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Legacies of Losing in American Politics$
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Jeffrey K. Tulis and Nicole Mellow

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226515298

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226515465.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

New Deal

New Deal

Barry Gold water’s Politics of Integrity

Chapter:
(p.102) 4 New Deal
Source:
Legacies of Losing in American Politics
Author(s):

Jeffrey K. Tulis

Nicole Mellow

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226515465.003.0004

Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign ended in one of the most resounding electoral defeats in the country's history. His loss was seen as confirmation of New Deal liberal hegemony. Yet the very ideas rejected with Goldwater's defeat, namely small government, states' rights, and an increased militarism, became the reigning public philosophy a mere sixteen years later with the success of the “Reagan Revolution.” This chapter investigates the paradoxical relationship between the nation's repudiation of Goldwater and its subsequent elevation of his ideas to a winning public philosophy. The very elements that led to Goldwater's defeat facilitated the eventual success of modern conservatism: Goldwater developed a coherent conservative ideology and agenda that he refused to adulterate for political advantage. As outsiders to the Republican establishment, his campaign built an organization that lived on after his defeat. The clarity of his vision and the dedication of his partisan following depended on his unusual character—a man more dedicated to a cause than to attainment of office. This interpretation of Goldwater casts him more than a leader ahead of his time; rather, he founded modern conservatism and altered the developmental path of the Republican Party and the nation.

Keywords:   Barry Goldwater, New Deal, modern conservatism, Republican party, Reagan, public philosophy

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