[big concept: Stagflation – high unemployment and high inflation (I think)]
[strong Christian supporters;
• Ronald Reagan won the presidency in 1980 and culminated the conservative ascendancy
by playing to antigovernment sentiment
• Reagan initiated a paradigm shift in American public sentiment that fundamentally changed
our relationship with government and moved the nation Center Right.
Conservatism and Constitutional Crisis
1. Emergence of a Grassroots Movement: Although LBJ’s landslide victory was over
Goldwater in 1964 appeared to signify the triumph of liberalism, the results actually
concealed a growing grassroots conservation movement.
2. Nixon and Conservatives: Nixon was able to appease conservatives by aligning
himself with those who feared the changing roles of minorities in society.
3. Election of 1972: Nixon defeated Dem. Nominee George S. McGovern in a landslide
because Republicans were able to paint McGovern as a leftist extremist at his positions
on busing, welfare, and Vietnam were too radical for moderates.
4. Watergate: On June 17, 1972, 5 men working for Nixon’s reelection campaign were
arrested breaking into Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate complex to
repair a bugging device that they had previously planted. During the investigation,
Americans learned that Nixon and his associates had engaged in a host of abuses. To
avoid impeachment, Nixon announced his resignation to a national television audience
on August 8, 1974.
“I am not a Crook” – President Nixon
The Ford Presidency
1. Full Pardon: V.P. Gerald Ford succeeded Nixon. He shocked many Americans when
he granted Nixon a full pardon which allowed him to avoid indictment and prosecution.
Pardon was extremely unpopular.
2. Legislative Accomplishments: None to speak of. Didn’t do much, good or bad!
3. Election of 1976: Ford carried a number of burdens into the 1976 presidential race
including weak economy, the Nixon pardon and a serious threat mounted by Reagan.
Dems nominated Jimmy Carter who stressed his faith as a “born-again Christian” and
his distance from the government in Washington. Carter narrowly defeated Ford.
The Carter Presidency 1. A Liberal?: Carter vowed to pursue lib