God and Goldwater in Kinston, North Carolina

“The first trip I took with [1964 Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater] was to North Carolina, where he spoke in a roller-skating rink converted for the evening to a banquet hall. The occasion was a dinner in honor of the outstanding young men of Kinston.
“He told his audience that the United States could never coexist with communism because Communists did not believe in God.

” ‘It’s as simple as that,’ he said.

“What was striking about such utterances was the conversational, mild way in which he said them. He never tried to excite an audience or carry it along with him. You had the feeling that if someone stood up and yelled, ‘You’re nuts,’ Goldwater would only smile and shrug.”

— From “Requiem for a Lightweight” by Charles Mohr (Esquire magazine, 1965)


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