American Maelstrom : the 1968 election and the politics of by Michael A. Cohen PDF

By Michael A. Cohen

ISBN-10: 019977756X

ISBN-13: 9780199777563

"In his presidential inaugural handle of January 1965, Lyndon Johnson provided an uplifting imaginative and prescient for the USA, one who may finish poverty and racial injustice. Elected in a landslide over the conservative Republican Barry Goldwater and reinforced by means of the so-called liberal consensus, monetary prosperity, and a powerful wave of nostalgia for his martyred predecessor, John Kennedy, Johnson introduced the main ambitious Read more...


an exciting account of the 1968 presidential election and its influence at the subsequent 4 a long time of yankee politics Read more...

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Johnson’s efforts would initially be met with great fanfare. In 1965, according to public opinion polls, support for his legislative program was sky high—82 percent of voters approved Johnson’s Medicare polices; 90 percent supported aid for higher 18 ■ BEFORE education; 95 percent backed the voting rights bill; and 69 percent gave him high marks on his handling of the economy. Even antipoverty legislation was endorsed by nearly three-quarters of Americans. And why not? Except for the ideologically orthodox who opposed expanded government on principle, few Americans had reason to be against better schools, a helping hand for the poor, and improved access to medical care.

30 While a fight over resources became central to the backlash of the 1960s, it would be matched if not surpassed by growing fears about personal security. The focus on crime, or “law and order,” as it was often described, has frequently been framed as a blatant political appeal for white voters. In part, this is true. But the fears were also quite real. The period between 1963 and 1968 saw an extraordinary and unprecedented growth in national crime rates. The number of violent crimes in America more than doubled; robberies jumped by close to 150 percent.

Polling showed Americans increasingly embracing the view that “Washington is getting too powerful for the good of the country” and that the government could not be trusted “to do what is right” most of the time. From 1966 to 1968, trust in government fell sixteen points, from 61 to 45 percent. 17 While the various factors that drove the tumult of the late 1960s would fade from national consciousness, the amorphous anger that many Americans began to feel toward their government hardened. Suspicion of the government became the default position in American politics, leading to the observation years later by the political reporter E.

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American Maelstrom : the 1968 election and the politics of division by Michael A. Cohen

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