The New Right became dominant in America’s politics in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The mid-1970s marked a slow transformation of politics and many aspects of America’s history. These included the new right, the new religious right and conservatism of the corporate arena. The new right was not embraced immediately; it triggered a lot of opposition.
The mid 1970s was a central point for conservatism. The cold war liberalism transformed America by ensuring that America’s leadership was not compromised. This conservatism combined the political and social economic resources of America to achieve the objectives (Sigelman 839-851).
During the early 1960s, 2 cities located approximately 700 miles away from each other in the areas that were famous for rice farming were most affected during the Vietnam War in the US. These are Danang and Hue which are densely populated cities (Addington 2).
In the1970s and 1980s, although the cold war came to a halt in America, the issues that triggered the conflicts continued being the centre of confusion and controversies in America. It reached a point that America stopped to worry and began to love the atomic bomb. This may be due to the issue of development positive long term effects of the atomic technology (Addington ix).
Fears of more atomic bombs being released existed in the U.S. This was especially after the American government, according to reports in the early 1990s, unveiled radioactive substances as a form of scientific experiments.
One of the experiments conducted by the government involved giving foods that contained radioactive substances to several teenagers. This was to investigate the digestion process of the human body. Such experiments raised controversies in the country. These, among other issues, continue being a cause of worry for the American citizens, decades after the end of the war (Addington 200).
Therefore, life in America changed after the new right policies came to be. The new right polices caused great cultural alterations to the Americans in regards to living with the aftermath of the atomic bombs and the impacts of the war. The technological advancements effects were also felt in the country. People could now discover weapons and other crucial equipment that could be used in other wars as defensive measures against their enemies. Some equipment could also be used for hunting purposes.
One of the major factors that contributed to the rise of the new right is the rise of the technology of printing in America. This issue enabled Americans to effectively disseminate important information in the forms of pamphlets and publications. Thus, according to Albert Einstein, the atomic bomb transformed all things on earth except for man’s nature.
The Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombings further elaborate the pace of these atomic bombs in America. By the 1980s, Americans began accepting and absorbing the revolution of the new right policies, into the culture of America. This meant that the cultures, values and expectations of the Americans were transformed greatly. Americans slowly began to understand and appreciate the politics and technological benefits of the atomic era (Addington xvi-xix).
The many crisis and conflicts that were rampant in America also led to the rise of the right. This involved the declining economy of America, the high rates of domestic conflicts in Americans’ families and radical societal movements that criticized the features of the society of America. Another aspect was the increasing demands of Americans that outran the available resources in America. These issues eroded the confidence of Americans, leading to a need for a change. Any possible alternatives were welcome (Margot 400-451).
Although at that point America could view the culture as one that was armed with security (due to the fact that new weapons could be formed), there were aspects of chaos, confusion, controversies and split ideas that existed after the new policies. There was now a culture of atomic consensus in America. The war had evidently caused disintegration or a split in the cultures of Americans. Thus, at first, there was immorality, insecurity, insanity and people rebelling. Signs of danger, corruption, and alienation could also be felt.
The old culture and ideological age in America came to an end with this rise of the new right era. This old age was the era where the laissez faire system of governance existed. A new era of a mixed economy, a system of decentralization and political pluralism was gradually being felt in America. This end of ideology in America is what is referred to as the rise of the new right.
Moreover, the new right disrupted the political and cultural life and social aspects of America. The politics of America needed to change. The need for Political values that were not concerned with the interests of materialistic goals triggered the move to the new right. It was time that America practiced politics that embraced all the values and interests of all American citizens.
Many activist groups joined efforts to support the new right. Another aspect that led to the rise of the new right is the citizens’ need for transition to new socioeconomic and cultural ranks. Everyone was optimistic that these new ranks were possible if the new right existed. This was Americans’ silent cry of suffering (Sigelman 839-851).
The new right also led to a new group of elites, who had credible professional and technological knowledge. The right fought for the rise of modernity. Modernity meant adverse forces that could change the politics, culture, economies and social aspects of America. After the rise of these new policies, the capitalist system was also transformed and stabilized.
Monopoly was eating up America. Thus, there was a need for change. The government regulated the social welfare of Americans and the economy. Collective bargaining was also regulated. Embracing this reformed capitalist system would mean a rise to an America that is rational, results-oriented and reasonable (Sigelman 839-851).
The government provided social insurance services as a way of transformation. This included sponsorships of development projects in suburban areas and also development of facilities in public hospitals. The cost of labor was also reduced. All these aspects reduced the government expenditures and increased revenues.
New businesses and corporations also emerged; the electorate and the elites were realigned. The New Religious Right led to the emergence of evangelism that transformed the moral standards and social orders of America. Abortion issues were abolished and modernization adopted.
Thus, the traditional methods of religion became a thing of the past. Despite there being expressions of anger, despair and anxiety, the citizens were ready to embrace Cultural Revolution that resulted from the new right. Black humor participated a lot in this revolution. This is the movies, theatre, music and literature that were referred as the popular culture (Sigelman 839-851).
An example of the weapons arising from the technological advancements in America is the boat described in San Francisco in Wolfe, Tom’s book. Also, the neon martini glasses in a truck and a pistol in the hands of an Indian lady as described in the book. The discussion shows that people’s ideas and perceptions were changed from following a certain direction towards following another beneficial one. Transition was initially hard, but with time, people were able to embrace changes (Wolfe 18-100).
In the book ‘there are No Children Here’, there’s a sad account of two young boys, Lafayette Rivers and Pharoah, his younger brother that thrived in harsh conditions in a Henry Horner Homes Chicago’s housing project. The two were around 12 years and 9, in 1985. The ghetto was surrounded by high crime rates, poverty, drug abuse, and negligence yet the young ones struggled to survive.
Lafayette struggled by trying to make himself an automaton, playing the stern father figure of the family. This meant that he was a source of security for the family. Pharoah struggled by beating all odds and excelling in school. The book and the lives of these struggling boys changed the perspectives of Americans on life’s issues. It is evident that the social lives and conditions can be harsh and poor but the people must be willing to change.
The boys’ struggles with the harsh neighborhood explain the transformation in the schools, the courts systems and the rehabilitation centers in America. Their life is an inspiration that despite the many bad things that happened in the 1980s era, it is possible to survive. This helped to change the perception of life by the Americans (Kotlowitz 300-336).
Addington, Larry .America’s War in Vietnam: A Short Narrative History. USA; Indiana University Press. 2000; 1-210. Web. 6th April 2012.
Kotlowitz, Alex. There Are No Children Here: the Story of Two Boys Growing up in the Other America. USA; Knopf Doubleday. 1992; 1-336. Print.
Margot, Henriksen. Dr. Strangelove’s America: Society and Culture in the Atomic Age
London; England .University of California Press. 1997; 1-451. Web. 6th April 2012. < http://www.ccebook.org/preview/0520083105/Dr-Strangeloves-America-Society-and-Culture-in-the-Atomic-Age >.
Sigelman, Lee. Two Reagans? Genre Imperatives, Ghostwriters, and Presidential Personality Profiling. 2002; 839-851. Print.
Wolfe, Tom. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. New York. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1968; 1-224. Library of Congress. Web. 6th April 2012. < http://www.scribd.com/doc/16640966/Tom-Wolfe-The-Electric-KoolAid-Acid-Test >.