Barry Goldwater absolutely deserved the Presidential Medal of Freedom that he received. The fact of the matter is that Goldwater's accomplishments for this country are more than evident. Therefore, he is deserving of this medal and many other awards. His accomplishments have benefited the United States in various ways today.
Goldwater was a solid politician that was one of the last Republicans to run at a time before the parties became so polarized by issues, and Goldwater was one of the last Republican politicians that was not running on an essentially religious or anti science ticket for the presidency in the US.
I am a liberal from Arizona, but I have a great deal of respect for Barry Goldwater. Unlike today's politicians on his end of the political spectrum, Goldwater was a true public servant. He spoke his mind, and put the needs of the voters before his own personal interests. He deserved that medal.
Barry Goldwater was deserving of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Barry Goldwater has earned the unbounded affection and admiration of his countrymen and the enduring gratitude of all future generations of Americans. President Regan at the time was right to give Barry Goldwater the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his acts.
Goldwater was wrongly painted as a warmonger by LBJ (who then escalated the Vietnam war) at lost his presidential bid by a landslide, but he set up eventual win by Ronald Reagan. He moved political power off the East Coast establishment. Goldwater integrated the Arizona National Guard (in the 40s), advocated for gays in the military, called Nixon the most dishonest man he'd ever met, and was critical of the religious right. He was honored by Native Americans, in whom he had a lifelong interest. Taiwan sent a delegation to his funeral in honor of his friendship.
No, Barry Goldwater was not deserving of the Presidential Medal of Freedom because he was just another politician that was trying to work his agenda. Goldwater was not even all that successful of a politician. Goldwater did the things that he did because he wanted to get elected. Those giving out the award should be skeptical before awarding it to any politician.