[Barry] Goldwater was a hard-right conservative but a principled one. A member of the Senate club, he understood that there were political rules, and he played by them. The constitution, as he understood it, meant a great deal to him, as did America’s commitment to individual liberty.
Trump, on the other hand, while he cannot be called a fascist, skirts the edges of fascism. He incites violence and does not abide by the normal conventions of American political life. Goldwater supported gay rights long before it was acceptable, while Trump pours out derision on virtually every category of outsider. Whether Muslims, immigrants, Hispanics, women, or refugees, he is forever threatening to punish them, deport them, and limit their freedoms. And while Goldwater’s principles were not to my liking, the distinguishing characteristic of Donald Trump is that he has no principles whatsoever. His campaign is a clever mélange of nativist appeals, ego-driven rants, and off-the-cuff ideas that emphasize the indispensability of his personal leadership.