Two thoughts here. First off, I do feel that Reagan is very much a modern American conservative. Yes, he did indeed leave some of the New Deal and Great Society programs in place, but the appeal to the extreme religious right, the anti-choice rhetoric, the race-baiting, the constant statements about welfare fraud, the blaming of the poor for their situation, the cluelessness about poverty and economic reality…these are all very much in the mold of modern Republicans.
Secondly, the comments made at about 7:55 are absolutely correct. We are, in fact, a nation of cowards when it comes to examining the dark spots of our history or being willing to do what’s really needed to fix our problems. Some of that is there is genuine disagreement about the best ways to fix those problems, but some of it is just because we’re the kind nation Churchill described as always doing the right thing, but only after we’ve exhausted all other options.