The Roots of Republican Reagan Idolatry

John QuigginThe outsize Republican idolatry of Reagan is explained in part by the fact that there’s no one else in their history of whom they can really approve. The Bushes are a bad memory for most, Ford was a non-entity and Nixon was Nixon. Eisenhower looks pretty good on most historical rankings, but he’s anathema to movement conservatives: Eisenhower Republicans were what are now called RINOs. Going back a century, and skipping some failures/nonentities, Theodore Roosevelt is problematic for related but different reasons. Going right back to the beginning, and skipping more nonentities and disappointments, some Repubs still try to claim the mantle of the “Party of Lincoln” but that doesn’t pass the laugh test. As many others have observed, the “Party of Jefferson Davis” is closer to the mark. So, they have little choice but to present Reagan as the savior of the nation.

—John Quiggin
Reagan and the Great Man in History

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