The election of Ronald Reagan (search) in 1980 was a triumph for conservatives. It was also a defeat for the intellectual establishment in the United States, most of whom declared that a vote for Reagan was a vote for disaster.
Established politicians, academics and virtually the entire media warned that Reagan was at best naïve and at worst a dangerous war monger.
A column by the Washington Post’s David Broder just before the election doubted whether America could ever match Reagan’s vision of it:
“[Reagan’s] picture is more a romanticized notion of the 1920s than a reflection of realities in the 1980s.”
The New York Times editorial board belittled Mr. Reagan’s “romanticized image of America. Mr. Reagan seems truly to cleave to the verities of the 50's.” (The New York Times, October 26, 1980).
But the American electorate, much like Reagan, didn’t put a time limit on America’s ideals. They believed those ideals, though not in vogue, remained a living reality. And that’s why they rejected the collective wisdom of the elite and twice elected Ronald Reagan president.
Together with their new leader, the public and President Reagan turned that vision into reality.
And that's the Observer.