Essay about Conservatism in the United States and Ronald Reagan

Submitted By conboyny
Words: 1587
Pages: 7

Ryan Conboy
Prof. Vought
History 104-S01
Paper No. 3
The Conservative Movement The conservative movement largely represents right-wing politics which supports the preservation of private ownership, personal wealth, self-reliance, patriotism, American freedom, the people’s right to bear arms, support of the death penalty and the prevention of communism. The major goals and beliefs behind the conservative party movement are to shrink the size of the federal government and reduce spending, to promote family values and patriotic ideals, to accelerate businesses by reducing government regulations and reducing taxes, and to increase the national defenses of our country. Some major moral beliefs that are heavily supported by the conservative lobby, are extreme views against abortion, and a strong belief that God should be put back into America’s classrooms. Throughout history and through the rise of conservatism in America, there have been many presidential speeches and documents that very well illustrate the main ideals and goal of the conservative movement. One of the first and older of the conservative documents that illustrates conservative ideals was written by young conservative idealist in 1960, by a group of young conservatives who gathered at the Sharon, Connecticut, home of National Review editor William F. Buckley (64). The group founded what was coined, “Young Americans for Freedom”. The group was to serve as an organization for young conservative activists. As their main statement of principle, the group adopted the Sharon Statement, which was written by a 26-year-old editor named Stanton Evans (64). “The Sharon Statement” is a concise synopsis of the fundamental ideas of American conservatism. The statement illustrates fundamental conservative principles by stating that,
“Free will and moral authority come from God” and not the government” (65). That “political and economic liberty are essential for a free people and free institutions” (65). That the “government must be strictly and constitutionally limited; that “the market economy is the economic system most compatible with freedom; and Communism must be defeated, not merely contained” (65). This statement of principles brought forth by “The “Sharon Statement” rejects the basic principles of Progressivism and liberalism in America. The “Young Americans for Freedom” challenged ignorant liberal agendas, and took a forceful stance against communism, and expressed the fact that “we will only be free only so long as the national sovereignty of the United States is secure… Freedom can only occur and exist only when free citizens defend their rights against all enemies” (65). “The Sharon Statement” is a great example of the basic beliefs of the conservative movement, especially the conservatives beliefs in individual freedom, freedom from communism as well as freedom from its own government, “that liberty is indivisible, and that political freedom cannot exist without economic freedom” (65). These ideals written in the “Sharon statement,” are extremely important to America’s history as they gave fuel to the conservative movement’s ideal of freedom and independence in America. Another great example that illustrates the conservative movement in America, is Ronald Reagan’s 1964 speech titled “Rendezvous with Destiny” (69). If the rise of modern conservatism could be accredited to one historical article, it would have to be Reagan’s 1964 speech. Reagan’s speech proclaimed the conservative view of America. Throughout his speech he discussed the principles of self-government to our “well meaning”, but still very ignorant left-wing liberals. Reagan addressed the economy at the time, the welfare state in America, the raging Cold War and the dangers of communism to America. Reagan became a beacon of light in one of America’s darkest times, spreading hope with a promise of freedom, and the elimination of the communist enemy threats that America faced at the