It was not until William F. Buckley Jr., founded National Review in 1955 that the tide began to slowly turn for conservatives. National Review was a lonely voice of conservatism in an overwhelmingly liberal establishment. Buckley began what led to Senator Barry Goldwater and his Conscience of a Conservative, which led to the seizing of power by the conservatives from the moderate establishment within the Republican party. From that emerged Ronald Reagan. Bill stood up to defend freedom as a positive value of greater moral worth than either the state or the elite, and over time his work had a transformational impact on the quality of American politics that continues even today.
He was a wonderful friend, a great patriot, and a lively human being. Callista and I are praying for him and those who loved him. He will be missed.
Newt Gingrich is a senior fellow at AEI.