HS-HSS-TAP-Part_6_--_Chapter_40-_Resurgence_of_Conservatism.pdf

HS-HSS-TAP-Part_6_--_Chapter_40-_Resurgence_of_Conservatism.pdf

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The Resurgence of Conservatism ~ 1980-1992 IT WILL BE MY INTENTION TO CURB THE SIZE AND INFLUENCE OF THE FEDERAL ESTABLISHMENT AND TO DEMAND RECOGNITION OF THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE POWERS GRANTED TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THOSE RESERVED TO THE STATES OR TO THE PEOPLE . RONA L D REA GA N , I NA UGURA L, 1981 ''I t's morning in America" was the slogan of Republican candidate Ronald Reagan in his 1980 presidential campaign. Certainly the 1980s were a new day for America's conservative right. Census figures confirmed that the average American was older than in the stormy sixties and much more likely to live in the South or West, the traditional bastions of the ((Old Right," where many residents harbored suspicions of federal power. The conservative cause drew added strength from the emer- gence of a ((New Right" movement, partly in response to the countercultural protests of the 196 0s. Spearheading the New Right were evangelical Christian groups such as the Moral Majority, dedicated believers who enjoyed startling success as political fund-raisers and organizers. Many New Right activists were far less agitated about economic questions than about cultural concerns- the so-called social issues. They denounced abortion, pornography, homosexuality, feminism, and especially affirmative action. They championed prayer in the 966 In a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals on March 8, 1983, President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) defined his stand on school prayer: "The Declaration of Independence mentions the Supreme Being no less than four times. 'In God We Trust' is engraved on our coinage. The Supreme Court opens its proceedings with a religious invocation. And the Members of Congress open their sessions with a prayer. I just happen to believe the schoolchildren of the United States are entitled to the same privileges as Supreme Court Justices and Congressmen."
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schools and tougher penalties for criminals. Together the Old and New Right added up to a powerful political combination, devoted to changing the very character of American society. The Election of Ronald Reagan. 1980 Ronald Reagan was well suited to lead the gathering conservative crusade. Reared in a generation whose values were formed well before the upheavals of the 1960s, he naturally sided with the New Right on social issues. In economic and social matters alike, he denounced the activist government and failed "social engineering" of the 1960s. Just as his early political hero, Franklin Roosevelt, had championed the "forgotten man" against big business, Reagan championed the "common man'' against big government. He condemned federal intervention in local affairs, favoritism for minorities, and the elitism of arrogant bureaucrats. He aimed especially to win over from the Democratic column working-class and lower-middle-class white voters by implying that the Democratic party had become the party of big government and the exclusive tool of its minority constituents.
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