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Race and the Making of American Liberalism$
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Carol A. Horton

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195143485

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143485.001.0001

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The Conservative Movement

The Conservative Movement

Chapter:
(p.191) 8 The Conservative Movement
Source:
Race and the Making of American Liberalism
Author(s):

Carol A. Horton

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143485.003.0009

This chapter analyzes the development of the contemporary conservative movement from the late 1960s through the 1980s. In the 1970s, neoconservatism played a particularly important role in fashioning a new brand of racial conservatism with a powerful cultural resonance. Framed in the liberal language of non-discrimination and equal rights, this position denounced race-conscious policies and equalitarian politics more broadly as politically illegitimate and socially destructive. During the same period, veteran conservative activists regrouped to organize the New Right, which combined a powerful appeal to the intertwined racial and class identities of working-class whites with innovative and effective techniques of political organizing. Together, the neoconservatives and the New Right laid the foundations for a new conservative political establishment with the organizational muscle to systematically market conservative ideas, engineer a conservative takeover of the Republican Party, leverage a more conservative federal judiciary, and mobilize grassroots support for conservative causes. While encompassing a wide range of issues, a central—and ultimately successful—goal of the movement was to banish socioeconomic equity issues from the forum of legitimate political discussion.

Keywords:   Republican Party, conservative movement, neoconservatism, racial conservatism, New Right, equal rights, non-discrimination, socioeconomic equity, judiciary

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