Rise of Conservatism After 1970 Was Primarily a Response to the Excesses of the 1960s

Topics: Conservatism, Ronald Reagan, Conservatism in the United States Pages: 4 (1197 words) Published: November 20, 2008
The rise of conservatism after 1970 was primarily a response to the excesses of the 1960s

Conservatism as a political belief signifies an amalgamation of political ideologies including fiscal conservatism, free market or economic liberalism, social conservatism and religious conservatism, It also includes a support for a strong military, small government, and states' rights. The tactics of conservatism vary widely by place and time. But the most central feature of conservatism is deference: a psychologically internalized attitude on the part of the common people that the aristocracies are better people than they are. Modern-day liberals often theorize that conservatives use "social issues" as a way to mask economic objectives, but this is almost backward: the true goal of conservatism is to establish an aristocracy, which is a social and psychological condition of inequality. Economic inequality and regressive taxation, while certainly welcomed by the aristocracy, are best understood as a means to their actual goal, which is simply to be aristocrats. More generally, it is crucial to conservatism that the people must literally love the order that dominates them.

In the United States, the Republican Party is generally considered to be the party of conservatism. This has been the case since the 1960s, when the conservative wing of that party consolidated its hold, causing it to shift permanently to the right of the Democratic Party. The most dramatic realignment was the white South, which moved from 3-1 Democratic to 3-1 Republican between 1960 and 2000. Since the Great Depression the only way the Conservatives had been able to get a President elected was by choosing a moderate candidate like Eisenhower or Nixon. That was about to change. The rise of Conservatism and the associated accession of the Republicans after 1970 owed much to the excesses of the 1960s. The liberals had taken things too far. The rise of Conservatism was the voice of a nation looking...

References: • Collins, Robert M. Transforming America: Politics and Culture During the Reagan Years
• Buenker, John D. Dictionary of the Progressive Era (1980)
• Diner, Steven J. A Very Different Age: Americans of the Progressive Era (1998)
• Gould Lewis L. America in the Progressive Era, 1890-1914" (2000)
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