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February 1st, 1981 - on this day the fortieth US President Ronald Reagan welcomed the dawn of a new era of responsible Federal Government by receiving Senator Charlton Heston and other leading members of the Conservative Democrat caucus for round table discussions at the White House.
The Democrat Party had drifted leftwards and embraced liberalism after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. And naturally, both of the former Union leaders were increasingly disillusioned with the party during the sixties and seventies.
Due to their lower middle class origins, neither family had directly benefited from the welfare dollars of the New Deal during the thirties. And from their shared position of initial skepticism, they had nurtured a common conviction that the "Great Society" of Lyndon Johnson had mistakenly created a ballooning bureaucracy which had delivered disappointing results for the "Average American".
Of course due to their own celebrity status neither would consider themselves a part of that group of people. Nor were they intellectuals who could bond easily with their fellow writers and academics amongst the neoconservatives who were led by the Editor of Public Interest, Irving Kristol.
Instead, Reagan was understandably keen to exploit Heston's public image which had lent authority to his political activism. In fact Heston had struggled with the deeply personal decision to quit acting and run for the Senate in 1969. Reagan on the other hand, had experienced less of a dilemma. In his final role for the 1964 movie "The Killers", he been miscast as the villain. A lacklustre performance had finally brought the curtain down on his acting career.