Ron Paul Meet Barry Goldwater

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Nov 09, 2007 5:17 PM
While Republican candidates have been arguing over who is most like Ronald Reagan, former Senator (and 1964 GOP nominee) Barry Goldwater has enjoyed a revival of popularity.  

No doubt, much of this is a rejection of "big-government" conservatism, which has dominated these last several years.

But as Daniel McCarthy notes, the only one current GOP candidate could truly claim to be an heir to the Goldwater philosophy:

No putatively conservative politician today—with the exception of Ron Paul —has the idealism of a Goldwater or brings together idealists like Bozell and Hess.
Though they all would pay homage to his legacy, it is truly interesting that you'd be hard-pressed to find a modern-day GOP candidate who could be classified as a "Goldwaterite."

The Ron Paul phenomenon -- like it or not -- illustrates there is still a Goldwater constituency out there, starving for a leader.  To use business terms, he's tapped into an under-served market. 

Of course, it wasn't by design.  Ron Paul is who he is, and the fact that he is filling this niche is pure happenstance.  Still, I think it's interesting to note how the second most famous (arguably) conservative American politician of the 20th century has so few true heirs ...