The New Right

1588 Words4 Pages

Starting during the 1970s, factions of American conservatives slowly came together to form a new and more radical dissenting conservative movement, the New Right. The New Right was just as radical as its liberal opposite, with agendas to increase government involvement beyond the established conservative view of government’s role. Although New Right politicians made admirable advances to dissemble New Deal economic policies, the movement as a whole counters conservativism and the ideologies that America was founded on. Although the New Right adopts conservative economic ideologies, its social agenda weakened the conservative movement by focusing public attention to social and cultural issues that have no place within the established Old Right platform. There was general prosperity in America following the Second World War, however in the 1970s inflation rose, productivity decreased, and corporate debt increased. Individual incomes slipped as oil prices raised. Popular dissent surrounding the economic crisis helped Reagan win the 1980 election under promises to lower taxes, deregulate, and bring America out of stagnation. Many New Right supporters put their faith in him to change the system. To start his tenure, Reagan passed significant tax cuts for the rich to encourage investment. Next he passed the Economy Recovery Tax Act that cut tax rates by 25% with special provisions that favored business. Reagan’s economic measures were based on his belief in supply-side economics, which argued that tax cuts for the wealthy and for business stimulates investment, with the benefits eventually tricking down to the popular masses. His supply-side economic policies were generally consistent with the establishment’s support of free market, ... ... middle of paper ... ...tive movement. By adding social issues to the conservative agenda, the New Right weakened the establishment’s movement, contradicting and discrediting its fundamental principles. The new social agenda contradicted Old Right’s belief in limited government and individual rights. Today, the New Right continues to grow and the Christian Right continues to gain political power. Republican candidates are considered politically dead unless they secure the support of the Christian Coalition. Before the New Right comes to embody “conservativism” within American political discourse, Old Right conservatives must discard the dissenter’s social initiatives and reclaim the establishment’s conservative agenda: remove the New Right’s social agenda, return to establishment’s conservative ideals, and develop policies based on limited government, free market, and individual liberty.

Open Document