George Will: Buckley, Reagan, Kemp Brand of Conservatism ‘In Eclipse,’ ‘In Exile’

Thursday on MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour,” Washington Post columnist George Will was asked by host Brian Williams about the current status of the “Buckley, Reagan, Kemp” brand of conservatism, which Will proclaims to herald, at a time when President Donald Trump leads the Republican Party.

According to Will, that wing of the GOP is “in exile, ” and Trump was correct in saying the GOP wasn’t the “Conservative Party,” but the “Republican Party.”

“Well, it’s in eclipse,” he replied. “It’s in exile, you might say. Donald Trump, to give him credit, was quite candid about this during the campaign. He said, ‘It’s not called the Conservative Party. It’s called the Republican Party.’ Saying which was his way of saying the Republican Party, with conservatism defined in the Goldwater-Reagan limited-government style is no more. I think he’s right.”

Williams followed up by asking Will where that current movement at this time, to which Will said it would be back, but added many in the “Reagan-Goldwater tradition” overestimated the number of those that identify with that brand.

“There is an old country music song — ‘Mother’s Not Dead, She’s Only Sleeping,'” Will added. “I think — this is a long tradition. It goes back to Madison and Jefferson and all the rest. It doesn’t disappear because of one election. I think it will be back. But what Mr. Trump did reveal — and he won because he revealed this, is that there were fewer conservatives in the Reagan-Goldwater tradition than we in the Reagan-Goldwater tradition thought. So it’s up to us to go back and cause them to multiply.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor


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