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Mike Reagan on His Father
who share many of our cultural val-
ues about family, hard work, faith,
The media don’t tell you who
and morals, such as Hispanics,”
killed the Reagan era, so I will.
Dreher says. “And we need to run on
It was the Republican Party that
principles and ideals, the way Barry
demolished the shining city on
Goldwater did in 1964. Goldwater
the hill my father built. It was the
lost, but out of the idea seeds he
Republican Party that was 100 planted came future conservative vic-
percent responsible for the end tories and the triumph of Ronald
of the Reagan revolution. They
Reagan. McCain didn’t run this way,
forgot who he was. And having
and didn’t plant those kinds of seeds,
forgotten who he was, they stopped
which I fi nd especially sad because
following his path toward smaller,
McCain holds exactly the same
less-intrusive government and
Arizona seat in the U.S. Senate that
restrained government spending.
Goldwater did.”
It was the GOP that began to
The Long Road Back
undermine the sturdy foundation
my father built.

“The Republican Party has no
future without people who would
Battleground Poll, a percentage that The election supports Welch’s be described as moderates.” So says
has varied little over the years. Only thesis. Republicans might indeed national radio talk-host Michael
37 percent describe themselves as have a hard time regaining control of Medved.
very or somewhat liberal, a 19-point Congress or the White House if any “Ronald Reagan practiced such prag-
difference in conservatism’s favor. of its factions are driven out of the matism,” Medved tells Newsmax. “He
GOP coalition. But while some call not only picked moderate Republican
The Blame Game for inclusion, others take a harder George Herbert Walker Bush as
line. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike his running mate in 1980 but also
In 2008, The Weekly Standard Huckabee, an ordained Baptist min- chose Pennsylvania
published a widely discussed article ister likely to run again for president Senator Richard
by academics Benjamin and Jenna in 2012, strikes an unapologetic claim Schweiker, one of
Silber Storey that blamed libertarian for the religious right. the most liberal
conservatives for the disintegration “One of the things I’m frustrat- Republicans of his
of the Reagan GOP coalition. ed about,” Huckabee told reporters day, as running mate
“The moral vacuity of dogmatic recently, “is that Republicans have in his failed 1976 run

libertarianism is poisonous to public been infi ltrated by hard-core libertar- against incumbent
kept his eye
life,” the pair wrote. “Conservatives ians. Traditional Republicans don’t President Gerald
who forget that the free market is hate all forms of government. They Ford.
on making
properly a piece of policy rather than just want it to be effi cient and effective “And likewise,
an ideological end-in-itself not only . . . but growing numbers of people William F. Buckley smaller
obscure the importance of individual in the Republican Party are just short pragmatically sup-
and more
virtue, they undermine it.” of anarchists in the sense that they ported Bush as
Because The Weekly Standard arti- basically say, ‘Just cut government Reagan’s vice presi-
cle attacked the libertarian magazine and cut taxes.’ I call them libertarians dent and successor,
Bush didn’t
Reason by name, that publication and not conservatives, because I think even though Bush even keep
hit back hard, with its senior editor I’m conservative, but I’m not a nut!” was more moderate
track of how
Radley Balko calling national great- Conservative author Rod Dreher than Buckley would
ness conservatism “socialism for tells Newsmax that successful con- have preferred,”
many people
conservatives.” servatism “needs to renew people’s explains Medved,
work for the
“I wonder how responsible it is to faith in free markets, but it also needs author of the new government.

add libertarian votes to a shrinking to connect with young people’s ideas book The 10 Big
coalition whose dominant rhetoric about our stewardship of the environ- Lies About America: Combating De-
and political standard-bearer stand ment — to rediscover the conserva- structive Distortions About Our Nation.
in increasingly explicit opposition to tionism in genuine conservatism. And Goldwater suffered a far worse
the party’s libertarian strand,” wrote it needs to get its priorities straight. defeat in 1964 than McCain did
Reason’s editor in chief, Matt Welch. “We need to reach out to those in 2008, but Republicans elected AP IMAGES
no room for intolerance and not even a small corner for bigotry. 8/23/1984 ++ When those who are governed do

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