Magazine January 25, 2010, Issue

Bliss Was It in That Dawn

From the cover of Craig Shirley’s Rendezvous with Destiny (Intercollegiate Studies Institute)
Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America, by Craig Shirley (ISI, 740 pp., $30)

Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign for the presidency was historic in numerous ways. Not only did Reagan inaugurate a new era of conservative governance, he was the only candidate in the 20th century to defeat an incumbent of the opposing party who had served just one term in office, and he did it by making major inroads into typically Democratic territory — winning working-class voters, white ethnics, and Catholics, all of whom became known as the “Reagan Democrats.” Republicans have followed this Reagan template for 30 years — with great success in 1988, 1994, 2000, and 2004. When the GOP finally

Jay Cost is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the Center for Faith and Freedom at Grove City College.

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I am reminded of one of the supervisors of my Ph.D. at UC Berkeley, Roger Tsien, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008.

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