The Libertarian Party had its roots in the Nixon Administration, in what many considered Nixon’s betrayal of the Goldwater Conservative values. His effort to combat the effects of inflation with wage and price controls indicated that he had limited faith in free market principles and sound money policies. His actions at Watergate showed contempt for the law he was supposed to uphold.
The growth of the religious right in the Republican Party also concerned Goldwater and continues to alienate many conservatives from the party. But the center is a moving center. Both the Democrats and the Evangelical right is moving closer to the center, leaving the Republicans weaker than it has been since Reagan.
The party needs new leadership. It should both rediscover its roots and address the changes that have already occurred.