Barry Goldwater is a patron saint of American conservatism, but Reihan Salam argues that Goldwater’s crushing defeat in the 1964 presidential race did more than inspire a generation of conservative activists.

Salam, who oversees National Review Online’s “The Agenda” blog, says the Goldwater loss also helped saddle the United States with Medicare, Medicaid, and an immigration law that — together — have changed American society fundamentally. Salam contends a less strident GOP nominee in 1964 might have avoided the landslide that gave Democrats the political cover to enact such a sweeping liberal agenda.

Comments like these peppered Salam’s nearly 90-minute lecture Tuesday night to a UNC-Chapel Hill audience assembled by Carolina Review and the Carolina Liberty Foundation. Salam focused on the way the Republican Party will need to address issues in the years ahead.

Click play below to watch his speech.