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Race and the Making of American Liberalism$
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Carol A. Horton

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195143485

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143485.001.0001

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Conclusion: The Impasse of Progressive Liberalism

Conclusion: The Impasse of Progressive Liberalism

(p.223) Conclusion: The Impasse of Progressive Liberalism
Race and the Making of American Liberalism

Carol A. Horton

Oxford University Press

The election of President Ronald Reagan in 1980 established a new form of right-of-center liberalism as a powerful force in the nation's political life. Although the fortunes of the conservative movement would wax and wane over the next twenty-five years, overall it experienced remarkable consolidation and growth during this time. The Civil Rights movement represented the most powerful political force dedicated to a simultaneous attack on both racial discrimination and socioeconomic inequality in the nation's history. This combination of neoconservatism and New Right organizing revitalized the larger conservative movement, which had been fighting an uphill battle for most of the preceding decades. The future of equalitarian politics in the United States is at best uncertain. Reviving it will require the development of a larger motivating vision, a set of practical policy reforms capable of attracting broad political support, and an organizational structure with the muscle to get out both the message and the vote.

Keywords:   United States, right-of-center liberalism, Civil Rights movement, racial discrimination, New Right, equalitarian politics, socioeconomic inequality, neoconservatism, conservative movement

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