The Roots of Modern Conservatism: Dewey, Taft, and the Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party

By Michael Bowen | Go to book overview

FOUR
A Nation of Morons,
1949–1950

Historians often tell the story of the 1948 presidential election from the point of view of the Democrats. Truman’s upset victory reaffirming the principles of modern liberalism in the face of a badly divided party makes for a compelling narrative. Dewey and his self-important, ineffective campaign is often a sidelight depicted anecdotally through the infamous “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN” headline in the Chicago Tribune. The election of 1948, however, had lasting repercussions for the Republican Party and its future. The loss took a heavy psychological toll on party leaders, pushing their desperation and anxiety over minority status to unprecedented depths and shattering any semblance of unity between the two dominant factions. The GOP was now in uncharted territory as the first major political party to lose five successive presidential elections since the Federalists, a group that did not last long after that fifth defeat. Party elites knew they had to find a new vision and strategy but continued to quarrel over the way forward. From 1949 through the congressional elections of 1950, the Taft and Dewey factions clung to their visions for redefining the party’s agenda. Compromise and collegiality were no longer options as both sides, angry over the 1948 results, redoubled their efforts to control the party organization and limit the influence of their rival. Simultaneously, an emerging grassroots conservative movement, which demanded a harder line than either faction was willing to take, threatened the positions of party leaders. The Taftites and the Deweyites factored rising right-wing sentiment into their calculations and discovered that, in post-New Deal America, voters were beginning to view politics in ideological terms. Party insiders who were generally motivated by patronage and self-interest still determined which faction would lead the GOP even as a growing segment of the party base demanded solutions that fit within

-75-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Roots of Modern Conservatism: Dewey, Taft, and the Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Abbreviations and Acronyms ix
  • Introduction 1
  • One - Thirst for Power and Self-Perpetuation, 1944–1946 15
  • Two - Communism vs. Republicanism, 1946–1948 35
  • Three - Opportunity Wasted, 1948 56
  • Four - A Nation of Morons, 1949–1950 75
  • Five - The Great Republican Mystery, 1951–1952 109
  • Six - If We Sleep on This, We Are Really Suckers, 1952 130
  • Seven - Prelude to a Purge, 1952–1953 153
  • Eight - Moderating Republicanism, 1953–1964 173
  • Conclusion 201
  • Notes 207
  • Bibliography 239
  • Index 247
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 254

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.