This time the gentleman from Arizona has outdone himself. At a meeting of the National Association of Manufacturers in New York this week, Senator Barry Goldwater called for the abolition of the foreign aid program.
It is difficult to argue with Sen. Goldwater about anything, of course. Nothing that can be said within the context of the 20th century will convince him; he is talking about something quite outside that framework. Given, however, that the United States is a major power in an increasingly inter-connected world, and that the good will of allies and neutrals is indispensable to a world leader, the gentleman's proposal is fatuous.
But the terms in which his argument is couched are even more startling than his conclusion: we are to "demand ... respect, not love" and "begin acting like a world power" and "quit groveling on our knees to inferior people who like to come to New York." One can only envision a medieval pope or perhaps a divine-right monarch employing such concepts. Most intriguing of all is that word "inferior"--which will of course sound marvelous when Reuters picks it up and reports it in Europe.
Fortunately, though, Senator Goldwater need not be taken at all seriously. He is much more appropriate in the role of court jester to the 20th century, jingling the bells of dying ideologies and feudal theories, and giggling insanely at the reality in front of him. Never mind the world, Senator, on with the show--with just a slight hint of tragedy behind the charade in case any take it literally.