Flashcards in Topic 4 - Religious Right Deck (23):
Who were the religious right?
-Large group of right wing voters who mobilised during the 1970's to oppose the social changes that had occurred since the 1960's
-Prayed on strong traditional values (especially in south) to get votes for republicans
Who opposed the RR and why?
-Democrats = unhappy with restriction of rights
-Feminists = RR went against everything they stood for and hindered progress (They were pro abortion and equal pay)
-Homosexual's = unhappy why gov interfering personal life. RR did not want gay rights
What did the Religious right believe?
-Disliked counter culture
-Sought conformity to 'traditional value families'
What impact did the religious right have?
-Increased polarisation of American politics and society through its campaign to promote traditional values
-Effected the outcome of presidential election. Voted for Reagan in 1980 and 1984 and Bush in 1988
What methods did the religious right use?
-promoted their belief in traditional values through:
*Support for conservative politicians
Who was Jerry Falwell?
-Baptist minister whose social conservatism was demonstrated in his opposition to smoking, drinking and rock 'n' roll, and in his advise that women should follow what the bible said about submission to husbands
-Had show 'Old Time Gospel Hour' which was broadcast on 255 TV stations and 300 radio stations each week during the 1980's
-Founded organisation 'Moral Majority' which raised million for Reagan's election campaign and won an estimated 2 million voters
How did the religious right gain their relationship with the Republican Party?
-IRS threatened to end federal tax exemptions for racially segregated Christian schools in 1978
-Republicans responded to radical protestant concerns and stopped IRS implementing the policy
Why did the religious right like Reagan Initially?
-He emphasised his disgust at 1960's excesses and permissiveness and his opposition to feminism and the equal rights amendment
-Election campaign played on traditional family values
-Criticised courts for not allowing creationism to be taught in schools
Why did the RR fall out of favour with Reagan?
-Reagan said he wanted constitutional amendments to ban abortion and restore prayer in publics schools however he could not get the necessary 2/3 majority in congress. RR felt he did not try very hard on these issues
-Failed to endorse Family Protection Act
How did Reagan succeeded in promoting his views?
-Reagonising the judiciary system
-400 conservative judges helped to compensate for his fail to win congressional approval for his conservative social agenda
How did the religious right campaign against abortion?
-used reformed sinners to advertise causes
-enlisted support of republican politicians
-Operation Rescue sit ins at abortion clinics to block access
What did the RR think about the Supreme Court?
-Displeased with many rulings such as Roe Vs Wade and failure to over turn it
-However court was becoming more conservative on Many issues and it made decisions that chipped away at roe vs wade
How were the RR disappointed with federal gov?
-Following Justice William Brennan's retirement from the Supreme Court in 1990 the RR hoped Bush would nominate a known 'pro-lifer' but instead get nominated David Souter whose views on abortion were unknown
-in 1981 Reagan appointed Sandra Day O'conor who upset RR because of her record of sympathy towards women in need of abortions
How did the federal government please the RR?
-Reagan persuaded congress to fund chastity clinics where women would be encouraged to avoid sex
-Judicial appointments resulted in several Supreme Court rulings that hindered abortion. For example the Supreme Court ruled that Missouri could deny women access to public abortion facilities
Who were the leading campaigners against homosexuality?
-Televangelist pat Robertson = in 1966 set up christian TV show 'the 700 club' which promoted traditional values. In 1989 established Christian coalition which lobbied against gay rights and abortion and was pro-school prayer
-Concerned women for America
-Pat Buchanan = gave opening speech at national convention saying democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton and his vice presidential candidate constituted the most pro-gay ticket ever
What success did the RR have?
-Most successful campaign was against abortion. Through pressure on courts and the legislatures it made access to abortion more difficult
-Homo and drugs campaigns were ineffective
To what extent did America have a drug problem?
-Drug use had tripled since the 1970's and around 40 million Americans used illegal substances
-375k babies were born addicted to cocaine or heroin
-By 1989 over 50% of those surveyed said that drug use was the gravest threat to national security (up from 1% in 1985)
-Drugs such as crack were becoming cheaper
-media coverage of drugs increased
-Many believed as the Cold War ended the drug war began
-Nancy Reagan bought huge attention to it
What was Nancy Reagan campaign 'just say no', was it effective?
-Anti drugs campaign which gained mass media attention as Nancy visited nurseries that treated 'crack babies' stating that it would make anyone's heart break
-Called drug use immoral and criminal and said that the best prevention and cure came from promoting religious values, harsher school discipline and strict enforcement of anti drug laws
-Little impact on availability or price and the Reagan war on drugs was futile
What laws and reforms were passed in the war on drugs?
-Reagan called for routine urine testing on workers in sensitive jobs involving public health and safety or national security in 1981
-1988 congress passed drug free workplace act which declared that uni's and contractors that received federal money had to maintain a drug free workplace
-by 1990 federal and state expenditure on the enforcement of drug laws was over $10 billion per year. 750k arrested a year over violation of these laws
Example Republican of Intra-party divisions?
-Bush senior suffered frequent attacks from within the party for being Insufficiently conservative
-1988 Reagan aide Pat Buchanan and televangelist Pat Robertson said bush was more eastern establishment liberal than rugged individual. All hats and no boots.
-Won 1998 election but attacks from Buchanan again led to defeat in 1992 as he portrayed bush as an insincere conservative
Example of Democrat intro-party divisions?
-New democrats such as Bill Clinton advocated a balanced federal government budget and decreased federal government intervention. This faced opposition from many Old-style democrats who believed in great society
Example of inter-party divisions?
-Reagan nominated Robert Bork for Supreme Court who republicans liked
-However democrats did not like him because; he attacked some liberal Supreme Court decisions, defended a Connecticut law that would have denied contraceptives to married couples, was not pro women's rights, criticised racial equality. (Senate did end up rejecting Bork due to protests from NAACP and NOW)