[In 1952] the Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee considered endorsing [Ronald] Reagan for an open congressional seat but declined to do so on grounds he was "too liberal" . . . Reagan's vision of America as a free society that drew its strength from the courage and bloodstock of its immigrants was then considered a liberal view. Liberals in those days celebrated the American "melting pot" rather than the diversity of its human ingredients. The genius of America was not that it perpetuated differences but that it obliterated them and created a new being: an American.
—Lou Cannon, Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power