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The Vietnam War was the central political issue of the 1960s and 1970s. This study by Seth Offenbach explains how the co

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The Conservative Movement and the Vietnam War: The Other Side of Vietnam
 0367209543, 9780367209544

Table of contents :
Cover
Half Title
Series Page
Title
Copyright
Dedication
Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Other Side of Vietnam
SECTION I Conservatives and the Vietnam War
1 The Long 1964
2 United by Strategy
SECTION II Problems
3 Dissent of the Libertarians
4 Negative Conservatism
5 The Problem of Richard Nixon
SECTION III Redemption
6 Christianity and Conservatism
Conclusion: From Goldwater to Reagan
Index

Citation preview

The Conservative Movement and the Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was the central political issue of the 1960s and 1970s. This study by Seth Offenbach explains how the conflict shaped modern conservatism. The war caused disputes between the pro-war right and libertarian conservatives who opposed the war. At the same time, Christian evangelicals supported the war and began forming alliances with the mainstream, anti-communist right. This enabled the formation of the New Right movement which came to dominate U.S. politics at the end of the twentieth century. The Conservative Movement and the Vietnam War explains the right’s changes between Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. Seth Offenbach is Assistant Professor of History at Bronx Community College in the City University of New York system.

Routledge Advances in American History

Exploring the Next Frontier Vietnam, NASA, Star Trek and Utopia in 1960s and 70s American Myth and History Matthew Wilhelm Kapell America’s Vietnam War and Its French Connection Frank Cain Famine Irish and the American Racial State Peter D. O’Neill The Disinformation Age The Collapse of Liberal Democracy in the United States Eric Cheyfitz After American Studies Rethinking the Legacies of Transnational Exceptionalism Jeffrey Herlihy-Mera The White House and White Africa Presidential Policy Toward Rhodesia During the UDI Era, 1965–1979 Eddie Michel The Civil War and Slavery Reconsidered Negotiating the Peripheries Edited by Laura R. Sandy and Marie S. Molloy The Conservative Movement and the Vietnam War The Other Side of Vietnam Seth Offenbach For more information about this series, please visit: www.routledge.com/ Routledge-Advances-in-American-History/book-series/RAAH

The Conservative Movement and the Vietnam War The Other Side of Vietnam

Seth Offenbach

First published 2019 by Routledge 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017 and by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RN Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2019 Taylor & Francis The right of Seth Offenbach to be identified as author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A catalog record for this title has been requested ISBN: 978-0-367-20954-4 (hbk) ISBN: 978-0-429-26438-2 (ebk) Typeset in Sabon by Apex CoVantage, LLC

To my family. I love you.

Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction: The Other Side of Vietnam

viii 1

SECTION I

Conservatives and the Vietnam War

23

1

The Long 1964

25

2

United by Strategy

53

SECTION II

Problems

81

3

Dissent of the Libertarians

83

4

Negative Conservatism

109

5

The Problem of Richard Nixon

132

SECTION III

Redemption

153

6

Christianity and Conservatism

155

Conclusion: From Goldwater to Reagan

185

Index

197

Acknowledgments

To write a book is an incredibly rich and rewarding experience. It also wouldn’t be possible to complete the process without the help and support of colleagues, friends, and family members. Many people have helped shape this book and guided my ideas throughout the process. Without your support, this book would not have been possible. The idea to write a book about 1960s conservatism first came to me over a decade ago while I was an undergraduate student at McGill University. That is where my true passion for thinking about history was ignited. While studying in Montreal, Leonard Moore, Edward Kohn, Gil Troy, and Gershon Hundert all demonstrated tremendous patience with me and helped inspire me to ask more questions about the past than I could have ever imagined. This is especially true of Leonard Moore, whose class on U.S. conservatism helped seed many of the ideas in this book. They helped shape my personal and professional career far more than they ever knew. I continued working on political history at Stony Brook University, where I was guided by Michael Barnhart. Our conversations forced me to think more deeply about ideas and issues than I ever could have imagined. I would often walk into his office with one question in mind and leave with five more. It was inspiring. This project began many years ago as my doctoral dissertation, which was shaped by Themis Chronopolous and Gene Lebovics. I have also been humbled how Alan Brinkley took me in as one of his students while in graduate school. Throughout my career, he has been helpful and insightful. To my former classmates, Andrea Boffa, Christopher Mauceri, and the Elizabeths, O’Connell-Gennari, George, and Ellsmore: thank you all for standing by me in graduate school and beyond. To David Ullmann and Spencer Ross, thank you for all of your support through the years. Over the last seven years, I have been extremely fortunate to be working at Bronx Community College, an incredibly welcoming and wonderful place, and I am truly indebted to all of my colleagues here. They have helped shape my professional development and been supportive of my efforts through various stages in the book. I am especially grateful to

Acknowledgments

ix

Stephen Duncan and David Gordon, who took time out of their lives to offer detailed feedback on a draft of the complete manuscript. William deJong-Lambert also assisted me by reading several chapters of the book. Mara Lazda continues to be a wonderful officemate, and her dedication and integrity is an inspiration. And finally, Tamar Rothenberg is a stupendous chair of the department. She supported my work and teaching at every turn and has helped make me a better colleague, scholar, and teacher. To all of my colleagues: you have helped make Bronx Community College a wonderful place to work. Many people at other institutions have helped shape my ideas throughout the years. Donald Critchlow and Gregory Schneider offered assistance when I was just a freshman graduate student. Nichole Hemmer, Sandra Scanlon, Michael Bowen, Jason Friedman, Michael Brenes, and Laura Jane Gifford have helped talk me through various ideas over the years, with the latter four reading at least a draft chapter or two. Diane Labrosse is undoubtedly the best copy editor a friend could ask for. Working with her at H-Diplo for the past decade has taught me so much about editing, professionalism, and life. She took time out of her intense schedule to read and edit this book. Her ideas, feedback, and edits helped make this a better project. Through the CUNY Faculty Fellowship Publication Program, I met great colleagues in Kafui Attoh, Melissa Borja, Lawrence Johnson, Stephen Steinberg, Devin Molina, Emily Tumpson Molina, and Susanna Rosenbaum. You each offered a tremendous amount of help and inspiration along the way. Finally, Max Novick at Routledge helped me get this project through to publication. He has been patient with me and quick to offer replies to my many queries. Without his support, this book would remain a dream. This project would not be possible without the financial support of several organizations. Much of the archival research for this project was completed while I was in graduate school. That was funded through grants from Stony Brook University, including Professional Development Funds and the Graduate Student Organization’s Research Access Project. The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations provided me with both the Divine Travel Grant and Samuel Flagg Bemis Research Grant. The Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library sponsored my research to its archive, while the Institute for Humane Studies has twice awarded me the Hayek Fund for Scholars. The City University of New York and Bronx Community College have helped fund my conference travels and writing workshops through the Stewart Travel Award, the Faculty Fellowship Publication Program, the Faculty Publication Mentorship Program, and the Faculty Scholarship Support Grant. I truly appreciate all of the financial support. To my family: this book is for you as much as it is for me. You have all stood by me in good times and bad, and I will never forget your help along the way. Though none of my grandparents witnessed the publication of

x Acknowledgments this book, you are all always in my heart as you helped raise and care for me and loved me unconditionally. My siblings, Leslie and Amy: you have always been there for me whenever I needed help. You love and support me despite all of my lesser qualities. My parents, Rhona and Michael: you have given me much throughout my life. You have helped me intellectually, financially, and emotionally throughout the years. I will never be able to repay you. To my canine son Carter, you were there for me as I wrote most of this book—literally sitting on my lap during many revisions. You kept me company when I needed it and you will always be in my heart (even if you can’t read this). To my children Danielle and Phillip: everything I do is for you. While I hope to teach and guide you both throughout a long and happy life, I want you to know that you have taught me more about myself than I ever could have imagined. And finally, to my wife Elizabeth: please know that you are my rock. You are the reason I am always happy. You make my life complete. Without you, I would be lost. I love you all. Thank you everyone who has helped me on this long journey.

Introduction The Other Side of Vietnam

On the evening of Monday, September 7, 1964, millions of Americans turned on their televisions to watch a rerun of NBC Monday Night at the Movies. In its final week of summer reruns, NBC selected the 1951 classic David and Bathsheba, staring Gregory Peck and Susan Hayward. At the time, NBC was competing against a heavy-hitting CBS Monday night lineup that included The Lucy Show, one of the most popular programs on television. Despite its comparatively lower ratings, this edition of NBC Monday Night at the Movies made television history, not for the movie it aired, but because of a 60-second advertisement. During a commercial break, an adorable 3-year-old girl with flowing brown hair and pale freckled skin, wearing a sleeveless white shirt and shorts, was standing in a non-descript field pulling petals from a flower. As she pulled off each petal, and with birds chirping in the background, she counts: “one, two, three, four, five.” Suddenly, without missing a beat, and in the way that only an innocent child could do, she makes a mistake but continues counting “seven, six, six, eight, nine.”1 This is a beautiful moment that would make any parent smile, as surely they would have seen their children make similar mistakes. However, accurate accounting skills were not the purpose of this advertisement. Suddenly, instead of her voice saying ten, the audience hears a man speaking over a loudspeaker and beginning a familiar countdown: “ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, zero.” As this second countdown continues, the camera violently zooms into the child’s eye, and at the end viewers witness a nuclear explosion. Following the full explosion is the familiar tagline: “Vote for President Johnson on November 3rd; the stakes are too high to stay home.” The message was unmistakably clear; voting for Lyndon Johnson’s opponent, Republican Senator Barry Goldwater, in the upcoming presidential election would mean risking nuclear Armageddon.2 Though the advertisement aired only once, during the rerun of a program that garnered middling ratings, the ‘Daisy’ ad was known by almost everyone throughout the nation. Television news programs replayed the ad. The Republican Party denounced it as blatant hysteria-inducing nonsense. However, the ad grasped the American imagination. Two and a

2

Introduction

half weeks after airing on NBC, Time put a still-frame image of the ad on the cover of its magazine. In the lead story, “Nation: The Fear & the Facts,” Time proclaimed that Goldwater “has, in many ways, given the impression of a man who does not really know what he is talking about, and should not, therefore, be permitted to put his atomic ignorance into effect as national policy.”3 Johnson’s strategy of painting Goldwater as a warmongering, anti-communist, nuclear extremist was among the many factors that helped Johnson win the 1964 presidential election with over 90% of the electoral votes. The ‘Daisy’ ad was a response to nationally televised comments made by Goldwater three months earlier. In May 1964, on a Sunday morning news program on ABC, Goldwater mulled the possibility of “defoliation of the forests [in Indochina] by low yield atomic weapons.” These bombs could disrupt the routes which the Vietnamese communists were using to bring supplies into South Vietnam in its fight against the anticommunist government.4 Almost immediately after Goldwater made the comments, he seemed to recognize that discussing the use of a nuclear bomb as a first-strike weapon against a significantly weaker opponent to destroy ‘supply routes’ was inhumane and politically untenable to most Americans, and he began backtracking. He claimed he was merely passing along a suggestion he heard in a military briefing and that he was not advocating the use of nuclear weapons.5 Goldwater’s explanation offered cold comfort. As soon as the interview aired, most of the media portrayed the comments as an endorsement of using atomic weapons in a fight against the much weaker North Vietnam.6 Goldwater’s error served to underline Johnson’s overall argument—as indicated by the ‘Daisy’ campaign commercial—that Goldwater could not be trusted to control the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The media’s reaction to Goldwater’s comments, along with the ‘Daisy’ ad, helped establish a national consensus that a Goldwater presidency could lead to nuclear war. This fear resulted in Goldwater’s historic defeat that November, which injured the conservative movement. Prior to 1964, the conservative movement was as cohesive as any national movement could be. Members of the movement agreed on basic ideas of how they would like to reshape society and the ideological disagreements (which all movements have) were discussed in a respectful tone. Part of the reason for its cohesion was its shared goal of electing Goldwater president. Though not all conservatives agreed on everything, Goldwater’s ideology and personality helped him appeal to the vast majority of conservatives and served as a point of unity among movement members. His vision for the United States was aided by the conservative intellectual elite who wrote, published, and mass distributed his book The Conscience of a Conservative. Despite this questionable provenance, the book left a clear and lasting impression on millions of conservatives, helping to unify the movement behind a radically different vision

Introduction

3

of the nation than the one presented by President Johnson. With Goldwater’s defeat, the right needed to regroup. As this book demonstrates, the decade following Goldwater’s defeat was a time when the conservative movement fractured—and the debate surrounding the Vietnam War was at the heart of this disunity. The Vietnam War, once labeled the United States’ longest war, changed the nation’s history, and yet no historian of conservatism has set out to fully understand and analyze how the multiple reactions by conservatives to the war changed the movement’s identity or ideology. Sandra Scanlon’s The Pro-War Movement demonstrates that right-wing pro-war groups supported the war by promoting patriotism. She also analyzes how Richard Nixon, while in the White House, was able to use his position to manufacture support for the war, which helped him retain support from average Americans, including members of the conservative grassroots. At the same time, Nixon engendered much opposition from conservative elites who were frustrated by his foreign policy and war plans. During the same period when conservative elites were fighting Nixon, at the start of the 1970s, as shown in Nicole Hemmer’s Messengers of the Right, conservative intellectual leaders lost touch with the grassroots activists. Scanlon’s work demonstrates that Nixon used the pro-war protests to gain support among grassroots conservatives for his war policies. The Conservative Movement and the Vietnam War builds upon Scanlon’s and Hemmer’s work by explaining how the reaction by the movement’s intellectual elite to Nixon drove a wedge between various strands of conservative thought. The movement’s elite, which was no longer unified, could not figure out how to get past the problems of the Vietnam War. It was not until after the war ended in 1973 that they reformulated the movement and become the more powerful and unified group known as the New Right.7 Prior to the Americanization of the Vietnam War in 1965, conservatives were working together toward the goal of nominating and then electing Goldwater as president. Conservatives succeeded in surprising the political world by taking over the Republican Party from Goldwater’s moderate opponents such as New York’s Governor Nelson Rockefeller and Pennsylvania’s Governor William Scranton. Once the election ended with disastrous results, conservatives did not disappear, but the movement began to fissure. Conservative intellectuals tried to keep the movement alive by promoting aggressive anti-communism and pro-war advocacy. However, uniting in support of an unpopular war proved untenable as conservatism failed to act as a unified movement. Instead, libertarian anti-war advocates were marginalized within the conservative movement and Christian evangelical anti-communists started to identify more closely with the mainstream right. At the same time, a malaise set in whereby conservative intellectual leaders felt constrained by the neverending and unpopular war. All of these changes figured in the creation of

4

Introduction

the New Right coalition that came to dominate U.S. politics during the last quarter of the twentieth century and beyond. The New Right would not have been possible without the period of fracture which occurred within the conservative movement during the Vietnam War years. Historians such as Neil Young, Daniel Williams, and David Courtwright have analyzed how culture and religion helped conservatives create the New Right political movement.8 But it took mainstream conservative support for the unpopular war, coupled with libertarian opposition to the war and Christian evangelical support for the war, to truly change the nature of conservatism. Additionally, Nixon’s Vietnam policies set the movement back even further as the intellectual elite fell into a malaise, unable to respond to the Republican president whose policies they disapproved of. This set the stage for the movement to be reborn with a stronger focus on religion and morality once the Vietnam War ended in 1973. All of this occurred as a result of a conflict which was started by a liberal Democratic president. In 1965, Johnson and members of his administration drove foreign policy, while Goldwater and the conservative movement were responding to events beyond their control. Certainly, conservatives backed the fighting in Vietnam, but this support came after Johnson increased the U.S. military presence there in 1965. During the presidential campaign, Johnson presented himself as a dove, while simultaneously planning for an escalated military encounter; Goldwater portrayed himself as a hawk, while expressing uncertainty about the wisdom of sending U.S. troops to Vietnam. This stereotype that Goldwater supported the war and Johnson was a reluctant commander-in-chief was reinforced by events that followed the 1964 presidential campaign. After the election, Goldwater granted ex post facto support for Johnson’s military expedition while advocating for Johnson to fight the war more aggressively than he was. By comparison, Johnson fought the war with frequent pauses and promises that peace was around the corner. Because of their actions after 1964, it was easy to assume that conservative support for the Vietnam War was simplistic and unwavering; this view is false, as libertarian conservatives opposed the war and pro-war conservatives often recognized the limits of U.S. firepower in winning the war. The consequences of the movement’s support for the war were more far-reaching than previous historians have recognized. This book offers a new historical understanding of the relationship between the conservative movement and the Vietnam War. Whereas previous accounts focused on the right’s support for the war and the troops, this book adds the voices of the anti-war right to the mix. It also explains how intellectual conservatives were dissatisfied with their decision to support the increasingly unpopular war, especially while they opposed the military strategies used to fight the war. This caused conflict between the anti-war right and the rest of the movement and between the intellectual elite and many grassroots members. By focusing on conservative intellectual leaders who

Introduction

5

vied for the support of a fracturing movement, and by analyzing how those intellectuals understood events on the ground, historians are better able to explain the changes which took place within the movement during the decade that followed Goldwater’s defeat. For many conservatives, Vietnam was the central issue which drew them to the movement, making it an important event which must be studied. Despite the war’s important role in shaping modern conservatism, only one other work, Scanlon’s The Pro-War Movement, explains conservatives’ support for the Vietnam War. Scanlon’s work serves as the basis for my study, as I further her line of inquiry to better understand how support for ‘America’s Longest War’ altered conservatism. By focusing on the conservative movement and its leaders, this book is better able to explain how the war changed U.S. politics. Rather than chronicling the many military suggestions made by conservatives, which Scanlon covers well, this book delves into the diverse ways in which the movement fought to stay relevant in the face of rising anti-war sentiment throughout the nation. Additionally, the book inspects how the intellectual elite focused more energy on reacting to the rising liberal anti-war movement than to fomenting a renewed and unified conservative movement. Complicating matters for the right was the increasingly acrimonious dispute between pro- and anti-war conservatives. At the same time, the mainstream right’s support for the war helped Christian evangelical anti-communists recognize that the two groups might have many shared interests. As conservatives fought about the war, the movement suffered through what many elites described as a ‘malaise’ in the late 1960s and early 1970s that temporarily stunted the growth of conservatism in the United States. Most secondary works do not address this crisis within conservatism, likely because it cannot be easily explained within the larger context of the right’s ascent from Goldwater to Nixon to Reagan. But, as this book demonstrates, the assent was not uniform, and the problems were real.9 The crisis the movement encountered resulted from debates about the Vietnam War, and those debates ultimately changed the nature of conservatism in the United States.

Defining Conservatism The conservative movement of the late 1960s was not comprised of a monolithic group of individuals with identical beliefs. The movement was made up of a large coalition of disparate individuals who self-identified as conservatives. They understood that within the broadly accepted spectrum of political ideologies, they were on the right; for this reason, I use the terms ‘conservative movement’ and ‘the right’ interchangeably throughout my study. Though part of a shared political group, the members of the conservative movement had different guiding philosophies and different intellectual leaders who inspired each sect.

6

Introduction

Generally, post-World War II conservatism grew out of four groups which were guided by different ideologies: •







Libertarians supported small government policies to limit the amount of federal intervention in everyday life, which they understood as leading to increased individual choice and freedom. Libertarians were often inspired by writings such as Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom and Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Big business capitalists often cared most about minimizing government regulations to maximize private profit, justified with arguments that private profit improves national economic output. This philosophy grew out of the anti-New Deal ideas of industrialists Pierre and Irénéé du Pont, and other members of the du Pont family, as well as Ohio Senator Robert Taft. This was also the branch of conservatism most closely allied with the Republican Party. Traditionalists believed that their broad understanding of community values was necessary for society and they wanted to inject a discourse of Christian religious morality about good and evil into public policy debates. Leo Strauss and Russell Kirk were two influential thinkers within traditionalist conservatism. Muscular anti-communists argued that the Soviet Union was an existential threat to liberty worldwide and called on the United States to achieve victory in the Cold War. Though many non-conservatives considered themselves muscular anti-communists, this group of conservative anti-communists did not always view liberal and Republican anti-communist activists as being strong enough to fight the communists. Because the Soviet Union represented a big government, anti-capitalist, atheistic, and expansionist power, most conservatives supported muscular anti-communism. Despite anti-communism’s prevalence in U.S. society, muscular anti-communism still served as the glue which helped keep many conservatives united. Pundit James Burnham was an example of an influential muscular anti-communist.

Though not diametrically opposed to one another, each group had its own area of focus, be it government regulation, individual freedom, morality and religiosity within society, or an interventionist anti-communism. Despite their independent areas of focus, members of the right often had shared values which served to bind them together in reaction against a more liberal society. These are generalizations which help us better understand the past. Some conservatives, such as National Review’s Frank Meyer, made explicit efforts to unite the movement under the banner of fusionism. This was Meyer’s way of finding common ground among all the sects of the conservative movement by highlighting their similarities. This concept was nicely articulated in his book What is Conservatism?10 Though

Introduction

7

fusionism’s influence on the movement is debatable, elite conservatives often used the term to describe themselves in the 1960s, demonstrating that they believed there was overlap and respect among the different groups of conservatives. To better understand the different groups and their roles in shaping the movement, this book breaks them into three basic parts: intellectual leaders, grassroots followers, and the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), the organization whose primary aim was to connect the elite to the movement. This study focuses on the intellectual leaders whose goals were to shape the movement’s ideas in a non-academic manner and to change society’s culture and laws. Individuals such as William F. Buckley, Jr., William Rusher, Henry Hazlitt, Allan Ryskind, Phyllis Schlafly, Clarence Manion, Ralph de Toledano, James Burnham, and Walter Judd, all played an outsized role in the national conservative media and political organizations and fall into this category. This book then traces local and regional activists’ responses to those ideas by examining the stories, anecdotes, and ideas which were bandied about by local and regional leaders whose influence was felt exclusively within that person’s community. By unearthing these previously buried sources, this book demonstrates that conservative intellectual leaders were not whistling in the wind. Local papers and pamphlets, along with several oral interviews which I conducted with former activists, offer a view of the mindset of some non-national activists. Each chapter references the role played by YAF in order to supplement our understanding of the goals of the national grassroots. This youth organization aimed at politicizing the younger generation to the conservative cause. YAF never set about creating intellectual ideas for the conservative movement; instead, its goal was to galvanize individuals to big-tent conservatism as outlined by both Goldwater’s Conscience and the intellectual standards of the National Review. Virtually all of the former YAFers whom I interviewed praised Conscience as an influential work, and the majority noted the role of Buckley and the National Review in shaping the organization’s overall philosophy. YAF was important because it organized foot soldiers for Goldwater’s 1964 campaign and its leaders eventually played a role in reshaping the conservatism which bloomed by the end of the 1970s. One of the reasons for Barry Goldwater’s popularity among conservatives is that he was the first of only two politicians of the twentieth century to transcend the different right-wing ideologies and speak to all of the segments of the movement. Aside from Goldwater, Ronald Reagan was the only other politician who inspired and united these various factions of conservatives in the twentieth century. Without Goldwater leading the way, it is doubtful that there would have been a coalition for Reagan to lead. Goldwater’s big-tent conservatism is on display in his book Conscience of a Conservative. Although Conscience was ghost-written for

8

Introduction

Goldwater, the Arizona senator certainly endorsed the book’s arguments as they represented his political beliefs. In Conscience, Goldwater argues for as small of a federal government as possible. In the book’s colloquial tone, he declares that the best way to achieve this is for politicians to “understand that their first duty as public officials is to divest themselves of the power they have been given.”11 Conscience wove this idea of small government ideology with libertarian ideals of individual freedom. Goldwater’s first chapter also discusses the nature of man using words and ideas about good, bad, and tyranny which appeals to traditionalists. Additionally, later chapters counter integrationist and feminist arguments about the role of the federal government in promoting rights for non-white males. Finally, Goldwater’s family history of owning a department store in Arizona, and his personal antagonism toward New Dealstyle government intervention in his family business, made him favored by business owners and capitalists. Goldwater’s popularity also stemmed from his image as someone who was a pure political thinker and a man of principle, an image which Conscience furthered. The starkest example of this is his view about race and states’ rights. In chapter 3 of Conscience, he argues that: Not only [does states’ rights] prevent the accumulation of power in a central government that is remote from the people and relatively immune from popular restraints; it also recognizes the principle that essentially local problems are best dealt with by the people most directly concerned.12 In the subsequent chapter, Goldwater applies his logic of states’ rights to civil rights law by arguing that the federal government has no right to force the integration of Southern public schools. Goldwater states that racial integration should be promoted by state and local governments, even though these were the same groups maintaining the system of violent racial segregation. Despite Goldwater’s belief that the federal government should not override state-based segregation laws, he still proclaims that “it is both wise and just for negro children to attend the same schools as whites.”13 Goldwater’s stance on civil rights and states’ rights allowed him to try to have it both ways; he received the Endorsement of segregationist Southerners who supported small government policies when it regarded race relations, while also publicly supporting the theoretical idea of racial desegregation which was popular among Northeastern conservatives who claimed to not be racist (a large group in the 1960s).14 In short, The Conscience of a Conservative is a political manifesto which offered some support to virtually all conservatives and held great sway in shaping future conservative principles. Despite Goldwater’s big-tent approach to philosophical conservatism, it is the communist menace that helped him serve as a unifying figure among

Introduction

9

conservatives. Chapter 10, a seminal chapter that takes up approximately one-third of the ten-chapter book, focuses on this topic, opening with Goldwater’s declaration that the big difference between the United States and Soviet Union was that the Soviets “are determined to win the conflict, and we are not.”15 Goldwater firmly believed that the United States needed a clearer and more aggressive plan for victory over the Soviet Union and the international communist system. This call for the defeat of the Soviets helped unite conservatives in the early 1960s. It also helped raise Goldwater’s profile within the movement; after all, libertarians, traditionalists, and capitalists all hated communism. Anti-communism in the early 1960s was a uniting force within U.S. conservatism. Despite being a unifying force, anti-communism was not the exclusive purview of the right in the 1960s. Many Democratic, liberal, and left-wing intellectuals, politicians, and political organizations strenuously opposed communism throughout the twentieth century. These anticommunists worked in the Democratic administrations of Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson, backed the liberal organization Americans for Democratic Action, and wrote for left-wing political magazines. Despite this, as political historian Donald T. Critchlow writes: “postwar conservatives turned the Communist issue against the liberals and the Democratic party, even as Democrats pursued and supported Cold War policies.”16 Often conservatives viewed their own anti-communist approach as superior and believed that too many on the other side of the political spectrum were unwilling to do what was necessary to achieve victory in the Cold War. To many of these muscular anti-communist conservatives, anything short of victory was unacceptable. This anti-communist philosophy by conservatives meant that they found themselves fighting against liberal and leftist anti-communists almost as much as they opposed communists and communist sympathizers. While the majority of Americans opposed communism throughout the twentieth century, the right and left often fought about the best methods to oppose Communist International. For example, conservative muscular anti-communists supported Senator Joseph McCarthy long after he was discredited by the national media. In comparison, left-wing anticommunists such as Arthur Schlesinger and James Wechsler believed that McCarthy went too far in his anti-communist actions. As historian Kevin Mattson describes, conservatives believed that U.S. anti-communism should be “fixated and hardened,” whereas liberal anti-communists thought it should be “a starting point to prompt a broader debate about the future of American politics.”17 The two anti-communist groups had fundamentally different ideas about how to oppose communism. In practice, this meant that right-wing anti-communists such as James Burnham endorsed the idea that the United States needed a plan for victory which included aggressively supporting the United States’

10

Introduction

international allies. As Goldwater wrote in his best-selling book Why Not Victory?: There can no longer be any doubt about our situation in today’s world: we are at war; not a cold war but a real war—we can call it the Communist War. . . . We may well be now engaged in a phase of World War III which if we lose will mean the end of freedom as we know it. . . . Victory is the key to the whole problem; the only alternative is—obviously—defeat.18 Comparatively, many Democratic, left-wing, and liberal anti-communists often endorsed ideas such as containment and a more nuanced discussion of anti-communist policies throughout the world. Most Americans opposed communism, but what that meant,—and the methods they endorsed—varied widely across the political spectrum. Aside from opposing communism, the conservative movement was reacting to the politics and ideas of the time. Specifically, the right was in constant conversation with and reacting to the ideas promoted by the left and liberals. In the 1960s, many on the left were trying to form a national coalition which would reshape society using new ideas of economic, racial, and gender equality. The left, as described by scholars such as Terry Anderson, Van Gosse, John Andrew, and others, was focused on sharing the growing wealth in the United States with those left behind. This meant using federal government programs to support a redistribution of funds to the poor while increasing taxes on the rich. Additionally, others on the left supported amplifying the political voices of minorities, including (but not limited to) African Americans, Latinos, homosexuals, prisoners, and Native Americans. Throughout all of this, feminists, who mostly associated with the left, tried to change gender relations by promoting female equality in all facets of society. Had liberals and the left been able to unite into one powerful movement, and had it encountered no opposition, the United States would have looked radically different by the end of the 1960s compared to how it looked at the beginning of the decade.19 Conservatives regularly argued that the left’s frequent critiques of the United States at times made it appear to be more critical of the United States than of the Soviet Union. In the words of National Review publisher William Rusher: “To the New Left arch-villain, quite simply, is the United States of America. They loathe it with a passion that disdains disguise .  .  . they root for an American military defeat in Vietnam.”20 This grim description was part of a larger view of the entire left, which included liberals, Democrats, and the New Left, all of which were being painted with the same brush. To Rusher and many conservatives like him, their political opponents could not be trusted to fully defend either the nation or the Constitution.

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11

To conservatives, it often appeared as though left-wing Americans were looking for large-scale solutions to rectify social ills. This meant support for national civil rights legislation, federal protections for women in the workplace, more power for labor unions, and an expansion of welfare programs. Although there were serious debates and divisions between the left, liberals, Democrats, and the New Left, these were glossed over by conservatives who simply saw all four groups threatening the right’s worldview. That the conservative movement was dominated by white males who came from the middle and upper income bracket is not a surprise, since they were often fighting against people who threatened their status within society. Conservatives, however, did not see their achievements as a result of a racist or sexist society; instead, they believed that it was through their hard-earned efforts. These conservatives feared that by giving up local control through federal civil rights or women’s rights legislation, the nation was enabling the government to pick ‘winners’ at the expense of other members of society. Additionally, any change to gender relations served to threaten traditional norms and alter the nation’s moral center, which Frustrated traditionalist conservatives who believed that long-standing gender roles were part of the national culture. Regarding liberal unionization efforts, the right had long claimed that unions hurt businesses by making hiring and firing decisions difficult while increasing costs and limiting workplace opportunities for strong and competent workers. Finally, federal anti-poverty programs, epitomized by Johnson’s Great Society programs of the era, were a central bane of many conservatives.21 His programs were often described as expensive patronage projects which helped get Democrats elected but did little to get people jobs or improve their lives, thus demoralizing and infantilizing poor Americans while raising taxes on hard-working individuals. In the minds of conservatives, liberal America was a place which infringed upon personal liberty while discouraging hard work. In addition to their social and economic agendas, a faction within the New Left began advocating for an international revolutionary struggle against the capitalist world powers. This meant that while the U.S. military was fighting communists in Vietnam—and largely as a response to the war—some New Lefters were advocating for an American revolution. Following in the footsteps of Hollywood icon Jane Fonda, some New Left leaders traveled to Hanoi to promote the causes of worldwide revolution. Scholars Judy Wu and Lien-Hang Nguyen have skillfully argued that the North Vietnamese government successfully used the destruction wrought by the U.S. bombs to create an international feeling of comradery between members of the revolutionary Global South and the U.S. New Left.22 For conservatives, the existence of these radicals and their international connections during a time of war meant that all on the left were on the side of treason. This helped unite many conservatives, but as

12

Introduction

this book explains, it also pushed some libertarians out of the movement while limiting conservatism’s ascent.

Divisions Over Vietnam Following Goldwater’s 1964 defeat, there was no national leader or issue to rally around and support. The closest conservatives came to a unifying political leader was Ronald Reagan. However, he was a retired actor without any political experience in 1965, and it took another decade until he became a serious presidential candidate. At the precise moment in history when the right found it hard to unite around politics and policies, it also found itself leaderless; the movement suffered. Political activists began disagreeing with greater furor as the movement risked succumbing to infighting which could have led to a splintering of the right and historical irrelevance. During the decade which followed Goldwater’s defeat, those on the right of the political spectrum failed to act as a unified movement. Following the 1964 election, the right’s intellectual leadership began searching for something which could help keep the movement united. At first, they believed that the Vietnam War could serve as a point of unification; after all, conservatives believed that victory in the Cold War meant never giving up to communist aggression. These conservatives began arguing that the United States could not afford to lose the Vietnam War. Their logic was simple: the United States was the stronger nation, and the only way to fight communism was to demonstrate strength. To them, only a lack of willpower or a poor military strategy could sabotage the U.S. effort. Transforming into a pro-war movement fell in line with the right’s muscular anti-communism. Additionally, many feared that if Vietnam fell, then all of Indochina and eventually Southeast Asia would be susceptible to communist aggression. While most of the right’s leadership was pro-war, this stance was not unanimous. A growing group of conservatives opposed U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. These anti-war conservatives, who were often libertarians, were a small and silent minority at the start of the war, but as it dragged on, they became louder. Many of these libertarians, led by the political activist Karl Hess and intellectual Murray Rothbard, began sounding similar to the war’s leftist opponents, decrying the draft as an anti-democratic institution and labeling the United States an imperialist nation, while also opposing the war because it increased the power of the military-industrial complex and national security state. These individuals refused to continue supporting a war which risked the lives and liberty of millions of Americans while also expanding the power of the U.S. government. Complicating matters further, there were others on the right who opposed the war because they thought it was a distraction from the main targets of the Cold War: China and the Soviet Union. These conservatives were a minority within the movement, and are exemplified by Phyllis

Introduction

13

Schlafly. They believed that the United States was wasting time by fighting the Vietnamese, who were mere stooges of the Communist International menace. Instead, the United States needed to confront the Sino-Soviet threat. These conservatives argued that in order for the United States to prepare for victory in the Cold War, it needed to spend more money on the military-industrial complex to improve its offensive and defensive weaponry. The Vietnam War was a waste of resources. Once the war ended, this group effortlessly rejoined the mainstream right, but while the war was ongoing, they refused to agree that Vietnam was a logical place for the United States to spend its resources. The differences between the pro- and anti-war conservatives started to fracture the movement, which ultimately was only saved once the war ended and other issues such as culture came to dominate the movement. Despite the problems facing conservatism, the right’s shift to becoming a pro-war movement meant that it became an increasingly hospitable home for Christian evangelical anti-communists, who fought to push the United States into a more religious and anti-communist direction. As the war dragged on, they recognized that they had much in common with the pro-war, mainstream conservative movement. Prior to the war, evangelicals were not closely associated with the right, but by the time the war ended in 1973, it was clear that conservatism provided a natural political home for this group. By 1974, the New Right, which integrated Christian evangelicals, was starting to form.

Vietnam and the Birth of the Reagan Revolution Fundamental disagreements about the war altered the conservative movement and its ideology, leading to the newly reformulated conservative movement known as the New Right. One of the biggest differences between the New Right and the conservatism of the early 1960s (Goldwater’s era) was the role of Christian evangelicals. The departure of many libertarians and the realization of many evangelical anti-communists that they had similar Cold War views as the mainstream right created the space for the conjoining of evangelical anti-communists into the right and the formation of the New Right. This study argues that the New Right rose as a direct response to the failure of the 1960s conservatism and the divisions concerning the Vietnam War. The New Right was made up of politically active individuals who opposed the anti-war movement even after the war itself was over. They fought against many of the left’s social values of the era, including abortion rights, gay rights, affirmative action, welfare, and feminist-endorsed government policies. These New Right activists were united by their moral values, religious beliefs, class consciousness, anti-communism, racial identity, and their feeling of ‘being left behind.’ In short, they disliked the changing values of the 1960s.23

14

Introduction

Religion was not a new part of the conservative identity in the 1970s, as traditionalists were long-standing members of the right. However, religion’s influence grew proportionally as the anti-war movement increased in the United States. One of the few groups which was not closely affiliated with conservatism but which staunchly supported the Vietnam War was anti-communist evangelical Christians. As this book explains, evangelical support for the war, coupled with the libertarian opposition to it, transformed the conservative ideology in a way that had serious implications for the New Right movement of the 1970s and beyond. The Christian evangelicals who supported the war identified themselves as anti-communist. Many of these Christian evangelicals viewed the world through the teleological lens of the ‘end of days,’ waiting for the return of Jesus Christ. Part of this theology includes an active opposition to the Devil. These individuals saw the Soviet Union as an aggressively atheistic nation which denied freedom of religion to its citizens. Thus, they concluded that if the Devil sided with communism, then certainly the United States should work to support South Vietnam with as much gusto as possible. The changes taking place within the national political discourse helped foster the changes within the movement. During Goldwater’s two-year campaign, the welfare state redistribution programs and the Civil Rights Movement were the prominent issues in society. The libertarian philosophy which opposes large government programs and supports states’ rights was a necessary component to conservatism in the early 1960s. But by the early 1970s, cultural changes were speeding up. This, coupled with the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which legalized a woman’s right to an abortion, led to a more powerful feminist movement. Religion and morality were necessary to oppose these movements. With more grassroots evangelicals involved in both politics and conservatism, and with fewer libertarians associating with conservatism, the movement needed to change. Individuals in leadership positions found the right’s ideology slowly shifting as grassroots conservatives cared more and more about culture and religion.

The Conservative Movement and the Vietnam War The politics surrounding the Vietnam War can never be fully removed from the politics of the decade in question. Other issues helped to shape the future of modern conservatism and modern politics that had little to do with the Vietnam War. During this period, the Great Society was reshaping how Americans viewed the government. At the same time, and for reasons unrelated to the war, Christian evangelicals were slowly increasing their involvement in politics. However, it is crucial to understand the effects of the war and how it shaped the rise of modern conservatism. The politics surrounding the Vietnam War both divided and

Introduction

15

united the movement, while explaining how the right was able to succeed in U.S. politics. The six chapters which follow are divided thematically into three sections. Section I, which comprises Chapters 1–2, focuses on the specific policy proposals of the conservative movement and what various elite conservatives were saying about the Vietnam War. Section II, which comprises Chapters 3–5, focuses on major problems facing conservatism: the libertarian anti-war activists, an oppositional identity, and Nixon’s retaking control of the Republican Party. Section III, which comprises Chapter 6 and the Conclusion, will examine how the movement was able to recover through an infusion of Christian anti-communism and create the New Right. Chapter 1, ‘The Long 1964,’ covers the right’s response to the war in Vietnam up to the point of Americanization in March 1965. Prior to this, the movement’s intellectual energy was focused on other Cold War hotspots. As this chapter demonstrates, the Vietnam War was not a war of the right’s choosing. Subsequent chapters demonstrate the consequences of this. Chapter 2, ‘United by Strategy,’ focuses on the right’s varied strategy suggestions throughout the war. Many elite conservatives argued that the United States needed to exert just a little more effort to achieve victory. Upon the election of Richard Nixon, many on the right were excited by the thought that he would follow through with his promise for peace with honor, but their hopes were soon disappointed. The chapter focuses on the ‘winning’ formula, as articulated by elite conservatives, who thought they had the solution to the war. This detailed analysis of these pro-war arguments grounds the rest of the book and explains why the majority of conservatives were deeply frustrated by the nation’s failure in the Vietnam War. Chapter 3, ‘Dissent of the Libertarians,’ highlights libertarian opposition to the war, along with the general libertarian response to the changing political culture of the late 1960s. Many grassroots libertarians believed that the war, and the draft system that supported it, was morally wrong. This set the group on a path toward a collision with the general conservative movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Chapter 4, ‘Negative Conservatism,’ explores how the movement’s leadership created a virulent anti-Johnson and anti-left identity to compensate for the 1964 election defeat. This anti-Johnson identity kept the passions high among many grassroots supporters. It also fed into the idea that the right opposed Johnson’s military strategy, even while endorsing his war. As the war continued, it became increasingly hard for the right’s leaders to justify their support for the war and simultaneously oppose the strategy. Chapter 5, ‘The Problem of Richard Nixon,’ explains how the right’s leadership struggled to respond to Nixon’s electoral victory in 1968.

16

Introduction

Nixon, though he did not support most conservative policy ideas, was still a Republican. This created disagreement between many of the conservative leaders, who were disappointed with his policies, and the movement followers who supported the Republican president. During the Nixon years, there was frequent discussion among the right’s leadership about a malaise within the movement. They were unable to fully break out from beneath the shadow of the president, while also being incapable of altering his foreign policies. This exacerbated the split between the elite and grassroots. This chapter focuses on this split. Chapter 6, ‘Christianity and Conservatism,’ explains the ardent anticommunist roots of modern conservatism and the Religious Right’s support for anti-communism in the 1960s. Christian language and imagery proved to be potent features of anti-communism in the 1960s. By making the right a more hospitable place for Christian anti-communism, conservatives offered a more welcoming ideology for religious groups in the future. This commixing of support for the Vietnam War, fear of the ‘communist menace,’ and an ever-prominent religious discourse within society, explains the crucial role of Christian evangelical anti-communism in changing the conservative movement. This examination of conservatism’s ideals, the reasons for the right’s struggle with the Vietnam War, and the nature of libertarians’ disagreement with the war will provide historians with a deeper and clearer picture of the turmoil and change that occurred within conservatism in the years following Goldwater’s 1964 defeat. Despite the right’s problems, the movement’s anti-liberal identity kept it alive while Christian anticommunism revitalized the movement. When the New Right was born in the mid-1970s, it was a formidable political movement. The Vietnam War altered the conservative movement, allowing for a new political ideology to rise after the war’s conclusion.

Notes 1. The actor who played the child already knew how to count to 50 by the time the ad was filmed. She was specifically trained for the ad to make mistakes to increase the appeal she would have on the audience. Dan Nowicki, “‘Daisy Girl’ Political Ad Still Haunting 50 Years Later,” USA Today, September 7, 2014, www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/09/07/daisygirl-political-ad-still-haunting-50-years-later/15246667/. 2. Ratings from: “TV Ratings: 1963–1964,” Classic TV and Movie Hits, www. classictvhits.com/tvratings/1963.htm. Episode guide from: “Broadcast Log for NBC Monday Night at the Movies, Season 2,” Television Obscurities, August 3, 2010, www.tvobscurities. com/2010/08/broadcast-log-nbc-monday-night-at-the-movies-season-two/. Programming schedule from: “1963–1964 TV Schedule,” Classic TV Database, http://classic-tv.com/schedules/1963-1964-tv-schedule.html. 3. “Nation: The Fear & The Facts,” Time, September 25, 1964, www.time.com/ time/magazine/article/0,9171,876149-6,00.html.

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17

4. Michael Pakenham, “Goldwater Urges Atom Use in Asia,” Chicago Tribune, May 25, 1964, 3. 5. Associated Press, “Goldwater: Stop Supplies,” Christian Science Monitor, May 28, 1964, 3. 6. Some examples of the negative press Goldwater received following his nuclear comments: Victor Wilson, “A-Attack on Viet Jungle Proposed by Goldwater,” Washington Post, May 25, 1964, A1; Art Buchwald, “Atomic Defoliation,” Washington Post syndicated column, May 31, 1964, E7; Charles Mohr, “Goldwater Sees Move by ‘Clique,’” New York Times, May 27, 1964, 22. 7. Nicole R. Hemmer, Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016); Sandra Scanlon, The Pro-War Movement: Domestic Support for the Vietnam War and the Making of Modern American Conservatism (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2013). 8. David T. Courtwright, No Right Turn: Conservative Politics in a Liberal America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010); Daniel K. Williams, God’s Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010); Neil J. Young, We Gather Together: The Religious Right and the Problem of Interfaith Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016). 9. One of the few secondary works which mentions the malaise is Hemmer, Messengers of the Right. She focuses her analysis on the media landscapes of this period. 10. Frank S. Meyer, ed., What Is Conservatism? (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964). 11. Barry Goldwater, The Conscience of a Conservative (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007), 15. 12. Ibid., 22. 13. Ibid., 31 (emphasis in original). 14. There was a great tension in the early 1960s between segregation supporters in the South and the rest of the conservative movement. Though both supported ideas of states’ rights, many conservatives who hailed from the Northeast and West disapproved of the South’s Jim Crow segregation. In addition, many segregation supporters in the South were not small government conservatives; they were happy to support federal anti-poverty programs which sent money to their states. This tension made for awkward and uncomfortable bedfellows in the early 1960s. It is a topic which deserves further attention from scholars. However, this meant that segregationists were limited in their ability to lead and influence the movement outside of their home-bases in the South (with the exception of a few Southern elected politicians who brought important votes to the table). 15. Goldwater, The Conscience of a Conservative, 84. 16. Donald T. Critchlow, The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007), 7. 17. Kevin Mattson, When America Was Great: The Fighting Faith of Postwar Liberalism (New York: Routledge, 2006), 72. 18. Barry Goldwater, Why Not Victory?, 2nd ed. (New York: MacFadden Books, 1964), 16–17. 19. This summary does not suffice to describe the complexity of the liberal and left worldviews. For a more complete description, see: Terry H. Anderson, The Movement and the Sixties (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995); John A. Andrew, Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee,

18

20. 21.

22.

23.

Introduction 1999); Edward Bacciocco, The New Left in America: Reform to Revolution, 1956–1970 (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1974); Alan Brinkley, Liberalism and Its Discontents (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998); Steven M. Gillon, Politics and Vision: The ADA and American Liberalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987); Van Gosse, Rethinking the New Left: An Interpretative History (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005); Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000). Memo from William Rusher to the Editors of National Review on April 7, 1969, Box 119, Folder 2, William Rusher Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. The Great Society is the name of Johnson’s domestic policy proposals. In general, they included expanded the role of the federal government and promoting a stronger social safety net. The right strenuously opposed the majority of the Great Society, including its underlying principle. Lien-Hang T. Nguyen, Hanoi’s War: An International History of the War for Peace in Vietnam (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2012); Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, Radicals on the Road: Internationalism, Orientalism, and Feminism during the Vietnam Era (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2013). Examples of works which cover the New Right and conservatism in the 1970s are: Adam Clymer, Drawing the Line at the Big Ditch: The Panama Canal Treaties and the Rise of the Right (Lawrence, KA: University Press of Kansas, 2008); Critchlow, Conservative Ascendancy; Hemmer, Messengers of the Right; Philip Jenkins, Decade of Nightmares: The End of the Sixties and the Making of Eighties America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006); William A. Link, Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the Rise of Modern Conservatism (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2008); Catherine E. Rymph, Republican Women: Feminism and Conservatism from Suffrage Through the Rise of the New Right (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2006); Gregory L. Schneider, The Conservative Century: From Reaction to Revolution (Lanham, PA: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009); Bruce Schulman and Julian Zelizer, eds., Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008); Williams, God’s Own Party; Young, We Gather Together: The Religious Right and the Problem of Interfaith Politics.

Bibliography Interviews Donald Ernsberger David Franke Fritz Krieger John Sainsbury Bill Saracion John Scully Randal Teague Michael Thompson Wayne Thorburn

Introduction Newspapers and Magazines Chicago Tribune Christian Science Monitor Human Events Libertarian Forum National Review New Guard New York Times Time USA Today Washington Post

Online Websites and Archives Classic TV and Movie Hits Classic TV Database Television Obscurities

Chicago Historical Society, Chicago, Illinois Clarence Manion Papers

Columbia University, New York, New York Group Research Papers

Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University, Stanford, California Albert C. Wedemeyer Papers American Subject Collection Christopher Emmet Papers Elizabeth Churchill Brown Papers Friedrich A. von Hayek Papers John Davenport Papers Marvin Liebman Papers Patrick Dowd Papers Radical Right Papers Ralph de Toledano Papers Walter Judd Papers

Library of Congress, Washington, DC William Rusher Papers

19

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Introduction

Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Archive and Library, Austin, Texas White House Central Files

National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland HR Haldeman Papers Richard Nixon Presidential Papers White House Special Files

Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut William F. Buckley Papers

Books and Journal Articles Anderson, Terry H. The Movement and the Sixties. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. Andrew, John A. Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1999. Bacciocco, Edward. The New Left in America: Reform to Revolution, 1956– 1970. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1974. Brinkley, Alan. Liberalism and Its Discontents. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998. Clymer, Adam. Drawing the Line at the Big Ditch: The Panama Canal Treaties and the Rise of the Right. Lawrence, KA: University Press of Kansas, 2008. Courtwright, David T. No Right Turn: Conservative Politics in a Liberal America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010. Critchlow, Donald T. The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007. Gillon, Steven M. Politics and Vision: The ADA and American Liberalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. Goldwater, Barry. Why Not Victory? 2nd ed. New York: MacFadden Books, 1964. ———. The Conscience of a Conservative. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007. Gosse, Van. Rethinking the New Left: An Interpretative History. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005. Hemmer, Nicole R. Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016. Isserman, Maurice, and Michael Kazin. America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. Jenkins, Philip. Decade of Nightmares: The End of the Sixties and the Making of Eighties America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. Link, William A. Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the Rise of Modern Conservatism. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2008.

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Mattson, Kevin. When America Was Great: The Fighting Faith of Postwar Liberalism. New York: Routledge, 2006. Meyer, Frank S., ed. What Is Conservatism? New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964. Nguyen, Lien-Hang T. Hanoi’s War: An International History of the War for Peace in Vietnam. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2012. Rymph, Catherine E. Republican Women: Feminism and Conservatism from Suffrage Through the Rise of the New Right. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina, 2006. Scanlon, Sandra. The Pro-War Movement: Domestic Support for the Vietnam War and the Making of Modern American Conservatism. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2013. Schneider, Gregory L. The Conservative Century: From Reaction to Revolution. Lanham, PA: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009. Schulman, Bruce, and Julian Zelizer, eds. Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008. Williams, Daniel K. God’s Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Wu, Judy Tzu-Chun. Radicals on the Road: Internationalism, Orientalism, and Feminism during the Vietnam Era. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2013. Young, Neil J. We Gather Together: The Religious Right and the Problem of Interfaith Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Section I

Conservatives and the Vietnam War

1

The Long 1964

Why did the United States fight the Vietnam War? This is a simple question without a clear answer. In February 1964, President Johnson was asked by a reporter how history books would judge his decision to protect South Vietnam. Johnson replied that he was following “the most advisable [course] for freedom.”1 Throughout much of the Cold War, many Americans believed that the United States was on the side of freedom and righteousness, and that protecting South Vietnam from communist aggression was the same as defending freedom. This statement is true despite the fact that the United States’ Vietnamese allies were military leaders whose style of rule had more in common with their communist opponents than with U.S. notions of democracy. The Republic of Vietnam was certainly no liberal democracy, nor was it a bastion of freedom. Johnson’s decision to escalate the war and ‘Americanize’ it in early 1965 had serious long-term consequences for U.S. politics. Despite an incredible investment of life and material, the United States proved incapable of defeating its Vietnamese adversaries and fully protecting the government of the Republic of Vietnam.2 At one point, the United States had more than half a million troops in Indochina, along with enough aerial power to destroy the entire region and plans on how best to utilize nuclear technology. This massive military commitment, coupled with the seemingly endless nature of the war, eventually cost Johnson a chance at re-election in 1968. The debate about the war altered society and influenced a generation, changing the course of modern U.S. history. The period leading up to the Americanization of the war, which began shortly before the assassination of Republic of Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem in late 1963 and ended with the large-scale bombing campaign known as Operation Rolling Thunder in early 1965, is often described as the ‘long 1964.’ During this time, the United States increased its military firepower in Southeast Asia. Johnson could have pulled out of Vietnam on multiple occasions throughout the long 1964, but he chose not to. This chapter, which covers the long 1964, describes how the conservative movement reacted to the gradually deteriorating security situation in Vietnam by placing that conflict within the context of the greater Cold

26

Conservatives and the Vietnam War

War discourse.3 Between the fall of Diem and the Americanization of the war, writings in the conservative press and speeches by conservative leaders show that the movement was conflicted about what to do in Vietnam and often made contradictory suggestions. The right’s intellectual leaders neither wanted to see Marines sent to the dense jungles of Indochina, nor did they want to see an anti-communist ally fall to what they saw as communist aggression. Equally important, conservative leaders did not view the fighting in Vietnam as the most pressing foreign policy issue during the long 1964. In many ways, conservatives were mirroring the general public since they were uncertain about the situation in the small Southeast Asian nation, leaving them unprepared to understand or accept the challenges which the nation eventually encountered. The conservative movement also had the problem of responding to the liberal Democratic president right before a presidential election. As historians Sandra Scanlon and Andrew Johns have demonstrated, most of what the right said about the war prior to 1964 filtered through the lens of the upcoming election. Right before the election, conservatives saw themselves as patriotic supporters of the military, but also had doubts about ‘Johnson’s war.’4 The politics of denouncing the Democrat while supporting the ‘patriotic’ Cold War fighting efforts made conservative support for the war appear to be motivated more by political than military interests. If conservatives could label Johnson as soft on communism, it would help Goldwater come election time. As Johns points out, this Republican pressure on Johnson (Johns focuses solely on Congressional Republicans, not conservatives at large), helped push the nation into war, even though many Democrats, Republicans, and conservatives were ambivalent in 1965 about the possibility of expanding the fighting.5 Complicating matters further is that Johnson’s decision to escalate was disassociated from the decision to fight a full-scale war; this despite the fact that the decision occurred at the start of a new administration and the freedom that an overwhelming electoral victory brought. While campaigning for president, Johnson did not offer substantive suggestions about how to achieve victory; instead, he focused on peace. Although Goldwater emphasized Vietnam more than did Johnson, his ideal battle plan did not include a dramatic increase in the number of American boots on the ground. Following Goldwater’s lead, few on the right actively pushed Johnson to send in large numbers of troops. Though Goldwater and conservatives debated the appropriate course of action throughout the long 1964, there was little interest in another land war in Asia. The traditional historical narrative states that the right was part of the reason why Johnson chose to escalate. There is little doubt that conservative anti-communism contributed to the national atmosphere regarding opposing communist expansion and containing the threat. Additionally, for the 15 preceding years, politicians had been fending off attacks from the right accusing them of being soft on communism. Johnson famously

The Long 1964

27

opined that he would not make the same mistake as Harry Truman, who was accused of having ‘lost’ China. Thus, conservatives were reflexively in favor of expanding the fighting and their political discourse contributed to Johnson’s conclusion that the United States must save the Republic of Vietnam. However, it is far too simplistic to blame the conservative movement for Johnson’s decision. As this chapter demonstrates, most conservatives were more focused on opposing Johnson (and anything he did) rather than expanding the war, and the movement’s leaders favored other options instead of Americanization.

The Long Cold War Prior to the 1960s, U.S. conservatives understood that the Cold War was not about one specific battlefield or one specific competition. Rather, the general consensus within the movement was that the Cold War was a grand and long game of chess, one that would not be won with a quick or easy move. In this understanding of the Cold War, North and South Vietnam were just pawns. The United States could not defeat the communists by saving South Vietnam; nor would the fall of South Vietnam directly imperil U.S. national security. The United States was fighting an enemy (communism) which had survived and extended its reach over the past century. Indochina was not going to be the location of the final battle in the long Cold War. Conservative literature painted communism as a patient, expansionist, and violent ideology. Despite this, the right did not usually advocate full-scale nuclear war against Russia. This point is emphasized by Barry Goldwater in Why Not Victory? In the book, he specifically mentions that the United States did not need to use atomic bombs or a full military confrontation against the Soviets in order to win the Cold War. Instead, Goldwater’s plan for victory was based on the relatively simple idea that in all Cold War battles, the United States must either use conventional weapons to fight communists or it must arm non-communist forces. The key was that the United States needed to always demonstrate a willingness to use violence to push back against any communist expansion, regardless of how small the initial communist action was. Surrender and failure were not options, as they would only embolden the enemy to advance in other locales. By teaming up with local anti-communist rebels, the United States could demonstrate its resolve and keep communism from expanding.6 This anti-communism differed from the contemporaneous anticommunism of many other Americans. In the early 1960s, liberal anticommunism states that the United States needed to advance democracy and freedom and that fighting communists was not always the best means of achieving that goal. These anti-communists supported policies more closely aligned with containment and stated that the United

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Conservatives and the Vietnam War

States needed to do more to lead by example. The United States, they argued, needed to choose its allies carefully, as not every region of the world was worth beginning a war just to protect. The conservative movement’s anti-communism was more muscular and unilateral, while also caring less about whom the United States allied, as long as the ally opposed communism. As part of this understanding of the communist threat, conservatives believed that no place on earth was truly safe. Communism was like a caged animal trying to find vulnerability in an electrified fence. It could sprout its evil anywhere in the world at any moment, and the United States must be ready to defend its worldview. Merely containing communism would not suffice. Instead, conservatives argued that the United States needed to prove that it would never back down. As Goldwater said, the United States need not directly attack Russia, but it must make it clear that the nation was prepared to fight for every inch throughout the world. Whenever communist forces tried to capture a government, the United States needed to be there to help protect the non-communist forces. This view of the Cold War meant that all parts of the world mattered. Still, conservatives placed more emphasis on certain geopolitical locations. For instance, the Soviet Union, China, and Eastern Europe were the most valuable targets in the Cold War; after all, the fall of any of those places to anti-communism would likely (and eventually did) signal the end of the Cold War. But after those three regions, there were many other locations (aside from Indochina) that received much attention within the conservative worldview during the long 1964. Among the places on which the conservative media focused much of their attention were Cuba, Panama, Congo, Zanzibar (in Tanzania), and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Overall, the Cold War was a worldwide battle and conservatives had a wealth of concerns, with the battles in Africa and South America often appearing as prominent places within the conservative literature. It is not surprising to learn that U.S. conservatives cared deeply about Cuba and Panama. The United States has a long history of interfering in both countries to help them gain independence and then constraining that independence post-inception. From Joseph Pulitzer’s yellow journalism, Theodore Roosevelt’s Big Stick, and Franklin Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor policy, both nations had long been the recipients of U.S. attention. During the Cold War, many in the United States viewed the Americas as a place of vital national security interests. It was considered an axiom within conservative circles that the United States could not allow communism to grow anywhere in the hemisphere for fear that it would threaten the homeland and signal defeat. In the early 1960s, Cuba and Panama played an outsized role in the conservative imagination. In 1959, Cuban President Fulgencio Batista was driven from the island nation, his power usurped by communist revolutionary Fidel Castro. Shortly after taking office, Castro, in an attempt to promote

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his government, went on a goodwill tour of the United States where he met celebrities and visited famous landmarks. He spent more than ten days touring the nation, trying to convince Americans that he was not a real communist. Many in government, including Vice President Richard Nixon (who met with Castro), remained unconvinced that the revolutionary leader was a democrat. Distrust of Castro, coupled with his increasingly close ties to Moscow, helped motivate President Dwight Eisenhower to begin planning to overthrow the communist leader. This plan was handed off to the young Cold Warrior President John Kennedy. Following the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion in early 1961, it was clear to many that communism was going to remain in power 90 miles off the coast of the United States for an extended period of time. Making matters worse was the Soviet response in 1962, placing nuclear missiles in Cuba. By alerting the world to the presence of these nuclear weapons, Kennedy aroused an unprecedented fear of a communist first-strike attack. American families spent several days in October 1962 glued to the news, waiting anxiously as the United States and Soviet Union argued about the nuclear weapons in Castro’s Cuba. The Cuban Missile Crisis enabled conservatism to flourish. When the missile crisis abated, communism was still just 90 miles off the coast of Florida, helping to make the case that the United States needed a plan for victory over this evil force. Michael Thompson was a high school student in St. Louis in 1962, and the events of that year left an indelible print on his long-term political philosophy. Thompson and his generation grew up ducking and covering from imagined nuclear explosions in drills, and now there was the ever-present threat from a communist nation just next door. From this, Thompson learned that communism was not an ideology with which one could negotiate, and that only the threat of violence would limit its expansion. This drew him to Goldwater’s idea that the United States needed a plan for victory. Thompson says that the missile crisis helped shape his generation’s “whole outlook and why we came in the direction we did.” To many of the foot soldiers in the ‘draft Goldwater’ movement of 1964, Cuba was an extremely important location.7 Though no major confrontation occurred with Cuba in 1963 or 1964, fear that Castro was trying to spread his ideology throughout the hemisphere meant that it remained an important topic of conversation within the movement. With the exception of the Soviet Union and China, there were more stories in the conservative press about Cuba than any nation in the world.8 In addition, Cuba and Castro became the central boogie man in Latin America. Thus, in early 1964, Human Events, the leading conservative anti-communist publication, blamed all of the region’s problems on Castro’s expansionist policies.9 Within the conservative discourse, Cuba and Castro were central figures in the unfolding drama of the Cold War. But Cuba was not the only interesting and important Cold War battlefield. Panama was also undergoing its own nationalistic revival and

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revolution. The United States and Panama had a long, entwined history. In 1903, the United States helped fund the movement for Panamanian independence, as the small nation seceded from Colombia. Once the U.S.-funded Panamanian independence movement began, the United States intervened to block Colombian attempts to retain control of the new nation. Immediately upon gaining independence, the U.S.-supported Panamanian government granted permission for the United States to build a canal and granted the United States permanent control of a tenmile-wide stretch of land around the canal. From the planning stages in 1903, through the 1960s, the canal remained a vital part of U.S. national and economic security. In 1964, the canal saw a record amount of traffic, with approximately 12,000 ships carrying 72 million tons of cargo, most of it by the United States. This was twice as much tonnage as a decade earlier, cementing the canal’s importance for international trade.10 The canal was on Panamanian land, but was sovereign U.S. territory. This was not a problem in 1903, when Panama barely existed and the canal was just a dream, but by 1964, the Panamanian people believed that they deserved the right to control and profit from their territory. Further complicating relations, the Panamanians believed that the local U.S. population living in the Canal Zone was antagonistic and racist. From the U.S. perspective, it was in charge and had an internationally recognized treaty granting it sovereignty over the land in perpetuity. In January 1964, there was a dispute regarding the waving of the Panamanian flag within the Canal Zone. This led to a three-day riot between U.S. security forces and local Panamanians. The incident left 20 people dead, hundreds wounded, and nearly $2 million worth of damage. Panama asked the United Nations to investigate its claim that it was invaded by the U.S. forces, which were required to quell the violence. This led to a halt in American-Panamanian diplomatic relations. Eventually, the United States threatened to build a new and bigger canal which would make the Panama Canal obsolete. This proposed canal could go through the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border, Colombia, Mexico, or Panama (if the Panamanian government cooperated). To build a new canal would require either nuclear explosions or non-nuclear drilling at the cost more than $1 billion (in 1964 currency). Thus, in retrospect, it is hard to fathom the United States undertaking such an endeavor when a working canal existed. At the time, commentators noted the high cost and often called the threat of a new canal a “poker game.”11 Still, U.S. threats to build a new canal in a different nation temporarily suppressed anti-American protests within Panama. Following the January riots, the issue of the canal and Panamanian nationalism largely receded from the mainstream U.S. discourse, but not from the minds of leading U.S. conservatives. The problem the canal posed to U.S. security remained ever-present. Even after the violence

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dissipated, conservatives continued blaming communists for fomenting the riots. For example, Henry J. Taylor, a commentator in Human Events, called it part of the Soviet Union’s plan of “gradualism,” whereby the Soviets pushed the United States slowly on multiple fronts throughout the world. The goal of the Soviets, according to Taylor, was to weaken the United States in the eyes of the world.12 The same month, National Review accused Johnson of demonstrating weakness in Panama, part of a charge that he was “rapidly losing the world to Communism.”13 For many conservatives, the problems, riots, and issues enveloping Panama could not be ignored. They continued to discuss the issue of control of the canal long after most in the United States stopped thinking about Panama. Twelve years later, in 1976, Ronald Reagan used a proposed Panama Canal treaty as a means of rallying right-wing grassroots support for his own political fortunes, a move that almost helped him defeat the sitting president, Gerald Ford, in the Republican presidential primary.14 Though Panama never rose to match Cuba in terms of prominence in the conservative consciousness, it was an important place that garnered much attention. In addition to Latin America, the conservative media was also interested in several newly independent African nations. Economically, Africa was an underdeveloped continent in need of funds. The rapid decolonization process meant that markets within Africa were opening up during violent and uncertain times. If the United States did not act quickly there, the Soviets would. One African nation that captured the right’s imagination was Congo, the large, beautiful, and resource-rich nation in the heart of Africa. Larger than both Alaska and California combined, Congo was the recipient of an exceptionally retrograde Belgian colonial system that left the nation without a unified and educated ruling class. The violence and James Bond-like intrigue in the early 1960s made it a global cause du jure. Almost immediately after Congo became independent, different forces tried to rip it apart. Congolese Premier Patrice Lumumba and President Joseph Kasa-Vubu fought one another. When Lumumba needed military supplies to put down an uprising, he asked the Soviet bloc for aid. This allowed U.S. conservatives to argue that the United States needed to do something to keep Lumumba from turning Congo red. However, instead of supporting Kasa-Vubu, conservatives became enamored with secessionist leader Moise Tshombe. Tshombe was a perfect exemplar of what the right wanted: a black African who used Christian rhetoric, was a former businessman, wanted to have close relations with Belgium and the West, and was willing to use force against communists. While Kasa-Vubu and Lumumba were fighting one another, Tshombe declared independence on behalf of the resource-rich province of Katanga and immediately requested military help from Belgium. Back in the United States, conservative leaders did everything in their power to drum up support for him.

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National Review frequently wrote about Tshombe. In addition, at YAF’s 1962 Madison Square Garden rally, Tshombe was an honorary guest set to receive an award for his anti-communist efforts. The nonprofit used the rally, which was a fundraiser, to support his application for a visa to enter the United States. Presumably, once in the United States, Tshombe would have gone on a publicity and goodwill tour. Despite repeated requests for the visa, including a lawsuit that YAF filed against the State Department in an effort to force it to issue a visa, Tshombe’s request was rejected and he never made it to the United States. That YAF went through such trouble to get him into the country demonstrates the organization’s overall level of support for him.15 Tshombe needed all the goodwill he could get in 1962. At the time, the Kennedy administration was working with the United Nations to convince him to drop his secessionist bid and reintegrate into Congo. When diplomacy failed, the UN sent in peacekeepers to dislodge him. To help fight the peacekeepers, Tshombe hired white mercenaries from Rhodesia and South Africa. This battle between the white mercenaries and the U.S.-sponsored UN troops made national headlines and further riled the conservative press; after all, they wrote, the United States should have supported him, not fought against him. The fighting in Congo combined many hot-button issues: right-wing opposition to the UN, anger at Kennedy’s Cold War policies, support for international anti-communists, and support for white privilege in newly decolonized Africa. All of these issues helped keep Tshombe in the right-wing magazines long after he was forced to flee Congo in 1962. Tshombe’s exile was only temporary. By 1964, he was invited back into Congo to try and quell violence in the country he once helped tear apart. Once again, he proved a popular figure for conservative media pundits. National Review was especially furious that “the most proWestern and anti-Communist leader to appear in the Congo, perhaps in all decolonized Africa” was forced out two years earlier while “hashishsaturated panga-wielding gangs of guerrillas led by Communist agents” were allowed to cause death and destruction. It argued that this was a criminal mistake by U.S. policy makers, and one which would be hard to overcome.16 Tshombe’s return to Congo was short-lived, and by 1965, the commander of the military, Joseph Mobutu, was entrenched as the sole leader of the nation. With that, Tshombe fell off of the conservative media’s radar, but not without leaving a permanent mark. For the next several years, when the conservative press recounted Cold War battles, Congo was frequently cited as one of the many places of strategic importance where fighting was taking place. However, unlike U.S. policy makers, the right did not view it as a victory. Despite Mobutu’s turn to the West, many conservatives believed Tshombe would have been the better leader. Thus, as Anthony Bouscaren wrote in 1973, the conflict in Congo was at best a draw between the Soviets and Americans.17

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With the loss of Tshombe, the right did not give up on its African focus. Regular articles appeared throughout the right-wing press about the continent. In 1964, Zanzibar and Southern Rhodesia were two particular hotspots where conservative elites demonstrated an excited rhetoric about how U.S. policies ran counter to U.S. national security interests. At the time, white Rhodesians were trying to carve out an independent nation for themselves in the south. This was something conservative African specialist Elspeth Huxley applauded. Huxley described whitedominated Southern Rhodesia as an economic success and a place to which black Africans from all over the region were moving. The reason for this success was because of the whites’ liberal economic policies which favored a free market. Huxley wrote about Southern Rhodesia’s whites frequently in 1964, and in each instance she put the problem in the context of the Cold War and how white rule would further protect capitalism in southern Africa.18 While Huxley’s many National Review articles focused on Rhodesia, the movement’s literature spilled more ink on Zanzibar. In 1964, a communist-inspired and funded revolution occurred on the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanganyika in East Africa. As a general conservative principle, if communists attempted to overthrow a government, the solution was a simple one: fight back. Goldwater’s strategy—as stated in Why Not Victory?—was that in all Cold War hotspots, the United States needed to either send in troops or arm local fighters. At first, it appeared as though this would happen. British leaders talked about sending the British army—Zanzibar fell within the English sphere—but neither a British nor American invasion ever occurred. Instead, the West pressured Tanganyika and Zanzibar to merge and create the new nation of Tanzania. Both communists and non-communists served in the new Tanzanian government. Many conservatives believed the United States should not have recognized the Zanzibar and later the Tanzanian governments—after all, both were communist-influenced. Johnson’s actions in Zanzibar thus were seen as proof that he lacked a clear foreign policy vision.19 Worse yet, conservative pundits argued that communist nations were using Tanzania to import “arms, vehicles, money and agents” into the new nation while Chinese and Cuban communist leaders were celebrating their new foothold into Africa.20 The conservative media was frustrated that the United States had, in their opinion, ceded ground to the communists in a resource-rich part of Africa. This conservative focus on both Congo and Zanzibar was in line with the overall U.S. discourse which was fascinated by African independence and anti-communist movements. Congo, thanks in part to the assassination of UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold and the insertion of U.S.-sponsored peacekeepers, made national headlines. Zanzibar, too, was frequently mentioned by the national media as an area of unusual

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unrest. In 1964, Africa was a continent ripe with intrigue and a place where all Americans, not just conservatives, were paying attention unlike ever before. The difference between the right-wing press and mainstream media was that the right analyzed African decolonization through the lens of whether or not the United States was winning the Cold War in Africa. Whereas other Americans might have questioned what was best for the African people (through white imperialist eyes), the right cared only about what would produce the best Cold War outcome. In the long 1964, the conservative media demonstrated a sincere interest in the international affairs of Latin America and Central and Southern Africa. Opinion pieces and articles about these regions were frequent and detailed. YAF’s leaders also devoted many resources trying to educate their members about Cuba and communist movement in the Americas. No historian has written about the right’s interest on the Global South, yet there was a robust discussion within the movement regarding the Cold War in Latin America and Africa. By comparison, the discourse regarding Vietnam was timid. Unlike the jubilant decrees that would come later, a large percentage of the conservative movement did not appear eager to send in many more American troops into Southeast Asia. In several instances, conservatives made clear that Vietnam was not the best place in which to risk U.S. credibility.

The Problems With Vietnam Right-wing anti-communism was animated when it touched on Latin America and Africa because the movement’s leaders wanted to do something to effectively fight the Cold War in those regions. Comparatively, conservative leaders frequently complained about the challenges that securing the Republic of Vietnam presented. That the right’s leaders often spoke about these challenges publicly indicates that they were not confident that U.S. fighters could save the region. Despite this, their anti-communism and warmongering helped push Johnson to expand the fighting. This is the irony of 1964; as conservatives pointed out several reasons why a decisive U.S. victory was unlikely, they were also criticizing the president for not fighting the Cold War aggressively enough. This contradiction was at the root of the right’s Vietnam rhetoric during the long 1964. The two leading reasons why conservatives were skeptical about the probability of victory in Vietnam were because of the loss of Diem and the belief that Johnson and his administration were not fighting the war with the intent of achieving a decisive victory. Following Diem’s assassination in November 1963, the right immediately argued that the United States had lost a valuable ally in the fight against the National Liberation Front and its communist allies. Journalist Marguerite Higgins, whose articles were frequently reprinted in the conservative Human Events, was a strong supporter of Diem’s. Higgins

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was a Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent, formerly of the New York Herald Tribune, who spent much of her professional career in East Asia, including many visits to Vietnam. She was also the last American journalist to interview Diem, and she offered a sympathetic assessment. Higgins’s writing leaves no doubt that she believed Diem was the strong and powerful leader whom Goldwater would have armed without question. While conceding that Diem’s rule “was not conforming to Western standards of democracy,” she stood by him as the best and most responsible leader in the nation.21 In her book Our Vietnam Nightmare, Higgins quotes extensively from her final interview with Diem, which occurred a few weeks prior to his assassination. Higgins allowed Diem to explain the difficult situation he was in. He excoriated the United States for pressuring him to be conciliatory toward the Buddhist protesters who were opposing his rule. He said: [U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.] comes and tells me that it enhances my ‘liberal image’ to permit demonstrations in the street by the Buddhists and the political opposition. . . . I cannot seem to convince the embassy that this is Vietnam—not the United States of America. We have had good reason to ban street demonstrations in the middle of a war, and the reason is that the Viet Cong are everywhere. . . . What would happen if the Viet Cong should infiltrate a demonstration here in Saigon, toss a bomb, kill dozens of persons, including some American press? What would ‘liberal opinion’ say to me then? . . . I am not inventing Viet Cong terror. Yet when I try to protect the people of this country—including the Americans—by good police work, keeping control of the streets, I am accused of persecuting the Buddhists!22 Although most conservative intellectuals strongly supported individual freedom vis-à-vis a central government, these same individuals applauded Diem despite his dictatorial policies because they recognized that communism was the ultimate form of repression and any method used to halt communism’s growth was acceptable. This ‘no holds barred’ approach made sense, since the right’s public discourse already portrayed communists as sinister, sneaky, and willing to use violence in order to achieve their goal of worldwide political and economic domination. Diem’s comments played to these fears that communists would jump at the opportunity to turn a peaceful Buddhist rally into a scene of death and destruction. The communists would use the chaos to try and overthrow the anti-communist government of the Republic of Vietnam. Therefore, to stop the potential expansion of a repressive communist government, many conservatives agreed with Diem’s logic that he needed to remain repressive. For the 15 months following Diem’s death, conservatives argued that he was “a national leader . . . [who was] irreplaceable.”23 His death, in

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short, was a tragedy and the United States made a mistake by not protecting him. Without Diem, these conservatives complained, the U.S. ally did not have a strong leader with a vision. Higgins and others often criticized Diem’s successors for their inability to end the conflict.24 Without Diem, South Vietnam was in trouble. Elite conservatives stayed focused on Diem long after his death. In one instance, more than three months after his death, Human Events asked the Senate to investigate America’s involvement in the assassination. In addition, the article made clear that Human Events’ editorial staff lacked faith in the U.S. mission in Indochina. The editorial argued that Diem’s death set back U.S. interests and that Vietnam was a lost cause. Although this was partially partisan opposition to Democratic foreign policy, it was also part of the right’s overall discourse, which made clear that victory was unlikely without Diem.25 Almost eight months after Diem’s assassination, National Review’s front page dramatically asked: “Who Killed Diem?” The answer, according to V. L. Borin, was the U.S. media. Borin’s argument was that the U.S. government was willing to give up on Diem because of the way he was portrayed in the popular press. Why would the press actively try to destroy Diem? According to Borin, members of the press were duped by North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh and his communist allies, a group, Borin claimed, that included the Buddhist protesters. Borin’s five-page article wove a fantastic narrative of a cunning and intellectual North Vietnamese leader who realized he could not defeat Diem on the battlefield, and thus figured out a way to defeat his enemy via public relations. In Borin’s world, Ho understood the importance of propaganda and getting “liberals [to] carry the ball for him.” Once the liberal media began portraying Diem as a murderous dictator, the U.S. government would stop supporting him, enabling the South Vietnamese generals to eliminate Diem, leaving the country vulnerable to communist takeover.26 Borin’s story discounts the fact that Ho had proven adept at defeating Diem. In the mid-1940s, Ho’s forces assassinated one of Diem’s brothers, forcing Diem to flee Indochina. Though the fighting had progressed over the succeeding decade, it showed that Diem was not an invincible anti-communist. Upon ascending to the presidency of the Republic of Vietnam, Diem required repression and violence, along with extensive military aid from the United States, in order to retain its control of the nation. Although Diem’s government killed a large number of South Vietnamese people, it was not winning on the battlefield. Additionally, Diem’s violence against his people served as a recruiting tool for the Vietnamese communists and other groups that opposed the Republic of Vietnam. In short, Ho did not fear losing to Diem. More fundamentally, there is no reason to believe that the U.S. media was involved in a mass conspiracy to discredit Diem. The more plausible reason for the media’s focus on the violence and repression committed by Diem and his government (as

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compared to Ho and his government) was that Diem was the U.S. ally. Thus, he came under greater scrutiny by the U.S. press and was held to different (and higher) standards than his opponents. As the civil war brewed in South Vietnam, Diem’s government responded by arresting and beating dissidents, including many Buddhists who were not communists, and closing newspapers and media outlets of opposition parties; the U.S. press took note. Many Americans, including those in the media, were appalled that their government was helping him retain control of his totalitarian state. Conservatives did not want to hear this criticism of Diem; after all, he was one of Vietnam’s leading anti-communists. One influential conservative who was distraught by Diem’s death was foreign policy expert Walter Judd. Judd spent most of the 1930s living in China, and upon his return to the United States, he was elected to Congress. In part because of his time in China, he became an expert in Asian affairs; he was part of the group which believed that Diem was necessary for the promotion of U.S. interests in Indochina. In March 1965, 16 months after Diem’s death, Judd was still recounting the death of Diem as a part of the explanation as to why South Vietnam was falling apart. In Judd’s analysis of the Vietnam War, Diem was an important figure who helped keep South Vietnam safe from communist aggression.27 Judd made his views clear in a letter sent to his friend Barry Goldwater. Early in the campaign season, Goldwater had asked Judd to sit on a task force regarding Vietnam. Judd declined the offer because of prior obligations (he frequently toured the nation making anti-communist speeches), so instead, he sent Goldwater a long memo recounting his views of the situation. Judd began the memo by noting that Diem’s death marked a turning point for the United States: I think our government has made grievous mistakes in the past several years . . . [including] the sudden withdrawal of U.S. support from the legitimate government of Viet Nam28 (the Diem Government) in September of last year. This withdrawal of support was a critical mistake, not only in terms of the struggle in Viet Nam itself but in terms of our country’s reputation for integrity throughout Asia. . . . Had this reversal of policy not been made—had we stuck by our proven ally, the legal government of Viet Nam, in its widely misinterpreted difficulties with the Buddhists last year—we would by now, I believe, be well out of the woods there. Judd’s analysis of past U.S. policy makes it clear that he believed that the Unites States would have a far more difficult time winning any war in Vietnam without Diem in charge. Thus, Diem’s death forever changed the calculus.29 Much of the right’s public criticism and comments regarding the fighting in Vietnam in 1964 centered on the U.S. failure to protect Diem. The

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rhetoric included the often-repeated question of how the United States could allow its ally to be killed. The argument against Diem’s assassination focused on the claim that in order to win the Cold War, the United States needed allies and these allies needed to be able to trust it. In order for trust to exist, the United States needed a good reputation, and conservatives feared that enabling the coup tarnished the reputation of the United States. These complaints were partially partisan, with conservative Republicans opposing Democratic policies. But within that partisanship was a clear starting point that Diem represented the United States’ best ally in the war against communism. The person who received much vitriol from the conservative press was U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., a moderate Republican and former vice presidential candidate on the Richard Nixon ticket who was sent over to Vietnam by Kennedy in 1963. Many conservatives viewed his appointment as a Trojan horse—if Vietnam fell, then the Democratic Kennedy/Johnson administrations could blame the Republican ambassador.30 The problem was that Lodge often looked like a man without a party. Although he was a life-long Republican and had a strong showing in the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary in 1964, his halfhearted campaign quickly fizzled due to a lack of national GOP supporters. One of Goldwater’s high school volunteers, Bill Saracion, describes Lodge as the dictionary definition of “country club Republican.”31 This definition, which is accurate, implies that Lodge was a member of the Republican Party’s moderate wing, which was quickly losing power and influence. Additionally, he was never among the most important or influential leaders of this faction. And despite his working with Democratic Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, he was not embraced by the Democratic Party. Thus, it is doubtful that Lodge could have provided much political cover for either Democratic president if they had wanted to pull out of Vietnam and blame it on the Republican Lodge. Right-wing articles harped on Lodge enthusiastically because he was a moderate Republican who was actively trying to steer the party away from Goldwater’s conservatism. Prior to serving as ambassador, Lodge was a senator from Massachusetts, where he supported civil rights legislation and helped orchestrate Dwight Eisenhower’s victory over conservative Senator Robert Taft in the 1952 presidential campaign. Then, after serving in the Kennedy/Johnson administrations, Lodge orchestrated a write-in campaign to win the Republican presidential primary in New Hampshire, a state where Goldwater spent an inordinate amount of time and money. By winning the primary, Lodge became a temporary media sensation. Though Goldwater dispatched Lodge as a viable opponent, conservatives did not forgive the moderate Republican for working with the Democratic president to overthrow the United States’ anti-communist ally in South Vietnam, nor did they forgive him when he tried to win (what they believed was) Goldwater’s election.32

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Another easy target was the man who served as Lodge’s boss in 1964: Lyndon Johnson. It is possible that conservatives were more disgusted by Johnson than any other politician in the 1960s. Conservative literature and interviews with conservative activists indicate that the general view of Johnson was that he was a disingenuous liar who looked out for himself above all else. When he did advocate policy proposals, they were to expand the government, whereas conservatives were trying to shrink the government. On top of this, Human Events was convinced that he was corrupt and amassing a personal wealth from his political dealings. To emphasize its point, throughout the summer of 1964, Human Events ran approximately one story per week about Johnson’s alleged corruption and immoral character. Part of this belief that Johnson was a self-serving politician extended to the right’s depiction of his foreign policy, or lack thereof. Regarding Vietnam, many articles appeared in print claiming that Johnson was merely biding his time in South Vietnam, doing just enough to keep it from falling apart until after the November 1964 election. This led to the impression that Johnson was full of hot air, a man willing to say whatever the people wanted to hear regarding the situation in Vietnam in order to get elected. Thus, when he talked tough on communism, they did not believe him. Instead, they still described him as indecisive and weak. They assumed that after the election he would immediately retract his offers of aid made to the Republic of Vietnam.33 From the time between Diem’s assassination in late 1963 and the start of Rolling Thunder in early 1965, the conservative movement’s literature about Johnson, the Vietnam War, and U.S. foreign policy was extremely negative. The conservative press accused him of having a “schizophrenic” foreign policy of “fidde-faddle” which was ultimately aimed at “de facto retreat” in the face of communist aggression.34 In short, there was no faith that Johnson would fight the Vietnam War. Even if he proved them wrong, they doubted he would fight the war correctly and thus achieve victory. Conservatives regularly attacked Johnson for not doing enough to protect Vietnam, but they also did not promote the idea of Americanization. Instead, they preferred Vietnam to remain a partisan issue where they attacked Johnson for not acting appropriately but did not necessarily want him to do more. Still, if Johnson was not going to send American troops to fight in Vietnam, then what should be done?

Put Up or Shut Up In February 1964, James Burnham, a well-regarded conservative foreign policy pundit, wrote about French President Charles de Gaulle, who was in the midst of a foreign policy push to reshape France’s influence within the Cold War. Burnham, who was no fan of de Gaulle’s, accepted one point which the French president made: the United States needed to

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Conservatives and the Vietnam War

either extend the Vietnam War and send its troops into North Vietnam and China, or withdraw all of its forces and watch South Vietnam fall. Burnham agreed that the current U.S. policy was insufficient and would only lead to defeat.35 Political pundits and opinion columnists often create false binaries in their writings, making it look as though there are only two choices or possible outcomes. Burnham’s article, which was titled “Put Up or Shut Up,” is representative of a large percentage of conservative editorial writing and commentary about the fighting in Vietnam. Burnham and these pundits used the Vietnam War as a political tool to reprimand Johnson. They declared that the United States was going to lose South Vietnam to communist expansion without markedly increasing its military presence there, a move they did not advocate. But if the United States did not rapidly expand, then it would need to pull out and concede ground to communism. In the words of James Burnham, there were only two options: ‘put up or shut up.’ Of course, conceding ground was also not the right’s preferred outcome. Instead, they wanted the status quo of supporting anticommunist forces while using the war as a political tool to claim Johnson was neither fighting aggressively nor being honest and conceding. Three months after Burnham’s column, the Washington Star carried an ad which was paid for by Marvin Liebman, a public relations specialist and conservative fundraiser. Liebman’s primary focus within the movement was anti-communism, he had long been associated with the Committee of One Million, a group opposed to accepting communist China into the United Nations. Liebman raised the funds and wrote the type for the ad in the Star which was signed by the family members of 127 military personnel who were killed in Vietnam. The ad was directed toward Johnson and it asked him a series of questions. Specifically, why were the troops not allowed to fight aggressively against the North Vietnamese communist forces by bringing the fighting north? It even compared the fighting in Vietnam to the war in Korea where “54,246 Americans gave up their lives in a war that we had no intention of winning.” To the family members who signed this ad, it was clear that the U.S. mission in Vietnam was failing. The ad concluded on a powerful note: We call on you, Mr. President—and on the Nation—to see to it that the sacrifice of those whom we loved shall not have been for naught. And the only way to make their sacrifice meaningful is to rededicate ourselves to the eternal struggle for freedom against all who would threaten it. If we do not, then these empty sacrifices will continue until our final defeat at the hands of an enemy who has a plan and is willing to implement it in every way.  .  . . To make the supreme sacrifice in a war that cannot be won is too great a sacrifice to ask anyone. If we are to battle, let’s battle to win! 36

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This ad, which was reprinted throughout various conservative media outlets, including Human Events, was a major part of the ‘put up or shut up’ rhetoric found throughout the right. These conservatives would have opposed any U.S. withdrawal, but this line of commentary confirmed that they were dissatisfied with Johnson’s Vietnam policies even though they were not in favor of rapid expansion, either. What we can see from the right’s discourse in the first half of 1964 is that the movement was severely conflicted. Did the right want to fight in Vietnam? Would it rather have had the United States pull out of Vietnam, ceding it to communist aggression, but instead fighting in Cuba? Or Panama? Or Rhodesia? This is an impossible counter-factual to answer, and yet the question is worth asking. After all, the rhetoric coming from elite conservatives makes it clear that they recognized that the United States was unlikely to prevail in Vietnam, and thus, the United States should not put its reputation on the line. The only certainty was that they were going to blame Johnson, no matter what happened. Conservatives had reason to be skeptical about Johnson’s Vietnam efforts in 1964. The Vietnamese leaders who ousted Diem were replaced by another coup a few months later. While the United States did send in more troops to defend the Republic of Vietnam, the numbers paled into comparison to what would be necessary for U.S. interests to succeed (and what Johnson ultimately sent in the following year). Meanwhile, the communist fighters appeared to be gaining control of a larger portion of the country than before. At the same time, Republican and hawkish Democrats were pushing Johnson to be more assertive. Specifically, Republican congressional leaders believed that the Vietnam War was a political issue where Johnson was vulnerable to attack. Thus, as historian Andrew Johns notes, they used his failure in Vietnam as a political weapon against the president. In short, the Republic of Vietnam was falling apart—and many in the United States blamed Johnson. This ‘put up or shut up’ rhetoric might sound as though Burnham and others were advocating for Americanization of the war. This is not the case. When the political pundits (including Burnham) offered specifics of what they wanted, they rarely mentioned sending in more troops or withdrawing them. Instead, their advice looked more like a middle course of action: an increase in U.S. aid to South Vietnam, more bombing of military targets throughout Indochina, and a stronger effort to push America’s Asian allies to send in their own troops. This would have minimized the number of U.S. troops needed in South Vietnam while still upholding America’s reputation, even if South Vietnam fell after those efforts. Despite the ‘put up or shut up’ rhetoric, many conservatives preferred a mild buildup of forces. In early 1964, the two most important topics of debate within the conservative movement were the Cold War and the November election. According to conservatives, in order to achieve victory in the Cold War,

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the United States would need to seek “the removal of Communists from positions of power wherever they are.”37 Additionally, the conservative movement was incredibly unified in defense of Goldwater’s presidential bid. These two interests meant that the right’s most important goals in 1964 were present in the ‘put up or shut up’ rhetoric: if Vietnam fell, they could paint Johnson as the man who lost Vietnam, thus helping Goldwater. If the United States expanded its war efforts, then the fight against communism would be strengthened and America’s long-term security would increase. Additionally, a more robust defense of the Republic of Vietnam through an expansion of aerial bombing might create a political climate where conservative anti-communism would be more widely accepted by the general public, helping Goldwater’s campaign. There is little doubt that the right would have been angered had Johnson allowed the Republic of Vietnam to be overthrown by communists. According to conservatives, there were two main reasons why the United States needed to ensure its independence. The first was because South Vietnam was an ally. After all, “if we let our allies in Southeast Asia fall, other countries will lose faith [in U.S. leadership] and scramble for an accommodation with the Communist Bloc.”38 A second reason why the United States had to protect South Vietnam was that communist victories—much like Nazi Germany’s expansion in 1938—spurred on more communist aggression. As conservative commentator Marilyn Manion said on her father’s radio show: If we lose, ultimately, we shall not have merely lost Vietnam, nor even “just Southeast Asia.” If the Communists win Vietnam, it may well be the beginning of the end. Just look at a world map; Eastern Europe, Cuba, the Congo and other parts of Africa, China, Southeast Asia— there isn’t too much left, is there? And that is why South Vietnam is so important. The Communists want to take it—and use it as a lever to take over Southeast Asia—and then the rest of the world.39

In Your Heart, You Know He’s Right A few days before the California primary, which proved to be the decisive vote in the 1964 Republican presidential contest, Barry Goldwater made his infamous nuclear war comment while talking about Vietnam on the Sunday morning program “Issues and Answers.” In this nationally syndicated program, Goldwater stated that his primary goal in Vietnam would be to stop communist supplies from coming into South Vietnam. The only problem was that some of the supply lines were covered by dense jungles. Thus, Goldwater suggested that the president had a responsibility to listen to his military advisors, who might consider “nuclear weapons necessary.” He went on to state: “I don’t think we would [do this], but defoliation

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of the forest by low-yield atomic weapons could well be done. When you remove the foliage, you remove the cover.” By mentioning the possibility of using nuclear bombs, and explaining how it “could” be done, the author of the book Why Not Victory? opened himself up to the accusation that he was a man with an itchy finger waiting to use the bomb.40 The controversy dogged Goldwater throughout the fall campaign. His statement was so powerful that it gave Johnson the opportunity to run the ‘Daisy’ ad five months later. The media, which was aghast that a politician would publicly mention the idea of using nuclear weapons, went after Goldwater with a vengeance, questioning why someone who wanted to control the world’s largest nuclear arsenal would suggest using it against a third-rate enemy running through the jungle. The public certainly sided with Johnson on this topic and overwhelmingly rejected Goldwater’s view of nuclear warfare.41 This talk of using nuclear weapons stemmed from Goldwater’s belief that Johnson needed to do more to fight and win the war. Goldwater frequently pleaded with the president to find the supply lines that were aiding the Vietnamese communist fighters and to bomb those routes (though not with nuclear weapons). Despite the impossibility of his goal, Goldwater thought that if the United States could seal off South Vietnam and no supplies made their way into the country, then it would be easier for the Army of the Republic of Vietnam to overrun its opponents and secure the nation. This line of attack from Goldwater situated itself nicely within the right’s discourse and the movement’s claim that Johnson was not doing enough to win the war. It also echoed mainstream Republican attacks on Johnson that he lacked a policy of victory in Indochina. Echoing the language used in Liebman’s newspaper advertisement, Goldwater stated defiantly that the most “reassuring” thing for the United States to do “would be to put the U.S. Government strongly behind” the troops. After all, “the boys are getting shot.”42 Despite his push to have the United States fight more aggressively in Vietnam, Goldwater needed a way to convince Americans that he wasn’t a warmonger. After years of advocating for ‘victory’ in the Cold War and more recently claiming that perhaps atomic weapons could be used in Vietnam, Goldwater needed to soften his image. Historian Robert Goldberg argues that this explains why Goldwater emphasized his opposition to the draft during the 1964 campaign. Throughout the campaign, Goldwater claimed that the United States needed to end the draft and create an all-volunteer military. This idea eventually transformed the nation’s armed forces. Goldwater’s argument was that an end to the draft would mean a nimbler military which would rely on its technical superiority. That Goldwater simultaneously advocated expanding the war while terminating the draft means that candidate Goldwater did not want the nation to be pulled into another land war in Asia (of course as president, Goldwater might have taken a different path than he promised as

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candidate). To candidate Goldwater, Vietnam mattered, but not enough to send in the troops—troops which would need to be drafted.43 In the final month of the presidential campaign, Goldwater hit Johnson aggressively on Vietnam. He accused Johnson of hiding the fact that the nation was at war and of hindering the military effort with a narrow mission statement. He wanted to see the United States use more bombs and find more allies willing to send in their own troops. More broadly, he argued that the United States needed a plan for victory. In his final Human Events article before the vote (he was a frequent contributor to the magazine), Goldwater stated bluntly that: “We are at war in Viet Nam, and we must have the will to win that war.” Like much of the rest of the movement, Goldwater was echoing the ‘put up or shut up’ rhetoric. And like those conservatives, he attacked Johnson for not doing enough while also claiming that he did not want to send in more U.S. troops.44

Gulf of Tonkin Incident On the evening of August 4, 1964, Johnson addressed the nation and stated that two U.S. Navy ships had come under attack from communist forces. This claim was later proven to be false, but that was not known by the American public at the time. Instead, Johnson portrayed the United States as a reluctant participant, being dragged into a military conflict against the enemies of freedom. He declared that the United States had a responsibility to protect itself and be a force for “peace and security in southeast Asia.”45 Johnson ordered a proportional military response which included destroying North Vietnamese torpedo boats and an oil storage facility. Additionally, Johnson called on Congress to issue a resolution giving him the authority to use more force if necessary; the point of this resolution was to make clear to the communists that the United States would never again stand for such aggressive acts. The Gulf of Tonkin Incident helped make the fighting in Vietnam a more prominent issue in the presidential campaign’s final three months. Following Johnson’s Gulf of Tonkin speech, approval of U.S. military intervention in Vietnam increased from 42% to 72%.46 This support extended to conservatives who were glad that the president was responding to what they were told was an outright act of aggression by a communist nation against the U.S. military. Thus, the American Legion sent off a telegram to Johnson proclaiming the group’s “full support to the firm action you have taken to meet the unprovoked attack upon United States Naval Forces in International Waters.”47 National Review agreed with Johnson’s response to North Vietnam’s aggression. Even Human Events—with its long history of partisan anti-Johnson editorials—came on board and was glad to rally behind the president. Conservatives thought the United States could not stand idly by under such an attack, and thus supported the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.48

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Conservatives supported the Resolution, but they did not trust Johnson or Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. The movement’s leadership believed that both men were more interested in achieving détente and were deceiving themselves regarding the true nature of communism.49 Thus, the proportional military response which Johnson ordered was insufficient. The strikes on torpedo boats and oil refineries were a good start, but communist aggression needed to be met with overwhelming force. Instead of instilling confidence, Johnson’s response helped solidify the movement’s fears that he was not protecting national security. Less than two weeks after the incident, Human Events claimed it was excited that Americans wanted to retaliate, but the magazine was disturbed by “questions and problems.” Notably, the only reason the North Vietnamese carried out two attacks—instead of one—was because the United States did not properly respond after the first incident. If Johnson had been more decisive and aggressive, they argued, the second attack would never have materialized. The magazine also questioned whether Johnson would ever retaliate enough to stop future attacks and win the war against North Vietnam.50 A month later, National Review picked up where Human Events left off and accused Johnson of fabricating information regarding the attack. Unbeknownst to them, the United States had actually fired the first shots during the first attack, and the North Vietnamese never seriously threatened U.S. military personnel. Additionally, there was no second incident.51 Thus, while Johnson had exaggerated the severity of the incident on the high seas, National Review was accusing him of downplaying the seriousness of the events. In an editorial, the magazine questioned the truthfulness of Johnson’s speech, claiming: “The only sure thing concerning the Tonkin affair is that it enabled the President to stiffen the domestic image of his backbone, to make a dramatic TV appearance at prime time, and to get an overwhelming blank check vote from Congress.” They thought the president minimized the attack so that he would not be forced into a full-blown military response. This cohered perfectly with the belief that Johnson was a disingenuous politician. The right was trying to use the foreign policy situation to their advantage.52 The right’s leadership was unrelenting about Johnson’s duplicity. They were convinced that he did not want to fight in Vietnam, and that he used a proportional response as a means of convincing the world that he was fighting back. Additionally, they claimed that the congressional resolution was a face-saving tactic meant to steal thunder from Goldwater and his campaign. There is much truth to these accusations, as Johnson did not want to enter a ground war and he did see the resolution as a way to improve his domestic standing, especially against the right-wing Goldwater. Still, the right failed to grasp how seriously he was taking the war effort and the planning underway to expand the U.S. military footprint in Indochina.

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Instead of giving credit to Johnson for the military efforts he was undertaking, conservatives wished he would do more. Specifically, they called on him to unleash an extended bombing campaign against North Vietnam; some even suggested bombing China (though this was the minority view). Few voices within the right’s leadership supported the idea that a proportional response was sufficient. That is why, when administration officials such as McNamara and General Maxwell Taylor claimed that the proportional response was a success, the National Review declared them “the world’s most self-deluded observers.” If communist forces were testing America’s willpower in Vietnam, Johnson’s actions were a complete failure as he endangered the United States.53

Johnson’s Dilemma Following his electoral victory in November 1964, Johnson had some difficult decisions to make regarding the deteriorating security situation in South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese government appeared to lack a popular leader, it was under attack from multiple forces, and U.S. military assistance was insufficient to fully protect its ally. Johnson began a major re-evaluation of U.S. policy toward Indochina in late 1964 and early 1965. But it is unclear who is to blame for his ultimate decision to drastically increase the U.S. bombing campaigns in Indochina, which led to the massive troop buildup and an eight-year land war. Although conservative anti-communism deserves much blame, the reality is that the right had little interest in Americanizing the war. By reading the right’s public discourse, it is clear that Vietnam was not the most important Cold War battlefield. Additionally, virtually no conservative suggested sending a large contingent of U.S. troops to Southeast Asia. Although the right would have readily accepted an increased bombing campaign against North Vietnam, the idea of a land war was not a policy proposal of the right. In fact, several conservatives publicly declared that they would have preferred the radical and deadly proposal that the United States send troops into mainland China and start World War III, with the goal of winning the Cold War, instead of sending in troops to Vietnam. This does not, however, completely absolve the right. Conservative anti-communism contributed to a political environment where Johnson felt that Americanization was the correct move, but the reality was more complex. Johnson was going to be attacked by conservatives, whether or not he sent in more troops.54 Instead of proposing expansion of the fighting, the conservative literature was filled with references to the structural problems inherent in South Vietnam—problems which made Americanization of the war an unwise decision. Specifically, conservatives recognized the lack of an anticommunist strongman, the lack of an effective government, the relative unimportance of Vietnam in world politics, and the problem of fighting

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a guerrilla war in a ‘far-off’ nation. Conservatives were correct, as all of these proved to be insurmountable stumbling blocks, helping to explain why the war lasted as long as it did. Because they recognized these problems, many on the right refused to recommend or push Johnson into sending in a large contingent of troops. Bluntly stated, Vietnam was never the war that the right was itching for. That conservatives did not always push the president to send in more troops does not mean that they were willing to see South Vietnam fall, quite the opposite. There is no doubt that the conservative movement’s anti-communist rhetoric and ideals helped convince Johnson that he needed to do anything in his power to protect the Republic of Vietnam. After all, the right was unwilling to consider the idea that a U.S. ally could ever fall to communist aggression. This was one of the major contradictions within the conservative discourse during the long 1964. There was the clear understanding that the United States had already lost South Vietnam, coupled with the claim that the United States could not allow any ally to fall. Johnson had, in the words of the National Review, a “cruel [choice], for there are fearful difficulties, costs and dangers along either horn of the dilemma: either in withdrawal or in the war’s enlargement.”55 Lacking a good option, the right put Johnson into a corner and no matter what happened they were going to blame him. While the movement was clearly reluctant to advocate for the Americanization of the war, it also could not endorse a troop withdrawal. This was the heart of the right’s Vietnam paradox.

Notes 1. Lyndon Johnson, “Press Conference,” Miller Center Presidential Speeches Archive, February 1, 1964, http://millercenter.org/president/speeches/detail/ 5898. 2. This book will interchange the formal name Republic of Vietnam and the colloquial South Vietnam. It will also interchange North Vietnam and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, as well as China and the People’s Republic of China. 3. This term was coined by Fredrik Logevall, Choosing War: The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of a War in Vietnam (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1999). 4. Sandra Scanlon, The Pro-War Movement: Domestic Support for the Vietnam War and the Making of Modern American Conservatism (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2013), 36. 5. Andrew Johns, Vietnam’s Second Front: Domestic Politics, the Republican Party, and the War (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2010). 6. Barry Goldwater, Why Not Victory?, 2nd ed. (New York: MacFadden Books, 1964). 7. Michael Thompson, telephone interview with Seth Offenbach, January 9, 2012. 8. This is based on reviewing Human Events, National Review, and the Manion Forum in 1963 and 1964. 9. “This Week in Washington: Cuba, Not Panama, Is the Issue,” Human Events, January 25, 1964, 3A.

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10. “Cargo Gains Made By Panama Canal, Now 50 Years Old,” New York Times, December 19, 1964, 11. 11. Information about riots from: “Bitterness of Panama Grievances Stands in Way of Reconciliation,” New York Times, January 18, 1964, 3. New canal information from: “Panama Crisis: Is a New Canal the Answer?,” New York Times, January 26, 1964, E4. “Poker Game” quote from: Paul P. Kennedy, “Panama Expects New Canal, Too,” New York Times, December 27, 1964, 26. 12. Henry J. Taylor, “We Are Falling for Soviet ‘Gradualism,’” Human Events, February 29, 1964, 12. 13. “Capital Bulletin,” National Review, February 4, 1964, 5. 14. For more about the relationship between the right, Reagan, and the canal, see: Adam Clymer, Drawing the Line at the Big Ditch: The Panama Canal Treaties and the Rise of the Right (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2008). 15. Mary Perot Nichols, “Garden Packed for Goldwater,” Village Voice, March 15, 1962, http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2009/02/clip_ job_yaf_go.php; Steven V. Roberts, “Visa of Moise Tshombe,” Harvard Crimson, February 28, 1962, www.thecrimson.com/article/1962/2/28/yaf-toseek-court-action-on/. Despite the claim of economic hardship, YAF honored several individuals that evening, some (including Goldwater) who had bigger profiles than Tshombe. 16. “Katanga? Who’s That?,” National Review, February 25, 1964, 138–139. 17. Anthony T. Bouscaren, “Who Is Winning World War III?,” Human Events, April 7, 1973, 18. 18. Elspeth Huxley, “African Affairs: No Flowers for Welensky’s Baby,” National Review, January 28, 1964, 65–66. 19. James Burnham, “The Third World War: Does Johnson Have a Foreign Policy?,” National Review, March 10, 1964, 190. 20. “Abroad: Zanzibar,” National Review, July 7, 1964, 7. 21. Marguerite Higgins, Our Vietnam Nightmare (New York: Harper & Row, 1965), 165. 22. Ibid., 167. 23. “This Week in Washington: Folly in Viet Nam,” Human Events, November 28, 1964, 4. 24. Other examples include: Editorial Cartoon, National Review, October 13, 1964, 3; Marilyn Manion, “Chronology of Disaster in Vietnam: Facts Replace Fictions Fed Us from Our Asian Front Line,” Manion Forum, Box 83, Folder 6, Clarence Manion Papers, Chicago Historical Society, Chicago, IL. Hereafter referred to as Manion Papers. 25. “This Week in Washington: Senate Viet Nam Probe,” Human Events, February 29, 1964, 4. 26. V. L. Borin, “Who Killed Diem? Why?,” National Review, June 2, 1964, 441–446. 27. Walter Judd, “What Could Have Been Done to Avert the Present Problem in Vietnam?,” March 1965, Box 50, Folder 10, Walter Judd Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. Hereafter referred to as Judd Papers. 28. In the 1960s, Vietnam was usually written as Viet Nam. This book preserves this earlier spelling when quoting documents from the era. 29. Letter from Judd to Goldwater, 1964, Box 30, Folder 5, Judd Papers. 30. One example of this was “Capital Bulletin,” National Review, February 4, 1964, 5.

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31. Bill Saracion, telephone interview with Seth Offenbach, July 9, 2012. 32. For more on Lodge’s long-stating relationship with conservative Republicans, see: Michael Bowen, The Roots of Modern Conservatism: Dewey, Taft, and the Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2011). 33. Some examples: “Ideas for LBJ: Do We Have a Foreign Policy?,” Human Events, March 14, 1964, 12; “This Week in Washington: Real Change on Viet Nam?,” Human Events, March 14, 1964, 5; “Vietnamese Schizophrenia,” National Review, March 10, 1964, 186. 34. “Vietnamese Schizophrenia,” 186; May Craig, “Our Country Needs A Rebirth of Principle,” Human Events, March 14, 1964, 1; Memo, Frank Meyer to William F. Buckley, Jr., 1964, Inter-Office Memos Jan. 1964–July 1964, William F. Buckley Papers, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University. Hereafter referred to as Buckley Papers. 35. James Burnham, “The Third World War: Put Up or Shut Up,” National Review, February 25, 1964, 150. 36. The ad was reprinted “without charge” in full in Human Events, May 30, 1964 (emphasis in original). 37. Goldwater, Why Not Victory?, 119–120. 38. Publication. Robert Gavin, American Security Council, “Peace and Freedom: Through Cold War Victory: Guidelines for Cold War Victory,” August 12, 1964, Box 422, White House Central Files, Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Archives and Library, Austin, Texas. Hereafter referred to as WHCF, LBJL. 39. Publication. Marilyn Manion, “Chronology of Disaster in Vietnam: Facts Replace Fictions Fed Us from Our Asian Front Line,” Manion Forum, December 13, 1964, Box 83, Folder 6, Manion Papers. 40. Associated Press, “Goldwater: Stop Supplies,” Christian Science Monitor, May 28, 1964, 3. 41. Charles Mohr, “Goldwater Sees Move by ‘Clique,’” New York Times, May 27, 1964, 22. One of the most poignant examples of media tensions with Goldwater about using nuclear weapons can be seen here: Art Buchwald, “Atomic Defoliation,” Washington Post, May 31, 1964, E7. 42. Victor Wilson, “A-Attack on Viet Jungle Proposed by Goldwater,” Washington Post, May 25, 1964, A1. 43. Robert Alan Goldberg, Barry Goldwater (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995), 221.“Text of Goldwater’s Speech Formally Opening Presidential Campaign,” New York Times, September 4, 1964, 12. 44. Barry Goldwater, “Where I Stand on the Issues,” Human Events, October 24, 1964, 11. 45. Lyndon Johnson, “Report on the Gulf of Tonkin Incident,” Miller Center Presidential Speech Archive, August 4, 1964, http://archive.millercenter.org/ president/lbjohnson/speeches/speech-3998. 46. Bruce Russett, Controlling the Sword: The Democratic Governance of National Security (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990), 37–38. 47. Telegram. Daniel F. Foley, National Commander of the American Legion, to Lyndon Johnson, August 5, 1964, Box 214, WHCF LBJL. 48. “Focus on: The President Escalates,” National Review, August 18, 1964, 4–5; “This Week in Washington: The Situation in Viet Nam,” Human Events, August 15, 1964, 4. 49. Détente was the policy of easing the Cold War tensions between the United States and Soviet Union. Primary means of promoting détente were promoting trade, increased bi-lateral summits, and negotiating international treaties

50

50. 51.

52. 53.

Conservatives and the Vietnam War such the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty. For further readings on détente, see: John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History (New York: Penguin Press, 2005); Jeremi Suri, “Détente and Its Discontents,” in Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s, ed. Bruce Schulman and Julian Zelizer (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008); Julian Zelizer, Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security from World War II to the War on Terrorism (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2009). “This Week in Washington: The Situation in Viet Nam,” Human Events, August 15, 1964, 4. For a more complete history of the incidents, see: Robert J. Hanyok, “Skunks, Bogies, Silent Hounds, and the Flying Fish: The Gulf of Tonkin Mystery, 2–4 August 1964,” Cryptologic Quarterly, February 28, 1998, 1–55, www2.gwu. edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB132/relea00012.pdf. “The Tonkin Gulf Mystery,” National Review, September 22, 1964, 799. Quote is from: “What’s Ahead: The End of Vietnam?,” National Review, September 29, 1964, 4–5. For examples of conservatives advocating attacking China, see: Speech. Albert Wedemeyer to Rotary Club in Bethesda, Maryland, November 17, 1964, Box 20, Folder 1, Albert C. Wedemeyer Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University; Ralph de Toledano, “Red Strategy for Conquering All Southeast Asia,” Human Events, April 10, 1965, 8; Publication, “The Battleline Is Vietnam,” ACU Report, July–August 1965, Box 58, Folder 2, Marvin Liebman Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University.

54. Examples of historical works which offer some blame toward conservatives or Republicans are: Francis M. Bator, “No Good Choices: LBJ and the Vietnam/Great Society Connection,” Diplomatic History 32, no. 3 (June 2008): 329. 55. “Vietnamese Schizophrenia,” National Review, March 10, 1964, 186.

Bibliography Interviews Donald Ernsberger David Franke Fritz Krieger John Sainsbury Bill Saracion John Scully Randal Teague Michael Thompson Wayne Thorburn

Newspapers and Magazines Christian Science Monitor Commentary Cryptologic Quarterly

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Harvard Crimson Human Events Manion Forum National Review New Guard New York Times Time USA Today Village Voice Washington Post Washington Star

Online Websites and Archives Miller Center Presidential Speeches Archive Vietnam War Library

Chicago Historical Society, Chicago Clarence Manion Papers

Columbia University, New York Group Research Papers

Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University Albert C. Wedemeyer Papers American Subject Collection Christopher Emmet Papers Elizabeth Churchill Brown Papers Friedrich A. von Hayek Papers John Davenport Papers Marvin Liebman Papers Patrick Dowd Papers Radical Right Papers Ralph de Toledano Papers Walter Judd Papers

Library of Congress, Washington, DC William Rusher Papers

Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Archive and Library, Austin, Texas White House Central Files

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National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland HR Haldeman Papers Richard Nixon Presidential Papers White House Special Files

Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University William F. Buckley Papers

Books and Journal Articles Bator, Francis M. “No Good Choices: LBJ and the Vietnam/Great Society Connection.” Diplomatic History 32, no. 3 (June 2008): 309–340. Bowen, Michael. The Roots of Modern Conservatism: Dewey, Taft, and the Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2011. Clymer, Adam. Drawing the Line at the Big Ditch: The Panama Canal Treaties and the Rise of the Right. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2008. Gaddis, John Lewis. The Cold War: A New History. New York: Penguin Press, 2005. Goldberg, Robert Alan. Barry Goldwater. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995. Goldwater, Barry. Why Not Victory? 2nd ed. New York: MacFadden Books, 1964. Higgins, Marguerite. Our Vietnam Nightmare. New York: Harper & Row, 1965. Johns, Andrew. Vietnam’s Second Front: Domestic Politics, the Republican Party, and the War. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2010. Logevall, Fredrik. Choosing War: The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of a War in Vietnam. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1999. Russett, Bruce. Controlling the Sword: The Democratic Governance of National Security. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990. Scanlon, Sandra. The Pro-War Movement: Domestic Support for the Vietnam War and the Making of Modern American Conservatism. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2013. Suri, Jeremi. “Detente and Its Discontents.” In Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s, edited by Bruce Schulman and Julian Zelizer. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008. Zelizer, Julian. Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security from World War II to the War on Terrorism. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2009.

2

United by Strategy

On April 7, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson gave a major speech to the nation about the fighting in Indochina. Using rhetoric he employed multiple times in the past to defend his actions in South Vietnam, Johnson stated that the United States was fighting so that it may “live in a world where every country can shape its own destiny. And only in such a world will our own freedom be finally secure.” Adding broader context to the drama, the Texan warned Americans that: Over this war—and all Asia—is another reality: the deepening shadow of Communist China. The rulers in Hanoi are urged on by Peking. This is a regime which has destroyed freedom in Tibet, which has attacked India, and has been condemned by the United Nations for aggression in Korea. It is a nation which is helping the forces of violence in almost every continent. The contest in Viet-Nam is part of a wider pattern of aggressive purposes.1 The United States had no choice but to defend freedom in South Vietnam against the worldwide crush of communist aggression. This speech marked a clear case of Johnson using the same phrases and ideas that Goldwater and the conservative movement had championed during the long 1964. Throughout the preceding presidential campaign, Goldwater and his fellow conservatives pointed out that South Vietnam was under attack from an outside aggressor in Ho Chi Minh; and here was Johnson saying that “North Viet-Nam has attacked the independent nation of South Viet-Nam.”2 Additionally, as historian Joyce Mao has demonstrated in her work, since the fall of republican China in 1949, the right had been using Mao Tse-tung as a catalyst for its anti-communist foreign policy.3 Opposing Mao was key to conservative Cold War arguments. And here was the liberal Democratic president, before a national audience, directly blaming the communist nation. This was a good starting point for many conservatives who believed that the United States needed to do more to defend capitalism worldwide.

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Although Vietnam was not a war of the right’s choosing, most within the movement quickly, effortlessly, and enthusiastically supported it by 1965. Johnson’s justification of the war—that the United States was promoting freedom in the face of Chinese aggression—meant that it was politically expedient and ideologically consistent for conservatives to support the war effort. By endorsing the fight in Indochina, they were able to continue to view themselves as the nation’s most ardent anti-communists while also using nationalistic support for the war as an issue to try to unify the movement in the wake of Goldwater’s electoral clobbering. The right took more than a decade to fully recover from Goldwater’s 1964 defeat. It took the rise of the New Right in the late 1970s, followed by the Reagan Revolution in 1980, for conservatism to ascend. Though under-analyzed by historians, this period between Goldwater and Reagan saw the movement suffer political cleavages as libertarians and traditionalists failed to work with a unified aim. To understand why conservatism struggled in the late 1960s and early 1970s, we must first understand the politics of the war. This chapter describes the strategy suggestions made by elite conservatives. It focuses more attention on the elite because they were the ones driving the foreign policy suggestions within the movement. It also shows how most on the right were unified in their support for the war, but also frustrated by the military strategies employed and the anti-war politics of the period.

Because the President Said So By 1965, James Burnham was among the leading conservative foreign policy pundits. Aside from his work at National Review, conservative organizations such as YAF and mainstream media such as the Saturday Evening Post often reprinted his ideas and arguments, most of which focused on the nature of the Cold War. Burnham’s foreign policy reflected the views of leading conservative politicians such as Goldwater and (eventually) Reagan. Burnham’s first book, Containment or Liberation?— which was one of his more famous pieces—serves as a broad critique of liberal and left-wing anti-communism. In the book, he claimed that the United States needed to actively promote the liberation of communistcontrolled peoples, especially in Southeast Asia. Like many other conservatives, Burnham recognized that the security of Indochina was important to the overall Cold War effort. His articles were a driving force behind the ‘put up or shut up’ mentality that called for more bombs, not boots, in Indochina during the long 1964. However, Burnham changed his mind when the president made it clear that South Vietnam was an important Cold War battlefront. Once Johnson declared that the independence of the Republic of Vietnam was a priority, there was no turning back. Once the president said that Vietnam mattered, victory was the only option. After all, if the United States did not protect

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South Vietnam, as it had promised, the consequences would be disastrous. U.S. allies would question the nation’s commitment, communists would doubt the nation’s resolve, and U.S. security assurances would fail to resonate. In short, U.S. credibility was on the line and failure was not an option.4 The view that the Vietnam War mattered largely because of U.S. credibility was a common theme throughout right-wing literature in 1965. As the front-page National Review Bulletin editorial stated: “this battle [in Vietnam] has nothing to do with a particular geographical area. The stake at issue is simple: Have we the will to resist the advance of Communism?”5 This is similar to the original ‘put up or shut up’ mentality which many conservative leaders held regarding the fighting in Indochina. Because Johnson had decided to ‘put up,’ it was time for the United States to fight an aggressive military campaign which would result in total victory. The United States needed to protect and secure the Republic of Vietnam from all communist enemies—foreign and domestic—at whatever cost. Once Johnson expanded the U.S. mission in Vietnam, there was no turning back, as the issue quickly became priority No. 1. From February through July 1965, every issue of National Review mentioned the fighting in Vietnam. During this period, the magazine repetitively called for more funds, more troops, and more willpower to be used in defense of America’s Vietnamese allies. The magazine’s editorial board was part of the large group of conservative leaders who demonstrated clear support for the Vietnam War in 1965. By this time, libertarian opposition to the war had not yet hardened and few conservatives would have questioned supporting a war against communists—no matter where that war took place. Support for the war moved beyond the ideological to the political. In August 1964, three months before the presidential election, National Review founder William F. Buckley, Jr. began thinking about what issues would matter in early 1965. Recognizing that Johnson was likely to still be president in March 1965, Buckley ordered his editorial board to work up a symposium about communism. The goal would be to “get [the grassroots] back to hating the Devil.” By focusing on communism, Buckley noted, the magazine could remain at the forefront of the conservative movement during the liberal Johnson’s presidency. In the end, Johnson helped Buckley by expanding the war in Vietnam in the same month the symposium was set for. Specifically, the lead story was about how U.S. military planners were capable of winning the war in Vietnam, if only they were given the right support back home. Initially, Buckley wanted to lay the groundwork for a rising anti-communism within the movement. Instead, his magazine laid the foundation for the belief that the Vietnam War was winnable.6 By and large, this advocacy of total victory in defense of South Vietnam appeared popular among the grassroots. In a professionally administered

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survey of National Review readers, which was completed in mid-1965, 89% mentioned their support for the magazine’s policies on Vietnam. Burnham, who was the leading voice on foreign affairs, was the magazine’s third most popular personality, after Buckley and the witty political insider/gossip columnist ‘Cato.’ Though this survey—which was taken only of people who paid money to read the magazine on a bi-weekly basis—was not representative of the entire movement, it clearly shows that within this segment of the conservative movement, there was strong support for a pro-war policy.7 YAFers, much like National Review subscribers, also supported the Vietnam War. The organization thrived in 1965 as it expanded largely on the back of multiple pro-war campaigns. In this period, each YAF chapter had much autonomy about what issues to focus on and events to plan. Still, the national office ran nationwide campaigns and provided material to local chapters on specific issues of importance. In 1965, support for the Vietnam War was one of those issues. By the time colleges opened in the fall of 1965, YAF had more than 19,000 members.8 Throughout the year, it held rallies and counter-protests against anti-war protesters. It also helped found the International Youth Crusade for Freedom in Vietnam and the National Student Committee for Victory in Vietnam while reaching out to the Young Democrats organization to coordinate prowar campaigns. For years, YAFers had ridiculed the Young Democrats’ foreign and domestic policy programs, and yet YAF extended its hand to this organization. This demonstrates that YAF’s leaders believed that the war was an issue of such great importance that they were willing to work with Democrats.9 In addition, early conservative grassroots support for Johnson’s Vietnam policies can be found in several letters written to the president in the months following his April 1965 speech. Specifically, more than 50 individuals, an unusually large number, wrote to the president advocating that former congressman and conservative foreign policy pundit Walter Judd be named to various positions of influence within Johnson’s cabinet. By 1965, Judd was known within conservative circles for his teachings in anticommunist ‘schools.’ His followers loved him enough to write to Johnson asking that the president nominate Judd for the prestigious position of Ambassador to the United Nations, but others thought it best to reserve that role for Richard Nixon and to offer Judd the position of Secretary of Defense. Either way, it seems, these pen-wielding members of the right would have been happy to see either man serve in Johnson’s ‘war cabinet.’ These letters written to the president—over 50 in all—are particularly interesting because their language is not similar, indicating this might not have been a national campaign organized by any particular group. Nor has my research uncovered any evidence from conservative media leaders asking people to write to the president to suggest names such as Walter Judd to a ‘war cabinet.’ On its face, the idea that Judd would be appointed

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to such a cabinet-level position in Johnson’s administration is laughable, and it seems unlikely that a conservative publication would have stuck its neck out for such a fanciful idea. Instead, these letters are written in a way to indicate that the letter writer believed that the president should try to unify the nation by bringing the conservative viewpoint to the mainstream. These were individuals who recognized that they were powerless and were hoping the president would legitimize their ideology. If these advocates were, as I suspect, writing of their own volition, it tells us the depth of the conservative grassroots support for strong action in Vietnam. The authors believed that Johnson’s heart was in the right place, but his strategy in Vietnam needed the help of right-minded people.

Conservative Strategy in Vietnam Though it would be impossible for the conservative movement to have spoken with one voice, the pro-war strategy suggestions made by elite conservatives displayed a remarkable number of similarities throughout the eight-year conflict. A minority of conservatives continued to question the logic underpinning the war, and there was also a large number of anti-war libertarians (see Chapter 3), but the rest of movement—which included the vast majority of the right’s intellectual and media elite—had similar views about the war. These individuals, including men such as Walter Judd, American Conservative Union president John Ashbrook, former general Albert C. Wedemeyer, and radio host Clarence Manion, advocated for strategies that included a more aggressive bombing campaign, ‘sealing’ the South Vietnamese border, stopping Chinese and Soviet supplies from entering North Vietnam, freeing U.S. military leaders to do whatever it took to win, and mining Haiphong Harbor. These were the central strategy proposals made by the conservative movement. In addition, some conservatives, notably Wedemeyer, advocated arming Taiwanese troops and using them to fight a proxy war against China, though this position was not as universally supported. Conservatives mostly avoided direct discussions of troop levels, likely because sending in more troops was a terribly unpopular idea throughout most of the war. There was also much vitriol aimed at Johnson for his sporadic bombing halts, his interference with military strategy, and his failure to bomb as many targets as the right wanted. Finally, upon Nixon’s ascension to the White House, they often opposed his negotiations with the North Vietnamese while also questioning (but not opposing) his Vietnamization policies. The most oft-cited recommendation by conservative leaders was that the United States needed to use more bombs to hit more targets throughout the entire Indochina region. The logic of this argument was relatively straightforward: the United States had a great advantage in military weaponry, and it should harness that advantage to bomb the communists into surrendering. In order to make Ho Chi Minh surrender, the United

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States needed to make life horrible for him and his supporters up north while also destroying the supply routes which connect the North Vietnamese government to its communist patrons in Beijing and its clients in the south. This remained the primary proposal among conservative elite throughout the war, even after it was recognized that this strategy suggestion was similar to the strategy employed by both presidents.10 The American Conservative Union (ACU) was one of the groups which supported these strategies. Founded in December 1964 in the wake of Goldwater’s failed presidential campaign, the ACU’s aim was to become a leading conservative think tank and political organization which could rival the liberal American Democratic Association. The ACU, which began organizing the influential CPAC Conference (Conservative Political Action Conference) in Washington in 1973, was founded by a plethora of National Review leaders including William Buckley, William Rusher, Brent Bozell, Marvin Liebman, and Frank Meyer, and it also included a few politicians such as Ohio Representative John Ashbrook. Starting a new political organization is daunting, especially when the organization is founded by people who were on the losing side of one of the most lopsided presidential elections in U.S. history. Making their task more challenging was the fact that the ACU was competing against the newly formed Free Society Association (FSA) on which Goldwater served as the inaugural honorary chairman. The rivalry between the ACU and FSA was fierce, with the ACU founders believing that their intellectual aptitude and contribution to shaping modern conservatism meant that they should have first crack at forming the movement’s leading organization. In the end, since the FSA folded within four years, the ACU had far greater staying power and thus a greater impact on elite conservative opinion. The ACU’s first major policy recommendation came out in April 1965. This ten-point recommendation, which focused on the Vietnam War, included proposals for securing South Vietnam’s borders from communist infiltration; cutting North Vietnam off from its suppliers in China; increasing the U.S. military presence, with an emphasis on air and naval forces; promoting political stability in South Vietnam; and encouraging other Asian anti-communist nations, such as Taiwan, to contribute to the cause. These were similar to the policy proposals made by conservative intellectuals throughout the war. The most controversial ideas were that the United States should not worry about irritating China or about using nuclear weapons if the military believed it necessary. This report was a preview of the full ACU report that came out in the summer. The full report had a clearer explanation for why sealing all borders and expanding the bombing campaigns in North Vietnam was the path to victory. In addition, the full report emphasized the domino theory by proclaiming that “the battle line in Southeast Asia is Vietnam” and began the Vietnam War revisionism which claimed that the United States can win there if only it has enough “will” to win.11

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The fact that the ACU made this its first policy proposal tells us how important the war had become to the conservative movement. Vietnam had transformed from a secondary Cold War hotspot to an area requiring immediate attention. The ACU wanted to lead a movement, and it believed that the war was the issue with which to unify the right. Without a presidential campaign for three more years, these leaders believed that fighting a communist government was the most logical major issue which could serve to unify the grassroots right. Even though the public had not yet been told the full extent of Americanization of war, the ACU believed that this fight against communism could differentiate them from other conservative groups and promote their ideological and political goals. It is telling that this—and not opposition to the Great Society—was the first policy paper of the ACU. It shows how anti-communism and an interest in the Asian Cold War were central components of the right-wing ideology. The ACU’s claim that the United States needed more willpower was echoed throughout the movement. To legitimate their arguments, conservative organizations often found anonymous military sources who proclaimed that Johnson was authorizing only “token strikes” against North Vietnam.12 If only the military hawks, who truly understood the magnitude of the conflict in Southeast Asia, were given a free hand to bomb whomever and whatever they liked, the United States would see victory. This is part of a larger narrative which paid little heed of Vietnamese dead and believed that U.S. military leaders were capable of victory. The United States lost the war because of civilian restrictions. Thus, conservative leaders often blamed the president for the failure to secure swift victory. The right wanted some of those extra bombs to be directed at communist sanctuaries in nearby Laos and Cambodia. Their argument was that because Ho Chi Minh was supplying his communist fighters in South Vietnam via a trail which wound its way through the dense jungles of Laos and Cambodia, the U.S. military needed to destroy the communists’ sanctuaries and their supply routes while engaging the enemy no matter where it hid. This, they rationalized, was not an expansion of the war; after all, the communists were the ones who invaded the neighboring countries first.13

“The War Is Being Lost in Washington” As 1965 turned into 1966, and the war continued uninterrupted with more troops sent to Vietnam and the stepping up of the aerial bombing campaign, along with more raids on Vietnamese villages, conservatives joined Democrats and military leaders (and anti-war protesters) in expressing their impatience with Johnson. An increasing number of articles and speeches proclaimed that the only thing which stood in the way of a victory was the person living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Conservatives joined the larger U.S. political leadership in begging Johnson to win the war. To conservative leaders, this meant that he needed to get out of the military’s way and allow it to fight to win. The president was derided for allowing the United States to fight “an indecisive war of attrition on enemy terms.” Even more problematic, Johnson’s insistence that he approve all aerial targets was a sign that he did not “realize that we are at war; that in war, there is no substitute for victory.”14 In short, the right continued its argument that Johnson was the primary reason why the United States had not yet succeeded in Southeast Asia. While there were frequent requests to have Johnson turn command over to military professionals, these military leaders were not immune from right-wing criticism, either. Specifically, the frequent and incremental troop increases, which were unpopular with the greater public and the slowly growing anti-war movement, were also unpopular within the conservative movement. By 1966, many articles by the right complained about the manner in which the nation was sending more men to fight this far-off war. J. Bernard Burnham (no relation to James Burnham) wrote a scathing article in National Review about the strategy of incremental escalation and how it was destined to fail. The slow increase in troops, he argued, had only a minor impact on the outcome of the war because each escalation was too small. Instead, the United States needed to do something for which the enemy was “psychologically unprepared,” which might include “atomic, biological, or chemical” threats.15 J. Bernard Burnham’s call for the use of weapons of mass destruction shows that conservative publishers were so committed to the pro-war strategy that they were willing to forgo respect for human life and the norms of war. Although admittedly most conservative media activists did not advocate the use of nuclear weapons, that J. Bernard Burnham was able to publish this major article at all suggests that National Review publishers were desperate enough to win the war that they were willing to indiscriminately take innocent civilian lives. J. Bernard Burnham’s argument that incremental troop increases would not win the war was not unique. Conservatives repeatedly asked Johnson how many men he would need to win the war and then demanded that he deploy those troops effectively. In addition, they called on Johnson to lean on his Asian allies—those nations which had more to lose from encroaching communism should North Vietnam win—to supply more troops for the fighting. However, no matter what the decision on troop levels, the right implored Johnson not to increase troops occasionally and randomly. They asked him to figure out the strategy that maximized the overwhelming U.S. technological and aerial superiority, and fight the war on favorable terms. These were the requests that conservatives also made of the military.16 Rather than calling for sending more troops, many conservatives reiterated their strategy proposals from earlier in the war. This included the

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mining of Haiphong Harbor and the destruction of communist sanctuaries in Laos and Cambodia. By mining the harbor, the United States would help ensure that the Soviet Union would not be able to give “massive injections of military aid” to the North Vietnamese, while also crippling the northern economy and breaking its will to fight.17 In addition, by attacking communist sanctuaries in neighboring states, the right hoped that the United States would cut off Vietnamese communist fighters in the south. The imagined scenario presented to the conservative public was that if the United States was able to successfully “deny munitions and weapons to the enemy; the end will come quickly.”18 The conservative media repeatedly proclaimed that the solution in South Vietnam was within reach without the need for more troops. Close the borders, and all would be well. The problem with the right’s strategy was that it was unrealistic. The United States was already bombing North Vietnam and many of the supply routes. Despite this, there was no apparent waning in the communists’ willpower. While the United States might have been able to disrupt supply routes more than it had, in reality, the borders were porous and the communist groups were well embedded within the local populations. The United States could not have sealed off South Vietnam. Despite his many errors and flaws as a commander-in-chief, right-wing elite argued that the gravest strategic mistake Johnson made in Vietnam was to periodically halt all bombings. Johnson did this in the hope that the goodwill gesture would bring the North Vietnamese to the negotiation table and speed up the peace process. His hopes never materialized as the gulf between United States and Democratic Republic of Vietnam was too grand to overcome, and the North Vietnamese never came to the negotiating table prepared to stop fighting for unification and Johnson refused to allow unification.19 To leaders of the conservative movement, Johnson’s halting of the bombing was a basic violation of his duty as commander-in-chief. His job was to figure out a way to win the war on the battlefield, and then negotiate a settlement—not the other way around. Johnson’s military strategy of bombing North Vietnam while sending more U.S. troops to South Vietnam in order to pacify villages continued unabated until March 1968 when he announced that he would “unilaterally” stop all “attacks on North Vietnam, except in the area north of the demilitarized zone.”20 According to frequent Human Events contributor Thomas Lane, this was a “betrayal” and a “fraud upon the American people” since the North Vietnamese refused to reciprocate Johnson’s bombing halt. Any man who, in the face of these contemptuous responses from Hanoi, continues abjectly to pursue demeaning and fruitless negotiations with the enemy is no man of peace. He is rewarding the

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Conservatives and the Vietnam War aggression which he affects to oppose. He is a beggar, pleading for a handout from Hanoi.21

Opposition to the bombing pauses was an idea which seemed to unify conservatives. Supporting all-out war made sense in light of the right’s military suggestions, and it also made sense in the context of the right’s role as an oppositional movement opposing Johnson.

Reagan or Nixon? Despite conservatism’s eventual failures during this period, the movement remained confident as the 1968 election approached. Lyndon Johnson shockingly announced in March 1968 that he would not run for re-election—wreaking havoc within the Democratic Party—and thus making the election more winnable for the Republican candidate. In addition, the anti-war left seemed to be tearing apart both society and the Democratic Party. The election presented conservatives with a tremendous opportunity. The debates about whom they should support in the Republican primary demonstrates how seriously they took this possibility. The Republican primary frontrunners were former Vice President Richard Nixon, California Governor Ronald Reagan, and New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. The editors of the National Review debated the relative merits of Reagan and Nixon’s candidacies.22 Since Rockefeller was a moderate Republican whom most conservatives wished to remove from the party, there were no serious discussions on supporting his candidacy. Among conservatives, it was a choice between Reagan and Nixon.23 Reagan was the most alluring candidate for many because of his brand of ideological conservatism. Reagan earned his political stripes in 1964 when he gave a televised Goldwater campaign speech titled “A Time for Choosing.” In this famous speech, he clearly articulated his principles of conservatism.24 After Goldwater’s defeat, the speech made Reagan a rising star and various conservative Republican fundraisers, such as Holmes Tuttle and Henry Salvatori, began raising funds to support his successful 1966 California gubernatorial campaign.25 Soon, YAFers in California began devoting most of their attention to his election campaign; or as Bill Saracion, who volunteered for Reagan’s campaign, described it, “the 800lb gorilla that consumed all the oxygen in the room.”26 Following Goldwater’s defeat, Reagan became the leading conservative politician in the United States with the respect of most on the right.27 Although Reagan’s ideology was more appealing, Nixon’s experience and his views about the Vietnam War complicated the debate. As 1968 progressed, the editors of National Review became convinced that Nixon had a serious strategy for victory in Vietnam. Despite the ambiguity in Nixon’s actual Vietnam platform—during the campaign, the media portrayed him as having a secret plan for peace with honor—conservatives

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picked at the nuances in his statements and discerned that he was going to redouble U.S. efforts. Thus, John Chamberlain, even while claiming that Nixon’s plan was a secret, wrote about how Nixon’s strategy could be successful at ending the war, and thus made him the right choice for president.28 As long as Nixon would win the war, the right-wing discourse was willing to support the ‘moderate’ Nixon over the conservative Reagan.29 Because Nixon spoke like a hawk on Vietnam, he garnered much support among conservatives. The war was particularly important in 1968 because of the Tet Offensive that began in January of that year. The offensive was a military action undertaken by the North Vietnamese to foment an uprising throughout all of South Vietnam. Though militarily a failure—South Vietnamese citizens expressed virtually no interest in rising up against their government, and the North lost a large percentage of their Southern fighters—the offensive made it clear that North Vietnam was not close to surrendering. In response, the anti-war left received a jolt of support, as symbolized by Walter Cronkite’s memorable quote when he told the nation: “it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out [of the war] then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to the pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.”30 A few months later, Columbia University was rocked by left-wing anti-war student protesters. That was followed by anti-war protests which turned violent outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in front of a national television audience. The left’s anti-war movement seemed to be trending further to the extreme, upsetting millions of Americans, including many who were sympathetic to the anti-war cause. In light of rising anti-war protests, while looking for someone to lead the nation to calm and order, most conservatives supported Nixon’s candidacy following the Republican National Convention in August 1968. They recognized the need for a strong, forceful leader who would not hinder the military’s efforts. Politically, they also recognized Nixon’s ability to win the election and appreciated his willingness to work with and court conservative leaders. Nixon represented their best chance to help win the White House. Thus, following the convention, the tone of much of the internal discourse was downright gleeful about Nixon. Conceding that the right had entered the convention as a split vote, conservative pundit M. Stanton Evans wrote in Human Events that Nixon’s victory came at the expense of moderate Republican Nelson Rockefeller and not at Reagan’s. Additionally: Guiding Richard Nixon’s presidential bid were such conservative stalwarts as Barry Goldwater, John Tower and Strom Thurmond. These were the men who decided that Nixon should be the candidate, and whose influence led directly to the choice of Spiro Agnew as Nixon’s ticket mate.31

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Nixon was the nominee, he talked tough on Vietnam, and the movement fully supported him in the general election.

Frustrated by Nixon’s War There was a clearly observable sense of relief among conservative elites upon Nixon’s ascension to the presidency, because they thought that he would be receptive to their ideas. This feeling was logical since the movement lacked any substantive influence in the nation’s political decisionmaking during the Kennedy and Johnson years. Even during Eisenhower’s administration, his moderation won out over Bob Taft’s conservatism most of the time. By the time Nixon took office, the right had endured a mass media that labeled them as extremists and kooks while the Kennedy administration illegally sent the Internal Revenue Service to investigate right-wing organizations. Meanwhile, Johnson opposed most of their ideas, and Republicans (both moderate and conservative) never gained control of Congress.32 Although conservative leaders maintained a following—and they captured the Republican presidential nomination from moderate Republicans in 1964—the political establishment still did not believe that conservatism was a serious political movement with any staying power, nor did the national elite agree with many of the Vietnam policies proposed by conservatives. There was little national clamor for bringing some of the fighting to Laos or Cambodia, mining Haiphong Harbor (which risked a wider war with the Soviet Union), or using a large contingent of Taiwanese troops (which risked a wider war with the People’s Republic of China). In 1968 the movement was sneered at by many who controlled the levers of power. For this reason, Nixon’s election seemed like a blessing. To help push Nixon’s policies rightward, the American Security Council, an elite conservative anti-communist think tank, published a strategic review of the Vietnam War. This report, which was published on the eve of Nixon’s inauguration, called Johnson’s policies a “desperate” attempt to secure peace at any price. More disparagingly, it called the former president’s Cold War policies a “schizophrenic” attempt to end the Cold War through détente, negotiation, and increased East-West trade. In the view of the American Security Council, Johnson’s foreign policy left much for Nixon to clean up.33 While fixing the failed Vietnam War was going to be a difficult undertaking, the strategy proposals emanating from conservative pundits looked remarkably identical to the ones offered to Johnson over the previous four years. These included using over 100,000 Taiwanese troops to assist in South Vietnam, increasing the bombing of North Vietnam, mining Haiphong Harbor, and invading Laos and Cambodia to seal off South Vietnam. Though the United States had fought for four years, the right’s proposals barely changed.34

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Though elite conservatives stuck by their older strategy proposals, a general feeling of exhaustion at the idea of discussing the war is evident. They wanted Nixon to win the war, and win it quickly. By June 1969, four and a half months into Nixon’s first term, the popular syndicated conservative columnist James Jackson Kilpatrick wrote a cover story for the National Review titled “A Report Card for Richard Nixon.” Writing in the style of political pundits, where he graded various areas (or classes) of Nixon’s young administration, Kilpatrick wrote that Vietnam was the one “mandatory” course that Nixon had to take. In this class, he gave Nixon a C+. Only if Nixon were able to gain a satisfactory ending to the war in winter 1969 or spring 1970 would he earn an A. Kilpatrick gave Nixon no credit for the difficulty of the job; he believed that the United States needed a quick and decisive military victory, and he put pressure on Nixon to achieve that end.35 The political environment became more treacherous for both Nixon and conservatives when, on October 15, 1969, millions of Americans marched in dozens of cities nationwide against the Vietnam War. These Peace Moratorium marches demonstrated the depth and anger of many Americans, from both the left and right, against the continued fighting in Vietnam. National Review staffers visited a Moratorium Day rally in New York and interviewed one “modestly dressed” man who had “no beard, no pot-ash dribbling down his lapel.” This man, who was a Goldwater supporter in 1964, decided that since the United States was not fighting to win the war, he could no longer support the war effort. Magazine editors believed that this man represented millions of conservatives who were demoralized and tired of the fighting in Southeast Asia. To the National Review, “Richard Nixon is left without a hawkish Right to hold him up, as the other side tears him down. . . . Without a militant Right . . . he is through.” The National Review editorial board believed that conservatives were sick of fighting against the growing anti-war movement and Nixon needed to solve the problem as quickly as possible.36 Part of the rush to end the war stemmed from the growing disunity within the movement caused by the birth of anti-war conservatives. As will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 3, by 1969 many libertarians began to publicly oppose the war. With no clear end in sight, conservative supporters of the war needed a distraction. Hence, there was a push to discuss topics which could supplant the war as the dominant news story. For instance, they hoped that the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty or the seemingly perpetual Middle Eastern conflicts might ignite passion within the movement. Conservative organizer Phyllis Schlafly offered another idea which could help lead the movement: missile defense. Schlafly made this point when she was making the rounds through conservative media promoting her book The Betrayers in 1969. In her media appearances, Schlafly prophetically argued that a successful missile defense system would have a far greater impact on the Cold War than anything which

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might happen in Vietnam. She had long thought that the Vietnam War was a national security risk because it distracted from the more important Cold War issues, and she used the national sense of frustration at the never-ending war to publicize her books.37 This was an example of a conservative leader trying to change the movement’s internal debate and discourse away from the Vietnam War and onto something more unifying like a muscular anti-communist foreign policy. Despite this attempt to change the national conversation from the Vietnam War, it remained the prominent political issue of 1969 and 1970. Nixon’s big strategic change was his Vietnamization strategy, which was his general plan to begin replacing U.S. troops with the Army of the Republic of Vietnam troops. To continue supporting the Republic of Vietnam, Nixon’s strategy called for an increasing in the amount of military materiel and the number of bombs dropped in Indochina. The logic of Vietnamization was that it would decrease the number of Americans drafted, which would help diminish support for the anti-war movement. After all, self-preservation and fear of the draft were some of the primary reasons why many joined the anti-war movement. Thus, Vietnamization had the potential to limit domestic opposition to the war and give the military breathing room to fight more effectively, which would in turn give National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger more tools to negotiate an honorable exit from the conflict. Nixon’s Vietnamization strategy confounded the right. Though Vietnamization included dropping more bombs and sending more supplies to the Republic of Vietnam (something the right had long advocated), it also took the fighting out of the hands of U.S. military personnel. This was a problem, since only the U.S. military was best capable of defending U.S. national security. Stefan Possony, in a report published by the American Security Council in November 1969, offered the clearest conservative argument against Vietnamization. He wrote, “We simply cannot risk defeat, and we cannot entrust U.S. security to others.” Ultimately, he argued that Nixon’s policy of relying upon South Vietnamese troops was destined to fail.38 Though conservatives wished to see the United States redouble its military commitment to South Vietnam, some recognized the political benefits to Vietnamization, as evidenced from Human Events’ coverage of the war. In a 1970 front-page editorial analyzing Nixon’s first year in office, Human Events wrote an unusually candid and accurate analysis of his Vietnam policy: “The Vietnamization formula may yet prove a chimera, but it is difficult to deny that it has temporarily defused the war issue and with a bit of luck the formula could extricate us from Viet Nam with honor.”39 This statement was a blunt assessment of how luck would be necessary to stave off defeat in Vietnam. It also marked a turning point where some conservative leaders publicly began echoing Nixon’s ‘victory with honor’ motto, rather than promoting outright victory in Vietnam.

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Ultimately, they recognized that the United States was going to need luck in order to leave Indochina with honor. This was a far cry from the conservative goals of 1965 or even 1968. While some conservatives such as Possney disliked the troop withdrawals, others such as Human Events’ editors recognized its potential value, thus causing a split within the elite. It was Nixon’s decision to increase the bombing which helped him retain support of the right. Conservative media activists argued that more bombs meant that the United States could keep up the pressure on North Vietnam. For instance, on April 30, 1970, Nixon excited many conservatives by initiating a bombing campaign of North Vietnamese bases in Cambodia. Almost immediately, the anti-war left protested the act, accusing him of expanding the war. Liberal anti-war protests increased while Congress began debating ceasing war funding. In the first issue of Human Events following Nixon’s announcement, the magazine ran a front-page editorial titled: “Nixon Needs Country’s Support: Conservatives Praise Cambodian Move.”40 The editors were elated that Nixon was finally following one of their prime strategy suggestions, expanding the Vietnam War and eliminating North Vietnamese sanctuaries in Cambodia. YAF supported Nixon’s efforts with an open letter in an advertisement to him proclaiming: “We Stand Behind You, As President and  as Commander-in-Chief, in Your Declaration that: ‘We Will Not Be Defeated.’”41 The organization, which had more than 16,000 members, began distributing pamphlets, pins, and bumper stickers expressing support for Nixon’s policy. These actions were part of its nationwide campaign of “sloganeering” in order to make YAF more visible to the general public. Specifically, YAF leaders began taking advantage of the extreme actions of the anti-war movement to promote itself. In May 1969, antiwar activists were closing colleges nationwide. YAF hoped that this would upset enough college students who would then oppose the antiwar movement. This, they hoped, would make YAF more popular.42 For the first time in the five-year war, it felt like the president was listening to the right’s advice. Though Nixon made it a point to reply to letters written by conservative pundits Albert Wedemeyer and Walter Judd, his handling of the military situation indicates that it is doubtful that he placed much value on their unsolicited advice. And Nixon’s papers show that he was willing to pay lip service to conservative media activists, but he did not actually care about them. Although the president was not particularly concerned with the movement’s solutions for the Vietnam War, the Cambodian invasion was an instance where conservative suggestions coincided with presidential policy. In light of that, conservative leaders quickly endorsed Nixon’s Cambodia strategy. When, under heavy domestic pressure, he abruptly ended the invasion 12 weeks later, there was obvious disappointment within the movement’s literature. As conservative journalist and occasional National Review correspondent

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Ralph de Toledano wrote, in Cambodia, Nixon “chickened out.”43 The abridged bombing did not do enough to help the United States finally win the war; instead, it only gave the appearance of a president kowtowing to the anti-war movement. For years, conservatives had argued that the United States needed to attack North Vietnamese bases on neutral soil, and when the policy was finally implemented, it was a failure which sent the nation into chaos. It seemed to rejuvenate the anti-war protest movement. College campuses were forced to close in response to student protests. The worst violence occurred at Kent State University, where protesters were able to disrupt school for several days. As part of the protesters’ anti-war activities, they set fire to the ROTC building twice (firefighters put out the first fire before the building was destroyed). To respond to the violence, Ohio’s Republican Governor James Rhodes arrived on campus and promised to “eradicate” campus disorders; he also called on the National Guard to restore order.44 After more protests, the National Guard killed four unarmed students, sending a shockwave throughout the nation and eliciting sympathetic responses from politicians, including Nixon. Because of the violence—and the threat of violence—many colleges, such as Boston University, canceled their commencement ceremonies. Even though Nixon’s presidential approval ratings were high throughout 1970, it was clear that his efforts to fight the war aggressively by bombing Cambodia and thus win the war had come up against the visceral response of an increasingly violent and uncompromising anti-war movement.45 Letters between conservatives expressed the deep frustration they experienced after the failure of the Cambodian invasion. Walter Judd, a vocal pro-war speaker, articulated his resentment toward the entire antiwar movement in a letter written to Christopher Emmet, a friend and prominent liberal anti-communist in July 1970: Neither the President’s belated effort to fight the war intelligently by attacking the enemy in the places from which it has been illegally attacking South Vietnam, nor the killing of students in Ohio, tragic as that was, is the cause of the present upheaval in our country. Those events are merely the excuse that the trained agitators and managersof-conflict know how to use so skillfully to promote their neverending efforts to weaken and pull down the government of the United States. Why should anyone expect the enemy to want to cool things down here when heating things up is to its decisive advantage.46 Judd was frustrated that the liberal anti-war protests helped sabotage the war effort. He was also upset that it took Nixon more than a year before he finally acted appropriately in Vietnam. Even worse, Nixon stopped the invasion only 12 weeks after it began. By this point, it was becoming clear to many on the right that Nixon was looking for a way out of the

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war and defeat was inevitable. With the failure of the Cambodian invasion, unified conservative support for the war began to crumble. This disunity continued as YAF began an internal debate about the war. On October 1, 1970, Jerry Norton, a military veteran and member of YAF’s National Board, wrote that YAF should stop blindly endorsing Nixon’s Vietnam strategy. He believed the organization should immediately oppose both Nixon and the war. Norton argued that the Vietnam War was a “disaster” for five major reasons. First, the war diverted money from national defense, which caused the United States to fall behind the Soviet Union in the arms race (an opinion most closely associated with Phyllis Schlafly). Second, the war created a climate where liberals could claim easy political victories, such as protesting the short-lived Cambodian invasion. Third, many young Americans died in Vietnam, and since this war did not serve in defense of an immediate national threat, the sacrifice outweighed the cost. Fourth, many American soldiers began using drugs in the military, and many YAFers did not approve of drug use. Fifth, he argued that the domino theory did not hold true because communism already controlled two-thirds of Laos and Cambodia, but Thailand and Malaysia remained strong enough to remain independent, even if Indochina fell. Norton’s memo was a scathing critique of the war and YAF’s support for it.47 Three weeks after Norton’s original memo, and after other board members debated the issue, Ron Docksai, YAF’s National Chairman, responded in a lengthy defense of both Nixon and Vietnamization. Docksai proclaimed Nixon a strong anti-communist who was not “ill informed” on foreign and military policy. Docksai then proclaimed Vietnamization a success, due largely to the fighting spirit of the South Vietnamese. Mindless liberal dissent was the only reason Americans did not know that the Army of the Republic of Vietnam was strong. Also, he argued that the mainstream media refused to be fair and report the facts. To make his point more colorful, while also demonstrating his overall contempt for the left’s anti-war activists, Docksai asked rhetorically, “Suppose one reporter . . . got on the air and interviewed these kids as if they were interviewing human beings rather than trained seals?” Finally, Docksai said that if YAF opposed the war it would have no impact on the actual war. Instead, it would only prove that the left was correct to use violence against the state in order to promote its cause. Docksai unequivocally opposed withdrawing support for the war.48 YAF’s lengthy internal debate about the Vietnam War demonstrates the problems conservatives had supporting a war which they privately questioned. Even though YAF never publicly wavered in its pro-war stance, the breadth and depth of the memos demonstrate that some members of the National Board seriously believed that the largest national conservative youth organization should oppose the conflict. Docksai’s memo stood as the last word on the matter, but his support for the war remained

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notable. He focused on the political problems YAF would encounter if it changed its stance, not on the likelihood of a victory for the United States. For Docksai, opposing the war meant that YAF agreed with the left, and agreeing with them would let liberals point to YAF’s “moral limpness.” Notably, Docksai did not say that victory was probable.49 Politics trumped military strategy in YAF’s debate. These memos also indicate that YAF had no new ideas for ending the war. Docksai was one of the few who viewed Vietnamization as a viable strategy. Others were less sanguine, such as board member Dan Joy, who argued primarily in the negative, saying that the war was not the most important in history. Yet, “that does not mean that we ought not be fighting the war.”50 Joy was not making an argument that the Vietnam War was a good or necessary war being fought with a viable strategy. Instead, he relied upon the platitude that all wars against communists served good means. Despite YAF’s publicly avowed support throughout the entirety of the war, by the end of 1970, Joy and much of the National Board had little enthusiasm for the war. Within a few months of the conclusion of the Cambodian invasion, the right’s leadership recognized that the United States might lose the Vietnam War.51 Nixon’s Vietnamization program and his Cambodian invasion failed—just as all of Johnson’s efforts failed—and there was a noticeable sense of disappointment by many conservatives. Aside from YAF’s internal debate, most major conservative publications essentially ignored the war in late 1970. Rather than accept defeat, or use the war as a rallying cry, they chose to minimize its importance. They focused more attention on race relations, anti-ballistic missiles, and supersonic travel, than on the war. In late 1970, Vietnam was less prevalent within the movement’s public discourse than at any other point since 1964. Even in private letters between conservatives, the focus shifted away from Indochina and on to other Cold War issues. In February and March 1971, the war again grabbed front-page headlines in many conservative publications. At the time, Nixon authorized aerial assistance for the South Vietnamese military invasion of North Vietnamese targets in Laos. As with the Cambodian invasion a year earlier, this offensive was short-lived, ending in withdrawals by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. As happened following the Cambodian invasion, anti-war protests increased after Nixon announced the invasion, including a major meeting of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.52 When the Laotian campaign ended in mid-1971, there was little reason to believe that the United States was going to prevail.

Accepting Defeat By mid-1971, the Cold War was no longer an exciting or unifying topic on the right. The U.S. failures in Vietnam, Nixon’s decision to visit China,

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and his negotiation of the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT), meant that conservatives feared the United States was losing the Cold War. For instance, in December 1971, Professor Gerhart Niemeyer of Notre Dame University, who was a friend of many leading conservatives and a member of the intellectual conservative group the Philadelphia Society, wrote to William Buckley that he anticipated 1972 with deep “apprehension.” Niemeyer predicted that Nixon’s Vietnam and China policies would lead to Taiwan, Indochina, and all of Southeast Asia being “sold out” to communism. With the reputation of the United States in doubt, all Southeast Asian nations were vulnerable to communist expansion. Should communism conquer Southeast Asia, Niemeyer’s dreary letter concluded, NATO and Western democracies would be left to fend for itself. Though Niemeyer was unusually pessimistic, he was not the only conservative writing about the U.S. Cold War failure in 1971 and 1972.53 By early 1972, Nixon could do little to satisfy the right’s leadership. Then, in January 1972, Nixon began another escalation of bombing of North Vietnam in order to obtain the release of the several hundred prisoners of war held by North Vietnam. Human Events was furious at Nixon and ran a front-page editorial, reiterating their stance from 1964, where it claimed that the purpose of fighting should be to win. By changing the purpose of the war, Nixon’s stance now looked “identical” to that of liberal Democratic Senator George McGovern, who opposed the war.54 Although some wanted to see the United States redouble its military efforts and win the war, the grassroots demonstrated no interest in pushing for an expansion of the war. Rallying around failing military campaigns is inherently difficult for political movements, and the right in late 1971 and 1972 was no exception. This is especially true since, by the end of 1971, most Americans expected the war would be over soon. Even Nixon was publicly discussing a better peace treaty rather than outright victory. Though Vietnam did not disappear from the movement’s discourse, there was a deepening resignation that Nixon’s negotiated peace would be the equivalent to defeat. In a manner which was both honest and prescient, the right conceded that the war was lost. Perhaps the most damning public statement about the war came from James Burnham on February 18, 1972. In his typically blunt style, Burnham used his bi-weekly column in the National Review to publicly acknowledge that the Vietnam War was a failure. Burnham was a longtime supporter of the war and was widely respected among the National Review readership, making his admission important and influential. Burnham wrote that Nixon’s overtures to the North Vietnamese for free and fair national elections in South Vietnam were tantamount to surrender, and that the peace negotiations were likely to end in an unfavorable agreement. The rest of his writings in 1972 showed that he did not believe the United States could win the war.55

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Throughout the last year of the war, most conservative media activists such as William Rusher and Human Events’s Thomas Lane expressed no faith in Nixon or Kissinger. Neither was viewed as capable of executing the war effectively and both were accused of putting withdrawal ahead of victory. As with Johnson before him, the conservative media elite claimed that Nixon was looking for a way out of Vietnam before the 1972 presidential election. This view is summarized by Human Events: [T]here is a gnawing uneasiness that the President, in his quest for a generation of peace, in his zeal not to offend Peking or the Kremlin, will ease off on the enemy or relinquish at the bargaining table what the United States and the South Vietnamese are winning on the battlefield.56 Human Events’ editorial board believed that Nixon’s plan for peace in Vietnam included large concessions to the communists in order to curry favors with the Soviets and improve détente.57 Nixon received strong conservative support during his 1968 presidential campaign because of the general belief that he would not back down to communist agitation and now he was overseeing the withdrawal of U.S. forces in order to help promote détente. Nixon’s handling of both the Cold War and the Vietnam War kept conservative leaders, such as William Rusher (who played an important role in recruiting Goldwater in 1964) on the sidelines of the 1972 presidential election. In their discussion of the upcoming election, some editors at the National Review, including Rusher, discussed not endorsing anyone at all. Eventually, Buckley and the National Review endorsed Nixon, but only “faute de mieux” (because of the lack of a better option). In the editorial announcing their reluctant decision to endorse Nixon, the magazine wrote: “[writer Hilaire] Belloc warned us that dangerous toys should not be given to little boys, and much too much hangs on the possible consequence of George McGovern’s exercise of the power that has attached to the Presidency.”58 This statement was not a strong endorsement, and throughout the rest of the election, the magazine took pains to point out how McGovern was too weak to fight the Cold War. Rarely did it praise Nixon or his policies.

The Paris Peace Accords One month before the 1972 presidential election, the peace negotiations between Kissinger and North Vietnamese representative Le Duc Tho reached a fervent pace. Human Events feared the results of these negotiations because it thought Nixon would sign any accord proposed, regardless of whether or not it benefited the United States. On October 21, 1972, it published a front-page editorial denouncing a proposed ‘unity’

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government, which would allow communists and anti-communists to form one government, in South Vietnam. To the conservative movement, which based its ideology on the idea that anti-communist governments could not give an inch to communist insurgents, accepting a unity government was tantamount to surrender.59 Three days before the presidential election, the front page of Human Events again focused on the peace negotiations instead of on the election. This time it bluntly called the rumored peace agreement “a diplomatic and military disaster.”60 The editorial explained the agreement would require the United States to leave South Vietnam, while the North Vietnamese military would stay in the territory it controlled. Additionally, the amount of U.S. supplies to South Vietnam would be limited, but there would be no limits on the amount of supplies the North Vietnamese could give to the South Vietnam communists. After eight years of war, the Paris Peace Accords represented defeat for the United States. Aside from the libertarian anti-war contingent, few conservatives supported the Paris Peace Accords, signed in January 1973. Arguments against the accord were scattershot. Some argued that victory for the United States remained a possibility, while others wanted a stronger demilitarized zone to help keep North Vietnamese troops away from Saigon.61 Regardless, the private letters of conservatives and the conservative media indicate that there was widespread disapproval of the agreement. They believed that fighting against communists required perseverance and strength, and they held fast to the idea that the United States could not give up the battle. After eight long years, they wanted to see the United States victorious, regardless of the overall costs. In an unfortunate twist for these conservatives, their decision to support Nixon instead of Reagan in 1968 might well have precipitated defeat in the war which they had steadfastly supported for so long.

Notes 1. Lyndon Johnson, “Address at Johns Hopkins University,” Miller Center Presidential Speeches Archive, April 7, 1965. https://millercenter.org/the-presidency/ presidential-speeches/april-7-1965-address-johns-hopkins-university. 2. Ibid. 3. Joyce Mao, Asia First: China and the Making of Modern American Conservatism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015). 4. James Burnham, Containment or Liberation? An Inquiry into the Aims of United States Foreign Policy (New York: J. Daly, 1953). Primary articles used: James Burnham, “The Third World War: While in That Corner,” National Review, March 9, 1965, 186. Burnham, “The Third World War: The Weakest Front,” National Review, June 15, 1965, 499. 5. Editorial, National Review Bulletin, March 16, 1965, 1. 6. Memo from William Rusher, August 5, 1964, Inter-Office Memos, Aug. 1964-Dec. 1964, William F. Buckley Papers, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University. Hereafter referred to as Buckley Papers; Anthony Harrigan, “We

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7. 8.

9.

10.

11.

12. 13. 14.

15. 16.

Conservatives and the Vietnam War Can Win in Southeast Asia,” National Review, March 9, 1965, 187–188 & 207. Memo. “Editorial Preference and Opinion Survey of National Review Subscribers,” April 1965, Inter-Office Memos 1965, Buckley Papers. YAF Membership Numbers, Box 2, Folder 1, Patrick Dowd Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University. Hereafter referred to as Dowd Papers. There are some questions about the accuracy and meaning behind YAF’s membership numbers; however, historian Gregory L. Schneider makes a strong argument that it is a good representation for the amount of national support YAF likely received: Gregory L. Schneider, Cadres for Conservatism: Young Americans for Freedom and the Rise of the Contemporary Right (New York: New York University Press, 1999), 40–41. Announcement in National Review about “International Youth Crusade for Freedom in Vietnam,” November 23, 1965. Memo. Roy Godson, “Memo on International Days of Protest: October 15–16, 1965,” September 14, 1965, Box 217, White House Central Files, Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Archives and Library, Austin, Texas. Hereafter referred to as WHCF, LBJL. Michael Thompson, telephone interview with Seth Offenbach, January 9, 2012. Some examples of this argument: Editorial, “Vietnam Stalemate?,” National Review, August 22, 1967, 888; Clarence Manion, “The Short, Straight Line: Quick Military Victory: The Only Way Out of Viet Nam,” Manion Forum, March 13, 1966; Memo from Wayne Phillips to Cliff Carter, “Memo on International Days of Protest: October 15–16, 1965,” September 24, 1965, Box 217, WHCF, LBJL; Editorial, “President’s Viet Action Puzzles Cold War Observers,” Human Events, May 20, 1972, 1(369). Publication. ACU Press Release, April 26, 1965, Box 9, American Conservative Union (1966–68) Folder, Group Research Papers, Columbia University, New York. Hereafter referred to as Group Research Papers. ACU Report, “The Battleline Is Vietnam,” July–August 1965, Box 58, Folder 2, Marvin Liebman Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University (emphasis in original). Charles Manly, “War Seen Heading to ‘Peace Phase’: Johnson Anti-Victory Policy Rules Out Hope of Solution to Vietnamese Conflict,” Human Events, August 28, 1965, 8–9. One of the most vocal proponents of this strategy, but not the only one, was retired General Thomas A. Lane, who wrote several articles about it in Human Events in December 1965 and January 1966. Publication. Brigadier General Bonnie Fellers, “Victory in Viet Nam: Citizens Committees in Congressional Districts Could Reverse No-Win Policy,” Manion Forum, May 29, 1966, Box 83, Folder 8, Clarence Manion Papers, Chicago Historical Society, Chicago, IL. Hereafter referred to as Manion Papers; Publication. Clarence Manion, “The Short, Straight Line: Quick Military Victory: The Only Way Out of Viet Nam,” Manion Forum, March 13, 1966, Box 83, Folder 8, Manion Papers. J. Bernard Burnham, “The Bit-by-Bit War,” National Review, January 10, 1967, 35–37. Some examples: Louis Jefferson, “Conversation with Dulles,” National Review, June 27, 1967, 681–682; Thomas Lane, “U.S. Will Need One Million Troops in Viet Nam: Unless Policy Change,” Human Events, June 3, 1967, 7 (343) [in 1966, Human Events began running two sets of page numbers, one that began anew with each issue and one that ran throughout the year. This book will refer to both numbers in all citations]; Publication. Rev. Daniel Lyons, “Proven in Practice: Free China Prospers Under Free Enterprise While

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17. 18.

19. 20.

21.

22. 23.

24. 25.

26. 27.

28.

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Red China Grovels in Socialism,” Manion Forum, February 2, 1969, Box 84, Folder 1, Manion Papers. “This Week’s News from Inside Washington: LBJ’s Viet Mistakes,” Human Events 3, February 17, 1968, 3 (99). “Victory in Viet Nam: Citizens Committees in Congressional Districts Could Reverse No-Win Policy,” Manion Forum, May 29, 1966, Box 83, Folder 8, Manion Papers. Other examples of similar attitudes: Letter from Christopher Emmet to Marion (no last name), January 25, 1966, Box 70, Folder 1, Christopher Emmet Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University. Hereafter referred to as Emmet Papers; Adm. Arleigh Burke, “Why We Must Intensify Our Campaign in Viet Nam,” Human Events, March 12, 1966, 3 (163); Memo from Gen. Thomas A. Lane to the Republican Platform Committee, July 21, 1968, Lane, T. Folder, WHCF LBJL; William F. Buckley, Jr., “On the Right: More Troops?,” March 19, 1968, On the Right Folder 1968, Buckley Papers. One example where the two sides came close is covered in James G. Hershberg, Marigold: The Lost Chance for Peace in Vietnam (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012). Lyndon Johnson, “Remarks on Decision Not to Seek Re-Election,” March 31, 1968, Miller Center Presidential Speech Archive, https://millercenter.org/thepresidency/presidential-speeches/march-31-1968-remarks-decision-not-seekre-election. First quotes from Thomas Lane, “The Peace Talks Are Immoral,” Human Events, July 6, 1968, 14 (430); last quote from Thomas Lane, “Hanoi’s Escalation Requires Resumption of U.S. Bombing,” Human Events, June 8, 1968, 6 (358). See Inter-office Memo Folder 1968, Buckley Papers. For more on the right’s hatred toward Rockefeller and how Rockefeller led the moderate and liberal wing of the Republican Party, see: Mary C. Brennan, Turning Right in the Sixties: The Conservative Capture of the GOP (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1995); Donald T. Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman’s Crusade (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005); Nicol C. Rae, The Decline and Fall of the Liberal Republicans from 1952 to the Present (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989). Ronald Reagan, “A Time for Choosing,” Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, October 27, 1964, www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/reference/timechoosing. html. For more on the fundraising behind Reagan’s 1966 campaign, see: Matthew Dallek, The Right Moment: Ronald Reagan’s First Victory and the Decisive Turning Point in American Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), chap. 4. Bill Saracion, telephone interview with Seth Offenbach, July 9, 2012. For more on Reagan and the right in the 1960s, see: Dallek, Right Moment; M. Stanton Evans, The Future of Conservatism: From Taft to Reagan and Beyond (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968); Laura Jane Gifford, The Center Cannot Hold: The 1960 Presidential Election and the Rise of Modern Conservatism (DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press, 2009); Schneider, The Conservative Century: From Reaction to Revolution (Lanham, PA: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009); Jonathan M. Schoenwald, A Time for Choosing: The Rise of Modern American Conservatism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001). John Chamberlain, “Can Nixon Really End the War?” Human Events, April 6, 1968.

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29. Two more examples of conservatives supporting Nixon because of the war were Frank S. Meyer, “Principles and Heresies: What Is at Issue in 1968?,” National Review, July 30, 1968, 751; M. Stanton Evans, “The Meaning of Maimi,” Human Events, August 24, 1968, 8 (536). 30. “Final Words: Cronkite’s Vietnam Commentary,” NPR, July 18, 2009, www. npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=106775685. 31. Quote was originally in bold. M. Stanton Evans, “The Meaning of Miami,” Human Events, August 24, 1968: 8 (536). 32. Robert Kennedy’s illegal tracking of conservative groups via an IRS audit attack is understudied by historians. For more about it, see John A. Andrew, The Other Side of the Sixties: Young Americans for Freedom and the Rise of Conservative Politics (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1997), chap. 7. 33. Quote about ASC article: John Lewis, “America’s Paper Tiger Image,” American Security Council: Washington Report, January 20, 1969, Box 231, Folder 4, Walter Judd Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. Hereafter referred to as Judd Papers. 34. I did not uncover any official documents demonstrating that Taiwan offered substantive troop support to the United States. According to secondary sources, the maximum contingent of non-U.S. troops assisting the South Vietnamese was 71,000 in 1969, and this number included Taiwan’s contribution of “small, highly trained units for covert operations.” George C. Herring, America’s Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950–1975, (New York: McGraw Hill, 2002), 181. Even if Taiwan’s offer was real, Nixon wrote to Albert Wedemeyer in 1965 that the South Vietnamese people would never accept help from a substantial contingent of Taiwanese soldiers because of the effects of colonization. Letter. Nixon to Wedemeyer, March 16, 1965, Box 53, Folder 30, Wedemeyer Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University. Other ideas from: Daniel Lyons, “Proven in Practice: Free China Prospers Under Free Enterprise While Red China Grovels in Socialism,” Manion Forum, February 2, 1969, Box 84, Folder 1, Manion Papers. Gen. Thomas A Lane, “Why Nixon Should Abandon Kissinger’s Plan: No Viet Nam Victory in Sight,” Human Events, August 9, 1969, 9 (953). 35. James Jackson Kilpatrick, “Report Card for Richard Nixon,” National Review, June 3, 1969: 532. 36. Editorial, “Focus On: The Flight of the Hawks,” National Review, October 28, 1969, B164. 37. Schlafly and Arthur G. Trudeau, “America: The World’s Greatest Nuclear Colony: Proper ‘Mix’ of Offensive and Defensive Systems Can Prevent Blackmail or Death,” Manion Forum, May 4, 1969, Box 84, Folder 1, Manion Papers. Schlafly also wrote an article in Human Events on May 24, 1969 with Rear Admiral Chester Ward, “Are Soviets Planning Nuclear First Strike?” (7–10), and she helped sponsor a contest with YAF for the best essay on the topic “Should America Restore Its Nuclear Weapons Superiority?,” as noted in Box 341, YAF Folder, Group Research Papers. 38. Publication. Stefan Possony, “The Self-Fettered Giant,” American Security Council Washington Report, November 17, 1969, Box 58, Folder 5, Manion Papers. 39. Editorial, “Nixon After One Year: Conservatives Worried,” Human Events, January 24, 1970, 1 (57). 40. Editorial, “Nixon Needs Country’s Support: Conservatives Praise Cambodian Move,” Human Events, May 9, 1970, 1 (353). 41. Advertisement by YAF, Human Events, May 30, 1970, 31 (427).

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42. “Sloganeering” quote from memo written by Teague to National Board of Directors, May 15, 1970, Box 2, Folder 3, Dowd Papers. Membership numbers from Box 2, Folder 1, Dowd Papers. 43. Letter. Toledano to Buckley, August 6, 1970, Box 1, Folder 12, Ralph de Toledano Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University. 44. Donald Janson, “Rhodes Urges Law and Order; Says Taft Is Soft on Violence,” New York Times, May 5, 1970, 21. 45. Nixon’s poll numbers from: “Richard Nixon’s Job Approval Ratings Trend,” Gallup, www.gallup.com/poll/116677/Presidential-Approval-Ratings-Gallup Historical-Statistics-Trends.aspx. 46. Letter. Judd to Emmet, July 1, 1970, Box 30, Folder 2, Judd Papers. 47. Letter. Norton to Randy Teague, “Re: A Quiet YAF Withdrawal from Vietnam,” October 1, 1970, Box 3, Folder 2, Dowd Papers. 48. Letter. Docksai to Jerry Norton, “Re: A Quiet YAF Withdrawal from Vietnam,” October 22, 1970, Box 3, Folder 2, Dowd Papers. 49. Ibid. 50. Letter. Joy to Jerry Norton, “Re: Withdrawing from Vietnam,” undated [probably October 1970], Box 3, Folder 2, Dowd Papers. 51. Three examples of the Right’s belief that the United States might lose the war: In a letter from Christopher Emmet to Henry Kissinger, Emmet complains that Nixon should not appear optimistic in future predictions because there was already a large enough “so-called credibility gap.” Letter. Emmet to Kissinger, May 29, 1970, Box 83, Folder 15, Emmet Papers. Complaints from Human Events opposing Nixon’s eagerness to negotiation with communism. Editorial, “Is ‘Era of Negotiation’ Coming to an End?,” Human Events, October 24, 1970, 1 (817). Article about how the U.S. policy in the Cold War is one of retreat. James Burnham, “The Protracted Conflict: The Great Retreat,” National Review, December 15, 1970, 1339. 52. This meeting solidified the role of the VVAW as one of the more effective anti-war organizations, and introduced the nation to future Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, who testified in Congress on behalf of the VVAW against the war in April 1971. 53. Letter. Niemeyer to Buckley, December 27, 1971, Niemeyer 1971 Folder, Buckley Papers. Other examples include: William Rusher to Ted Robertson, July 21, 1972, General Correspondence Ted Robertson Folder, Rusher Papers; Buckley to Niemeyer, January 13, 1972, Niemeyer 1972 Folder, Buckley Papers; Neil McCaffrey to William Rusher, July 17, 1972, General Correspondence Neil McCaffrey Folder, Rusher Papers. 54. Editorial, “Nixon Rhetoric Confuses True Viet Nam Aims,” Human Events, January 15, 1972, 1 (33). 55. James Burnham, “The Protracted Conflict: I’ll Tell You a Secret,” National Review, February 18, 1972, 144. 56. Original quote in bold for emphasis. Front-Page Editorial, “Will Nixon Surrender Viet Nam Advantage? Airpower Turning Tide,” Human Events, July 15, 1972, 1 (506). 57. Although disapproval of détente is explicit in the preceding quote, it is also covered in more detail in Chapter 5. 58. Editorial, “Nixon-Agnew 1972,” National Review, September 1, 1972, 934. 59. Editorial, “Will Kissinger’s Secret Diplomacy Undermine Saigon? Asian Experts Concerned,” Human Events, October 21, 1972, 1 (769).

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60. Editorial, “Multiple Dangers in Viet Nam Peace Pact,” Human Events, November 4, 1972, 1 (817). 61. An example of a conservative who believed that the United States could still win is: Publication. Daniel Lyons, “Man on the Go: Expert on Southeast Asia Prospects for Peace Now,” Manion Forum, December 24, 1972, Box 84, Folder 4, Manion Papers. An example of a call for a more serious DMZ line is: Editorial, “Have Critical Changes Been Made in New Viet Pact?,” Human Events, January 27, 1973, 1 (65).

Bibliography Interviews Donald Ernsberger David Franke Fritz Krieger John Sainsbury Bill Saracion John Scully Randal Teague Michael Thompson Wayne Thorburn

Newspapers and Magazines Human Events National Review New Guard New York Times Washington Post

Online Websites and Archives Gallup Miller Center Presidential Speeches Archive NPR Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

Chicago Historical Society, Chicago Clarence Manion Papers

Columbia University, New York Group Research Papers

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Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University Albert C. Wedemeyer Papers American Subject Collection Christopher Emmet Papers Elizabeth Churchill Brown Papers Friedrich A. von Hayek Papers John Davenport Papers Marvin Liebman Papers Patrick Dowd Papers Radical Right Papers Ralph de Toledano Papers Walter Judd Papers

Library of Congress, Washington, DC William Rusher Papers

Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Archive and Library, Austin, Texas White House Central Files

National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland HR Haldeman Papers Richard Nixon Presidential Papers White House Special Files

Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University William F. Buckley Papers

Books and Journal Articles Andrew, John A. The Other Side of the Sixties: Young Americans for Freedom and the Rise of Conservative Politics. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1997. Brennan, Mary C. Turning Right in the Sixties: The Conservative Capture of the GOP. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1995. Burnham, James. Containment or Liberation? An Inquiry into the Aims of United States Foreign Policy. New York: J. Daly, 1953. Critchlow, Donald T. Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman’s Crusade. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005. Dallek, Matthew. The Right Moment: Ronald Reagan’s First Victory and the Decisive Turning Point in American Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

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Evans, M. Stanton. The Future of Conservatism: From Taft to Reagan and Beyond. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968. Gifford, Laura Jane. The Center Cannot Hold: The 1960 Presidential Election and the Rise of Modern Conservatism. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press, 2009. Herring, George C. America’s Longest War: The Untied States and Vietnam, 1950–1975. New York: McGraw Hill, 2002. Hershberg, James G. Marigold: The Lost Chance for Peace in Vietnam. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012. Mao, Joyce. Asia First: China and the Making of Modern American Conservatism. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2015. Rae, Nicol C. The Decline and Fall of the Liberal Republicans from 1952 to the Present. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989. Schneider, Gregory L. Cadres for Conservatism: Young Americans for Freedom and the Rise of the Contemporary Right. New York: New York University Press, 1999. ———. The Conservative Century: From Reaction to Revolution. Lanham, PA: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009. Schoenwald, Jonathan M. A Time for Choosing: The Rise of Modern American Conservatism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Section II

Problems

3

Dissent of the Libertarians

There are many reasons why Barry Goldwater should not have been the face of a political movement. His silver, thinning hair and trademark thick-rimmed glasses helped him look nearly a decade older than he was (he was only 55 years old when he ran for president). Additionally, Goldwater was often photographed with lips that pursed, as though he was gritting his teeth, barely tolerating those around him. When he did smile in photos, you barely see his teeth. Goldwater’s cadence was also that of an angry old man. When he delivered his now-infamous line at the 1964 Republican convention, “extremism in defense of liberty is no vice,” he sounded like he was scolding the crowd. Goldwater’s speaking pattern was often monotonous, with random fits and starts that did not always match the content. Unlike the grace displayed by Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the faces of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, Goldwater often sounded cranky and failed to pause appropriately for applause. Compounding his problems, he rarely seemed happy or optimistic, a marked difference compared to later conservative Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan, with his Morning in America campaign, and George W. Bush, with his compassionate conservatism slogan. Despite these setbacks, Goldwater’s ideology made him an incredibly important politician as he helped integrate libertarians into the mainstream conservative movement. Through his campaign, Goldwater promoted the idea that politicians should focus their energies on reducing the size of the federal government, not finding ways to offer assistance to those in need. Goldwater often told voters that he wanted to destroy, not strengthen, anti-poverty programs. This was the opposite of what they wanted to hear, and his anti-government message helped to cement a legend (among conservatives) about him as an honest politician focused solely on his principles. Part of this legend sprang from anecdotes about campaign mishaps which were converted into Honest Abe-type fables. For instance, when Goldwater told an audience in West Virginia that the War on Poverty was “as phony as a three-dollar bill,” it was a tactical mistake since the War on Poverty brought badly needed federal money to the region. Another mishap occurred when he told people in Tennessee that

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the government should sell the Tennessee Valley Authority, despite the fact that the Authority helped electrify the region and provided jobs to thousands. These moves amounted to political suicide. However, instead of portraying them as proof that he was not ready for a presidential campaign, his supporters referred to these incidents to demonstrate that Goldwater had “courage and candor” and that “his ideology was more important to him than winning the election.”1 These stories of Goldwater’s ideological purity helped millions of supporters fall in love with the small government Mr. Conservative. Even today, nearly 50 years after his presidential defeat, Goldwater can excite many. For example, Michael Thompson, whom I interviewed in 2012 for this project and who volunteered for Goldwater’s campaign, became animated when describing the summer of 1964 when he volunteered on behalf of Goldwater. While talking about Goldwater, Thompson’s cadence literally quickened with excitement. Thompson, who also worked on Reagan’s campaign in 1976 and started the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy, has spent a lifetime in politics, understanding the flaws of politics and politicians, but he describes Goldwater as his “political hero” and his time working for Goldwater as a “something out of a dream.”2 Goldwater’s career took off after the publication of Conscience of a Conservative in 1960. The book was ghost-written by National Review contributor L. Brent Bozell, published by Clarence Manion’s Victor Publishing Company, and bulk purchased by wealthy individuals and corporations that widely distributed it. Despite the fact that Goldwater needed this institutional help to write, publish, and distribute the book, his manifesto still made a dramatic impact on the grassroots. Every 1960s conservative activist who was interviewed for this project noted that Conscience changed their lives. Many other historians who study this era agree with the book’s significance.3 The idea of Barry Goldwater—what he stood for in the minds of his followers—was truly inspirational. In addition to his anti-politician identity, another of Goldwater’s main appeals was his strong support for a small government. Goldwater’s political ideology developed from anti-statist views stretching back to anti-New Deal Republican politics. Individuals such as author Albert Jay Nock and Senator Robert Taft helped popularize the idea that the best government is the smallest government. Fifteen years after Nock and Taft’s heyday, in the heart of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, when the United States government appeared to be fighting the War on Poverty with as much zeal as it was fighting the Cold War, the idea that the government should stop interfering with the private marketplace was a powerful one. This view was spurred on partially by the success of libertarian/objectivist author Ayn Rand. Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, which was published three years before Conscience of a Conservative, represented rugged individualism and fear

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of an encroaching government bureaucracy. Although Rand, Taft, and Nock had different conceptions of small government, all captivated a similar group known as libertarians. The central philosophy which ran through Goldwater’s Conscience was a libertarian belief that the federal government was becoming too powerful. In diverse areas such as civil rights, education, agriculture, taxes, labor relations, and welfare programs, Goldwater wrote that the federal government was doing more harm to the nation than good. The solution to the nation’s problems, according to Conscience, was less government coupled with more hard work and individual efforts. The world, according to this libertarian philosophy, needed more John Galts—the fictional inventor and philosopher from Atlas Shrugged who worked hard—and fewer ‘looters’ who confiscate from the producers. This libertarianism, which had a long and historic streak throughout the conservative movement, was especially relevant in the early 1960s as conservatives tried to stop what they saw as the onslaught of the New Frontier and Great Society.4 With the rise of Great Society legislation, debates raged nationally about the role of government in society. The Great Society program, proposed by Johnson in 1964, included using the power of the federal government to combat poverty, enhance national civil rights laws, increase funding for education, and provide access to healthcare for the poor and elderly. In order to effectively oppose these programs, and the greater role for the federal government in affecting local issues, the right needed a strong dose of libertarian philosophy. An example of this can be seen in John Sainsbury’s conversion to conservatism. Sainsbury was an undergraduate student at Marist College in New York when he undertook research for an upcoming debate. Sainsbury was a Democrat who volunteered for Kennedy in 1960 and he was tasked with arguing that the federal government should leave education policy and funding to the states. To prepare for the debate, he read a portion of Conscience. After what he termed a “successful” debate, he decided to keep reading the book, not just the chapter about education spending. In the end, he began to realize that he agreed with many of the points Goldwater made. Sainsbury picked up Goldwater’s book and found a voice for his political beliefs. Like the millions of other Youth for Goldwater students, Sainsbury spent his last year at Marist volunteering for the Arizona senator. Today, Sainsbury’s friends describe him as a libertarian—when I was introduced to Sainsbury, it was with the promise that he was a libertarian—but as Sainsbury sees it, even though Goldwater has been dead for more than 20 years, he is still a “Goldwater conservative.”5 That the two philosophies can be conflated—libertarianism and Goldwater’s philosophy—reveals that although Goldwater was not a devout libertarian, his political views leaned toward the libertarian political philosophy, and Goldwater himself did much to help libertarians identify themselves as ‘conservative.’

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Although Goldwater helped libertarians such as Sainsbury identify as conservatives, unity within the movement was short-lived. The debates surrounding the Vietnam War created schisms between libertarians and the rest of the movement, which realigned the conservative movement’s identity.6 During the war, many libertarians began moving away from the mainstream conservative movement, even Sainsbury was ‘purged’ from YAF because of his views. This chapter explains the libertarian shift and how this harmed the conservative movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Libertarian Foreign Policy The libertarian philosophy has its roots in both New Deal anti-statist arguments and the Austrian School of Economics. The basic philosophy opposes any expansion of governmental powers and focuses on the proper role of the state in the lives of individuals. Primarily, those who self-identify as libertarians do so because they support the domestic policy that a smaller government is a better government. Popular works such as Atlas Shrugged and The Road to Serfdom helped convert many to libertarianism by promoting the idea that the sole purpose of government is to protect citizens’ property from outside encroachment, maintain basic social order, and otherwise leave citizens alone.7 The selling point behind libertarianism is that it promotes ‘freedom,’ a term used repeatedly in the literature. In the 1960s, libertarians frequently focused on the concept of liberty with the belief that a smaller government leads to maximum individual freedom and liberty. The more decisions the government makes in terms of the economy, they argued, the less freedom experienced by individuals. This concept is explained in Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty, published in 1960. In this work, he clearly articulated his opposition to making healthcare “compulsory” and “a single scheme of state insurance.” This is a different argument than the one he made two decades earlier in The Road to Serfdom. The reason for his change, as he explained, is that in every country that adapted universal healthcare, the systems became too unwieldy, but also too popular to claw back.8 Hayek’s argument that even healthcare should be privatized is an example of the libertarian philosophy which opposed government dictating choice for people in the name of promoting more individual liberty. Unfortunately for libertarians, this philosophy barely touches upon the proper role of the United States in the world. Does a libertarian foreign policy advocate that the United States should leave every other nation alone? This idea would seem to be in line with the philosophy that a centralized power is a bad power. It would also harken back to earlier eras of isolationism. Or, does a libertarian foreign policy mean that the United States should promote libertarian values of freedom to other nations? This level of intervention could be justified because of the unique, worldwide

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threat posed by Soviet collectivism toward individual freedom. Individuals such as Rand and Hayek devoted little intellectual energy to the idea of an appropriate libertarian foreign policy (at least in comparison to the amount of energy spent on domestic politics). This left a vacuum of leadership among libertarians regarding the issue. Generally speaking, leading libertarian philosophers and economists offered little clear guidance on how to fight the Cold War. While they were not silent on foreign policy matters, they kept their focus mainly on the domestic sphere. As one example, The Freeman, a monthly libertarian newsletter published by the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), published six articles about foreign policy throughout the 1960s. This is remarkable, considering that the Vietnam War was a major topic of discussion in the public sphere and because The Freeman published more than 700 articles during this time. The focus for The Freeman was strengthening individual freedom. The absence of articles on foreign policy meant that the grassroots had much leeway regarding an ‘appropriate’ libertarian foreign policy. FEE’s failure to lead on the issue of foreign policy was followed by other elite libertarians. Henry Hazlitt, a prominent libertarian economist who wrote a weekly column in Newsweek magazine for almost 20 years, is an example of someone who refused to take the lead in foreign policy discussions. He did not want to focus on foreign policy because he recognized that his specialty was economics, and thus he should leave the foreign policy discussions to others. As Hazlitt wrote to Rex Barley, the manager at the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Hazlitt did not want to write about Vietnam because “nearly all serious commentators write about [the war and] . . . I would have nothing startling to add.”9 Hazlitt was paid handsomely to write about the major topics of the day. His syndicated column appeared in the mailboxes of millions of American homes. At a time when the war in Vietnam was the most talked-about issue, his silence was noticeable, and it opened up the door for others to take the lead. Exacerbating the situation, most serious libertarian commentators and scholars hailed from a similar economics background as Hazlitt. Unlike the broader conservative movement, which had connections with former military leaders, ambassadors, and foreign policy pundits, libertarians had fewer serious voices who could lead on issues of national security, war and peace, or foreign policy. Intellectual libertarian leaders had no James Burnhams among their ranks. Although foreign policy was rarely discussed in the public sphere by libertarian elites, when it did come up, two common topics were the United Nations and foreign aid. In both cases, libertarians argued that the United States should not be involved in either. Hazlitt was a vocal opponent of U.S. foreign aid. He argued that when Americans created aid programs, the programs rarely “serve the interests of the United States . . . [and foreign aid] has even hurt most of the foreign recipients.”

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He explained that when the United States gave aid, it did not buy friends and allies—which should have been the ultimate goal of an aid program. Worse yet, by giving money to developing nations, the United States was promoting bad economic practices, such as centralized planning. Overall, Hazlitt feared that the United States was best served by returning the foreign aid to the taxpayers.10 Regarding the United Nations, libertarians tended to view it with great suspicion and disdain. Part of their hatred of the United Nations stemmed from the leftover belief that a “world government” would lead an effort at worldwide centralized planning and a loss of national sovereignty. As Darryl Johnson, a frequent contributor to The Freeman, asked: “can anyone really believe that a government powerful enough to thus ‘enforce the peace’ would not soon become one of the most corrupt instruments of total power and oppression in the history of man?” Johnson’s argument, as echoed throughout much of the literature, was that the United Nations could not be trusted and that any effort to weaken the United Nations would be better for humanity. After all, an independent United States was, in Johnson’s words, “the pinnacle of civilization.”11 Picking up on Johnson’s theme was William Henry Chamberlain, who opposed the United Nations because it did not always act in the best interests of the United States. Chamberlain believed that U.S. foreign policy should focus on benefiting the United States, and thus the United Nations was not always good for the United States. For example, the United Nations pressured the United States to abstain from selling arms to Portugal and South Africa, even though both were U.S. allies. According to Chamberlain, Portugal and South Africa needed the arms to defend themselves against black African communist aggressors. Because the United Nations believed that Portugal’s colonial power in Angola and Mozambique should end and that the Apartheid regime was wrong, the international organization pressured the United States to avoid aiding these racist regimes. Chamberlain was aghast that any organization or group would tell the United States how to run its international affairs. Thus, he was expanding upon the libertarian notions of individual rights by claiming that nations have the right to do as they please within the international system without UN interference.12 Hazlitt’s, Johnson’s, and Chamberlain’s articles effectively summarize libertarian foreign policy: the United States should do whatever is in its interests without any further strategic entanglements. This means that the United States should disobey the United Nations whenever it saw fit, while only giving out aid and assistance where truly needed for security purposes. This 1960s libertarian foreign policy, which emphasized limited strategic entanglements, had roots in earlier eras of isolationism. Though libertarians opposed communism, they believed that the United States should only work to free nations which “desire[d]” help or could provide the United States with “a considerable strategic benefit.”13 This policy would minimize U.S. entanglements.

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The silence emanating from libertarian leaders regarding the Vietnam War and a broader U.S. foreign policy was deafening. Issues such as foreign aid were important, but in the grand scheme of the Cold War, and in light of the rapidly deteriorating situation in Southeast Asia, foreign aid was not the most pressing issue in the 1960s. Because of the vacuum of leadership among libertarians in Cold War policies, there was much room for others to lead. Typically, the two most common libertarian groups to talk about foreign affairs were local activists who had an unusual interest in foreign affairs and lesser national leaders whose foreign policy views were extreme relative to the rest of the movement. One libertarian who was a public intellectual and spoke about foreign policy was Murray Rothbard. Rothbard, an economics professor who taught at Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (which merged with New York University in 1973), earned his Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University and was a disciple of Ludwig Von Mises, one of the more important economists associated with the Austrian School. Rothbard was a prolific writer who often found himself on the extreme end of political debates, and unlike Hazlitt, rarely met an issue for which he felt his opinion was unwarranted. Historian Jennifer Burns rightly describes Rothbard as someone who “staked out extremist positions, and criticized anyone who strayed from pure ideology.”14 This flogging of opponents included Ayn Rand, Rothbard’s one-time mentor. Despite this, his work was widely distributed and he played an important role in several libertarian organizations, including the founding of the Cato Institute.15 Rothbard opposed conservative Cold War hawks with nearly as much gusto as he did Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. Writing in 1966 in his small Rampart Journal, Rothbard wrote that the Soviets were not the real threat as was often portrayed in public. Instead, he believed that Cold War-era hysteria was unfounded and needed to end. Comparing the false threat of communism to earlier witch hunts, Rothbard wrote: Once again, we find that there has emerged upon the scene an Enemy, a Bad Guy, with the same old Bad Guy characteristics that we have heard of before; a diabolic, monolithic Enemy, which, generations ago in some “sacred texts,” decided (for reasons that remain obscure) that it was “out to conquer the world.”16 Taking his argument one step further, in the next issue of Rampart Journal, Rothbard wrote an article titled: “Myths of the Cold War,” wherein he claimed that the Soviet Union does not mean to destroy the United States. He asked rhetorically: “does anyone in his right mind believe that America faces the clear and present danger of overt, violent destruction by our tiny handful of domestic Communists?” Moreover, he claimed that the Soviets “realize[d] the futility of nuclear war.” Finally, he declared that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev “frankly and honestly” wanted détente with the United States. To a conservative anti-communist in the

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1960s, the idea that you could ever ‘trust’ a communist leader was heresy. As the title of Fred Schwarz’s bestseller You Can Trust the Communists (to be Communists) argued, communists lied to get what they wanted, and what they wanted was world conquest. However, to Rothbard, the right’s ardent anti-communism was irrational and needlessly raised the possibility of worldwide nuclear destruction.17 Rothbard was one of the few vocal libertarian opponents of the Cold War in the 1960s, with most other intellectual libertarians publicly remaining passive about the topic. Because most other libertarian publications focused on domestic issues, it is likely that grassroots libertarians also cared more about the domestic—as opposed to the international—sphere. Grassroots volunteers, individuals who had a few hours a week to devote to political campaigns and whose political identity was wrapped up in the idea of small government and lower taxes, could stick firmly to the general libertarian principals while still endorsing mainstream conservatism and its muscular anti-communism. After all, if one was more focused on the ideals of FEE and how everything revolved around individual freedom, if one read Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and believed it to be a seminal work of philosophy, then one might have been open to the idea that an expanding federal government was a greater threat to U.S. liberty than the Soviet Union. One might have been receptive to Rothbard’s words and Rand’s writings, and to the idea that a détente was needed because domestic anti-communism was bad for freedom.

The Draft The one issue which broke libertarian and mainstream conservatives apart in the late 1960s was the military draft. By its very nature, a military draft for an overseas war is controversial. It forces a war onto a population in a way that changes the nature of the society. During the 1960s, the Vietnam War potentially affected the lives of everyone by personalizing the war. Male teenagers had to begin planning their lives around avoiding, serving in, or volunteering for the military. Parents who did not want their sons to go off to war began to think about how they could protect their sons. Some girlfriends were pressed into lasting relationships and commitments—often including childbirth—prematurely. Not every American worked to avoid the draft, but all understood what being available for service, 1-A status, meant. Pressure from libertarians forced a serious and emotional debate within the greater conservative movement about the draft. To generalize, a large contingent of libertarians opposed both the war and the draft. Most traditionalists supported the war. These traditionalists often rightfully recognized that the rabid anti-draft protests (such as public ceremonies to burn draft cards and faux draft cards) had a large anti-American undertone, with the protesters often calling for the defeat of the United States.

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These traditionalists could not support an anti-American and unpatriotic movement. Comparatively, fusionists were more flexible; many of them were willing to oppose the draft while supporting the war. This was their way of promoting conservative unity. The rhetoric coming out of the extreme left’s anti-draft and anti-war movements helped complicate the right’s debate about the draft. During the war, Americans such as the writer Susan Sontag traveled to North Vietnam to extol it as a “remarkable country,” professionals such as Dr. Benjamin Spock called U.S. involvement in Vietnam a violation of international law, and students chanted the slogan “Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, the Vietcong are gonna win.” These actions infuriated members of the pro-war movement. It was one thing to argue that the draft was immoral and that the United States military did not need half a million troops to protect South Vietnam, but to root for the enemy of the United States was a step too far for traditionalists who supported the war. To them, the United States was the moral leader of the free world and Soviet communism was evil. Because traditionalist ideology was steeped in ideas of good versus evil and the need to infuse politics with morality, the claim that the United States was a good nation was indisputable.18 The tensions between pro- and anti-draft advocates can be seen in the pages of the National Review. For all of its faults, the National Review during the 1960s and 1970s was a magazine with biting sarcasm, a striking sense of humor (for a political magazine), and a self-confidence that induced the reader into thinking that the editors simply did not care what others thought of them. This tone was set in the National Review’s mission statement, which reads: “[this magazine] stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so.”19 The magazine was confident enough—and arrogant enough—to take controversial stances on a plethora of topics. The draft, however, befuddled the National Review more than any other issue in the 1960s. During the 1964 election, the magazine was silent about Goldwater’s all-volunteer military proposal. But by 1966, when more than 100,000 uniformed men were in Vietnam, National Review’s uneasy relationship with the draft was evident. Frank Meyer, in his bi-weekly column, unconvincingly argued that the draft could be defensible. In one of the magazine’s first major articles about the draft, Meyer explained that the United States was fighting a war, and because it was fighting a war, it had to win the war, and to win wars, nations need soldiers. Thus, the draft was acceptable. On the other hand, he also conceded that the Vietnam War was a limited war and that drafts might not be acceptable in times of limited wars. His piece was unusually inarticulate. He neither definitively endorsed the draft nor an all-volunteer military. For a major article by the man who considered himself one of the more prominent intellectuals of the right, Meyer’s piece offered little clarity.20

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The National Review’s uncertainty surrounding the draft can be seen in the rest of the articles and editorials from late 1966 and early 1967, when much was written on the subject. During this time, the tone of the writings tells us that the editors did not know what to make about the draft debate. These articles, which appeared with frequency, lacked the sarcasm and wittiness that characterized most other topics. Additionally, the level of indecisiveness is striking. Certainly, the editorial staff recognized that the draft system needed to change, but it was also apparent that they did not know how the system should change. Their proposals fell far short of the idea of an all-volunteer military. Instead, most of the recommendations in this period revolved around the idea of lightly altering the draft to make it more equitable. For instance, the magazine offered tepid support for the option of people participating in national service as an alternative to military service for those drafted. The only part of the draft by which they seemed genuinely outraged was the fact that influential people often were able to get their sons out of military service. While the National Review hemmed and hawed about how to resolve the draft crisis, the large anti-draft libertarian youth movement was growing increasingly restless. By early 1967, libertarians were clearly no longer interested in debating the merits of the draft; eradication was their sole goal. These libertarians were likely spurred on by the culture around them. Sociologist Rebecca Klatch notes that libertarians of the era often associated with leftists on campus, in many cases partying with their liberal classmates.21 These left-wing college students were also the leaders of the national anti-draft and anti-war movements. They publicly burned draft cards, marched against the war, and organized sit-ins and teach-ins against both the war and the draft. For a collegiate libertarian whose ideology was primarily concerned with domestic politics, not foreign policy or the outcome of the Vietnam War, the idea of being shipped off after graduation to fight the war was a frightening proposition. By the end of 1967, a large percentage of libertarians joined their liberal friends in opposing the draft. David Franke was a libertarian who grew up in Texas and had a natural proficiency for writing. While in college, in 1958, he received a scholarship to be a part of the inaugural class of a journalism school set up by Human Events. This scholarship helped move Franke to Washington, DC, where he quickly made a name for himself in conservative circles as a man who liked to cause disturbances. In 1959, Franke and his roommate Douglas Caddy organized the National Student Committee for the Loyalty Oath. As Franke later admitted, the loyalty oath was a side issue, although he did think that it was fair for someone who accepted money from the federal government to also have to swear loyalty to that government. What was more important to Franke was using the loyalty oath as a way of demonstrating that the federal government should play no

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role in education financing. Franke parlayed his role in the National Student Committee into positions with both Human Events and National Review, and in 1960, he played an integral role in founding the Young Americans for Freedom. While throughout the war years Franke considered himself to be a conservative, his lifestyle and ideology differed from that of a traditionalist. He enjoyed attending the major music festivals, including the Summer of Love in Haight-Ashbury in 1967. He understood the cultural appeal of the Hippie lifestyle. He was also a strong opponent of the draft, and he still takes pride in his role in pushing conservatives to oppose the draft. In April 1967, as a representative of YAF, Franke testified at a Senate hearing in favor of an all-volunteer military. Franke, who claims that he helped sway the opinion of a Southern Democratic senator, served as a conservative student against the draft. At the time, conservatives were synonymous with the pro-war movement, so they were viewed by most people as also supporting the draft. Franke worked hard to alter this perception.22 Within a month of Franke’s testimony, National Review published an editorial opposing the draft. Part of the rationale for its opposition was that it wanted to remain loyal to its libertarian readership. Additionally, using prescient arguments which would eventually change society, the magazine stated that an all-volunteer military would likely have fewer troops, which would in turn force the military leadership to use a more effective strategy to win the war. Finally, the National Review couched its opposition to the draft by informing its readers that libertarian economist Milton Friedman, traditionalist scholar Russell Kirk, and political leader Barry Goldwater all supported ending the draft. By emphasizing those three names, the magazine was likely trying to ensure that its readers understood that it was not standing against the drumbeat of history, but rather that it was standing with the entire marching band. National Review was a follower in the anti-draft coalition. In the end, the magazine’s editors endorsed the Council for a Volunteer Military, which was a left-right coalition that was officially neutral about the Vietnam War, but which opposed the draft.23 While the National Review editorial staff eventually joined the antidraft coalition, this was not a unifying ideal within the movement. Many conservatives understood that opposition to the draft was incompatible with support for the war. These conservatives—who were almost exclusively traditionalists—thought that the anti-war left was duping the pro-war right. For example, Alice Widener of Human Events wrote that “nothing good can possibly come from such a left-right alliance.” Widener thought that the left only cared about ending the war, and it was using the right to achieve this purpose through deceit. According to Widener, eliminating the draft would weaken the military, make the Vietnam War impossible to win, and also threaten U.S. security in the broader Cold War struggle against communism. She feared that without military

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conscription, the United States would become vulnerable to Soviet blackmail. As Widener reminded her readers, the United States was in a cold war which could become hot at any moment. This is an example of a mainstream conservative publication attacking an important libertarianleaning position as inter-movement divisions began to form.24 The same week that Widener wrote her article, James Burnham minced no words when he wrote in National Review: “The antidraft movement is part of the antiwar movement; the antiwar movement is in its political meaning a defeatist campaign to induce the U.S. to accept a Communist victory in Vietnam. This is the bitter logic of antidraftism, 1967 version.”25 Making his point even more clear, Burnham foreshadowed a problem which the right would have in the very near future. According to Burnham, it would be intellectually dishonest for a conservative who opposed the draft to also oppose the draft card burners and conscientious objectors. Within two years of Burnham’s column, extremists who labeled themselves anarcho-capitalists within the libertarian movement were burning their draft cards—causing a divisive rift within the conservative movement. Despite Widener’s and Burnham’s wariness and fears of libertarian opposition to the draft, it is evident that many traditionalists (including most major conservative publications and organizations) supported the anti-draft coalition. This support for the anti-draft coalition temporarily maintained the conservative movement as a hospitable place for libertarians. Since traditionalists refused to compromise their support for the war—they were not going to allow their movement to oppose a war against communists—they needed to find a different issue for compromise. This compromise rested with the draft. Because groups such as the Council for a Volunteer Military were neutral on the war, they offered safe spaces for both pro- and anti-war conservatives join forces against the draft. However, this tenuous compromise lasted for less than two years. By 1969, libertarians were becoming increasingly connected to the New Left anti-war movement, causing a rift within the conservative movement.

YAF With the expansion of college education in the 1960s, many 18-yearolds were moving out of their parents’ houses and living on their own for the first time in their lives, experiencing newfound freedom. Additionally, college students were more interested in the humanities than ever before, with a noticeable surge in the number of students majoring in humanities disciplines in the late 1960s.26 These courses emphasized critical thinking—and in the rising anti-war environment, there was an extra emphasis on the critical part of critical thinking. Some of the same professors who taught about Kant and Shakespeare and Napoleon on

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weekdays participated in teach-in demonstrations after class. In a culture where criticism of those in power was pervasive, many outsized dramas took place in student politics; simple policy disagreements easily shifted into major struggles about power and the nature of society. By the late 1960s, YAF experienced major disputes which stemmed from a combination of policy disagreements and an adult leadership which used YAF to fight an ideological proxy battle between libertarianism and traditionalism. YAF’s divisions appeared with remarkable speed. In 1967, when the anti-draft coalition began forming and gaining supporters, it looked as though YAF was healthy. Many traditionalist YAFers, whose instinct likely was to support the draft as a way of demonstrating support for the war, agreed to join the Council for a Volunteer Military. Though there were a variety of reasons for YAF’s opposition to the draft, one of them was to mollify libertarians whose natural inclination was to oppose government involvement in all parts of society. Supporting this libertarian position helped minimize tensions within the organization. YAF’s ascent and decline can be seen in the story of William B. Steel, Jr., YAF’s California state chairman. In 1967, he wrote a letter to Buckley telling the popular conservative leader that the state organization was strong. At the time, Steel claimed that California YAF had 66 chapters and he was beginning to explore production of televised debates. In this letter, Steel sounds like a teenager proud of his accomplishments as he displays boundless optimism for the bright future which lay in front of California YAF.27 Twenty-five months later, Steel was expelled from YAF. Writing a letter appealing his expulsion, Steel again sounded like a teenager—only this time he sounded like one who was fighting a losing battle with his parents. Within two years, Steel went from leading the largest state chapter of YAF to bitterly complaining about being “purged for political reasons” from the organization.28 The story surrounding Steel’s expulsion—or purge—was common within the organization at the time. Changes within the libertarian culture by 1969 divided YAF. At that time, many libertarians were inspired by the New Left to begin questioning society, and eventually they wondered about their identity as conservatives. Though they fundamentally disagreed with the New Left’s ideas for redistributing wealth in order to end poverty in the United States, they supported the idea of a utopian society unconstrained by the social mores of yesteryear. They also began questioning the logic of anti-communism in a nation where there was little chance of a communist revolution. Though communism posed a threat to the international system, they argued that it posed little direct threat to the United States in the 1960s. In their coverage of the Radical Libertarian Alliance convention held in New York, Juris Kaza and Marli Weiss wrote that some in attendance at the convention had an “SDS [Students for a Democratic Society—the left-wing equivalent to YAF] button, a ‘Laissez-Faire’ button and a Young Americans for Freedom button

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adhereing [sic] to the same lapel. The wearer would deny any contradiction.” Many libertarians viewed themselves as supporters of both the extreme right and left in national youth politics.29 These libertarians were extremists within their own ideology. Although the term ‘extremist’ has a derogatory connotation, this sect of libertarians held ideals that were on the far edge of the mainstream libertarian ideology. A term they used to describe themselves was ‘anarcho-capitalists,’ referring to the idea that they supported a society where the government’s purpose was to enable the free market based on laissez-faire economic principles. Economically, the New Left ideology called on the state to confiscate and redistribute resources, whereas the libertarians thought the state should rarely and begrudgingly take money from individuals. However, both the libertarians and New Left believed that the social values and the modern political party system restricted individual freedom. To these individuals, a “revolution is not an evil to be fought, but a movement to be supported, and, when possible, joined.”30 This belief in reshaping society put the extreme libertarians at odds with the rest of the conservative movement, because mainstream conservatives—including both fusionists and traditionalists—thought that social mores, and the historical construction that made them, were the cornerstone of a strong society and helped bind the ties which keep it together. Despite their differences, traditionalists and libertarians often worked together in the early 1960s. As documented by historians such as Jennifer Burns and others, libertarian and traditionalist views on limited government often created strong ties between the groups.31 However, disputes about the Vietnam War draft helped split the two groups apart. This view of the draft led to fundamental differences between extreme libertarians and traditionalists. As James Burnham predicted, once YAF began supporting an all-volunteer military, libertarians began debating whether the war (which necessitated the draft) was worth supporting. Libertarians began organizing within YAF, primarily in California, Pennsylvania, and Texas, forming auxiliary groups called Libertarian Caucuses. These caucuses were founded by anarcho-capitalists and were particularly troubling to YAF’s leadership because of their goals. The libertarians aimed to take over the organization, to wean it off fusionism, and push it toward their version of libertarianism; and their voices were getting louder as they advocated for their goals. Their methods also became more divisive, such as when members of the Libertarian Caucus described the American flag as “nothing more than a symbol of slavery.”32 Additionally, they began demanding that YAF’s national board support a plethora of policy ideas which went against the traditionalist ideology. For instance, they called for taking the word ‘God’ out of the Sharon Statement, YAF’s revered statement of founding principles. They also wanted more explicit support for laissez-faire economic principles. But most controversially, they called for an end to America’s “fascistic and statist war” in Vietnam.33

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Demands by the Libertarian Caucus quickly devolved into existential crises. YAF’s leadership began denouncing the libertarians by claiming that they were “bent on a course of rule or ruin” and unwilling to accept compromise.34 The traditionalists then tried every method—both fair and foul—to exclude the Libertarian Caucus. One example occurred in the Pennsylvania YAF and involved Donald Ernsberger who was one of the leading national anarcho-capitalist libertarians. Ernsberger, a high school English teacher from a Philadelphia suburb, believed that the United States should limit its role in world affairs; even today Ernsberger remains “a critic of the US Empire around the world and the sacrifices to our blood and treasure that result from that empire.”35 In short, he strongly disagreed with YAF’s muscular anti-communist stances. To keep Ernsberger from representing Pennsylvania at YAF’s 1969 national convention, the state chairman Jay Parker pulled a bait-andswitch on the libertarian members of the state organization. He initially set a date to vote on Pennsylvania YAF’s delegates to the national convention, but shortly thereafter, he switched the date of the vote without telling the libertarian voters of the new day and time. Parker’s message was clear: you are not true YAFers. This occurred without protest or intervention from the national board. It was evident to most of these libertarians that they did not belong in YAF and were not viewed as valuable members.36 The response by libertarians was immediate and swift. They began denouncing the national board with a cry of conspiracy to purge all ideological deviancies within YAF. David Walter, a former state chairman in YAF, resigned from the organization in protest, saying: “I would be ashamed to have my friends think I approved of the patent frauds, purges and hypocrisy engaged in by” the national board.37 Other libertarians accused YAF’s national board of fascist-inspired tactics, and argued that the organization should offer an inclusive overall ideology. Much of the drama in this highly charged year centered on YAF’s national convention in St. Louis, Missouri at the end of the summer. Michael Thompson, who was a state chairman of YAF and a native St. Louisan, worked hard to ensure that all participants enjoyed themselves; he even lucked out as the weather was beautiful with clear skies and temperatures hovering just below 80 degrees. Thompson was able to book the caustic comedian Al Capp as the featured speaker. The festivities were held in the newly constructed Stouffer’s Riverfront Inn, which overlooks the Mississippi River. Despite Thompson’s efforts to run a perfect event, the anarcho-capitalists were determined to demonstrate their disapproval of both the Vietnam War and YAF’s traditionalist leadership. Philosophically, the debates between libertarians and traditionalists were small. The most contentiously debated issue at the convention was the draft, but even there both sides disapproved of it. At the convention, the traditionalist leadership proposed and passed a resolution calling

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for a volunteer military and abolition of the draft. This resolution— despite its overwhelming support within the organization—was hotly debated. Anarcho-capitalists believed it did not go far enough; they supported the New Left’s strategy of actively resisting the military draft. Traditionalists disagreed, believing that individuals must follow the law while the organization advocated for change. As a sign of his contempt for the draft, Lee Houffman, a University of Virginia law student and a delegate to the convention, burned a replica of a draft card on the convention floor. This simple act of burning a faux draft card immediately sent the convention into a momentary state of frenzy. Punches were thrown, screams echoed throughout the convention floor, and a chant of “kill the commie” was heard. Though Houffman was an accepted delegate, and he was not a communist, he was immediately rushed out of the convention hall.38 Following the floor fight incited by Houffman, anarcho-capitalists walked out of the convention, withdrew their membership in YAF, and began demonstrations throughout the city, culminating with a small rally at the St. Louis Arch, where Barry Goldwater’s former speechwriter Karl Hess was among those who spoke to the crowd. One of the leaders of the Arch protest was Hess’s son and namesake, who told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “We’re not duped by old platitudes about Communism and nationalism. We think the war in Vietnam is an imperialist invasion. We are totally opposed to the military-industrial complex.” Overall, the anarcho-capitalists were unable to radically shift YAF, and instead chose to make a public display of their anti-YAF sentiment. They believed that the war in Vietnam was so heinous, and the draft so threatening to national liberty, that they could no longer stand as a part of the largest pro-laissez-faire capitalist youth organization in the nation.39 The libertarians were spurred on by the words and deeds of Murray Rothbard. He was one of the leading anti-war libertarians in the nation, and he wrote an open letter to the Libertarian Caucus prior to YAF’s 1969 St. Louis convention. Rothbard told his libertarian followers that he was no longer a member of the conservative movement because traditionalist conservatives “specialized in cloaking [their] authoritarian and neo-fascist policies in the honeyed words of libertarian rhetoric.” Rothbard then urged these libertarians to leave both YAF and the conservative movement, arguing that the traditionalists “need you for their libertarian cover; stop providing it for them!” Taking his appeal one step further, he compared traditionalist YAFers to historical villains: What kind of a libertarian policy, what kind even of ‘fusionist’ policy is it that justifies the slaughter of tens of thousands of American soldiers, of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese peasants, for the sake of bringing Christianity to the heathen by sword and brimstone? I can

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understand why the authoritarians applaud all this, they who would like nothing more than the return of Cotton Mather or Torquemada. But what are you doing supporting them? Rothbard’s message was abundantly clear: the conservative movement had no place for libertarians and libertarian youths should no longer accept the status quo. Previously, the libertarians were content with YAF’s antidraft position, but by the summer of 1969 opinions about the Vietnam War were so emotional that opposing the draft was no longer sufficient. Libertarians wanted a revolution.40 Following their split from YAF, these libertarians tried to form their own left-right alliances. In one large-scale event, held a few months after the YAF convention, Hess and Rothbard served as keynote speakers at a libertarian convention in New York. The convention drew delegates from across the country. These delegates were more likely to associate with SDS than with YAF. The convention goers cheered as Hess told the crowd that “There is going to be a revolution. There is no question of that. The question is where you will be.” Hess went on to argue that “in Vietnam we have lost against a revolution, thereby bringing that revolution home.”41 By combining opposition to the Vietnam War and New Left revolutionary rhetoric, Hess was solidifying his political identity as a clear opponent of mainstream elite conservatism. He was helping to conclude a permanent break between the anarcho-capitalists and the mainstream right. With this break by the anarcho-capitalists, and their departure from the convention floor in the Stouffer’s Riverfront Inn, it was clear that conservatism was fracturing. From that point forward, the traditionalist leadership revoked the membership of several high-profile libertarians, while others immediately turned their back on the national youth organization. Some tried to turn their Libertarian Caucus into a rival organization the Student Libertarian Alliance and later the Society for Individual Liberty (SIL). Though SIL had support from renowned economist Milton Friedman and Rothbard, it struggled to achieve YAF’s popularity. Part of the problem was that SIL was run by former YAFers who opposed YAF’s top-down, fusionist mentality. This meant SIL was a decentralized organization without an inclusive ideology, neither aspect of which helped it expand into a coordinated national organization. Additionally, initial support for the libertarian cause came from the unique position libertarians were in as the loudest anti-war conservatives. When libertarians became independent from YAF, they were no longer anti-war conservatives, as they turned into another anti-war student movement—losing their uniqueness on campuses. By mid-1971, less than two years after its founding, SIL, which was one of the largest libertarian youth organizations, essentially ceased to exist.42

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Fusionism Falters Wayne Thorburn, who was on YAF’s national board in 1969, remembers the difference between the libertarians and traditionalists as such: the distinction and difference between the more libertarian element in the young conservative movement and the more fusionist or traditionalist element, was while both tended to be opposed to a military draft and an over-extension of government power, and in favor of a voluntary military, it was the tactics used and the methods that were acceptable to oppose the draft. The more libertarian element would say it is acceptable to burn your draft card in demonstration, to flee to Canada, to go underground were you to be drafted, to use that phrase ‘by any means necessary’ to oppose the federal government’s usurpation of individual liberty via the draft as opposed to the more conservative, traditionalist, fusionist position that we’ve got to use the legal means through convincing legislatures and others and the president to abolish the draft.43 While both opposed the draft system as an infringement on individual and human rights, the way they spoke about the draft was radically different. This difference stemmed from a cultural divide that only grew with time. The more the two groups grew apart, the more they both began to change. The split, which was exposed at the 1969 YAF national convention, quickly rippled its way through the rest of the conservative movement. By the end of the convention, domestic opposition to the war was growing stronger than ever before, and conservative frustration with the antiwar movement was also at its peak. As tensions in the nation worsened, reconciliation within the movement seemed less likely. The combination of traditionalist support for the war and the increasing prominence of the Hippie culture within society helped push the two ideologies further apart. As long as the Vietnam War continued, the wounds of disagreement between the libertarians and the rest of the movement would not heal. Disputes regarding the Vietnam War allowed anarcho-capitalists to drive a wedge between the remainder of the libertarian adherents and the rest of the conservative movement in the late 1960s. The anarcho-capitalist leadership refused to offer any conciliation to the traditionalist leadership; at the same time, the traditionalist leadership quickly painted all libertarians with a broad brush, making them look as though they were amoral hedonists who were unpatriotic. The disagreement between libertarians and traditionalists regarding the Vietnam War was unique, largely because it changed how both groups identified with one another. Vietnam became a clearly identifiable litmus test regarding whether someone was a ‘true libertarian’ or not.44 Emotions ran high regarding the Vietnam War, which elicited visceral responses from right-wing supporters and opponents. Anarcho-capitalists

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deserted the conservative movement because they refused to be associated with a group of people who did not share their conviction that the war was immoral. Comparatively, traditionalists and fusionists created a self-identity wrapped around supporting the Vietnam War (or, more accurately, around opposing the anti-war protesters); there was little room within either group to accept dissenting opinions about the war. By 1970, it was evident that the battle for YAF was the opening salvo in a larger dispute between traditionalists and libertarians. That year, libertarian leaders Hess, Rothbard, and Robert LeFevre made headlines in the national press with their denunciations of conservatism. Hess in particular received his 15 minutes of fame when he publicly declared that he no longer identified himself as a conservative. Because Hess was a former speechwriter for Barry Goldwater, his decision to oppose the conservative movement received considerable attention from the mainstream press. Hess was quoted in a New York Times article saying: “The immediate cause [of my defection from the right] was Vietnam. Conservatives like me had spent our lives arguing against Federal power—with one exception. We trusted Washington with enormous powers to fight global Communism. We were wrong.”45 Two months later, in February 1971, in an op-ed in the New York Times, Rothbard proclaimed that thanks to the leadership of the National Review, “whatever libertarian elements had been in the ‘fusion’ have one by one disappeared.”46 His op-ed was a direct and scathing critique of Buckley and the National Review, two of the most identifiable conservative icons. The leading libertarians were using the popular press to attack the mainstream right, and the roots of their disagreement stemmed from the Vietnam War. Grassroots conservative organizations followed their leaders as the antiwar rhetoric became increasingly aggressive. Groups such as the (San Francisco) Bay Area Libertarian League announced that its primary policy goal was: “An end to American military & political intervention thruout [sic] the world.”47 In 1971, the California chapter of the Society for Individual Liberty’s monthly newsletter proclaimed: “The Draft can be stopped NOW, and with it, much of the capacity to carry on the war in Vietnam.”48 These small libertarian organizations were extremely hostile toward the government and the war—but they were using New Left rhetoric to express their anti-government hostility. This was no longer a debate about whether or not to support the draft; by 1970, these libertarian groups were adamant that the war must be stopped immediately. There was none of the nuance regarding world politics or the threat by international communism that was present in the conservative movement’s discourse. By 1970, these libertarians were borrowing the language of the anti-war left. Mainstream conservatives were quick to denounce Hess and his cohort, who were becoming increasingly prominent critics of the right. In December 1970, shortly after Hess’s New York Times interview, National Review published an editorial denouncing him using its typical acerbic wit and

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biting sarcasm. The magazine also attacked the press for bothering to write about Hess, claiming the media covered his statements because he makes “good copy because he denounces his former comrades at every turn and claims, over and over, that his personal brand of libertarianism/anarchism is the only real conservatism.”49 National Review’s Frank Meyer, who helped coin the term fusionism, also chastised these libertarians because they refused to compromise, disregarded reality, and used rhetoric that was indistinguishable from the New Left. For Meyer, these individuals were not true conservatives; they were heretics.50 Grassroots conservatives joined the fracas. In March 1970, Stephen J. Sniegoski, writing in The Conservative, a student publication of the American University YAF, wrote an article titled “Libertarianism” wherein he opposed the anti-draft and anti-war crowd. “In this age,” he wrote, “the task of the conservative is to defend society and the principles of ordered community, not to quibble about the perfect freedom for the individual. Such idyllic talk should be consigned to the utopian ideologues of the Left.”51 In the same issue, Jay Mooney sarcastically suggested that the right should support legalization of drugs in order to help control the population—insinuating that drug users (including libertarian drug users) would eventually die of an overdose.52 Mooney’s and Sniegoski’s articles demonstrate the lack of respect emanating from grassroots traditionalists toward their former comrades. For the first time, conservatives expressed the same hatred and rage normally reserved for the left towards their former comrades. There remained little affection between traditionalists and libertarians. Despite the differences between the leadership of the two groups, conservatives did not suddenly forget their libertarian roots. Many traditionalists still believed in a smaller federal government, even if they were not dogmatic about it. Thus, there were still many instances throughout the remainder of the 1970s, and through to contemporary times, when the conservative movement endorsed libertarian principles. However, while traditionalists retained their views about small government in some areas, as the decade wore on, they were unable to maintain the fusionism philosophy without a strong libertarian influence. This dichotomy served conservatism well as morality-based issues began to enter the national political discourse. Issues such as abstinence education, abortion, public displays of religion, and more were thrust into the public sphere. As the early 1970s progressed, there was a greater focus within conservative literature on morality, Christianity, and order within society. During these debates, libertarians had less influence on the movement’s leadership than they did before the Vietnam War. Over the long term, this affected the movement’s ideology.53

Notes 1. John H. Kessel, The Goldwater Coalition: Republican Strategy in 1964 (New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc, 1968), 197.

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2. Michael Thompson, telephone interview with Seth Offenbach, January 9, 2012. 3. Donald T. Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman’s Crusade (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005); Nicole R. Hemmer, Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016); George Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 (New York: Basic Books, 1976); Rick Perlstein, Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (New York: Hill and Wang, 2001). 4. For a longer history of modern libertarianism and its place in the conservative movement, see: Jennifer Burns, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009); Donald T. Critchlow, The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007); Paul Gottfried and Thomas Fleming, The Conservative Movement (Boston: Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1988); Godfrey Hodgson, The World Turned Right Side Up: A History of the Conservative Ascendancy in America (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996); Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945; Gregory L. Schneider, The Conservative Century: From Reaction to Revolution (Lanham, PA: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009) 5. John Sainsbury, telephone interview with Seth Offenbach, June 28, 2012. 6. Sainsbury was one of the few libertarians who supported the Vietnam War. However, because he sided with many other libertarians on other issues, he was part of a larger contingent that was removed from YAF in 1967 and 1968. This is partially explained in Wayne Thorburn, A Generation Awakes: Young Americans for Freedom and the Creation of the Conservative Movement (Ottawa, IL: Jameson Books, 2010). Information from John Sainsbury, telephone interview with Seth Offenbach, June 28, 2012. 7. Rand had her own unique brand of libertarianism known as Objectivism. Many who read her works considered themselves Objectivists and were largely on the periphery of the conservative movement. Many others, however, sampled her work, along with that of other libertarians. This latter group is the one under discussion in this book because these people were more closely aligned with the Goldwater campaign in 1964, and also the group most likely to leave the right in the late 1960s and early 1970s. 8. Friedrich A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960), 298. 9. Letter from Hazlitt to Rex Barley, May 30, 1967, Box B023 I-L, Folder LA Times 1966–1967, Henry Hazlitt Subject Files, Henry Hazlitt Archives. Accessed online at Henry Hazlitt Archives Beta, www.hazlitt.ufm.edu/index. php?title=DOC6218_3.pdf&gsearch=rex%20barley. 10. Hazlitt’s views were laid out in several articles, quotes are from: Henry Hazlitt, “Bankruptcy of Foreign Aid,” June 25, 1967, LA Times Columns 1967, Box B03 I-L, Henry Hazlitt Archives, www.hazlitt.ufm.edu/index.php?title= DOC6166_39.pdf&gsearch=%22foreign%20aid%22. 11. Darryl Johnson, “World Government: A Reactionary Disorder,” The Freeman, June 1, 1960. 12. William Henry Chamberlain, “The UN Threat to the US,” The Freeman, January 1, 1964. 13. Johnson, “World Government”; Chamberlain, “The UN Threat to the US.” 14. Burns, Goddess, 144. 15. Rothbard’s articles appeared in innumerable newspapers and magazines ranging from the mainstream New York Times to the small and eccentric New Individualist Review. He also published more than a dozen books by several publishing houses including the small D. Van Nostrand Company and

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16. 17.

18.

19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29.

30. 31.

32. 33.

Problems the mainstream Macmillan Publishers. Finally, Rothbard was involved in the libertarian Society for Individual Liberty, the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and the founding of the Cato Institute. Murray N. Rothbard, “On the Importance of Revisionism for Our Time,” Rampart Journal 2, no. 1 (Spring 1966): 3–4. Murray N. Rothbard, “Myths of the Cold War,” Rampart Journal 2, no. 2 (Summer 1966): 65–66. Fred Schwarz, You Can Trust the Communists (to Be Communists), 13th ed. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1962). Peter Shaw, “Sentimental Journeys,” Commentary, July 1, 1969, www.commen tarymagazine.com/article/hanoi-by-mary-mccarthy-trip-to-hanoi-by-susansontag/; William Sloane Coffine, Jr., et al., “A Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority,” 1967, http://vietnamwar.lib.umb.edu/warHome/docs/1967CallToResist Illegit.html. Susan Sontag, “What’s Happening to America,” Partisan Review 34, no. 1 (Winter 1967): 58. William F. Buckley, Jr., “Our Mission Statement,” National Review, November 19, 1955, www.nationalreview.com/articles/223549/our-mission-statement/ william-f-buckley-jr. Frank S. Meyer, “Principles & Heresies: The Draft,” National Review, August 9, 1966, 785. Rebecca Klatch, A Generation Divided: The New Left, the New Right, and the 1960s (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999). David Franke, interviewed by Seth Offenbach, in New York, New York, November 17, 2005. Editorial, “About the Draft,” National Review, May 30, 1967, 556–557. Alice Widener, “One Vote for the Draft,” Human Events, June 10, 1967, 13. James Burnham, “The Third World War: The Antidraft Movement,” National Review, June 13, 1967, 629. David Silbey, “A Crisis in the Humanities?,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 10, 2013, http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/edgeofthewest/2013/ 06/10/the-humanities-crisis/. Letter from Steel to Buckley, October 12, 1967, Correspondence Folder, William Steel, William F. Buckley Papers, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University. Hereafter referred to as Buckley Papers. Letter from Steel to David Keene, November 13, 1969, Correspondence Folder William Steel, Buckley Papers. Juris Kaza and Marli Weiss, “Libertarians: New Right Meets New Left,” Columbia Daily Spectator, October 28, 1969, C2. More info on the combination of libertarians and SDS, see Rebecca Klatch, A Generation Divided: The New Left, the New Right, and the 1960s (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999). Timothy Bleck, “Convention of Freedom Group Here,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 27, 1969, 3B. Burns, Goddess; Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945; Jonathan M. Schoenwald, “No War, No Welfare, and No Damn Taxation: The Student Libertarian Movement, 1968–1972,” in The Vietnam War on Campus: Other Voices, More Distant Drums, ed. Marc Jason Gilbert (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2001), 20–53. Letter from Allen Brandstater to Misc, November 26, 1969, Box 341, YAF Folder, Group Research Papers, Columbia University, New York. Hereafter referred to as Group Research Papers. There was much debate within YAF in 1969 and 1970 regarding the future of libertarianism in the movement. Libertarians often initiated this broader

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34. 35. 36. 37. 38.

39. 40. 41. 42.

43. 44.

45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50.

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debate. One example of this is a memo from Don Feder, State Chairman of Massachusetts YAF and a member of the National Board of Directors to the Libertarian Caucus, July 17, 1969. In this memo, Feder chides the LC for promoting a new ideology which would have “no place in it for Traditionalists.” Feder to Libertarian Caucus, July 17, 1969, Box 1, Folder 2, Down Papers. Quote from Letter from Allen Brandstater to Misc, November 26, 1969, Box 341, YAF Folder, Group Research Papers. Letter from Don Feder to the Libertarian Caucus, July 17, 1969, Patrick Dowd Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University. Hereafter referred to as Dowd Papers. Follow-up email correspondence from Donald Ernsberger to Seth Offenbach, July 12, 2013. “Rightists to Fight Student Left,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 31, 1969, 3A. “Young Conservatives Hear Buckley Speech,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 29, 1969, 8A. “Rightists to Fight Student Left,” 3A. Robert Walters, “Young Americans for Freedom,” First Principles, March 22, 2012, www.firstprinciplesjournal.com/articles.aspx?article=363&theme=am sec&page=2&loc=b&type=ctbf. Bleck, “Convention of Freedom Group Here,” 3B. Murray Rothbard, “Listen YAF,” Libertarian Forum, August 15, 1969, http:// mises.org/daily/3090 (emphasis in original). Kaza and Weiss, “Libertarians,” C2. The organization continued to exist, and the SIL eventually merged with the Libertarian International to form the International Society for Individual Liberty: Vince Miller and Jim Elwood, “Taking Liberty Global: 25 Years Building the World Liberty Movement,” International Society for Individual Liberty, 2005, www.isil.org/resources/fnn/2005fall/isil-history.html. Still, historian Jonathan Schoenwald claims that the organization’s influence essentially disappeared in 1971 because of dramatic declines in membership numbers: Schoenwald, “No War, No Welfare, and No Damn Taxation,” 37–38. The movement’s relative absence from historical records and publications throughout the late 1970s and into the 1990s indicates that Schoenwald was accurate, though the organization existed on paper for many years after its decline. Wayne Thorburn, telephone interview with Seth Offenbach, July 19, 2011. When arguing that libertarians should not try to rejoin YAF in 1970, Jerome Tuccille claimed that reconciliation was impossible since 78% of YAFers supported the Nixon administration’s policies, especially with regard to Vietnam. Jerome Tuccille, “Phony Libertarianism,” The Libertarian Forum, February 15, 1970, Box 2, Folder 3, Dowd Papers. James Boyd, “From Far Right to Far Left-and Further-with Karl Hess,” New York Times, December 6, 1970, 306. Murray N. Rothbard, “The New Libertarian Creed,” New York Times, February 9, 1971, 39. Liberty League Pamphlet, undated [probably from early 1970s], Box 2, Folder 6, American Subject Collection, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University. Editorial, “The Draft: Keep It Dead,” SIL News, August 1971, Box 300, Group Research Papers. Editorial, “The Sudden Eminence of Karl Hess,” National Review, December 29, 1970, 1388–1389. Frank Meyer, “Principles and Heresies: Libertarianism or Libertinism?,” National Review, September 9, 1969, 910.

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51. Stephen J. Sniegoski, “Libertarianism,” The Conservative, Published by the American University Young Americans for Freedom, March 1970: 3–4; The Conservative, March 1970, Box 341, Group Research Papers. 52. Jay Mooney, “Blow Your Mind,” The Conservative, Published by the American University Young Americans for Freedom, March 1970: 2–3; The Conservative, March 1970, Box 341, Group Research Papers. 53. This theme is continued in Chapter 6, but it is also echoed in Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warrior: The Origins of the American New Right, (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2001), where she discusses the transitional focus of conservatism from focusing on external to internal enemies.

Bibliography Interviews Donald Ernsberger David Franke Fritz Krieger John Sainsbury Bill Saracion John Scully Randal Teague Michael Thompson Wayne Thorburn

Newspapers and Magazines The Chronicle of Higher Education Columbia Daily Spectator Commentary The Conservative First Principles The Freeman Harvard Crimson Human Events Libertarian Forum National Review New Guard New Individualist Review New York Times Partisan Review Rampart Journal St. Louis Post-Dispatch Time USA Today Washington Post

Online Websites and Archives Henry Hazlitt Archives Beta International Society for Individual Liberty

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Miller Center Presidential Speeches Archive Vietnam War Library

Chicago Historical Society, Chicago Clarence Manion Papers

Columbia University, New York Group Research Papers

Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University Albert C. Wedemeyer Papers American Subject Collection Christopher Emmet Papers Elizabeth Churchill Brown Papers Friedrich A. von Hayek Papers John Davenport Papers Marvin Liebman Papers Patrick Dowd Papers Radical Right Papers Ralph de Toledano Papers Walter Judd Papers

Library of Congress, Washington, DC William Rusher Papers

Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Archive and Library, Austin, Texas White House Central Files

National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland HR Haldeman Papers Richard Nixon Presidential Papers White House Special Files

Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University William F. Buckley Papers

Books and Journal Articles Burns, Jennifer. Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

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Critchlow, Donald T. Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman’s Crusade. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005. ———. The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007. Gottfried, Paul, and Thomas Fleming. The Conservative Movement. Boston: Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1988. Hayek, Friedrich A. The Constitution of Liberty. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960. Hemmer, Nicole R. Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016. Hodgson, Godfrey. The World Turned Right Side Up: A History of the Conservative Ascendancy in America. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996. Kessel, John H. The Goldwater Coalition: Republican Strategy in 1964. New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc, 1968. Klatch, Rebecca. A Generation Divided: The New Left, the New Right, and the 1960s. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999. McGirr, Lisa. Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001. Nash, George. The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945. New York: Basic Books, 1976. Perlstein, Rick. Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus. New York: Hill and Wang, 2001. Schneider, Gregory L. The Conservative Century: From Reaction to Revolution. Lanham, PA: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009. Schoenwald, Jonathan M. “No War, No Welfare, and No Damn Taxation: The Student Libertarian Movement, 1968–1972.” In The Vietnam War on Campus: Other Voices, More Distant Drums, edited by Marc Jason Gilbert, 20–53. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2001. Schwarz, Fred. You Can Trust the Communists (to Be Communists). 13th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1962. Thorburn, Wayne. A Generation Awakes: Young Americans for Freedom and the Creation of the Conservative Movement. Ottawa, IL: Jameson Books, 2010.

4

Negative Conservatism

In April 1969, William Rusher, the publisher of National Review, wrote a ten-page treatise about the New Left student movement. This was a scathing critique of how the college students who joined the New Left were immature and destructive and must be stopped. He began with a simple explanation of why it was a dangerous movement: To the New Leftists the arch-villain, quite simply, is the United States of America. They loath it with a passion that disdains disguise. . . . Nowadays Tom Hayden [the founder of SDS] and his imitators will tell you, without even waiting to be asked, that they are rooting for an American military defeat in Vietnam and the subsequent toppling of the whole despised “system.”1 Rusher believed that this movement, which emboldened hundreds of thousands of Americans and which was constantly being discussed by the media, needed to be stopped. For Rusher, the birth of the New Left represented a breakdown of society: “Every social and technological tendency in modern American society diminishes and fragments the family and proportionately increases the baneful influence of TV, other children and the schools.” The problem with television, for Rusher, was that it was too vulgar and it diminished the role of institutions which he believed fostered better community values, such as churches and families. Rusher’s problem with educational institutions was that they falsely promised the idea that schools could improve the lives of all people, including the “uneducable ‘students.’”2 He also believed that schools promoted a left-wing value system which opposed the right’s views of traditional religious and family values. In his overall summary of what was wrong with the New Left, Rusher minced no words: The real roots of the New Left’s nihilism are much deeper—and nowhere more clearly so than among the relatively intelligent members of the species. Deprived by cruelly permissive parents and teachers

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Problems of any standards around which to form (and against which to test) their personalities, they have displaced the vital defiance-syndrome of the adolescent psyche from its natural proximate objects—the adult authority-figures—onto society itself.3

For the publisher of the National Review, the problem in the United States was that this group of overly privileged youths, who openly disdained the government during a time of war, was refusing to acknowledge the benefits of U.S. culture and society. Rusher’s hatred of the New Left, and his focus on the movement’s ideology, mirrored the impressions of many members of the conservative movement. During the Vietnam War, opposing the anti-war New Left became the focal point of the right’s identity. Rusher’s long memo about the New Left epitomized the change that took place within conservatism. One of the few historians to explore this change is Nicole Hemmer in Messengers on the Right, wherein she insightfully articulates how the right-wing media in the late 1960s and early 1970s became angry and oppositional to many liberal and left policies. Building upon Hemmer’s ideas, this chapter explains how policy took a back seat to opposing liberals and the New Left, and how as a result, the right developed an oppositional identity that I call ‘negative conservatism.’ The term refers to the movement’s ideology, which was a reaction against the anti-war New Left. The right developed negative conservatism because it was unable to move beyond the Vietnam War as its central issue. The rise of negative conservatism meant that the storm of intellectual activity and ideas that allowed Goldwater to capture the hearts of many on the right began to dissipate. As epitomized by Rusher’s critique of the left, conservative identity in this period was transformed from an ideological movement aimed at improving society to a group identity found most commonly among sporting fans who oppose a rival team at all costs. Conservatives began staking out positions in opposition to liberals and the left while proactive policy became less relevant to the movement and its identity. Political scientist Corey Robin argues that conservatism has long been a ‘reactionary’ movement. In his book The Reactionary Movement, he examines the ideas of the right from Thomas Hobbes to the present and explains how it is a counterrevolutionary movement which stands to defend the old regime. I argue that while parts of conservatism in the early 1960s were reactionary—for instance, the movement stood in opposition to the growing Civil Rights Movement and the federal government’s newfound anti-poverty efforts—most of the movement was based on clear and new ideas and proposals. Barry Goldwater became a movement leader and was viewed as an intellectual largely because he offered new ideas for changing lives and making (as conservatives viewed it) society fairer. Goldwater challenged Americans to think about how government could play a completely different role. Most Americans agreed that

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his policies would exacerbate economic and racial inequality; however, most conservatives thought the opposite. They saw his words and ideas as unique, proposing a new national compact. The reason Goldwater was able to leave a lasting impression on U.S. politics was because he offered something new and exciting. While Goldwater was offering something new in 1964, as this chapter demonstrates, by 1969 the reactionary mindset was ever present. By that time, negative conservatism was no longer about creating a fair society and finding a new national compact. Instead, the right’s main concern was to mock the left’s ideas, especially its opposition to the Vietnam War. By falling into this negative conservatism, the right allowed the left to dictate the terms of engagement, to control the national discourse, and to offer solutions to problems while conservatives sniped at all the left was doing. For several years, the conservative movement flailed as it responded to the left with little more than blind hatred and opposition. Several other historians, including Stacey Taranto, Donald Critchlow, and Matthew Lassiter, look at how culture and an anti-New Left or anti-liberal identity began to dictate conservative ideology by the early 1970s.4 They do not, however, analyze the extent to which negative conservatism hindered the movement’s political successes and instead focus on the ways conservatism dominated the latter half of the 1970s. As this chapter documents, many letters between conservative intellectuals bemoaned a malaise that bedeviled the movement. Magazines such as National Review fretted about declining subscriptions and worried about a grassroots that lacked the unbridled enthusiasm and purpose of yesteryear. Many grassroots conservatives supported negative conservatism because it gave them a clear enemy, but this came with a price. The leadership recognized that the right was not expanding or growing because it lacked a positive message to sell to Americans. Conservatives were therefore unable to dominate politics, and failed in their effort to recapture the Republican presidential nomination. This variety of negative conservatism from the 1960s differed from previous conservative attacks on the left because of the Vietnam War and the political malaise it created. The central political issue of the late 1960s, within the conservative movement, was support for the Vietnam War. Unfortunately for the right, the White House was not listening to its military strategists and the U.S. public at large had begun opposing the war. Thus, the movement was basically stuck repeating itself, and in the process became stale. Because the war was the dominant issue, and there was little the right could do to improve the military situation in Vietnam, the movement focused its efforts and energy on opposing the New Left anti-war movement. The more the right focused on opposing that group (which fostered negative conservatism), the more malaise set in. This malaise, which the movement’s leaders talked about openly, hindered the movement’s political progress.

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As this chapter explores, YAF epitomized the changes taking place within conservatism. YAF successfully utilized negative conservatism to rally opponents of the anti-war New Left; however, this hastened the organization’s quick and steep decline, which began in 1970. The decline is epitomized by a letter written by Randal Teague in 1970 to YAF’s national board trying to figure out what was wrong with the organization. Teague said: I have never seen, in YAF’s entire history, so much that we can capitalize on—e.g., the campus turmoil, the Cambodia issue, etc. The amount of press we have received is substantial. The amount of attention we are getting is great. . . . Yet we are having substantial problems of motivation among the troops.5 Teague’s message was one that many on the right understood: the New Left’s actions, which included civil disobedience and closing college campuses, was becoming increasingly unpopular with the general public— and yet, conservatism was not taking advantage of this to become more popular. This was largely because of negative conservatism; although the Republican Party became increasingly popular in the late 1960s, and although conservatism rebounded to become the party’s dominant political ideology by the 1980s, for a few years from the mid-1960s through the early 1970s, the right controlled neither the Republican Party nor the national political discourse.

On the Road to Negative Conservatism Negative conservatism differed from earlier periods of conservatism, when the movement helped spur Goldwater’s presidential campaign. In the pre-1964 period, the right offered many ideas for reshaping and reforming society. In light of the success of the Great Society, it is obvious that most of the right’s ideas were rejected by the majority of Americans; nonetheless, the right had a vibrant and lively political ideology which attracted a substantial number of Americans, enticing them to become lifelong conservatives. As previously discussed, in the wake of Johnson’s re-election in November 1964, support for the Vietnam War became a central element of conservatism. The war represented an easy way for conservatives to excite the grassroots with the unifying position of aggressive anti-communism and a hawkish foreign policy. The Vietnam War started at a perfect time as the pro-war, rabid anti-communism kept many Goldwater supporters and activists involved in conservative organizations and made them consumers of the conservative media. As the war dragged on, the political environment changed. Without a major military breakthrough, the Vietnam War was no longer as attractive or unifying as it once was. Additionally, the creation of the Council for a Volunteer Military muddled the message about the necessity and importance of the Vietnam War; after all, if people should not be

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conscripted to fight in the war, was the military effort worth supporting? By the late 1960s, when the Vietnam War was no longer a unifying topic, conservatives needed a new mission to fight for, and that transformed into an anti-New Left message—negative conservatism. The transition to negative conservatism is epitomized by two books written by William F. Buckley, Jr., Up from Liberalism (1959) and The Unmaking of a Mayor (1966). Comparing the works of one of the most prominent conservatives in the United States at the time allows us to see how far the right began to move away from promoting new ideas. Up from Liberalism was Buckley’s third book, and at the time, his most powerful work. It has two parts: the first is a critique of liberalism, and the second is an alternative conservative vision for the nation. Part I begins with a dictionary definition of the term ‘constructive criticism.’ Unlike his previous works, Buckley’s new book was a substantive critique of liberal policies in which he offered constructive advice on how to fix the nation’s problems. He painted the book as a “sociological study of American liberalism.”6 Though the book began with a systemic attack on liberalism, Part II explained how conservative ideas and support for “freedom” could solve many social ills. For example, Buckley spends more than 15 pages examining why Social Security was going to eventually run a deficit and then argues that federal spending to support the compulsory retirement program was a redistribution of money and a restriction of freedom. Though he notes that Social Security is a popular program, Buckley argues that it was necessary to oppose it precisely because it was popular—after all, opposing an unpopular program is much easier politically. In contrast to the start of the twenty-first century, when President George W. Bush led an effort to privatize Social Security, most Republicans in 1959 defended the federal program. His argument that it was about to fail was unique and unpopular. Buckley doubted (correctly) that he could find even a dozen members of Congress who would vote to dissolve Social Security. However, his idea for scrapping the program and his ideological understanding of freedom is an example of his movement’s positive intellectual identity. After all, here was a leading conservative discussing the role the government should have in shaping the economy and individual rights. In Up from Liberalism, Buckley was not just sniping at the left and moving on. Buckley’s disapproval of Social Security was more than a mere reaction to the left, it was offering a completely different idea for how society should look. Buckley’s next book, published seven years later, discussed his campaign for Mayor of New York City. This was not the serious political campaign that Goldwater ran the year before or which Ronald Reagan would run the following year in California. Buckley’s campaign was created in order to provoke controversy and conversation. It was undertaken to demonstrate that liberals were oafs and not worthy of serious considerations. Though Buckley’s campaign predates the movie by 20 years, it is comparable to Richard Pryor’s campaign in the 1985 film Brewster’s Millions,

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when Pryor’s character, who was a mayoral candidate, asked voters to cast a vote for “none of the above.” Buckley’s campaign had a similarly comical nature to it. When asked whether he had ever considered being mayor—while running his campaign for the mayoralty—Buckley replied that “I haven’t considered it.” He also famously quipped that if he won the election, he would immediately “demand a recount!” As the New York Times reported, Buckley was running with “half-heartedness” as the campaign appeared to be a way for him to amuse himself.7 Buckley’s goal was not to win the mayoral race; it was to be on the debate stage with moderate Republican John Lindsay and Democratic Abraham Beame. Unfortunately for conservatism, Buckley’s fake candidacy was a hollow publicity stunt with little long-term payoff. Here was the leading public intellectual on the right reducing his ideas to a publicity campaign, followed by a book that was equally as serious. The campaign did little to rejuvenate the right. Buckley did not produce new or exciting policy proposals, nor did he offer a reformulation of society. Instead, he offered New Yorkers a promise that the other two men had smaller vocabularies and were not as witty. Buckley epitomized the transformation that took place within conservatism in the mid- to late 1960s. During this period, the movement focused primarily on opposing the left and the anti-war movement, but it was not offering much in terms of policy ideas. Unlike Buckley’s Up from Liberalism or Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative, the right in the late 1960s was not rejuvenating its ideology or trying to make it more appealing to a (potentially) growing audience. Instead, the conservative leadership focused on stoking the anger of grassroots activists towards the anti-war New Left. Conservatism was stuck in this malaise through the middle of the 1970s, when their major issues started to change and when the right started to focus on new topics and new ideas that would help transform U.S. political culture. This change within conservatism was a result of the politics surrounding the Vietnam War. By 1966, the right’s pro-war, anti-communist identity was no longer sufficient to keep the movement united. Without a presidential candidate like Goldwater and with Americans slowly beginning to question the logic of the war, the right needed something new to keep libertarians, traditionalists, and everyone in between united. In the late 1960s, the rise of the anti-war New Left, coupled with the media’s treatment of the anti-war movement (and of conservatism), fostered the negative conservatism which dominated the ideology in this time—but which also split the movement.8

Fighting the Anti-War Left Most members of the conservative movement in the 1960s were strongly anti-communist. The one intellectual string that bound the right together

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was a shared fear of the encroaching communist menace and recognition that communism was a terrible and frightening way of life. In 1965, when Johnson began sending more than 100,000 troops to Southeast Asia to fight against a communist enemy, it was remarkably easy for conservatives to support the military effort. However, within a few years, thousands of Americans were protesting the Vietnam War with remarkable vigor. Eventually, the Vietnam War became the most unpopular war in modern U.S. history. For many conservatives, anti-communism made up a central and integral part of their identity, making this rising anti-war movement unbearable. Additionally, often the anti-war movement was dominated by young individuals who looked differently, dressed differently, abided by different sexual mores, practiced religion differently, and showed remarkable disdain for (what the right viewed as) the older American values of the 1940s and 1950s. To millions on the right, it looked like these kids— who were protesting against the U.S. military during a time of war—were going to coarsen and degrade the national culture. There was a strong distaste—if not outright hatred—among many on the right toward the rising anti-war New Left movement. For example, grassroots activist Fritz Krieger, who was born and raised in Ohio, was of the same generation as these students in the 1960s. Politically, Krieger was a Republican, making him an outcast in his town which was dominated by Democrats. In 1964, while still in grade school, Krieger remembers being the only volunteer in his school who was willing to defend Goldwater in the school’s mock election. Though Krieger supported small government economic policies, he claims that he was always “patriotic, pro-America, America first, strongly anti-communist,” and this meant that he supported his military in the fight for South Vietnam. For Krieger, there was no greater virtue than fighting the communists. Equally as important as Krieger’s pro-America patriotism and his support for the war was his hatred of the anti-war movement. Krieger grew up in a working-class town where there were many Gold Star Mothers, women whose children died in the armed services. Krieger believed that these women should be honored and respected, but he felt that the antiwar protesters were disrespectful to them and the other Americans who lost loved ones in military service. The more he saw the anti-war New Left “stomping on flags, burning flags, and stuff like that,” the angrier he became with his fellow compatriots. For Krieger, the anti-war movement was a personal affront to his American identity.9 Krieger’s view of the anti-war left represented a powerful force within the larger conservative movement in the late 1960s. In the immediate aftermath of Goldwater’s defeat, support for the war proved to be a unifying feeling within conservatism. Once most of the movement agreed that the United States should be fighting in Vietnam, that pro-war identity began morphing into an anti-anti-war identity, thus begetting negative conservatism. Conservatives no longer defined themselves as merely

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supporters of the Vietnam War, but rather, they began to understand that their political movement was an oppositional movement, defending their perception of American values by fighting against the anti-war New Left. This negative conservatism was popular among grassroots conservatives such as Krieger, but it had negative repercussions as it allowed the left to define the terms of debate. Conservatives did not decide what the major issues were, they merely responded to whatever issues the left chose. Clarence Manion was a media figure who epitomized this negative conservatism. He followed the antics of the New Left on college campuses, often discussing them in a paternalistic attempt to explain their ideological origins. In one radio program from early 1966, Manion and his guest, Dr. Stefan Possony of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, ‘defended’ New Left students by saying that they were victims of International Communist subterfuge. According to Possony, “Our young people, I’m sorry to say, are not knowledgeable enough to see through the propaganda tricks and the propaganda arguments of the Communists.”10 Possony argued that these college students were victims who did not possess the reasoning skills to understand the consequences of their actions, and he claimed that the real cause of the anti-war protests was not the war itself or the fear of the draft. Instead, the cause of the protests came from the powerful communist forces behind it. The right’s obsession with the left’s anti-war antics can also be seen in James Jackson Kilpatrick’s columns. Kilpatrick, a popular, nationally syndicated conservative columnist, used one of his July 1967 columns to denounce the liberal anti-war movement. He called for 85 years Rockwell Kent, an American artist and painter, to be tried for treason, a capital offense. Kent was an admitted socialist who wanted the U.S. and Soviet governments to end the Cold War; conservatives often stated that to end the Cold War was to capitulate to communism. Kent put his politics front and center when he visited the Soviet Union in 1967 to receive the Lenin Peace Prize. This award, which was handed out to multiple people per year, was a Soviet counter-award to the Nobel Peace Prize. Like the Nobel, the Lenin Prize came with a financial award. Kent asked that his award be distributed to victims of the Vietnam War, specifying that the victims should come from both the North and South. In the end, assuming the money was disbursed according to Kent’s wishes, North Vietnamese citizens received a combined total of about $10,000 courtesy of Kent. For Kilpatrick, however, this was an unpardonable offense. Although Kent’s actions had little impact on the war, and although he was no longer as influential an artist as he had been, and was in increasingly bad health, Kilpatrick wanted to see the artist brought to trial for committing a capital crime.11 Kilpatrick and Manion were responding to an audience which, like Krieger, was angry at the anti-war left. To these conservatives, any idea or lifestyle associated with the left was bad. These conservatives are

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represented by people like grassroots activist Bill Saracion, who grew up in Los Angeles and started at University of Southern California in fall 1967. Saracion got his start in politics campaigning for Goldwater. During an interview, Saracion wondered why he never did drugs during an era where so many did. His answer: [D]rug use, using drugs, was part and parcel of the political left’s quote revolution unquote. . . . I was so disgusted and revolted by the leftists . . . that I wouldn’t have anything to do with anything that was part of what I saw as their worldview and their philosophy. Saracion, who campaigned on behalf of conservative causes while in school, believed that using recreational drugs was a political statement, not a stupid teenage entertainment option. Many on the right held similar views, and refused to support anything that the left did. Though he never supported the War on Drugs, and today favors decriminalization, in the 1960s using drugs was like joining the other political side. This is an example of the depth of negative conservatism during the period.12

Media In addition to the New Left anti-war movement, conservatives also opposed the mainstream media. Most conservatives were convinced that the media was not treating their ideas fairly and that national newspapers and television reporters were incapable of seeing beyond their own liberal bias. When the right spoke about the media, they were usually referring to major newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post, national newsweeklies such as Newsweek and Time, and the national broadcast news shows on NBC, ABC, and CBS. Though conservatives’ disparaging of the media was not new, it picked up renewed vigor during the Goldwater campaign when right-wing media outlets complained about national news stories that distorted or misrepresented the Republican candidate’s positions. For example, as mentioned in Chapter 1, the press reported that Goldwater “would use low-yield atomic weapons to destroy the jungle cover that is hiding supply-bearers from Red China and North Viet-Nam as they slip into American supported South Viet-Nam.”13 This incorrect portrayal of Goldwater’s statement infuriated the right.14 Making matters worse, few in the national press recognized that both Goldwater’s and Johnson’s campaigns were talking about a similar buildup of military operations in Indochina. Although Goldwater was the only candidate to mention using nuclear weapons in Indochina, his suggestion was made in passing and quickly withdrawn. In many other aspects, Goldwater and Johnson’s Vietnam policies did not differ. For conservatives, this type of coverage was proof that the national media would never treat their ideas or politicians fairly.

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Throughout the Goldwater campaign, according to historian Nicole Hemmer, his conservative media activists saw themselves as “powerful political brokers, advisers, sloganeers, strategists, and intermediaries between the candidate and his base.”15 As the campaign came to an end, these activists worked on new methods of reaching the base. Thus, the newly formed American Conservative Union began focusing on how to get conservatives favorable coverage in the national press. Some thought this objective was about as realistic as Buckley’s chances of becoming mayor in 1965. One suggestion for improving media portrayals of conservative ideas came from Marvin Liebman, a wealthy businessperson and a founding member of the ACU, who recommended the creation of a Conservative Communications Center. According to Liebman, the center would be a place for conservatives to “exchange ideas” with the goal that “it would become the headquarters for conservative projects and public relations efforts and a clearing-house for conservative television programs, documentary films, radio ideas and other projects for the communications media.” For Liebman, the Center was necessary because the left controlled the media and the only way for conservatism to grow was if it too could play the media game.16 The ACU and other conservative groups did not create anything resembling Liebman’s Conservative Communication Center, but they did keep a close eye on the media and how it portrayed events and information to the public. The right repeatedly questioned the fairness of the media’s coverage of the war. Conservatives felt that a liberal, anti-war press accentuated the negative regarding every action taken by the U.S. Army, while Viet Cong atrocities went unreported. The National Review hammered this point in a gruesome 1966 photo essay documenting slaughter committed by the Vietnamese communists. The magazine justified the publication of these photos as necessary, given that the media constantly published photos of destruction wrought by the U.S. military while not holding the opposition to the same ethical standards.17 Conservatives argued that by under-reporting communist killings, and accenting American killings, the media was fueling the anti-war movement and showing its liberal bias. This conservative perception was false. As historian Andrew J. Huebner argues, prior to 1968, the national media did not “sensationalize the war through constant blood and gore” and the press coverage was “enormously complex.” This largely supports political scientist Daniel C. Hallin’s analysis that the coverage of the Vietnam War was complex and professional.18 Still, conservatives focused exclusively on the coverage that highlighted negative aspects of the war, and on that basis labeled the national media as biased. Further upsetting to conservative activists was the media’s focus on large, anti-war protests. Conservative media activists wanted the national press to question the motives of the anti-war protesters. The right believed that these protesters were uneducated, selfish, and acting in a childish manner and

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thus they did not deserve much media attention. By conservative logic, the media’s reporting of these large-scale protests had the effect of giving the protesters positive publicity and thus aided the left. By the end of the 1960s, the media was one of the right’s default scapegoats for the problems with the war. The right was especially infuriated by the media’s coverage of the Tet Offensive, the failed military action undertaken by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese military in 1968. Although the offensive was a military victory for the United States, the right was in a state of rage that the nation—following the media’s reporting—believed that the offensive demonstrated the weakness of the U.S. military position in South Vietnam. Making matters worse, the media frequently replayed images of the iconic moment in Saigon when the anti-communist police chief executed a Viet Cong prisoner in the middle of the street in broad daylight. The Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph showed the police chief raising his gun, pulling his trigger, and killing a handcuffed, scrawny Vietnamese man dressed in a plaid shirt who appeared to be crying. This moment—an image that remains among the most powerful of the twentieth century— infuriated the right because it caught one act of savagery in the middle of a war which was being fought for the future of the nation. Additionally, the condemned man’s size and outfit hides the fact that he was allegedly a Viet Cong lieutenant who had just murdered a South Vietnamese general, his wife, and children.19 Conservatives argued that war is brutal and evil, and that images of killings in war look terrible in a vacuum. This image caused sympathy for a man who was fighting against U.S. soldiers. As Buckley argued shortly after the photo was released: “how do you hold trials in a city that is burning up with insurgency? . . . this is one of the reasons why wars are so hateful.”20 Buckley refused to accept that his logic would have supported uninhibited atrocities and mass murder. Instead, he focused on how one powerful picture contributed to a negative narrative of the war in Vietnam, and blamed the picture and media for distorting reality in Vietnam. Following the Tet Offensive, the right quickly became even more hostile to the mainstream media. After the offensive, there was a noticeable uptick in the number of articles deriding the national media that were published in the conservative press. Many of these articles asserted that the mainstream press was giving unfavorable coverage to the war in Vietnam. In one instance, National Review accused publishing houses of refusing to publish books that might paint the war in a positive light because those publishing houses feared that the books would receive unfavorable reviews by liberal book reviewers.21 This belief that the left held undue influence over the national discourse was common. For conservatives, it fit into their identity as an oppositional movement that was fighting in the United States for political dominance. The difference was that by 1968, the right was wrongly lumping ‘the media’ into the same

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group as the left, accusing the media of supporting the anti-war and New Left movements. By 1970, with Vice President Spiro Agnew leading the charge, conservatives were blunt in their accusations that the media was part of the national problem and many on the right conflated their negative views of the New Left with those of the national media. Conservative elites had respected Agnew since his nomination as vice president, but his attacks on the press elevated his status. The Conservative Book Club was able to turn this hatred of the media into the centerpiece of a major marketing campaign. The book club heavily advertised Herman H. Dinsmore’s All the News That Fits, which was billed as an exposé written by a former New York Times editor about how the national newspaper of record was really just a New Left mouthpiece. In many of the ads for the book, the Conservative Book Club told potential readers that “if you like what Mr. Agnew is saying about the media, you’ll LOVE what this former Times editor reveals about his paper!”22 Support for Agnew grew to greater heights after he famously called the media “nattering nabobs of negativism” in 1970. Agnew’s terminology tapped into the feelings of grassroots activists who were becoming increasingly angry at the hegemonic influence of liberalism and the anti-war movement. The right-wing media created a sense of excitement among many grassroots activists as they read about liberal control of television and newspapers. These anti-media articles offered conservatives an ability to think that they were hearing the truth about liberalism’s dominance while also explaining why the right was not in power. This feeling of excited anger caused them to consume more books about the topic and magazines which highlighted the right’s minority status in society. Thus, it was logical that by 1970, the right-wing media would strongly emphasize the left’s dominance in society. The campaign against the media was largely successful. By 1971, a professionally commissioned survey of National Review readers claimed that 87.6% of their subscribers believed that a liberal bias existed in the media.23 As with the right’s opposition to the anti-war New Left, this view of the media also fostered an us-versus-them mentality, as many grassroots activists defined themselves in opposition to the national press. Negative conservatism revitalized the spirits of many conservatives by giving the rest of the movement a sense of purpose precisely at the time when it was being angered by anarcho-capitalist libertarian members. The goal of conservatism became fighting the national media for control of the public discourse. Additionally, focusing attention on the media’s coverage of the war alleviated the need for the right to undergo the necessary analysis of whether the United States was capable of winning the war and whether the war was even worthwhile. Before Americanization of the war in 1965, conservatives recognized that the public would not accept a long-term struggle in Vietnam. Yet by 1968, the movement blamed the

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media for the eroding public support for the war. The right was thus able to retain the support of the grassroots, while avoiding responsibility for supporting the war at its onset.

YAF Negative conservatism furthered YAF’s struggles. The national board believed that its target demographic—college students—would be receptive to opposing the anti-war New Left. YAF believed that most college students were in school to learn, not to protest or have their education held hostage by protesters. Thus, YAF’s leadership embraced negative conservatism with the hope that it would help the organization gain support from more moderate students who disapproved of the New Left’s extremism. The strategy paid off in the short term, as YAF saw a brief bump in its membership numbers and finances in the late 1960s. In the 1970s, however, YAF experienced serious long-term negative effects from its inability to evolve away from the negative conservatism, which led directly to the group’s eventual demise. Prior to the 1970s, opposing the New Left’s Students for a Democratic Society proved remarkably fruitful for YAF’s short-term growth. Alan MacKay, YAF’s national chairman, and Randal Teague, an influential member of the national board, worked to organize a unifying plan which helped the group capitalize on the antagonism which SDS and the anti-war New Left movement had engendered. Specifically, MacKay and Teague sent out a notice that YAF was creating a Free Campus Coalition which was supposed to “oppose Leftist tyranny this fall on our campuses.” The hope was that the Free Campus Coalition would set YAF up to gain supporters for “more than a few years.”24 YAF’s leadership believed that the New Left’s campus demonstrations and occupations—which closed buildings, canceled graduation celebrations, and inhibited education—were alienating students, creating room on college campuses for YAF to grow. They hoped that this coalition would be able to “rally the support of the responsible students” and to “correct the leftist bias of many courses.”25 If the Coalition succeeded by gaining support of these moderates, the organization would be able to grow and eventually help conservatism reign in U.S. politics. This was one of MacKay’s and Teague’s big ideas to help stymie YAF’s slow decline in popularity, which began in 1965. The membership decline was likely inevitable because the leftover excitement from Goldwater’s campaign artificially inflated YAF’s membership in 1964–1965. Still, there was anxiety within the organization as it lost approximately 2,300 people in the four years since the election, a decline of roughly 12.5%.26 Adding to the pressure, there was clear tension arising between the national board and several state organizations, including the California YAF which comprised about 15% of YAF’s national membership

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in 1969.27 Based on their internal correspondence, the national board believed that the Free Campus Coalition, which represented negative conservatism in practice, would help reinvigorate the organization. For a brief period of time, it appeared that this hope was well founded. Reports came in from various state and college YAF chapters about events and organizations that focused on protesting New Left groups and organizations. For example, while labor activist Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers were working to bring the plight of farmworkers to the national attention by calling for a national boycott of grapes, the YAF chapter at the University of California, Merced decided to “go on the offensive in dealing with the SDS” by organizing a grape purchase. According to the YAF chapter chairman, their goal was to go to the nearby Safeway grocery store with local media in tow while the group purchased grapes. By holding this grape-purchasing anti-boycott, YAF’s Merced chapter was making a public relations bid for more attention and members. It hoped that those who opposed the recent wave of protests and boycotts would hear about the anti-boycott and join YAF. This anti-boycott is a prime example of MacKay’s and Teague’s ideas about negative conservatism in practice at the grassroots level as they reacted to national discourse regarding rights of farmworkers.28 Another example of a local YAF chapter embracing negative conservatism is a poster asking: Had Enough? . . . riots . . . campus anarchy . . . senseless destruction . . . wasted tax dollars . . . spineless administrators29 The purpose was to gain supporters among the many college students who wanted to go to classes, not those who went to school as a means of avoiding the draft. If these ‘responsible’ students could be rallied to their side, the organization could grow for many years to come. The idea that YAF was an anti-New Left organization was cemented in August 1969 at its national convention in St. Louis. Prior to the convention, in the heart of downtown St. Louis, two large billboards appeared— visible from the highway—with a depiction of a clenched fist raising straight into the air, in a manner reminiscent of the black power symbol. Next to the fist, the billboard proclaimed: “Sock It to the Left.”30 This billboard announced the theme for the national convention. As Jim Wallis, a student at Southern Illinois University told a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, the purpose of YAF’s meeting in 1969 was to “find an answer to the New Left.  .  . . Some of our members have talked about counteracting demonstrations on campuses this fall but that won’t stop

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how these people feel. We have to solve rather than just react to it.”31 In light of their slogan, YAF passed a resolution in 1969 to focus its effort on opposing liberalism on college campuses. Unfortunately for Wallis, by this stage YAF was firmly committed to the strategy of reacting to the left, as negative conservatism was the group’s primary method of organizing.32 YAF successfully converted negative conservatism into a brief improvement in the organization’s overall strength. By mid-1970, for the first time ever, YAF’s income exceeded $1 million. Additionally, in mid-1970, it had more than 500 chapters, the most YAF ever recorded. Based on these numbers, YAF appeared to be thriving in 1970.33 Unfortunately for YAF, the spike in membership proved to be temporary, as the numbers declined as rapidly as they ascended. Additionally, the overall chapter numbers fluctuated rapidly throughout the year, demonstrating that there was fast turnover and revealing the hidden story of instability within the organization.34 In terms of fundraising, YAF doubled its income from 1969 to 1970, but its fundraising decline was almost as dramatic as its rise. It never again raised more than $1 million in a given year. The explanation for the rise in funds was an increase in contributions to an ‘action project.’ Likely, this action project was a better direct mail campaign aimed at connecting fundraising to specific YAF programming events, possibly including the Free Campus Coalition. This direct mail effort was only a temporary success.35 YAF suffered further membership declines when a sizeable number of anarcho-capitalists left the organization following the 1969 convention. Exact numbers are impossible to find, but as described in Chapter 3, this was a dedicated group which opposed the organization’s pro-war stance. Additionally, the activities of local YAF groups indicate that a majority of grassroots YAFers were fed up with these self-described anarcho-capitalists who supported the anti-war movement. Whether these libertarians were purged or whether they left of their own volition is largely irrelevant in the grand view of YAF’s history; what matters is that infighting existed, and a minority of YAFers left the organization while protesting its stances on the Vietnam War. That YAF set itself up as the anti-New Left group only exacerbated the tension with these libertarians, because many of them were friendly with and worked in conjunction with the New Left on their shared opposition to the war. When YAF refused to recognize the New Left’s legitimacy, it was also by extension questioning the legitimacy of these libertarians. The negative conservatism made reconciliation between YAF and the extreme libertarians impossible. As part of YAF’s process of moving beyond its split with libertarians, it increased its emphasis on opposing the anti-war left. The problem with this became evident in the early 1970s when the opposition to the Vietnam War was not as dominant of an issue. By the end of 1971, Vietnamization was well underway and fewer than 175,000 U.S. troops remained in Vietnam, with many more coming back every month. This troop withdrawal

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cooled the anti-war left protest movement. Without the New Left closing colleges in opposition to the war, there was less urgency to the opposition of the anti-war left which meant fewer people to recruit for YAF, thus hurting YAF’s stability.

Malaise Beginning around 1966, as negative conservatism began to dominate the movement, many on the right started to recognize that victory in Vietnam began with victory over the anti-war left. During this time, conservatives de-emphasized the war in Vietnam and instead focused on what individuals could do to oppose liberalism and the anti-war left. Conservatism changed as it accepted its role as an oppositional movement, opposed to the anti-war left and without a strong positive identity or ideology. By fighting liberalism without a proactive policy agenda, conservatives ceded their ability to define national political debates; instead, the right spent much of the rest of the Vietnam War accenting the negative. For many on the right, it felt natural to transition from a pro-war movement to a movement that accentuated the negative. As sociologist Corey Robin describes it, conservatives have a long history of demonstrating a reactionary mindset and fighting with liberals. This reactionary conservatism means that the negative conservatism of the late 1960s through the early 1970s was, in many ways, comforting to conservatives.36 Additionally, the New Left’s association with the anti-war movement meant that many conservatives hated the left for its lack of patriotism during the time of war. This negative conservatism was fed by the elites’ external discourse—in the books, magazine articles, and radio programs they produced. The conservative media activists cashed in on the anger that many grassroots activists had toward anti-war New Left activists. However, behind the scenes, in their internal communications—in their memos, letters, and notes about their conversations—it is evident that many of these same conservative elites were uncomfortable with the direction of their movement. Neil McCaffrey, president of the Conservative Book Club, was the first person to point out—in very explicit fashion—the problems facing conservatism. He sent a long, frantic letter to the National Review’s editorial staff complaining that the “conservative movement is quiescent.” For McCaffrey, the movement’s problem had multiple roots, but among the most formidable was its inability to think of new ideas and arguments. Too often, he felt that the right was following the lead of moderate Republicans such as Nixon and Michigan’s Republican Governor George Romney. For years, conservatives labeled individuals like Nixon and Romney as me-too Republicans because they offered few original ideas and were unwilling to question the intellectual roots of modern liberal policies. In this memo, McCaffrey compared the National Review

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and its ideological supporters to the me-too Republicans. The problems for conservatives started, according to McCaffrey, with their response to the Vietnam War: The magazine’s stance on Vietnam has been entirely too judicious. It’s all very well to give Lyndon points where he deserves them, but for balance you should go after him even harder for temporizing. For the first time, the indecision and malaise of the Republican leaders seems to be affecting NR as well. For McCaffrey, the right needed to become more inspired and it needed to lead on issues it cared about. This was not a time to follow. Leading, he claimed, was the only solution to the “middle-age fatigue” from which the right suffered from.37 McCaffrey’s letter came in the middle of 1966, which was an important transitional year for conservatism. From 1960 to 1964, the key issue driving conservative supporters was winning the Republican presidential nomination for Barry Goldwater and then getting him elected. Following Goldwater’s defeat, as previously demonstrated, the right became active supporters of the Vietnam War and fighting the communist menace. However, in 1966, support for the war began to wane throughout society. Elite conservatives viewed the war as a drag on conservatism. As McCaffrey suggested, many conservatives knew that Johnson was not employing an effective military strategy, and they feared that he was moments away from leaving South Vietnam and letting it fall to its communist foes. Exaggerated and inaccurate evidence of this fear permeated the movement in 1966. In response, Human Events began de-emphasizing the war, pushing its leading Southeast Asia specialist Gen. Thomas Lane from his regular front-page articles to less frequent articles that were often on inside pages. National Review complained about how emphasizing the war was starting to lead to decreased circulation numbers. Clarence Manion was virtually silent about the war in 1966, unless it was to lambaste the anti-war crowd. In short, many conservative leaders by 1966 were starting to look for a new idea and a new rallying cry which could rouse the grassroots activists. Frank Meyer of National Review was the anomaly within the right’s leadership. He supported the change. He argued that conservatives should abandon any attempt at defining their movement proactively. Publicly dissenting against the views of several National Review editors, Meyer wrote an article titled “Accent the Negative,” in which he called on conservatives to forgo policy solutions to contemporary problems because it was more productive for the right to oppose the Johnson administration’s policies than to propose their own policies. Dissent, he told the movement, was “the most valuable service the opposition can perform for the country.”38 Essentially, conservatives should sit back and wait for the left to mess up.

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Meyer’s article is further proof that many elites recognized that the movement suffered from a malaise. He maintained a reputation as a leading thinker within the movement’s elite. Meyer, who lived in Woodstock, New York, was several hours’ journey from the heart of the movement’s intellectual elite. His physical isolation meant that he loved to invite various conservative leaders to his house in order to spend long evenings discussing political ideas, often into the morning. Meyer was also known for calling his compatriots early in the evening and talking about philosophy and politics for hours. These phone calls and visits left lasting impressions; the fact that Meyer publicly discussed the movement’s negative turn was thus notable.39 Though Meyer was deeply respected among the conservative elite, his optimism about negative conservatism was not shared in the late 1960s. Movement leaders used the term malaise frequently in their description of the state of movement. The complexity of the Vietnam War was a major contributor to the right’s malaise. Conservatives were trying to support a war while opposing the Commander-in-Chief and his strategies; this was a difficult message to sell to the public, especially as the public began to disapprove of the war. As the anti-war movement rose in prominence, conservatives and the pro-war movement were increasingly isolated in society. As more Americans questioned the logic of the Vietnam War, right-wing support for the war became a liability, not a benefit, hurting the movement’s ability to expand its political reach.40 Negative conservatism further hindered the movement because conservatism’s philosophical underpinnings did not radically evolve during the late 1960s. In the period immediately following World War II, the conservative ideology was constantly expanding as many philosophical leaders with their own ideas pushed the movement in different directions, turning it into the bigger tent movement that captured the 1964 nomination. During the Vietnam War, this stopped. With the exception of libertarian pieces, mainly by more extreme libertarians, there is a noticeable lack of new works by the movement’s leadership that challenged the traditional conservative orthodoxy. Instead, the leadership focused most of its efforts on supporting the Vietnam War and (as in The Unmaking of a Mayor) opposing liberals. Conservatism’s ideology remained relatively static from 1966 through the end of the Vietnam War. It wasn’t until the early 1970s, when the war was over, that things began to change. The greatest change within the movement during this period was the break between the libertarians and mainstream conservatives. This break occurred not just because of an opposition to the Vietnam War and a questioning of the Cold War mentality, but also the inability of mainstream conservatives to accept that a part of their movement worked in tandem with liberals. Since resisting that group stood central to the conservative identity, it remained difficult to suddenly accept the left-right

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alliances libertarians proposed. Karl Hess’s 1969 announcement that he had more in common with the New Left than the right stung. Most conservative groups responded angrily to Hess, and their anger stemmed partially from Hess’s role in helping raise the profile of their political icon and then leaving the movement for the political enemies. It was one thing for Hess to become disillusioned with conservative thinking, but it was quite another for him to join the other side. Libertarians joined hand in hand with the anti-war left at the same time that Richard Nixon was gaining power and influence in the Republican Party. Beginning around 1966, conservatives started to recognize that Nixon was the leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968. They started discussing supporting the man whom they opposed in 1960. That they considered Nixon a potential ally is proof enough that conservatism was in trouble. As Chapter 5 demonstrates, the Nixon-conservative relationship of the late 1960s and early 1970s was turbulent and ultimately further divided the movement.

Notes 1. Memo from William Rusher to the Editors of National Review, April 7, 1969, Box 119, Folder 2, Rusher Papers. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid. 4. Donald T. Critchlow, The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007); Matthew D. Lassiter, “Inventing Family Values,” in Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007), 13–28; Stacie Taranto, Kitchen Table Politics: Conservative Women and Family Values in the Seventies (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017). 5. Memo from Teague to the National Board of Directors, May 15, 1970, Box 2, Folder 3, Patrick Dowd Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University [emphasis added]. Hereafter referred to as Dowd Papers. 6. William F. Buckley, Jr., Up from Liberalism, 2nd ed. (New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1968), 35. 7. John Leo, “Very Dark Horse in New York,” New York Times, September 5, 1965, SM8. 8. For more on the public’s changing views about the Vietnam War, see William L. Lunch and Peter W. Sperlich, “American Public Opinion and the War in Vietnam,” The Western Political Quarterly 32, no. 1 (1979): 21–44, https:// doi.org/10.2307/447561. 9. Fritz Krieger, telephone interview by Seth Offenbach, July 8, 2013. 10. Marilyn Manion interviewing Stefan Possony, “A Look At the ‘New Left’: A Psychological Warfare Expert Examines Communist Techniques On College Campuses,” Manion Forum, March 27, 1966, Box 83, Folder 8, Clarence Manion Papers, Chicago Historical Society, Chicago. Hereafter referred to as Manion Papers. 11. James Jackson Kilpatrick, “Should Rockwell Kent Be Tried for Treason? Gives $10,000 to North Viet Nam,” Human Events, July 22, 1967, 1. 12. Bill Saracion, telephone interview with Seth Offenbach, July 9, 2012.

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13. Victor Wilson, “A-Attack on Viet Jungle Proposed by Goldwater,” Washington Post, May 25, 1964, A1. 14. As previously mentioned, Goldwater described the possibility that nuclear weapons could be used, if the military thought it necessary. The press described it as an explicit endorsement of using nuclear weapons in Vietnam. In reality, both Goldwater (who downplayed it) and the media (which hyped it) were not being accurate. 15. Nicole R. Hemmer, Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), 165. 16. Marvin Liebman to Don Lipsett of the American Conservative Union, May 15, 1965, Box 7, Folder 7, Marvin Liebman Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University. Hereafter referred to as Liebman Papers. 17. “Vietnam, the Photographs We’re Never Asked for . . . ” National Review, October 18, 1966: 1049–1051. 18. Andrew J. Huebner, “Rethinking American Press Coverage of the Vietnam War, 1965–68,” Journalism History 31, no. 3 (2005): 151; Daniel C. Hallin, The “Uncensored War”: The Media and Vietnam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986). 19. Michael E. Ruane, “A Grisly Photo of a Saigon Execution 50 Years Ago Shocked the World and Helped End the War,” Washington Post, February 1, 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/02/01/a-grislyphoto-of-a-saigon-execution-50-years-ago-shocked-the-world-and-helpedend-the-war/?utm_term=.8819f4cdc2a6. 20. William F. Buckley, Jr., “It’s War That Is Evil—Not U.S.,” Washington Star, March 11, 1968, EX-ND 19/CO 312, Box 232, White House Central Files, Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Archives and Library, Austin, Texas. 21. Editorial, “The Open Society,” National Review, April 8, 1969, 319–320. 22. One example of the ad was on the back page of Human Events, February 7, 1970. 23. Subscriber survey conducted on behalf of the National Review by Erdos and Morgan, Inc, December 1971, Box 125, Folder 6, William Rusher Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. 24. First quote from: Doug Black, Co-Chairman of Free Campus Coalition to Patrick Dowd, July 31, 1969, Box 1, Folder 2, Dowd Papers. Second quote from: Alan MacKay and Randal Teague to YAF Leaders, January 21, 1969, Box 1, Folder 12, Dowd Papers. 25. Letter from Wayne Thorburn to Roy Lewis, March 12, 1969, Box 1, Folder 1, Dowd Papers. 26. YAF membership numbers per state and region from 1965 and 1969, Box 2, Folder 1, Dowd Papers. 27. YAF membership numbers per state and region from 1969, Box 2, Folder 1, Dowd Papers. 28. Thor F. Nelson, President of YAF Merced, to Patrick Dowd, undated but clearly in 1969, Box 1, Folder 2, Dowd Papers. 29. “Had Enough” poster, undated but likely from 1969, Box 1, Folder 12, Dowd Papers. 30. “Buckley, Al Capp to Speak at Youth Convention Here,” St. Louis PostDispatch, August 20, 1969, 14A. 31. “Youth Group Seeks Answer to ‘New Left,’” Chicago Tribune, August 29, 1969, A3. 32. YAF Resolutions Passed in 1969, Box 341, Group Research Papers, Columbia University, New York. Hereafter referred to as Group Research Papers.

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33. Number of chapters from David Keene speech reproduced as “YAF Celebrates 10th Anniversary,” Human Events, September 26, 1970, 8(752). Finances from CPA paperwork 1970, Box 3, Folder 2, Dowd Papers. 34. YAF Chapters 1970, Box 2, Folder 1, Dowd Papers. The number of YAF chapters went from 481 in January 1970, to 516 in April 1970, back down to 483 in October 1970. This rise, then fall, indicates that the chapters opened and closed frequently, likely because they were small and unstable. Unfortunately, there is no document naming which chapters opened or closed, nor explaining why they closed. 35. YAF finances from records reported by certified public accountants based on year ending July 31, 1970, Box 3, Folder 2, Dowd Papers. YAF chapter records from a count of YAF Chapter from April 15, 1970, Box 2, Folder 1, Dowd Papers. There is no record of who donated the extra $500,000 which YAF received in 1970, but speculation comes from an interview follow-up email correspondence with Randal Teague, July 14, 2016. 36. Corey Robin, The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011). 37. Memo from McCaffrey to William Buckley, William Rusher, and Jim McFadden, McCaffrey Correspondence 1966, William F. Buckley Papers, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University. 38. Frank S. Meyer, “Principles & Heresies: Accent the Negative,” National Review, February 7, 1967, 135. 39. For more about Meyer’s relationship with the rest of the conservative movement, see Kevin J. Smart, Principles and Heresies: Frank S. Meyer and the Shaping of the American Conservative Movement (Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2002). 40. Lunch and Sperlich, “American Public Opinion and the War in Vietnam.”

Bibliography Interviews Donald Ernsberger David Franke Fritz Krieger John Sainsbury Bill Saracion John Scully Randal Teague Michael Thompson Wayne Thorburn

Newspapers and Magazines Chicago Tribune Human Events National Review New Guard New York Times

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch Time USA Today Washington Post

Online Websites and Archives Miller Center Presidential Speeches Archive Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Vietnam War Library

Chicago Historical Society, Chicago Clarence Manion Papers

Columbia University, New York Group Research Papers

Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University Albert C. Wedemeyer Papers American Subject Collection Christopher Emmet Papers Elizabeth Churchill Brown Papers Friedrich A. von Hayek Papers John Davenport Papers Marvin Liebman Papers Patrick Dowd Papers Radical Right Papers Ralph de Toledano Papers Walter Judd Papers

Library of Congress, Washington, DC William Rusher Papers

Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Archive and Library, Austin, Texas White House Central Files

National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland HR Haldeman Papers Richard Nixon Presidential Papers White House Special Files

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Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University William F. Buckley Papers

Books and Journal Articles Buckley, William F. Up from Liberalism. 2nd ed. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1968. Critchlow, Donald T. The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007. Hallin, Daniel C. The “Uncensored War:” The Media and Vietnam. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986. Hemmer, Nicole R. Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016 Huebner, Andrew J. “Rethinking American Press Coverage of the Vietnam War, 1965–68.” Journalism History 31, no. 3 (2005)” 150–161. Lassiter, Matthew D. “Inventing Family Values.” In Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s, 13–28. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007. Lunch, William L., and Peter W. Sperlich. “American Public Opinion and the War in Vietnam.” The Western Political Quarterly 32, no. 1 (1979): 21–44. https:// doi.org/10.2307/447561. Robin, Corey. The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Smart, Kevin J. Principles and Heresies: Frank S. Meyer and the Shaping of the American Conservative Movement. Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2002. Taranto, Stacie. Kitchen Table Politics: Conservative Women and Family Values in the Seventies. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017.

5

The Problem of Richard Nixon

The year 1971 was a tumultuous one in U.S. history. Domestically, the economy was going sideways. In response, Nixon implemented the first peace-time wage and price freezes in U.S. history. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court ruled that school busing, for the purposes of improving racial integration, was legal; protests ensued. The prisoner-rights movement gained prominence following the Attica prison riot which left 42 people dead. At the same time, Vietnam remained polarizing. As many as 12,000 people were arrested in one anti-war protest in Washington. A much smaller group of anti-war activists broke into an FBI agency office in Media, Pennsylvania, and stole numerous documents proving that the bureau was breaking the law by spying on its citizens. A few months later, due to an unrelated security breach, a string of national newspapers began publishing the infamous Pentagon Papers. In short, the nation seemed to be coming apart at the seams. This national discord affected the conservative movement. The right helped Nixon win his electoral victory in 1968, in exchange, the movement expected some political support. Conservatives were disappointed. The majority of conservative leaders strongly opposed Nixon’s wage and price freezes, his family assistance plan, and his budget deficits. They were also aghast at his foreign policy. They believed that his strategic arms limitation negotiations and his defense spending made the United States weak since they (incorrectly) believed the nation was falling behind the Soviets in terms of military capabilities. And then, on July 15, 1971, Nixon made the most dramatic declaration of his presidency when he announced to the world that he was planning to visit the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Conservatives had long viewed the PRC as an aggressive and illegitimate government. They also correctly surmised that visiting China was one step closer to recognition of Mao Tse-tung’s regime and would help the PRC get a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council, all at the expense of the U.S. ally Taiwan. For conservatives, Nixon’s decision to visit China was a step too far. From that point forward, the leaders of the conservative movement believed that they needed to do something.

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The conservative response was formulated 11 days later on Monday, July 26. It was an unseasonably cool day in New York City as the mercury barely reached 75 degrees. The nice weather did little to cool the tempers of the 12 men who met in William F. Buckley’s 5,000-square-foot Park Avenue maisonette. These individuals, who would eventually label themselves the Manhattan Twelve, debated the appropriate response to Nixon’s presidency. While they had long advocated plans for a victory over communism, they viewed Nixon’s policies of détente as acting against the best interests of the United States. At this meeting, leaders from the American Conservative Union, YAF, National Review, Human Events, the New York State Conservative Party, the Conservative Book Club, and the American Security Council gathered together. Some of them wanted to form a new national conservative party. Others wanted to nominate a conservative to run against Nixon in the upcoming Republican primaries. In the end, the group agreed on a more moderate stance of publicly suspending their support for Nixon. By taking this course, instead of outright opposition, they retained the ability to support Nixon if his policies changed.1 Their initial goal was to publicly rebuke Nixon by listing the problems they had with him. Buckley explained the Manhattan Twelve’s strategy at an October taping of his nationally syndicated show Firing Line. To his television audience, he stated the purpose of suspending support for Nixon was not about removing him from the White House, but rather, “to remind him that he has a vast, and slightly sullen, constituency to his right that needs a little sustenance.”2 The way Buckley saw it, something had to change. Things did change, but not for the better. Because Nixon refused to adjust his policies, the Manhattan Twelve chose to support John Ashbrook as a Republican primary opponent to run against Nixon. At 43 years old, Ashbrook was a relatively young politician who was serving his sixth term in the House of Representatives. The attractive and athletic congressman from Ohio, with a family history in politics, had long been a conservative firebrand. He was an early supporter of the Draft Goldwater committee in 1963 and reliably voted against liberal causes in the House. He also served as president of the American Conservative Union. His record as an ideological conservative was unblemished. Ashbrook’s campaign did not stand a chance. Even Ashbrook assumed that Nixon would win renomination. His goal, which was summed up by his slogan “No Left Turn,” was to draw enough votes so that Nixon took conservatives seriously and altered the leftward shift of his policies. Unfortunately for Ashbrook, despite receiving much institutional conservative support from National Review, Human Events, YAF, and conservative fundraiser Richard Viguerie, the effort was a complete failure. He never received more than 10% of any state primary vote, and in September 1972 he endorsed Nixon for re-election. Although Buckley

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begged Nixon for some sustenance and Ashbrook implored him not to make a left turn, Nixon refused. This had negative consequences for the right, as the movement proved to be incapable of uniting in support of Nixon and ending its period of fracture. During the Nixon years, the conservative leadership was distraught that their efforts to push Nixon to the right had failed, and yet they still felt the need to work for Nixon against his Democratic opponent. The movement’s leadership was in trouble. Making their situation worse, grassroots members never abandoned their president, further dividing an already ailing movement. This, in turn, added to the sense of abandonment and frustration felt by the movement’s leadership.

Falling in Love With Nixon Most conservatives supported Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign largely because they believed he agreed with their anti-communist worldview and they thought he would win the Vietnam War. Nixon did not clearly state how he was going to fight the war, offering only the promise that he would not surrender. The lack of detail did not worry the conservatives who put faith in his long-standing anti-communist reputation and the belief that he would do everything possible to achieve victory. Their faith in Nixon’s strategy stemmed from a two-decade relationship which began in 1948. That year, Nixon earned his reputation as an ardent anti-communist while serving as a member of the House of Representatives, where he used Time editor Whittaker Chambers’s testimony before the House of Un-American Activities Committee to accuse Alger Hiss, former aide to President Franklin Roosevelt, of being a communist. Chambers went on to become one of the most influential and well-respected figures within the conservative movement. Nixon’s involvement in the hearing earned him a reputation within the conservative community as a man who understood the evil soul of communism and one who would not back down against this existential threat. Chambers helped to further cement Nixon’s reputation with the publication of Witness, where he wrote that Nixon was “the one man on the [House] Committee who asks shrewd questions.”3 Despite being a Republican and anti-communist advocate, Nixon was not a conservative because he lacked a commitment to small government principles and rarely spoke about traditional values. Still, the movement’s public discourse generally portrayed him in a positive light. As Patrick Buchanan, one of Nixon’s top aides and a hardened conservative, said of Nixon: “he knew foreign policy [and he was] the most qualified man in America to be president.”4 Buchanan’s argument that Nixon was a sympathetic outsider, a non-conservative who supported the conservative anti-communist cause in the face of liberal outrage, was endorsed by many other conservatives. Despite his ardent anti-communism, Nixon’s association with the Eisenhower administration helped him fall out of favor with many conservatives.

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These conservatives spent most of the 1950s opposing moderate Republicans, a group that Eisenhower supported. Additionally, right before the 1960 election, Nixon made a political bargain with this moderate faction by meeting with the leading liberal Republican, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, and agreeing to make the Republican platform less conservative in exchange for Rockefeller’s support at the convention. At the time, Goldwater unceremoniously described it as a “domestic Munich.”5 Almost immediately after Nixon’s defeat, the right began working on nominating Goldwater in 1964. By 1968, the debate within the movement generally portrayed the former vice president in a positive light. Part of the reason that conservatives changed their minds about Nixon was the Vietnam War. By 1968, the war was the most important political issue and Nixon’s most appealing characteristic was his foreign policy expertise. Thus, many within the movement believed that for this one election, Vietnam was all that mattered; conservatives supported him through the fall campaign. This decision to support him was not automatic. Heading into the Republican National Convention, there was a documented split among conservatives on whether they should support Nixon or California Governor Ronald Reagan. Many youths and activists wanted to support Reagan, who shared their ideology, whereas the more pragmatic conservatives supported Nixon. Conservatives understood it as a choice between Nixon’s experience versus Reagan’s idealism. During the pre-convention months, the praise of the conservative press for Nixon focused primarily on his foreign and Vietnam policy proposals. When the press wrote about Reagan, they were clearly excited by him despite his lack of experience and the long-shot nature of his candidacy. Buckley said it best in a letter to a colleague: “I myself have here and there backed Richard Nixon. I do this purely on realistic grounds. I have the greatest admiration for Governor Reagan and am in fact a good friend of his and Mrs. Reagan.”6 In the end, most conservative leaders agreed with Buckley that Nixon was good enough, especially once his Cold War policies were taken into account. Many conservative delegates ended up supporting Reagan on the convention’s first ballot, but once Reagan lost the nomination, they supported Nixon without reservation.7 This was hardly a glowing endorsement of Nixon, but it represented the realism within the movement at the time. Reagan was still a one-term governor who was best known as an actor, not a statesman. In the midst of the war, and with the general turmoil of 1968, it was unlikely that he could have won the presidency. Thus, conservatives lacked any other serious options, and they viewed Nixon as the only politician with both the intelligence and political willpower to win the war. Vietnam dominated the conservative literature prior to the convention, and generally the movement’s leadership approved of most of his comments regarding the war. During the campaign, Nixon frequently criticized Johnson for not fighting aggressively enough, mirroring the conservative critique of

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Johnson. Nixon’s words gave them hope that he would not follow Johnson’s example of fighting ineffectively. Nixon’s rhetoric made it easy for conservatives to believe in him. Nixon presented himself as a smart Cold Warrior who talked tough and promised to never back down. He portrayed himself as the antitheses of Johnson, promising a just and fierce fight against communists everywhere. He energized the patriotic and anti-communist spirit of the right. In the months between the convention and the election, virtually every article written in major conservative publications agreed with YAF’s Wayne Thorburn, who recalls that many hoped “Nixon would be more aggressive in taking the battle to the North.”8 The election of Nixon led to the belief that the United States could avoid a defeat in the Vietnam War while having a conservative friend in the White House. The strong feelings toward Nixon remained after the election. During the presidential transition months, the conservative media put a positive slant on nearly all of Nixon’s announcements. Even Human Events and National Review, which frequently accented the negative, unconditionally endorsed Nixon’s rumored cabinet nominees, no matter how outlandish the rumors were. For instance, in late November, a National Review editorial supported the purported nomination of liberal Democratic presidential nominee Hubert Humphrey as ambassador to the United Nations.9 One week later William F. Buckley, Jr. supported Nelson Rockefeller’s potential nomination for secretary of defense. That Humphrey was a liberal Democrat and Rockefeller was the leading liberal in the Republican Party did not discourage the National Review.10 During the previous decade, Buckley and the National Review attacked Humphrey and Rockefeller as imbeciles set on destroying the United States. This sudden support for both candidates did not indicate a philosophical shift, but rather further emphasized that conservatives confidently believed they had influence in the White House and had no problem giving liberals and liberal Republicans cabinet positions if that would help advance conservative policy goals. Nixon’s early statements and strategy on Vietnam gave the conservative movement hope that he was going to prosecute the war more vigorously than Johnson had, while also improving the political climate for the movement. Nixon vowed not to give up on the war, as conservatives had accused Johnson of doing. With Nixon’s election, there was a renewed hope that he could achieve a U.S. victory. For the first time in months, the conservative press began reiterating its policy suggestions of increased bombing campaigns, mining Haiphong Harbor, closing borders, and ending peace talks until victory was achieved. The belief that Nixon could bring victory in Vietnam brought the movement and the president closer together. Several times in 1969 Nixon and his administration discussed ways to coordinate with conservative organizations and individuals. In one instance, Nixon wrote to staffers of his

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concern about the negative effects of his gradual troop withdrawals on the right. He feared that he left them “flapping with increasing anger in the wings.”11 At the same time, Nixon and his staffers held several meetings with conservative leaders about the nature of the Vietnam War.12 These meetings were part of a long-term strategy whereby Nixon courted leading conservatives, especially those at the National Review. As early as 1966, Nixon recognized the importance of the National Review in helping him win support throughout the movement, and Nixon gave the magazine’s editors special access to his inner circle. Regarding Vietnam, he specifically sent them clippings of his speeches and asked Kissinger, who was an old friend of Buckley’s, to reach out to Buckley whenever the magazine started to show dissent against the Nixon White House. Early on, Nixon recognized that the war was one of the major areas where conservatives could support the president, and he led conservatives to believe that he cherished their input.13 This era of good feelings between Nixon and the right lasted throughout his first year in office. During this time, Nixon implored Americans to give him time and support the war effort, trying to persuade the public to turn against the anti-war New Left activists. This rhetoric created such euphoria that some conservatives audaciously proclaimed that they could envision victory in Vietnam since a lack of willpower was the only reason the United States had not yet succeeded. Rev. Daniel Lyons, a conservative foreign policy commentator, told Clarence Manion’s listeners in February 1970 that Nixon’s policy made a North Vietnamese victory unlikely, and that the best outcome the North could hope for would be to continue fighting indefinitely rather than face defeat, and Lyons did not believe they had the resources for such a battle.14 Many throughout the movement shared Lyons’s faith that Nixon’s policies would succeed, in part because he had done “an extraordinarily effective job of trying to educate the American public to the dangers of the Communist world.”15 They rejoiced, hoping that his leadership would save the movement.

It’s Complicated: Conservatives During Nixon’s First Year During his first year in office, conservatives embraced Nixon in the White House. The right’s leadership thoroughly engaged the movement, while conservative media and organizations briefly thrived. In the months following the election, National Review’s circulation jumped approximately 7%, while YAF had its best fundraising year.16 Also in 1969, the American Conservative Union saw a 12% increase in revenue from the previous year.17 These numbers indicate that grassroots supporters engaged with these conservative organizations with increased fervor. This occurred at a time when the most discussed topic in politics was the Vietnam War and Nixon’s strategy for victory. In 1969, conservatives were confident that victory was possible.

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Despite this, distrust remained between Nixon and elite conservatives. In a complex and frequently contradictory manner, the conservative leadership repeatedly praised Nixon’s anti-communism and his stance on the Vietnam War, all while questioning his commitment to the anticommunist cause, his funding of the military, and his fortitude to fight the Vietnam War.18 This skepticism began to appear by the summer of 1969, once the post-election honeymoon had started to dissipate. This was long before Nixon made his détente foreign policy clear, yet conservative leaders were already worried about the “great zig-zagger” and that he might be “planning to please conservatives (as he has done) by a series of relatively good appointments, then make us pay through the nose with a bug-out in Vietnam.”19 Thus, conservative leaders recognized that they needed to keep the pressure on the president to ensure he stayed focused on their policy goals. The difference with the right’s tone regarding how it treated Nixon compared to Johnson indicates that the conservative leadership was both partisan and independent. The conservative leadership took pains to ensure that they did not serve as cheerleaders for Nixon’s policies. Although conservative leaders remained committed to supporting Nixon throughout his first year in office, they still felt the need to pressure him on national security issues such as anti-ballistic missiles and military spending. Despite their cheers when he won the presidency, they did not want him to think that their support was unconditional.20 Nixon’s Vietnamization plan divided the conservative movement. One of the most positive endorsements of Vietnamization came from a National Review editorial, which argued that it was “considerably short of the more positive strategy [which we] advocated, but it may have been the maximum that the state of domestic opinion permitted.” In other words, the magazine’s editors wanted Nixon to ramp up U.S. efforts in Vietnam; however, this was unrealistic. Instead, the editors hoped that by withdrawing troops, Nixon would be able to mollify internal dissent against the war while giving South Vietnam enough material to sustain its national security in perpetuity.21 Others were less convinced. In one sweeping declaration, Randal Teague, YAF’s Executive Director, issued a press release in 1971 denouncing Vietnamization as a policy of “gradual surrender.” To Teague, Vietnamization meant that the United States was leaving Vietnam—with or without victory. This was tantamount to handing the land over to the communists.22 Still, throughout Nixon’s first year in office the movement’s leadership were cautiously supportive of his efforts in Vietnam. Although many conservatives did not believe that Vietnamization would work and they feared that Nixon was not as ardent a Cold Warrior as they were, his presence still bolstered them. For almost one year, they believed that he cared about Vietnam and that his plan was superior to anything Johnson or Humphrey had suggested. Though they were

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not happy with the events in Vietnam, Nixon gave them some hope that South Vietnam would persevere.

Nixon Kills Fusionism Although many elite conservatives were excited following Nixon’s 1968 electoral victory, by mid-1970, the president had begun marginalizing them. His evolving foreign policy, including engaging in the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks (SALT), his visit to China, and his continued removal of U.S. troops from South Vietnam, had negative consequences for the movement. They viewed Nixon’s embrace of détente and de-escalation as a reversal of his campaign promises and an abandonment of muscular anti-communist conservatives.23 As mentioned, the Nixon-conservative relationship began going sour in 1970. In the spring, Nixon announced an invasion of Cambodia in an effort to push North Vietnamese troops out of the neighboring nation. Shortly thereafter, rumors began leaking to the public that Nixon and the Soviets had made progress at the SALT negotiations taking place in Helsinki. From the beginning, a muscular anti-communist ideology would mean supporting an expansion of the war into Cambodia and opposing the SALT negotiations.24 Unfortunately for conservatives, the public opposed the right on both issues. The invasion of Cambodia temporarily brought Nixon and the conservative movement closer together as conservatives held rallies in support of the president. However, the public had little appetite for an expansion of the war, leading to a revival of anti-war protests by millions of young Americans. Partially in response to the protests, Nixon reversed course and ended the invasion after two months, leaving conservatives isolated concerning their Vietnam policy. This quick reversal created an intense anger among those who organized the pro-war protests toward Nixon, who forced the right to defend a strategy which he disowned almost immediately after implementing. Many conservative leaders and pro-war activists considered the invasion to be a smart military maneuver aimed at ending the war more quickly, whereas the public believed it represented an expansion of the war. While the nation was in the midst of a heated debate about the Cambodian invasion, the Nixon administration made progress in the SALT negotiations. The eventual SALT agreement between the United States and Soviet Union called on each side to limit its production of nuclear weapons. Conservatives opposed the meetings from their onset, which began at the start of the administration and lasted throughout the first term. Despite public support for cooling off relations with the Soviet Union (and SALT was part of a broader Cold War strategy of making nuclear war less likely), conservative opposition to the negotiations became increasingly vocal. These conservatives, such as Roger Freeman

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of the Hoover Institution, argued that the Soviet Union already had a superior nuclear arsenal and it was “headed for a clear-cut arms superiority within a few years.” Signing the SALT pact would entrench U.S. inferiority, according to Freeman.25 With the end of the Cambodian campaign, and the rise of SALT, Vietnam was no longer the most pressing issue within conservatism. Instead, SALT became the lead story within much of the movement’s discourse. Most magazine articles and speeches showed strong disappointment in Nixon for his support of SALT. Anti-SALT opinions even helped unify anti-war conservatives such as Phyllis Schlafly and members of the John Birch Society who viewed the war as a distraction from the larger Cold War threat. With the exception of libertarians, most other elite conservatives thought that negotiating SALT at the same time the United States was losing a war against communists was bad timing. It meant the United States was negotiating from a position of weakness. Accordingly, many became disenchanted with the president. Headlines in the conservative press demonstrate this negative opinion about Nixon. In one of its bluntest statements, Human Events begged Nixon to cancel the SALT negotiations with the article: “The Soviets and the ‘Era of Negotiation’: It Takes Two to Talk.” Written by an anonymous freelance author, the article stated that: “Confrontation is the only language the expansionist Soviets understand. Negotiation is in fact looked upon by Moscow as a means of confrontation.”26 This article appeared in the middle of a months-long push by Human Events to force Nixon to abandon SALT as the movement’s intellectual elite began to worry that the president was going to sell out the Republic of Vietnam (and thus lose the Vietnam War) in order to save SALT, a program which they thought could weaken national security. That Nixon, a Republican president, was pushing this unmanly Cold War policy amplified the criticism. Conservative frustration with Nixon increased, and in January 1971, Frank Meyer—using terms normally reserved for liberal Democrats— claimed that the president’s policies threatened national security. Meyer declared that the United States needed to spend a “minimum” of $20 billion more per year on the military in order to retain its “strategic position.” Without the additional money, Meyer believed the United States would fall further behind the Soviet Union in military capabilities, and he blamed Nixon.27 The conservative press reeled as a Republican president negotiated with the Soviets and de-emphasized military spending, all in the midst of pulling troops out of a failing war. By the end of his second year in office, conservative leaders were angry at the Republican president. His Vietnam policy was not working, he was negotiating away the Cold War, and these actions were supported by much of the public. Unfortunately for conservative leaders, this is where they lost the grassroots. The grassroots was, at the time, angrier at the left than they were at the president. As historian Nicole Hemmer argues,

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conservatives in the early 1970s were “angry and motived. But National Review wasn’t tapping into that populist passion.”28 While conservative leaders bashed the president, they saw their popularity wane. Subscriptions at National Review declined by nearly a third throughout the decade. Human Events suffered a similar fate, while the Manion Forum began a quick decline and was in “triage mode” by the end of the 1970s.29 It was hard for the right’s elite to lead the movement when the grassroots were more interested in what the president had to say.

China and the Abandonment of Nixon Nixon’s announcement in July 1971 that he was going to visit China permanently damaged the relationship between the president and the leaders of the conservative movement. It worsened their morale and put them in an ideological bind. The Republican president, whose election they had supported, planned to visit the largest communist country in the world, legitimizing its existence. Recognition of Mao’s China went against a foundational principle of the conservative movement’s ideology. China, much like Cuba, was a communist country with a particularly symbolic role in conservative politics during the Cold War. In the late 1940s and early 1950s Senator Joseph McCarthy and other Republican anti-communists, including the young Congressman Richard Nixon, blamed President Harry Truman for the ‘loss of China.’ The rise of the PRC was a political topic that elicited strong emotions, particularly among conservatives, many of whom were part of the so-called China Lobby. Historian Joyce Mao explains how the right’s support for Taiwan in the face of PRC advances helped give rise to the right’s muscular anticommunist foreign policy throughout the remainder of the Cold War. Overall, opposing communist control of China was very important to many conservatives.30 China’s shadow reached the Vietnam War, as many conservative leaders saw the war as a proxy battle between the United States and China. They accused China of providing weapons and soldiers to the North Vietnamese.31 By visiting China, Nixon was altering U.S. foreign policy in a way which would strengthen the nation’s military opponents in Asia. Because of this, the response by the movement’s leadership to the president’s decision was a mix of shock and anger. Virtually every conservative leader, excluding those in Congress, spoke passionately against it. They hoped that perhaps he intended to trade international recognition of China for a strategic advantage in the Vietnam War, however unlikely that was. Even if this was Nixon’s strategy, they believed it was an uneven trade because international recognition of the communist Chinese government was more important than victory in Vietnam.32 YAF sentiment echoed that of the leadership. Pamphlets and speakers frequently warned of the Chinese menace. YAF chapters held meetings

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protesting the visit, with the Washington, DC chapter holding a protest ‘table tennis’ tournament in Lafayette Park to mock the proceedings.33 When YAF held its 1971 national convention, the spirit at the convention was distinctly anti-Nixon. As journalist Molly Ivines reported, Nixon’s recognition of China and his negotiations of SALT were turning points for the youth organization as it began opposing the Republican president. Instead of helping restore U.S. honor, they now viewed Nixon as a traitor.34 In the heat of this intense anti-Nixon environment, the Manhattan Twelve met in Buckley’s apartment to plot a unified conservative response. The Manhattan Twelve’s decision to suspend support for the president wound up hurting them more than it did Nixon. Grassroots conservatives continued to have faith in their president. Rather than oppose him, they turned against the conservative leadership, further dividing the movement. The infighting that resulted was as bad as it had been during the libertarian-traditionalist feud of the final days of Johnson’s presidency. Following the Manhattan Twelve’s announcement, which was carried in both National Review and Human Events, letters poured into both offices arguing in support of the president. Feelings intensified so much that National Review received more letters regarding its antiNixon stance than any other issue in 1971.35 Both magazines publicly addressed the issue of readership dissent, though Human Events put a far more positive spin on it. In an August 1971 column, the magazine’s editors acknowledged that “some” readers “vigorously disagree” with its anti-Nixon stance, but they concluded that “we feel certain the majority will be in accord with this decision.”36 This hypothesis proved to be incorrect. The bombardment of anti-Nixon rhetoric coming from conservative intellectual leaders did little to make the grassroots disown him. Instead they tuned out conservative media. Human Events, for example, saw its circulation numbers drop below 100,000 for the first time in a decade as the magazine moved toward its first fiscal deficits.37 Nixon’s commitment to SALT, his China visit, and the failure of the Cambodian invasion raged as political problems for the conservative movement. At the same time, conservatives began recognizing that Vietnamization was failing and that the United States was not going to win the war.38 Foreign policy and anti-communism propelled the movement’s ideology during the 1960s, but in the first two years of the 1970s it seemed to be tearing the movement apart. The relationship between Nixon and the conservative movement’s leadership declined to such a degree that conservative leaders challenged his renomination. The first challenge Nixon faced came at YAF’s 1971 national convention, where the organization endorsed a presidential ticket headed by Vice President Spiro Agnew with Governor Ronald Reagan as the running mate.39 YAF was clearly reminding Nixon not to dump

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Agnew from the ticket. By nominating Reagan for vice president, the convention continued to publicly praise one of the nation’s most charismatic conservatives.40 As discussed earlier, in January 1972, the Manhattan Twelve convinced Representative John Ashbrook to run a campaign to serve as the movement’s main challenger to Nixon in 1972. They publicly endorsed Ashbrook, turning him into the darling of the conservative press for several months. Though they realized it was a losing battle, many conservative leaders hoped that Ashbrook’s campaign could push Nixon to the right and get him to adopt more conservative principles. Despite the efforts of the right’s leadership, few grassroots conservatives supported Ashbrook against the popular incumbent president. The Ashbrook endorsements only helped to propel a larger split between the movement and its leadership, as many grassroots members became angry with those who pushed Ashbrook’s candidacy in the face of obvious defeat.41 The conservative grassroots never rallied around him as Republican voters stuck by their president. In the end, after entering primaries in three states, and despite considerable support among the conservative leadership and YAF activists, Ashbrook failed to garner more than 10% of the Republican vote in any of them. Comparatively, anti-war Representative Pete McCloskey of California received 20% of the vote in the New Hampshire Republican primary. National Review, Human Events, the Manion Forum, and YAF spent nearly two months advancing Ashbrook’s cause, including sending volunteers to campaign on his behalf, only to see him roundly defeated by Nixon and an anti-war candidate. This sharply contrasts to 1964, when conservatives upset the GOP establishment and captured the primary for Barry Goldwater. Following the 1972 national conventions, most (though not all) of the movement’s leadership reluctantly endorsed Nixon, but they did so because his opponent was Democratic Senator George McGovern, who was supported by the New Left, including Hippies, women’s liberationists, civil rights activists, and the anti-war movement. Conservatives spent half a decade identifying themselves as the antithesis of this coalition, and suddenly Nixon’s opponent was the candidate who clearly exemplified everything they opposed. A potential McGovern victory was a nightmare for many on the right. Despite the ideological makeup of McGovern’s coalition, some conservative elites still refused to endorse Nixon. William Rusher, publisher of the National Review, wrote to a friend in August 1972 that a Nixon victory would be bad for the nation since: “Nixon is nothing more than a tidy-looking screen behind which the collapse of the American society can (and does) continue without anyone being required to notice it.”42 Rusher was a leader of a faction on the right which believed McGovern could be good for the United States because his presidency would be a complete disaster, requiring a major political realignment which would

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allow conservatism to flourish. This is an extremely dim view of the political environment, and shows how disappointed Rusher was with both the Republican and Democratic nominees. He would rather society crumble than see Nixon re-elected. Neil McCaffrey, president of the Conservative Book Club, agreed with Rusher. He believed that Nixon’s defeat in 1972 (even to the likes of McGovern) would be more beneficial to the movement than another four years of Nixon in the White House. If Nixon left the White House, the conservative leadership could regroup and regain control of the movement. Accordingly, even though McCaffrey thought McGovern would turn out to be a terrible president, this would at least create an opportunity for conservatives to unite and recapture the political offensive and reshape the political system.43 A poem published in National Review three weeks before the election best summarizes the conservative elite’s view. The poem, which is by W. H. von Dreele, talks about the right’s relationship to Nixon. Von Dreele demonstrates a longing for the days when Nixon, following in the footsteps of Senator Joseph McCarthy, ardently opposed communism. As the poem ends, the best thing he can say about Nixon is that “He’s better than Little Bo-Peep.”44 Thus, the only benefit of supporting Nixon in 1972 was that he was better than the weak and feminine Little Bo-Peep (McGovern). This image of McGovern as a delicate shepherdess who lacked conviction sent a clear signal to the readership that conservatives needed to remain true to their muscular anti-communist ways. Many conservative leaders held their noses and voted for the man they had disavowed a year earlier. The movement was lost, as it failed to substantially change the national debate in the months leading up to the election.

Ending the War in Vietnam Throughout the summer of 1972, the only issue on which conservatives continued to support Nixon was Vietnam. Nixon’s reluctance to concede the war gave them hope that he would renew the military effort during his second term. Despite their misgivings about Nixon as president, they still inundated him with advice on how to win the war. The combination of Nixon’s continued prosecution of the war, coupled with the fear that McGovern would quickly remove all combat troops if he won the presidency, kept conservative leaders reluctantly tied to Nixon throughout the campaign.45 This hope was kept alive until Nixon’s ‘October Surprise.’ Shortly before the election, National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger announced a breakthrough in the Paris Peace talks and proclaimed that “peace is at hand.”46 Until that point, Kissinger had a poor rapport with conservative leaders. According to historian John B. Judis, Kissinger and Buckley had a relationship “based on friendship and mutual respect,” but the rest

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of the movement’s leadership did not understand why Buckley was so enamored with the National Security Advisor.47 In one survey of the Conservative Book Club membership, Kissinger’s favorability ranking was slightly above that of Walter Cronkite—whom conservatives mocked as a liberal propagandist—and moderate Republican George Romney.48 Part of the reason for conservative distrust of Kissinger was his willingness to offer concessions to the Soviet Union. In one instance, William Loeb, publisher of the Manchester Union Leader, wrote to pundit Elizabeth Churchill Brown: “I don’t see how the President didn’t recognize this fellow for the phoney [sic] he is from the moment he saw him. And to think that this charlatan is the President’s right hand!”49 When Kissinger announced that the United States and North Vietnam were nearing a peace treaty, many on the right grew worried because of Kissinger’s role as peace broker. They noted his poor “track record in standing up to the Communists,” as one of the reasons why they believed his peace proposal might hurt the South Vietnamese. The terms of the agreement remained secret, and thus, despite the skepticism of conservative leaders, no publication opposed it outright. They might have supported the treaty if it guaranteed an anti-communist government in South Vietnam, but they made it clear that anything less was unacceptable.50 By the time details of the peace plan leaked to the public, Nixon had already won re-election. Immediately after his victory, conservatives implored him to reopen negotiations with the North Vietnamese and gain more favorable terms. Rev. Daniel Lyons, who had previously been an enthusiastic supporter of Nixon’s Vietnamization, turned sour. Lyons reappeared on Manion’s radio program to complain that the proposed peace accord equated to defeat. He accused Kissinger of signing it solely to make himself look good in the public spotlight. Lyons believed that the United States could achieve victory, but Nixon and Kissinger were throwing that possibility away. A great deal of conservative literature agreed with Lyons’s perspective.51 Regardless of conservative opposition, in January 1973, Richard Nixon signed the Paris Peace Accords and the United States ceased military operations in South Vietnam. With that signature, Nixon broke with the conservative movement on one of their last remaining areas of agreement. The right’s ideology required a strong adherence to muscular anticommunist foreign policy, and yet a Republican president who received their support was uninterested in supporting their foreign policy goals. A few weeks after Nixon signed the agreement, William Rusher wrote a memo to the National Review’s editorial staff: “Nixon’s ambiguity, not to say double-jointedness, is currently preventing conservatives from sounding like their old, once-confident selves.”52 Rusher, the long-term Nixon critic, expressed his distaste for the president and his policies while also blaming Nixon for the discord in conservatism. Buckley’s response was

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that the National Review’s leadership needed to think of a new “campaign” to excite the grassroots.53 While Rusher and the National Review discussed the negative effects of Nixon on the movement, Jeffrey Bell—formerly of the American Conservative Union—wrote a lengthy article for Human Events calling Nixon’s first term “the most politically unpleasant” which the 30-year-old Bell had ever suffered through.54 Like Rusher and several others, Bell placed the movement’s problems on Nixon’s shoulders and not with the movement’s leadership or ideology. However, the failure of Ashbrook’s campaign demonstrates that Nixon remained popular, and most conservative activists were more focused on opposing the New Left than on protesting Nixon’s policies; Nixon spoke for the conservative Silent Majority. A disconnect appeared between the movement and its leadership on Nixon. Rusher admitted as much during a post-election analysis of Nixon’s strategy, wherein he drew distinctions between issues that the “Archie Bunker” conservatives considered important: “busing, abortion, amnesty and the Supreme Court,” and issues that intellectual conservative journals of opinion supported, such as “wage and price controls, Red China policy, SALT agreements, etc.” Rusher unintentionally hit upon a point that eventually helped the right expand into the New Right in the late 1970s. Unbeknownst to Rusher, those ‘Archie Bunker’ issues would be perfect issues for the right.55 The split between the intellectual elite and the ‘Archie Bunker’ conservatives was real, and it demonstrates how out of touch most of these conservative leaders were with their own movement and how unaware they were of changes taking place in U.S. politics. They did not care about the issues which mattered to their own movement. Since 1960, and in part because of the rise of the anti-war left, the conservative coalition had shifted. For the first time in the Vietnam War era, foreign policy and anti-communism were not the primary concern for many conservatives. With this change, the leadership lost some control over the movement. Conservatives should have been pleased that their nightmare in Vietnam had ended, after all, the war had torn their movement apart. Now that the war was over, they could begin focusing on the issues about which their constituents cared—those same ‘Archie Bunker’ issues that Rusher had sneered at. With the politics surrounding the Vietnam War no longer a distraction, the movement’s ideology had the room to grow and eventually thrive. The same week that Nixon signed the Paris Peace Accords, the Supreme Court handed down its infamous Roe v. Wade decision. U.S. political discourse responded by focusing on abortion far more extensively than at any previous period. For once there was an obvious ‘Archie Bunker’ issue for the conservative leadership to write about and support. The right was now able to move on from the unpopular and unwinnable war and focus on a new issue which could unite the movement.

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Recognizing that the end of the war created an opportunity for the right to grow, Jeffrey Bell, in his unusually long four-page article in Human Events, reminded his readers that the long-term prognosis for the movement remained positive and that conservatives must begin focusing on the tremendous opportunities presented to them by the end of the war. Libertarians had disagreed with the war. Many conservatives had lost faith in the war. Some organizations had stopped growing because of popular opposition to the war. Overall, focusing on Vietnam was selfdefeating for conservatives, but at last it was over and “the conservative opportunity is greater than at any time in two generations.”56 Bell’s article turned out to be prophetic.

Notes 1. “A Declaration,” National Review, August 10, 1971, 842. 2. “The Conservative and Mr. Nixon,” Firing Line, December 5, 1971, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. 3. Whittaker Chambers, Witness (New York: Random House, 1952), 532. 4. Quote from: Sarah Katherine Mergel, Conservative Intellectuals and Richard Nixon (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2010), 14. For a more complete look at the right’s relations to Nixon prior to the election, see Mergel, chapter 1. 5. Ibid., 87–88. The reference to Munich is a reference to England and France’s appeasement of Hitler in the 1938 Munich Conference. Here, Goldwater was referring to the idea that conservatives gave up policy positions before the convention fight even started. 6. Buckley to Mark Burlingame, April 18, 1968, Inter-Office Memos, Correspondence 1968, William F. Buckley Papers, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University. Hereafter referred to as Buckley Papers. 7. Frank Meyer represents this view of Nixon vs Reagan in his piece: Frank Meyer, “Principle and Heresies: What Is at Issue in 1968?,” National Review, July 30, 1968, 751. For a more complete look at this debate, see Mergel, Conservative Intellectuals and Richard Nixon, chap. 1. 8. Wayne Thorburn, telephone interview with Seth Offenbach, July 19, 2011. 9. Editorial, “News Brief,” National Review, November 26, 1968, B185. 10. William F. Buckley, Jr., “On the right: Mr. Nixon’s Cabinet,” National Review, December 3, 1968, 1236–1237. 11. Memo from Bryce Harlow to Lyn Nofziger, September 18, 1969, Box 52, Folder 7, White House Special Files, Richard Nixon Presidential Papers, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland. Hereafter referred to as Nixon Papers. 12. One example is a meeting between the Nixon Administration and William F. Buckley, Jr.. Memo from Mr. Ehrlichman to Kissinger, August 4, 1969, Box 8, Folder 1, Nixon Papers. 13. Nixon archives and papers indicate that he set up frequent meetings between National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger and Special Assistant Patrick Buchanan and various conservative leaders in order to cultivate close ties between the White House and the right. One example is: Memo from Mr. Ehrlichman to Kissinger, August 4, 1969, Box 8, Folder 1, Nixon Papers.

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14. This was an especially important program because it was one of the few wherein Manion focused on Vietnam, indicating that he held great respect for Lyons (a regular guest). Daniel Lyons, “Vietnamization Program Shows Promise: South Viet Nam Should Be Allowed to Destroy Red Sanctuaries,” Manion Forum, February 22, 1970, Box 84, Folder 2, Clarence Manion Papers, Chicago Historical Society, Chicago. Hereafter referred to as Manion Papers. 15. “This Week’s News from Inside Washington: The Realistic Mr. Nixon,” Human Events, March 15, 1969, 3 (163). 16. National Review circulation numbers from ABC Auditing, 1968, Box 110, Folder 5, William Rusher Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Hereafter referred to as Rusher Papers. YAF figures from Randal Teague to National Board, Re: Analysis of Current Financial Status, December 17, 1969, Box 2, Folder 4, Patrick Dowd Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University. Hereafter referred to as Dowd Papers. 17. Financial Reports and Statements, American Conservative Union, 1967–1972, Box 136, Folder 1,2,3,4, Rusher Papers. 18. Examples of supporting arguments for Nixon’s foreign policies: Editorial, “Slow Boat from Vietnam,” National Review, June 24, 1969, B92; “This Week’s News from Inside Washington: The Realistic Mr, Nixon,” Human Events, March 15, 1969, 3(163). Examples of opposing Nixon’s foreign policies: Gen. Thomas A. Lane, “War Requires More Than Troop Withdrawal,” Human Events, June 21, 1969, 1; “This Week’s News from Inside Washington: SALT: Nuclear Munich?,” Human Events, November 8, 1969, 3(763); Letter from William Loeb (President of Manchester Union Leader) to Elizabeth Churchill Brown, November 25, 1969, Box 2, Folders 24, Elizabeth Churchill Brown Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University. Hereafter referred to as Churchill Brown Papers. 19. William Rusher to Ted Robertson, August 18, 1969, Box 76, Folder 10, General Correspondence, Rusher Papers. 20. Examples of articles pressuring Nixon to spend more on national defense: “This Week’s News from Inside Washington: Laird’s Alarming Budget Cuts,” Human Events, January 17, 1970, 3(35); Editorial, “This Week’s News from Inside Washington: Deploy the ABM,” Human Events, March 22, 1969, 3(179). 21. Editorial, “Now Is the Time for All Good Men to Come to the Aid of Their President,” National Review, May 19, 1970, 500–501. 22. “YAF: Nixon Is Double-Dealing on Vietnam,” March 12, 1971, Box 341, YAF Folder, Group Research Papers, Columbia University, New York. Hereafter referred to as Group Research Papers. 23. Editorial, “This Week’s News from Inside Washington: Nixon to Push EastWest Trade?,” Human Events, May 17, 1969, 2(355). 24. Examples of each: Front-Page Editorial, “Nixon Needs Country’s Support: Conservatives Praise Cambodian Move,” Human Events, May 9, 1970, 1(353); Front-Page Editorial, “Conservatives Worried: Nixon After One Year,” Human Events, January 24, 1970, 1(57). 25. “This Week’s News from Inside Washington: Budge Expert Says Defense Spending Too Low,” Human Events, November 21, 1970, 4 (908). 26. John Ligonier, “The Soviets and the ‘Era of Negotiation’: It Takes Two to Talk,” Human Events, November 14, 1970, 16(896). John Ligonier was a pseudonym for a freelance writer (emphasis in original).

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27. Frank Meyer, “Principles and Heresies: Mr. Nixon’s Course?,” National Review, January 12, 1971, 86. 28. Nicole R. Hemmer, Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), 235. 29. Ibid. 30. Joyce Mao, Asia First: China and the Making of Modern American Conservatism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015). 31. One example is Anthony Harrigan’s article wherein he compared China’s secret support for the North Vietnamese to Pearl Harbor: Anthony Harrigan, “Our War with China: In Vietnam & in the UN,” National Review, March 8, 1966, 204–209. 32. Congressional conservatives tended to mute their criticism of Nixon, largely because of party loyalty and because Nixon controlled the Republican National Committee, which controlled money flowing to congressional campaigns. Meanwhile, conservatives were outraged by the idea of recognizing China (which Nixon did not do), and they attacked the idea before it was even public. For instance, see: James Burnham, “The Protracted Conflict: How to Solve the China Problem,” National Review, June 29, 1971, 693; David Brudnoy, “Nixon Risks Losing Conservative Votes on Red China,” Human Events, May 22, 1971, 9(417). 33. Ping-pong diplomacy was particularly symbolic because the U.S. and Chinese national teams played one another in an attempt to demonstrate the warming relations between the two nations. DC YAF Pamphlet, Box 340, Young Americans for Freedom Folder, Group Research Papers. 34. Molly Ivines, “The Observer Goes to a YAF Convention,” The Texas Observer, September 24, 1971, Box 340, Young Americans for Freedom (magazine and clippings) Folder, Group Research Papers. 35. One example comes from the Russell J. Fuhrman to Buckley, March 5, 1972, Personal Correspondence, Buckley Papers. Historian Kevin J. Smart records that the letters were divided, with about a quarter strongly supporting the president, about half opposing his moves but supporting him as president, and a quarter wanting conservative leaders to help push him from office. Kevin J. Smart, Principles and Heresies: Frank S. Meyer and the Shaping of the American Conservative Movement (Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2002), 317–318. 36. Front-Page Editorial, “Leading Conservatives ‘Suspend Support’ of Nixon,” Human Events, August 7, 1971, 1(593). 37. Most likely, this was because Nixon’s prestige as president was greater than the prestige of editing a magazine or appearing on a television show (such as Buckley did). Human Events circulation numbers from Survey of Far Right Wing Organizations, 1971, Box 406, Group Research Papers. 38. By early 1972, articles within the conservative press began appearing such as: James Burnham, “The Protracted Conflict: I’ll Tell You a Secret,” National Review, February 18, 1972, 144. This article explained why the United States was about to lose the Vietnam War. 39. Ivines, “The Observer Goes to a YAF Convention,” Young Americans for Freedom (magazine and clippings) Folder, Group Research Papers. 40. Wayne Thorburn, A Generation Awakes: Young Americans for Freedom and the Creation of the Conservative Movement (Ottawa, IL: Jameson Books, 2010), 342–349.

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41. One example is a letter from Rusher to Frank Masland arguing that National Review was correct in pushing Ashbrook’s candidacy even though the editors knew he could not win. Rusher to Masland, February 4, 1972, Box 57, Folder 3, William Rusher Papers. 42. Letter from Rusher to Ted Robertson, August 15, 1972, Box 76, Folder 10, William Rusher Papers. 43. McCaffrey to Rusher, July 17, 1972, Box 57, Folder 7, William Rusher Papers. 44. W. H. von Dreele, Poem: “I Remember Nixon,” National Review, October 13, 1972, 1102. 45. One instance of conservatives supporting Nixon’s strong pro-war policy is: “This Week’s News from Inside Washington: How Nixon Can Make Vietnamization Work,” Human Events, May 13, 1972, 3(355). This belief held true even after the election, an example of that is: Front-Page Editorial, “Last Chance for Tough Viet Agreement,” Human Events, November 25, 1972, 1(889). 46. Walter Isaacson, Kissinger: A Biography (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005), 459. 47. There was suspicion among conservatives that Buckley enjoyed being wooed by Kissinger since he was in power and Buckley enjoyed the idea of being close to power. Quote from: John B. Judas, William F. Buckley, Jr.: Patron Saint of the Conservatives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988), 300. 48. Romney and the right had an especially tense relationship because he attempted some last-minute maneuvers to keep Goldwater from winning the 1964 primary. Survey from: Membership Survey of Conservative Book Club, 1969, Box 368, Conservative Book Club Folder, Group Research Papers. 49. Letter from Loeb to Brown, February 16, 1971, Box 2, Folder 24, Churchill Brown Papers. 50. Front-Page Editorial, “Will Kissinger’s Secret Diplomacy Undermine Saigon? Asian Experts Concerned,” Human Events, October 21, 1972, 1(769). 51. Daniel Lyons, “Man on the Go: Expert on Southeast Asia Prospects for Peace Now,” Manion Forums, December 24, 1972, Box 84, Folder 4, Manion Papers. 52. Rusher to Buckley, February 21, 1973, Inter-Office Memos 1973, Buckley Papers. 53. Buckley to Rusher, March 8, 1973, Inter-Office Memos 1973, Buckley Papers. 54. Jeffrey Bell, “The State of Conservatism: Conservatives Have Suffered an Unpleasant Four Years, but the Opportunities Are Enormous If They Can Resist the Lures of ‘Pseudorealism,’” Human Events 8–11, February 24, 1973, 8–11 (152–155). 55. Rusher to Priscilla Buckley, November 17, 1972, Box 123, Folder 3, Rusher Papers. 56. Jeffrey Bell, “The State of Conservatism: Conservatives Have Suffered an Unpleasant Four Years, but the Opportunities Are Enormous If They Can Resist the Lures of ‘Pseudorealism,’” Human Events, February 24, 1973, 8–11 (152–155).

Bibliography Interviews Donald Ernsberger David Franke Fritz Krieger

The Problem of Richard Nixon John Sainsbury Bill Saracion John Scully Randal Teague Michael Thompson Wayne Thorburn

Newspapers and Magazines Human Events National Review New Guard New York Times Time Washington Post

Online Websites and Archives Miller Center Presidential Speeches Archive Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Vietnam War Library

Chicago Historical Society, Chicago Clarence Manion Papers

Columbia University, New York Group Research Papers

Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University Albert C. Wedemeyer Papers American Subject Collection Christopher Emmet Papers Elizabeth Churchill Brown Papers Friedrich A. von Hayek Papers John Davenport Papers Marvin Liebman Papers Patrick Dowd Papers Radical Right Papers Ralph de Toledano Papers Walter Judd Papers

Library of Congress, Washington, DC William Rusher Papers

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Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Archive and Library, Austin, Texas White House Central Files

National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland HR Haldeman Papers Richard Nixon Presidential Papers White House Special Files

Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University William F. Buckley Papers

Books and Journal Articles Chambers, Whittaker. Witness. New York: Random House, 1952. Hemmer, Nicole R. Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016. Isaacson, Walter. Kissinger: A Biography. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005. Judas, John B. William F. Buckley, Jr.: Patron Saint of the Conservatives. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988. Mao, Joyce. Asia First: China and the Making of Modern American Conservatism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015. Mergel, Sarah Katherine. Conservative Intellectuals and Richard Nixon. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2010. Smart, Kevin J. Principles and Heresies: Frank S. Meyer and the Shaping of the American Conservative Movement. Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2002. Thorburn, Wayne. A Generation Awakes: Young Americans for Freedom and the Creation of the Conservative Movement. Ottawa, IL: Jameson Books, 2010.

Section III

Redemption

6

Christianity and Conservatism

Tuesday, September 3, 1974, was the first day of school in Charleston, West Virginia. This was not going to be a typical year for Charleston’s 44,000 public school students. Prior to the start of the academic year, the Kanawha school district, which encompasses the capital city, added supplementary books to the middle and high school curricula which would emphasize diversity and multiculturalism. However, a group of Christian evangelicals, led by local Rev. Marvin Horan and school board member Alice Moore, who was married to a Church of Christ minister, believed that these books were part of the larger culture which was destroying the moral fabric of the United States. After months of complaining, the new school year was finally upon them and it was now time for action, or else the students might read the books. During the first two weeks of classes, over 10,000 students were kept home by their parents.1 The Kanawha County protests, which were sponsored by the newly created Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, were the first major protests initiated by Christian evangelicals in the post-World War II era. This protest also represented one of the first major coordinated political efforts between evangelicals and a mainstream conservative organization. Because evangelicals represented the fastest growing religion in the nation, their increasingly active politicization on behalf of conservative causes was bound to alter the future of U.S. culture and politics.2 The protests, which initially began in opposition to these supplementary school readings, quickly spread to the adult world. Miners walked off the job in a wildcat strike to protest their children’s educational environment. This forced the closure of more than 80% of the region’s mines, which made up the financial heart of both Kanawha County and the state of West Virginia. The miners then began disrupting the Charlestonarea bus system, which served approximately 11,000 people daily. These protesters quickly captured the national imagination. While Americans had witnessed parents protesting school policies (especially integration and busing policies), never before had religion and textbooks played such a prominent role. The protests put Charleston at the center of a rapidly growing national debate about the role of religion and morality in society.

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As the anti-textbook protests grew in size, things quickly spiraled out of control. Lawyers, teachers, children, dynamite, and guns were involved as tensions escalated. First, union officials in Washington, DC, from the United Mine Workers urged their members to go back to work. The mining companies even received court-ordered injunctions to try to stop the protest and end the strike, but the 40-person Kanawha County police force was incapable of enforcing the injunction. Over the next few days, statements increased from the teachers that their academic freedom was being impinged. To protest the protesters, the teachers’ union threatened to call for a sick-out. To show support for their teachers, some students in the wealthier part of the district walked out of the classroom.3 Finally, on Friday, September 13, ten days after the initial protests began, Phillip Cochran, a UPS truck driver, was shot and killed in a dispute regarding the protests.4 Moore’s protest of the new school curricula captivated the nation and brought parts of Charleston to the brink of collapse. As the protests dragged on, and with school absenteeism nearing 25%, Superintendent Kenneth Underwood suspended classes because “the county is bordering on lawlessness.”5 Successful in closing the school district, protesters escalated the pressure as they began calls for the “filthy rotten books .  .  . [to be] burned.”6 After multiple bomb threats, antitextbook activists set fires in three local schools and dynamited part of another school, while several Christian preachers were arrested for their roles in organizing the protests.7 Additionally, CBS reporter Jed Duval and his crew were beaten and their camera equipment stolen by local activists.8 This violence worked, as the school district agreed to suspend using the books for at least 30 days while a group of local leaders debated the merits of each book. Reluctantly, most of the activists agreed. On Tuesday, September 17, after 14 days of protests which turned Charleston into the center of urban unrest, tensions slowly started to cool. What was so offensive about these supplemental readings to cause such large-scale violence and anger? Activists complained that the inclusion of authors such as black nationalist Eldridge Cleaver, the former Black Panther leader, were fundamentally anti-American. Cleaver’s opponents complained that he was a self-confessed rapist who once wrote of wanting to “slit some white throats” and was living in exile in Algeria, making his work unfit to teach in public schools.9 Many coal miners, who opposed public discourse of extramarital sex, complained that children should not be exposed to a poem by Allen Ginsburg, where he describes a prostitute whom he knew as “filthy and rotten.”10 Protest organizer Alice Moore found the poem by Roger McGough titled “Mother, There’s a Strange Man Waiting at the Door” as particularly offensive because it depicts Jesus as “filthy dirty” and money hungry.11 In short, these protesters, the majority of whom came from blue-collar families, believed that the new books, which were being promoted by the liberal multi-cultural spirit within society, would destroy the United States.

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Despite their offense at some of the supplementary readings, the protesters and activists understood that this was about more than a few books or ideas; this was a symptom of a fracturing society. The protests originated in the rural part of the county, where workers made their livelihoods in the mines. As one unnamed activist told a reporter from the Washington Post, these mine workers felt like they were being marginalized. The activists claimed to represent: what the government calls the lower classes .  .  . they [politicians] never pay any attention to us. The wealthy-class parents, they don’t care about their children. They have enough money to bail them out when they get in trouble. Working people like us, we don’t have the money so we have to care.12 The United States was becoming a wealthier nation, but these workingclass people were angry at their stagnating salaries and dwindling opportunities for economic mobility. Many of the protesters felt disconnected from a rapidly changing society, feeling alienated even from their own union leaders in Washington. These were individuals who associated with All in the Family’s Archie Bunker and did not appreciate urban, liberal, or wealthy Americans sneering at them. Much of the blue-collar angst that would come to dominate the rest of the 1970s first exploded in the Kanawha protests.13 While the protests in Kanawha began as a school protest against supplemental reading materials, they represented the start of a decade of change in the United States. Underlying the Kanawha protests was the basic question of why the protesters believed that the school board wanted to promote racial antagonism, out-of-wedlock sex, extremist violence, and atheism. According to Austin Scott, a reporter for the Washington Post who conducted many interviews with protesters, the answer was a fear of communism.14 After many years of hearing that communists were subverting society, these blue-collar individuals were fighting back. They were also frustrated with the changing culture which they feared represented the weakening of the United States on the global stage. In short, old conservative critiques promoting muscular anti-communism had started to come home to roost. In the years preceding the protests, détente had become the reigning Cold War policy, the United States had lost the Vietnam War (though Saigon had not yet fallen), and Nixon had visited the People’s Republic of China, moves which the right had long portrayed as a weakening of U.S. power. At the same time, during the first few years of the 1970s, black nationalist leaders such as Cleaver traveled to communist nations to extol the great virtues of their economic systems while Hollywood actress Jane Fonda visited North Vietnam posing for photos in front of an anti-aircraft gun used against U.S. planes. All of this occurred on the heels of the anti-war protests which were labeled by conservatives as ‘anti-American.’ To the

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Kanawha protesters, Cleaver, Fonda, and all their anti-war supporters, were acting in an un-American manner, and Nixon was doing little to reclaim Cold War supremacy. The Kanawha protests were the first visible example of how the politics surrounding the Vietnam War helped bring Christian evangelicals into the conservative movement. These protests represented the culmination of a decade’s worth of effort to bring Catholics and Christian evangelical anti-communists together into what became the New Right. By conflating the social anxiety exhibited by the protesters with anticommunism, conservatism became a more hospitable political ideology for the anti-communist Christian evangelicals who opposed the Jane Fonda-esque New Left social liberalism of the late 1960s and early 1970s. This new conservative ideology changed politics and society throughout the remainder of the twentieth century.

Evangelicals and the Conservative Movement Though religion and conservatism had long been related, and the postWorld War II conservative movement had an ideological root which supported the integration of religion and the Judeo-Christian morality into politics, it was not until the 1970s when many Christian evangelicals and fundamentalists began joining the conservative movement.15 Other historians have identified a variety of reasons for the eventual conjoining of religion and conservatism in the New Right in the mid-1970s, including the role of abortion, the rise of feminism, changes to the IRS tax codes for parochial schools, the political rise of the Sun Belt, and the role of individuals such as politicians like Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan and religious leaders like Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell.16 However, anti-communist beliefs and support for the Vietnam War created fertile ground which allowed for joint agreement between conservatives and Christian evangelicals so that the two could grow closer together in the late 1970s. Support for the war opened the door for increased dialogue between the groups, and helped to lower the traditional mistrust that separated evangelicals and conservatives. Catholic domination of most of the major conservative organizations and publications is an important reason for the prior lack of coordination. Individuals such as Buckley, Manion, and Schlafly were Catholic, though they tried to remain inclusive toward most sects of Judeo-Christians; and there were many nonCatholics involved in conservative politics, including Walter Judd, who was a Congregational Christian (mainline Protestant) and Barry Goldwater, who was Episcopalian with a Jewish father. Still, Catholics and evangelicals had long opposed one another, and evangelicals remained wary of joining closely with the Catholic-dominated right. Politically, the dispute between the groups predates Al Smith’s 1928 presidential

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campaign, when the Catholic candidate encountered much religiously inspired, hate-filled opposition. The animosity between Catholics and evangelicals continued through the early 1960s when, as historian Daniel K. Williams has noted, evangelicals supported the separation of church and state in public schools largely because they feared that Catholics would use public school prayers to impose their own view of religion on children. Even as the national culture began to turn toward secularism in the mid-1960s, evangelicals were reluctant to work with Catholics and Catholic-dominated conservative organizations. Williams does not overlook the importance of anti-communism to bring the mainstream right and evangelical movements together, but he sidesteps the role of Vietnam, and their joint opposition to the anti-war protesters, in forming this New Right coalition.17 Supporting the Vietnam War and promoting anti-communism made Christian evangelicals more receptive to working with the Catholicdominated conservative movement. At the same time, fatigue with the Vietnam War in 1972 and 1973 made conservative organizations realize the need for a new national campaign. Conservative leaders who were weary from supporting the failed war, and from fighting libertarians, the New Left, and Richard Nixon, turned to religion and culture to help expand the movement. This made conservatism more hospitable to Christian evangelicals, while pushing the movement further from its libertarian roots. Though conservatives still relied on some libertarian ideals, the movement became less devoted to rigid libertarianism than it was a generation earlier. Instead, the movement’s leaders seized upon religion—and anti-abortion advocacy specifically—as the new catalyst for the movement. The Kanawha County protests represent the passing of the baton between libertarians and Christian evangelicals as religion and morality became integral to the ideology of the mainstream conservative movement. Within a few years of the West Virginia protests, the New Right was born with religion dominating this new political ideology.

Christianity Within Conservatism Historians have long analyzed religion’s place within U.S. politics and society. Within the modern era, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophy grew out of his religious convictions. Additionally, religion was a motivating factor for many of the 78% of Catholics who voted for John Kennedy in 1960.18 There are innumerable examples of Americans mixing religion and politics. Despite the existence of King and the Civil Rights Movement, the post-World War II conservative movement viewed itself as the political group which was most interested in protecting the nation’s moral and religious righteousness. This was clearly stated in The Conservative Mind, a seminal work about conservative political theory written by movement intellectual Russell Kirk. Kirk describes the six canons of

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conservatism, the first one being, “Belief in a transcendent order, or body of natural law, which rules society as well as conscience. Political problems, at bottom, are religious and moral problems.”19 Kirk argues that the first principle of conservative thought is a recognition that politics, morality, and fear of evil are all related social issues. Traditionalist conservatives, who followed in Kirk’s intellectual footsteps, made up a large portion of the conservative movement during the 1960s. Many of these individuals believed that the United States was a good and righteous Christian, democratic, and capitalist society. This righteousness helped to underwrite their pro-American patriotism and muscular anti-communism. It also explains why many traditionalists were not isolationists, as many early-twentieth century conservatives were; traditionalists in the 1960s supported an interventionist anti-communist foreign policy as a means of fighting against the atheistic communist ideology. Religion often helped explain conservative anti-communism. For example, conservative journalist Walter Michelson wrote that if communists won the Cold War and took control of the U.S. government, then “they would openly promote atheism and bar religious people from party membership, and from promotion to the best jobs.”20 Conservatives took Karl Marx at his word that religion was the opiate of the masses, and assumed that communism wanted to eradicate all religions. Thus, the right’s overall religious beliefs helped to promote their anti-communism. By intersecting anti-communism, pro-Americanism, and their interpretation of strict traditional religious values, conservative intellectual leaders helped to make their movement more hospitable to religious individuals. Conservatism proved to be especially Welcoming to Catholics, who played a disproportionately dominant role in leading the movement. While Catholicism remained core to these individuals’ identities, their political philosophy relied on a nationalistic and interventionist brand of anti-communism. Although Catholics and Christian evangelicals tended to be anticommunist, there was still little trust between the two groups in the 1950s. As historian Neil J. Young demonstrates in his work We Gather Together, even though some evangelicals such as Billy Graham were muscular anti-communists, they found little unity with other denominations of Christians, including Catholics and Mormons. This was because of long-standing distrust which was steeped in religious difference.21 This distrust meant that there was generally little coordination between them, despite having similar policy goals. For example, in 1962, Rev. Billy James Hargis, a popular evangelical Baptist preacher, organized a gathering of more than 100 individuals to promote a national plan for opposing communist expansion in the United States. The meeting included a plethora of people whose support for a moral order to society, smaller government, and ardent anti-communism meant that they were on the right

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side of the political spectrum. Despite the similarity between Hargis’s politics and the ideals of the rest of the right, he did little to coordinate with mainstream conservatives, which he viewed as too Catholic. Thus, no Catholic groups joined as sponsors of Hargis’s anti-communist meeting. This anti-communist meeting could have been a brilliant place from which to broaden integration between evangelical anti-communists and the mainstream, Catholic-dominated right. Instead, the absence of important Catholic leaders is one demonstration of the strained relationship between the different right-wing Christian groups.22 Certainly, not all Catholics and Protestant evangelicals were at odds throughout the early 1960s, but coordination at the elite level was remarkably scarce. The Kanawha protests marked the first time this changed. After nearly a decade of similar anti-communist and pro-Vietnam War messages by some Catholic and evangelical leaders, and in response to the rapidly changing social norms in the early 1970s, Catholics and evangelicals slowly became more integrated and united. By the end of the 1970s, the conservative movement was refashioned as the New Right—a movement based on the principles of small government, traditional family values, public displays of Christian religiosity, and a pro-America foreign policy.

Evangelical Anti-Communists To millions of Baptists, Christian evangelicals, and fundamentalists, Cold War rhetoric sounded similar to the apocalyptic struggle between Satan and God with which they were already familiar. Additionally, historian Laura Jane Gifford notes that Christian evangelicals were among the most “fiercely patriotic and resolutely anti-communist of all Americans,” long after the majority of the nation developed a more nuanced view of the Cold War.23 These evangelical anti-communists argued that Karl Marx and Soviet leaders Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Nikita Khrushchev were part of long-running, aggressive, expansionistic ideology which would not stop until it achieved total world domination. To these evangelical anti-communists, it was better to be overly aggressive in terms of anti-communism; failure to remain vigilant meant that the United States could be overrun by communism. Christian evangelicals are a varied group, many of whom remained strongly committed to the anti-communist cause throughout the 1960s and 1970s. For the purposes of this study, those who identified themselves as strongly anti-communist and who practiced some variant of evangelical Christianity, including Baptists and fundamentalists, will be referred to as part of the evangelical anti-communist community. There were evangelicals for whom the Cold War was a secondary concern, but in this work the term evangelical anti-communists will refer solely to the many evangelical and fundamentalist anti-communist activists in the

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United States. One of the most important distinctions between fundamentalists and evangelicals is that fundamentalist leaders typically separated religion and the afterlife from the politics of the world. Thus, most fundamentalists were not actively involved in the anti-communist movement of the period. This left a vacuum for the few active, evangelical leaders to dominate the evangelical anti-communist discourse. In the 1960s, these aggressive anti-communists were part of an evangelical anti-communist community that was as religiously varied as the evangelical movement; what united the community were the remarkable similarities of their anticommunist rhetoric. It is also important to note that there were many liberal anti-communist and anti-war evangelicals. These individuals, such as Republican Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon, lost influence as more evangelicals moved to the political right. These liberal anti-war evangelicals, who still existed in the early 1970s, are not the focus of this study and are not included in the term evangelical anti-communists. Dr. Fred Schwarz, founder of the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade (CACC), was a leading evangelical anti-communist who was popular in the late 1950s and 1960s. Schwarz described communism as a deadly disease that aimed at imposing “universal slavery” on all people.24 Schwarz argued that communists wore “the mask of Satan” and that “liberal-leftists anti-anti-Communists” never recognized the true nature of the threat.25 Schwarz’s view of communism inspired his first book, the bestseller You Can Trust the Communists (to be Communists). At the heart of this book is an inspection of quotations by former communist leaders—many of whom were deceased—laying out their plans for world conquest. In the eyes of Schwarz, these plans were still being followed by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.26 To thousands of evangelical anti-communists, Schwarz was a leader. He promised to expose the domestic communist conspiracy. Schwarz informed people that he was different from all other commentators or speakers because he was well-versed in communist writings. Littered throughout his books, newsletters, and pamphlets were assertions that Schwarz was being truthful and honest, whereas the liberal elite—which included professors, the press, and government officials—was either being fooled by communist lies or was complicit in the communist conspiracy. In discussing the evils of the Communist International, Schwarz used both medical language (describing communism as a virus) and religious language by using quotations and parables from the Bible. Despite Schwarz’s statements, communism was not (and is not) a medical problem, anti-communism was not ordained in the Bible, and most Americans were not oblivious to the legitimate risk the Soviet Union posed to the United States. Still, he warned his followers that if the nation did not follow his advice, then communism would triumph.27 One of Schwarz’s most popular pieces of literature was an ominous poster published by the Allen-Bradley Corporation throughout the late

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1950s and the 1960s. The poster was a transcript of Schwarz’s testimony to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1957. The message on it was powerful, despite the typically dry nature of congressional testimony. Through 5,000 words in small type—meaning that few people must have read the entire text—the poster presented a frightening image. At the top, in large, bold typeface was a simple question: “will you be free to celebrate Christmas in the future?” The answer: “Communism is out to destroy you!” Though the HUAC testimony was long and complicated, the poster’s message was extremely simple: Americans should fear communism because if the United States did not remain vigilant, then the red atheists in Moscow would destroy both the United States and Christmas. By tying religious freedom and the Christmas celebration, Schwarz hit on a message that struck fear in many evangelical anti-communists.28 Schwarz’s warnings of impending doom helped turn him into a successful entrepreneur. For more than a decade, the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade took in over $500,000 annually, peaking at $1.2 million in 1962, making it one of the wealthiest Christian anti-communist organizations in the nation.29 Americans subscribed to his monthly newsletters, they paid to attend his ‘schools,’ and they devoted time to listening to his Christian message of anti-communism. This kept the organization afloat throughout the remainder of the twentieth century, despite his having run a severe deficit during a single, expensive, and ill-fated campaign in New York City in 1962.30 The Crusade’s anti-communist message was echoed by a variety of other preachers and evangelical-leaning organizations throughout the United States in the 1960s. Two other notable leaders are Rev. Billy James Hargis, who founded Christian Crusade, and Dr. Carl McIntire, who founded Christian Beacon. Both organizations promoted a virulent brand of anti-communism in the 1950s and 1960s. According to historian Daniel K. Williams, Hargis was one of the leading national anti-communist radio preachers.31 Meanwhile, Christian Beacon had a circulation figure which rivaled that of National Review’s (almost 150,000 subscribers) and McIntire’s radio program rivaled Clarence Manion’s, as it was carried by more than 600 stations nationally.32 Both Hargis and McIntire made it clear that being American and being Christian were synonymous. As Hargis told a reporter from the Dallas Morning News in 1962, “In my mind, Americanism is very close to the religion of faith in God. The American way of life comes from New Testament Christianity.”33 To defend the United States from communist aggression, Americans needed to promote Christianity. Thus, like Schwarz, both Hargis and McIntire argued that Christian Americans needed to fight against the evil, atheistic mentality of communism. Schwarz, Hargis, and McIntire’s ideas can be seen in local evangelical anti-communist organizations. These ideas helped to propel the careers

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of local evangelical radio personalities, and they also served as a major talking point in several local churches and organizations. W. S. McBirnie was a local evangelical anti-communist personality who lived in Southern California and published a magazine for his Southern California audience. In his magazine and radio program he derided the many communist conspiracies which he perceived to lie behind liberal political objectives. For instance, in 1964 when Californians voted on the Rumford Act— which would have made it illegal to discriminate when selling a home— McBirnie took to the airwaves to decry the effort as a socialist conspiracy to erode “individual freedoms.” A few years later, as U.S. leaders were promoting détente with the Soviet Union, McBirnie warned that the nation was at risk of being overrun because of the “fatuous fawning on Communist leaders.” Though few American leaders actually fawned over communists, McBirnie was in a near state of red alert for fear of what liberals were trying to do to the United States.34 To further emphasize his point, McBirnie sent out his sensational magazine throughout the 1960s and 1970s. One notable magazine from the late 1960s had a black-and-white picture of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin on the cover. Coming out of the side of his head were two bright, blood-red horns which were all the more prominent due to the black-and-white background. The title of the magazine was “The Real Power Behind Communism.” The message was unmistakable: Lenin was the Devil.35 McBirnie’s anti-communism preyed upon evangelicals’ fear of the Devil in order to promote his local anti-communist organization. National leaders such as Hargis and local leaders such as McBirnie helped to create a nationwide atmosphere among evangelicals that made anti-communism the social norm in parts of these communities. In order to promote the idea that communists were evil, local ministers and leaders often ramped up their anti-communist rhetoric. That is what Rev. Theron Spurr of the Gilead Baptist Church in Detroit did in March 1964. In the middle of Easter services, with more than 1,000 congregants in attendance, Spurr taught his community about the evils of communism. To Spurr, the Easter holiday provided the opportunity to reach a wider audience than he normally preached to. In order to ensure that his message got through to everyone in attendance, Spurr hired two men to dress as police offices and interrupt his anti-communist sermon. Midway through the Easter service, the fake officers walked up to the pulpit and placed Spurr in handcuffs while announcing that the church was closed. As Spurr was being dragged out, he reportedly screamed: “but I haven’t finished my sermon yet!” This shocked the congregation as people scurried to figure out what had transpired. In the end, Spurr had not actually been arrested by the fake officers; however, the real police were called to the scene before the truth could be revealed. Spurr hired the fake cops to dramatize a point: communism allows no dissent, especially from religious leaders.36

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What would drive a Baptist minister to such lengths as to stage his own arrest on one of the holiest days of the year? Within large segments of the Christian evangelical community, anti-communism was a powerful concept. By this time there was already a national discourse within the evangelical anti-communist community—promoted by leaders such as Hargis—decrying communists as subverting the rules of both God and country. This discourse, which greatly exaggerated the risk of communism overrunning the United States, convinced people that the only way to fight communism was to remain vigilant at all times. True Christian patriots could not let down their guard. To fight the International Communist powers, one needed to think about and learn what the communists’ next step was going to be, hence the popularity of Schwarz’s anti-communist schools. This required individuals to be on the lookout for communist infiltration of U.S. institutions, essentially keeping up fears of the Red Scare long after McCarthyism was discredited in most sectors of the nation. The best way to protect the United States, according to these evangelical anti-communists, was to shout from the rooftops (or pulpits) against any rapid expansion of government powers for fear that it might be a Moscow-created policy. Spurr utilized this national discourse, which was prevalent throughout the evangelical anti-communist community, to attract the attention of his Easter Sunday crowd.

Evangelical Anti-Communists and the Vietnam War The evangelical anti-communist community was generally made up of people who offered unfailing support for U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Unlike the broader conservative movement, few speakers or authors within the evangelical anti-communist community publicly expressed serious doubt about the fight for South Vietnam during the war’s early years. There was little mention of the difficult military fight ahead, the depressing odds of success, or other possible alternatives besides total conquest. There was no push among evangelical anti-communists to exit Vietnam in order to bring the fight elsewhere. The instincts underwriting the evangelical anti-communist identity were to aggressively fight the communist menace wherever possible. Despite demonstrating early support for the war, there is no indication that evangelical anti-communists in 1964 viewed the fighting in Vietnam as their primary foreign policy concern. Like the mainstream conservative movement, evangelical anti-communists recognized that there were other important strategic locations on which to focus their efforts. Fidel Castro’s consolidation of power within Cuba, and his efforts to export the communist revolution throughout the hemisphere, frightened conservatives nationwide and was a major source of interest for evangelical anti-communists. For example, the majority of the October 1964 edition of the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade Newsletter, which was one

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of the few issues to focus heavily on foreign policy, was about Chile and Cuba. Fears of what the communists were doing there meant that those nations remained primary on the list of places where the United States must focus its efforts.37 This focus on Latin America does not mean that South Vietnam was an expendable location. Prior to the Americanization of the war, Vietnam was portrayed as “the doorway to Southeast Asia” by evangelical anticommunists who argued that the United States needed to stay strong and fight in Vietnam, or risk losing another nation to communist aggression.38 If South Vietnam fell, then all of Southeast Asia would be at risk. Like the broader conservative movement, many evangelical anti-communists recognized that the government of the Republic of Vietnam needed assistance from the United States to stay in power. Additionally, they thought U.S. credibility was on the line in Vietnam, and that without credibility, the United States could not prevail in the Cold War. This muscular anti-communism explains the overwhelming level of support sent from evangelical anti-communist leaders to Johnson following the initiation of Operation Rolling Thunder. Carl McIntire telegraphed Johnson that “[I] fully support your stand in Vietnam.”39 Billy James Hargis, a frequent Johnson critic, told the president: “Your decision to punish sanctuaries of communism in North Viet Nam is endorsed by all genuinely patriotic Americans.”40 Rev. Billy Graham told a reporter: “I think that the U.S. has a moral obligation to defend freedom in Southeast Asia. Of course, war is a terrible thing—but it becomes necessary sometimes. I am not a pacifist. I do not believe the Bible teaches pacifism.”41 These evangelical leaders demonstrated no shame in supporting a war against communists; in their worldview, the alternative to fighting a communist nation was subjugation to communist demands. Because they described communism as an aggressive evil, fighting it was the only acceptable response. Both Graham and Hargis defined their support for Johnson’s war in terms that were the opposite of their liberal, anti-war colleagues. Hargis’s comment focusing on “genuinely patriotic Americans” and Graham’s discussion of pacifists demonstrate that both were anxious to deflect the critique that as religious leaders, they should promote the sanctity of human life. Both leaders dismissed this charge because they thought the Cold War was an apocalyptic event which warranted an aggressive military strategy. They defined themselves in opposition to anti-war advocates by proclaiming the idea that true Americans supported the fight against communists no matter where or when it happened. This put their words and thoughts in line with, or further to the right of, much of the rest of the conservative movement. Once Johnson began Americanizing the war and declared that the protection of South Vietnam was a priority, evangelical anti-communists, like the rest of the conservative movement, fully supported the president. There is no evidence of

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direct coordination between mainstream conservatives such as William F. Buckley, Jr., and evangelical anti-communists such as Carl McIntire; however, they were aware of one another’s existence and overall arguments. Even without coordination, the rhetoric used by evangelical anticommunists to support the war was remarkably similar to that of the mainstream right. They supported the fighting once Johnson Americanized the war, but they were also remarkably distrustful of the president. Like the mainstream right, many evangelical anti-communist leaders expressed fear that he was going to try to negotiate his way out of the Vietnam War before military success was achieved. Based on the widely accepted premise that Schwarz used in his book—that you cannot trust communists to negotiate in good faith—many argued that Johnson could not begin to negotiate until the U.S. military had achieved total success on the battlefield. Underlying this philosophy was the belief that communists only understood force and only negotiate through the bayonet; anything less is a sign of weakness. They argued that mediation would leave the North Vietnamese military capable of restarting the war at any time and of overriding South Vietnam at its earliest possible convenience, as eventually happened. Mainstream conservatives shared this sentiment with the rest of the evangelical anti-communists, and it eventually became part of their shared ideology. Though evangelical anti-communists and the mainstream right supported the war, there were notable differences in their rhetoric. Despite the pervasive pro-war sentiment of these evangelical anti-communists, their literature infrequently mentioned Vietnam. This omission is especially notable when compared to the conservative movement’s discourse. The war’s absence from the literature does not indicate a lack of support for the war. Rather, it indicates that most grassroots evangelical anticommunists instinctively supported the Vietnam War. In essence, the leadership did not use this issue to help retain its popularity. Comparatively, the mainstream right attempted to use the war as a means of unifying the movement following Goldwater’s defeat in 1964. Support among evangelical anti-communists in favor of the war against the communists was implicit, and their leadership thus focused on other alleged (and other false) internal subversive plots that communists were attempting in the United States. When evangelical anti-communists discussed the war, they emphasized that the United States must win it militarily before engaging in diplomatic negotiations. From 1965 to 1968, they increasingly blamed U.S. failures on the liberal Democratic President Johnson. Even after Nixon became president, they remained skeptical that he was going to fight aggressively enough to win the war. Once the public began to fully understand his Vietnamization strategy—removing troops while increasing bombing raids and negotiating an end to the war—they opposed it as insufficient

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and incapable of achieving victory. Instead, they recognized that Vietnamization existed primarily to help Nixon withdraw from Vietnam without losing political support in the United States. Throughout Nixon’s first term, evangelical anti-communist groups questioned his commitment to victory. This echoed the fears emanating from the mainstream conservative movement. By the end of 1971, both conservatives and evangelical anti-communists were in lock-step agreement that Nixon did not have the political will to win the Vietnam War. This does not mean that they coordinated their messages, but it is clear that both groups were aware of the others’ critiques of Nixon. Politics does not occur in a vacuum, and because they were two of the loudest remaining pro-war groups in 1971 and 1972, each was surely aware of the other’s arguments. Part of the explanation why evangelical anti-communists were early opponents of Vietnamization is that they had little political obligation to support Nixon. Their role as outsiders on the fringes of politics meant they could more readily dismiss a mainstream Republican president. Many had opposed both of Nixon’s presidential campaigns. For instance, McBirnie emphatically criticized all three 1968 presidential candidates: “NIXON IS UNSATISFACTORY, WALLACE IS UNELECTABLE, HUMPHREY IS UNTHINKABLE.”42 McBirnie clearly disagreed with the liberal Democratic candidate Humphrey. His opposition to Alabama Governor George Wallace stemmed more from his electability, which indicates that McBirnie supported Wallace’s race-laden message, which primarily appealed to working-class whites; considering McBirnie’s prior view of the Rumford Act, this pro-Wallace view is not surprising. It does, however, diverge from what mainstream conservatives thought about Wallace, which was that his culture-warrior attitude masked his big government liberalism. The conservative elite viewed Wallace as a false prophet who was a threat to their power, though they rarely questioned his racist statements. This is another example of the intellectual differences between the mainstream right and this evangelical anti-communist community. Most importantly, McBirnie’s attack on Nixon stemmed from his lack of institutional ties to the future president. Since McBirnie did not view himself as a mainstream conservative, he felt less of a commitment to the Republican presidential candidate. Though evangelical anti-communists and mainstream conservatives used similar anti-communist rhetoric, both groups had different purposes and audiences. Unlike conservative publications like Human Events or organizations such as the American Conservative Union, evangelical anticommunist groups like Hargis’s Christian Crusade remained far more insular and less focused on direct communication with the general voter. Those who participated in Hargis’s events entered with a fear of a communist takeover of the United States. Conversely, Human Events hoped to shape the opinions of Republican (and interested Democratic) politicians,

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while simultaneously speaking to and leading the entire movement. Hargis generally did not try to lead the conservative movement. At best, his goals were to integrate into the it.43 In their ideal world, evangelical anti-communist groups strove to dominate U.S. political discourse, but the nature of their rhetoric made such a dream virtually impossible. A large percentage of the population viewed these groups as hate-filled organizations that were destroying the United States. Additionally, many other Americans had no interest in joining an evangelical faith; and promoting the Lord was more important to evangelical anti-communists than opposing communism. Many national leaders in academia, media, and politics (especially liberals, and including Christian liberal anti-communists), viewed these groups as fascists posing a greater threat to U.S. society than the small number of active communists in the United States. Still others labeled them frauds. These labels speak both to the bias of the accusers as well as to the policies of the accused—but more importantly, the labels show that a large percentage of U.S. society was dismissive of these evangelical anti-communists. An example of this occurred when McIntire attempted to move his organization to Florida in 1971. At the time, a local businessperson complained to the New York Times that the organization was “a shabby, money-making operation that hides behind the banner of education, religion and patriotism.”44 Other business leaders took aim at Schwarz, including C. Irving Dwork, president of Franlee Distributors, which was asked to sell Schick razors with some proceeds going to the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade. Dwork, who was a Christian, bluntly and publicly refused to “support such a vicious gospel.”45 While millions of Americans still feared communism and communist expansion, more Americans supported the ideas of détente than the violent anti-communism of McIntire, Schwarz, and their supporters. This meant that evangelical anti-communists were on the fringes of the political spectrum, freeing them from having to feign support for Johnson’s or Nixon’s military strategies. Instead, they could offer strong support for the fighting while denouncing the president.

The Right’s Religion As more Americans began questioning the war, the conservative movement fell into a malaise which caused the right’s leaders to repeatedly complain that the enthusiasm among the grassroots had reached a nadir. The failure of the U.S. military to win the war was one of the leading factors that disturbed conservatives nationwide. Additionally, the movement, which had previously been able to respectfully disagree about ideological differences, had fractured because of disagreements about the war. In an effort to reanimate grassroots supporters, many conservative leaders began to lean on religion just as they had previously leaned on the war to reanimate Goldwater’s former supporters only a few years earlier.

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When Johnson began Operation Rolling Thunder shortly after his second inauguration, the right’s leadership understood that the military operation could serve as a unifying issue within the movement. Because the majority of conservatives considered themselves patriots and unfailing supporters of the U.S. military, there was little doubt that the grassroots would support a military campaign against communists in Vietnam. Thus, as previously discussed, in 1965 and the first part of 1966, supporting the Vietnam War kept many people interested in conservatism, and the right’s leaders came up with strategic arguments which they believed would have won the war. The United States, of course, proved incapable of winning the war. By the late 1960s, something within conservatism was amiss; supporting the flailing military effort was not a strong enough issue to keep grassroots activists engaged. In addition, disagreements about the righteousness of the war grew more heated. If the right wanted to expand, it needed activists to volunteer their spare time to engage in political activities, but it was increasingly difficult to find supporters willing to publicly support the controversial war. Though there was an increase in the number of pro-war protests, these protests were often sparsely attended and were usually in response to the left’s growing anti-war protests. It was obvious to many within conservatism that they needed a new issue. In the early 1960s, Goldwater ran as a conservative, but his politics lightly favored libertarianism over traditionalism. Though not entirely pronounced during his 1964 campaign, it is increasingly clear in retrospect that Goldwater campaigned on the small government principles of libertarianism. While talking about his experiences with the 1964 campaign, campaign volunteer Randal Teague recalled: “It’s really amazing to me, in looking back at it some decades later, that—you know—Barry Goldwater [was viewed as] a conservative—but he was very libertarian in his views.”46 Tilting toward libertarianism served Goldwater well in the early 1960s, when he was running against Johnson and the growth of the welfare state. But as some libertarians began to desert the movement, and as the Great Society came and went as a national issue, libertarianism could no longer serve as the dominant wing of the conservative movement’s philosophy. By 1967, several conservatives were starting to focus on social order and religion. The rise of the anti-war New Left spurred this change. Focusing on religion and culture opened the door to the rise of the New Right—of which the evangelical anti-communists were an integral part—in the mid- and late 1970s. The internal dialogue within the conservative elite indicates that there was agreement on the need to shake things up—to stir the pot and rouse the anger of the grassroots once again. The most articulate description of the problem is Neil McCaffrey’s previously discussed memo, but others agreed with him that something was wrong.47 Despite the widespread recognition that something was amiss, there was no agreement

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regarding what should come next. Some believed that the movement should increase its anti-communist rhetoric; others argued that the right needed to improve the quality and quantity of intellectual conservative scholarship; and still others thought that the problem was how the right marketed its ideas, not the ideas themselves.48 It was much easier to realize that ‘something is off’ then to solve the actual problem. During the later years of the Vietnam War, the right’s leadership knew a problem existed, but did not know what a solution might look like. About a year after McCaffrey warned the National Review of the problem, he offered a suggestion: the magazine should begin publishing two articles per issue about religion, one written by a Catholic and one by a Protestant. Though the editors of the magazine did not follow McCaffrey’s advice, they did value his input and religion took on a more prominent place within the pages of the National Review. Articles published over the course of the following year, including those by academics Will Herberg and Ernest van den Haag, discussed religious morality and society.49 In addition to the editors’ choices of articles, advertisements also appeared that targeted a religious audience. For instance, Bob Jones University placed an ad on the back page of the magazine proclaiming the school to be a place where “God’s word is honored and its precepts recognized as the building blocks of character.”50 This ad was one of several, indicating that religious organizations began to view National Review as a vehicle capable of getting their message to their target audience. This change within the National Review occurred at the same time that the libertarians were splitting from YAF and other conservative organizations. This tumultuous time within conservatism inspired National Review to publish a series of articles focused on conservative identity. Fusionists, led by people such as Frank Meyer, continued to push for the idea that libertarianism was an important component of conservatism. However, many libertarians publicly disagreed with Meyer, as they disavowed both YAF and the conservative movement because of the right’s support for the war. Thus, fusionism was permanently weakened. Fusionism was based on the idea that libertarians and traditionalists could work together; without these extreme libertarians, the movement’s ideology was permanently altered as it began to sway toward a more religious and traditionalist ideology The weakened influence of libertarianism on fusionism’s ideology was made possible by the changing nature of domestic politics in the late 1960s. Unlike the early 1960s, when the welfare state and Civil Rights Movement were among the most prominent issues in the United States, the Vietnam War dominated the national discourse in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As the anti-war New Left grew in prominence, so too did discussions about moral deviation and social chaos. Additionally, traditionalists began conflating the anti-war protesters and those promoting identity politics. This meant that traditionalists viewed all anti-war

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protesters as a direct challenge to the traditionalists’ notions of a moral society, as exemplified by Antoni Gollan’s article about marijuana and the war that was published by National Review in 1968.51 The more liberals and the left pushed for social change, the more prominence gained by the anti-war movement, the more some conservatives began to panic. John Davenport, who sat on the board of directors for the American Conservative Union, expressed this fear in a letter to a compatriot: [T]oday the public life as it now exists (including politics, television, the shame of our cities and our villages if you count all the neon signs) “is an enormous obstacle to virtue.” . . . And because [religion] is in fact being pushed aside we [as a society] are in a very bad way indeed.52 Although this was a personal letter between friends, it demonstrates the undercurrent of discourse within the conservative movement. Times were changing and the movement needed to respond to what it perceived as the decline of U.S. society. Conservatives stood firmly opposed to this cultural revolution taking place in the late 1960s and early 1970s. There was a general feeling that if they did nothing, the rampant libertine culture would destroy the American family and eventually bring down the United States as the leader of the free world. Many traditionalists tied their anti-communism into the belief that the communists were bent on world domination and that only freedom, democracy, and Christianity could stop the communist expansion. As U.S. culture became more accepting of premarital sex, gender roles began changing, homosexual advocacy groups grew more prominent in society, sex education became a staple of public schools nationwide, and religion was being removed from schools and public life, conservative elites feared for the future of the United States. With the continuation of the Vietnam War, the conservative movement discussed religion and morality with increasing frequency; conservatives also began infusing the war with a sense of morality. William F. Buckley, Jr.’s article “On the Right: My Lai—Whose Fault?” explored the reasons why Lieutenant William Calley, Jr. gave the order to massacre hundreds of civilians in My Lai, South Vietnam. Buckley speculated that the 20-year-old soldier was already disturbed before entering Vietnam and that U.S. culture and society contributed to Calley’s deteriorating mental health. Thus, blame for the massacre lay in: “A society deprived of the strength of religious sanctions, a society hugely devoted to hedonism, to permissive egalitarianism, to irresponsibility, to an indifference to authority and the law.”53 This article is a weak attempt to shift the conversation away from an atrocity committed during a war toward opposition to the changing national culture. It followed a trend in Buckley’s writings in which he focused more on religion and the role

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it played in justifying the struggle against communists, both in South Vietnam and the world.54 In general, from 1969 onward, religion became a more central component of the conservative ideology than at any previous period. Though Vietnam remained a frequently discussed topic, it was evident that the war no longer generated as much excitement as had previously. Comparatively, religion and fear of declining morals helped gain grassroots support and expand the movement. With the rise of the anti-war New Left, the conservative focus increasingly centered around religion. The religious politics culminated in the rise of the Religious Right in the midto late 1970s. The shift happened at the time when the right’s pro-war stance disenchanted libertarians, precipitating the shift away from libertarianism within the conservative movement’s ideology. Additionally, all of this occurred at a time when evangelical anti-communists were some of the most emphatic pro-war supporters in society. From 1969 through the end of the war in 1973, the changes within the right’s ideology occurred when the Vietnam War divided libertarians from the rest of the movement and when evangelical anti-communists’ pro-war stance demonstrated that they had similarities with the mainstream movement.

The Final Transition: Abortion Replaces War During Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign, the most dominant issues were federal civil rights laws, the Great Society, and expansion of the welfare state, all of which he opposed. In campaigning against Johnson, Goldwater needed to convince the public that the president and the federal bureaucracy could not solve the nation’s problems. Libertarianism, with a heavy dose of laissez-faire and big business capitalism, provided Goldwater with the most logical arguments available to fight Johnson’s Great Society. Fusionism required that Goldwater believe in morality and traditional values, but the strongest political arguments at the disposal of conservatives in the early and mid-1960s were economic ones. Religion and morality were not major political debates prior to the start of the Vietnam War. As the decade progressed, in response to the anti-war New Left movement, culture and religion’s role in shaping society began playing a greater role in politics. By 1967, anti-war protesters were chanting anti-American slogans. In addition, the nation saw numerous race riots destroy parts of major cities. In short, the Great Society was put on the backburner and the usefulness of libertarianism as the public face of conservatism had run its course. Traditionalism provided a more useful framework for opposing the rise of identity politics, the New Left, Hippies, and the anti-war protesters. This became more apparent as some grassroots libertarians joined hands with SDS and the New Left. The conservative movement’s fracturing continued as many on the right began to identify themselves as

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defenders of both the Vietnam War and traditional gender and religious values, and the traditionalist worldview became increasingly prominent within conservatism. In the midst of this ideological transformation of the right, evangelical anti-communist organizations remained strong nationwide. The evangelical anti-communist community was one of the few groups that consistently advocated victory in Vietnam. As the war progressed, mainstream conservatives were increasingly isolated from the rest of society on the issue of Vietnam, meaning that evangelical anti-communists no longer appeared to be as radical as they had before. Schwarz, Hargis, and others provided Buckley and the mainstream movement with a ready-made group of pro-war activists. And when Nixon and Agnew introduced the ideas of a Silent Majority, this provided political cover for religion and culture to become the intellectual backbone of conservatism. Other issues not related to the Vietnam War also spurred coordination between conservatives and evangelical anti-communist groups. Specifically, the rise of abortion as an issue of national debate helped convince conservatives that religious politics might help the movement regain its luster. Though many did not recognize it at the start of the decade, the abortion debate would become a panacea for the ills of the conservative movement in the mid-1970s. It helped to expand the right’s reach in politics, while also changing the subject away from Vietnam. More readily than any other issue since 1964 (excluding the war), abortion was a topic that generated a significant amount of buzz throughout the conservative movement. It took several years for abortion to fully grab hold of the right’s imagination. Michael Thompson was a conservative student at Indiana University who lived through this transition as religion began integrating into the politics of society. He emphatically stated: “[religion] wasn’t part of the early conservative movement.” To Thompson, those religious and social issues “just weren’t there.” He is not alone, as most people interviewed for this work claim that religion was not their main concern in the 1960s and early 1970s. Though the right had many religious individuals associated with it, the main reason these interviewees offered for joining the movement was not a religious calling. The people Thompson associated with joined the right primarily because of the Vietnam War and the Cold War. Thompson was a conservative primarily because of fear of communism. Fighting communists and keeping liberals out of the corridors of power were far more important than questions of traditional gender roles, abortion rights, or premarital sex. To Thompson, these issues “did not become a big deal until later . . . around the Reagan campaign [in 1976].”55 Though religion was not a central part of Republican campaigns until the late 1970s, it began creeping into conservatism earlier than Thompson recalls. For instance, in June 1970, National Review published its first editorial regarding abortion, one that was unusually apathetic about the question of whether abortion was moral. The National

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Review seemed incapable of taking—or was unwilling to take—a side in the abortion debate. This editorial awkwardly argued that supporters of abortion could not be “completely confident” in their claim that a fetus is not a human. However, the magazine also declared that opponents of abortion must have “some degree of reservation” about the analogy that abortion is murder. It is rare to see National Review present both sides of a policy debate, which makes this editorial stand out; the magazine was neither opposing abortion, nor was it animated by the topic.56 Equally relevant, the abortion debate did not resonate with many of the magazine’s subscribers. Despite having a circulation of more than 110,000, only one of the magazine’s readers responded to this editorial.57 At the time, the mainstream right did not care about abortion. Though abortion did not rouse interest from National Review’s readers in 1970, grassroots Catholics were becoming increasingly concerned about the rights of unborn fetuses. As historian Stacie Taranto describes, Catholic housewives who lived on Long Island, New York were some of the strongest early opponents of abortions. Led in part by Ellen McCormack, a self-described “housewife from Merrick [Long Island],” they founded the New York State Right to Life Party in 1970 and created a national movement aimed at curbing abortions in the United States. The women who found the Right to Life Party were not regular, national leaders. Many of them had never been politically active; it was abortion, and the rights of unborn children, that helped spur their political activism.58 In 1970, the abortion issue was one which was being promoted primarily by white, ethnic Catholics, many of whom had recently moved to the suburbs. That grassroots Catholic activists formed the New York State Right to Life Party in 1970 helps explain Buckley’s decision to write his first column about abortion at the end of that year (and six months after National Review’s first article about abortion). In this column, Buckley, a devout Catholic who lived in New York, expressed anger at the slow rise of “abortion on demand” laws which became the law in five states. While he disagreed with the law, his primary wrath was reserved for the Catholic Church for “not only acting out of political confusion, but out of moral uncertainty.” In this unusual article, Buckley was upset at his church for not doing enough to stop the rise of “abortion on demand” laws.59 Rather unexpectedly, Buckley’s column received among the most replies from National Review readers in years. The majority of them agreed with Buckley’s assessment that abortion was wrong and that Catholics needed to lead on this issue.60 Sensing the rising interest in abortion, the National Review put the topic on the cover of the first magazine of 1971, with a book review of John T. Noonan, Jr.’s The Morality of Abortion (which opposed abortion) and David Callahan’s Abortion: Law, Choice and Morality (which supported a woman’s right to choose abortion). Clare Boothe Luce, a renowned conservative pundit and two-term congresswoman from

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Connecticut, wrote the review. In choosing a famous woman to write their longest article about abortion, National Review was making a statement. Luce held back little scorn for Noonan’s The Morality of Abortion. According to Luce, Noonan’s philosophy relegates women to a position as “‘a thing’ whose own life and well-being have little more value than if she were the mythical cabbage that ‘babies are found under.’” In the end, Luce agreed with Callahan that abortion within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy should be legalized as long as the doctors and nurses were not compelled to provide the procedure against their wishes.61 Luce’s article immediately received more mail than any previous one. Virtually everyone who wrote to the magazine disagreed with Luce, several of whom claimed she was advocating murder. The numerous angry letters told the editors of the magazine that they had struck gold.62 Abortion was the most commonly discussed topic throughout the first half of 1971 in National Review memos (suspending support for Nixon became a bigger topic of discussion in the second half of 1971). In the midst of the Vietnam War, and although the magazine ran several major cover stories about the fighting in Southeast Asia, it was abortion that captivated the attention of the readers. Following the Luce article, the National Review wasted no time in coming out forcefully against the medical procedure. In 1971, William Buckley drove straight into the fray by comparing the murder of fetuses to the murder of Jews in Nazi Germany; William F. Rickenbacker proposed that society use the free market of adoption to avoid aborting unwanted pregnancies, even though this would force women to go through with the pregnancy and birth against their wishes; and Russell Kirk argued that if society did not stop the killing of fetuses, then “why should a society respect at all the old religious injunctions against murder?” Through their use of provocative language and extreme analogies, it was clear that the National Review was trying to lead the conservative movement into opposing abortion.63 Abortion became a more common and compelling topic within the conservative press. Despite this, many of the activists from this period do not recall religion or abortion dominating the political landscape. As Randal Teague proclaimed: “I don’t really think there was that much religion involved in the ’64, or the ’68, or the ’72 campaign.”64 This memory, which was echoed in nearly a dozen interviews with former right-wing activists, verifies what is obvious from reviewing the written commentary of the period: the overriding issues within conservatism in 1971 and 1972 were the Cold War and the Vietnam War, not abortion. However, abortion was being discussed with more frequency and urgency than ever before—and without realizing it, the movement had found its next major political issue long before the war’s end in 1973. By the time the war ended in January 1973, the National Review was in crisis as the journal lost its most frequently discussed issue. At the same time, subscriptions and advertising revenue were down. Jim McFadden,

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an editor at the magazine, believed that the best solution to gain interest in conservatism again was to completely change the subject. Borrowing Neil McCaffrey’s idea from a few years earlier, McFadden argued that the magazine needed to begin publishing “matching articles for and against abortion, both written by noted conservatives (ideally both nonCatholics).” McFadden believed this would be a “tremendous draw;” after all, whenever National Review wrote about abortion, it often saw more letters to the editor and sold slightly more subscriptions.65 In this instance, the editors were listening to their readers when they made the decision to devote more ink to the abortion issue. On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion. This ruling brought a storm of anger from Christian evangelicals and fundamentalists, many of whom had opposed laws which legalized abortion. Five days later, on January 27, the Paris Peace Accords were signed, bringing to a close U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. After agreeing, in principle, that the United States needed to fight and win the Vietnam War, and after jointly experiencing the pain of defeat when the United States lost the war, the evangelical anti-communist community and the conservative movement now found another issue on which to agree. The following year, evangelical anti-communists and the conservative movement burst into the national spotlight in the most unlikely of places: Charleston, West Virginia. As discussed earlier, in September 1974, hundreds of Christian activists closed down the Kanawha school district because the district had integrated several books which these activists deemed immoral. This protest represented the culmination of much effort on the part of local conservative activists and major national conservative organizations. Together, these groups identified a moral society as one of the most powerful forces propelling the burgeoning New Right. Though the movement’s leaders were not solely responsible for the change—in many respects, they were responding to changes from below—the movement’s decision to begin to focus more attention on morality, religion, and abortion reflected the changes that were occurring in the early 1970s. With the conclusion of the Vietnam War, the right needed a new topic that could agitate the grassroots—and abortion burst into the national political debates at precisely the right time for the right to rally against abortion rights and the pro-choice laws of the early and mid-1970s. It is likely that the Kanawha protests would not have occurred without the conservative movement shifting its focus from foreign policy to religion in the early 1970s.

Notes 1. Associated Press, “Textbook Protest Hits Public Buses,” New York Times, September 11, 1974, 34.

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2. For more information on the Kanawha County protests, see: Rick Perlstein, The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014). For more information on the polarization of Christian evangelicals and a focus on the Kanawha protests, see: Daniel K. Williams, God’s Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), chap. 7. 3. United Press International, “Protesters Assail ‘Filthy’ Textbooks in West Virginia,” New York Times, September 6, 1974, 11; Ben A. Franklin, “Schools Closed in Textbook Rift,” New York Times, September 16, 1974, 16. 4. AP, “Driver Shot in Violence Over Textbooks: Driver’s Condition Critical,” New York Times, September 14, 1974, 27. 5. AP, “Classes Are Suspended In Textbook Dispute,” New York Times, September 13, 1974, 73. 6. AP, “Driver Shot in Violence Over Textbooks,” 27. 7. Ben A. Franklin, “Schools Damaged in Books Protest,” New York Times, October 10, 1974, 17. 8. Franklin, “Schools Closed in Textbook Rift,” 16; AP, “Blast Ruins Car of Woman Held in Textbook Protest,” New York Times, October 13, 1974, 59. 9. John Kifner, “Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther Who Became G.O.P. Conservative, Is Dead at 62,” New York Times, May 2, 1998, A1. 10. UPI, “Protesters Assail ‘Filthy’ Textbooks in West Virginia,” 11. 11. Special to the New York Times, “Shaky Truce Set in Textbook Rift,” New York Times, September 15, 1974, 32. 12. Austin Scott, “W. Virginia Schoolbook Protest Apparently Got Out of Hand,” Washington Post, September 15, 1974, A4. 13. For more on the blue-collar angst felt in the 1970s, see books such as: Jefferson R. Cowie, Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Decade of the Working Class (New York: The New Press, 2010); Judith Stein, Running Steel, Running America: Race, Economic Policy and the Decline of American Liberalism (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1998). 14. Scott, “W. Virginia Schoolbook Protest Apparently Got Out of Hand,” A4. 15. This work defines Christian evangelicals as the large segment of the Christian population which believes in the centrality of conversion, a literalist interpretation of the Bible, and a commitment to evangelizing their message. Fundamentalists are a subset of Christian evangelicals who read the Bible more literally (with fewer metaphors), and in the early post-World War II era, fundamentalists often tried to remove themselves from those who refused to be born again. For a classic definition of terms, see: David W. Bebbington, Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s (London: Unwin Hyman, 1989). For a further discussion of the differences between Fundamentalists and Evangelicals, see: Williams, God’s Own Party, 33–45. 16. A variety of excellent works which cover versions of this topic include: Donald T. Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman’s Crusade (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005); William A. Link, Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the Rise of Modern Conservatism (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2008); William Martin, With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America (New York: Broadway, 2005); Alex R. Schafer, Piety and Public Funding: Evangelicals and the State in Modern America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012); Williams, God’s Own Party; Neil J. Young, We Gather Together: The Religious Right and the Problem of Interfaith Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016).

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17. Though he only spends about three pages on the Vietnam War, Williams does an excellent job of describing the distrust and how it broke down in his book. He also explains how anti-communism helped bring together evangelicals and the mainstream right: Williams, God’s Own Party. 18. The only two occasions in the post-World War II era when Democrats received more than 60% of the Catholic vote in a presidential election were 1960 and 1964. Jeffrey M. Jones, “The Protestant and Catholic Vote,” Gallup Poll, June 8, 2004. www.gallup.com/poll/11911/Protestant-CatholicVote.aspx. 19. Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot (Washington, DC: Regnery Co., 2001), 6. 20. Walter Michelson, “What Would Life Be Like in the United States If This Country Went Socialist or Communist?,” Human Events, November 14, 1964, 15. 21. Young, We Gather Together: The Religious Right and the Problem of Interfaith Politics, chaps. 1 & 2. 22. James E. Clayton, “Thunder on the Right Here Gives a Military Roll,” Washington Post, March 22, 1962, A6. 23. Laura Jane Gifford, “‘Girded With a Moral and Spiritual Revival’: The Christian Anti-Communism Crusade and Conservative Politics,” in The Right Side of the Sixties: Reexamining Conservatism’s Decade of Transformation, ed. Laura Jane Gifford and Daniel K. Williams (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012), 225. 24. “The Achilles Heel of Communism,” Christian Anti-Communist Crusade Newsletter, April 1962, 1, www.schwarzreport.org/uploads/schwarz-reportpdf/schwarz-report-1962-04.pdf. 25. “About The Schwarz Report,” www.schwarzreport.org/about. 26. Fred Schwarz, You Can Trust the Communists (to Be Communists), 13th ed. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1962). 27. Even today, more than 20 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, the Schwarz Report website proclaims that Schwarz “had the courage to tell the naked truth about [communism] while The New York Times lied about it for nearly the whole 20th century.” “About The Schwarz Report,” www.schwarzreport. org/about. 28. Fred Schwarz, “Will You Be Free to Celebrate Christmas in the Future?,” by the Allen-Bradly Company, undated [originally published 1958], Box 35, Radical Right Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University. Hereafter referred to as Radical Right Papers. 29. Various Financial Statements from Christian Anti-Communist Crusade, including IRS forms. Files located in: Box 364, Christian Anti-Communist Crusade Folder, Group Research Papers, Columbia University, New York. Hereafter referred to as Group Research Papers.; Box 365, Christian AntiCommunist Crusade Pamphlet Folder, Group Research Papers. 30. Gifford, “Girded.” 31. Williams, God’s Own Party, 40. 32. Ronald Lora and William Henry Longton, eds., The Conservative Press in Twentieth Century America (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999), 146. 33. “Hargis Compares Faith in God to Americanism,” Dallas Morning News, December 8, 1962, Box 67, Christian Crusade Folder, Group Research Papers. 34. Pamphlet by W. S. McBirnie, “What You Need to Know About That Rumsford Act!,” 1964, Box 35, No Folder, Radical Right Papers. W. S. McBirnie, “How Real Is the Internal Menace of Communism?,” undated [probably late 1960s], Box 34, McBirnie, W. S. Folder, Radical Right Papers.

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35. Pamphlet by McBirnie, “The Real Power behind Communism,” Undated [probably late 1967], Box 34, McBirnie, W. S. Folder, Radical Right Papers. 36. UPI, “Police Are Not Amused: Minister Stages Fake Arrest,” March 30, 1964, Box 29, Anti-Communism (General) Folder, Group Research Papers. 37. Fred Schwarz, “Victory in Chile” and “Cuba Enslaved,” Christian AntiCommunist Crusade Newsletter, October 1964, 1–8. www.schwarzreport. org/uploads/schwarz-report-pdf/schwarz-report-1964-10.pdf. 38. Fred Schwarz, “British Guiana,” Christian Anti-Communist Crusade Newsletter, November 1963, 9, www.schwarzreport.org/uploads/schwarz-reportpdf/schwarz-report-1963-11.pdf. 39. Telegraph from McIntire to Johnson, May 10, 1965, McIntire, Carl (Dr.) Folder, White House Central Files, Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Archives and Library, Austin, Texas. Hereafter referred to as WHCF, LBJL. 40. Telegraph from Hargis to Johnson, February 25, 1965, Hargis Folder, WHCF, LBJL. 41. Interview between Billy Graham and Max Goldberg of the North American Newspaper Alliance, September 25, 1965, Box 217, WHCF, LBJL. 42. W. S. McBirnie, “Election Guide,” 1968, Box 34, Folder 2, Radical Right Papers. 43. Most likely, the Christian evangelical anti-communist organizations were able to insulate themselves from the rest of the movement partially because of their focus on religion, which is by definition an exclusive pious belief. Throughout this period, there were many references in the mainstream conservative literature where organizations and presses dismissed the Christian evangelical anti-communist organizations as fraudulent extremists. Additionally, there was no discernible attempt by Christian evangelical anticommunist organizations to moderate their rhetoric. This strain between the mainstream right and extremists groups is a central focus of Jonathan M. Schoenwald, A Time for Choosing: The Rise of Modern American Conservatism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001). 44. Donald Jansons, “Right-Wing Preacher’s Big Real Estate Acquisition Leaves Cape Canaveral Divided,” New York Times, March 13, 1971, 15. 45. McCandlish Phillips, “Trade Group’s Bid to Anti-Red Sets Off a Membership Dispute,” New York Times, March 29, 1962, 2. 46. Randal Teague, telephone interview by Seth Offenbach, July 2, 2012. 47. The memo was discussed in Chapter 4. Memo from Neil McCaffrey to William F. Buckley, Jr., William Rusher, and Jim McFadden, April 19, 1966, InterOffice Memo 1966, William F. Buckley Papers, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University. Hereafter referred to as Buckley Papers. 48. Focusing more on the Cold War: Correspondence from Neal Freeman to William F. Buckley, Jr., October 1966, Correspondence 1966, Buckley Papers. Improving conservative intellectual scholarship came from Frank Meyer, found in a reprint of the following article: Guy Davenport, “The Need to Maintain Civilization,” National Review, April 6, 1965, Box 43, Folder 22, Friedrich A. von Hayek Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University. Hereafter referred to as Hayek Papers. Memo from Marvin Liebman to Don Lipsett, May 15, 1965, Box 7, Folder 7, Marvin Liebman Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University. 49. Will Herberg, “The Case for Heterosexuality,” National Review, October 7, 1969, 1007–1008. Ernest van den Haag, “Why Sex Education?,” National Review, September 23, 1969, 956–958. 50. Back page advertisement, National Review, May 21, 1968.

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51. Antoni Gollan, “The Great Marijuana Debate,” National Review, January 30, 1968, 74–76. 52. Letter from John Davenport to Brent Bozell, April 21, 1969, Box 2, Folder 6, John Davenport Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University. Hereafter referred to as Davenport Papers. 53. William F. Buckley, Jr., “On the Right: My Lai- Whose Fault?,” Washington Start Syndicate, Inc., December 11, 1969, Box On the Right 1969, Buckley Papers. 54. Two specific examples of Buckley using religion to defend the Vietnam are: William F. Buckley, Jr., “Letter from Saigon: Terrorism—Weapon of Warfare,” National Review, March 7, 1967, 237. Response from Buckley to questionnaire of Cecil Woolf and John Bagguley, September 18, 1967, Name Files, Buckley Papers. 55. Michael Thompson, telephone interview by Seth Offenbach, January 9, 2012. 56. Editorial, “Abortion,” National Review, June 30, 1970, 658–659. 57. One person wrote about the editorial, according to: Memo from Kevin Lynch to the Editorial Board, July 6, 1970, Inter-Office Memos 1970, Buckley Papers. Circulation figures from: Audit Bureau of Circulations Reports and Statements, January-July 1970, Folder 5, Box 110, William Rusher Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. 58. Stacie Taranto, “Ellen McCormack for President: Politics and an Improbable Path to Passing Anti-Abortion Policy,” Journal of Policy History 24, no. 2 (April 2012): 268. 59. William F. Buckley, Jr., “On the Right: Catholics and Abortion,” National Review, December 15, 1970, 1366–1367. 60. Memo from Linda Bridges to the Editorial Board, January 8, 1971, InterOffice Memos 1971, Buckley Papers. 61. Clare Boothe Luce, “Two Books on Abortion and the Questions They Raise,” National Review, January 12, 1971, 27. 62. Memos from Linda Bridges to the Editorial Board, from February 5, February 22, and September 2, 1971, Inter-Office Memos 1971, Buckley Papers. 63. Articles from: William F. Buckley, Jr., “On the Right: Abortion the Crunch,” National Review, April 20, 1971, 444–445. William F. Rickenbacker, “Land of the Free: Another Modest Proposal,” National Review, December 3, 1971, 1355. Quote from: Russell Kirk, “From the Academy: The Politics of Death,” National Review, March 23, 1971, 315. 64. Randal Teague, telephone interview by Seth Offenbach, July 2, 2012. 65. Memo from Bill Rusher to the Editors, April 17, 1973, Inter-Office Memo 1973, Buckley Papers.

Bibliography Interviews Donald Ernsberger David Franke Fritz Krieger John Sainsbury Bill Saracion

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John Scully Randal Teague Michael Thompson Wayne Thorburn

Newspapers and Magazines Christian Anti-Communist Crusade Newsletter Dallas Morning News Human Events National Review New Guard New York Times Washington Post

Online Websites and Archives Gallup Miller Center Presidential Speeches Archive The Schwarz Report

Chicago Historical Society, Chicago Clarence Manion Papers

Columbia University, New York Group Research Papers

Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University Albert C. Wedemeyer Papers American Subject Collection Christopher Emmet Papers Elizabeth Churchill Brown Papers Friedrich A. von Hayek Papers John Davenport Papers Marvin Liebman Papers Patrick Dowd Papers Radical Right Papers Ralph de Toledano Papers Walter Judd Papers

Library of Congress, Washington, DC William Rusher Papers

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Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Archive and Library, Austin, Texas White House Central Files

National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland HR Haldeman Papers Richard Nixon Presidential Papers White House Special Files

Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University William F. Buckley Papers

Books and Journal Articles Bebbington, David W. Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s. London: Unwin Hyman, 1989. Cowie, Jefferson R. Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Decade of the Working Class. New York: The New Press, 2010. Critchlow, Donald T. Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman’s Crusade. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005. Gifford, Laura Jane. “‘Girded With a Moral and Spiritual Revival’: The Christian Anti-Communism Crusade and Conservative Politics.” In The Right Side of the Sixties: Reexamining Conservatism’s Decade of Transformation, edited by Laura Jane Gifford and Daniel K. Williams, 161–179. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012. Kirk, Russell. The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot. Washington, DC: Regnery Co., 2001. Link, William A. Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the Rise of Modern Conservatism. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2008. Lora, Ronald, and William Henry Longton, eds. The Conservative Press in Twentieth Century America. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999. Martin, William. With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America. New York: Broadway, 2005. Perlstein, Rick. The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014. Schafer, Alex R. Piety and Public Funding: Evangelicals and the State in Modern America. Philadelphia: The University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012. Schoenwald, Jonathan M. A Time for Choosing: The Rise of Modern American Conservatism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. Schwarz, Fred. You Can Trust the Communists (to Be Communists). 13th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1962. Stein, Judith. Running Steel, Running America: Race, Economic Policy and the Decline of American Liberalism. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1998.

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Taranto, Stacie. “Ellen McCormack for President: Politics and an Improbable Path to Passing Anti-Abortion Policy.” Journal of Policy History 24, no. 2 (April 2012): 263–287. Williams, Daniel K. God’s Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Young, Neil J. We Gather Together: The Religious Right and the Problem of Interfaith Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Conclusion From Goldwater to Reagan

The Reagan coalition was stronger and far more successful than the Goldwater coalition. There is no denying that Reagan represented the political revolution which Goldwater could only dream of leading. While president, Reagan was able to change the way Americans talked about government and politics. His presidential victories made it acceptable to promote small government principles such as reducing welfare and diminishing the social safety net. Because of the Reagan coalition, throughout the last quarter of the twentieth century, politicians from both political parties agreed that the best way to help poor Americans was through economic growth, not through government benefits and regulations. Additionally, Reagan allowed his personal religious values to guide his policy, bringing church and state closer together than at any time since the start of the twentieth century; his public displays of Christianity were welcomed by the members of the conservative movement. Finally, Reagan had an unwavering belief in the greatness of the United States and its place as leader of the free world. He often saw the world in black and white, and through his eyes, the United States could do no wrong on the international stage and communism could do no right. The nation, according to Reagan, would stand the test of time, but it must also persevere and promote the values for which it stood: freeing people throughout the world from (communist) government control. Goldwater’s conservative movement had very similar goals. It, too, believed that the economy would grow with lower taxes and fewer regulations, though it tended to explicitly connect freedom and taxes in a way that Reagan did not. The Goldwater coalition also recognized the importance of religion and morality on society, but the Arizonan did not talk about religion with the same ease or passion as would later conservative leaders. Where the Goldwater and Reagan coalitions coincided most was their foreign policy outlook and their belief in the nation’s place in the world. The similarities between Goldwater’s and Reagan’s followers masks over the differences between them. These differences explain why Reagan’s outlook was widely adopted, while Goldwater’s was rejected. The

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growth and change within the conservative movement during the 20 years between Goldwater and Reagan are an important time which requires more scholarly study. This book begins this process by expanding our understanding of how the movement changed and discussing the role foreign policy played in igniting these changes. Still, there is more work to be done.

Vietnam and the Cold War In the summer of 1964, poll numbers showed that Barry Goldwater was going to lose the upcoming presidential election. Conservative leaders began preparing for the post-election future. How could they keep the awesome momentum they had gained from the unexpectedly successful nomination campaign? For several years, conservative activists organized and agitated around the Goldwater candidacy. Now that he was going to lose, and few imagined that he would run again in 1968, how could these conservative leaders guide his millions of voters and supporters? The answer was obvious: communism. William Rusher wrote a note to National Review’s editorial board in August 1964 telling them to begin preparing for Goldwater’s defeat. Beginning early in the next year, the magazine should focus on communism. As he wrote, it was important to “get them back to hating the Devil.”1 Recognizing that conservatives needed something to support, the anti-communist cause seemed the most natural. Much to the magazine’s surprise, Johnson announced the start of Operation Rolling Thunder before the National Review’s anti-communist campaign could begin. This was like a gift from above, as there was now a real war against communists at precisely the time when Rusher wanted to increase conservatives’ fear of communism. The immediate reaction that dominated the movement was support for Johnson’s moves while also pushing him to do more. They wanted more bombs dropped throughout Indochina, more protection for South Vietnam, and more aggressive acts by the president. If Johnson was going to commit U.S. prestige to the protection of South Vietnam, then the military should not hold anything back. These conservatives wanted him to do more to protect an ally. In 1965, this was not a controversial position to take. At the time, most Americans (not just conservatives) thought the Vietnam War would be a quick and easy victory. Since conservatives viewed themselves as the most muscular and ardent anti-communists in the land, this meant that they were going to instinctively support the popular war. And so, without much debate, most people within the movement supported the war in 1965 and 1966. The Vietnam War served as a point of unity among most conservatives. As the war dragged on and there was no easy victory, that unity was lost. By 1967 and 1968, more and more conservatives were coming out against the war. They argued that the draft was immoral, that Johnson’s

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strategy was not appropriate, that the United States should not be fighting for other peoples’ freedoms, and that Indochina was a distraction from the main theaters of war in Europe, China, and elsewhere. In 1965 it looked like the Vietnam War was going to unify conservatives and remind them of their anti-communist roots; by 1968, it became the issue that divided them. Vietnam was a problem for the movement. The conservative movement’s political situation by the end of the 1960s did not look good. Goldwater was no longer running for president and the war in Vietnam—which was the dominant political issue of the day—was no longer a unifying topic. This meant that anti-communism, which had long been the foundation upon which modern conservatism was built, was no longer able to bring the movement together. Like a house sinking into the earth, divisions appeared as modern conservatism risked collapse.

Malaise From the late 1960s to the early 1970s, when conservatives were struggling to respond to the Vietnam War, the movement suffered through an extended period of malaise. Conservative literature of the time, especially in the movement’s magazines, was uninspired. One result of the malaise was that the leadership proved unable to lead while various factions fought against one another. Additionally, the leadership found itself without followers. Digging into conservative archives confirms that the leadership did not know how to get out of this funk. There were many letters, memos, and discussions about the problems plaguing the movement; the word ‘malaise’ was their term for the problem. We can see the problem by examining conservative solutions. For example, Rusher argued that the best way to rejuvenate the right would be to start a campaign to privatize the post office.2 This could not have worked. While Americans might not have liked their postal system, this is not the type of issue on which to start a revolution. Throughout this period, conservative leaders spoke with angst about their problems, struggling to find a solution. They clearly recognized that they were losing the grassroots. They knew how to make conservatives angry, and how to get them riled up, but they did not know how to lead the movement in a proactive manner which would help it win elections and change the national culture. Without something new to talk about, the movement risked declining in popularity until it became irrelevant. But as long as the Vietnam War continued, no other topic could dominate the movement’s discourse. The Vietnam War was integral to this malaise for two reasons. First, it was the most important issue of the period and conservatives lacked a clear and nationally accepted response to the war. Second, the right’s opposition to the large anti-war movement fostered negative conservatism and kept conservatives angry, but without

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a cause, they were essentially stuck in neutral responding to the anti-war crowd. Conservatism could not expand its ideology in such a political atmosphere. Negative conservatism meant that the right was angry at liberal politicians and their ideas, while not coming up with viable alternative policy suggestions. For the first time since the New Deal, conservatives were not promoting a clear policy agenda; instead, they were responding to events outside of their control. They had no ability to shape Johnson’s or Nixon’s war strategies. They did not have enough activists to counter the anti-war protests (despite many efforts). They did not control the media. And they were offering few inspiring ideas for reshaping the welfare state; unless one counts privatization of the postal service as inspiring. While negative conservatism was growing, Richard Nixon regained his role as leader of the Republican Party. Nixon, however, was not a typical conservative. His domestic policies included wage and price controls, environmental regulation, and expansion of federal funding to states. At various points, he even supported legislation to cover most Americans with subsidized health insurance (a plan that was more comprehensive than President Barack Obama’s healthcare act). Worse still, from a conservative perspective, was his foreign policy. The Nixon-Kissinger foreign policy included negotiations with the Soviets, Chinese, and North Vietnamese, with the goals of easing tensions without victory in the Cold War. Some of the negotiations led to international treaties that restricted U.S. autonomy to build weapons and to fund allies. Nixon’s policies also made it easier for Americans to trade and communicate with the communist world. In elite conservative circles, Nixon’s foreign policy was inexcusable. The problem was that Nixon was a Republican who was much more conservative than Hubert Humphrey, Ted Kennedy, William Fulbright, or anyone else leading the Democratic Party. Thus, most within the movement were comfortable giving Nixon support, especially when his vice president spoke. Spiro Agnew had an ability to communicate with grassroots members of the right that few national politicians of the era— except Reagan—had. His down-to-earth style and rhetorical gifts kept millions of conservatives angry at liberals and supportive of Nixon, a perfect state of affairs for the negative conservatism of the era. The problem was that the elites never fell in love with Agnew. Though they blessed his nomination for the position, they never viewed him as being equal to Goldwater or Reagan. Additionally, they were so apoplectic about Nixon’s foreign policies that Agnew’s soothing words did not resonate with them. To these elites, Agnew was the last good thing about the Nixon administration, and he was not an effective enough vice president to keep them happy. These conservative leaders set about altering Nixon’s policies by pushing the candidacy of John Ashbrook on the Republican Party. This effort was a failure that achieved little besides demonstrating the vast gulf between the leadership and grassroots.

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In the late 1960s and early 1970s, negative conservatism failed to bring new followers to the movement. At the same time, Nixon created a schism between the elite and the rest of the movement. Making matters worse, this was also the time when many libertarians decided they were no longer conservatives. Libertarians were the one segment of the conservative movement that opposed the Vietnam War, and as the years passed, libertarian leaders began to question whether they should remain allied with the pro-war conservative movement. Part of the reason for the rise of the angry, anti-war, anarcho-capitalist urge among libertarians was that Goldwater had faded from the national scene, becoming more of a regional leader. Instead, libertarians were gaining their inspiration from national individuals who often clashed with mainstream conservative leaders. Ayn Rand, Murry Rothbard, and Karl Hess inspired more followers within the movement than ever before, and all of them opposed mainstream conservatives at various times in the 1960s and 1970s. This opposition was especially obvious when looking at the debate about the Vietnam War. Libertarians, broadly defined, believed that individuals should have the ultimate freedom to decide what to do with their bodies and money. They opposed forcing citizens to pay taxes for a war; they also opposed drafting men to join the military when the nation was not under direct threat. In short, supporting the Vietnam War was incompatible with the ideology of these libertarians. Inspired by the examples of Rand, Rothbard, and Hess, they left the conservative movement in dramatic fashion. The politics surrounding the Vietnam War caused this great turmoil within the conservative movement. It deflated the elite, separated them from the rest of the movement, and splintered them from the libertarians. The movement proved incapable of expanding its reach. The group fell into a deep malaise, unable to move beyond its support for the war and expand its political reach. Rusher’s goal of getting the movement to ‘hate the Devil’ worked, but he and other leaders were unable to transform this hate into a productive political movement.

Combining God and Country Negative conservatism created a vital area of agreement with evangelical anti-communists. The evangelical anti-communist movement opposed the societal changes that the New Left anti-war movement was promoting. These Christians believed that sexual mores should not be eased, as this would lead to the breakdown of their understanding of traditional families; that recreational drugs should remain illegal because they would lead to a degradation of social order; that the United States was a Christian and good nation and not an imperial power; and that communist expansion must be stopped, especially in Indochina. Negative conservatism’s opposition to the New Left values of peace with communist nations, free

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love, and drugs made the right more hospitable for these evangelical anticommunists, a fusion that would forever change U.S. politics. The courtship between evangelical anti-communists and conservatives was made possible by the politics of the Vietnam War. These were some of the few national coalitions remaining that opposed the Paris Peace Accords in 1973. By that time, the war was incredibly unpopular as more Americans wanted to move beyond the nation’s Vietnam nightmare. Conservative elites, meanwhile, recognized the flaws in the peace agreement as they understood that Nixon had left his South Vietnamese allies vulnerable to future aggression. To conservatives and evangelical anti-communists, a false peace with a communist nation was unacceptable because it fostered future aggression. Instead, conservatives still wanted victory in Vietnam, which they had long advocated. As early as 1964 they had argued that, “if we are to battle, let’s battle and win!”3 Instead, the United States battled, but it did not win. The nation lost not because of inferior equipment, poor training, or diminished economic capacity. According to conservative lore, the United States forfeited because of internal domestic opposition. The nation lost the will the fight, and the anti-war New Left was largely to blame. For conservatives and evangelical anti-communists alike, this was not acceptable. Prior to the war, there was a long history of distrust between Catholics (who dominated the conservative movement) and evangelicals. Their mutual support for the war did not erase their previous feelings, but it did set the stage for future integration between them. A year after the war ended, the Kanawha protests began; this was the first time that the mainstream right joined forces with evangelicals. The timing of the protests was not a coincidence, it took the rise of issues such as the Vietnam War to help bring these groups together. The coordination between the evangelical and mainstream conservative movements began shortly after the peace accords were signed. That same week, the Supreme Court issued the Roe v. Wade decision. The mid-term decision came as a shock to the nation. Though conservative media outlets did not recognize it at first, abortion became an important issue which rejuvenated their depressed movement by binding evangelical anti-communists to the right. In this instance, conservative magazines and radio programs began talking about abortion with more frequency and fervor, and their readers and listeners responded. Abortion riled the movement and helped the right create a national campaign—and most importantly, religious leaders got behind the fight against a woman’s right to have an abortion. This created another issue on which conservative and evangelical anti-communists were able to come together. The convergence between the two groups was strengthened a few months after the Roe decision and the signing of the peace accords when Brent Bozell, ghost writer of Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a

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Conservative, started the advocacy group Stop Immorality on TV. The organization grew out of complaints about the leftward shift in U.S. culture and the loss of what Bozell and many religious conservatives believed were ‘Christian values.’ According to Bozell, multiple television shows were beginning to depict homosexuality and abortion in a “favorable light.”4 Stop Immorality on TV was aimed at reversing this trend in popular culture. Importantly, the leadership of Stop Immorality on TV shows how the nature of the conservative movement was starting to change. Bozell, who married Buckley’s sister and worked at National Review, created the organization with the support of Dr. Fred Schwarz. Whereas previously mainstream conservatives and evangelical anticommunist groups stayed separate, this was a time of growing coordination. This occurred at the same time that William Rusher was writing about National Review’s need to incorporate religion into more articles. With the end of the war, and the Court’s Roe decision, history was moving the conservative movement forward. By the early 1970s, conservative leaders recognized that there was something wrong with the movement and they needed to right the ship. At the same time, the movement’s disdain for the anti-war New Left’s culture (broadly defined) brought it into alignment with many Christian evangelicals and anti-communists who also opposed the New Left. The result was the creation of a new coalition that helped propel Ronald Reagan to the presidency.

The New Right: Leading the Way A combination of good timing, coordination, outreach, and ideology made the New Right a success. This, along with the leadership of one of the best spokesmen in the nation, made the conservative movement a force that reshaped the political culture for a generation. In the twentieth century, only Franklin Roosevelt reshaped society more deeply than Reagan. The New Right differed from the conservative movement of the 1960s and early 1970s in its ability to organize and coordinate. Many of its leaders had trained to be national and local political organizers through the Young Americans for Freedom. Though YAF’s power was clearly in decline by the mid-1970s, during the previous decade, many members used the organization as a training ground. Intellectual conservative leaders worked closely with YAF to create an apprentice-like situation as young men and women (though mostly men) learned how to build political coalitions and get out the vote. YAF benefitted from good timing as it reached its peak maturity during the Nixon administration. Though Nixon was not a conservative, he was a shrewd politician. As a means of thanking the movement elite, which supported him in 1968, he hired many conservatives within his

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administration. This meant that the first job for some of the New Right’s elders involved working in different parts of the government—and thus gaining invaluable experience. Tom Huston, Pat Buchanan, Howard Phillips, David Keene, and others earned real-world political experience during the Nixon years. The Nixon administration was fertile ground for conservative leaders, helping to nurture the movement’s future. Those who stayed in YAF during the Nixon years were witnesses to the power of practical organization on policy outcomes. They learned the importance of coordination and insider-politics. By the mid-1970s, they had begun working toward building and strengthening conservative think tanks, Political Action Committees, and single-issue organizations. In the early 1970s, conservatives formed effective political organizations such as the Heritage Foundation, the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress, the Cato Institute, Stop-ERA, the National Political Action Committee, the Conservative Caucus, and the Conservative Political Action Conference while at the same time, they expanded the American Enterprise Institute into a multi-million dollar organization. The growth and importance of these conservative organizations, along with their sources of funding (much of which came from corporations and rich benefactors), has been documented by other historians such as Kimberly Phillips-Fein and Steven Teles.5 As they demonstrate, the New Right was triumphant largely because it was able to utilize these organizations more effectively than previous generations had. The New Right’s ability to raise more funds than ever before was very important to its growth. But the funding did not come exclusively from a few rich angels. During the late 1960s, Richard Viguerie helped pioneer direct mail fundraising efforts for YAF and other groups. These campaigns enabled the collection of small amounts of money from many individuals, helping non-profits and think tanks thrive financially. Additionally, direct mail helps groups know who their supporters are, creating lasting relationships which enable long-term success. Thus, conservatives mastered the art of fundraising from small donors while simultaneously cultivating an array of wealthy donors. By the mid-1970s, these major benefactors, such as Charles G. Koch, Joseph Coors, and Richard Scaife, provided financial resources to several New Right organizations. By harnessing their organizational skills and fundraising prowess, the New Right of the late 1970s was able to thrive. Ideologically, the transformation of the right accelerated after the Roe decision. Shortly after that decision, the Southern Baptist Pastor Robert Holbrook from Texas founded Baptists for Life, with funding from mainstream conservative Catholics.6 This, coupled with Bozell’s Stop Immorality on TV and the Heritage Foundation’s work with evangelical pastors in Kanawha County, are examples of mainstream conservatives and evangelicals beginning to work together. These groups experienced similar pro-war and anti-New Left sentiment for several years, which

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made the transition to coordination easier than before. By the late 1970s, there was a mushrooming of conservative Christian political groups which brought together Catholic and evangelical individuals. Eventually, these groups provided the backbone of the Christian Right, which was an important component of the New Right movement of the era. Without the Christian Right, the New Right would not have been as successful.7 The inclusion of the Christian Right is what made the New Right ideologically different from previous incarnations of the conservative movement. Though traditionalism and religion were important components of the right’s ideology in the mid-twentieth century, the movement’s focus was different. In the late 1970s, there was a clearer and more fervent focus on fighting abortion, opposing sexuality in pop culture, opposing divorce, delegitimizing homosexuality, and supporting public pronunciations of faith in God. Many of these were stances which would have made Goldwater and libertarians uncomfortable, but the temporary departure of many libertarians because of the war, beginning in 1969, paved the way for this integration of the Christian Right and the mainstream conservative movement.8 The New Right’s inclusion of the Christian Right was plausible largely because of the political climate of the mid- and late 1970s. By this time, many Americans were starting to feel the result of the changing economy and culture. Wages had begun stagnating while various groups that were not white, male, and heterosexual were demanding a voice in the national political discourse. By the 1970s, conservatives were no longer fighting Johnson’s Great Society or his War on Poverty. Instead, they were fighting Nixon’s War on Drugs while opposing the women’s liberationists and gay rights activists. With these new political opponents, conservatives needed new political allies. Whereas Phyllis Schlafly’s anti-feminist group Stop-ERA would not have worked in the early 1960s, the language of libertarianism was not as powerful against gay rights activists in the late 1970s. Instead, conservatives needed those who could promote the values and ideals of a fictional version of yesteryear. Because the Vietnam War brought together the anti-war, pro-drugs, civil rights groups, it was also able to bring together evangelical anti-communists and mainstream, prowar conservatives. The presidential election of 1976 also figured into the formation of the New Right in the late 1970s. After President Gerald Ford’s defeat in that year’s election, the Republican Party had an open nomination process in 1980. And because Reagan had nearly beaten Ford, the sitting Republican president, in the 1976 primaries, he had shown his credibility as a national candidate. He also gave an inspirational address to the Republican convention that year, helping him build a reputation as one of the leading communicators in the party. Between 1976 and 1980, Reagan was the leading Republican presidential contender, which allowed him to build his coalition slowly and carefully.

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Even in defeat, conservatives benefitted from the 1976 election. That year, Americans elected Jimmy Carter, the first evangelical president and a man who spoke openly about God and morality in society. Carter helped bring the evangelical movement into the mainstream, while also angering Southern Baptists and many other evangelical groups. As historian Neil J. Young demonstrates, Carter’s policies and practices angered the Southern Baptist leaders, convincing many to become more politically engaged.9 Carter’s election legitimized evangelical involvement in politics and promoted some policies with which they disagreed. This enabled conservatives to bring the remaining holdouts into the New Right movement and gain their support.

Postmortem While Reagan and his coalition reshaped the Republican Party and the conservative movement, it is clear that their time has gone. Today’s Republican Party is no longer beholden to conservatives, and the conservatives of today no longer espouse the same beliefs of the New Right. Politics and ideologies grow with the times, and it is only in hindsight that these changes can be fully examined. It will be fascinating to see what historians and political scientists say in 2069 about the contemporary conservative movement. It is clear that the ideology which fostered the rise of the Tea Party movement and the election of Donald Trump as president is different from the conservatism of the late twentieth century. It is fascinating to watch as once again, events outside of America’s control are reshaping this movement. When terrorists hijacked four planes and attacked New York and Washington, DC, on September 11, 2001, they altered U.S. politics. They reframed George W. Bush’s presidency, which brought the United States into two armed conflicts that are often compared to the Vietnam War. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan lasted longer than U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. In both wars, the well-equipped U.S. military struggled in its fight against local insurgents. During the early years of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, there was a rise of anti-war protests while more Americans doubted the logic of engaging in future military actions overseas. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars reshaped political culture, while also reshaping identity politics, as the nation witnessed the rise of Trump’s ‘America First’ ethno-nationalism. I will leave the analysis of the Trump administration to future historians, but one point of early interpretation is how he has decimated the old conservative movement. Throughout his early tenure, he has broken from New Right orthodoxy. He opposes free trade deals that are supported by libertarians and pro-big business conservatives. He regularly argues that the U.S. military should not guarantee the safety of its NATO allies

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while never questioning the motives and actions of the Russian government. He opposes military intervention, except against those whom he claims are responsible for Islamic terrorism. He also claims to speak for (and has much support from) white evangelical Americans, though he is less comfortable talking about religion than any previous modern Republican presidential candidate. In short, neither Trump’s ideas nor his ideology have roots in the New Right’s brand of conservatism; the times are changing. President Trump is fostering a rising fear of Muslim terrorists (both real and imagined) and immigrants. This likely signals a shift in the thinking and ideology of the Republican Party, and a change in the ideological makeup of the conservative movement as it becomes rooted in ethnonationalism and less doctrinarian. As with the 1960s, the conservative movement will adapt. Though scholars cannot predict the future—and at present, do not know how Trump will change the movement—a transformation is undoubtedly taking place. In the meantime, historians can take comfort in knowing that we can dissect the New Right and the modern conservative movement from start to finish, as any future conservatism will be a different movement altogether.

Notes 1. Memo from Rusher, August 5, 1964, Inter-Office Memos, Aug. 1964–Dec. 1964, William F. Buckley Papers, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University. Hereafter referred to as Buckley Papers. 2. Memo from Rusher to Editorial Board, March 5, 1973, Inter-Office Memo, Jan. 1973–April 1973, Buckley Papers. 3. The ad was reprinted “without charge” in full in Human Events, May 30, 1964. 4. Poster, undated [probably 1973], Box 300, Society for the Christian Commonwealth Folder, Group Research Papers, Columbia University, New York. 5. Kim Phillips-Fein, Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Reagan (New York: Norton, 2009); Steven Teles, The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008). 6. Daniel K. Williams, God’s Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 119. 7. For more on the Christian Right, see: Donald T. Critchlow, The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007); Williams, God’s Own Party; Neil J. Young, We Gather Together: The Religious Right and the Problem of Interfaith Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016). 8. Goldwater actively campaigned for gay rights and supported the right to abortion in the early 1990s, long after he retired from the Senate. He was not outspoken about either issue while active in politics. 9. Neil J. Young, “‘Worse Than Cancer and Worse Than Snakes’: Jimmy Carter’s Southern Baptist Problem and the 1980 Election,” Journal of Policy History 26, no. 4 (2014): 479–508.

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Bibliography Newspapers and Magazines Human Events

Columbia University, New York Group Research Papers

Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University William F. Buckley Papers

Books and Journal Articles Critchlow, Donald T. The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007. Phillips-Fein, Kim. Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Reagan. New York: Norton, 2009. Teles, Steven. The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008. Williams, Daniel K. God’s Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Young, Neil J. “‘Worse Than Cancer and Worse Than Snakes’: Jimmy Carter’s Southern Baptist Problem and the 1980 Election.” Journal of Policy History 26, no. 4 (2014): 479–508. ———. We Gather Together: The Religious Right and the Problem of Interfaith Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Index

1964 election see Goldwater, Barry; Johnson, Lyndon abortion 13–14, 102, 146, 158–159, 173–177, 190–195 Agnew, Spiro 63, 120, 142–143, 174, 188 American Conservative Union (ACU) 57–59, 118, 133, 137, 146, 168, 172 American Enterprise Institute 192 American Security Council 64–67, 133 Americans for Democratic Action 9, 58 Angola 88 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty 65, 70, 133, 138 anti-feminist 193 anti-war movement 5, 13, 14, 60, 63–68, 70, 91–92, 94, 101, 111, 114–120, 123–126, 132, 143, 157–159, 170–173, 187–188, 189, 194 Ashbrook, John 57–58, 133–134, 143, 146, 188; see also American Conservative Union (ACU) Batista, Fulgenico, Cuban President 28 Bay Area Libertarian League 101 Bay of Pigs 29 Bell, Jeffery 146–147 Bozell, L. Brent 58, 84, 190–192 Buchanan, Pat 134, 192 Buckley, William F. 7, 55–58, 71–72, 95, 101, 113–114, 118–119, 133–137, 144–145, 158, 167, 172–176, 191 Burnham, James 6–7, 9, 39–41, 54, 56, 71, 87, 94, 96 Bush, George W. 83, 113, 194

Caddy, Douglas 92 Cambodia 59, 61, 64, 67–70, 112, 139–140, 142 Carter, Jimmy 158, 194 Castro, Fidel 28–29, 165 Catholic 158–161, 171, 175, 177, 190–193 Cato Institute 89, 192 Chambers, Whittaker 134 Charleston, W.V. see Kanakawah Chavez, Ceaser 122 China 12, 27–29, 33, 37, 40–42, 46–47, 50, 53–54, 57–58, 64, 70–72, 117, 132–133, 139, 141–142, 146, 149, 157, 187–188; see also People’s Republic of China (PRC); Red China Christian Anti-Communist Crusade see Schwarz, Fred Christian anti-communists 3–5, 13–16, 162–169, 173–177, 189 Christian evangelicals 4, 13–14, 155–161, 165, 177, 189, 191–193 Christian Right 193 Civil Rights Movement 14, 110, 143, 159, 171 Cleaver, Eldridge 156–157 Committee for the Survival of the Free Congress 192 Congo 28, 31–33, 42 Conservative Book Club 120, 124, 133, 144–145 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) 58 Coors, Joseph 192 Council for a Volunteer Military see draft credibility, U.S. 34, 55, 166 Cronkite, Walter 145

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Cuba 28–31, 33–34, 41–42, 141, 165–166 Cuban Missile Crisis see Kennedy, John Fitzgerald ‘Daisy’ ad 1–2, 43 De Gaulle, Charles 39 Democrats 9–11, 26, 41, 54, 56, 59, 63, 92, 95, 109, 115, 140, 179 détente 45, 49, 64, 72, 89–90, 133, 138–139, 157, 164, 169 De Toledano 7, 68 Diem, Ngo Dinh 1, 25–26, 34–39, 41; assassination 25, 34 direct mail fundraising 123, 192 Docksai, Ron 69–70 “domestic Munich” 135 domino theory 58, 69 draft 12, 43–44, 66, 90–101, 116, 122, 186–187, 189; anti-draft 90–95, 102; Council for a Volunteer Military 92–95; see also draft card draft card 90, 92, 94, 98, 100 du Pont family 6 Eisenhower, Dwight D. 29, 38, 64, 134–135 Emmet, Christopher 68 Ernsberger, Donald 97 Evans, M. Stanton 63 Falwell, Jerry 158 Ford, Gerald F. 31, 193 foreign aid 88–89 Foundation for Economic Education 87, 90 Franke, David 92–93 Free Campus Coalition 121–123 Freeman, Roger 139–140 Free Society Association (FSA) 58 Friedman, Milton 93, 99 fundamentalists 158, 161–162, 177–178 fusionism 6, 7, 91, 96, 98, 99–102, 139, 171, 173 Ginsburg, Allen 156 Gold Star Mothers 115 Goldwater, Barry: 1964 election 1–5, 12, 14, 16, 26, 29, 38, 42–45, 53–54, 58, 62, 65, 72, 83–84, 110–115, 117–118, 121, 125, 133, 135, 143, 167, 169–170, 173, 185–187; 1968 election 63;

anti-communism 9–10, 27–29, 33; Conscience of a Conservative 2, 7–9, 84–85, 114, 190; Diem, Ngo Dinh 35, 37; draft 91, 93; FSA 58; Hess 98, 101; ideology and influence 7–9, 13–14, 83–86, 110–115, 170, 173, 185, 188–189, 193; nuclear weapons 2, 27, 42–43, 117; religion 158;Vietnam strategy 26, 35, 42–44, 53–54, 117–118; Why Not Victory? 10, 27–28, 33 Graham, Billy 158, 160, 166 Great Society see Johnson, Lyndon Haiphong Harbor 57, 61, 64, 136 Hammarskjold, Dag 33 Hargis, Billy James Rev. 160–166, 168–169, 174; Christian Crusade 163, 168 Hatfield, Mark 162 Hayek, Friedrich 6, 86, 87 Hazlitt, Henry 7, 87–89 Heritage Foundation 155, 192 Hess, Karl 12, 98–99, 101–102, 127, 189 Higgins, Marguerite 34–36 Hiss, Alger 134 Ho Chi Minh 36–37, 53, 57, 59, 91 Human Events: Cold War 29, 31, 140; conservative movement 92–93, 141, 147, 168–169; Diem, Ngo Dinh 34–36; draft 93 (see also Manhattan Twelve); Johnson, Lyndon 39, 44; Nixon, Richard 63, 67, 71–73, 136, 140, 142–143, 146; Vietnam strategy 41, 44–45, 61, 66–67, 71–73, 125 Humphrey, Hubert 136, 138, 168, 188 integration 8, 132, 155, 158, 161, 190, 193; Southern public schools 8 International Youth Crusade for Freedom 56 isolationists/isolationism 86, 88, 126, 160 John Birch Society 140 Johnson, Lyndon: 1964 election 1–4, 15, 26, 43–44, 112, 117; anticommunism 9; Cold War policies 31, 33; Great Society 11, 14, 59, 84–85, 89, 112, 170, 173, 193; relationship with right 15, 27, 34, 38–43, 47, 56–57, 59–62, 64, 72, 135–136, 138, 166–167, 169;

Index Vietnam policies 4, 25–27, 34, 39–47, 53–57, 59–62, 64, 70, 115, 117, 136, 170, 186–188 Judd, Walter 7, 37, 56–57, 67–68, 158 Kennedy, John Fitzgerald 9, 29, 32, 38, 64, 76, 84–85, 159 Kennedy, Ted 188 Kent, Rockwell 116 Kent State 68 Khrushchev, Nikita 89, 161–162 Kilpatrick, James Jackson 65, 116 King, Martin Luther Jr. 83, 159 Kirk, Russell 6, 93, 159–160, 176 Kissinger, Henry, National Security Advisor 66, 72, 77, 137, 144–145, 188 Koch, Charles G. 192 Korea 40, 53 Krieger, Fritz 115–116 Lane, Thomas General 61, 72, 125 Laos 59, 61, 64, 69–70 Latin America 29, 31, 34, 166 Lenon, Vladimir 116, 161, 164 liberal anti-communists 5, 9–10, 27, 67–68, 116, 118, 162, 166, 169 libertarian 4, 6, 85–86, 91–96, 103, 173, 189; anti-war 73; individual rights 88 Liebman, Marvin 40, 43, 58, 118 Lodge, Henry Cabot Jr. 35, 38–39 Luce, Claire Boothe 175–176 Lumumba, Patrice 31 Lyons, Daniel Rev. 137, 145 MacKay, Alan 121–122 Manhattan Twelve 133, 142–143 Manion, Clarence 7, 57, 84, 116, 125, 137, 145, 158, 163; Manion Forum 141, 143 Manion, Marilyn 42, 75, 116 Mao Tse-tung 53, 132, 141 Marx, Karl 160–161 McBirnie, W.S. 164, 168 McCaffrey, Neil 124–125, 144, 170–171, 177 McCarthy, Joseph 9, 141, 144; McCarthyism 165 McFadden, Jim 176–177 McGovern, George 71–72, 143–144 McIntire, Carl Dr. 163, 166–169; Christian Beacon 163 McNamara, Robert 45–46

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Meyer, Frank 6, 58, 91, 102, 125–126, 140, 171 Middle East 65 Moscow 29, 140, 163, 165 Mozambique 88 My Lai massacre 172 National Review 10, 84, 191; 1968 election 62; abortion 174–177; circulation 111, 125, 137, 141, 163; Cold War 32–33; conservative leadership 7, 54, 58, 101–102, 124–125, 141, 146, 186; Diem, Ngo Dinh 36; draft 91–94; fusionism/ideology 6, 171–172, 191; Johnson, Lyndon 31, 44–47, 60; left/liberals 109–110, 120; Nixon, Richard 65, 72, 133, 136–138, 142–146; Vietnam proposals 55–56, 60, 67–68, 71, 118–119 Nazi Germany 42, 176 negative conservatism 15, 109–147, 187–189 New Left 10–11, 94–96, 98–102, 109, 117, 120–124, 127, 137, 143, 146, 158–159, 170–173, 189–192 New Right 3–4, 13–16, 54, 146, 158–159, 161, 170, 177, 191–195 New York State Conservative Party 133 New York State Right to Life Party 175 Niemeyer, Gerhart 71 Nixon, Richard: 1968 election 62–64, 134–137; 1972 election 72, 143–144; Castro 29–33; China 70–71, 157; relationship with conservatives 3–5, 15–16, 56–57, 63–73, 124, 127, 132–133, 137–143, 146, 158–159, 166–167, 174, 188–193; Vietnamization 55, 66–67, 69–71, 123, 138–139, 142, 145, 167–168; Vietnam policies 15, 63–73, 145, 169 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) 71, 194 North Vietnam 2, 11, 36, 40, 44–47, 53, 57–64, 67–73, 91, 116–117, 119, 127, 137, 139, 141, 145, 149, 157, 166–167, 188 Norton, Jerry 69 nuclear bomb: nuclear war 27, 42–43, 89–90; nuclear weapons 1–2, 25, 29–30, 42–43, 58, 60, 117, 128, 139–140

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Index

Obama, Barack 188 Operation Rolling Thunder 1, 166, 170, 186 Panama 28–31, 41 Paris Peace Accords 73, 145–146, 177, 190 Pentagon Papers 132 People’s Republic of China 64, 132, 157 Portugal 88 Possony, Stefan 66–67, 116 pro-war movement 3–5, 12–15, 56–57, 60, 68–69, 91, 93, 112, 114–115, 123–126, 139, 167–170, 173–174, 189–192 Radical Libertarian Alliance 95 Rand, Ayn 6, 84–87, 90, 189 Reagan, Ronald 5, 7, 12, 31, 54, 62–63, 73, 83–84, 113, 135, 142–143, 158, 174, 185–186, 188, 191, 193–195 Red China 117, 146 Red Scare 165 Rhodesia 28, 33, 41 Rockefeller, Nelson 3, 62–63, 135–136 Roe v. Wade 14, 146, 177, 190–192 Romney, George 124, 145 Roosevelt, Franklin Delano 28, 134, 191 Roosevelt, Theodore 28 Rothbard, Murray 12, 89–90, 98–99, 101, 189 Rumford Act 164, 168 Rusher, William 7, 10, 58, 72, 109, 110, 133, 143–146, 186–189, 191 Russia 27–28 Sainsbury, John 85–86 Saracion, Bill 38, 62, 117 Schlafly, Phyllis 7, 12–13, 65, 69, 140, 158, 192–193 Schlesinger, Arthur 9 Schwarz, Fred 90, 162–169, 174, 191–192 Sharon Statement 96 Silent Majority 146, 174 Smith, Al 158–159 Social Security 113 Society for Individual Liberty (SIL) 99–101 Sontag, Susan 91 South Africa 88 Soviet Union 6, 9, 10, 12–15, 27–31, 49, 61, 64, 69, 89, 90, 116, 139,

140, 145, 162, 164, 179, 195; see also Russia Spock, Benjamin Dr. 91 Stalin, Joseph 161 Stop ERA 192 Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) 71, 139–142 Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) 95, 99, 109, 121–122, 173 Taft, Robert 6, 38, 64, 84–85 Tanzania 33 Taylor, General Maxwell 46 Teague, Randal 112, 121–122, 138, 170, 176 Tea Party 194 Tet Offensive 63, 119 Thompson, Michael 29, 84, 97, 174 Thorburn, Wayne 100, 136 Thurmond, Strom 63 Tower, John 63 traditionalist 6–9, 11, 14, 54, 90–102, 105, 114, 142, 160, 171–174 Truman, Harry 9, 27, 141 Trump, Donald 194–195 Tshome, Moise 31–32 United Mine Workers 155 United Nations 30, 32, 40, 53, 56, 87, 88, 92, 136; peacekeepers 32–33 Vietnamization 57, 66, 69, 70, 123, 138, 142, 145, 167–168 Viguerie, Richard 133, 192 Wallace, George 168 War hawks 59, 63 War on Drugs 117, 193 Wedemeyer, Albert C. 57, 67 Young Americans for Freedom (YAF): 1964 election 7; China 141–142; Congo 32; Cuba 34; dispute with libertarians 86, 94–102, 123, 171; draft 93–100; membership 56, 121–122, 137; New Right 191–192; Nixon, Richard 62, 133, 135–138, 141–143, 192; pro-war 56, 67, 69–70, 112, 121–122; relationship with left 112, 121–124 Young Democrats 56 Zanzibar 28, 33