Wynton Hall

In their new book, Landmark Speeches of the American Conservative Movement, Wynton Hall and Peter Schweizer, research fellows at the Hoover Institution, have compiled thirteen speeches from prominent conservative figures to capture the modern American conservative movement. The collection of speeches illustrates the core fundamental values and principles resonating through the conservative movement today. Before reading the book, however, take the conservative challenge quiz and test your knowledge of landmark speeches of the American conservative movement.

1. Who gave the first public statement to lay the foundation for American anticommunism, which is one of the pillars of the American conservative movement?

a. Ronald Reagan

b. Whittaker Chambers

c. Alger Hiss

d. Senator Joseph McCarthy

2. Which famous Yale University graduate said this in his epic commencement address: “Our concern for deficiencies in America must not cause us to indict the principles that have allowed our country, its faults notwithstanding, to tower over the nations of the world as a citadel of freedom and wealth.”

a. Calvin Coolidge

b. George W. Bush

c. George H.W. Bush

d. William F. Buckley

3. Who saved the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with a powerful speech, delivered minutes before the vote in the Senate?

a. Everett Dirksen

b. Barry Goldwater

c. Ronald Reagan

d. William F. Buckley

4. One of the most remarkable lines in conservative movement history: “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” Who said it?

a. Ronald Reagan, in his 1981 Inaugural Address

b. Barry Goldwater, in his acceptance speech at 1964 GOP Convention

c. George W. Bush, in remarks to Congress following the 9-11 attacks

d. Patrick Henry, speaking to the Virginia House of Burgesses

5. Who said, “Those who would trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state have told us that they have a utopian solution of peace without victory … And they say if we only avoid any direct confrontation with the enemy, he will forget his evil ways and learn to love us. All who oppose them are indicted as warmongers.” And “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.”

a. George W. Bush

b. Dick Cheney

c. Newt Gingrich

d. Ronald Reagan


Wynton Hall

Wynton Hall is a Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and author of "The Right Words: Great Republican Speeches That Shaped History".

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