The Corner

RR & Neocons

What a high pleasure, Jonah, to see you execute historical justice in your posting below. As you write:

It was Reagan who re-moralized American foreign policy after years of Nixonian detente and it’s simply not accurate to say that Reagan did so solely or even primarily as a mouthpiece for the neocons.

Not only inaccurate, but demonstrably absurd, as anyone who reads Reagan’s speech on behalf of Goldwater’s presidential candidacy will recognize. The date of that famous speech was 1964, long before any of the neocons had emerged.

The founders of the neoconservative movement, Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz, are redoubtable men—brilliant intellectuals, skilled and prolific writers, patriots. But the suggestion, which has appeared here and there in recent appreciations of their work, that they somehow handed Ronald Reagan his platform—that before they came along Reagan had nothing but good political instincts and a genial personality—is flatly ahistorical.

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