What is the future of conservatism? Writers, thinkers discuss at Commentary Magazine

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 8 2013 4:12 p.m. MST

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The name most frequently mentioned throughout the 53 discussions was that of Ronald Reagan — a man all who mentioned him agreed conservatives should try to emulate.

"The next GOP candidate should learn from Reagan and make his or hers the voice of an articulate and coherent conservative ideology," former deputy secretary of Health and Human Services Tevi Troy wrote. "The conservatism the candidate expresses also needs to be Reaganesque in nature: inclusive, confident, optimistic and forward-looking."

President Reagan gave Americans faith in themselves, and offered a vision of conservatism that was optimistic but not pandering, author Linda Chavez said.

Rather than practicing the "apocalyptic and incendiary rhetoric, anger, impatience and revolutionary zeal" of politicians like Newt Gingrich, conservatives should try to recapture "some of the grace, generosity of sprit and principled politics of America's 40th president," wrote Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Reagan was neither "a scold nor a prig," but was rather a "pragmatic idealist who knew how to combine humor with moral purpose" who could change his mind "without betraying his convictions, Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page editor Bret Stephens wrote. He has become the patron saint of the conservative movement, "and rightly so."

>> Governor Ronald Reagan sits for an interview at the Hotel Utah on April 8, 1976.
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Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Unless conservatism can shove religion and the tea party under the bus, it's future is on the margins.

Andy
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The biggest issue is to drop the position on immigration. It makes no sense, it is hostile to good people and it is costing us lots of votes.

Probably second is to tone down the rhetoric on the finances. Almost everyone knows there must be some restraint on spending, but conservatives will always lose the debate if we are so easily painted as no taxes on millionaires. We look like we are protecting rich people instead of protecting the country with reasonable and responsible answers to real and pressing questions. You change those two issues and advertise a little bit in June - Aug and we win that election.

Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ

Right now the gut nut t-party has control it seems and is messing with anarchy if they don't get their way. They either have no real conviction of their rhetoric or they actually are preparing for a civil war over god, guns and gold.

Tolstoy
salt lake, UT

A return to common sense would help.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

republiconservatives should continue to do exactly what they have been doing.

The demographics are in their corner.

When their base realizes they will be sacrificed to fend for themselves by cuts in SS and Medicare, it will make the republicons in congress even more popular than they are now.

Perfect.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

And Reagan would be considered a RINO today by the GOP.

See item #9...
Republicans should stop hunting all RINOs.

I'm the same man I was 30 years ago - albeit, older and wiser.
I'm was Center Left then, and I'm Center-left now and I voted for Reagan, twice.

I didn't leave the GOP,
The GOP left me.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

The future of Conservatism?

None.

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