Published November 23, 2021
This column was adapted from an essay published by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute.
Evidence is accumulating that Hispanic, Asian and even some Black Americans are increasingly voting Republican. GOP leaders are naturally eager to cement these new voters’ loyalties. To do that, they should reexamine a speech Ronald Reagan gave more than 40 years ago.
Reagan’s speech, given on his birthday at the 1977 Conservative Political Action Conference, explored how to combine different types of conservatives into “a new, lasting majority.” To bring together economic and social conservatives, even though they did not see eye to eye on every issue, he argued that this required “compromise, but not a compromise of basic principle.” Reagan’s success in creating this new synthesis set the basis for the modern, pre-Trump GOP.
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Henry Olsen is a Washington Post columnist and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.