Suburban Warriors and the Conservative's Side of the 1960's
Suburban Warriors and the Conservative's Side of the 1960's HIST 2112
Popular in American History Since 1865
Popular in History
This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Carina Sauter on Sunday April 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 2112 at University of Georgia taught by Dr. Rohrer in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see American History Since 1865 in History at University of Georgia.
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Date Created: 04/17/16
Suburban Warriors and the Conservative’s Side of the 1960’s • The 60’s: A Schizophrenic Decade? o Not entirely – 1960’s sthll dominated by liberalism – most liberal decade in the second half of the 20 century o Conservatives – tiny minority in 1950’s o Conservative and Republican are not interchangeable terms o The decade was extremely liberal with rising conservatives that shape today’s republican party o Democrats and liberals had a grip on congress and set the tone for national politics o Conservatives took a back seat after WWII § Not easy to be elected as conservative o Moderate/liberal republican party supported liberalism (ideology associated with the left side of politics) o Conservatives are on the right end, more than normal republicans § Widely dismissed – “kooks” “crack pots” – no significant hope of any power • The Birth and Early Years of the Modern Conservative Movement o Where were they from? § 1950’s had established a strong base of support starting in the Southwest and moving to the Southeast • attempt to make the sunbelt more conservative • fast growing regions of the US in the years after WWII • area of economic growth (aerospace, industry, military industrial complex, other high tech industries) • home to “suburban warriors” and key region in the birth and sustained growth of the modern conservative movement • Key social and political centers of conservatism: o Orange County, CA (“The OC” o Fort Worth, TX o Cobb County, GA § play greater role in national politics: • Caucasian • White collar • Highly educated/skilled • Men and women living in suburban areas • Socially and religiously conservative o What were their ideals/wants? § Individual initiative § Free enterprise § Lower taxes § States’ rights § Strengthened military § More militant brand of anti-communism § Return to family values § Did not want money to help with social issues (race) only anti-communist measures and cold war tactics § Return to days of laissez faire before 1940’s (pre-federal government prominent role) o At this time, there was no viable political party demonstrating conservative ideals § Want to make republican party more conservative § Reputation of staying with themselves § Few grassroots organizations – lack of funding • Early Conservative Leaders, Intellectuals and Architects o William F. Buckley § Conservative author and commentator § Funder of right wing magazine The National Review • Wanted to make republican party the vehicle for conservatives • Eliminate extremists from conservative movement (too radical fascists) • Destroy liberals and their ideology • Policy of victory over communism § Young Americans for Freedom • Wanted to recruit young and energetic followers • Instantly successful – within 6 months they claimed over 100 groups around the country with more than 71,000 members • Young Americans who spread their ideas through newsletters, radio broadcasts, etc. o Barry Goldwater § Represented the small, but growing, sonservative cohort within Republican Party § Helped articulate conservative doctrine, especially influential to find a turning point for the movement § Originally Arizona senator § Right wing voice in republican party § 1960: The Conscience of a Conservative • originally rejected by media • today: most important political track in modern republican history • >3.5 million copies • Reconcile differences within movement – brought libertarians and traditionalists together § Point fingers at LBJ and suggest that they resemble consumerism – scare tactic • Government should be removed from most parts of life § Focus on dangers of Soviet Union communism and take concrete action § Provide the blueprint from ideas to put into action with examples § Rejects that conservatism is out of date • Great promoter of conservatism movement § Economic and matters = laissez faire government Defense and SU = activist government à contradicting o John Birch Society – more harm than good for movement § Organizations in all 50 states with tens of thousands of members § “birchers” – may have been too extreme § still around today § thought government officials were communist agents § anti-civil rights – racist: though civil rights and equality sounded too much like communism • wanted Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren impeached (from Brown vs BOE) § representative of the extreme right-wing end of conservative movement § founded in 1958 § virulently anti-communism, anti-big government, anti-liberal § pro-constitution, evangelical Christianity o Growing conservative grassroots organizations § Pat Robertson – evangelical conservatism • TV network exclusively for conservative and Christian views § First half of the 1960’s – still the minority o Changing South § 1865-1960’s: Solid democratic South § BUT John Tower wins the Texas election for governor as a republican • Represents the beginning of the South moving to the republican party • Continues today • Election of 1964 – Trial Run for Conservatives o First time a conservative republican is nominated o Lyndon B. Johnson (liberal democrat) vs Barry Goldwater (conservative republican) – choice of extremes § Goldwater: • Fiscally conservative • Smaller government • States’ rights • Aggressive stance on fighting communism and wining cold war o The “birth” of the conservative Ronald Reagan § Originally a democrat, but changed in 1962 § Supported Goldwater § A week before the election, he gives a speech to endorse Goldwater on TV – at this time, not very politically famous • “a time for choosing” – spokesman § to not fight is to surrender § describes LNJ and their followers as wooses for not doing enough § hard nose stance on Cold War o Landslide victory for LBJ – LBJ wins electoral votes from 44 states § Largest popular vote margin in history with 61% and 486 electoral votes (previously set by FDR) § US is not ready to escalate Cold War § Many though Goldwater could bring us to nuclear annihilation o A Sunbelt turn to the Republican Party? § 1966: republicans come back with 4 seats in the house and 8 governors in the US • Goldwater: The most political influence a loser ever had o Shaped republican party’s stance on limited government, social welfare programs and defense o Re-defined the republican party as (largely) a political party for conservatives NOT moderates o Revived a “constitutional heritage” among party members – prominent place in political conversation § Ex. gun owner rights and gun control (second amendment) o Senator for more than 20 years later after losing election o The most consequential loser in modern presidential politics Rise of Conservatism: Discussion • John Birch Society: Based on document 8, what appears to be the John Birch Society’s primary concern and/or objective? o Pro states’ rights o Separation between federal and state jurisdiction o Federal government should not directly deal with anything regarding race or education (ex. Brown vs BOE) o Fund military o Unregulated business o No unions • How does the John Birch Society describe communism? Why is it so threatening to them? (document 8) • Barry Goldwater: Document 9 exposes you to some excerpts from his Conscience of a Conservative. What do they reveal? • How does the Sharon Statement, the founding document of the Young Americans for Freedom, complement Goldwater’s views on conservatism (document 10) • How does Milton Friedman define “freedom”? (document 11) o Intellectual economist giving Goldwater and Reagan and their followers an intellectual background
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