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Crisis of Conservatism?The Republican Party, the Conservative Movement, and American Politics After Bush$
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Joel D. Aberbach and Gillian Peele

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199764013

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199764013.001.0001

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The Future of the American Right

The Future of the American Right

Evidence and Questions from the Bush Years

(p.40) 3 The Future of the American Right
Crisis of Conservatism?

Joel D. Aberbach

Oxford University Press

This chapter uses surveys of the general public and several governmental elite groups (political appointees from the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, congressional staffers, and member of the Senior Executive Service) to examine what conservatives believe and the degree to which the policies of the Bush administration resonated with those who call themselves conservatives. It documents the fact that self-identified conservatives in the general public want the federal government to take responsibility for many areas of American life. Though they tend to be less enthusiastic about conserving the nation's natural resources, promoting racial equality or reducing poverty than people who call themselves liberals, the differences are more ones of degree than direction. The data, overall, give strong support to the message of “big-government” conservatives and point to a continuing set of dilemmas for the conservative movement.

Keywords:   Classical liberals, evangelistic anti-communists, Religious Right, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, congressional staff, Republicans, conservatives, liberals, moderates, government responsibilities, presidential power

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