Bush was a good President, not as Conservative as I like but overall a very good President.
Carters character was deplorable and Carter was an awful President, an Anti Semite baby killing liar who claimed god as his inspiration.
Clintons character was deplorable and Clinton was an awful President, the GOP Congress made him look better domestically than the clear path he was heading down in his first two years before he got the entire Congress of his Party thrown out of office.
Reagan and Bush 41 were both good men but only one was a Conservative, both were remarkable foreign policy/Trade/National Security Presidents and Reagan was great domestically as well in spite of a Congress populated by his opposition.
Nixon had deplorable character and was a Liberal, the only President that could give Obama a run for his money on disregarding the Constitution and setting long term destructive forces in place that continue their legacy of destruction long after they leave.
Johnson was as big a Racist and a liar as Obama and sentenced whole demographics to permanent poverty, a horrible President indeed.
Kennedy was unique, A Conservative with a mix of honorable to poor character depending on the vice; he was on track to be a one termer when he was assassinated with a record low approval rating of 25%
On balance I would say that strong character matters more than ideology, but nonetheless that was not the point of the piece. The point of the piece was that there are lines that some will cross which should disqualify them from service in the mind of anyone who values character.
A Habitual Liar with no conscience regarding who he attacks is one of those lines, Trump has blown past that line without ever tapping the brakes so his popularity serves as an accurate testament to the character of the Republican Party rank and file.
So I was wrong for many years, the GOP Base does not need a new Conservative Party; they are members of the perfect Party for them right now.