This is a column directed at high school and college students. I’m going to try to convey to you how astoundingly different the Republican Party felt when I was your age.
The big guy then was Ronald Reagan. Temperamentally, though not politically, Reagan was heir to the two Roosevelts. He inherited a love of audacity from T.R. and optimism and charm from F.D.R.
He had a sunny faith in America’s destiny and in America’s ability to bend global history toward freedom. He had a sunny faith in the free market to deliver prosperity to all. He had a sunny faith in the power of technology to deliver bounty and even protect us from nuclear missiles.
He could be very hard on big government or the Soviet Union, but he generally saw the world as…