Conservatism was more concerned with each other where they believed in protecting one another. For example, when Savio was arrested, the protesters ensured that they fought for his release and later created the Berkeley Free Speech movement that incorporated students involved in campus political parties (Boyer 887). Their liberal views on society and the world as a whole caused the opposition to react intensely. The fight for racial equality, feminism, gay liberation were all contributing factors; however, it was war in Vietnam that majorly popularized the protests and liberal movement as a whole. This could not go unnoticed by the still prevailing conservative-minded portion of the society.
As a result, the conservative movement attracted people in the movie industry, where some indulged in politics like Ronald Rogan, who ran for a governor ticket in 1966 (8-887). The discordant portion of the American public demanded the order to be re-established – as they were looking to “clean up the mess at Berkeley,” and Reagan vowed to do exactly that (8-887). The ideas for social equality and change did not satisfy the ideals of the major public. Generally, the primary belief that brought the conservatives together was that they were at the forefront to ensure that they point out the ills in society. For instance, they would challenge the country’s mismanagement, which can be attributed to Nixon’s wins in 1968 and 1972 as the American President and as a conservative (8-907).
In the year of 1968, the protests escalated into clear instances of violence: following the brutal assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and President Kennedy, came to the realization that the era of liberalism is over. The sixties free-minded youth was overcome with feelings of doom and despair: “the murders denied them a fundamental democratic right, the right to choose their own leaders” (Boyer 899). Precisely at that time, Nixon got a hold of the American public, which was not following the open-minded ideals of “countercultural rebellion” (Boyer 890). During his tenure, he utilized the Southern strategy to ensure that the Southern shifted their opinions from supporting Democratic Party to Republican (Boyer 885). The Southern Strategy consisted of appealing to the white portion of the population that detested the racial equality movement, particularly those who opposed desegregation, which was implemented majorly in the case of schools.
Desegregation was constitutionalized, and many white people, particularly holding traditionally “Southern” views, were willing to oppose it. Richard Nixon became their appealing alternative because his administration “opposed extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, sought to cripple enforcement of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, pleaded for the postponement of desegregation” (Boyer 903). It was precisely the outcome the conservative public has been hoping for during the marches and demonstrations advocating civil rights and opposing the Vietnam war. It was looming them into voting for the Republicans, the so-called “Silent Majority”, which “became the centerpiece of Nixon’s political strategy” (Boyer 900).
Therefore, the New Right’s emergence came to ensure that the new leaders would prevent the suffering of the masses and their influence in addressing inequality and authority challenges. But what the New Right created was an aggregated force that consisted of a contradictory set of beliefs, but which appealing both to union workers, southern white supremacists, and Evangelical Christians, therefore constituting a major part of the population – thus, prevailing.
Boyer, Paul S. The Enduring Vision. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1993.