and a coordinated ad buy designed
specifically to counter that charge, having been tipped off by Cell Group members to
both the nature and timing of the charge.86
Shadegg excelled at this kind of organized, data driven campaign style. He
coordinated (or perhaps conducted himself) a crude survey of Arizonans in order to gain
a clear sense of the attitudes of voters across professions and especially among union
membership in advance of the campaign planning.87 He likely coordinated the 1957
Lincoln Day dinner held to launch fundraising for the campaign. This event was so
meticulously organized that those ticket holders who were out of town at the time of the
event were identified in advance and their seats re-sold. 88 In Maricopa County, over
7,000 women were organized to canvas neighborhoods, register voters, and gather
information on how voters felt about particular issues. This allowed the campaign to
target specific neighborhoods. When the election arrived, the Young Republicans
contributed between 500 and 600 poll watchers and other volunteers to assist in voter
turnout efforts. The combined impact of these data driven efforts was a favorable turnout
85
Stephen C. Shadegg, How to Win an Election: The Art of Political Victory (New York, NY: Taplinger
Publishing Co., 1964), 114
86
Ibid., 117-119
87
“Goldwater Report,” 1958, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H492, folder “General Files”
88
“Why the Republicans Won in Arizona in 1958,” Barry Goldwater, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H498, folder
“Election Returns (Primary, General)
263
margin in pro-Goldwater areas. As he recorded in his election post mortem, “in
Maricopa County the turnout averaged 85% in heavy Republican residential areas as
opposed to turnouts of approximately 60% in heavy Democrat areas.”89 Such a result
relied on painstaking efforts in both data collection and volunteer coordination, areas in
which Shadegg excelled.
Evidence suggests that the 1958 campaign included focused efforts to appeal to
key Arizona constituencies. In October a “Benson Day Barbecue” was held in Mesa,
Arizona featuring Secretary of Agriculture and Mormon Apostle Ezra Taft Benson. A
draw for both Far Right activists and the state’s significant Mormon population, Benson’s
appearance provided a double opportunity to shore up conservative support. Goldwater,
Rhodes, and Fannin were all in attendance and had statements included in the printed
program.90 Apparently Benson’s conservative example was also on Goldwater’s mind
following the election because he mentioned Benson by name in his election post-mortem
as an example of the Republican Party’s lukewarm support for conservatives in the years
preceding 1958.91 There was also a specific campaign pamphlet developed for Arizona’s
Jewish community. Written above the names of prominent Jewish friends of Goldwater
(including Harry and Newton Rosenzweig and Eli Gorodezky), the material emphasized
Goldwater’s record on Civil Rights, visits to Israel, Jewish heritage, and efforts on behalf
89
Why the Republicans Won in Arizona in 1958,” Barry Goldwater, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H498, folder
“Election Returns (Primary, General)
90
Program, Benson Day Barbecue, 18 Oct 1958, Mesa, AZ, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H490, folder “Schedules,
Itineraries, and Schedule Notes, Sept – Nov 1958; Calendar of Events, Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and
Arizona”
91
“Why the Republicans Won in Arizona in 1958,” Barry Goldwater, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H498, folder
“Election Returns (Primary, General)
264
of a Phoenix federal employee who alleged discrimination based on his faith. Whether
the campaign expected to pick up a block of votes with this appeal or simply to diminish
opposition, the letter was written as an appeal to “many Jews [who] traditionally align
themselves with professed ‘liberal’ candidates” and highlighted more liberal aspects of
Goldwater’s career than other campaign materials.
With the victories in 1958, especially during such an unfavorable national
climate, conservative Arizona Republicans demonstrated the strength of their ideological
and organizational appeal. The 1958 election stood out for both Goldwater and Shadegg
as the epitome of electioneering. For Goldwater, it was a prime example of a direct
ideological clash, the power of party unity, and the benefits of a platform composed of
principles rather than policy. The party and candidates had offered a clear conservative
message and reaped the benefits. For Shadegg, the election proved the effectiveness of
his new campaign techniques, techniques he would use in 1960 as a consultant to ten
successful Republican Senate campaigns. For the Arizona Republican Party more
generally, the 1958 campaigns were significant as the last campaign in which the party
could expect unity in the face of Democratic factionalism.
Ideological Dissent: 1960-1964
While the election of 1958 demonstrated the power of Barry Goldwater’s
ideology and organizational approaches, the early 1960s showed the first signs of intraparty challenges to Goldwater conservatism.
265
In 1960, Stephen Shadegg was rapidly amassing political experience and
ambition. Since Goldwater was serving a second two-year term as chair of the Senate
Republican Campaign Committee (SRCC), Shadegg became involved as campaign
consultant to nine of the ten Republican senators running for reelection that year, along
with one of the two successful Republican Senator-elects.92 All those with whom
Shadegg consulted won election to the U.S. Senate that year, providing further evidence
of the efficaciousness of his campaign techniques. At the same time, Shadegg was
serving on the Committee on Program and Progress, established by President Eisenhower
in 1959 to develop a long term policy direction for the Republican Party, giving Shadegg
further opportunities to meet and associate with key party leaders, particularly Richard
Nixon.93 With such national experience, it is little surprise that Shadegg would consider
becoming a candidate for Republican National Committeeman.
Writing to Goldwater in March 1960, Shadegg broached the subject. His letter
reflected a mix of ambition, consternation, and concern over potential damage to the
party. He reported a discussion with state Party Chairman Richard Kleindienst, who told
Shadegg that John Rhodes would “bitterly oppose” such a move. Rhodes, it appeared,
92
Shadegg worked with the reelection campaigns of Senators Gordon Allott (CO), Clifford Case (NJ), John
Cooper (KY), Carl Curtis (NE), Henry Dworshak (ID), Karl Mundt (SD), Leverett Saltonstall (MA),
Andrew Schoeppel (KS), and Margaret Chase Smith (ME). It is unclear why Shadegg did not take on such
responsibilities for Sen. Styles Bridges of New Hampshire. In addition to those seeking reelection,
Shadegg consulted on the campaign of Rep. Keith Thomson, a Representative from Wyoming who won
election to the Senate but then died before he could take his seat. The only other successful Republican
senate candidate that year was J. Caleb Boggs of Delaware. Goldberg, 110; Curriculum Vitae, Stephen C.
Shadegg (ca. 1984), AHF, SS, Box “Inventories”; Online Biographical Directory of the United States
Congress, available at http://bioguide.congress.gov/biosearch/biosearch.asp
93
“It Was Never Nothing,” unpublished memoir, pp. 182-183, AHF, SS Writings, (unprocessed), folder “It
Was Never Nothing (memoir) (2 of 2)”
266
feared that Shadegg would use the position as a launching pad for a 1962 campaign for
Sen. Carl Hayden’s seat. “I don’t wish to stir up any dissension in the Republican ranks,”
he wrote, “but I’ll be damned if I want to go along with Mr. Rhodes’ idea of destroying
all competition.” The man who had helped prearrange the 1958 election to diminish
Republican dissent was suddenly irritated that Rep. Rhodes might seek to do likewise.
He claimed not to have any notion of running for the Senate in 1962 and charged that
Rhodes was getting ahead of himself. Shadegg scoffed at Kleindienst’s suggestion that
he consider becoming the state Party Chairman, which would interfere with his work for
the SRCC. “Above all,” he told Goldwater,
I do not want, in any way, to cause you an embarrassment or difficulty or even a
momentary concern. If my becoming a candidate for National Committeeman is
going to make your already complicated life any more complicated, then I suggest
we forget the whole thing.94
But, of course, Shadegg did not want to “forget the whole thing.” He went on to
highlight his service to the party, including running “Citizens for Eisenhower” in 1956
“in order to keep them out of the regular organization’s hair” and sacrificing a run for
governor in 1958 in order to instead run Goldwater’s reelection. He also claimed to have
been “the one who first advanced [the] idea, who argued for it, and who, pretty largely,
was responsible for the language of the [1958] Republican Statement of Principles” in
place of a regular policy platform. He expressed as his top priorities “harmony within the
family” and avoiding “anymore dissension among Republicans,” but also asked
94
Letter, Stephen Shadegg to Barry Goldwater, ca. Mar. 1960, AHF, BMG Correspondence, Box 9, folder
22
267
Goldwater to “explore this situation with John [Rhodes] in the next week or two.”95
Among his other talents, Shadegg knew how to craft an appeal to a fellow strategic
political actor concerned with strengthening the party.
Goldwater’s response suggests that he saw past Shadegg’s carefully worded
appeals to a potentially disruptive ambition. After speaking with Rhodes, he reported
that the two of them felt Shadegg’s candidacy would be too disruptive to the state party.
Additionally, Goldwater suggested that that role held little real influence in the party and
that Shadegg was needed more urgently in his current efforts.
You and I and a number of others have engaged outselves [sic] in what I feel to be
a more important job, that of putting the conservative image before the American
people, and I don’t think we should back away from that now. You must
remember that I serve only as the mouthpiece for this group and I am dependent
upon you and others for constant help in presenting conservative thought to the
people. If anyone of us deviates at this time then the whole effort is weakened.96
In other words, Shadegg needed to subordinate personal office seeking to the larger
efforts underway. Goldwater also dismissed Kleindienst’s suggestion of Shadegg taking
over the state Chairmanship, writing that his current work was “far more important” and
“the two of us can exert the necessary influence on whoever is selected to ensure the jobs
get done while at the same time not lessening efforts in the field [which] I think is more
important.”97 Goldwater seemed to have foreclosed any possibility of Shadegg
advancing beyond his current position, at least for the near term.
95
Letter, Stephen Shadegg to Barry Goldwater, ca. Mar. 1960, AHF, BMG Correspondence, Box 9, folder
22
96
Ibid.
97
Ibid.
268
Four months later, however, a new path opened up for Shadegg. His success and
rising profile had caught the interest of Arizona Republican county committeemen, one
of whom called on behalf of others to ask that Shadegg consider becoming a candidate
for state Party Chairman. This encouragement led Shadegg to devise a new plan in which
he would agree to serve as state Party Chairman only if the beginning of his term was
delayed until after the November election (rather than beginning after the September
primary election as was customary). In that way he could finish his duties with the
SRCC before devoting his full attention to the state party. This timing had the added
benefit of allowing him to begin his tenure with a focus on long term party growth and
organization rather than trying to influence campaigns that were rapidly drawing to a
close.98 Suddenly, Goldwater decided that “The State Chairman is an extremely
important thing” and declared his support for Shadegg’s stated plan, emphasizing again
the priority of their work for the SRCC.99 Apparently Kleindienst was sufficiently eager
to secure a replacement that he went along with this plan, because Shadegg ascended to
the Republican state Party Chairmanship in 1960 for a term to continue through 1962.100
1960 was also notable for bringing two conservative state Senators into office:
Evan Mecham for Maricopa County and Sam Steiger for Yavapai County.101 These
98
Letter, Stephen Shadegg to Barry Goldwater, 17 Aug 1960, AHF, BMG Correspondence, Box 9, folder
22
99
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Stephen Shadegg, 20 Aug 1960, AHF, BMG Correspondence, Box 9, folder
22
100
101
Curriculum Vitae, Stephen C. Shadegg (ca. 1984), AHF, SS, Box “Inventories”
“Mecham’s Running for Office,” list of campaigns and outcomes, Arizona State Archives, Vertical
Files, folder “Mecham, Evan”; “Legislative Branch: State Legislators: A Complete List from Statehood to
the Present,” Arizona Blue Book 1995-1996, Arizona Secretary of State
269
ideological conservatives disrupted the Goldwater consensus at the state level, refusing to
go along with Governor Fannin’s attempts at cooperation with majority Democrats.102
Mecham in particular, as an ideological evangelical conservative, would prove to be a
near constant irritant to Goldwater and his allies.
Unsurprisingly, during his tenure as state Party Chairman Shadegg focused his
energies on modernizing the party organization. His list of 1961 accomplishment runs to
three pages and includes such items as:
Established a new bookkeeping and receipt system, with full auditing controls, in
state headquarters. Initiated addressograph system for cycle billing of regular
pledge contributors.
Established IBM card files on all registered Republicans in Arizona and on all
registered Democrats in Maricopa and Pima counties….
Completed a survey of all Republican households in Arizona….
Completed a vote analysis, by precinct, of the major statewide races for the past
three general elections. Percentages were computed as a guide for future party
efforts….
Distributed approximately one million pieces of printing since Jan. 1, 1961.
Multilith Press was installed in September….
Total printing on vote analysis was 25,000 page impressions plus 700 covers….
Started a voter registration drive throughout the state.103
These and other items suggest the extent to which Shadegg saw politics as a business, one
which should utilize the latest technology and organizational techniques.
102
It Was Never Nothing,” unpublished memoir, pp. 246, AHF, SS Writings, (unprocessed), folder “It Was
Never Nothing (memoir) (2 of 2)”; “Conversation with Paul Fannin,” interview conducted by Stephen
Shadegg, 16 Nov 1984, AHF, SS Writings, (unprocessed), folder “Arizona Politics Interviews”
103
Projects Accomplished by Republican State Committee in 1961, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box 145
270
While Shadegg served as state Party Chairman he was responsible for supporting
a candidate in a special election for Arizona’s second congressional district. Democratic
Congressman Stu Udall had won reelection for a fourth term in 1960 but then joined Pres.
John F. Kennedy’s cabinet as Secretary of Agriculture. The special election in 1961
pitted Stu’s brother Mo Udall against conservative Mormon Republican Mac Matheson.
Matheson, apparently a poor campaigner with no political experience in a district that
heavily favored Democrats, lost the special election.104 In one incident that Shadegg
recorded as indicative of Matheson’s approach, the candidate told an audience at the
University of Arizona that “he had just returned from Washington, a city which is like a
Hershey bar – half Black and half nuts.” Shadegg wrote in his unpublished memoir of
later learning that Matheson was “an ardent member of the John Birch Society.” In
Matheson, Shadegg had his first experience trying to work with a conservative
Republican that was more in the mold of the ideological Ezra Taft Benson than the
strategic Barry Goldwater. Shadegg wrote that “Matheson lost and he deserved to
lose.”105
As 1961 drew to a close, neither Rhodes nor Shadegg prepared to enter the 1962
senate race. Instead, leading Republicans including Goldwater, Fannin, and Pulliam
agreed that the party should once again offer only token opposition to Senator Carl
Hayden. This decision was reached, as it had been in 1956, under the two-fold belief that
104
Mo Udall went on to serve fifteen terms in the U.S. Congress and ran for the Democratic presidential
nomination in 1976.
105
“It Was Never Nothing,” unpublished memoir, pp. 247, AHF, SS Writings, (unprocessed), folder “It
Was Never Nothing (memoir) (2 of 2)”
271
Hayden’s seniority was crucial for the eventual passage of the Central Arizona Project
and that Republican Party resources would be better spent in contests with a greater
chance of success.
Unpersuaded by their strategic thinking and frustrated by a bipartisan Golden
Anniversary Dinner/fundraiser for Hayden in 1961, Evan Mecham chose to enter the race
for U.S. Senate, believing that Hayden must be defeated and that he was the man to do
so.106 Mecham visited with Goldwater, who was again serving a third term as Chairman
of the SRCC and agreed to back Mecham if he won the nomination. Accompanied by
Sam Steiger, Mecham went to confer with Party Chairman Stephen Shadegg in January
1961. The meeting did not go well, as Shadegg sought to dissuade the state Senator from
running and apprised him of the plan for token opposition.107
Seeing danger to the party from such a move, Shadegg then consulted with
Hayden, Fannin, Pulliam, and Goldwater before entering the race himself. 108 Expecting
Goldwater’s backing, Shadegg was surprised when Goldwater instead assured Mecham
and others that he would maintain his neutrality during the primary contest.109 As rumors
circulated that Goldwater’s reluctance to endorse meant he was unhappy about Shadegg’s
106
Program, “Carl Hayden Golden Anniversary Dinner,” Phoenix, 17 Nov 1961, Herbert Hoover
Presidential Library, Bourke B. Hickenlooper Papers, Personal Files, Box 14, folder “Hayden, Carl (5) –
1961-67”
107
Jack L. August, Jr., “Old Arizona and the New Conservative Agenda: The Hayden Verses Mecham U.S.
Senate Campaign of 1962,” The Journal of Arizona History 41, no. 4 (winter 2000): 385-412; “It Was
Never Nothing,” unpublished memoir, pp. 246-250, AHF, SS Writings, (unprocessed), folder “It Was
Never Nothing (memoir) (2 of 2)”
108
“It Was Never Nothing,” unpublished memoir, pp. 246-250, AHF, SS Writings, (unprocessed), folder
“It Was Never Nothing (memoir) (2 of 2)”
109
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Evan Mecham, 26 Apr 1962, Hoover Institution Library and Archives, Free
Society Association Records, Box 2, folder “Goldwater, Barry – undated, 1947-1963”
272
entry into the race, Shadegg’s financial and political support dried up.110 Shadegg tried to
keep the party in mind as he fought a losing battle. As Shadegg wrote to Goldwater,
“Win, lose or draw, I shall try to conduct my campaign in a way to bring credit to the
Republican Party and add strength to the Conservative cause I have served so long.”111
He did so in part by refraining from mentioning either Mecham or Hayden in his
campaign literature.112 For both Shadegg and Goldwater, preserving the strength of the
Republican Party was an integral part of the overall effort to promote “the Conservative
cause.”
Mecham, however, believed that too much was at stake to consider the parochial
concerns of the Arizona Republican Party. Echoing the rhetoric of the Stay America
Committee’s 1961 challenge to the Charter Government Committee, Mecham spoke of
his opponents, including Shadegg and other strategic conservatives, as “planners of a
socialist one-world regime.”113 With help from campaign manager Mac Matheson,
Mecham waged an all out campaign under the belief that his candidacy was part of an
effort to save the U.S. “as a constitutional entity” and to bring “the Lord’s blessings on
this rather unrighteous nation and save it from what appears to be certain destruction,” as
he wrote to prominent supporter and arch-conservative Frank Brophy. 114 For Evan
110
“It Was Never Nothing,” unpublished memoir, pp. 246-250, AHF, SS Writings, (unprocessed), folder
“It Was Never Nothing (memoir) (2 of 2)”
111
Letter, Stephen Shadegg to Barry Goldwater, 18 June 1962, CAH, SSBG, Box 3H506, folder
“Correspondence”
112
Campaign pamphlet for “Steve” Shadegg, 1962, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) (temp Box 145)
113
August “Old Arizona,” 385-412
114
Letter, Evan Mecham to Frank Brophy, 9 Nov 1962, AHS Tucson, Frank Cullen Brophy Collection,
Series 3-1, Box 40, folder 782
273
Mecham, party strength was really beside the point in the face of such compelling
ideological aims.
Ultimately, Goldwater’s and Shadegg’s caution about a potentially damaging
intra-party fight cost Shadegg the primary election. But the strategists had the final
victory. With Pulliam’s newspapers backing Hayden and Goldwater’s allies failing to
endorse Mecham, he and his ideological allies experienced a resounding defeat in the
general election.115 Rather than discourage Mecham, the defeat emboldened him.
Confident in the rightness of his position and with significant grassroots backing,
Mecham launched a challenge for the state party chairmanship in March 1963. Shadegg
had stepped down from the post in order to enter the 1962 primary race, so Richard
Kleindienst had stepped back in as a temporary replacement.116 Fortunately for
Republicans, the change in party leadership and contentious U.S. Senate primary had not
disrupted their other campaigns: Paul Fannin won reelection and the party made gains in
both houses of the state legislature. Kleindienst was now ready to once more step down
and Mecham saw his chance to “assume a measure of control in the Republican Party,” as
Frank Brophy had suggested he do.117 The strategic conservatives had selected former
state Representative Keith Brown for the post before the party convention. Learning of
Mecham’s plans to challenge their nominee, Goldwater and Rhodes returned from
Washington and joined their support for Brown with that of Gov. Fannin and Att. Gen.
115
August “Old Arizona,” 385-412
116
Eddie Lee, “Challenge Rips GOP in Arizona,” 28 Mar 1963, Washington Post, A9
117
Letter, 7 Nov 1962, Frank Brophy to Evan Mecham, AHS Tucson, Frank Cullen Brophy Collection,
Series 3-1, Box 40, folder 782
274
Robert Pickrell. Though Brown won the fight 3:1, Mecham polled about one third of the
Maricopa County delegates, indicating significant support in a sector of the state that was
crucial to Republican victories.118
Following Mecham’s second loss in less than five months, he made clear his
intent to run again for the U.S. Senate should a chance arise in which he could do so
without challenging Sen. Goldwater.119 Mecham anticipated Goldwater’s run for the
presidency in 1964 and expected to challenge Fannin, Rhodes, Jack Williams,
Kleindienst, “or someone else that has the ‘go’ sign from the Pulliam Press and the
Phoenix clique who runs the show” in the senate primary. 120 Rather than shy away from
such a contest, Mecham felt that it was his duty to enter it. He wrote to Brophy:
Personally, I would like to junk it all and enjoy the life of a private citizen.
Knowing your State and your Nation are headed for destruction, the next thing to
do is that at which you can be most effective. I think for the next year and a half I
can be most effective in helping organize workers through the state to be ready to
work for those Conservative candidates who are worth of our support in ’64.121
Following such organization, which included establishing his anti-Pulliam newspapers,
Mecham was looking forward to the campaign.
It ought to be a rather interesting fight because since I realize I won’t please
everyone, there is one group I’m going to be very interested in pleasing and that’s
the ordinary citizens who are the strength of the Nation who have no particular
axes to grind and no special interests to protect. You know, really there are more
118
Eddie Lee, “Challenge Rips GOP in Arizona,” 28 Mar 1963, Washington Post, A9
119
Ibid.
120
Letter, Evan Mecham to Frank Brophy, 22 Apr 1963, AHS Tucson, Frank Cullen Brophy Collection,
Series 3-1, Box 40, folder 782
121
Ibid.
275
of them who go to the polls than any other group of people when they finally get
the word. Let’s hope we can get word to them in ’64.122
In a sense, Mecham’s political philosophy was reminiscent of Goldwater’s. Like
Goldwater, he looked forward to electoral contests that would provide the voters with a
clear choice between political ideologies. Where Goldwater saw the most beneficial
choice as between liberalism and conservatism as part of an American two-party system,
Mecham believed that ideological conservatives would first have to win the intra-party
contest and defeat the strategic conservatives who too often sided with dangerous
liberals. Only then would voters be able to choose true American ideals over the
corruptions offered by the leaders of both major parties. When 1964 arrived, Mecham
opted to challenge Kleindienst for the gubernatorial nomination rather than take on the
popular Gov. Fannin for the U.S. Senate nod. Though Mecham lost the primary,
Republicans blamed his candidacy for Kleindienst’s loss in the general election, since his
attacks had provided Democrat Sam Goddard with ammunition.123
A letter written in 1965 by Newton (Newt) Rosenzweig, brother of Republican
Party Finance Chairman Harry Rosenzweig, provides a fitting conclusion to this period of
intra-party contention. Rosenzweig wrote to Harvey Schechter, civil rights director of the
Anti-Defamation League’s Pacific Southwest area, following up on a conversation they’d
begun after a presentation in Phoenix.124
122
Letter, Evan Mecham to Frank Brophy, 22 Apr 1963, AHS Tucson, Frank Cullen Brophy Collection,
Series 3-1, Box 40, folder 782
123
Editorial Commentary, radio transcript, Jack Williams, 15 Mar 1964, AHS Tempe, Governor Jack
Williams Collection, Box 31, folder 355
124
“Negro ‘Bondage’ Called Threat to U.S. Freedom,” 24 May 1964, Los Angeles Times, E2
276
In talking with you after the meeting, you may remember my mentioning that
ultra-right groups had been active in the 1961 Phoenix municipal election and
again in 1963. Also during the past few years, similar factions had been trying to
take over the Arizona Republican organization.
Rosenzweig went on to discuss in detail the 1963 city election, which was contested by
“A) the moderates, known as Charter Government Committee, B) Ultra-Right, called the
‘HEAR’ ticket, and C) Liberals, with the ticket under the name of ‘ACT’.” An active
CGC participant and former city councilman, Rosenzweig was puzzled by both
alternative groups having “directed all their ‘fire’ at the charter group.” He was more
perplexed and frustrated by the uniting of HEAR and ACT supporters in favor of the
latter group during a runoff election. Rosenzweig could not understand why the ultraright supporters would side with the liberals or why the liberals “at no time repudiated the
endorsement.” Adding to his puzzlement was the fact that “the strongest supporters of
the ‘ACT’ group were in many instances Jews, and the ACT campaign was directed to a
great degree by two Jewish attorneys,” whom Rosenzweig expected to be especially
resistant to association with ultra-right political groups. Rosenzweig hoped that
Schechter could provide some guidance on “involving local people in an active
opposition to right-wing groups.”125
Rosenzweig’s letter provides some perspective on this challenging period for both
the charter government movement and strategic conservatives. Having spent the 1950s
establishing dominance in their respective spheres, the overlapping political groups found
themselves suddenly and disconcertingly challenged from the right. For Newt
125
Letter from Newton Rosenzweig to Harvey Schechter of the Anti-Defamation League, 4 June 1965,
AHF, Newton Rosenzweig Collection, Box 12, folder 21
277
Rosenzweig, these challengers were dangerous “extremists” whose politics should send
warning bells off among both liberals and moderate conservatives, especially in the
Jewish community. That Evan Mecham was involved in the challenges to the CGC and
the strategic Republican leadership in 1963 highlights the degree to which this was a
contest between the strategic conservatives and ideological opponents. Though the
religious dimensions of this contest had not yet taken the foreground, they appear
between the lines of Newton Rosenzweig’s letter and his bewilderment at the too mild
response of his fellow Arizona Jews.
The National Period of Arizona Politics: 1964-1974
The decade from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s was a period in which national
political incidents and considerations repeatedly shaped the progress of the Arizona
Republican Party. From Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign, through the impact of
court ordered redistricting around the “one man, one vote” principle, to the fallout from
Watergate and the Nixon resignation in 1974, local concerns were repeatedly
overshadowed by national events.
Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign necessarily turned his attention further
from Arizona and the growth of the state party. In the fall of 1962 he finished his final
two year term as Chairman of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee and could
have refocused on matters at home and his own Senate race. Instead, he had decided to
run for the presidency and to do so without Stephen Shadegg’s assistance. According to
Shadegg’s account in an unpublished memoir, Goldwater approached Shadegg just after
278
the 1962 election and asked Shadegg to run his campaign for either senator or president.
Goldwater told Shadegg, who was still wrestling with the loss to Mecham and feelings
that Goldwater had let him down, that he did not want to discuss the recent election. He
simply wanted to move forward and expected that Shadegg could help him win in 1964
just as he had done in 1952 and 1958.126 Shadegg agreed and participated with
Goldwater in a January 1962 planning meeting that included Russell Kirk and William
Buckley.127 By February, however, Goldwater had learned that Shadegg was
representing the Salt River Project (SRP) in a dispute with a competing utilities company,
the Arizona Public Service Company (APS), over energy costs and tax issues. Worried
that the association would damage his election chances and unwilling to delay Shadegg’s
participation until the end of his contract in November 1963, Goldwater decided to let
Shadegg go.128 Ultimately, Shadegg later joined the campaign as the Western Regional
Director of the Goldwater for President Committee, a job of smaller scope (and less
success) than he had experienced in working with the SRCC in 1960.129
Besides Shadegg, Goldwater’s 1964 campaign absorbed many of the Arizona
Republican Party’s main political actors. Richard Kleindienst, Dean Burch, Denison
Kitchel, and other Arizona stalwarts were suddenly thrust into the national political
scene, scrambling to catch up while keeping experienced national organizers like Len
126
Stephen Shadegg, “A Long Life,” 45-48, AHF, SS Writings, (unprocessed), folder “It Was Never
Nothing Revised Draft”
127
Goldberg, Goldwater, 159
128
Stephen Shadegg, “A Long Life,” 45-48, AHF, SS Writings, (unprocessed), folder “It Was Never
Nothing Revised Draft”
129
Curriculum Vitae, Stephen C. Shadegg (ca. 1984), AHF, SS, Box “Inventories”
279
Hall and F. Clifton White at a distrustful distance.130 That combination left the Arizona
Republican Party short-staffed and Goldwater’s national bid at a severe disadvantage.
Though it is highly unlikely that Shadegg’s leadership would have been sufficient to help
Goldwater capture the presidency, he was probably the only Arizonan with the necessary
experience to have run a reasonably successful national campaign that effectively
coordinated the efforts of seasoned operatives and trusted local advisors. Instead, he was
busy both outside the state and outside the campaign leadership. Kleindienst, forced to
divide his time between the national campaign and his own gubernatorial bid (including a
primary challenge from Evan Mecham), lost to Democrat Sam Goddard by 30,000
votes.131 Considering Goddard’s losses two years earlier to Paul Fannin and two years
later to Jack Williams, it is certainly reasonable to expect that stronger Goldwater
presidential coattails (he won his home state by only a fraction of a percent), a Goldwater
senate run, or freedom to dedicate his time to his gubernatorial race would have led to a
different outcome for Richard Kleindienst.
Arizona Republicans nevertheless experienced some success in 1964. Gov.
Fannin won Goldwater’s seat in the U.S. Senate and John Rhodes won reelected to his
seventh term. In the state House of Representatives, Republicans continued to build on a
decade of growth, electing thirty five members of the eighty seat body. In the state
Senate, Republicans won only two seats in the twenty eight seat body, down from four in
130
Rick Perlstein, Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus, New
York: Hill and Wang, 2001, 258-260 and 314-316
131
Official Canvass, State of Arizona, General Election Returns – November 3, 1964, ASL, Secretary of
State Collection, Box 1
280
the previous two terms. One of those elected was Maricopa County state Senator John
Conlan.
One tangential benefit for the Arizona Republican Party from the 1964
presidential campaign may have been an increased measure of party unity. While the
contest produced bitter divisions in the national party between Goldwater’s conservative
supporters and more “moderate” or “liberal” Republicans, the same was not true for the
Senator’s home state. Instead, the 1964 campaign reunited previously warring factions
behind the conservative crusade. In 1965 the Arizona Republican Party again met to
elect party officers. As in 1963, a vigorous floor debate was expected, pitting ideological
conservatives against the “Goldwater-Fannin-Rhodes leadership” of strategic
conservatives. Instead, the groups put their differences aside and unanimously elected
Goldwater friend, strategic secular conservative, and party fundraiser Harry Rosenzweig
as state Party Chairman, a position he would hold for a decade. Part of the impetus for
this unity seems to have come from a mistaken assumption that Goldwater’s convention
speech was delivered as a sort of pre-announcement for the 1966 governor’s race.
Though doubtful that this was his intent, Jack Williams observed, “It would seem to be
an ideal move to strengthen the Republican Party and also give Goldwater a platform for
political leadership.”132 With the conservative base thus fired up, the Republicans were
able to avoid the intra-party fights they had faced in the previous years.
What Goldwater was busy doing in 1965 was keeping his national profile up,
working to maintain the momentum of the national conservative movement, and
132
Jack Williams, Radio Editorial, ca. Mar 1965, AHS Tempe, Governor Jack Williams Collection, Box
31, folder 355
281
preparing to re-enter the U.S. Senate. In the first two regards, Goldwater announced in
June 1965 the creation of the Free Society Association. This conservative education
foundation to be run by Denison Kitchel, the 1964 campaign manager, was intended to
hold together Goldwater’s grassroots supporters in order “to promote the cause of
freedom.”133 Goldwater selected Dean Burch, recently forced out of the National Party
Chairmanship after being tapped for that position by Goldwater in July 1964, to head up
his 1968 senatorial campaign.134 By September 1965 Burch was hard at work, ordering
professional polls, putting together a campaign organization, and preparing the media
strategy.135 Concerned that Hayden’s health could lead to a sudden special election and
appointment of a Democratic replacement by Gov. Goddard, Burch pushed to prepare the
campaign as early as possible and sought legal advice on the matter from local attorney
William Rehnquist.136 Together, Burch and Rehnquist went so far as to prepare a Writ of
Mandamus (requiring Goddard to call a special election) and a Writ of Prohibition
(enjoining him from appointing a senatorial replacement), have them signed by Harry
133
Barry Goldwater, Press Release, 17 Jun 1965, Hoover Institution Library and Archives, Free Society
Association Records, Box 13, folder “Press-Release – FSA Announcement by Goldwater 6/17/65”
134
Associated Press, “Burch Will Yield G.O.P. Job April 1; Bliss To Get Post,” New York Times, 13 Jan
1965, 1
135
Letter, Dean Burch to Barry Goldwater, 20 Sep 1965, AHF, BMG Correspondence, Box 2, folder 33;
Letter, Dean Burch to Tom Benham of Opinion Research, 20 Sep 1965, AHF, BMG Correspondence, Box
2, folder 33; “Trial Heat Tests Among Arizona Voters January 1965,” (likely Jan 1966, mislabled), AHF,
Harry Rosenzweig Collection, Box 2, folder 8
136
Letter, Dean Burch to William Rehnquist, 1 Sep 1966, AHF, BMG Correspondence, Box 2, folder 33
282
Rosenzweig as plaintiff, and seal them in a safe in case Hayden passed away while Sam
Goddard was governor.137
Seemingly all the key local factors aligned to make 1966 the year the Arizona
Republican Party really took control of state politics. The return of party unity (and
Barry Goldwater) was likely a large factor in the party’s ability to win a record six
statewide offices. With Harry Rosenzweig running the party and former Phoenix mayor
Jack Williams running for governor, the link between the charter government movement
and the Republican Party was stronger than ever, helping to propel Williams to his first of
three gubernatorial terms.138 1966 also saw the return of Stephen Shadegg to state
political campaigning when he served as campaign manager to Jack Williams, a position
he would repeat successfully in 1968 and 1970.139
Finally, court mandated districting under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Reynolds v.
Sims, and Wesberry v. Sanders had a dramatic effect in favor of Arizona Republicans. In
the state House of Representatives, reapportionment strengthened the representation of
Republican areas in the urban hubs, allowing party candidates to capture thirty three seats
of the now sixty-seat body, taking majority control for the first time in Arizona history.
More dramatically, reapportionment of the state Senate from a county basis to a
137
Letters, Dean Burch to Barry Goldwater, 14 Sep 1966, and Dear Burch to Harry Rosenzweig, 10 Nov
1966, AHF, BMG Correspondence, Box 2, folder 33. As it happened, Hayden’s health held out through the
end of his term and Goldwater won election in 1968 with 57% of the vote, even though registered
Democrats still outweighed Republicans by a 14% margin. See Official Canvas, State of Arizona, General
Election – November 5, 1968, ASL, Secretary of State Collection, Box 1; General Election Registration –
November 5, 1968, ASL, Secretary of State Collection, Box 1
138
Official Canvas, State of Arizona, General Election – November 8, 1966, ASL, Secretary of State
Collection, Box 1
139
Curriculum Vitae, Stephen C. Shadegg (ca. 1984), AHF, SS, Box “Inventories”
283
population basis boosted Republican seats from 7% to 53%, putting Republicans in the
majority for the first time since 1920. United for under Republican control the first time,
the state legislature received praise from Time magazine for its newfound legislative
efficiency and focus on government and financial reforms.140 In 1971 the legislature
passed and Gov. Williams signed a first-in-the-nation law mandating economics as a part
of the high school curriculum.141
A change in the makeup of Arizona’s congressional districts added portions of
Maricopa County to the Third District, helping former state Senator Sam Steiger edge out
Democratic Rep. George Senner, Jr. in a rematch of their 1964 contest.142 When
Republicans duplicated these showings in 1968 and Goldwater returned to the U.S.
Senate, Democrats retained only two statewide offices and a single member of the
congressional delegation.143
A sign of renewed intra-party conflict emerged briefly in 1972 during the primary
campaign for the newly created District 4 congressional seat. John Conlan, the four term
state Senator and evangelical conservative, sought the seat. Secular conservative Rep.
Sam Steiger was opposed to Conlan’s nomination and tensions mounted, with
140
"Gung-Ho Legislators," Time, Mar. 10, 1967
141
Bethany E. Moreton, “Make Payroll, Not War: Business Culture as Youth Culture,” in Bruce J.
Schulman and Julian E. Zelizer, eds. Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s
(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2008), 55-56
142
Ross R. Rice, “The 1966 Election in Arizona,” The Western Political Quarterly 20, no. 2, part 2 (1967):
532
143
Official Canvas, State of Arizona, General Election – November 5, 1968, ASL, Secretary of State
Collection, Box 1
284
constituents pressuring Goldwater to intervene.144 Goldwater went so far as to produce a
form letter that responded to anti-Conlan correspondence by asking for specific evidence
of Conlan’s purported dishonesty.145 Goldwater’s choice to stay out of the primary fight
and then support the party’s nominee apparently made him few friends. One man
describing himself as a long-time supporter wrote that “you have placed the Republican
Party above principle. What a disappointment for me to discover that the man I thought
you were is in reality Congressman Steiger.”146 He either failed to recognize or was
unconvinced that, for Goldwater, strengthening the party was a matter of principle. An
article in Roll Call covering Conlan’s subsequent victory and election as president of the
House Republican’s freshman class suggested that Conlan characterizing himself as
“closer to a Jeffersonian Democrat than the Goldwater-conservative he has been
called.”147 Since Goldwater himself pointed to Jefferson as his conservative role model,
this would seem to be a distinction born more of political posturing than substantive
differences.
In 1974 national events again disrupted Arizona Republican strength. In March
1974, Governor Williams announced that after serving eight years he would not be
running for reelection. Combined with the toxic national scene as a result of Watergate,
Republicans anticipated a difficult election season. Hoping to stem the negative tide,
144
Letter, Ralph H. Eaton to Barry Goldwater, 1 Sep 1972, AHF, BMG Politics, Box 89, folder 27
“Conlan, John B.”
145
Various correspondence, fall 1972, AHF, BMG Politics, Box 89, folder 27 “Conlan, John B.”
146
Letter, 29 Sep 1972, Floyd A. McCracken to Barry Goldwater, AHF, BMG Politics, Box 89, folder 27
“Conlan, John B.”
147
George M. Lies, “Voice of ‘The New GOP’,” Roll Call, 25 Jan 1973
285
Goldwater wrote to Arizona Republican Party County Chairmen suggesting that they
focus on registration and voter turnout efforts and proposing to meet with them over the
coming months.148 One chairman responded by telling Goldwater of Republicans
unwilling to even sign nominating petitions because “they don’t want to identify as a
Republican.” He expressed a belief that,
Our hope in Arizona this year is directly tied to your coattails. Even the most
disgusted Republican still feels that you have the integrity and the guts to call the
shots as you see them. Please don’t let anyone ever compromise you in this stand.
It is only through people such as yourself and John Rhodes that we can rebuild the
Republican Party.
That a County Chairman would speak about rebuilding the party, and around two senior
politicians, suggests the depth of worry over the upcoming elections. That this took place
before Pres. Nixon’s resignation or Pres. Ford’s subsequent pardon of Nixon indicates
how much further the Republican Party had to fall. By September 1974 Goldwater was
writing urgently to Rhodes, pleading with him to return to Arizona as much as possible to
hit the campaign trail for the sake of the overall ticket.149 Ultimately, the party was
unable to avoid the impact of the damaging national climate. Though Goldwater,
Rhodes, Steiger, and Conlan all managed reelection, Democrat Raul Castro won the
governorship. Republicans also lost five seats in the state House of Representatives and
six seats in the state Senate, losing their majority in that body.
The period from 1964 to 1974 was bracketed by two difficult elections for
Arizona conservatives. In each case unfavorable national events created a poor climate
148
Form Letter, Barry Goldwater to Republican County Chairmen, 13 Mar 1974, AGF, BMG Politics, Box
88, folder 29 “Arizona Republican State Committee”
149
Letter, Barry Goldwater to John Rhodes, 13 Sep 1974, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 19, folder 2
286
for Republican office seekers, costing the party the governorship and seats in the state
legislature. In the middle of this decade, however, the party experienced a period of both
increased unity behind the CGC/strategic secular wing of the party and impressive
electoral victories in the governorship and state legislature. This was the highpoint of
Goldwater’s secular strategic, Southwestern Sunbelt conservatism in Arizona.
Evangelical Ideological Challenges: 1975-1978
Like the early 1960s, the late 1970s proved to be a period of increased intra-party
dissent in the Arizona Republican Party. The fissures over ideological or strategic
approaches resurfaced, compounded by increasing religious divisions. By the time
Ronald Reagan entered the White House, ideological evangelical conservatism was
decidedly in the ascendency in Arizona.
The unity that had been carefully maintained over the prior decade began to
unravel in the wake of the 1974 setbacks when state Party Chairman Harry Rosenzweig
suggested that conservatives were “going nowhere” and that the GOP needed to moderate
its approach. He pointed to Goldwater, Rhodes, and Steiger as examples of the
moderation he proposed and worried about the damage that a Reagan challenge to Ford
might have on the party.150 Upon hearing of Rosenzweig’s remarks, Goldwater
responded in a letter to the state Party Chairman suggesting that party disorganization,
even more than “Watergate, Nixon, [and] inflation,” was actually the main problem in
1974. Goldwater, for one, did not believe he had moderated his views and he worried
150
“State GOP leader hits conservatives,” Prescott Courier, 18 Nov 1974, p. 12
287
about the implication that it would be beneficial for the Republican Party to become more
like the Democrats.151 The incident marked one of the rare fractures among the secular
strategists, one exacerbated by an ongoing shift in the meaning of the term “conservative”
in the Republican Party. Rosenzweig likely shared his brother’s concerns over the
“extremism” of the Far Right and viewed the potential Reagan-Ford contest in such
terms. Reagan and other “New Right” conservatives increasingly linked Christian
moralizing with their ideological fervor. In that regard, it is telling that Rosenzweig
omitted John Conlan, the other 1974 winner, from his list of those who had moderated
their positions.
After a decade at the helm of the party, Rosenzweig was forced into retirement.
At Rosenzweig’s suggestion, Goldwater joined in endorsing Bill Baker as the next state
Party Chairman.152 Instead, delegates elected Jim Colter, the first successful ideological
evangelical candidate for state Party Chairman. Colter went on to serve as a thorn in
Goldwater’s side, representing the Reagan-Conlan wing of the state party and
complicating efforts by the strategic secular actors to steer the party in their direction. 153
Also in 1975, Eugene Pulliam died, depriving the Republican Party, and especially his
strategic secular allies, of his influential support.154
151
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Harry Rosenzweig, 19 Nov 1974, AHF, BMG, Alpha, Box 19, folder 20
“Rosenzweig, Harry”
152
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Harry Rosenzweig, 6 Aug 1975, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 19, folder 20
153
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Rep. Philip Crane (IL), 9 Aug 1978, AHF, BMG Alpha files, Box 4, folder
23
154
Pulliam, Publisher, 1984
288
With Paul Fannin leaving the U.S. Senate in 1976, two ideological actors sought
the Republican nomination. John Conlan and Sam Steiger shared a political philosophy
that favored ideological priority over strategic action and each receiving a 100% rating by
the American Conservative Union, but they were at opposite ends of the religious
spectrum.155 Exercising his prerogative as conservative patriarch, Barry Goldwater
joined others in attempting to dissuade the two from competing, warning of the potential
loss of three Republican-held seats, but to no avail.156
The result was a brutal primary fight that tested the loyalties of established
Republican Party leaders. Choosing to enter the contest in opposition to the evangelical
wing of the party, Harry Rosenzweig signed on as Sam Steiger’s finance chairman. 157
Ultimately Goldwater also chose to intervene, responding to a growing sense that
Conlan’s ideological evangelical approach bore the taint of anti-semitism. Just before the
primary vote, Goldwater declared:
In all my years as a Republican I have never endorsed a person running for State
office in the primary. This year, I am breaking my longstanding rule and
announcing my support of Congressman Sam Steiger for the office of United
States Senator from Arizona. I have been following carefully the Steiger-Conlan
contest and I have expressed before my deep concern over the injection of
religion in the form of a particular new Christian movement, but also of antisemitism. The first I can condone, but the second has no place in any contest in
our State or in this country. I had hoped that Mr. Conlon and his supporters
155
Press Release, American Conservative Union, 1 Sep 1976, Harold B. Lee Library Special Collections,
Brigham Young University, American Conservative Union Papers, 1964-1980, Box 71, folder 12 “1976”
156
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Jim Colter, 11 Feb 1976, AHF, BMG Politics, Box 89, folder 1 “Arizona
Republican State Committee”
157
“Rosenzweig Will Assume Post as Steiger Finance Chairman,” Arizona Republic, 18 Apr 1976, A8
289
would have stopped this after it received national attention in publications in the
East and in the West, but it obviously has not and it is continuing.158
Conlan’s evangelical ideological approach had gone too far. Though Goldwater stopped
short of directly condemning the injection of evangelical Christianity into politics, he
expressed his “deep concern” over the matter and tied it to both the charges of antisemitism and his own decision to endorse Steiger. The strategic secular conservatives
thus sided with their ideological secular colleague rather than see victory by an
evangelical ideologue. Ultimately both lost, as the devastating primary contest and
Conlan’s refusal to back Steiger afterwards contributed to a general election victory for
moderate Democrat Dennis DeConcini.159 The Republicans also lost Steiger’s
congressional seat to conservative Democrat Bob Stump.
In the midst of this fight between Steiger and Conlan, the party also was caught
up in the primary contest between Ronald Reagan and President Gerald Ford. Weekly
reports for the Ford campaign beginning in December 1975 identified an uphill battle.
Rep. Conlan’s grassroots network was mobilized for Reagan and the campaign boasted of
already having twenty five of the twenty nine delegates wrapped up.160 Though claiming
neutrality, Jim Colter and the state party organization were actually working for
158
Press Release by Barry Goldwater, 24 Aug 1976, AHF, BMG Politics, Box 89, folder 24 “Conlan, John
B.”
159
Telegram, Barry Goldwater to John Conlan, date missing (ca. Oct 1976), AHF, BMG Politics, Box 89,
folder 27 “Conlan, John B.”
160
Al Zapanta Weekly Report on Arizona, 5 December 1975, Ford Presidential Library, President Ford
Committee Campaign Papers, Box C1, folder “Spencer – Arizona”
290
Reagan.161 In a detailed report on Arizona prepared in mid-April 1976, a Ford staffer
noted the popularity of Reagan, the “hotly contested” Steiger-Conlan primary fight, and a
large “Right to Life” movement under the heading of “Issues to Avoid” in Arizona. 162
The deck seemed stacked securely against Ford, despite the support of Goldwater,
Rhodes, and Steiger. By the end of April, Ford had lost the struggle as Arizona’s
delegates went overwhelmingly for Reagan. 163
By 1978, Goldwater and his allies felt themselves shut out of state party
leadership. Writing to Illinois Rep. Philip Crane in August 1978 in advance of the
conservative presidential candidate’s visit to Arizona, Goldwater offered “a bit of fatherly
advice.” He counseled Crane to tread lightly because the state party had been “very
badly split” by the Ford-Reagan contest and was in a battle to replace state Party
Chairman Jim Colter.164 Two days later, Goldwater wrote to supporters Albert and
Louise Knopf in northern Arizona,
I agree completely that the State Chairman has to go but both of you should
realize that Harry Rosenzweig and I are no longer considered members of the
leadership of the Party in the State. In fact, I haven’t been asked to an official
function in some three or four years, so I have to depend on others just as you do,
and I hope the others get off their dead ends and start doing something before they
have destroyed the work that hundreds of us have done.165
161
Al Zapanta Weekly Report on Arizona, 12 December 1975 and Last Week in January, Ford Presidential
Library, President Ford Committee Campaign Papers, Box C1, folder “Spencer – Arizona”
162
Detailed Campaign Report on Arizona, dated 12 Apr 1976, Ford Presidential Library, Rogers C.B.
Morton Files, Box 4, folder “Arizona”
163
Al Zapanta Weekly Report on Arizona, Week of April 26, Ford Presidential Library, President Ford
Committee Campaign Papers, Box C1, folder “Spencer – Arizona”
164
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Rep. Philip Crane (IL), 9 Aug 1978, AHF, BMG Alpha files, Box 4, folder
23
165
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Albert and Louise Knopf, 11 Apr 1978, AHF, BMG Correspondence, Box
55, folder 22
291
Ironically, Goldwater himself had damaged his ability to shape the party and
strengthened the hand of the ideological evangelical conservatives by supporting
Rosenzweig’s removal as Party Chairman.
To make matters worse, he foresaw further losses for the party as the 1978
gubernatorial election drew near. Popular Democratic Governor Bruce Babbitt was
running for reelection and the Republicans were in disarray. He suggested to the Knopfs,
I’ll be perfectly honest with you. I don’t think we have a Republican who has
announced yet who can beat Babbitt in the Governor’s race. Certainly it can’t be
Mecham because I don’t know how a Republican could vote for him after the way
he dumped Kleindienst after Kleindienst won the primary [in 1964].166
Mecham did go on to win the party primary, finally becoming the Republican candidate
for governor in his third attempt, but lost to Babbitt just as Goldwater had predicted.
Reagan Truce: 1980-1986
The early 1980s was a relatively peaceful time for Arizona Republicans. With
Ford out of the picture, the party was able to unite behind Ronald Reagan in 1980. Bob
Stump, the conservative Democrat who had won Sam Steiger’s seat, changed his party
affiliation in 1982 to join the Republicans. That same year, John McCain won the
primary and general election contests to replace retiring Rep. John Rhodes. Rhodes, who
had succeeded Gerald Ford as Minority Leader, decided to leave as he felt the nature of
the Republican Caucus shifting beneath him. As he reflected to Stephen Shadegg,
I could see the build up of the extreme right wing in our own party, which was
putting me in the situation of being the leader, knowing where I thought I needed
166
Ibid.
292
to go but having a great big segment of the troops going somewhere else. I was
either going to become very controversial, or I as going to become a former
Minority Leader, or I was going to get out.167
Speaking at the Arizona Republican Party Convention in 1983, Goldwater reminisced
about how far the party had come in three-plus decades. Then he announced his
retirement from the state political scene.
I no longer intend to get involved with this Party other than to be constantly
available for help when needed. But, as far as my taking a position on who is
going to be chairman, who is going to be this or who is going to be that, that is
now the problem of younger people, people who have come up the same way I
did, the hard way…. I will sit back with great ease and comfort, watching your
progress and willing to lend a hand where one is needed, but not a hand that is
going to act as a guide.168
Though he had three years left in the U.S. Senate, Goldwater was stepping down as
patriarch of the Arizona Republican Party at the time when his influence had already
begun to wane considerably.
The period from 1980 to 1986 thus marked a changing of the Republican guard in
Arizona. John Rhodes had come to Arizona during World War Two as an officer in the
Army Air Corp and young Harvard-trained lawyer. Within a decade he entered Congress
after winning his first political election and was selected as president of the entering
Republican class. Now he was handing over the reigns to John McCain, an Annapolis
graduate, former Navy pilot, and Arizona transplant. McCain was also elected president
167
Interview with John Rhodes by Stephen Shadegg, ca. 1984, AHF, Stephen Shadegg Collection,
Writings, (unprocessed), folder “Arizona Politics Interviews”
168
Speech at State Republican Convention, 22 Jan 1983, AHF, BMG, Speeches
293
of his Republican congressional class.169 Four years later, McCain won Goldwater’s
Senate seat as the heir apparent. Like Goldwater, he too would eventually win his party’s
presidential nomination and he too would wrestle with more ideologically motivated
members of his own party.
Governor Mecham: 1986-1988
The final battle between the strategic and ideological political actors of
Goldwater’s generation arose over Evan Mecham’s successful gubernatorial bid in 1986.
In Mecham’s fifth campaign for the governor’s mansion he finally succeeded in both
defeating his primary opponent and winning the general election, three-way race in which
Mecham receiving just below 40% of the vote.170 Goldwater ally Richard Kleindienst,
serving once more as state Party Chairman, took the unusual step of endorsing Mecham’s
opponent during the primary contest, while former state Chairman Jim Colter endorsed
Mecham.171 Following the primary election, former Governor Jack Williams endorsed
Mecham, much to the consternation of Stephen Shadegg. Shadegg, who had signed on
with independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Schulz and whose feud with Mecham went
back more than two decades, wrote Williams an irate later. In it he rehearsed all the
wrongs Mecham had committed against Shadegg and the party and attached an ad that
169
Dan Nowicki and Bill Muller, “McCain Profile: Arizona, the Early Years,” The Arizona Republic, 1 Mar
2007
170
“Mecham’s Running for Office,” list of campaigns and outcomes, Arizona State Archives, Vertical
Files, folder “Mecham, Evan”
171
Letter of endorsement, for Evan Mecham from Jim Colter, 1986, Arizona State University, Special
Collections, Evan Mecham Collection, folder “Mecham, Evan”
294
Mecham had sponsored against Williams in 1966. Shadegg pled with Williams not to
help Mecham any further.172 Ignoring such pleadings, Williams and Goldwater joined
others in endorsing the party’s gubernatorial nominee173
As covered in chapter 3, Mecham governed as a fierce ideologue, often sacrificing
party solidarity and popular support by taking rigid stands on otherwise seemingly trivial
matters. Goldwater was among those frustrated, suggesting to Shadegg that he had
supported Mecham in the general election only because Mecham was a fellow
Republican and he expected Mecham to once more lose. After Mecham’s victory,
Goldwater hoped that “we could handle him,” but that quickly proved not to be the
case.174 Backed by the more ideologically-minded wing of the party, including Sam
Steiger, Jim Colter, and Bob Stump, Mecham reached out to like-minded conservatives
rather than the older members of the strategic elite.175
Eventually, Goldwater and his allies emerged from their retirement to prepare for
the possibility of Mecham’s ouster in a pending recall election. They hired a prominent
pollster to prepare for the campaign and convinced John Rhodes to enter the recall
election as a candidate for the governor’s office. But Goldwater had trouble convincing
long-time ally Jack Williams to join in these efforts. Williams, having grown
increasingly evangelical and ideological himself, felt sorry for Mecham, suggesting to
172
Letter, Stephen Shadegg to Jack Williams, 4 Nov 1986, AHF, SS, (unprocessed) Box 130
173
Press Release, “Goldwater Endorses Evan Mecham,” 7 Oct 1986, AHF, BMG, Speeches
174
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Stephen Shadegg, 18 Nov 1987, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, folder “Mecham,
Ev”
175
Letter, Jack Williams to Barry Goldwater, 11 Feb 1987, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 24, folder 7;
Letter, Mecham to BMG, 10 Jul 1987, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, folder “Mecham, Ev”
295
Goldwater that all governors make mistakes and that Williams simply had been fortunate
in benefiting from Pulliam’s favorable press coverage.176 Goldwater, however, was
unsympathetic. In perhaps his most telling comment on their contrasting political
philosophies, Goldwater wrote to Williams about Mecham:
He has that 800 line straight up to God. He won’t make a move till he’s talked to
the old boy. Now there’s nothing wrong with that, but I think even the Lord
would agree that a little advice any time is good.177
The man who had praised “extremism in the defense of liberty” was not questioning
Mecham’s political commitment or conservative credentials. And just as he had done
with Conlan, Goldwater stopped short of condemning Mecham’s religious principles.
However, Mecham’s rigid commitment to ideology over strategy was something
Goldwater could not understand even God endorsing.
Ultimately, the recall election was canceled after the state Senate removed
Mecham from office on 4 April 1988.178 Democratic Secretary of State Rose Mofford
took over the office until the end of the term. With the Republican Party in disarray, the
current state Party Chairman Burton Kruglick, a Mecham ally, invited Goldwater to
deliver the keynote address at the 1988 Arizona Republican Party Convention.179 Invited
by the ideological evangelical wing of the party, Goldwater again emerged from
retirement on a strategic mission: to reunite a party split by the controversy surrounding
176
Letter, Jack Williams to Barry Goldwater, 20 Apr 1988, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 24, folder 7
177
Letter, Barry Goldwater to Jack Williams, 4 Sept 1987, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, Box 24, folder 7
178
Pat Flannery, “Former Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham has died,” The Arizona Republic, 22 Feb 2008
179
Letter, Stephen Shadegg to Barry Goldwater, 17 Nov 1987, AHF, BMG Alpha Files, folder “Mecham,
Evan”; Letter, Burton Kruglick to Barry Goldwater, 1 May 1988, AHF, BMG, Speeches
296
Gov. Mecham. He called on all present “regardless of whatever philosophy, or shade of
philosophy they might have” to “let bygones be bygones” for the good of the party.
Notably, at a Republican State Convention after he had left political office for good, he
still framed this plea for unity in terms of the need to maintain strength in the two-party
system, to put up a united front against the Democrats so that both parties would continue
to field and elect their best candidates.180 To the end, Goldwater remained true to the
core of his political philosophy.
Conclusion
A new type of Southwestern Sunbelt conservative Republican politics emerged in
Arizona during the 1950s. It drew on the reform principles of the Charter Government
Committee, from which many of its key leaders emerged. Rather than warning of a vast
communist conspiracy undermining the nation or playing to racist sentiments, Barry
Goldwater and others pledge bipartisan fiscal reform and a return to proper balance in
government. Evangelical and secular strategic conservatives formed an easy alliance
around principles of increased individual liberties and two-party governance. Their
message was a values-oriented appeal to Democratic voters that rejected transactional
politics in favor of limited government. The 1958 Senate campaign exemplified this
values-oriented political philosophy by pairing a message about union-government
political corruption with a professionally managed, data driven campaign approach.
180
Speech, Arizona Republican State Convention, 1988, AHF, BMG Speeches
297
In the early 1960s, this political philosophy was challenged at both the municipal
and state levels by the rise of an ideological anti-communist political philosophy that
emphasized the power of pure principles above that of strategic organization. Evan
Mecham, Mac Matheson, Sam Steiger, Frank Brophy and their anti-CGC allies
challenged what they saw as an insufficiently-committed Republican “establishment”
supported by the suspect Pulliam press. Mecham’s 1962 primary defeat of Stephen
Shadegg indicated that the ideological wing of the Republican Party was strong enough
to overcome individual strategic candidates if others remained neutral. Goldwater, Paul
Fannin, and others were forced to unitedly intervene more directly than their principles
would have suggested in order to maintain the strategic direction of the party.
After 1964, the Arizona Republican Party experienced a decade-long return to its
CGC roots, this time with greater control at the state level. With former CGC mayor Jack
Williams in the governorship, Republican control of the state legislature, and Harry
Rosenzweig at the party helm, Goldwater’s allies were able to implement their strategic
conservative principles.
Representatives of a new evangelical ideological conservative movement
disrupted this second period of strategic unity in the late-1970s. Nationally, 1974 was a
difficult year for Republicans due to the fallout from Watergate and inflation. Though
Arizona’s congressional delegation bucked national trends, Democrats made significant
gains at the state level. More significantly for the direction of the Republican Party, 1976
combined a contentious Senate primary between John Conlan and Sam Steiger with a
battle between pro-Reagan and pro-Ford forces over Arizona’s Republican National
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Convention delegation. These contests split the party along religious lines as strategic
secular conservatives joined secular ideologues against evangelical conservatives such as
Conlan and Jim Colter. This alliance among secular strategic and ideological
conservatives produced mixed results: Steiger won the Senate primary, Ford lost the
delegation, and Mecham won the 1978 gubernatorial primary.
As in 1964, Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign (and election) seems to have united
party factions for a time, though that unity had a decidedly ideological tilt. The
enthusiasm of the evangelical ideological grassroots of the Reagan-era Arizona
Republican Party, reluctant support of strategic conservatives after years of Democratic
control, and a three-way race combined in the 1986 gubernatorial race to produce Evan
Mecham’s first election victory since his 1960 campaign for the state Senate. Goldwater
and other strategic conservatives soon came to regret their decision, however, working
behind the scenes to prepare for Mecham’s recall and replacement by strategic secular
conservative John Rhodes. Mecham’s impeachment and removal from office in 1988
instead marked the end of that generation’s struggle over the direction of the Arizona
Republican Party. Though the evangelical ideological conservatives’ prioritization of
pure principles over strategic action had once more been repudiated, none of the strategic
secular conservatives were in a position to guide the party in their preferred direction.
The day in January 1989 on which John McCain took over Barry Goldwater’s Senate seat
marked the final passage of the baton to a new generation of conservative Arizona
Republican leaders.
299
One of Barry Goldwater’s most important contributions at the state level to the
emergence of a dominant national conservative Republican Party was his willingness to
prioritize party strength and unity above ideological purity. His constant concern for the
growth of the party establishment helped maintain his role as the pre-eminent leader of
the state party, as Mr. Arizona. Ironically, his strategic commitment to the state party,
especially as manifest in his attempts to avoid divisive primary campaigns and his refusal
to endorse primary candidates, actually strengthened the hand of his ideological
adversaries within the party. Over time, this contributed to more combative primary
contests and a rejection of his strategic approach to party building as politicians such as
Evan Mecham, John Conlan, and Sam Steiger wrestled for the opportunity to serve as the
new conservative standard bearer. Through his reluctance to engage in party primaries,
Goldwater weakened the hand of his allies and cleared the way for representatives of a
growing evangelical Christian political movement which came to dominate conservative
Republicanism in Arizona and the nation. Goldwater’s strategic commitment ultimately
undermined his influence within the party and contributed directly to the emergence of a
conservative Republican Party that rejected both his strategic approach and his secular
ideology.
300
Conclusion
The Arizona Conservative Divide
Two strands of right-wing political ideology vied for institutional control of the
Arizona Republican Party and rhetorical dominance in the fight over the meaning of
conservative between 1950 and 1988. A group of organization-minded strategic secular
conservatives battled with those who understood conservative politics as an extension of
their evangelical religious commitments. Their contest revealed fundamental divisions
within the modern conservative movement that continue to split the movement decades
later.
Organizations served as both message and means for Barry Goldwater and his
Southwestern Sunbelt conservative allies. Their conservatism was oriented first and
foremost around an anti-New Deal message critical of the governing regime for its
transactional politics, especially as epitomized in the relationship between big unions and
big government. Government, whether locally or nationally, was in need of restrictive
reform that would expand individual liberty and free enterprise. The key to achieving
political change lay in strategic organization around a conservative banner.
Denunciations of corruption, calls for “law and order,” and attacks on government
expansion were more than progressive platitudes, coded racial appeals, or self-interested
anti-regulation pleas; they were central tenets of a conservative political philosophy born
of the mid-century Southwestern reform movement and ties to the pre-World War II
Republican conservatism of Herbert Hoover.
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Bud Kelland, the Charter Government Committee, Eli Gorodezky, and Stephen
Shadegg each exemplified this organization-oriented conservatism. Bud Kelland’s
friendship with Herbert Hoover, commitment to the Republican Party, and criticism of
President Eisenhower set a pattern for Barry Goldwater and other Arizona conservatives
dedicated to the two-party system. The Charter Government Committee championed a
local message of government reform, succeeding in reshaping the political culture around
a set of pro-growth policies and the direct involvement of business organizations in
municipal affairs, thus setting a path the Arizona Republican Party soon followed.
Gorodezky was willing, even eager, to pursue the organization principles of the CGC to
their ideological end point, obscuring message in favor of effective organization. His
proposals for sub rosa political organizations and his covert work in county and state
government in furtherance of the pro-business agenda would have confirmed Frank
Brophy’s fears about a vast underground conspiracy. Shadegg’s data-driven campaign
techniques, so effective in 1952, 1958, and 1960, proved the power of political
organization and succeeded in launching Goldwater’s national career as a conservative
champion. Shadegg’s insistence on putting the party first in 1962 doomed his campaign
against Mecham while reflecting his loyalty to the political organization.
The evangelical ideological wing of the Arizona Republican Party was composed
of individuals who saw themselves more as missionaries for a cause. Whereas the
strategic secular conservatives focused on ‘right government,’ the ideologues focused on
‘right message.’ They considered the conservative message more than simply the best
alternative for governance or a necessary corrective to liberalism. For them, political
302
conservatism reflected timeless truths, truths which were religious as much as they were
political. Much as Christian evangelists exercised faith that the preaching of their
message, if done in sincerity and purity, would convert their listeners and reshape their
lives, so the evangelical ideologues believed that the conservative message was imbued
with a power beyond organizational circumstance. The power to change the nation lay
not in party building and strategic organization, but in awakening enough Americans to
the cause of conservatism. The only way to accomplish this was for committed
conservatives to take uncompromising stands for what they knew to be right, even if that
meant suffering personal losses.
This approach to conservative politics stretched from Frank Brophy through Evan
Mecham and the Christian Reaganites. The Catholic Brophy left behind party
attachments as he became disillusioned with the Democrats and sought to convince others
of the existence of a nefarious conspiracy at work in the world, taking his distrust of
organizational politics to the extreme. His analogizing of Mecham to the Apostle Paul
and the New Deal coalition to the kingdom of the devil, warned of in the close of Paul’s
letter to the Ephesians, indicates the extent to which his evangelical, anti-communist
Catholicism was tied to his political approach. Evan Mecham, along with W. Cleon
Skousen and Ezra Taft Benson, exemplified a particularly strong form of Mormon
evangelical ideological conservatism that was closely aligned with Robert Welch’s John
Birch Society, itself named after an anti-communist “martyr.” These Mormon
conservatives linked anti-communism, conspiracy thinking, and libertarianism with
values-oriented religious claims in the early 1950s, prefiguring the rise of the Christian
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New Right by two-decades. Their particular brand of religious conservatism remains
potent today.1 Though these early evangelical ideologues were only rarely successful
against the well-established secular strategists, beginning in the 1970s they were joined
by politicians and activists such as John Conlan and Jim Colter, Christian conservative
backers of Ronald Reagan representing the millions who helped sweep him into the
White House, fulfilling a decades-long hope.
From this context, key national Republican leaders emerged. Goldwater’s
presidential run placed him on a short list of influential conservative candidates. Sandra
Day O’Connor came out of the political background of the charter government
movement, serving on the board of directors of First National Bank of Arizona and
developing a close friendship with Phoenix mayor John Driggs and his wife Gail.2
William Rehnquist worked with Shadegg in Republican campaign organization and as an
advisor to Goldwater on constitutional and civil rights issues. Others, including Richard
Kleindienst (Attorney General in the Nixon administration) and Dean Burch (briefly
RNC Chairman and later FCC Chairman) saw their careers launched from the state to the
national level more directly as a result of their work on the 1964 campaign.
Though John McCain in many ways represents the next generation of
conservative Arizona politics, he has also had to wrestle throughout his career with
1
See, for instance, the conservative philosophy espoused by Glenn Beck, an Arizona convert to
Mormonism who has almost single-handedly propelled the writings of W. Cleon Skousen back to the top of
best-seller lists. In 2009, Glenn Beck’s Common Sense and his Arguing with Idiots were respectively
Amazon.com’s 13th and 22nd most sold books. Skousen’s The Five Thousand Year Leap, published in 1981
but recently re-introduced to Beck’s listeners, ranked 29th.
2
Joan Biskupic, Sandra Day O’Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most
Influential Justice, New York, NY: Ecco, 2005
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demands that he be a more loyal (read: ideological) conservative. In 2000 he learned that
the national Republican Party was not ready for a strategic secular conservative. In 2008,
similar rumblings from the evangelical ideological party base convinced him that he
needed a running mate from that sector of the party rather than the “moderates” he was
said to be favoring. His current primary challenge, from former Congressman and radio
commentator J.D. Hayworth, reflects the latest wave of ideological conservative strength
born of dissatisfaction.3
Barry Goldwater’s failure as that conservative hope in 1964 was due to three main
limiting factors. First, President John F. Kennedy’s assassination immediately and
significantly diminished the Republican Party’s chances at the presidency; perhaps
especially those of Barry Goldwater since a Southerner then occupied the White House.
Goldwater recognized this at the time and significantly wavered on the question of
whether he would still run.4 Second, Goldwater was plagued by charges of “extremism,”
due more to exogenous factors such timing of the Civil Rights Act and the national fight
over the direction of the Republican Party than a personal disposition toward ideological
rigidity or fanaticism on Goldwater’s part (though his unrestrained speaking habits did
nothing to reverse the popular image once it had been established). Both Nelson
Rockefeller and Lyndon Johnson helped nourish this image of Goldwater as they sought
3
Hayworth’s candidacy, the continuing popularity of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and the recent
immigration law suggest that a study of contemporary Arizona Republican politics would need to include
an axis on immigration in addition to those I have proposed for the 1950-1988 period.
4
. Critchlow, The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political History (Cambridge,
Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2007), 76; Rick Perlstein, Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the
Unmaking of the American Consensus (New York: Hill and Wang, 2001), 252-252; Robert Goldberg,
Barry Goldwater, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995), 178-179
305
to fight off, respectively, the conservative takeover of the national Republican Party and
the first conservative presidential campaign in over thirty years. Finally, Goldwater was
personally uncomfortable with the mix of religious and political rhetoric that softened the
image of successful conservative Republican politicians such as Ronald Reagan. 5 The
local animosity between competing camps in the Arizona Republican Party may have
contributed to what was for Goldwater an already deep-seated distrust of religious
conservatism. That distrust continued to grow after 1964, alienating him from the
mainstream conservative movement as evangelical Christians played an increasing role in
both the Arizona and national conservative movement.
The cumulative impact of these limiting factors was not only a conservative loss
in 1964 but also the loss of Goldwater as leader for that movement. His brand of
conservatism, which had proven so effective in Arizona, brought together conservative
businessmen, racial and social conservatives, and members of the Far Right in a direct
challenge to the logic of the New Deal regime. In doing so, Southwestern Sunbelt
conservatism established a foundation for future conservative success. But such success
only came when the competing elements of conservative Republicanism were unified.
One of the ironic outcomes of the 1964 election was that while it left the national
Republican Party intensely fractured, it initiated a period of impressive party unity and
success in Arizona. In 1980, Ronald Reagan succeeded in winning the presidency by
duplicating on a national level what Barry Goldwater and his allies had done earlier in
Arizona: uniting the contentious conservative factions while making a successful appeal
5
Bruce J. Schulman and Julian E. Zelizer, eds., Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the
1970s (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2008), 46
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to disillusioned Democratic voters to establish a winning coalition. That Goldwater had
come so close and failed so completely speaks volumes to the Arizona political setting
from which he emerged.
Further Research
The history of Arizona conservatism, especially the contest between Goldwater’s
political allies and their ideological and evangelical conservative challengers, reveals
several areas for additional scholarly investigation. First, Brophy, Mecham, and others
who have often been classified as “Far Right” were not simply more outspoken, more
dedicated, more stubborn, or somehow pathological versions of the “establishment”
conservatives. Rather, they held distinctive and deeply-held beliefs about the process of
political change and the place of Christian principles in American politics that led them to
employ different tactics in pursuit of different goals. The fundamentals of their
conservative belief led them into repeated conflict with the secular strategists. Those
ideological differences are worth further exploration for the simple fact that their contest
determined the type of challenge that the Republican Party presented to the New Deal
regime. Though the Arizona Republican Party presents one example of how that contest
unfolded, the process was uneven across the country and other locations may have more
directly determined the outcome on the national stage.
Second, the long history of this evangelical ideological conservatism, linked
through Brophy to the pre-World War II period and beginning in the Arizona Republican
Party at least as early as Mecham’s 1962 Senate campaign, suggests a need to rethink
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significantly the chronological and denominational boundaries in our study of the
emergence of evangelical Christian politics. Brophy’s Catholicism differed significantly
from Evan Mecham’s Mormonism and John Conlan’s Protestantism, but their political
philosophies bear more similarities than differences. Evangelical Christianity, broadly
understood, has been motivating conservative politics since long before the Carter
administration or the establishment of Protestant political networks. Here Stephen
Shadegg serves as a potent counter-example: an evangelical Christian who operated in
the midst of a ‘mainstream’ denomination with the support of internal evangelical
networks and who continued to practice a strategic brand of conservative politics.
Continuing Reverberations
Events in the 2010 campaign season emphasize the continuing relevance of this
analysis beyond Arizona and Arizonans. In May, just after winning the Kentucky
Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, Rand Paul caused a media stir when he
agreed with All Things Considered host Robert Seigel’s characterization that he hoped he
“would have marched with Martin Luther King but voted with Barry Goldwater against
the 1964 Civil Rights Act.”6 In trying to explain that position later on The Rachel
Maddow Show, Rand explained his concerns with the Civil Rights Act in Goldwateresque terms, arguing that he was personally opposed to racism but concerned with the
6
Interview with Rand Paul by Robert Seigel, 19 May 2010, All Things Considered, National Public Radio,
available online at: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126985068
308
scope of federal intervention in private business allowed by the Civil Rights Act.7 Paul’s
comments demonstrates that neither the New Deal nor the 1964 Civil Rights Act were
effective in establishing a permanent consensus around questions of liberty, civil rights,
and the power of the federal government. In fact, recent controversy over the Supreme
Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the health care reform
debate, and the Tea Party movement all indicate the particular potency of such issues in
the contemporary political climate. Students of U.S. politics and future historians run the
risk of misreading the current political moment if they assume that racial politics are at
the heart of all conservative concerns about government scope and authority. As Barry
Goldwater’s example reminds us, one does not need to be a racist to reject the logic of the
New Deal-Great Society regime.
The Republican Party also continues to wrestle with the divide that split Arizona
Republicans during Barry Goldwater’s career. The May 2010 defeat of U.S. Senator
Robert Bennett of Utah at the state party convention underscored the divide between
ideological and strategic candidates in that very conservative state. In explaining the
difficulty he had in making his pitch for reelection to ideologically-minded convention
delegates, he shared this story with All Things Considered host Michele Norris:
Some of my supporters would report conversations they would have. One in
particular said to this woman: Who are you voting for? She said: I'm voting for
Cherilyn Eager. Why? Well, she loves the Constitution. All right, Senator Bennett
loves the Constitution. Yeah, but Cherilyn Eager loves it more. And finally, my
7
Interview with Rand Paul by Rachel Maddow, 19 May 2010, The Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC,
available online at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908//vp/37244354#37244354
309
supporter said, well, I guess there's nothing I can say to you. And they said no,
because I want somebody who really, really loves the Constitution. 8
When asked about the effectiveness of touting his record of bringing federal money to the
state, Bennett replied,
No, they hate that, yeah. It's because you have been there so long, you have
focused solely on bringing things home to Utah, and we don't want somebody
who's going to bring home the bacon. We want somebody who will represent our
values.
And then, of course, there's a failure to understand. I had this conversation a lot
why didn't you kill Obamacare? Well, you know, politics is a team sport, and you
need 51 votes. We have - you're a senator. You have power, and you did not use
that power. You let Obama pass that plan. And that's because you're part of that
Washington apparatus, and you're part of that old boys' club where everybody
gets along. You didn't stand there and fight. If you had really fought, you could
have killed Obamacare. And I say, well, the reality is that I couldn't. They won't
buy that. 9
The conservative Republican convention delegates that rejected Sen. Bennett’s reelection
bid had much in common with the Republican voters of Goldwater-era Arizona. They
shared the same rejection of transactional politics that Barry Goldwater, running as an
outsider against the Senate Majority Leader of the New Deal regime, successfully tapped
into in 1952. But they also expressed a faith in the power of conservative principles
themselves, regardless of organizational context, similar Goldwater’s ideological
evangelical opponents. That such sentiment is sufficiently widespread within the Utah
Republican Party to topple the three-term, conservative Sen. Bennett suggests that it is
perhaps even more potent now than when Evan Mecham finally (and briefly) made it into
8
Interview with Sen. Robert Bennett by Michele Norris, 12 May 2010, All Things Considered, National
Public Radio, available online at: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126782931
9
Ibid.
310
the governor’s seat. Understanding the long-term history of such political beliefs, their
connection to religious belief, the political culture in which they flourish, and the reasons
for their periodic potency, will help us better understand not only our past but also our
present and the nature of our American political system.
The Goldwater Legacy
In 1952, a city councilman from a new urban reform organization, running for his
second elective office, defeated a two-term U.S. Senator and Democratic Majority
Leader. He ran on common pledges to clean up government, cut waste, lower taxes, and
take a hard line against Communism. But what really caught his opponent by surprise
was his willingness to reject transactional politics, especially the idea that the water so
prized in this desert state was an ancillary issue unrelated to the real purpose of
government. In fact, this city councilman had the nerve to argue, with the Great
Depression and World War II still fresh memories, that government should be drastically
smaller and concerned less with people’s material welfare than with getting out of their
way so that the free enterprise system could work unfettered. It seemed a drastic and
risky message of privilege, but it worked. It seemed to have resonance in the newly
booming Southwestern Sunbelt state. Then, six years later, in the midst of a general
Republican rout, the message worked again.
In 1960, the Senator and his closest campaign advisor spread his message across
the nation, raising money and electing more conservative Republican senators. Four
years later, the Senator used that same message to conquer his party and take the
311
presidential nomination. The message had wide enough appeal to bring together
conservatives from South Carolina to California. Though he lost the election, the
momentum he built and the politics he outlined helped propel his party’s once-defeated
1960 nominee to the presidency in 1968. Then, in 1980, the political movement that
came of age in 1964 elected one of the most popular presidents of the twentieth century
and rightly claimed to have remade American political culture in its image, toppling the
old New Deal regime and establishing a new one in its place. The message championed
by the city councilman in 1952, a political movement born in the last of the continental
U.S. states, had become the dominant political philosophy of the nation in three short
decades. In simplified terms, this is the story of Barry Goldwater and Southwestern
Sunbelt conservatism.
312
List of Primary Sources
Manuscript Collections
Arizona Historical Foundation (AHF), Tempe, AZ
Addresses of Carl A. Bimson
Dean Burch Papers
The Personal and Political Papers of Senator Barry M. Goldwater (BMG)1
Morris Goldwater Collection
Margaret B. Kober Collection
Orme Lewis Collection
Mecham Recall Collection
Planned Parenthood of Central and Northern Arizona
Harry S. Rosenzweig, Sr. Collection
Newton Rosenzweig Collection
Stephen C. Shadegg Collection (SS)1
Frank L. Snell Collection
Arizona Historical Society, Library and Archives, Tempe Branch (AHS Tempe), AZ
Fritz Family Collection
Oral History Collection.
Phoenix City Government Records
Phoenix Rotary Club Records
Rockwell Collection
Governor Jack Williams Collection
Arizona Historical Society, Library and Archives, Tucson Branch (AHS Tucson), AZ
Brophy Papers, Record Group III: Frank Cullen Brophy (FCB)
Burch Papers
1
As I began my research, the Goldwater collection at the Arizona Historical Foundation was still in the
midst of processing. The staff there went out of their way to provide not only access but also leads on
important documents that I otherwise might have overlooked in the shuffle. Though I have done my best to
give full citations corresponding to the ultimate organization of the collection, it has not always been
possible at this stage. Similarly, the Shadegg collection at the AHF is only now in the initial stages of
processing. Box and folder references, where extant, are only temporary.
313
Arizona Jewish Historical Society (AJHS), Phoenix, AZ
Oral History Collection
Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records – History and Archives Division
(ASL), Phoenix, AZ
Governors’ File
The Public and Personal Papers of Ernest McFarland (EM)
Evan Mecham Vertical File
Secretary of State Collection
Arizona State University, Special Collections (ASU), Tempe, AZ
Margaret Hance Papers
Carl T. Hayden Collection
Evan Mecham Biographical File
Howard Pyle Papers
Trinity (Episcopal) Cathedral Records, 1884-1993
John J. Rhodes Papers
John R. (Jack) Williams Papers
The Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (CAH)
Stephen Shadegg / Barry Goldwater Collection (SSBG)
Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Abilene, KS (Eisenhower Pres.)
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Papers as President of the United States (Ann Whitman
File)
Herbert Brownell, Jr. Papers
Leonard W. Hall Papers
National Federation of Republican Women Records
Oral History Collection
Howard Pyle Records
Thomas E. Stephens Records
314
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Gerald R. Ford Congressional Papers
Robert T. Hartman Files
Rogers C. B. Morton Files
President Ford Committee Campaign Records
White House Central Files
William J. Baroody, Jr. Papers
Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Phoenix, AZ (GPCoC)
Oral Histories
Minutes of Past Board Meetings
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, West Branch, IA (Hoover Pres.)
Bourke B. Hickenlooper Papers
Papers of Herbert Hoover – Post Presidential
Oral History Collection
Hoover Institution Library and Archives, Stanford, CA (Hoover Inst.)
Normal Alderdice Papers
Lawrence Dennis Papers
Bonner Frank Fellers Papers
Free Society Association Records (FSA)
Denison Kitchel Papers
Raymond Moley Papers
Radical Right Collection
L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
American Conservative Union
Ernest L. Wilkinson Papers
Kenneth D. Wells Collection
315
Oral History Interviews
Dick Bryce
John Driggs
Karen Johnson
Elaine Warick
Newspapers
The Arizona Republic
The Phoenix Gazette
New York Times
Other Published Primary Sources
Kleindienst, Richard G. Justice: The Memoirs of Attorney General Kleindienst. Ottawa,
Ill.: Jameson Books, 1985.
Goldwater, Barry M. The Conscience of a Conservative. 1960. James Madison Library
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