The End of Conservatism?
Recorded on April 1, 2009
Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium
In the wake of the 2008 election and the aggressively liberal
thrust of the Obama Administration, many pundits, conservative as
well as liberal, are declaring that the era of modern Conservatism,
launched under Ronald Reagan a quarter of a century ago, is
over. The country is no longer "America the conservative,"
one progressive trumpeted, but "America the liberal." Another
gloated that Obama's election marked "the collapse of
conservatism." Displaying more than a little panic some
conservatives are urging the Conservative Movement to forget
Reagan, abandon "old-fashioned" ideas and adopt a "new"
Conservatism relevant to our times.
Is Conservatism headed for the ash heap of history or can it
rise from the ashes as it did after the crushing defeat of Barry
Goldwater in 1964, Reagan's failure to capture the presidential
nomination in 1976 and Bill Clinton's surprising victory in
1992? Lee Edwards, Heritage's Distinguished Fellow in
Conservative Thought and a leading conservative historian, insists
that the end is not in sight and outlines how the Conservative
Movement can rejuvenate itself and regain its rightful place as a
major player in American politics.
Lee Edwards, Ph.D., is a leading historian of the American
conservative movement. He has published some twenty books
about the key individuals and institutions of American
conservatism, including biographies of Ronald Reagan, Barry
Goldwater, and Edwin Meese and histories of The Heritage Foundation
and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. His latest book, a
biography of William F. Buckley, Jr., is scheduled for publication