E.J. Dionne has written a shameful op-ed
today, which makes the case that the rise of the conservative movement began the day Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
. was assassinated:
It is easy to forget that the core themes of contemporary conservatism were born in response to the events of 1968. The attacks on "big government," the defense of states' rights, and the scorn for "liberal judicial activism," "liberal do-gooders," "liberal elitists," "liberal guilt" and "liberal permissiveness" were rooted in the reaction that gathered force as liberal optimism receded.
By focusing solely on Richard Nixon's
"southern strategy," Dionne conveniently forgets -- or overlooks -- the many factors and players involved in the rise of the modern conservative movement -- and the decline of liberalism, including: Barry Goldwater's
'64 campaign and the Democratic Party's "leftward lurch" (which began before '68).
He also ignores the refusal of many Democrats to morally oppose Soviet Communism, and the arrival of the greatest president of my lifetime, Ronald Reagan.
He does, however, briefly touch on the arrival of conservative intellectuals like William F. Buckley.
And Dionne also skips over the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision. These are just a few of the many other factors that led to the rise of the conservative movement, which Dionne ignores.
It is simply insulting -- not to mention historically inaccurate -- to imply that the conservative movements' ascendancy began with the killing of Dr. King.