This is an interesting thought on today's U.S. politicians. However I wonder about this quote:
To put it another way, figures such as Eisenhower, Nixon and even Reagan would have a hard time getting nominated in 2012, in part because their foreign policy views would be seen as dangerously moderate. Yes, the Republican Party has always had a 'black helicopter faction' (I believe the phrase is Bill Clinton's), but that fringe belief has grown in recent years, and Republican presidential candidates have to pay obeisance to it.
I don't think today's mainstream republicans are conservative. Big spending, foreign war and big government love are not conservative values.
The democratic party is certainly different. Many years ago, you could have conservative democrats. They could be defined as church-going, union workers or many of what is more rare today; those in family owned farms.
Where "conservative" certainly doesn't have every single box ticked. Unions can be looked at as socialist. With that though, what defines a republican or a democrat is variable depending on one's belief system.
And, both parties have their nut jobs. One only has to look at the George Soros crowd or Moveon.org loons to match up with the "black helicopter comment" above.
Then there is the idea of the extreme-right evil. Which is different than being conservative. Well, you cannot get much more "extreme-right" than a Southern Democrat that supports the idea of water fountains based on a person's skin colour.
Where no party was or is innocent.
Like unions that too is part of the history of America. Evolving; but evolving to where?
Conservative values in the Democrat party have been taken out back and shot. They have no place in their machine. JFK may have been the last democratic president with anything close to conservative policy.
While I wonder if we could elect an Eisenhower, Nixon or Reagan, one has to put that in a different view. Then, there was a Soviet Union. A Carter of the day was useless. JFK didn't have any problem telling communists there was a line that could not be crossed.
We have a similar grave threat today: a major debt and communist sympathizers. Extremes on both sides being a danger to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
Also today, we have a Lyndon Baines Obama and a new "Great Society" full of business-killing welfare state initiatives. Thanks for nothing FDR and LBJ. FDR's ideas assumed an American actually wanted to work. Today, that is not always the case. For some, working is defined by going to the mailbox to pick up a government benefit check.
What defines a conservative is elusive. Which makes for a valuable tool for various political factions.
I do not see Bush I or Bush II or many of today's RINOs as "conservative". As for both mainstream parties, they are corrupt and responsible for off-shoring everything that was and isn't nailed down. How a vote for either party equals the best interests of the United States of America is beyond me.