The New Right, 1960-1968: With Epilogue, 1969-1980

The New Right, 1960-1968: With Epilogue, 1969-1980

The New Right, 1960-1968: With Epilogue, 1969-1980

The New Right, 1960-1968: With Epilogue, 1969-1980

Excerpt

"A specter is haunting American Liberalism," newspaper editorM. Stanton Evans announced in 1960, "the specter of conservative revival." Three years later Evans concluded proudly, "The outstanding fact of American political life today is the resurgence of conservatism." At the same time, Arizona Republican Senator Barry M. Goldwater predicted that this "wave of Conservatism... could easily be the political phenomenon of our time." Likewise, the Reverend Gerald L.K. Smith, a familiar campaigner for the Radical Right since the 1930's, noted with satisfaction that "Everywhere we look, grass roots movements are sprouting from ground where the veteran patriots, through the years, have sown the seeds."

The rapidly growing strength of radical Conservatism in the United States during the early 1960's impressed political observers. Syndicated newspaper columnistsRoland Evans andRobert Novak called this conservative tide "the closest thing to a spontaneous mass movement in modern American political history." In the same fashion, Professor Eugene V. Schneider writing in The Nation in September, 1961 warned, "In spite of optimistic predictions following the demise of McCarthyism, the voice of the right-wing radical is heard loud and clear in our land once more."

As expected, the American Left watched the rise of radical Conservatism during the early 1960's with great alarm. In an expose entitled Men of the Far Right, Richard Dudman reported, "The most spectacular political phenomenon in the United States today is the growing poorer of the extreme conservative-the 'Far Right'." Dudman pointed out in 1962 that, "A powerful tide of right-wing thought and action has been running through the country as a whole for about two years. It has yet to reach a high water mark." Similarly, Socialist Worker's Party leader Eric Hass stressed that "the ominous character of the extreme right-wing organizations that have proliferated in this country in the past several years can scarcely be exaggerated."

Democratic Party leaders also voiced grave concern over the surprising strength of the Radical Right. Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire told an audience in Hartford, Connecticut that "the great political phenomenon of today is the onrush of a conservative movement that would repeal many of the Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt reforms of the past 50 years." Ohio Democratic Solon Stephen A. Young took to the Senate floor on August 15, 1963 to denounce the Radical Right. Senator Young blasted the "nearly 1,000 radical right-wing organizations in the nation," many of which were "well financed, and reach millions of Americans through their propaganda and radio and . . .

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