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Views of leading conservatives over the past 40 years

WASHINGTON—One guiding principle of traditional conservatism in American politics has been an emphasis on limiting the power and scope of government.

However, today's "conservative" Republicans who dominate the White House and Congress are not following that principle in the way they govern. Illustrative quotations from leading conservatives over the past 40 years follow:

"I fear Washington and centralized government more than I do Moscow."_Barry Goldwater, 1964

"The basis of conservatism is a desire for less governmental interference, or less centralized authority."_Ronald Reagan, 1975

"The end of government that is too big, too intrusive and too easy with the public's

money."_Newt Gingrich, 1994, defining a central goal of his party's "Contract With America"

"We are re-shaping our government to meet the demands of the modern world and better serve our citizens."_Republican Party's national platform, 2004

"The Republicans in Congress and the White House have become defenders of big government."_Stephen Slivinski, director of budget studies, the Cato Institute, a conservative-libertarian think tank in Washington, 2005


(c) 2005, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

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