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The Rise of the Modern Conservative Movement

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1 The Rise of the Modern Conservative Movement
Ronald Reagan The Rise of the Modern Conservative Movement

2 Ronald Reagan Born in Illinois, 1911 Lifeguard, Radio Announcer
Launched an acting career during the Great Depression Became conservative during socialist and communist threats in the movie industry (HUAC) Switched from Democratic to Republican Party in the late 50s/early 60s Source: Reagan by Jules Tygiel Reagan by Dinesh D’Souza

3 The 1980 Election Between current President Jimmy Carter (Democrat) and Republican Ronald Reagan

4 The New Conservative Coalition The NEW RIGHT
Conservative evangelical Christians To restore Christian Values in America Southern Democrats Reduction of Social Programs Called for reduction in size and power of government Favored return of US military pride Patriotic focus

5 The 1980 “Revolution” Carter’s perceived mishandling of major challenges Reagan’s ability to communicate - “The Great Communicator” Few simple well-articulated idea

6 Map 30.4 Presidential Election of 1980 (p. 903)

7 Assassination Attempt
John Hickley Jr. – assassin Wanted to win Jodie Foster’s heart Three people shot, including Reagan Just 69 days into first presidency Reagan recovered to shot in lung James Brady, Press Secretary suffered a head shot and was disabled.

8 Supply-Side Economics a.k.a “Reaganomics”
Cut taxes to put more money into the hands of businesses Cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans Lower taxes = more investment in the “supply side” of the economy Would: promote and create new jobs encourage capital investment, and lead to stimulated industrial growth

9 ECONOMIC THEORIES Supply Side Economics (generally favored by conservatives): Tax breaks to the wealthy capital accumulation higher productivity lower prices job creation higher tax revenues collected by the government money to reduce federal budget deficits. Demand Side or Keynesian Economics (generally favored by liberals): tax breaks to working/middle classes higher productivity job creation higher tax revenues collected by the government money to reduce federal budget deficits.

10 Cutting Government Regulation - “deregulation”
Continued Carter’s programs to deregulate key industries Energy, Transportation and Banking Industries Challenged Air Traffic Controllers in Fired those who refused to go back to work after a strike.

11 Slowed Federal Growth - New Federalism (Reagan-style)
Limiting government Eliminated public service jobs reduced unemployment compensation lowered welfare benefits raised fees for Medicare patients Federal domestic spending still grew for a couple of years

12 Reagan and Military Buildup
Sharp increase in military spending = buildup New weapons and new technology Neoconservatives (Neo-cons = Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleeza Rice, Richard Armistead, Colin Powell, etc.) Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) = better known as Star Wars

13 Reagan and the Cold War Called Soviet Union the “evil empire”
Reagan - Cold Warrior Lebanon Libya Grenada El Salvador Nicaragua (Contra rebels supported by US)

14 Reagan: Economic Recession, and Recovery
Inflation slowed, consumer spending increased Stock market grew Federal deficit grew even as domestic spending decreased National debt = $909 billion in $3.2 trillion in 1990

15 Election of 1984 Patriotic Renewal 59% of popular vote
Second largest electoral victory in history 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles Communist-bloc countries boycotted th anniversary of Statue of Liberty th anniversary of the Constitution

16 Other issues 1984-1988 AIDS Awareness
Women’s Movement stalled (ERA failed in 1982) Supreme Court conservatives Sandra Day O’Connor Anthony Kennedy Antonin Scalia Chief Justice William Rehnquist

17 More issues: 1984-1988 Farm Crisis - foreclosures
Manufacturing shift - from metal and textiles (overseas = outsourcing due to labor costs) Service sectors continued to grow Wealthiest Americans flourished in the 1980s Jan 28, Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after take off

18 Cold War Continued Afghanistan 1980s Soviet republic
In 1970s Afghans tried to fight Soviets for independence 1980s USA convinces Saudi Arabia to send troops “mujahadeen” (holy warriors) to fight against Soviets One of the mujahadeen is Bin Laden

19 IRAN-CONTRA What was it?
Sale of weapons to Iran to ransom US hostages held in Lebanon and to finance anticommunist contra-revolucionarios (contras) in Nicaragua in order to depose the Sandanistas Illegal because Congress had limited amount of aid US could provide (Boland Amendment) US sold arms to Iran Illegal because he could not sell arms to a “terrorist state” without Congressional approval Administration response: lied to the press and Congress, withheld crucial documents

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