Barry Goldwater was a conservative libertarian Atheist Republican. I'm so confused!

Can these ideologies co-exist in one life form? Admittedly, my interest in politics is just now ascending. Being in your 40's, raising 5 kids in today's world, dealing with the school board, apparently will do that for ya (lol)! Recently, I came across an article about Barry Goldwater and, being from Arizona, I took an interest. Politics lost an incredible man, as I was pretty impressed. However, it left me a bit confused too about people and their labels for themselves. Help me out with this if you can. Here's a few Goldwater quotes for you:
Republican Senator from Arizona, candidate for President (1964)

Barry Goldwater On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.
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? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of "conservatism."
-- Barry Goldwater, speech to the US Senate (September 16, 1981). Quoted from wikiquote.org.

Barry Goldwater 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.
-- Barry Goldwater, The Washington Post (July 28, 1994). Quoted from wikiquote.org.

Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them.

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That quote should be taken and sent to every Republican Congressman and Senator, or at least those who style themselves as "conservatives." Maybe they'll wake up, maybe they won't.

You never know 'til you try.
Loren, I think you just gave me my next mission:-)
The Barry Goldwater conservative is light years from the tea-party conservative.
Yes! So it seems.
Steve, I whole-heartedly agree with you. People also assume since I'm Atheist I'm a left of center liberal. They, of course, would be right (hee-hee) but still- I don't like being pigeon holed either. I think, for both parties, they have come to mean different things than they did 40+ years ago, or at least people have gradually, in their own minds, changed the definition of a Republican and a Democrat, consevative and liberal. Maybe the people "not drinking the Kool-aid" are the Independents. My folks, now in their 70's, consider themselves to be Republican, yet we agree son so many political issues, and I'm a liberal Democrat -or at least I think so. Their generation of Republicans are perhaps today's Democrats? I didn't think I was confused about this until I read the Goldwater article and had some conversations with my folks.
Steve, I whole-heartedly agree with you. People also assume since I'm Atheist I'm a left of center liberal. They, of course, would be right (hee-hee) but still- I don't like being pigeon holed either. I think, for both parties, they have come to mean different things than they did 40+ years ago, or at least people have gradually, in their own minds, changed the definition of a Republican and a Democrat, conservative and liberal. Maybe the people "not drinking the Kool-aid" are the Independents. My folks, now in their 70's, consider themselves to be Republican, yet we agree on so many political issues, and I'm a liberal Democrat -or at least I think so. Their generation of Republicans are perhaps today's Democrats? I didn't think I was confused about this until I read the Goldwater article and had some conversations with my folks.
I genuinely believe that had Barry Goldwater been elected in place of LBJ there never would have been the Viet Nam war. He had more sense than that.
Probably so. The trickle effect of that war is still screwing with us today!

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