of the rhetorical and programmatic direction of the extremist movement,
the Republican party might cause the substantial demise of that movement, at least for a while. But there are presumably limits beyond which a
mainstream national party cannot go. The critical votes in defeating the Haynsworth and Carswell appointments to the Supreme Court were, after
all, those of Republican Senators.
Whether Wallace can succeed in avoiding the organizational and competitive hazards of which he seems aware, and whether historical circumstances will be favorable, are, of course, problematical. His weak showing
in the 1970 Alabama gubernatorial primaries may have eliminated him
as a national figure. Significantly, when Alabama turned against him, it
produced the same pattern as the nation. He was defeated in the May
primary by "the country club set and the Negro wards voting together
for Brewer in about the same proportions," while his support came from
white workers and poorer farmers.
58 But whether his particular movement
survives or not, George Wallace has put together and further revealed the
nature of those basic elements which must comprise an effective right-wing
extremist movement in America. The question which is next ripe for detailed
inquiry is whether--even if all the technical elements were present and
all the historical circumstances propitious--more than 10 or even 20 per
cent of the modern American population could become seriously engaged
in such a movement. What, in short, is the state of countervailing commitment?
Reese Cleghorn, Radicalism: Southern Style ( Atlanta: Southern Regional
Council, 1968), pp. 28-29.
Charles Y. Glock and
Rodney Stark, Religion and Society in Tension
( Chicago: Rand-McNally, 1965), Chapter 14.
Franklin Hamlin Littell, From State Church to Pluralism ( Garden City: Doubleday-Anchor, 1962), p. 133. Emphasis in the original.
Philip E. Converse,
Warren E. Miller,
Jerrold G. Rusk, and
Arthur C. Wolfe
, "Continuity and Change in American Politics: Parties and Issues
in the 1968 Election." American Political Science Review, LXIII ( December 1969), pp. 1101-1104.
Ibid., pp. 1097, 1100-1101.
Among the more important ones not discussed here are variations in the
perception of a candidate's ideological position among different individuals and social groups (for example, in 1964 Republican Presidential
candidate Barry Goldwater, according to his speeches and writing, was
basically a very strong-spoken economic conservative and at least a moderate when it came to civil rights; yet he probably tended to appear as a
prototype ultra-rightist to the ultra-right and appears to have been taken as
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: The Politics of Unreason:Right Wing Extremism in America, 1790-1970.
Contributors: Seymour Martin Lipset - Author, Earl Raab - Author.
Publisher: Harper & Row.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1970.
Page number: 424.
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