The Demise of Moderate Republicanism
Among the casualties of the 2012 presidential election, along with
Romney first failed to win the
That year, the father hewed to the moderate course but was easily outmaneuvered by
Along the way, the liberal Republicanism of
This devolution of moderate Republicanism was well chronicled in 2012 in
"Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, From Eisenhower to the Tea Party,"
by political scientist and historian
The book traced the erosion of moderate influence after the Eisenhower presidency, and how the conservatism and anti-intellectualism of Goldwater, after surviving the Nixon years of accommodation with all factions, blossomed under Reagan and more destructively under
It underscored how Nixon first achieved a centrist image with such initiatives as revenue-sharing with the states at home and his opening to
Nevertheless, the author wrote, "Nixon's rhetorical conservatism, his willingness to polarize the country around controversial social issues, and his abuse of his office and the rule of law made moderates turn against him. Watergate depressed the faith that Americans had in government generally, which ultimately damaged moderate Republicans as well as liberal Democrats."
At the same time, Kabaservice noted, the moderate
But even before Watergate, the
In Watergate's aftermath, the party temporarily fell to Nixon's standby, the congenial
In 2000, party moderates who allowed themselves to be lulled by
The author of "Rule and Ruin" concluded:
"The Bush years demonstrated anew that
conservatives were skilled at politics but deficient at governing, and that a
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The Demise of Moderate Republicanism | Politics
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