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It’s not all cities on a hill with the American conservative movement. There is more McCarthyism than Reaganism in the latest strain. Andrew Sullivan observes:

The American conservative era owes just as much to Goldwater’s
libertarianism and Reagan’s pragmatic freedom agenda. It’s also bundled
up with Buckley’s erudition, Gingrich’s populism, and the first Bush’s
realism and prudence. But Gabler is surely onto something in seeing the
McCarthyite strain in American conservatism being more tenacious and
transmittable, because human resentment is more common and politically
potent than agreement about limited government. The resentment theme
also tends to get stronger when there is too little raw political
talent around: when you have the limited grasp of the world of W and
Palin, a resort to McCarthyism is often helpful, even necessary.


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