Professor Critchlow's The Conservative Ascendancy

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In Professor Critchlow’s book “The Conservative Ascendancy”, we are provided history of the rise of the conservative right in modern America in the latter half of the twentieth century. We are delivered the earliest dilemmas after the crushing Goldwater defeat in 1964, through the rise and fall of the “Rockefeller” brand of Republicanism to Reagan through the Bush era. His history of the rise of conservative ascendancy from the earliest days of Goldwater forward brought back many memories and filled some gaps. Critchlow develops a comprehensive narrative of how the Republican party challenged the established Democratic majority which was still entrenched with a fusion of the last of the “New Dealers” as against the rising strength of the …show more content…
Buckley, Jr.) and a popular grassroots anticommunist movement, and their slow but steady convergence in the next decades, culminating in the heydays of American conservatism: the Reagan “Revolution.” In this process the first generation of neoconservatives played a crucial role, by providing the intellectual power and institutional framework of a kind of “managerial conservatism” that legitimized conservatism at the highest intellectual and policy circles. (Critchow, 105).
There were some critical take-away points that must be realized under this new administration. The first takeaway is that it is always about the economy (along with taxes). Kitchen table economics is of paramount importance to the majority of American families. Renege or fall short in those political promises and you face rejection at the ballot box. The importance of a growing economy; a steady or a decreasing taxes (which also impacts the growth of government) and job security. Bush 41 fell victim to the political manipulations of the budgetary cycle and came to regret his mantra of “no new
…show more content…
There has also been a tendency within the Democratic Party to spend the “peace dividend” and create instability within the military establish. This also translates to lost jobs across the United States (costly ticket items like the M1 tanks had military contracts for parts across thirty six states). More importantly, the Democratic Party redirects this funding to social programs. Unfortunately, with military downsizing there is an increased perception of weakness by America’s enemies. In the forty years with the military; I have seen this cycle repeated various times. The Republican Party’s response has been to rebuild the military. Unfortunately both parties ignore the tax and spend policies, increasing the Federal debt.
Once American foreign policies began to fail, especially in the Carter era, there is a backlash against the party in power. Failures in foreign policy and security (both militarily and economically) give rise to the messaging by the out of power party. Which brings us to the third takeaway – that of messaging the failures and strength. One must recognize that political messaging creates the propaganda of political

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