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The Conscience of a Conservative: Goldwater’s Acceptance Speech

Date: Tuesday, Aug. 24 | 7:00–8:30 PM EDT

Barry Goldwater’s acceptance speech at the 1964 Republican Convention was a watershed moment – the convergence of the modern conservative movement with the Republican Party. Today, we take for granted that the Republican Party is the conservative party and the Democratic Party the liberal party, but it was only in the 1960s and ’70s that our parties became so ideologically defined. This seminar will closely examine Goldwater’s speech to distill what modern conservatism is, what it stands for, and how it understands its opponents. We will also consider both what contemporary conservatism has retained from Goldwater, what has changed, and how American political ideologies have evolved in the 20th and 21st centuries.

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