William Kristol writes:
For every American conservative, not once but whenever he wants it, it’s always the evening of November 4, 1980, the instant when we knew Ronald Reagan, the man who gave the speech in the lost cause of 1964, leader of the movement since 1966, derided by liberal elites and despised by the Republican establishment, the moment when we knew—he’d won, we’d won, the impossible dream was possible, the desperate gamble of modern conservatism might pay off, conservatism had a chance, America had a chance. And then, a decade later—the Cold War won, the economy revived, America led out of the abyss, we’d come so far with so much at stake—conservatism vindicated, America restored, a desperate and unbelievable victory for the cast made so many years ago against such odds.
But that was then, and this is now. Now is 2012, and it seems clear that 2012 isn’t going to be another 1980….
I’m sorry to say that Kristol is right, although his focus is off.
Rather than focusing on those who dream of Reagan, Kristol should have focused on the technocrats of the Republican Party and “conservative media” whose stock in trade in smothering the next Reagan as too risky, too simplistic, and not sufficiently schooled.
For the Republican technocrats, it always is November 4, 1980, but they dream of George H.W. Bush on the top of the ticket, not that voodoo-economics clown.