E. J. Dionne's new book, Why the Right Went Wrong, offers a historical view of the right since the 1960s. Its core contention is that American conservatism and the Republican Party took a wrong turn when they adopted Barry Goldwater’s worldview during and after the 1964 campaign.
The radicalism of today’s conservatism is not the product of the Tea Party. The Tea Partiers are the true heirs to Goldwater ideology. The purity movement did more than drive moderates out of the Republican Party—it beat back alternative definitions of conservatism.
The state of the Republican party, controlled by the strictest base, is diminished. It has become white and older in a country that is no longer that. It needs to come back to life for its own health and that of the country’s, and in Why the Right Went Wrong, Dionne explains how.