It’s President’s Day this weekend, so we’ve decided to honor our nation’s history by picking which four Presidents were the best conservative leaders! Because our Founders are, as the creators of our country and government, obvious choices, we narrowed down our field to the 1860-present range.
Ronald Reagan brought the conservative movement into the halls of American power, shrunk our government and fought the Soviets. For conservatives, he’s an idol and an icon, a hero whose name and impact are still invoked by today’s conservatives.
Abraham Lincoln saved the Union and freed the slaves. For that alone, he should be celebrated by conservatives. But Lincoln also tied together the principles of the Constitution and the Declaration into a shared group of principles — the antecedent of today’s conservative ideology.
Sandwiched between the Progressive excesses of Teddy Roosevelt and FDR’s New Deal, Calvin Coolidge was restrained not only in speech but in government. His careful, laissez-faire attitude to economics provides a model for a more free market-friendly way to run our government today.
In an age of governmental excess, Grover Cleveland proved himself to be the last good Democrat. His commitment to the Constitution led him to use more vetoes than anyone before, stopping Congressional excesses in the name of constitutional governance.
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