The false memory of an immaculate Ronald Reagan

By Samuel Goldman, The Week

Is Donald Trump a continuation of the postwar conservative movement — or its executioner? A year after his electoral defeat, scholars, journalists, and pundits continue to debate the former president’s place in a lineage that extends back to Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, and beyond.

In a recent essay for The Atlantic, David Brooks makes the case that Trump broke the conservative mold. Reporting from the National Conservatism Conference in Orlando, Brooks argues Trump “destroyed the Reagan Republican paradigm in 2016.”  He doesn’t define the phrase, but “Reagan Republican” seems to mean the combination of avuncular manners, optimistic rhetoric, and free-market policy with which Reagan is associated.


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