|Barry Goldwater relied on Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley
to communicate the vision of ‘Conservatism’.
So many politicians who cloak themselves in Reagan’s mantle, once trashed the icon, when it was politically advantageous.
Ron Paul trashed the conservative movement in his 1988 Libertarian Party run for president. During the 1988 campaign, Paul called Reagan “a dramatic failure” and complained that “Reagan’s record is disgraceful…” .
The Bush, Romney, and Rockefeller clans were longstanding irritants to The Gipper. Bush41 called the Reagan tax cut idea; “Voodoo Economics”.
Newt Gingrich tried to endear himself to Washington insiders by privately trashing Reagan, in the 80s. Newt had been a campaign leader for Nelson Rockefeller.
Reagan cut his teeth on national politics while helping Senator Goldwater in his 1964 presidential run. that year, Rockefeller and his cronies (George Romney, Gerald Ford, and Prescott Bush) did all they could to subvert the conservative Goldwater effort. But a young team of eastern libertarian-leaning journalists, led by a young William F. Buckley, sought to grow a new movement called “Republican Conservatism”.
Patrick Buchanan was an estranged blood brother to the effort, but Buckley’s distrust of any alum from Columbia Journalism School was a barrier to greater results.
So Buchanan helped steer the Nixon white house in a fight against the 70s liberal movement.
In 1975, Buchanan left the Ford administration and publicly called for the candidacy of Ronald Reagan. Goldwater and Reagan were not timid in worldwide struggles against communism. And Reagan grew the US military complex more than any post WW2 administration.
Ron Paul, in 1988 left the Republican Party and condemned both Reagan and The Conservative Movement for failing our nation. Paul touted his own Libertarian Party and thanked Reagan for bolstering the Libertarian Party. That Libertarian Party was officially pro abortion rights.
So who defines historic Libertarianism and Conservatism?
At times we see vast conflicts between Ronald Reagan and Ron Paul. Lately, Ron Paul has come to reassign himself as a conservative, and a friend to Ronald Reagan.
Now, Reagan did say, in 1976, that the heart of Conservatism is Libertarianism. But some of the movement’s great leaders have taken our nation in extreme opposite directions.
Do we identify with hawks Barry Goldwater & Ronald Reagan, or isolationists like Patrick Buchanan & Ron Paul? But even then, Goldwater favored decriminalization of many drugs while Reagan agreed with preachers who wanted a drug war. And Pat Buchanan’s holy war & culture war is diametrically opposed to Ron Paul’s social policies.
I believe that no one ultimately defines Libertarianism, Conservatism, or Traditional values more than you do. Each individual needs to challenge himself and test his policies against his own guiding principles. I certainly don’t trust opportunist politicians to exemplify principles. Not one of them. Even Goldwater and Reagan.
For further reading: http://goo.gl/PJYGoq
[Editor’s note: My comment on original post, “You left out the historical part where Ron Paul helped Reagan get elected originally as a Republican and helped him while in office as a Republican Congressman from Texas. Many Republicans like some libertarian philosophy and that does not make them Libertarian Party members. Why, some of our Republican leaders have even been Democrats in the past…”/sc]
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