What Ronald Reagan Understood

At the Heritage Foundation today, Lee Edwards spoke to Craig Shirley about his latest book on Ronald Reagan (Reagan Rising: The Decisive Years, 1976-1980). One description Shirley had of Reagan was that he was a successful politician who mixed populism, American conservatism, and libertarianism.

This description is key because voters will reject policies and politicians that get the mixture wrong. Patriotism, tolerance, and limited government are what binds Americans. If these are lacking, populism can become intolerant, American conservatism too radical, and libertarianism too chaotic for average Americans. At the same time, ignoring the patriotism or social conservatism of a majority of Americans also leads to a revolt at the polls.

Reagan got the mixture right, elected twice with huge majorities, and the world is a better place for it. It is also incumbent on Donald Trump to get the mixture right for the sake of his Presidency, and the future of the country.