»  Chronicles

January 2016

  Flame of Hope

Conservative Heroes: Fourteen Leaderts Who Shaped America, from Jefferson to Reagan
by Garland S. Tucker III


The 21st century has not so far been a happy time for American conservatives. It began with an appalling terrorist attack whose key perpetrators had taken advantage of our government's insouciance towards mass immigration from the Third World. Instead of reversing the trend towards demographic transformation, the authorities doubled down on it: We now accept for settlement over 100,000 Muslims every year, twice the typical figure during the 1990s.

We then commenced a series of missionary wars of the type commonly called Wilsonian, none of which had any good effect on the health of our nation or the liberty of her citizens. In domestic matters, meanwhile, the power, scope, and profligacy of the federal government increased by leaps and bounds. Vast new welfare programs were implemented.

"When someone is hurting, government has got to move," said the President who presided over all these events — a man who had been advertised to us, by both the Left and the Right, as a conservative!

The next President was even worse: a man with no executive experience at all, and whose head was stuffed up to the nose-holes with 1980s college-radical flapdoodle. Other than civil-rights lawyering, the new guy had worked for just one year in the private sector, an experience he described in his autobiography as "like being a spy behind enemy lines." The nation elected him twice.

The achievements of conservatism at the national level during this first one-seventh of the new century have amounted to … nothing at all. Conservatives have for many years been dwelling in the catacombs.

The flame has not been extinguished, though. To keep it alive, and in hopes of better times to come, it helps mightily to have clear written accounts of conservative principles and their place in our country's history. A book of 200 or so pages, crisply written, with a focus on human personalities to hold the general reader's interest, is ideal — just the thing to recommend to an open-minded inquirer, or to offer as a gift to a thoughtful member of the college generation. Garland Tucker has produced such a book.

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[Read the entire article in the January 2016 issue of Chronicles.]