What do I believe in? As we get closer to this election, it seems everyone has their own opinions, and thinks anyone who does not agree with them is wrong. That means I must be wrong, for I do not agree with everybody. The conventional wisdom is that as we age we become more conservative, I guess that depends on what you call conservative. I do not, have not, and never will equate conservatism with the "religious" right wing view; that is not conservatism any more than communism is liberal. I believe Goldwater stated it best: "When you say "radical right" today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party away from the Republican Party, and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye." And again with: "I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in "A," "B," "C" and "D." Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?" I find that I am becoming more "liberal" as I believe in individual rights. I also believe that anyone can make something of themselves. On one touchstone issue again I agree with Goldwater as I view abortion as a matter of personal choice, not something for government to control. And I ask any "pro-life" advocates, how many unwanted children they have adopted or are supporting. If the answer is none, I know that they are hypocrites, who only want to control others and make them do what "they" think is "right." I long for the day of a strong conservative like Goldwater, and McCain is not him. Some more Goldwater quotes: "My faith in the future rests squarely on the belief that man, if he doesn't first destroy himself, will find new answers in the universe, new technologies, new disciplines, which will contribute to a vastly different and better world in the twenty-first century. " "To my mind the single essential element on which all discoveries will be dependent is human freedom." "Everyone knows that gays have served honorably in the military since at least the time of Julius Caesar." He also said, "You don't have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight." "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."