H.Con.Res.359 – Expressing the sense of Congress on naming an aircraft carrier as the U.S.S. Barry M. Goldwater.
John Bresnahan in Politico:
Here’s the text of Tancredo’s resolution (H.Con.Res.359):
“Expressing the sense of Congress on naming an aircraft carrier as the U.S.S. Barry M. Goldwater.
Whereas Barry M. Goldwater was born in the Arizona Territory in 1909 to Baron and Josephine Goldwater;
Whereas Barry M. Goldwater served as a pilot in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II and was later a Major General in the Air Force Reserve;
Whereas Barry M. Goldwater was an avid pilot throughout his military career and after his retirement;
Whereas Barry M. Goldwater was elected to the City Council in Phoenix in 1949, and served as United States Senator from Arizona from 1953-1965 and again from 1969-1987;
Whereas throughout his tenure in Congress, Senator Goldwater was as avid a proponent of a strong national defense as he was a staunch opponent of communism and totalitarianism;
Whereas Senator Goldwater was nominated by the Republican Party as a candidate for President of the United States in 1964;
Whereas Senator Goldwater memorably declared at the 1964 Republican Convention, `I would remind you that 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,’; and
Whereas Senator Barry M. Goldwater was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier of the Navy, either the aircraft carrier designated as CVN-79 or the aircraft carrier designated as CVN-80, should be named the U.S.S. Barry M. Goldwater.”
As a former Navy guy myself, I will just note that Goldwater was an Army pilot. A-R-M-Y. I’m just saying.
The nonsense began with CVN-70 and reached the height of historical blindness with the Truman (honestly, naming a carrier for a president who tried his hardest to kill naval aviation and oversaw the death of the United States (CVA-58) in favor of the B-36). Why not Enterprise (CVN-65 isn’t long for this world)? Coral Sea? Yorktown? Hornet? Midway? Enough with the politicians – these ships are going to last to the middle of the century and outlive many of us reading these words. Why not go back to naming the carriers after famous battles and reclaim some of our heritage and linkage with notable CVs from the past? And, BTW, what better way to celebrate naval aviation’s upcoming centenary?
Petition to name next carrier Enterprise here.
A USN aircraft carrier should not, under any circumstances, be named the Barry M. Goldwater. While I’ll concede that Goldwater would probably be a better choice from the perspective of US history than either Carl Vinson or John C. Stennis, the idea that any of them deserve a supercarrier is simply absurd. The next US CVN should be the William Jefferson Clinton; he was a two termer, a better President than either George H. W. Bush or Gerald Ford, and more popular than Ronald Reagan. Any wingnuts who would feel wobbly about serving on the USS William Jefferson Clinton can go fuck themselves. And no, USS Enterprise is not an acceptable alternative, at least not for CV-79. I’m open to naming a future carrier after the Enterprise, but not this one; I’m tired of the conceit that Republican Presidents get CVs, but not Democratic ones. We can talk about George W. Bush after the USS Lyndon Baines Johnson is commissioned, although I’m guessing that Bush the Younger will still be residing in Nixon’s Locker when the time comes…
John Stennis and Carl Vinson were, of course, Democrats and frankly their inclusion on the list of guys with aircraft carriers named after them is far more egregious than any Republican President. The idea here seems to be that veteran white supremacist politicians are worthy of honor as long as they also liked defense pork.
UPDATE: Alex Massie:
I hadn’t realised until Matt Yglesias pointed it out that there’s some unhappiness that the US navy’s next aircraft carrier is going to be named after Barry Goldwater and not William Jefferson Clinton. The obvious thing to do, however, is avoid naming ships after politicians at all. This is one area in which the Royal Navy, despite everything, remains vastly superior to its cousins on the other side of the Atlantic.
I mean, the new Type 45 Detroyers, HMS Daring and HMS Dauntless have proper naval names as do the submarines Trafalgar, Ambush, Audacious. The new carriers being built – the Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales – take us a little too far in the American direction, (even if there have been seven previous ships names Prince of Wales) and they’re not quite as good as previous carriers such as Implacabale, Indefatigable, Furious, Colossus, Vengeance and, perhaps best of all, Vindictive.
I think this is all well-taken. And it’s worth noting that in the socialist utopia of the future, it seems we’ll be following the British tradition. In addition to the various starships named Enterprise we’ve seen series focused on Voyager and heavy screen time for the Defiant. Other starships I recall include the Intrepid, Challenger, Odyssey, etc. Basically no starships seem to be named after committee chairman or undistinguished former presidents.