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A Time for ChoosingThe Rise of Modern American Conservatism$
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Jonathan Schoenwald

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195157260

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195157260.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.251) Conclusion
Source:
A Time for Choosing
Author(s):

Jonathan M. Schoenwald

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195157260.003.0010

The combination of flourishing independent conservative groups and the collapse of extremism produced a new set of opportunities for conservatives within the party. The conservative coalition grew throughout the 1970s as abortion, busing, the Equal Rights Amendment, the Panama Canal, and negotiations with the Soviet Union became mainstream concerns for Americans. In 1963, William Rusher had urged fellow conservatives to take a risk. If conservatism had seemingly triumphed by the end of the 1960s, the 1970s constituted its first real test. The John Birch Society (JBS) remained the most recognizable and one of the largest organizations on the far Right throughout the 1970s. Thirty years after the conservative movement captured the Republican Party in 1964, the godfather of modern electoral conservatism reaffirmed his libertarian roots and shocked colleagues and followers by becoming an advocate for gay rights.

Keywords:   conservatism, conservatives, John Birch Society, Republican Party, extremism

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