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Ronald Reagan & The Conservative
Tide Takes Washington
The New Right: A Conservative
Movements Begins
• Ever since Barry
candidacy for
president in 1964,
many conservative
Americans argued
that individuals,
businesses, and
state governments
needed more
freedom from the
federal government
in Washington D.C.
The Problem:
The Federal
• Many Americans
agreed with
California Governor
Ronald Reagan
when he asserted
“Government is not
the solution to our
Government is the
Conservatives’ Beef with the Government
• Entitlement Programs:
cost the American
taxpayers $300 billion
• Civil Rights Policy:
Long distance bussing to
achieve a fixed ratio of
black & white students.
• Affirmative Action:
Requirement of
employers and
universities to give
special consideration to
women, African
Americans, and other
minority groups.
The New Right
• As individuals, the
New Right focused
its energy on
controversial social
issues, such as:
– Opposing abortion
– Blocking the Equal
Rights Amendment
– Evading courtordered bussing
– A return to school
prayer, which had
been outlawed in
Conservative Coalition
• As the New Right gathered
momentum, it grew into the
conservative coalition.
• As a coalition, individuals
were now an allied group
business leaders,
middle-class voters,
disgruntled Democrats
fundamentalist Christian
groups known as the Moral
• All of these groups rallied
behind Ronald Reagan in
Moral Majority
• The Moral Majority,
organized by Pat Robertson
and Jerry Falwell, called for
America to return to
traditional, moral values.
– “ Our nation’s internal
problems are the direct result
of her spiritual condition . . .
Right living must be
reestablished as an American
way of life . . . Now is the time
to begin calling America back
to God, back to the Bible,
back to morality.”
Unity Behind Reagan
• In the end, all conservative
groups rallied behind Ronald
• Reagan edged out Carter in
the 1980 election in large part
because of his candor and
wit. When commenting on
the poor economy under
Carter, Reagan joked “A
recession is when your
neighbor loses his job. A
depression is when you lose
yours. And recovery is
when Jimmy Carter loses