Ideology and Policy
IN THE FOREGOING chapters I have identified some of the social values, beliefs, and attitudes, such as support for free-market capitalism, conservative internationalism, and preference for state or local administration of social programs, that influenced policy formation in the Nixon and Ford administrations. Questions to be dealt with in this final chapter include: How important were these social ideas in their actual effects on policymaking? Do these social values, beliefs, and attitudes add up to a "distinct and broadly coherent" ideology called conservatism? And, finally, what is the likely future role of this ideology in American politics?
Among the social values, beliefs, and attitudes that influenced the policies of the two Republican administrations, as described and analyzed in earlier chapters, were the following:
1. In foreign policy, both the Nixon and Ford administrations derived many of their strategic directions from the structure of ideas I have called "conservative internationalism." This structure was founded on beliefs that (a) "national interest" is the self-evident goal of foreign policy, and (b) effective pursuit of this interest requires active international involvement. National interest was interpreted by Nixon, Ford, and their advisers, among whom Kissinger was certainly the most influential, to comprise not only military security but also