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

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									          Today’s Lecture:

      Ronald Reagan and the New

Session                      Topic(s)

  8                           6
Lecture Organization:

     Class Announcements

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

-- May 4th


-- 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

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

-- Terribly behind
-- Looking at Friday for getting current

-- 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
     • 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 is trying to get
conservatism to stand up and be
significant in the post-Roosevelt
   • fought against “the legacy
   of the New Deal” by
   supporting conservative
   • anti-Union
   • “State’s rights”
   • liberal republicans don’t
   like him (Nelson Rockefeller)
-- gets clobbered
                                    # 138

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


 -- 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



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                   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
Nixon Wins

                        Third Party:
             (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
                                                          # 142
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 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
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                    # 143


-- liberal Washington

What is it that kills the
 Nixon presidency?
                  agreement with Vietnam
            PeacePeace with communists


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             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?

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            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
-- very nice guy; very
poor president

Serious economic

-- “stagflation” (high
unemployment and

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

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

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

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

Budget Philosophy
and “new political
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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