Presidential Political Era 6 Elections 1968-2012 Party Control Flip-Flops But Some Progress Made
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Voter outrage caused by Bonus Army deaths during the summer of 1932 combined with the insignificant effects of Hoover's economic policies singled change was needed! Democrats promoted American Liberalism anchored by Southerners, well-organized labor unions, urban political machines, progressive intellectuals, populist farm groups and especially Roman Catholics, Jewish, and African Americans religious-ethno constituencies. Experts debate whether this era ended and a Sixth Party System began to emerge in the mid-1960s with the end of the New Deal coalition. The new era had solidified by the 1980s when the Moral Majority and the Reagan coalition were formed and then into the new century with the Republican Revolution. Interrupted by Presidents Clinton and Obama this era may have continued in 1/15 when the Republicans took control of Congress.
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"And Now the Rest of the Story

Election of 1968 was a major realigning election as it permanently disrupted the New Deal Coalition that had dominated presidential politics for 36 years. It centered on restoring law and order to a country torn by riots and crime. A wrenching 1968 campaign was conducted during violence that included the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and subsequent race riots plus the assassination of Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy.  Nixon just beat Hubert Humphrey in the popular vote but easily won the electoral college while third  party candidate George Wallace got almost ten million votes for the far-right American Independent Party. Election of 1972 was an easy Nixon victory as Senator McGovern anti-war campaign a was hurt by his outsider status, limited party support, perception he was a left-wing extremist and a vice-presidential nominee Thomas Eagleton scandal.

Richard M. Nixon was possibly our most contentious president who accomplished a nuclear arms control agreements with the Soviet Union, instituted successful diplomatic relations with China and the Nixon Doctrine began the long process of ending the Cold War. Domestically he enforced desegregation, established the Environmental Protection Agency and tried but filed to control inflation with wage and price controls. His desire to maintain U.S. international credibility by extending U.S. Vietnam War involvement eliminated any possible that liberals would ignore the Watergate Scandal which resultrd in his impeachment.
Gerald Ford probably Doomed His Political Future  with a quick pardon of Nixon. Ford lived longer than any other U.S. president, 93 years and 165 days, while his 895-day presidency remains the shortest term of all presidents who did not die in office.

Election 1976 had Ford who was not able to secure the nomination over R. Reagan until the Party Convention lose to relatively unknown former Georgia Governor J. Carter.

Jjimmy Carter's 1978 Camp David Accords was the high point of recent Middle East peace efforts. Carter inherited an stagflation. The inflation part was solved with the pain of two recessions orchestrated by his FED Chairperson Paul Volker. Economic growth had to wait until a while after Regain's tax cuts.

Election of 1980 saw Carter attacked Reagan as a dangerous right-wing radical while Reagan won easily as he pledged to uplift the nation's pessimistic mood. Simultaneous Congressional elections went, Republicans for the first time in 28 years which began the "Reagan Revolution which signified a conservative national political realignment.

Election 1984 went Republican as the economic stagflation of low growth with high inflation was over.

Ronald Reagan cut taxes, increased defense spending, ignored federal Deficits which today look insignificant because of economic growth. His Supply Side Economics sought economic growth through more efficient production caused by less regulation and low taxes rather than government supported demand. His low taxes and large military spemding caused demand supported growth that soon lowered the relative size of the annual federal deficit and accumulated debt. The later had stayed below 40% of GDP until  the New Deal and WW2 spending caused it to peak at 120%. The Penn Square 1082 Bank bailout began a new chapter in the long history of government helping business.

Election of 1988 saw a good economy, a stable international stage, and Reagan's popularity foster the third consecutive presidential victory for the Republican Party. It was the first time that a party had won more than two consecutive presidential elections since the Democrats won five straight elections from 1932-1938.

George H. W. Bush popularity peaked early because his 1990  Coalition of the First Gulf War repelled Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Not always conservative, he signed the  Immigration Act of 1990 that led to a 40 percent increase in legal immigration and his temporary ban on certain important semiautomatic rifles cost him NRA endorsement.

Election 1992 went to Clinton as Bush broke his no new taxes pledge, the economy was in recession and Bush's perceived foreign policy strength was less important with the fall of the Soviet Union and Middle East peace after the Gulf War victory. Economic conservative Ross Perrot got 19% of the vote helping Democrat Clinton. Election of 1996  had a 49.0% turnout which was lowest since 1924 as a strong economy helped Clinton who again, with the help of Reform Party candidate businessman Ross Perot beat Republican Bob Dole.`

Bill Clinton was another contentious president who survived the Lewinsky scandal as twenty-five years of continued prosperity had made the U.S. a mare tolerant nation. This allowed him to appoint more women and minority judges than white male judges to the federal courts and also have a very diverse cabinet. The longest economic expansion in American history allowed for increase educational opportunities, lower crime and increase homeownership. The little noticed 1999 Gramm, Leach, Bliley Act Initiated by Republicans and  signed by President Clinton substantially liberalized financial regulation adding to the many causes of the The Great Recession.

Election of 2000 was one of the most contentious in history as it marked the fourth time the winner failed to win a plurality. See 1824, 1876, and 1888). A Florida recount that required Supreme Court intervention followed party lines. The Green Party adversely affected Democratic Al Gore. Election of 2004 was another G.W. victory John Kerry.

George W. Bush reacted to September 9/11 attacks with a War on Terror, a War in Afghanistan an the Iraq War. Heis major tool was the USA PATRIOT Act that established Department of Homeland Security. He also implemented 1) tax cuts 2) No Child Left Behind 3) Medicare Part D but vetoed State Children's Health Insurance Program legislation s 4) promoted the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban and Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and 5) government activities to

Election of 2008 saw leading Democrat Hillary Clinton lose when the campaign switched focus from The War On Terror to economic concerns.This was the first election in which 1) neither major candidate was born in the contiguous U.S, (Obama/ Hawaii and McCain/Panama military base), 2) a woman presidential candidate ran in every primary/caucus and 3) Sarah Palin was th efirst female Republican VP candidate. Geraldine Ferraro was first major party's presidential candidate.

Barack Obama's 2010 Affordable Care Act finally fulfilled Democratic efforts for a national health insurance program that had begun with Harry Truman. Major federal health care involvement had began during WW 2 when employer provided health insurance was exempted from federal income tax. His to-date successfully completion of governmental attempts to negate affects of  The Great Recession will be balanced against Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act successes.