CHALLENGING THE POLITICS OF CONSENSUS CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS AND THE ELECTION OF 1960
As Barry Goldwater withdrew his name from nomination in the midst of the hoopla of the 1960 Republican National Convention, he issued a prophetic call and a subtle warning. The call challenged conservatives to "grow up" and work to take control of their party. The warning, unspoken but clear, advised liberal Republicans not to take the loyalty of the right wing for granted. As Senator Goldwater finished his speech, the audience applauded--liberals, because he had promised to support Nixon, and conservatives, because they accepted the challenge and the man who issued it. After a decade of disunity, the right wing of the Republican Party entered the 1960s energized and ready to fight for its cause.
The presidential election campaign of 1960 was a watershed in the development of American conservatism and the history of the Republican Party. While contemporaries contrasted the apparent complacency of the