The Fifties Social Concerns: • When it comes to politics, the Fifties is something of a conundrum to modern observers. Paradoxically, although modern-day Republicans seem to be (or at least are perceived to be) nostalgic for this decade's "values," most American voters during the Fifties were Democrats! Dwight Eisenhower , the President during the better part of this decade, was a Republican, but he was a personally popular figure who transcended parties, and in fact had never belonged to a political party of any kind before he ran for the presidency. Both major parties were split, with the Democrats including both a quasi-social democratic wing in the North and a Southern wing that, while it could be liberal on certain issues, was notoriously reactionary on the subject of civil rights; the Republicans, meanwhile, were divided between a statist East and a libertarian West (although this wouldn't really be a source of controversy until the rise of Arizona's Barry Goldwater in the mid-Sixties). The unifying legacy of the 1930s New Deal was still alive and well, so much so that even
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President of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower, moderate liberal consensus, quasi-social democratic wing