Who Are These Republicans Talking To?

Here’s a dirty secret about Ronald Reagan: he never would have been elected president if he hadn’t been running in 1980.
For their own good, Republicans, who have turned worship of the 40th president into their unofficial religion (my favorite moment of last summer’s G.O.P. convention was when a video tribute to Abraham Lincoln was interrupted by an ill-fitting Reagan cameo), really need to come to grips with this.
This isn’t to diminish Reagan’s obvious political and oratorical talents or the significance of his presidency. His victory in ’80 represented the dramatic culmination of a decades-long rightward shift among the American electorate—one rooted, ironically enough, in the success of the New Deal and spurred on by the Democratic Party’s decision to fully embrace civil rights in the 1960s.

Who Are These Republicans Talking To?