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On Richard Nixon’s Neo-conservative Thinking: the Case Study of the Silent Majority Policies

Author: HuLi
Tutor: ZhangTao
School: Sichuan International Studies University
Course: English Language and Literature
Keywords: Nixon neo-conservatism silent majority policies domestic affairs welfare civil rights
CLC: D091
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 38
Quote: 0
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Richard Nixon is one of the most significant political figures in the UnitedStates during the20thcentury, for he had served as Congressman, senator, vicepresident under Eisenhower and president and he had to make a disgracefulresignation from office due to the Watergate scandal. In China, he still enjoys highreputation, concerning the fact that he is the person who had realized thenormalization of the Sino-US relation. Nixon had often been molded as theincarnation of conservatism, on the account of his Republican origin and his earlierrising to stardom for anti-communism. Nixon, on the contrary, turned out to be arather multidimensional politician. The paper intends to explore the relativelyoblivious facet of Nixon’s political career through an analysis of his silent majoritypolicies on domestic affairs.In the first part of the paper, it mainly discussed the characteristics ofneo-conservatism through comparing neon-conservatism with liberalism andneo-conservatism with conservatism. Next, in the second section, two aspects ofNixon’s silent majority policies are illustrated—anti-permissiveness and civil rightspolicies to demonstrate that Nixon, though, was highly conservative on social issues,but did blend many liberal thoughts into his civil rights philosophy. Finally, in chapterthree, the other two areas of his silent majority policies will be discussed—welfarereform and economic policies. The policies on these two sides are supportive thatNixon could shrug off his deep-rooted conservative political stand to tilt towardliberal welfare and economic plans, such as favor of a welfare state and a properfederal intervention. These four domestic fields from Nixon’s silent majority policiescontribute to the outcome that Nixon is a rather liberal conservative, who held similarpolitical philosophy with many other neo-conservatives.

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