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

By Michael A. Cohen

ISBN-10: 019977756X

ISBN-13: 9780199777563

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

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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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Extra info for American Maelstrom : the 1968 election and the politics of division

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For the majority of Americans, a ballot for Johnson meant something else: an endorsement of the status quo, particularly since his opponent, Goldwater, risked moving the country in a very different direction. So the White House’s political strategy would not be oriented toward ensuring that the American people remained supportive of the president’s agenda, 16 ■ BEFORE but rather toward accomplishing as much as possible before they lost interest. For Johnson, the electorate was a fickle beast that he would be forced to work around in order to realize his goals.

For both parties, 1968 represented a crucial turning point, one in which the ideologically committed wings of each side began to more forcibly assert themselves. These developments in of themselves were historic and transformative, but their impact would be felt far beyond Election Day. Out of 1968 a defining political narrative would emerge. The political stereotypes that have characterized American politics over the past forty years—the “strong and resolute,” “tough on crime,” “defender of cultural values,” “small government” Republican, as opposed to the “weak,” “unpatriotic,” “tax and spend,” “big government,” “liberal elite” “beholden to special interest” Democrat—emerged or were reinforced.

In this photo, officers beat demonstrators in Grant Park, August 28, 1968. ■ american maelstrom ■ Courtesy of the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation, Cornell University. Figure 19: After the lost month of September 1968, Humphrey’s Salt Lake City speech gave him a burst of momentum that almost took him to the Oval Office. Only weeks before Election Day he rallies Democratic partisans, October 1968. ■ american maelstrom ■ ■ american maelstrom ■ Figure 20: Nixon’s advisors viewed campaign rallies primarily as an opportunity to create visuals for their omnipresent television ads.

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


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