What we are supposed to get from the American two-party system is two competing political parties with two competing visions for America. Hopefully both positive visions and with similar goals designed to move America forward and to defend and promote freedom for all. Americans but with different policies competing with each other to achieve those objectives. We didn’t have that in a lot of cases pre 1964 when Barry Goldwater running for President. We had a Republican Party that probably the majority of that party was Conservative but also had. A Progressive wing in it and the Democratic Party that was made up of Liberals and Progressives. But also had a faction of it that today we call religious and Neoconservatives the Neo-Right in America. That up until the 1960s were Democrats but today thanks to the civil-rights movement of the 1960s. Are now Republicans today and its hard to believe the religious-right and the Neoconservatives were. Ever Democrats but they were until they started moving out of the party in the late 1960s.
I believe Barry Goldwater has two main legacies and you argue which one is more important. The first one is that he made American-Conservative mainstream and put him on the map. It just took about ten years to see the results of that but by 1966 just two years after. Senator Goldwater loses in a landslide the 1964 Presidential election to Lyndon Johnson. Ronald Reagan is elected Governor of California the largest state in the union. That same year a whole host of Conservative Republicans get elected to the House and Senate. And the Republican Party picks up a bunch of seats in the 1968 general election along with Richard Nixon being elected. President of the United States and by the late 1970s Goldwater-Conservatism is looking mainstream in America. The other legacy of the Goldwater movement was that he contributed to making two-party system real with a Liberal Democratic Party and a. Conservative Republican Party with rightist whatever the political label becoming Republicans. And Leftists whatever the political label becoming Democrats.
Goldwater-Conservatism might have looked extreme in the mid 1960s in the LBJ Great Society big government Progressive era. Where it was almost cool to be in favor of big government Progressivism. Lots of big social programs and a lot of government social insurance and so forth with high taxes. But what Barry Goldwater did was to give Americans another choice and something else to consider that was built. Around both economic and personal freedom with a more decentralized Federal Government and more power to individuals and states.