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Houston Voice, No. 920, June 12, 1998
File 033
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Houston Voice, No. 920, June 12, 1998 - File 033. 1998-06-12. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 24, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3055/show/3038.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1998-06-12). Houston Voice, No. 920, June 12, 1998 - File 033. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3055/show/3038

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 920, June 12, 1998 - File 033, 1998-06-12, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 24, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3055/show/3038.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 920, June 12, 1998
Contributor
  • Hennie, Matthew A.
Publisher Window Media
Date June 12, 1998
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 033
Transcript Shooting Straight Reflections of a Barry Goldwater baby by BARRY PHELPS The 1960s was a decade when young parents still named their kids after politicians they admired. But growing up as the only "Barry" among my post-baby boom classmates. I always wondered why my yellow- dog Democratic mom had named me after Senator and Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. Even though my home state of Alabama was one of the six he carried in 1964. hadn't he lost to LBJ in one of the biggest defeats in American electoral history? .As I grew older. I began to understand that this old politician who I knew very little about and who had been rejected so resoundingly by the electorate — my namesake — was the Republican heir to my mom's favorite President, Harry S. Truman. The simple, plain-talking, brutally honest, sometimes profane, always frank man from Missouri had just taken office when she was born at the end of World War II. t\s she saw more and more of Goldwater on the flickering black and white TV screen in the early 1960s, she came to appreciate Truman's legendary honesty and candid language more. By the lime 1 was a young adult. I had also come to appreciate and admire Goldwater as a plainspo- ken, Trumanesque" champion of individual liberty and personal freedom. During the height of Reaganism, when I wasn't all lhat sure about my own political stripes, it was fairly easy to be proud that 1 shared the same name as Barry Goldwater, who. in many ways, had spawned the Gipper's rise to power in the late 1970s. Ultimately. I became an ardent "national" Democrat rather than a yellow-dog. but that never stopped me from being an admirer of Barry Goldwater. Especially after he left the Senate in 1987. it seemed he and I agreed on a great deal more than we disagreed. On the greal social issues of the day. he saw things much as we Democrats did — and of course wasn't shy about saying so. A couple of years ago. my Delaware beach housemates learned aboul my namesake and christened me "Goldie." It was a nickname I wore wilh pride the rest of the summer. On the morning of May 29, when I first heard lhat Goldwater had died at the age of 89, 1 suddenly experienced the kind of empty sadness and sense of loss that comes when an old friend or relative who you haven't seen or spoken to in awhile passes away, /uid yet. I was fascinated by the old news clips and tributes lhat began poring in from conservative Republicans, liberal Democrats, and everywhere in between. When I firs! spoke to my mother about his death that weekend. I learned that she, like future First Lady Hillary Rodham, had been a "Goldwater Girl" in 1964. She said most of the Goldwaler Girls she knew weren't even old enough to vote at the time, but they could make phone calls, stuff envelopes, and get the word out about how he would make a good president. 1 remembered an old campaign pin she had given me with a pair of thick bifocals and the message "Ask me why I'm for Barry" stamped on its face. She still sounded proud of her role in the Goldwater "landslide" in Alabama that year, mentioning the well-known bumper sticker with the chemical symbol for "Goldwater": "AuH20 for President." She said it wasn't so much his politics that attracted her. /--Jthough, like most southern Democrats, she was somewhat of a hawk on Vietnam, it was the Arizona senator's personality, his way of saying what he meant, his Truman-like ordinariness that attracted her. Much has been said and written since his death about how Goldwater could never have been elected president in 1964. There's not much dispute aboul his Lineleclability at that time, /uid, as much as I came to admire him, it is no doubt a good thing for the country that he did not become president. His opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act alone was disqualification enough to keep him out of the Oval Office. He never was a segregationist; he ended segregation in his family's business and was a leader in ending it in Phoenix's schools and restaurants and in the Arizona National Guard. He claimed to oppose national civil rights legislation because it was unconstitutional. But a presidential candidate who saw what was going on in Alabama and other parts of the south in the early and mid-1960s, and yet who still did not believe the federal government had an obligation to act. could not and should not have been our president. Yet there is strong evidence that later in life. Goldwater came to understand that sometimes a strong national government might be needed to protect the cherished individual liberties that defined his conservatism. Most notably, on the gays in the military issue early in President Clinton's first term, he said: "Under our Constitution, everyone is guaranteed the right to do as he pleases as long as it does not harm someone else. You don't need to be "straight" to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight." He said. "If I were in the Senate today, I would rise on the Senate floor in support of our commander in chief. He may be a Democrat, but he happens to be right on this question." One would love to have seen how Goldwater could have altered the entire debate on gays in the miliary had he been in the Senate in 1993. Flying was one of his great passions and he served as a major general in the Air Force Reserves while a senator. He was the key Senate architect of today's military command structure as author of the Goldwater.-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act. How satisfying it would have been to witness someone of his unparalleled stature, uncommon resolve, and unquestioned knowledge on military issues stand up to the likes of Senate Armed Services chairman Sam Nunn. Ironically, the very command structure which gave Joint Chiefs chairman Colin Powell the authority to defy his commander-in-chief on the issue was put in place by the Goldwater-Nichols Act. Later, he became honorary chairman of an effort to pass federal job protections for gays and lesbians, saying that he didn't see any way that being gay was a harm to anyone else. On the issue of choice, he told the Los Angeles Times, as only he could have. "They think I've turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That's a decision that's up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the religious right. It's not a conservative issue at all." He remained true to his philosophy, but may have come to realize that oftentimes, what might be called progressive or liberal policies are necessary to protect our freedoms, regardless of personal or political ideology. Goldwater's most famous quote came during his acceptance speech at the 1964 Reptiblican Convention: "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." He was roundly criticized for that remark, even among Republicans, and it only contributed to his image that year of a right-winger who lacked the temperament to be president. But the second part of his quote is instructive: "And ... moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." The candidate later said he was paraphrasing Cicero. But his actual quote echoes Thomas Paine, who in The Rights of Man. Part 1. said, "A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice." Barry Goldwater taught us above all else that there is nothing more precious — even sacred — lhan our personal liberties and freedoms. To this "Goldwater Baby," who agreed so strongly with him on many social issues, if not on the role of a strong national gov ernment in our society, he was the very embodiment of what it means to be a free and liberated American — die quintessential "rugged individualist." As such, he probably was not suited for the office of president, a job that demands consensus btiilding and compromise above all else, al leas! at the time he ran. But my mom could not have done much better than looking to the sage from -Arizona as the inspiration for my given name. Barry Phelps, a graduate oj Georgetown Uniuersity and the Uniuersity of Alabama, is minority communications director for the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. Flying the Flag Roberts' 37 rules to live under the rainbow by SHELLY ROBERTS 1. Tlie only thing on the gay agenda is that the meeting will start 20 minules lale. 2. No good deed ever escapes offending someone you didn't think of in time. 3. It is nearly impossible for some comrminity members to take "yes" for an answer. 4. Perversions are what other people do. You're normal. 5. Every time you move, you will have to stuff new envelopes. No exceptions. 6. The lesbians will accuse lhe gay men of being power mad chauvinists. 7. The gay men will accuse the lesbians of being drudges, and drones. 8. Both groups will add: "Present company except ed, of course." 9. Both groups will believe lhat they mean it. 10. Most of the newsletter will be boring to everyone but the newsletter editor and the board of directors. 11. Fortunately it will arrive too late for anybody to bother reading it. 12. Everyone will wait for someone else to say "thank you" first. Kind of like lesbians waiting for a dale. 13. There is no such thing as not-political. 14. There is, however, such a thing as not-voting. I 5. The more you do. the more they will ask you to do it again. 16. Though it will nol quite be done the way they would have. 17. No one ever knows a much better printer till after the bill for the flyers comes in. 18. There is no convert like a PFLAG parent. Thank heavens. 19. Only the activists can tell the difference between a parade and a march. 20. Unless there's good music, only the activists will show up. 21. Every meeting is an opportunity to take someone home. This is a foreign concept to mosi lesbians, 22. There are no actual numbers on the monthly community calendar, First Tuesday. Fourth Wednesday. Third Thursday. And. oops. Last Nighl. 23. No one will ever convince organizations that none of your money is disposable. 24. Giving lo political candidates just encourages Ihem. 25. Ifyou bough! tickets to every fund-raiser that asks, pretty soon you'd need a fund-raiser for yourself. 26. It's easier to fly a rainbow (lag lhan a Nazi one. And il goes better with French Provincial, Southwestern, and Early American. 27. You can buy the book you're looking for someplace cheaper than your hometown rainbow bookstore. 28. You will notice that your bookstore's closed only after it gone. 29. You will wonder where you can buy rainbow paraphernalia. 30. And accuse the owners of knowing nothing about books or business. 31. Lesbians believe lh.it nay men are gelling loo much sex. 32. Gay men believe ihat lesbians aren'l gelling enough. 33. Both believe lhal more would gel done il the other would just do something to change that, 3*1. Every group believes thai we'd win, if every olher group would just listen to reason. Their reason. 35. Using balance, consensus, and political correctness to choose will result in a perfectly balanced board thai can'i agree on anything, 36. Every mail delivery will contain al least one windowed envelope with a rainbow sign or triangle sign, and a dollar sign. 37. There arc no good old days. Shelly Roberts is an internationally syndicated columnist, journalist and author of the next set of "Roberts' Rules; Lesbian Dating."
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