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Conservative Movement, The 80s
Transcript of Conservative Movement, The 80s
New Right: Critical of Affirmative Action
- programs that provided guaranteed benefits to particular groups - was at $300 billion annually. The Conservative political platform was also skeptical with how the government was handling the money.
The New Right
An organization of conservative groups that supported
such measures as:
opposition to abortion
blocking the proposed Equal Rights Amendment.
evading court-ordered busing
return to school prayer (outlawed in 1962).
criticism of affirmative action
March 30, 1981: Shot by John Hinckley, Jr.
Reagan's popularity grew with his humorous response.
The Conservative Movement
Reagan assassination attempt
Required employers and educational institutions
to give special consideration to women, Af Am,
and other minority groups.
Reverse Discrimination: favoring one group over another on the basis of race or gender.
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.
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.
Moral Majority Continued
Believed in literal interpretation of the Bible and absolute standards of right and wrong.
Sought 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.
Campaigned for Barry Goldwater in 1964; elected as governor of California in 1966.
Known as the "Great Communicator" for his relaxed, charming oratory.
1) Budget Cuts,
2) Tax Cuts,
3) Increased Defense Spending
Encourage private investment through reduction in gov't size and influence.
fewer taxes meant more money in people's pockets; banks could loan out more to businesses; businesses could invest in resources to improve productivity; income taxes lowered by 25 percent.
Federal regulation of industry was scaled back; increased competition led to lower prices for consumers.
Social Security, Medicare, Veteran's pensions remained intact; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), programs for urban mass transit, food stamps, welfare benefits, job training, Medicaid, school lunches, and student loans were cut.
Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI); aka "Star Wars"
First woman appointed to Supreme Court: Sandra Day O'Connor
Reagan/Bush v. Mondale/Ferraro (Geraldine Ferraro, first woman on a major party's presidential ticket)
Social Issues of the '80s
AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
Drugs: "Just say no!" Campaign
Education: A Nation at Risk (1983)
transmitted through bodily fluids, thought to be a disease of homosexuals and "druggies" 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.
Webster v. Reproductive Health Care Services (1989): states had the right to impose restrictions.
Federal commission argued that U.S. schools were falling behind other industrialized nations.
Space: Challenger Explosion, January 28, 1986
Berlin Wall, Collapse Nov 9, 1989
Reagan: Foreign Policy
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
becomes general secretary of the Communist Party.
(Russian for "openness") and
(less gov't control, steps toward democracy.
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 Soviet Union.
"Morning in America," 1984 Campaign Ad