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Restoring Nobility to the Name “Conservative”

March 13, 2010
Charles G. Mills

GLEN COVE, NY — Former Reagan official and GOP activist Tom Pauken’s important book, published this month, is titled Bringing America Home: How America Lost Her Way and How We Can Find Our Way Back (Chronicles Press, 2010). The first half is a study of how conservatives have lost control of the Republican Party and of the name “Conservative” itself. The second half is a proposal for re-conquest.

The best part of the book is a description of how the supposed heirs of the Goldwater-Reagan conservatives — the two President Bushes — promoted big government, deficit spending, trade deficits, and a speculative economy. Pauken, who served in both the Nixon and Reagan administrations, points out that the Reagan administration was sharply divided into two distinct camps: Goldwater-Reagan conservatives and Bush-Baker “pragmatists.” The conservatives favored shrinking the civilian federal government (which they actually did during the first three years of the Reagan administration), low taxes, and an economy based on manufacturing and small business. The pragmatists, not guided by fixed principles, wound up raising taxes and creating new, untried, and useless big government programs.

The story continues …..

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