Your Mount Rushmore of post-1976 American Conservatives

I have gained control of the largest hill in Florida and, as a celebration of my achievement, will sculpt a Mt Rushmore of modern (post 1976) conservatives. I am open to suggestions!

1976 because it seems to be a good dividing line between post-war conservatism and modern conservatism. If you disagree, sorry - 1976 is the cutoff date for this thread. :stuck_out_tongue:

Politicos, Media figures, athletes, more are all available for your 4-spot selections. And given that Reagan is such a go-to name, to reduce boredom, go ahead and suggest one alternate.

My list in post 2.


Alternate: Trump

Ben Sasse

If your talking about those with most influence, I’d put Gingrich over the maestro. My personal favorite was McCain.

Your list seems to mix people who are (as far as I’m concerned) complete trash, with people who had at least some integrity and honor. I’m not clear what you’re going for here. Is it supposed to be the worst people, the most representative of what conservatism has become, the most representative of what conservatism was at the time of their greatest influence, something else?

I would seriously consider Dick Cheney. He is representative of much of modern conservatism, while preserving a fig leaf of honor and decency. And you could make a nice caricature of him talking out of the side of his mouth.

So far I’ve got Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos, and John Kasich. I’m not sure who I’d put in fourth.

Why would Trump be on anyone’s list? He’s about the furthest thing possible from conservative.

Gerald and Betty Ford.

Both were pro-choice (and vehemently against the religious right turn the Republican Party went under after they left the White House). Both were pro-Equal Rights Amendment and Betty Ford worked together with Rosalynn Carter in promoting the importance to the public. Their candour about Mrs Ford’s breast cancer during the presidency and later alcoholism broke taboos that led to more women being open without a stigma holding back. Gerald Ford became great friends with Jimmy Carter and worked together on projects and he also voiced total dissatisfaction with how Cheney and Rumsfeld (his former aides) became hard right during George W Bush’s presidency.

If we’re talking about the founding fathers of the post-1976 American Right (not so much conservatism per se), I’d propose the following:

Ronald Reagan
Rush Limbaugh
Mitch McConnell
Donald Trump

Honorable mention:
Antonin Scalia
Alan Greenspan
Sarah Palin (yes, I’m serious)
Bill O’Reilly
Roger Ailes

Ronald Reagan, Roger Ailes, Newt Gingrich, and Antonin Scalia.

I must admit: that is an all-star lineup.

Thank you. I was trying to choose people who I feel contributed to the conservative movement rather than just riding on its coattails.

Your list includes multiple strands: the presidency, the judiciary, the legislative, and the media. It’s the best list I’ve seen so far in that regard.

Ronald Reagan
Newt Gingrich
Rush Limbaugh
Donald Trump

Nixon does not meet the post 76 criteria, but he deserves a plaque somewhere.

If you want influence, Grover Norquist has to be there.

The first question is up to each reader, as is their qualifications for entry, but I think it can be readily argued that Trump was the latest culmination of a strand of virulent politics which has been sustained by ‘conservative’ factions in this country including racial issues, pro-America nativism, a desire to suppress Democracy among POC, and more than a healthy disdain for Democratic norms and Constitutional law. It was the ‘conservatives’ which broke away from the Union, it was the ‘conservatives’ who rose against the New Deal w/ Reagan, it was the ‘conservatives’ who ignored 250,000 dead Americans for disgraced ex-president Donald Trump.

So, yeah… Trump, the conservative.

Gingrich (maybe in 20 years I’ll say Nikki Hailey)
Rush (or Breitbart)

(Trump doesn’t make MY list at least after 100 names)


I think that at its core, the modern American conservative movement is a white nationalist movement, and Trump embodies that perfectly. Beginning with Nixon’s southern strategy, conservatives have been pandering to white supremacists and with Trump that pandering has now reached its logical conclusion.

Trump and Rush are the epitome of conservative politics. They are no-brainers. The other two? I guess Reagan and Jerry Falwell.

It is likely that Newt Gingrich was the single most influential politician who turned the republican party from a reasonable political party in which they could work with their opponents for the good of the country into perceiving themselves to be in a battle of good and evil, and could use any underhanded dirty tactic or even harm the country if it would hurt their political opponents. The trend of republicans who cared only about their own power and defeating their opponents and not at all about their country, any sort of decency or honor or reason, starts most clearly with him.

For non-politicians, maybe Rupert Murdoch, although there may be someone behind the scenes even more responsible for the Fox News echo chamber machine than him.