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Post-Watergate America and the Rise of the New Right. I. Malaise. A. Economic Malaise: End of the “golden era”  1969 recession first in a decade; 4 more 1973-1990. 1. Relative decline Benefits of bombing Ford + GM  Toyota + Subaru Hummer hybrids 2. Changing Economy

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Post-Watergate America and the Rise of the New Right

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i malaise
I. Malaise
  • A. Economic Malaise: End of the “golden era” 1969 recession first in a decade; 4 more 1973-1990
1. Relative decline
  • Benefits of bombing
  • Ford + GM Toyota + Subaru Hummer hybrids

2. Changing Economy

  • Industry service economy
    • Deindustrialization + rust belt

3. Lagging productivity

  • low investment, poor education, eroded work ethic
b stagnation and death of keynesianism
B. Stagnation and Death of Keynesianism
  • Stagnation + inflation (countered Keynesian theory)
    • Predated OPEC embargo, reinforced
  • “Solutions”: increase spending, easy money/credit spiraling inflation
  • Ford: Whip Inflation Now (WIN): voluntary price limits + cut spending Democratic congressional dominance

Nuclear power: energy independence vs. 1975: Brown’s Ferry, AL, 1979: Three Mile Island, PA

c political malaise
C. Political Malaise

“A Ford not a Lincoln”

  • Nixon pardon + 1st unelected President unpopular + ineffective
    • Donald Rumsfeld: Sec’y Defense
    • Dick Cheney: Chief of State sense of weakening of presidency “unitary executive theory”

Problems w/o Solutions: Jimmy Carter

  • Political outsider, fiscal conservative, born-again Christian, Southerner
  • Unable limit spending, but deregulation, environmental clean-up (“superfund”), Departments Education and Energy
d cultural malaise
D. Cultural Malaise
  • San Francisco
    • A) People’s Temple: Jim Jones—Don’t Drink the Kool Aid
    • B) Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army
    • C) Dan White, Harvey Milk, and the “Twinkie Defense”
      • Really just argued that it was a symptom of the depression, not the cause
ii breaking out stonewall and the gay liberation movement
II. Breaking Out: Stonewall and the Gay Liberation Movement
  • Friday, June 27, 1969: Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village
Formation of Gay Liberation Front (GLF):

“revolutionary homosexual group of men and women formed with the realization that complete sexual liberation for all people cannot come about unless existing social institutions are abolished. We reject society’s attempt to impose sexual roles and definitions of our nature. We are stepping outside these roles and simplistic myths. We are going to be who we are.”

Influenced by CRM, Student movement, and Women’s Movement
  • 1973: 800 gay and lesbian groups in US
  • 1990: several thousand
  • 1970: 5,000 march in NYC to commemorate Stonewall
  • Oct. 1987: 600,000 march on Washington to demand equality
impact of gay liberation
Impact of Gay Liberation:

Half of states decriminalize homosexual behavior by 1990s

    • (2003: Lawrence and Garner v. Texas : Supreme Court overturns sodomy laws)
  • Sexual orientation included in many anti-discrimination laws
  • 1975: government jobs no longer barred on basis of homosexuality
  • Backlash

(see Women’s Movement/Feminism)

iii the new conservative coalition
III. The New Conservative Coalition
  • Political conservatives want more defense spending & roll back New Deal/ Great Soc.
  • Economic conservatives want pro-business policies (deregulation, corp/ wealthy tax cuts)
    • Reagan also tap into tax revolt of 1970s: CA Prop 13
  • Gain support of white “Reagan Democrats”
    • Busing, affirmative action
  • Social conservatives = religious “new right”
    • Backlash against: feminism, gay rights, “secularism”, abortion, Phyllis Schlafly “Eagle Forum” + Anti-ERA
  • Advocate restoring traditional “family values”
"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"
    • Jerry Falwell, founder Moral Majority 9-13-01
  • AIDS intensified the anti-gay and pro-gay movements
  • “God Kills Fags”
    • God also hates shrimp: Leviticus 11:9-12, Deuteronomy 14:9-10
  • AIDS Quilt

"Let's talk better mileage" - Jimmy Carter

"Kill the Bastards" - Ronald Reagan

Campaign '80Which message will resonate with voters?

Fake: From “The Onion”

reagan s message and cultural war
Reagan’s Message and “Cultural War”

1. Not strong civil rights, but did not race bait (as much as Nixon): roll back Federal government, less “social engineering”: can’t legislate morality

2. Reclaim American respect abroad: Build up military to stand up to USSR and Iran

3. Side-step uncomfortable facts of the past: “Mickey Mouse History”; we won Vietnam

4. Cut taxes: “Voodoo Economics” (George H. W. Bush)