In yesterday's Financial Times, Gideon Rachman writes that Ronald Reagan "debased" traditional conservatism because
Traditional conservatives disdain populism and respect knowledge. They believe in balancing the government’s books. And they are pragmatists who are suspicious of ideology.
Reagan, in Rachman's view, propagated the "cult of the idiot savant (the wise fool)," took the GOP away from "fiscal responsibility" by embracing tax cuts, and encouraged the idea that "a successful foreign policy is a rigid distinction between good and evil, and a strong military." Reagan may have been "a successful president," Rachman admits, but he "left behind a poisonous legacy for the conservative movement." Liberal bugbear Sarah Palin is the consequence.