We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Quoted from The Limits of Reaganismat Debatable Land (we need to add this site to our Anglosphere category)
...the Cult of Reagan actually helps explain the mess the Republican movement finds itself in. It used to be that it was the left that specialised in writing dissenters out of the movement; these days, in America at least, that's become a conservative trait. The RNC debate was illuminating in this respect: in addition to passing the Reagan litmus tests candidates were asked how many guns they own. And that was more or less it. Tick those boxes and you're a proper Republican; waver on either question and you're subject to suspicion.
It's this sort of blinkered thinking, this elevation of ideology above the messy business of winning elections that has helped condemn the GOP to minority status. A two party system in a nation of 300m people demands that each party be a broad church. Reagan recognised this; his successors seem to have forgotten it.
I take a different tack: Reaganism or Reagan is not the fountainhead of Conservatism: the bible and its derivative principles; the writings of Edmund Burke, of Russell Kirk; of the Protestant Reformers, and the founding documents. The error many conservatives make is not knowing their history and relying on getting their ideas from talk show hosts.
Why go way back over 100 years? When I was in school it was Democrats who encouraged setting aside "smoking areas" in schools and Republicans who opposed smoking. Waste-not-want-not and "sacrifice" were "conservative" beliefs and MYOB was considered a "liberal" position. It was Republicans who said "What's good for General Motors is good for America", now that's a Dem position (of course that's because the UAW really runs Detroit, but still). Drug legalization is moving to a GOP issue, albeit very slowly. And more to the 1896 map, by the 1920s WJB had a lot in common with many "social conservatives" of today.
I believe that if Dems started to take GOP positions, within a short period of time the GOP would find what was wrong with everything they previously believed, and vice-verse.
The word "Reaganism" says it all. Reagan in all his complexity has been reduced by numbskulls like Sean Hannity to a stupid list of immutables and tax recommendations.
Was it Kirk who said that conservatism is the negation of ideology? That's the point of conservatism. Ideologies are statements about reality; when reality conflicts with the ideology, the idealogue changes the reality, and that requires propaganda, coercion and the administrative state. The central realities of conservatism are liberty and the limitation of the power of the state. All the rest follows.
We can't win arguments about policy or the dangers of the state because our central concern is metaphysical, and Reagan knew that. This age is racing ahead of us and our only recourse is, like monks of another time, is to keep our ideas alive, and that means ignoring media types who claim to speak for us.
The first article has it exactly backwards. Republicans win when they run as conservatives and lose when the run as Dem-lites.
Obama gave McCain so many chances to deliver a simple Reagan-like promise of small government versus Democratic big government. Instead, McCain promised Republican big-government - which nobody wanted.