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C33: Conservative Movement, The 80s

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Daniel Ritchie

on 13 September 2017

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Transcript of C33: Conservative Movement, The 80s

Decreasing the Size of the
Federal Government
What is Affirmative Action?
The argument was that states, businesses, and individuals were burdened by federal government programs and regulations.
"Entitlement programs"
- provided guaranteed benefits to particular groups. In 1980 the federal budget for these programs was at nearly $300 billion annually.
The Conservative political platform wanted to reduce these programs and to remove the "social engineering" taking place with civil rights legislation.
The New Right
A coalition of conservative political groups that:
opposed abortion
blocked the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution (proposed to end discrimination based on gender; failed to ratify).
wanted a return to school prayer (outlawed in 1962).
critical of affirmative action
March 30, 1981: Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, Jr.
White House press secretary James Brady was paralyzed.
The Conservative Movement of the '80s: The Reagan Revolution
Ch 33
Reagan assassination attempt
Required employers and educational institutions to give special consideration to women, African Americans, and other minority groups in hiring practices or acceptance to colleges.
Is this "reverse discrimination"?:
the favoring of one group over another on the basis of race or gender.
The Conservative Coalition
An alliance of business leaders, middle-class voters, disaffected Democrats, and fundamentalist Christian groups that began in the '60s and grew in strength in the '80s.
The "Moral Majority"
Evangelical Christianity played a key role in the growing strength of the conservative coalition.
Two influential "televangelists", Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, helped form an organization called the Moral Majority.
The "Moral Majority"
Believed in the literal interpretation of the Bible and absolute standards of right and wrong.
Sought a return to "family values" (e.g., reduce the nation's high divorce rate, lower the number of out-of-wedlock births, encourage individual responsibility, and revive bygone era of prosperity and patriotism).
Election of 1980
Reagan chose George H.W. Bush as his running mate.
Reagan was a "New Deal Democrat" who became a conservative Republican during the 1950s.
He was elected as governor of California in 1966.
Known as the "Great Communicator" for his relaxed and engaging oratory.
"Reaganomics" or Trickle-Down Economic Theory
1) Federal Government Budget Cuts
2) Tax Cuts
3) Increased Defense Spending
Encourage private investment
Reduce government regulations
Increase production - "supply-side economics"
Lower taxes meant more money in people's pockets, banks could loan out more to businesses, businesses could invest in resources and jobs to improve productivity.
The Economic Tax Act of 1981 reduced income and business taxes by 25 percent.
Some entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and veteran's pensions remained.
The budget for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), programs for urban mass transit, food stamps, welfare benefits, job training, Medicaid, and funding for school lunches was cut.

Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), aka "Star Wars"
First woman appointed to Supreme Court by Reagan in '81: Sandra Day O'Connor
1984 Election
Reagan/Bush v. Walter Mondale/Geraldine Ferraro
Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman on a major party's presidential ticket
Social Issues of the '80s
AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
"Just Say No!" Campaign Against Drugs
Education: A Nation at Risk (1983)
transmitted through bodily fluids, thought to be a disease of homosexuals and drug-users because of the numerous cases in those demographics.
Does a woman have the right to terminate a pregnancy?
Roe v. Wade (1973): yes, during first trimester, protected by the constitutional right to privacy
Webster v. Reproductive Health Care Services (1989): states had the right to impose restrictions for funding of abortion clinics, "unborn children have protectable interests in life...".
A federal commission argued that U.S. schools were falling behind other industrialized nations, sparking the debate about the quality of education - or lack thereof - in U.S. schools.
National tragedy: Challenger Explosion, January 28, 1986
Berlin Wall, Collapse Nov 9, 1989
Central America
Iran-Contra Affair
Reagan: Foreign Policy
1988 Election
VP George H.W. Bush v. Gov. of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis.
Lowest voter turnout in 64 years; only half of eligible voters went to the polls.
Gorbachev and Reagan
1985, Mikhail
became the general secretary of the Communist Party.
(Russian for "openness") and
(less gov't control, steps toward a more democratic process throughout the Soviet Union).
The Gorbachev/Reagan friendship: INF Treaty (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty) lessened military spending and established better relations between the U.S. and S.U.
Soviet Union Collapses
December 1991, 14 non-Russian republics declared independence from the Soviet Union.
"Morning in America," 1984 Campaign Ad
Reagan, perhaps unknowingly, approved the sale of arms to Iran.
In exchange, Iran promised to help win the release of seven American hostages in Lebanon.
Profits from the arms sales were then provided to Contras - a guerilla force fighting against the pro-Soviet Sandinistas in Nicaragua. This violated the congressional law (Boland Amendment) that banned military aid to the Contras for two years.
Full transcript