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The Ascendancy of Reagan and the new Conservatism in American Political Culture

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The Ascendancy of Reagan and the new Conservatism in American Political Culture Powered By Docstoc
					          Today’s Lecture:




      Ronald Reagan and the New
             Conservatism



Session                      Topic(s)


  8                           6
Lecture Organization:

     Class Announcements


      The Great Society
      Johnson’s Failure
       Richard Nixon
     Ronald Reagan and the New Conservatism
      “Reaganomics”
      Political Labels
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                Class Announcements


midterm
-- May 4th

Reading

-- Chapters: 7, 9, 18, 21, 24, 25, 26, 30

Study Guide
-- I’ll be posting sample test questions by Thursday

Review Session
-- Friday, April 30th, 12:30-1:30, medical sciences, 143.
                 Class Announcements


Attendance
-- May circulate twice.
-- If I do, you have to be on both to get full credit

 Website
-- Terribly behind
                                                  Questions?
-- Looking at Friday for getting current

 Syllabus
-- I will deviate a little from course subject matter [explain]
                  The Great Society
                                                            # 137



Johnson (LBJ)

  -- Elected president in 1964 (after Kennedy assassinated)
  -- launches something he calls, “The Great Society”
     • “cure poverty”
     • implication: government creating a “social utopia”
     (government creating a perfect society)
     (very idealistic)
                 The Great Society


Johnson (LBJ)
   Going Beyond New Deal?

  -- argument:
     • extending the Roosevelt program beyond its initial
     purpose
     • not just doctoring the dying economy, or structuring its
     better operation
     • government can go out and build perfection for its own
     sake by enacting social programs
 Opponent: Barry Goldwater
-- Johnson’s Opponent is Barry
Goldwater
-- Goldwater is trying to get
conservatism to stand up and be
significant in the post-Roosevelt
world
   • fought against “the legacy
   of the New Deal” by
   supporting conservative
   opposition
   • anti-Union
   • “State’s rights”
   • liberal republicans don’t
   like him (Nelson Rockefeller)
-- gets clobbered
                                    # 138
                                          1964




Civil Rights will split
   the Roosevelt              Question:
coalition (the South
will leave the party,     Why isn’t the South
      nationally)         voting Democrat?
                  Johnson’s Failure
                                                             # 139



Vietnam

 -- Johnson starts the Vietnam war
 -- over 500,000 American troops
 -- no national consensus behind the war
 -- the draft
     • your neighbor being taken away
     • avoid it by going to college, etc.
 -- the arrogance (they think it will be quick and dirty).
                     Lyndon Johnson

             Major Downward Trend




            60%


            40%




1/18/2007             (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.   11
1/18/2007   (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.   12
1/18/2007   (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.   13
1/18/2007   (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.   14
                   Johnson’s Failure
                                                              # 140



Other aspects of failure
   Great Society Seen as a Failure?

  -- The ethos of this initiative doesn’t have anything like the
  New Deal had
  -- Welfare rolls expanded 3 to 4 times what they were
  -- Looks like a “hand-out” instead of a “hand-up”

         Welfare reform in the 1990s
                    Johnson’s Failure


Other aspects of failure
   Race Riots

  -- race riots in the inner cities of Watts and Los Angeles
  -- police brutality
  -- national guard is called in

        hardly an American utopia
                   Richard Nixon
                                                   # 141



1968 election

-- Johnson doesn’t run for re-election
-- His Vice President runs against Richard Nixon
                                 1968
Nixon Wins




                        Third Party:
                         Dixiecrats
             (South is still hung up on
                 the race issues)
Complicated character
one the one hand, seems
like an idealist
    • anti-New Deal
    • anti-Communist
    • hard line to the right
One the other hand, he is
very pragmatic
    adapts to the world that
    he is in (not the one he
    would like)
Psychologically, is very
insecure
                                                          # 142
5/1/2010                   Copyright, Sean Wilson. 2007           19
 Liberal Environment
-- The 1970s political
culture is very liberal

Nixon’s Domestic Agenda
-- EPA
-- National Health
Insurance Program
-- Guaranteed Annual
Income for the Poor?
-- Appoints a mixed
Supreme Court
    • author of Roe v.
    Wade                                  Nixon is no Ronald Reagan
5/1/2010                  Copyright, Sean Wilson. 2007                20
                 1972




                    # 143




Misleading

-- liberal Washington
culture/Congress
                   1972




      Question:
What is it that kills the
 Nixon presidency?
                                  Nixon
                  agreement with Vietnam
            PeacePeace with communists
60%
                                                        Re-election




                                        Watergate




1/18/2007            (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.                 23
             Ronald Reagan and the New
                    Conservatism                           # 144



What’s girl to do?

   -- One of the central problems facing Republicans and
   conservatives in the post-New Deal world is:
   • how can you be conservative in a Post-New Deal world?
                    ?
             Laissez
             Plantation
             Faire
             Hegemony




5/1/2010   Copyright, Sean Wilson. 2007   25
            Ronald Reagan and the New
                   Conservatism                            # 145



The Jimmy Carter Problem

  -- Reagan will ascend in American politics in 1980 with his
  defeat of incumbent president Jimmy Carter
 assessment
-- very nice guy; very
poor president


Serious economic
    problems

-- “stagflation” (high
unemployment and
inflation)

Iranian hostage problem
-- America is perceived
as “weak”
   Reagan Victory
-- high voter discontent
with both candidates
-- voted against Carter,
not for Reagan
            Ronald Reagan and the New
                   Conservatism                         # 146



Rediscovering American conservatism

  -- Reagan changed the liberal culture in Washington
  because he was successfully able to re-invent conservatism
  -- conservatives find their soul in Reagan
            Ronald Reagan and the New
                   Conservatism


Ideological Legacy

doesn’t reject FDR, rejects LBJ
  -- Reagan didn’t:
     • believe social security was wrong, or that the
     government shouldn’t be doing it
     • he also didn’t try to eliminate the regulatory framework
     for capitalism and society (SEC, FDA, FDIC, EPA, etc)
           Ronald Reagan and the New
                  Conservatism


Ideological Legacy

 doesn’t reject FDR, rejects LBJ
  -- Instead, Reagan says:
     • we are over -regulating
     • we rely upon government too much
     • there is a difference between having government
     structure capitalism versus having it torture it.
            Ronald Reagan and the New
                   Conservatism


Ideological Legacy

 doesn’t reject FDR, rejects LBJ

  note the use of blend or recipe logic
  Reagan says, simply, the blend of Government into
  capitalism can’t be too strong.
  (If Reagan represents something ideologically to American
  politics, it is putting the breaks on something current rather
  than going backward to something that pre-existed)
            Ronald Reagan and the New
                   Conservatism                              # 147



Ideological Legacy

 doesn’t reject FDR, rejects LBJ

    rejecting Europe as the model
  The real thrust of the “Reagan Revolution:” Europe isn’t
  America’s model
  -- we don’t want our society to be like the French, or even
  the English.
  --Americans don’t want to imitate European civil society
  (slower pace, less competitive, government provides more,
  taxes are higher, growth rates are slower, etc.)
  Tip O’Neil’s
 assessment of
    Reagan


Budget Philosophy
and “new political
     culture”
Reagan in his own words   # 148




         Part I:
       The Vision
                       # 149




      Part II:
Against LBJ, not FDR
            # 150




Part III:
The Cuts

				
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Description: This lecture covers the rise of Ronald Reagan and the New Conservatism in American Political Culture. Specifically, it explains the perceived failures of Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society. It also shows how the Republican victory by Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972 failed to produce a distinctly conservative political message about the role of government in life. Indeed, there are many items in Nixon’s domestic agenda that seem committed to active-government philosophy. The lecture also mentions how Goldwater had tried to be a figure for conservative rebirth, but could not defeat Johnson. In the end, it is the Carter failure that opened the door for Ronald Reagan’s new conservatism. It is Reagan who showed Americans how to truly be conservative in a post-Roosevelt world. The lecture argues that Reagan represents the repudiation of Johnson and the Great Society, not of Roosevelt and the New Deal. The lecture ends with Reagan in his own words.