Chapter

. The Rise of the Republican Right and the New Democrats

Ellen Reese

in Backlash against Welfare Mothers

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780520244610
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520938717 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520244610.003.0008
. The Rise of the Republican Right and the New Democrats

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This chapter examines the rise of the Republican Right and the New Democrats in the 1980s and 1990s. It argues that many corporate leaders became mobilized around a highly conservative domestic agenda in response to international competition, declining profits, and a wave of regulatory reforms, and increased pressure on politicians to move rightward on social policies. Republican gains in the 1980s and 1990s were partly related to their ability to mobilize resources. The rise of the Republican Right and the New Democrats at the end of the century reflected shifts in both elite and electoral politics. Attacks on welfare mothers provided Republicans with fertile ground for attacking liberals and uniting its disparate constituents: racial conservatives, nativists, the Christian Right, and neoliberal corporate elites. Meanwhile, Democrats, seeking to retain their support among white voters and business donors, retreated in their support for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).

Keywords: Republican Right; New Democrats; regulatory reforms; social policies; electoral politics; welfare mothers; racial conservatives; Christian Right; Aid to Families with Dependent Children

Chapter.  6675 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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