The Public Interest

The conservative renaissance in perspective

Robert Nisbet

Fall 1985

CONSERVATIVES might have been forgiven on election night, 1980, had visions of the millennium welled up in their minds. Ronald Reagan, 18-karat conservative of more than thirty years, former two-term governor, eloquent champion of Goldwater in 1964, runner-up for the nomination in 1976, the first real hero of the political Bight since Goldwater, was very probably the first president in U.S. history who had not only made no bones about being a conservative first and last, but proudly trumpeted it, even over his Republican identity.

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