One of my favorite movie quotes is from Back to the Future when Christopher Lloyd, as Doc Brown, challenges Michael J. Fox's Marty McFly in 1955 to prove his preposterous time-travel story by naming the president in 1985. When Marty replies, "Ronald Reagan, "Doc Brown hoots and says, incredulous," Ronald Reagan, the actor? Hah! "
Before the 1980 presidential election, there were many Americans of the same opinion as the good doctor. Jimmy Carter's presidence may have been weakened by the Iran host crisis, a stubborn recession and the second energy crisis of the decade, but the conventional wisdom after the primaries was that GOP candidate Ronald Reagan did not have a prayer. What he did have, however, was devout support from the defiantly religious, rapidly rising and well-funded "New Right." When this movement helped steer Reagan into the White House, their influence went on to shape American politics and … Read More