It is an unassailable doctrinal truth in the modern Republican Party that Ronald Reagan was a great president and that the United States can be restored to its former glory — i.e., the 1980s — if he is resurrected and returned to earth in the form of someone just like him who claims the GOP presidential nomination and then wins the general election.
That is, someone who, like Reagan, combines genial optimism with disciplined strength. Someone with longstanding, core conservative convictions based in a comprehensive ideology that he or she can articulate convincingly to the masses. And someone with wit, charm and never-ending charisma.
In other words, someone who is the opposite of Donald Trump.
And yet today millions of conservatives are swooning for The Donald, nothing less than the anti-Reagan. They ignore Trump’s surly, intolerant suggestions that illegal immigrants are largely rapists and other types of miscreants. They tolerate his meanness, boastfulness and vengefulness against those who have crossed him. And they believe his fantastical claims, like that he can build walls atop the Mexican border and make Mexicans pay for it.