The Conservative Ascendancy Essay

1058 words - 5 pages

When Governor Reagan announced his candidacy for President, he made a jab at President Carter by stating, “A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.” If one could bestow a phrase upon the Carter administration, they might say, “where is all went wrong.” President Carter was elected to president in 1976 and his victory was largely attributed to his opponent’s large unpopularity with the American electorate. Although President Ford was unpopular with the American electorate, Carter still barely won by a significantly slim margin. The failures of the Carter administration played a large rule in the ascendancy of the conservative movement. At the conclusion of President Carter’s presidency, the economy was in shambles with astronomical interest rates, the American Embassy in Iran was raided and American hostages were taken, and a pro family movement was also on the rise. The conservative ascendancy was largely attributed to the political and economic failures of the Carter Administration and a cultural movement that pushed for conservative values.
The terrible economy under President Carter’s was a large factor to ascendancy of the conservative movement. The economy was far from fruitful and it was in a terrible recession. Many historians credit the economic crisis during the Carter Administration to inflation. Half of all of the economy’s inflation since 1940 occurred in a ten year period and interest rates were rapidly rising putting mortgages out of reach for many middle class Americans. While the interest rates were on the rise, home rental rates in many parts of the country doubled. In addition to the rising costs in living, college tuition rose making it unaffordable for many and unemployment was also on the rise. Due to the rising cost of living and cost of an education, many young men and women were stuck and could not afford to go to college nor find a job moved back home. Consumer items and automobile sales also dropped significantly and many small businesses went under. The economy was in shambles and many were stating that America was in the poorest economic state since the Great Depression. The poor economic state of the country was a large factor to the conservatives rising to power because the democratic administration in the late 1970s was not keeping its promise to generate economic prosperity while lowering the federal deficit. In addition to the poor economic state of the nation, the Carter administration also was perceived as unsuccessful because of the Iranian hostage crisis.
Although the Carter Administration oversaw many achievements in American foreign policy, their achievements were overshadowed by their poor handling of the Iranian hostage crisis. The Carter White House oversaw many breakthroughs in foreign policy such as the Camp David Peace Accords. Carter mediated negotiations between the Egyptian and Israeli heads of state and, as...

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