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In which John Green teaches you about the rise of the conservative movement in United States politics. So, the sixties are often remembered for the liberal changes that the decade brought to America, but lest you forget, Richard Nixon was elected to the presidency during the sixties. The conservative movement didn’t start with Nixon though. Modern conservatism really entered mainstream consciousness during the 1964 presidential contest between incumbent president and Kennedy torch-bearer Lyndon B Johnson, and Republican senator Barry Goldwater. While Goldwater never had a shot in the election, he used the campaign to talk about all kinds of conservative ideas. At the same time, several varying groups, including libertarian conservatives and moral conservatives, began to work together. Goldwater’s trailblazing and coalition building would pay off in 1968 when Richard Nixon was elected to the White House, and politics changed forever when Nixon resigned over the Watergate scandal. You’ll also learn about the ERA, , EPA, OSHA, the NTSB, and several other acronyms and initialisms.
Hey teachers and students – Check out CommonLit’s free collection of reading passages and curriculum resources to learn more about the events of this episode. Richard Nixon ushered in an age of conservatism, first rising to the national stage with his Checkers speech: https://www.commonlit.org/texts/senator-nixon-s-checkers-speech
Nixon’s presidency ended in near impeachment however over the corruption of the Watergate scandal: https://www.commonlit.org/texts/watergate-undoing-a-president