But the conservative Goldwater wing of the Republican party stood with the South, including Reagan and William F. Buckley, and that forms the basis for Reaganism. In fact, those same Reaganites revolted against the moderate wing led by types such as Dirksen and Rockefeller (who they hated with a passion) and seized the party in the 1970s-80s. That, coupled with the defecting Dixiecrats, forms the basis of the GOP today.
The Republicans of 1860 were the liberals of their era; the Democrats of the 1860s were the Tea Party conservatives. That’s why when the Democrats shifted for Civil Rights starting in the 1930s but really in the 1960s many of the Dixiecrats such as Strom Thurmond and Jessie Helms became conservative Republicans.
Notice how the author used a *1984* quote from Reagan, long after JFK had become a fallen martyr, and not the 1960 quote from Reagan asserting that JFK’s programs were “Marxist”? Also he seems to overlook those ads in the Dallas Morning News that day in November 1963 accusing him of treason and being soft on Communism. Kennedy was definitely left-of-center for his time. True, he wasn’t as liberal as Humphrey or many others, and his dispute with Galbreath (who was proven right, BTW, in the long run) was more about tactics rather immediate goals. But there is a tendency among rightist authors today to rewrite the past to claim American icons as their own—when they weren’t—and also to disavow the right’s association with fascism in the 1920s and 1930s, and to even claim fascism was a movement of the left, not the right (Jonah Golberg’s silly Liberal Fascism) even though it was clear to everyone living at the time which side of the political fence fascists stood.
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