Essay On The Election

Decent Essays
A TIME Magazine article from October of the election year highlighted the main issues and how the candidates were proposing to remedy them. It was these issues, overcrowded schools, bad highways, “restive” minorities, rising welfare costs, and rising taxes, increased crime, drought, smog, and race riots, that formed the platform for both candidates. (TIME) As the incumbent, Brown was in the hot seat for these issues and was being blamed. As Reagan was a political newbie with no advertising experience, his team hired the McCann-Erickson firm. McCann-Erickson framed Reagan's platform as “common sense answers to California's problems.” (MCKENNA 33).
Of the issues that were of most concern, money issues drew the most ire among the people. As
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On the issue race relations, Reagan was against discrimination but was predicted to benefit from “white black lash votes” more than Brown. Brown was indecisive on issues concerning race, such as open-housing. He began to work on the issue but backed away and later suggested the issue be banned from discussion in the campaign. The Los Angeles Watts race riots in 1965 led to a call for “law and order.” (MCKENNA 5) The week-long riots occurred in August of 1965 and led to the deaths of thirty-four people. What began with an arrest quickly turned into a race war when African Americans began to vent their frustration over the poor conditions of the Watts district. A number of African Americans began attacking whites and white-owned businesses, enacting a million dollars worth of damage. Governor Brown was vacationing out of the country at the time but returned home. His perception and remarks on the riots quickly aligned him with the rioters in the public's eyes (MCKENNA 18). His comments seemed to justify the actions of the rioters and people “forgot his commitment to law and order.” (MCKENNA 18). The student demonstrations at the USC Berkeley campus in 1966 became a central focus of the Reagan campaign. The demonstrations sparked student radicalism as a campaign issue. Matthew Dallek in The Right Moment, contends that Berkeley and Watts provided
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