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

By Michael A. Cohen

"In his presidential inaugural handle of January 1965, Lyndon Johnson provided an uplifting imaginative and prescient for the US, person who may finish poverty and racial injustice. Elected in a landslide over the conservative Republican Barry Goldwater and reinforced through the so-called liberal consensus, financial 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 exhilarating account of the 1968 presidential election and its effect at the subsequent 4 many years of yankee politics Read more...

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The instrumentals, on the other hand—open housing, integrated schools, and black entry into white-­ dominated workplaces—created enormous friction. As African Americans pushed for greater economic and social opportunities, whites who felt threatened by their advances pushed back. White support for government activism was largely predicated on the notion that government would provide protections for them. ” In the fall of 1966 this figure had fallen to 39 percent. By the summer of 1967, it dropped to 24 percent.

The focus of popular anger was no longer directed at big business and the wealthy—those William Jennings Bryan once called the “idle holders of idle capital” or the ones labeled “economic royalists” by FDR in the midst of the Great Depression. The once-revered protections provided by liberal governance were now seen as contributing to the national feeling of dislocation. 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.

Liberals lacerated him for his fixation on victory in Vietnam at any cost. Blacks demanded that he fulfill the promises he’d made to them. Meanwhile, most Americans simply pleaded for a respite from the growing and palpable feeling of national dislocation. By the fall of 1967, on the eve of his likely decision to run for re-election, Johnson was quite far from being the most loved man in America. These feelings would become even more pronounced in the year to come as the nation was buffeted by violence, disorder, and political unrest rarely before seen in the nation’s history.

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