“A Time for Choosing” @ 50

As noted here before by Paul and me, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Barry Goldwater’s famous “extremism in defense of liberty” speech at the GOP convention, which I also wrote about in the Claremont Review of Books. The other more important speech of 1964 was Ronald Reagan’s “A Time for Choosing,” whose precise 50th anniversary arrives next Monday.

The SpeechPower Line readers in the LA area may wish to mark their calendar, as the Reagan Library will be hosting me for a lecture and panel discussion about “The Speech” at 11 am Pacific time. You can read more details and reserve a seat here, and nearby is the poster that Pepperdine has placed all around campus.

My lecture will cover the five main elements that made the speech such an effective piece of political rhetoric, how it contrasted in subtle but meaningful ways from Goldwater’s approach, and—most importantly—the unheeded lessons today’s conservatives ought to take from the speech. If you’re not able to come, not to worry: I’ll be publishing an edited version of the lecture in a major newspaper this weekend (stay tuned for details), and will eventually post the complete text here on Power Line.

Cannon Cover copyBut wait! There’s more! The lecture will be accompanied by a panel discussion with Lou Cannon and Carl Cannon. (Yes, they are related.) Lou of course covered Reagan throughout Reagan’s entire career starting with the governor’s race in 1966, and his son Carl, now one of the impresarios of RealClearPolitics, co-authored with his father an interesting book a few years back tracing out some of the continuities between Reagan and George W. Bush called Reagan’s Disciple. I thought it would be interesting to have a two-generation Cannon perspective, and I’m delighted that Lou and Carl graciously accepted my invitation to participate.

Not sure if it will be webcast live, but the Reagan Library usually tapes these events and makes them available later on their website.  And if you have a half-hour, here’s the original: