Richard Nixon Was The Last Liberal Era

2168 WordsMay 22, 20169 Pages
It can be argued that Richard Nixon was the last liberal president and that his presidency ushered in a conservative era. Both of these arguments are true, however I believe it is more correct to say that his presidency marked a new conservative era. During his time in office, Nixon expanded Great Society legislation, created new and significant federal agencies, and his foreign policy with communism emphasized détente. However, he did not always agree with the liberal ideologies that he was implementing and, in regards to the anti-war protestors, his administration showed little concern for civil liberties. In comparison to the administrations that followed, he was much more liberal and was the last president to significantly increase…show more content…
Social conservatism generally favors traditional, pro-family values, such as opposition to abortion and same sex marriage. Richard Nixon’s campaign echoed many aspects of the conservative language of the time, but ultimately his presidency was liberal, as he subscribed to liberal tendencies, such as broadening social programs and the influence of the federal government. He did not battle the Democrats, who held congress, on domestic issues and even expanded components of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society. Instead of curtailing the federal government’s role, Nixon created new agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board. His administration poured money into social services and environmental initiatives, expanded the food stamp program, and allowed Social Security to expand with inflation. Numerous acts were passed such as the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Air Act. His commitment to protecting the environmental ostracized businesses, natural allies of conservative ideologies, who deemed these regulations burdensome. Nixon broke the mold of conservative politics further by presenting a Family Assistance Plan that would guarantee a minimum income for all Americans and by pursuing affirmative action programs to “upgrade minority employment”. The Family Assistance Plan did not pass in congress and was criticized by
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