Its purpose was never to make America a better place. Indeed, if we define America as a country belonging to its 300 million inhabitants, then the purpose was actually precisely the opposite. The mission of this ideology was in fact to diminish, if not impoverish, the vast bulk of these citizens so that the already massively wealthy among them could become obscenely wealthy.Emphasis added. And yes, they were evil.
Where you or I might have looked at the middle of the 20th century and seen the moment when America finally did justice to its national promise by introducing a measure of serious economic equality for the first time, and thus vastly expanding the middle class, the plutocrats behind Reaganism-Bushism saw a filthy aberration to the natural order of master and slave that had long existed in human history. They therefore set about to overturn that aberration and return to "better times" through a process of class warfare. That meant that labor unions had to go, along with workplace protections, good wages, decent benefits, government protections and a far-too-moderate average CEO-to-lowest-paid-worker salary ratio on the order of 50-to-1, replaced instead by something closer to 500-to-1.
If you don't believe me, here’s another take from Philip Agre at UCLA. He asks two simple questions:
Q: What is conservatism?“Conservatism is the antithesis of democracy. This has been true for thousands of years,” says Agre.
A: Conservatism is the domination of society by an aristocracy.
Q: What is wrong with conservatism?
A: Conservatism is incompatible with democracy, prosperity, and civilization in general. It is a destructive system of inequality and prejudice that is founded on deception and has no place in the modern world.
P.S. In the "prose too delicious to lose" category, here's a Bush/Cheney sendoff from Meteor Blades:
Good-bye to your rip-offs, your malice, your arrogance, your ignorance, your outlawry, your denial, your deceit, your cronyism and your stubborn refusal to cease pushing the envelope in the department of shameless villainy. Goodbye to the administration you constructed of turdiness and explained with truthiness. To your smirk and your snarl. To your conscienceless cruelty. Good-bye to your corruption, your vanity, your world without grays. Good-bye, good-bye, good-bye, you insufferable despots, and good riddance.