Conservative America Ascendant, 1973-1991 Chapter 30
Conservative America Ascendant, 1973-1991 Chapter 30 The Rise of the New Right Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan: Champions of the Right Ronald Reagan (from CA) joined the Republican Party in the early 1960s as a speaker for candidates such as 1964 Republican Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater The Conscience of a Conservative Like Reagan, Goldwater came from the Sunbelt (AZ) His book The Conscience of a Conservative set the foundation of the new Republican Party Criticized the New Deal as absolutism and criticized containment as being too
timid Grassroots Conservatives Because moderates controlled the Republican Party, winning the 1964 nomination for Goldwater required conservatives to build from the bottom up. Much support came from the Sunbelt: Orange County, CA, fast growing suburbs of Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and other cities Phyllis Schlafly was a huge supporter of more aggressive conservatism in the Republican Party. Equal Rights Amendment opponent (Chapter 29) Accused Republicans of being Democrats in disguise Goldwaters militant tone and Lyndon Johnsons dedication to continue liberalism after Kennedys assassination was too much for him to even compete. However, much support grew in favor of Ronald Reagan as a candidate for the future
Free-Market Economics and Religious Conservatism Conservatives ideological positions were: anti-communism, free-market economics, and religious moralism William Buckley founder and editor of the National Review, used his magazine to criticize liberal policy Economist Milton Friedman promoted free market ideology Conservative Christians used politics and Republican Right to condemn: divorce, abortion, premarital sex, and feminism Charismatic televangelists Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell emerged as champions of a morality-based political agenda during the late 1970s A succession of conservative organizations would emerge in the 1980s A series of events that undermined support for the liberal agenda of the Democratic Party: the failed war in Vietnam; a judiciary that legalized abortion and pornography, enforced schools busing, and curtailed public expression of religion; urban riots; and stagnating economy
The Carter Presidential Interregnum Jimmy Carters unsuccessful presidency opened the door for Reagans election Human Rights in the State Department Withdrew economic and military aide from some oppressive regimes (Argentina, Uruguay, and Ethiopia) 1977 he signed a treaty to turn over the Panama Canal to Panama (December 31, 1999) Bad negotiations with Soviet president because of Soviets human rights violations SALT II Covert support for Mujahidin in Soviet-Afghanistan conflict in 1978
Hostage Crisis Carters ultimate undoing came in Iran Since the 1940s the U.S. supported Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, ruler of Iran Assistance from CIA His crimes using secret police were overlooked by U.S. In 1979, a revolution drove the shah into exile and he was replaced by popular fundamentalist Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini The U.S. admitted Shah Pahlavi into the U.S. for cancer treatment Result Carter refused to negotiate Iraqs invasion on Iraq lead Khomeini to negotiate and focus his attention on the invasion November 1980 the hostages were finally released the day after Carter left office The Election of 1980
President s Carters ratings dropped to a historical low Economy Weak response to Soviet expansion Iran Hostage Crisis Ronald Reagan campaigned against liberal policies Against affirmative action, and forced busing With Reagan victory, Republicans controlled the senate The Dawning of the Conservative Age The Reagan Coalition The core of the Republican Party remained: affluent, white, Protestant voters who supported balanced budgets, opposed government activism, feared crime and communism, and believed in
strong national defense Suburban traditions of racial homogeneity, combined with the middle class comfort more inclined to support conservative public policies He attractive southern whites who were against civil rights. He validated 25 years of southern opposition to federal civil rights legislation The Religious Right were crucial to Republican victory Against abortion, called for voluntary prayer in schools, and mandatory death penalty for certain crimes Blue collar Catholics alarmed with antiwar protests and rising welfare expenditures and hostile to feminist demands supported Reagan Conservatives in Power Reaganomics Was a theory of underlying supply-side economics
Reduce taxes of corporations and wealthy Americans, who could use the savings to expand production and create jobs Tax cuts now would create tax revenues later Economic Recovery Tax Act (ERTA) For most Americans for 3 years Estate taxes and inheritances Corporations Could not cut New Deal policies Not based on economics, based on faith Military spending of Cold War created the biggest national debts since the Great Depression Rising deficit of the 1980s contradicted Reagans pledge of fiscal conservatism Deregulation President Carter began deregulation in the 1970s but Reagan expanded the mandate
to include cutting back on government protection of consumers, workers, and the environment EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) were undermined during the Reagan administration Companies saved costs by refusing to clean up toxic waste and adhere to safety regulations The Sierra Club, however aroused enough public outrage to change the administrations position in the late 80s Remaking the Judiciary Reagan attempted to make the Supreme Court more conservative by 3 appointments. However, only one was truly conservative. Limited reach of court ordered busing, and endorsing constitutional protection of property rights Did not overturn the liberal rulings of the Warren and Burger courts (abortion,
affirmative action, and rights of criminal defendants) AIDS In the 80s AIDS killed nearly 100,000 people. However, early victims were gay men, thus Reagan, emboldened by New Right conservatives, hesitated in declaring a national health emergency In Reagans last years of office federal resources began to finally devote attention to treatment for HIV and AIDs patients and research. But the delay had proved costly, inhumane, and embarrassing Morning in America Unemployment in 1981-1982 neared 10%, the highest rate since the Great Depression Combined with booming deficit, forced Reagan to negotiate a tax increase with
Congress in 1982 Election of 1984 Reagans remarkable ability to produce positive associations and feelings, alongside robust economic growth after the 1981-1982 recession, helped make the 1980s decade characterized by both backward-looking nostalgia and aggressive capitalism Return to Prosperity By 1985 the U.S. imported more goods than it exported Heavy trade with japan Decline in productivity Economy grew because of financial services, medical services, computer technology- the service industry
Culture of Success Late 80s was popularized by the free market capitalist millionaires benefiting from Reaganomics Lee Iacoca, Donald Trump, and Ivan Boesky were money celebrities The Computer Revolution Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Jobs, and Steve Wozniak were four entrepreneurs who pioneered the computer revolution in the late 1970s and 1980s They made the computer accessible to individual consumers IBM was the first personal computer in 1981 Apple Corporations Macintosh computer became the first run-away commercial success for a personal computer Gates and Allen founded Microsoft who soon dominated the software industry
The End of the Cold War U.S.-Soviet Relations in a New Era Reagan inherited a decade of dtente that produced a relaxed tension with the Communist world. Reagans Cold War Revival Reagan administration had a new strategy Abandon dtente and rearm America Fund anticommunist movements in Angola, Mozambique, Afghanistan, and Central America Supported repressive corrupt right-wing regimes in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador that ruled by military dictatorships that murdered, kidnapped, and tortured thousands of citizens
It blocked Soviet influence but also damaged local communities and the international reputation of the U.S, as it did in the Vietnam war Iran-Contra Reagan considered Iran an outlaw state and supporter of terrorism However, he wanted Irans assistance in a hostage situation against Hezbollah, a pro-Iranian group in Lebanon To get Irans help, Reagan authorized the selling of weapons to Iran without congressional or public knowledge. In Nicaragua, the U.S. supported the anti-communist Contras overthrow of the democratically elected Sandinistas (Reagan accused them of threatening U.S. business interests) In 1984 Congress banned all government arms support of the Contras Oliver North, a lieutenant colonel of the Marines, under order of Reagan and high ranking officials used the profits from Iran deals and illegally assisted the Contras
Reagans replied I dont remember when asked if he knew of Norths actions North took the fall and was prosecuted The Iran-Contra scandal weakened Reagan domestically and he proposed no bold domestic policy initiatives in his last two years. Gorbachev and Soviet Reform Soviet-Afghanistan war in 1979 was just as disastrous as the Vietnam War was for the U.S. Expensive, low military morale, undermined popular support for government Mikhail Gorbachev introduced policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (economic reform) Compromise to eliminate all intermediate-range nuclear missiles based in Europe Renewal of dtente and lack of Soviet opposition to Eastern bloc dissent Berlin Wall was destroyed in 1989, symbolizing the end of Communism in Eastern Europe Internal conflict in Soviet government and failure of economy were the primary causes of
the fall of the U.S.S.R. U.S. played and important, but secondary role in the fall of the Soviet Union U.S. cost $4 trillion, radiation from weapon testing, and anticommunist witch hunts A New Political Order at Home and Abroad Reagans legacy is mixed. His role in facilitating the end of the Cold War is his most important achievement. His enormous military spending outweighed cuts in other programs He restored popular belief that America could enjoy increasing prosperity
Election of 1988 George H. Bush, Reagans Vice President selected Indiana Senator, Dan Quayle as his running mate. Quayle would restore the Christian family values vote. Democrat Jessie Jackson became the first AA to challenge for a major party nomination. However, much less charismatic MA governor Michael Dukakis, emerged as the nominee The election confirmed a new pattern that would last through the turn of the 21st century. Every 4 years, Americans would have battles between liberals and conservatives Middle East After Carters success negotiating the 1979 Egypt-Israel treaty at Camp David, there were not many bright spots in U.S. Middle Eastern diplomacy. In 1982, the Reagan administration supported Israels military occupation to destroy the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Lebanese militants killed 241 U.S. marines in response, and Regan abruptly
withdrew forces Persian Gulf War In 1980 Reagan supported ruthless dictator of Iraq Saddam Hussein against Iran, in order to maintain supplies of Iraqi oil By 1988 Iran and Iraq signed an armistice In 1990 Hussein quickly conquered neighboring Kuwait to take their oil reserves and threatened Saudi Arabia To preserve Western access to oil, Bush initiated action to push out Iraqs army The was quick and decisive but Hussein was kept in power
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