Why Marco Rubio’s Win Is the Most Important One for Conservatives

Once you get past the fundamental qualifications of basic honesty and credibility, there are three ingredients, it seems to me, that make for a successful conservative leader.

The first (this should be obvious) is a solid conservative political philosophy. The second is charisma (like it or not, Americans prefer charismatic candidates, and it has become mandatory for the modern era).

Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections

Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections was started as a paper hobby after the 1992 Presidential Election. I was 22 and attending graduate school at MIT. I made a photocopy of a U.S. map (with county boundaries) from one of the libraries and filled in counties with colored pen according to the winner. There were only two percentage points – above 45% and below 45%. I used the data for Perot, Clinton, and Bush that was published in the 1993 World Almanac and Book of Facts (there were no minor party data).

“The Report of our Death was Greatly Exaggerated.”

So whatever happened to the death of conservatism? Wasn’t it supposed to be long gone by now, crumbling within its sarcophagus, a dim memory of a discredited past? Didn’t we start hearing authoritative rumblings about its impending doom around the time of the last set of midterm elections, in 2006, when disillusioned ex-conservatives like Francis Fukuyama and soi-disant types like Andrew Sullivan began tuning their cellos of lamentation and discontent? Wasn’t that also approximately when disaffected conservative writers were proclaiming, in the pages of the Washington Monthly, that “It’s Time for Us to Go”? The talk was so deafening that I was moved to argue with it back in January 2007 in these pages in an article entitled “Is Conservatism Finished?” I concluded with some gingerness that it was not, but my conclusion came nearly two years before the most liberal candidate to run for the presidency in nearly half a century won a resounding victory.

A Time For Choosing

I am going to talk of controversial things. I make no apology for this.

It’s time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, “We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self government.”

Reagan was the tea party

Liberals and their Democratic Party allies are frightened out of their halfwits by the re-emergence of the dreaded tea party, which began in Boston Harbor in December 1773, when colonists dressed as Indians dumped shiploads of tea into the water, helping to set off what eventually became the American Revolution.