SEIZING THE MOMENT
Conservatives, young and old, increasingly looked to politics in the early 1960s to solve America's problems. After years of frustration, right-wingers concluded that merely playing. the role of an opposition party and serving as educator to the masses had failed to achieve their goals. They had to seize power. Winning the Republican presidential nomination in 1964 would provide them with control of party machinery and supply the most direct path to implementing their agenda. Prominent conservative politicians shared this objective with citizens who had little practical political experience and with conservative intellectuals who had formerly remained above the fray of campaign politics. Cooperative but still somewhat leery of one another, the various right-wing factions agreed that a conservative must be nominated in 1964.
Conservatives believed strongly that they could win control of the GOP because they viewed themselves as the only group addressing the needs of the American public. During the 1950s, liberals and conservatives had generally agreed on the problems Americans faced but had disagreed on the solutions. This situation changed after 1960. For a variety of reasons--