{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

img024 - 5O Politic by Other Meant ple Democratic candidate...

Info icon This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: 5O Politic; by Other Meant ple, Democratic candidate George McGovern suffered an electoral drubbing at the hands of Republican Richard Nixon after propos- ing to decrease the tax burden of lower-income voters at the exv pense of middle- and upper—income voters. Similarly, in 1984 Walter Mondale was routed by Ronald Reagan after pledging to increase taxes and social spending if elected. The Democratic party’s difficulties in presidential elections were compounded by the aftermath of the civil rights movement. The national Democratic party had helped bring about the enfran— chisement of millions of black voters in the South. To secure the loyalty of these voters, as well as to cement the loyalty of black vot- ers in the North, the national Democratic leadership supported a variety of civil rights and social programs designed to serve the needs of African Americans. Unfortunately, however, the association of the national Demo- cratic party with civil rights and the aspirations of blacks alienated millions of white Democrats, including southerners and blue-collar northerners, who believed that black gains came at their expense. White voters defected en masse to support George Wallace’s third- party presidential candidacy in 1968. Subsequently many began voting for Republican presidential candidates. EHorts by Democratic presidential candidates to rebuild their party’s support among southern whites and blue—collar northern- ers were hampered by the harsh racial arithmetic of American pol- itics. In the wake of the Voting Rights Act, the Democratic party depended upon African Americans for more than 20 percent of its votes in national presidential elections. Yet at the same time, and for a more or less equal percentage of votes, the Democrats relied upon whites who, for one or another reason, were unfriendly to blacks. Efforts by Democratic candidates to bolster their support among blacks by focusing on civil rights and social programs wound up losing them as much support among whites as they gained among blacks. Conversely, those Democratic candidates who avoided overtly courting black support in order to maintain white backing were hurt by declines in black voter turnout. For ex- E lateral Deadlock 5 1 ample, in 1984 Walter Mondale assiduously courted black support and was abandoned by southern white Democrats. In 1988 Michael Dukakis carefully avoided too close an association with blacks and was punished by a steep decline in black voter turnout. Thus, liberal activism and civil rights combined to weaken the Democratic party in national presidential elections. From 1968 on, the Republicans moved swiftly to take advantage of this weak- ness. Their presidential candidates developed a number of issues and symbols designed to show that the Democrats were too liberal and too eager to appease blacks at the expense of whites. For in- stance, beginning in 1968, Republicans emphasized a “southern strategy,” consisting of opposition to school busing to achieve racial integration and resistance to affirmative action programs. At the same time Republicans took on a number of issues and positions designed to distinguish their own candidates from what they declared to be the excessive liberalism of the Democrats. Re- publican platforms included support for school prayer and opposi— tion to abortion, advocacy of sharp cuts in taxes on corporations and on middle- and upper-income voters, a watering down of consumer and environmental federal regulatory programs, efforts to reduce crime and increase public safety, and increased spending on na- tional defense. Accordingly, during the Reagan and Bush presi- dencies, taxes were cut, defense spending was increased, regulatory efforts were reduced, support for civil rights programs was cut- tailed, and at least token efforts were made to restrict abortion and reintroduce prayer in the public schools. These Republican appeals and programs proved successful in presidential elections. Southern and some northern blue-collar vot— ers were drawn to the Republicans’ positions on issues of race. So- cially conservative and religious voters were energized and mobilized in large numbers by the Republicans strong Opposi- tion to abortion and support for school prayer. Large numbers of middle— and upper-middle-class voters were drawn to Republi- canism by tax cuts. The business community responded positively to Republican efforts to reduce the government ‘5 regulatory efforts ...
View Full Document

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern