Talk:Timeline of modern American conservatism

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Criteria? Sources?[edit]

Suggestions?   Will Beback  talk  09:53, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

I suggest we enter events where the people involved were self-identified conservatives or New Right. Some of the events before the establishment of modern conservatism are significant, e.g., the Old Right. The timelines of neoconservatism and the Religious Right should also go in. The timeline should include Kirk's book, "fusionism", the 1964 Goldwater, 1965 Buckley, 1968 and 1970 James Buckley and 1966 Reagan gubernatorial campaigns, as well as Reagan's presidential campaigns. We should also mention Birchers, the American Independence Party and the Tea Party. TFD (talk) 16:54, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
Since the post-World War II era stated about August 1945, I'm confused why there are entries from before 1945.   Will Beback  talk  06:04, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
While conservatives did not choose their name until 1955, they were choosing a word introduced by Roosevelt (1930s), then popularized by Viereck and Kirk. I think that immediate antecedents of conservatism are acceptable. Note that the 1948 Republicans and Robert Taft mentioned in the article never called themselves "conservatives" but may be acceptable because they were an antecedent to the Goldwater coalition. TFD (talk) 06:13, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Four Deuces. Note also planning for the postwar era began during the war--the people involved (like Viereck, Taft) did not pop out of nowhere. This is an innovative timeline (and does not conflict with anything else). (and of course the article name can always be changed again later--it was just changed this last week) Rjensen (talk) 06:15, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Frequently when I write an article I will put some background information into it, information about events leading up to the main topic. I agree that something suitable that helps define post-war American conservatism should be present. Perhaps, though, it should be in prose. Binksternet (talk) 06:22, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Would WWI be a better starting point for the timeline? In a related discussion at Template talk:Conservatism US#Entries, editors agreed to limit the contents to the post-Coolidge eras. Maybe adding a decade or two would make for a significantly better timeline.   Will Beback  talk  06:32, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't think so. Obviously one could trace any movement to antecedents going back a long time. But the modern conservatives identified an Old Right and chose to be the New Right, terms apparently invented by Murray Rothbard. Therefore the Old Right becomes relevant, but its antecedents would extend the timeline too far back. Note that the Old Right included Al Smith, southern Democrats and Progressives, who may not have been considered conservative in the 1920s. TFD (talk) 06:41, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Well, whatever cut-off we decide upon, let's follow it. If we need to add background info then let's put it in prose in an intro or background section.   Will Beback  talk  07:04, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
the American Liberty League (1934), the Conservative Coalition (1939), Supreme Court fight (1937) were organized conservative reactions against the New Deal, as led by former liberals Al Smith, Hearst, VP Garner, brain truster Raymond Moley, columnist Walter Lippmann, Chief Justice Hughes, etc. That suggests the useful earlier date is perhaps 1933. Rjensen (talk) 07:20, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Compromise: Timeline of RECENT American Conservatism[edit]

For the historian, the 1930s is "recent"  :) The point is that the common thread is anti-New-Dealism and it begins c. 1933. Rjensen (talk) 07:22, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

According to the Cato Institute, the socialist policies which were later called the "New Deal" began during the Hoover Administration (1929-), not the Roosevelt Administration (1933-). JRSpriggs (talk) 08:18, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
the anti-Hoover movement was called the New Deal. Rjensen (talk) 08:58, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Roosevelt lied. He said that he would reverse Hoover's policies, but instead he continued and extended them. History was rewritten to make it appear that Hoover's failures were due to laissez-faire when in fact they were due to intervention. So the opposition by Roosevelt was purely rhetorical. JRSpriggs (talk) 09:16, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
careful about calling people liars. That's political rhetoric--POV-- that works poorly on Wiki where the editors are supposed to be more neutral. Rjensen (talk) 09:39, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I can see this is going to be a fun article to edit! Let's try to avoid too much acrimony.
A previous suggestion (made elsewhere by someone else and repeated here by me) to go with a 'post-Coolidge' timeline would mesh with the Hoover-era. Obviously, the New Deal would have served as a rallying point for the nascent conservative movement. For those reasons and others, 1933 would be a fine date to start with. Any background material prior to that could be handled in a prose section, "Background".   Will Beback  talk  10:54, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Coolidge is important to American conservatism. Garland S. Tucker III in The High Tide of American Conservatism wrote that the election of 1924 marked the "high tide of American conservatism." – Lionel (talk) 11:01, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
And Tucker's opinion is definitive because...?   Will Beback  talk  11:13, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
we're looking for organizations (Liberty League, Heritage Foundation) here, movements (Conservative Coalition, Moral Majority, Tea Party) -- schools of thought (like Chicago School/ Austrian School/ ) and publications (National Review) .... Most of that is missing pre 1933. Rjensen (talk) 11:19, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
The introduction to The rise and fall of modern American conservatism: a short history (David R. Farber, Princeton University Press, 2010) begins, "In early 1936, Robert A. Taft... thought that he was a liberal. Then he heard President Franklin Roosevelt explain to the American people that he and his administration were redefining liberalism.... In 1938... [Taft] used, for the first time, another word to describe his politics, conservative. (The term had been used episodically before, but never regularly by American politicians of note.)" Taft said, "The President has sought to appropriate all the ideals of liberalism, and to brand his opponents as Tories, and tools of entrenched greed".[1] Other writers date the beginnings later, to the National Review (1955). But whether Taft was a modern conservative or an immediate antecedent, this history is relevant to the timeline. But I would certainly object to extending the timeline back before Taft, even though Taft's views can easily be traced back.
Re Hoover: While it may be that Hoover introduced New Deal style policies, and may not have been the first to do so, the article is about modern conservatism, which developed out of reaction to New Deal policies. So Hoover is before the timeline and we can avoid the argument about whether he was a liberal or a conservative.
TFD (talk) 16:06, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

There is NO balance in Taft-Hartley![edit]

The timeline for 1947 says that there is a balance between management and labor in Taft-Hartley Act. That is false. The closest thing to proper balance was before the Wagner Act was passed in the first place. Taft-Hartley did not remove the obligation to bargain from the National Labor Relations Act. Instead of fully protecting businesses and individual workers from extortion by labor unions, it added tangential restrictions on labor-management relations. JRSpriggs (talk) 08:44, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

the goal said the conservatives was to balance the Wagner Act. Wikipedia does not evaluate how well it did that job. Rjensen (talk) 08:57, 4 October 2011 (UTC)


Will this pass fair use? – Lionel (talk) 11:14, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Fair use always requires a specific claim. This is a fairly uninformative book cover. If we simply printed the same information, perhaps with a brief description, without showing the cover it's hard to see what the reader would miss. If we have a reason to discuss the cover itself, then there'd be a reason to include it.   Will Beback  talk  11:26, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Name of article[edit]

A better title might be "Timeline of modern American conservatism". Any comments? TFD (talk) 16:44, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

The word modern is subjective. Binksternet (talk) 16:59, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
But the term modern conservatism when applied to the U.S. is not. Cf. Modern Art. A google book search for "American "modern conservatism"" shows a consistency in the use of the term.[2] TFD (talk) 17:41, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
"Timeline of opposition to socialist policies in America". JRSpriggs (talk) 01:25, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
That would alter the narrative. We would begin with Woodrow Wilson sending the Socialist leader, Eugene Debs to prison for 10 years for opposing American involvement in the First World War, followed by Warren Harding issuing a pardon and inviting him to the White House. That would make Wilson a conservative and Harding a liberal. TFD (talk) 05:21, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
TFDs suggestion best suits the content, and the American liberalism articles are similarly titled. Short and sweet. I'm agreeing with TFD... Is the moon blue? Are pigs flying? – Lionel (talk) 05:26, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree with TFD also Rjensen (talk) 06:13, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
I will change the name. TFD (talk) 14:36, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Civil rights legislation[edit]

It seems to me that a major feature of American conservatism in the 1950s and 1960s was opposition to civil-rights legislation. This was particularly significant in the South, where the national Democratic Party "lost the South" by embracing civil-rights legislation. The current Republican domination in southern states is often traced to this shift arising from conservative opposition to civil-rights bills. This doesn't appear to be covered by the timeline in any great depth. Does anyone think it should be? MastCell Talk 22:03, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Absolutely! A major feature of the history of U.S. conservatism. Binksternet (talk) 22:09, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Well, let's talk sources then. The issue is actually addressed head-on by some partisan conservative sources. For instance, the Claremont Institute, a conservative think-tank, has a 2008 piece on "Civil Rights and the Conservative Movement". It's fairly nuanced, and argues (among other things) that conservatism of the era was not inherently racist (despite some of William F. Buckley's early remarks on the superiority of the white race), but was implacably opposed to any government intervention even if that intervention was aimed at addressing obvious racial injustices. The same piece quotes Jonah Goldberg, a conservative commentator, as saying:

Conservatives should feel some embarrassment and shame that we are outraged at instances of racism now that it is easy to be. Conservatives... were often at best MIA on the issue of civil rights in the 1960s. Liberals were on the right side of history on the issue of race. And conservatives should probably admit that more often.

Writing in the National Review, Ramesh Ponnuru argues:

In the civil-rights debates of the 1950s and 1960s, many conservatives—including William F. Buckley Jr., other figures associated with this magazine, and Sen. Barry Goldwater—took positions that the vast majority of conservatives now reject. Most contemporary conservatives who know this history regret it and find it embarrassing.

In some cases these conservative positions were motivated by straightforward support for an official policy of white supremacy, or by a desire to enlist segregationist southern Democrats in the burgeoning conservative movement. But some people held these positions while also sincerely wishing for segregation to end. They believed that their conservative principles—principles that do not on their face entail hostility to blacks—compelled opposition to the civil-rights movement’s platform. ([3])

Again, these are partisan conservative sources, but they underscore that this is relevant aspect of American conservatism in the 1950s and 1960s. I would assume we can find good non-partisan sources as well. MastCell Talk 23:52, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
One should not lump all civil rights legislation together. Restrictions on racial discrimination by government (at whatever level) are good. Restrictions on choices by private entities as to which persons they associate with are wrong. See User:JRSpriggs#Civil Rights Act of 1964. JRSpriggs (talk) 01:35, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
Let's please avoid any discussions of the benefits of various public policies - we're just here to talk about improving this article.   Will Beback  talk  01:40, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
This is a timeline, not an article about modern conservatism. Conservative opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should be mentioned, but the statement that conservatism "was implacably opposed to any government intervention even if that intervention was aimed at addressing obvious racial injustices" is not what one would expect to find in a timeline. Why they did this, whether they were right or wrong etc. is outside the scope of this article. TFD (talk) 05:13, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, agreed. I mentioned that by way of context, but I agree that any lengthy analysis of the reasons for conservative opposition to civil-rights legislation belongs elsewhere. MastCell Talk 18:48, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Several additions to the article have been made which mention civil rights. The unwary reader might be mislead by them into thinking that conservatives or Republicans were opposed to civil rights. So I added an item pointing out that Republicans gave relatively more support to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than did Democrats (as that article states and references). In fact, Republicans have always been more opposed to racial discrimination than Democrats. However, after African-Americans registered to vote in large numbers, the Democrats opportunistically switched from anti-black to pro-black. Unfortunately, The Four Deuces (talk · contribs) chose to delete my item without deleting the others, thus leaving the article with a bias. JRSpriggs (talk) 08:18, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was supported by liberal Democrats and Republicans and opposed by conservative Democrats and Republicans. It was a wedge issue that accelerated the polarization of the political parties into Democrats as liberals and Republicans as conservatives. Incidentally conservatives explained their objection to the act on the basis that it infringed on individual liberty. TFD (talk) 08:41, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
No, the CR Act split along region: nearly all Liberal and conservative southerners opposed, & vice versa nearly all liberal and conservative northerners supported it. Goldwater was the main exception. Someone is slipping in the notion that Wallace was a conservative. He was a leader of the populist liberal Democrats in the South, as his governorship demonstrates. He had a strong appeal to labor union members,. for example--he carried labor strongholds like Gary Indiana in the Dem primaries. Rjensen (talk) 09:19, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Except for Goldwater and his supporters, it is not clear who was a conservative in 1964. TFD (talk) 09:34, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
The Senate vote by party and region from Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • North Parties: South: 1 yes, 21 no; North = 72 yes, 6 no
  • Southern Democrats: 1–20 (5%–95%)
  • Southern Republicans: 0–1 (0%–100%) [one one GOP-- Tower of Texas]
  • Northern Democrats: 45-1 (98%–2%)
  • Northern Republicans: 27-5 (84%–16%) [Goldwater & 4 others opposed] Rjensen (talk) 10:00, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Don't forget about the neocons: "Neoconservatives differed with traditional conservatives on a number of issues, of which the three most important, in my view, were the New Deal, civil rights, and the nature of the Communist threat... On civil rights, all neocons were enthusiastic supporters of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965" [4]Lionel (talk) 10:35, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Except they did not exist then. As your link rightly points out, "their first institutional incarnation, after all, was as the Coalition for a Democratic Majority", which formed in 1972. (Note, we need to see if an article exists and create one if it does not.) TFD (talk) 10:49, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
In 1964, the main problem was discrimination against blacks by the governments of Southern states. Discrimination by private entities was primarily a consequence of them being compelled by the state governments. Only Goldwater and the libertarians realized that applying countervailing force to the private entities would become a big problem in the future. (And that it also hurts blacks indirectly.) JRSpriggs (talk) 11:31, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
So there was no organic, popular racism or discrimination in the South in 1964? And private entities engaged in discrimination only because they were compelled to do so by the state? Actually, never mind.

The contention that Wallace was not conservative seems based on an extraordinarily simplistic and selective reading of history. "Populist" and "conservative" are hardly mutually exclusive categories. Moreover, the fact that one appeals to blue-collar whites or union members does not exclude conservatism. In fact, Wallace was a pioneer in using racial resentment and social conservatism to split this demographic - generally progressive on economic matters - away the national Democratic party. Wallace himself frequently claimed credit for this strategy, used to great effect by Nixon and later Reagan. Do you want sources? We could start with George Wallace: Conservative Populist. MastCell Talk 18:14, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Rjensen will probably try to add in the article that Wallace had supported liberal programs and such and carried in union areas. I think that if this information should be added then we must also add the socially/culturally liberal views of Goldwater, Friedman ect to be fair. (talk) 22:47, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Goldwater and Friedman were indeed in the libertarian camp at various points--tho in Goldwater's case it was revealed pretty late in life. Rjensen (talk) 11:40, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
We get back to the issue, what is a U.S. conservative? Sources describe Walllace as such, but they also say that none of these people were real conservatives. TFD (talk) 01:47, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
To MastCell: Certainly, a significant fraction of white people in the South were uncomfortable around blacks. But in most cases, that did not rise to the level that they would forgo the business of black people just to avoid that feeling. JRSpriggs (talk) 09:59, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
Huh. Do you think it might have risen to the level that they wouldn't hire an African-American? Or do you think that as long as white vendors were willing to sell to African-Americans, discrimination in the private sector was a non-issue? MastCell Talk 17:59, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
the way it worked was like this, taking restaurants as an example of hiring blacks (or serving black customers). Some restaurant owners WANTED to hire a few black waitresses but a few customers made clear they would boycott the place and warn their friends away. No restaurant dared hire a black (or serve one). When the new law passed all the restaurant owners now were free from threats and could hire blacks. (and serve them) It liberated the owners from threats by a small minority of whites and they were pleased--except for one angry Lester Maddox in Atlanta. Rjensen (talk) 18:07, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
Well, that was the theory used to justify it. But I believe that, absent threats of violence from the authorities or the Ku Klux Klan, most restaurants and other public accommodations would have eventually decided to defy the boycott and hire black employees and serve black customers. It makes no sense for most customers to participate in such a boycott. JRSpriggs (talk) 07:53, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Again, this page isn't the place to debate philosophy or government policies. We're just ehre to discuss this article. I suggest that this dispute is best settled by finding sources which describe the role of Conservatives (or whichever party) for or against the Civil Rights struggle.   Will Beback  talk  08:00, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
I was just trying to point out that the whole thesis of this section of talk, that conservatism (esp. libertarianism) is opposed to equal rights for blacks, is completely the reverse of the truth. Leftists have been spreading this smear for a long time and it is necessary to point it out when it appears so people are not deceived by it. JRSpriggs (talk) 09:50, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
There are many strains of conservatism. We need to remember that it is not a monolith and that elements of it hold incompatible views on many topics. Let's stick to what sources say rather than constructing "No true conservative" arguments.   Will Beback  talk  11:09, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
The reasons for their opposition to the CRA is not something that should be covered in a timeline. TFD (talk) 13:50, 12 October 2011 (UTC)


Can we fatten up the lede a bit, say 1500 chars, I've been going through a bit of a DYK drought as of late. – Lionel (talk) 06:19, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Heh heh... You want others to supply you with a DYK entry? Why not? Wiki credit is inexhaustible... this is not a zero sum game. Binksternet (talk) 06:23, 5 October 2011 (UTC)


Are we regarding Libertarianism to be a part of Conservatism?   Will Beback  talk  08:41, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

There were already five mentions of it in the article (3 in the list and 2 in the see-also), so I added items to the list on the formation of SIL and LP. JRSpriggs (talk) 08:49, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but why are those there? Libertarianism isn't the same thing as conservatism, is it?   Will Beback  talk  08:52, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
yes, especially when you consider people like Milton Friedman. Rjensen (talk) 09:37, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
There are certainly figures who straddle the divide. However our article on the Libertarian Party (United States) seems to avoid any mention of conservatism, except to differentiate itself from it. Would we add Libertarian initiatives like drug legalization? Same sex marriage? Open borders? I think we might want to pick and choose, otherwise this article is going to become a very long catchall.   Will Beback  talk  09:51, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Ron Paul the libertarian has a respectable showing in the GOP national polls these days (and his son is now Senator from Kentucky). It's not wiki's job to pick & choose & define personally favored policies as = modern conservatism. Leaving out Friedman, Hayek, Von Mises, Gary Becker, CATO, and most of the economists is pretty drastic. Check the RS--Allitt and Frohnen, for example, include lots of them. Nash says "the libertarian conservatives produced a sophisticated defense of free-market capitalism and exerted an enormous influence on the American right." [George Nash.Reappraising the Right (2009) p 319.] Rjensen (talk) 10:22, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
The criterion for inclusion is whether they are considered to be part of modern U.S. conservatism. Murray Rothbard was active within American conservatism and a founder of libertarianism. TFD (talk) 11:23, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
But are all libertarians conservatives? Is the Libertarian Party part of modern U.S. conservatism?   Will Beback  talk  17:03, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
the Libertarian Party these days is a tiny fringe group. The philosophy of libertarian economic policy (against taxes & regulation) rather dominates the mainstream GOP, I suggest. Rjensen (talk) 00:39, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure if Ron Paul is considered a mainstream GOP politician. Actual leaders of the GOP, like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, don't seem to be especially libertarian, not even on fiscal issues and certainly not on social issues. Getting back to the question, is the Libertarian Party a significant element of U.S. Conservatism? If not, we should exclude it. If we start including incidents that are only slightly or tangentially connected then this timeline will get out of hand.   Will Beback  talk  04:02, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
It should be included. Will should read more about modern U.S. conservatism, Murray Rothbard being a good example as a leading conservative who was a founder of the Libertarian Party. TFD (talk) 04:18, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
At the top of the page I asked for criteria, but we got caught up on dates and never got to how decide what to include within those dates, or which sources to use as our guides. The LP article does not mention conservatism, the article is not tagged as part of the conservatism project, and it is it included in conservative categories. And it doesn't mention being founded by Rothbard, either. According to whom is it an important part of modern US conservatism?   Will Beback  talk  04:28, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It is important to notice that libertarians frequently disapprove of activities which they would allow to be legal. That is, personally they may be ant-abortion, anti-drinking, anti-prostitution, anti-smoking, anti-gambling, etc.. So in his own life he may be a social conservative. The difference is, that he does not approve of anyone, even himself, foisting his personal beliefs on other people. JRSpriggs (talk) 05:01, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

That really has nothing to do with whether the LP is considered a significant part of the US conservative movement. What we really need is a good source which says so.   Will Beback  talk  05:05, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Here is a source that says, "Rothbard was a founder of the Libertarian Party". Conservatism in America since 1930: a reader has a chapter by Rothbard called "Why be Libertarian?".[5] What books are you reading? TFD (talk) 05:10, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Now we just need a source which the the LP is part of the conservative movement. Likewise, everything we add should have a source connecting it to conservatism. (Reagan was a union president in the 1950s, but that doesn't mean that unions are part of the conservative movement.)   Will Beback  talk  06:13, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
I do not think the Libertarian PARTY has ever been in the mainstream conservative movement. It's the libertarian philosophy that was so important--for a citation see George Nash: "the libertarian conservatives produced a sophisticated defense of free-market capitalism and exerted an enormous influence on the American right." [George Nash.Reappraising the Right (2009) p 319.] -- The Frohnen Encyclopedia emphasizes Any Rand, Hayek & Friedman as key players. Goldwater was quite the libertarian on social issues (as well as economics). Rjensen (talk) 07:02, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
The party itself is of minor significance and therefore should not receive much coverage in the article anyway. But we can look at each entry as it comes up. The party was formed by dissidents of the Young Americans for Freedom and ran Ron Paul as a presidential candidate in 1988. Those two events have at least minor significance to the timeline. But libertarianism itself is a major component of conservativism. See fusionism. TFD (talk) 15:00, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Rothbard was a member of the national committee of the LP. I remember once someone made a remark with which he disagreed, and he said that it was ridiculous. He was admonished by the chair for being uncivil, so Rothbard said that he was sorry, he should have said it was absurd. This got a laugh out of everyone. JRSpriggs (talk) 18:42, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
If Rothbard was chairman of the Scarsdale Bridge Club that would not, in and of itself, make the organization part of the conservative movement. Let's be careful how we build this article, relying on sources rather than assumptions.   Will Beback  talk  20:17, 10 October 2011 (UTC)


Re: "Opposition to Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal policies takes shape as the modern conservative movement. They are referred to as the "Old Right." Could editors please provide sources for entries. It is contentious whether modern conservatism begins with the Old Right or the New Right and in any case they were not called the Old Right at the time. The term was coined by Murray Rothbard in the 1960s and it is questionable whether they saw themselves as a cohesive movement. TFD (talk) 15:31, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Offered as a preliminary intro to the decade of the 1930s, a placeholder as it were. Feel free to improve the intro to the decade. – Lionel (talk) 21:17, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

timeline issues[edit]

As noted in the AfD, the scope of the article needs to be limited, and sourced to existing timelines. Including whatever factoids wikipedia editors is interesting is synthesis. I suggest going through the sourcing over the next couple of days and removing items not sourced to existing timelines. Likewise, I've restored the article title from the AfD to avoid creeping scope issues. aprock (talk) 03:47, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

Most of the editors from the AfD are here. We're not going to be held hostage to an AfD. And keep in mind that consensus can change. This group of editors, who often butt heads against one another, have a real rhythm--let's get as much productivity out of this esprit de corps while it lasts, ok? – Lionel (talk) 04:11, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
From AfD: "If you can come up with a better move target, by all means bring it up on the talk page." And as it happens, this is what we did: we brought it up on the talk page. I'm reverting the move. – Lionel (talk) 04:16, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
I do not see how beginning the narrative in 1936, when the term "conservative" was first used in its modern sense, rather than 1945, which was the year the Second World War ended, is a "creeping scope issue". TFD (talk) 13:20, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
"removing items not sourced to existing timelines" is nonsense. Timelines = history books and articles and at present most all the entries are so linked. I have been adding cites where editors say they are needed. Rjensen (talk) 13:28, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

See also[edit]

Here's a style question: the See also contains section links to relevant timelines contained in other articles. Would these be better as rediects? – Lionel (talk) 08:23, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Figured it out. Thanks everyone for all of your great suggestions. – Lionel (talk) 06:34, 18 October 2011 (UTC)


This edit by Lionelt[6] where he removes Lionel Trilling's comments on conservatism with the notation "how is the musing of a "literary critic" a notable event in the history of consevatism?" shows a real ignorance of the subject. Trilling's comments about conservatism have been extensively mentioned by leading conservative scholars to the extent that it is part of the narrative of modern U.S. conservatism. Could you please familiarize yourself with the subject before removing relevant material. TFD (talk) 05:56, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Yes his brief comment has popped up from time to time, but it is controversial and if included it will need work to make it NPOV. – Lionel (talk) 06:30, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
While I'd probably use slightly more measured language than TFD, I agree that the quote is a relevant part of the history of modern U.S. conservatism. It's a bit puzzling to dismiss Trilling as a "literary critic" (in scare quotes), or to dismiss his comment as a non-notable musing when the cited sources demonstrate its relevance (to a much greater degree than many of the other timeline entries). It sometimes seems as if this article is intended to present modern U.S. conservatism in as favorable a light as possible, rather than to provide an encyclopedic timeline, and this sort of knee-jerk removal of a clearly relevant if superficially unfavorable quote reinforces that impression.

I'm not sure how this quote is "controversial", nor how it can be "made NPOV" - after all, Trilling wrote what he wrote. Perhaps Lionel could elaborate. I think the sources demonstrate the relevance of the quote to the subject of this article - it's often cited, by non-partisan sources, as emblematic of the low ebb of U.S. conservatism and the ascendancy of liberalism at a particular time point in U.S. history, immediately before the modern conservative movement spearheaded by Buckley et al. took shape and began its rise. MastCell Talk 07:03, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

many of the RS use that Trilling quote--he was a leading intellectual of the day. it is not at all controversial and is important. Rjensen (talk) 07:39, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Rockefeller as liberal?[edit]

Inside the GOP Rockefeller was considered a liberal--that's also the way the media played it. 1) "He has reached for the presidency three times as a liberal Republican and will reach for it again if he sees any..." [Life Magazine (1971)]; 2) "This record created Rockefeller's reputation as a liberal Republican." (Wilson, American political leaders 2002 p 342; 3) "Rockefeller came to politics with a sense of noblesse oblige that pervaded his liberal Republican sensibilities." [Danver, Revolts, protests, demonstrations, and rebellions in American Hist 2010) p 1064]; 4) "Rockefeller was the leading liberal Republican at a time when liberal Republicanism was heading down a dead-end street."[Olson, Historical dictionary of the 1970s (1999) p 300. Rjensen (talk) 18:00, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

I do not see any problem with calling liberal Republicans "liberals" in the timeline. TFD (talk) 18:30, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
A liberal Rockefeller Republican is very different from a liberal, and someone without a full knowledge of the history of the time period might easily confuse the two. And what exactly was the deal that Nixon struck with Rockefeller? The fact that Nixon picked Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. over Barry Goldwater (I assume Rockefeller much preferred Lodge to Goldwater)? Clarification on both matters would be appreciated. NW (Talk) 18:34, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
during the platform debate NR gave Nixon 14 demands and Nixon agreed to all of them. White, Making of the President 1960 pp 197-99 os online here--you must read it! "In domestic affairs, the two agreed that the federal government be totally reorganized in its executive branch and that the Rockefeller theses on economic growth, medical care for the aged and civil rights prevail." conservatives screamed bloody murder. Rjensen (talk) 18:54, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
I think that NW may be providing too narrow a definition to "liberal". Why do you think NR was not a liberal? TFD (talk) 19:06, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
That sounds likely. It's just that when I think of others like Rockefeller, I think of Senators Snowe and Collins of Maine, for example. Both of those are very liberal on some matters but refused to vote for the recent health care reform bill, for example. I guess I'm just looking for additional clarity on what liberal means in this context. In addition to that, if those 14 demands are what the article is talking about, I think that should be made more explicit. NW (Talk) 23:15, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Going back to Trilling, there was a post-war liberal consensus on containment of the Soviets, Keynsian economics and the welfare state. Of course there was disagreement within liberalism, for example, Truman and Wallace, Johnson and McCarthy. The conservatives however challenged the consensus. TFD (talk) 04:55, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
What the question here - whether to include disputes between various wings of the Republican Party?   Will Beback  talk  05:16, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
The objective of the conservatives was to oppose liberalism in the Republican Party. Their early campaigns included 1964 (Goldwater), 1965 (W. Buckley), Reagan (1966, 1968, 1976, 1980) and J. Buckley (1968, 1970). Following the election of Reagan they became the mainstream within the Republican Party, with liberal Republicans becoming Democrats or conservatives or retiring. TFD (talk) 05:34, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
To rephrase, liberal Republicans and liberal Democrats were both liberals, and the conservatives chose to enter the Republican Party and turn it into a conservative party, with the Democrats as a liberal party. The conflict was between liberals and conservatives, not specifically between two wings of the Republican Party. TFD (talk) 05:50, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
But if Rockefeller was a liberal, wasn't he at least a right-wing liberal?   Will Beback  talk  05:55, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
Beback brings up an important point: Rockefeller was a leading anti-communist hawk in foreign policy--much more so than many conservatives in 1950s who still had an isolationist element. Rjensen (talk) 08:18, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
But wasn't liberalism more hawkish? Will, he certainly was not part of the left-wing of liberalism, Henry Wallace, Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern. But he would be closer to Truman and Johnson than to Buckley and Goldwater. TFD (talk) 17:35, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

1938: the economy takes a nosedive[edit]

How is the Recession of 1937–1938 part of the timeline of American conservatism? Are we going to mention every recession?   Will Beback  talk  16:59, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

it was a decisive turning point most historians say, taking the steam out of the New Deal and encouraging the conservatives to moblilize politically, as in the 1938 elections and the Conservative Coalition. Rjensen (talk) 17:03, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Then we should say that, rather then just tossing it in without explanation.   Will Beback  talk  17:47, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
the text puts the downturn in suitable perspective -- [Politics turns sour for FDR.[8] His union allies in the AFL and CIO battle each other; his attempt to purge the conservatives from the Democratic Party fails; the economy takes a nosedive; Republicans make major gains in the House and Senate in the 1938 elections.[9]]. I think our readers know that an economic downturn hurts. Rjensen (talk) 19:17, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
But this isn't a Timeline of FDR's political fortunes. All we need to say here is the "Republicans make major gains in the House and Senate in the 1938 elections." If we're going to add theories for why they succeeded then they should be attributed, which would be burdensome in an article like this.   Will Beback  talk  19:35, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
If you say "most historians say" then you should include a source and give that same reasoning you gave here in the article. With the reasoning it fits, but without it, I have to agree with Will Beback. DaffyBridge (talk) 19:42, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
The reasons are attributed by scholars I was following--footnotes 8 and 9. Rjensen (talk) 19:54, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
I tweaked Beback a bit and mentioned the Court fight. There is a new book Dunn, Roosevelt's Purge: How FDR Fought to Change the Democratic Party (2010) excerpt and text search but in this survey I think Plesur, "The Republican Congressional Comeback of 1938," Review of Politics Vol. 24, No. 4 (Oct., 1962), pp. 525-562 in JSTOR is enough. ?? Rjensen (talk) 20:19, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. It still seems to be focused too much on FDR. I suppose that's OK once, but I hope it does not set a precedent for the rest of the entries. If there's a danger of that happening we could simply say that the GOP's electoral success was perhaps due to the economy and FDR's unspecified political troubles. The attempted purge of conservatives from the Democratic Party may merit an entry of its own. We also need to avoid too many cause-and-effect arguments, or even implications.   Will Beback  talk  20:30, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
yes, but I think FDR does deserve the credit as the focus of opposition that made the conservatives work together the way they never had done before 1932. Rjensen (talk) 20:46, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
But that has little to do with the fight between the unions. We also mention the court packing plan twice, which is perhaps excessive unless we explain that it was in reaction to conservative dominance of the court.   Will Beback  talk  21:02, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Conservative Manifesto 1937[edit]

This document was originally titled "An Address to the People of the United States" and was not called the "Conservative Manifesto" until later. That should be pointed out in the timeline, since it is partly about the development of the use of the term, but I do not have access to the source article. TFD (talk) 17:06, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

you're right--i didn't know that. It appears Moore coined the term "conservative manifesto" in 1965; The press at the time used terms like "Conservative charter". The term is now in common use by historians. Rjensen (talk) 17:37, 17 October 2011 (UTC)


We need more about the major documents of modern conservatism. TFD (talk) 19:26, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Ludwig von Mises and Austrian School[edit]

Many people view the Austrian School as an example of classical liberalism. What's our source for Mises and his school being important parts of conservatism in America?   Will Beback  talk  20:48, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Is there not considerable exchange of ideas between conservative think tanks like The Heritage Foundation and libertarian think tanks like the Cato Institute and the Ludwig von Mises Institute? JRSpriggs (talk) 06:23, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
This articles isn't about groups, people or philosophies with tangential connections to conservatism. If we cast a wide net we'll need to devote a lot of space to the KKK and neo-Nazi outfits too.   Will Beback  talk  17:48, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
See Conservative parties and right-wing politics in North America, p. 15: "Because of these divergent backgrounds, the term "conservatism" came to acquire a different meaning in both countries. Rather than to European notions of conservatism, the American version relates to classical liberalism."[7] TFD (talk) 17:29, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
I searched that book and found no mention of Mises.   Will Beback  talk  17:48, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
most of the books in the bibliography (eg Nash, Frohnen, Critchlow, Allitt) give von Mises and Hayek a lot of play; their positions are similar to those of Milton Friedman. Rjensen (talk) 18:11, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
You wrote, "Many people view the Austrian School as an example of classical liberalism" and I explained that American conservatism relates to classical liberalism. You can read Chip Berlet's description of the building of modern conservatism from three strands, one of which, the libertarian, was represented by, among others "classical liberal (Laissez-faire) economists including Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, and Milton Friedman". (Confronting the new conservatism, p. 78)[8] TFD (talk) 18:17, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Let's just find one source that says Mises was a conservative. That'll do.   Will Beback  talk  18:24, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
He wasn't a conservative and in fact rejected the label. TFD (talk) 18:44, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
European libertarians of the pre-1920 generation (von Mises, Hayek, Schumpeter) STRONGLY disliked the term "conservative"--which in Europe was based on the landed nobility, the army leadership, & the established church and was anti-business and anti-democratic. Back to Beback's question: try "Throughout the [1950s] decade ISI distributed conservative literature to students, including books like Hayek's Road to Serfdom and Ludwig Van Mises's Human Action. ISI also helped students form conservative clubs on campus.' [Gregory L. Schneider, The conservative century: from reaction to revolution (2009) p 95 online Rjensen (talk) 18:50, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. The source simply describes one of Mises' works as being part of "conservative literature", which is rather a thin connection but sufficient. That source, giving an overview of modern American conservatism, is the type of reference upon which this timeline should be based, rather than editors simply adding events they think are interesting or important.   Will Beback  talk  18:56, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Please remember that these political labels have been used to mean different things by different people. Many people called Ayn Rand a conservative, but she rejected that and called herself a radical for Capitalism. Later, she was called a libertarian, but she and her closest associates despised libertarians and she labeled them "enemies of Objectivism". JRSpriggs (talk) 19:58, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Political labels are important when we're constructing a timeline about a political movement. The fact that the term conservative can be applied to and rejected by the same individuals means we need to be all the more careful in relying on actual sources, not our own judgments. In cases like the one you describe, we may need to look at more than one source to make a determination of whether the individual or incident is significant enough to modern American conservatism to include. Sources that give a broad overview, like The conservative century: from reaction to revolution, are probably better than monographs on narrow issues.   Will Beback  talk  20:43, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
we have a recommended reading list that handles exactly the problem Beback poses; I recommend the Frohnen Encyclopedia. It notes (p 575) that von Mises in economics was libertarian/laissez-faire, but on social issues he was a "staunch sociological and ideological conservative" who for example denounced feminism. Rjensen (talk) 20:48, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Good, the more overviews like that, even if tertiary sources, the better. Do we agree to include people, groups, philosophies and incidents that are only partly conservative?   Will Beback  talk  20:59, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
FDR, Truman, JFK and Obama were "partially conservative". The rest of Wikipedia covers them just fine, I think. Rjensen (talk) 21:03, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Exactly my point. Mises was partially conservative and Truman was partially conservative. We have to be careful when including and excluding entries that involve partially conservative topics.   Will Beback  talk  21:52, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Von Mises seems to have been 99 44/100% conservative--the libertarian strain is a major component of mainstream conservatism. Rjensen (talk) 21:54, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
On further review, the American conservatism: an encyclopedia may not be an ideal source, as it is from the highly partisan ISI.[9]
What's the source for Mises being 99 44/100% conservative?   Will Beback  talk  04:28, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
It's called irony - that was an electoral result in the German Democratic Republic. We do not need to determine whether these people were really conservative. If you have followed my postings, I have continually stated that American conservatism is an oxymoron. Nonetheless there is a modern movement in the U.S. called conservatism and there is general agreement from the inhouse historian Lee Edwards to left-wing critics such as Chip Berlet about its history. TFD (talk) 05:45, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
the American conservatism: an encyclopedia is high quality scholarship with signed articles by many experts. on von Mises, all the RS call him conservative/libertarian Rjensen (talk) 04:33, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Do you think that the Intercollegiate Studies Institute is anything like a neutral source? Our article on it says it adheres to "paleoconservative and traditionalist conservative positions." That' makes it sound like it belongs to one particular strain of American conservatism.   Will Beback  talk  04:41, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
The ISI is not neutral between left and right--very few organizations dealing with these highly contentious issues are. However the encyclopedia it published is first rate scholarship and a RS. And yes its encyclopedia does try to be neutral among the various strands of conservatism. Rjensen (talk) 06:26, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
According to Google books, the encyclopedia was published by the University of Michigan Press and reprinted by ISI, and is therefore rs. TFD (talk) 15:33, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
If that assessment is based on this Google page, [10], then that means Google digitized a copy of the book from the U of M library, not that U of M published it. FWIW, here's a (possibly incomplete) list of ISI books.[11]   Will Beback  talk  00:43, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Anyway, I'll stipulate that it's usable as a reliable source. However we shouldn't be picking or choosing material from it. If it's a reliable source than it should be summarized fully. Tertiary sources like that should be the mainstay of a timeline, which is a very distilled presentation of facts and themes.   Will Beback  talk  08:01, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

1988: George H. W. Bush elected president.[edit]

Why would this be important enough to mention but not his defeat in 1992? Some commentators have attributed that defeat, in part, to the disaffection of conservatives when Bush broke his "no new taxes" pledge.

More generally, we need to make sure we are creating a balanced list that includes both victories and defeats.   Will Beback  talk  18:40, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

After 1980, when conservatism became mainstream, we need to be careful in identifying significant events. I think that the important events of 1988 and 1992 are the Buchanan and Robertson campaigns. TFD (talk) 05:40, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Will: are you saying that the editors here are deliberately suppressing the 1992 defeat? – Lionel (talk) 02:58, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't say "deliberately suppressing", but I don't see any mention of it.   Will Beback  talk  03:10, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
"but not his defeat" makes it sound as if someone decided to add the election and then made a conscious decision not not to add the defeat. You then suggest that there may be an effort to present events in a positive light. It might be more constructive to merely say, "Bush's defeat is notable--let's add it." As a matter of fact I am the editor who added the election, and I think it would be a wonderful addition to include "No new taxes." It is an FA, has a great pic of Bush pointing his finger, and an audio clip as well. In fact, if I wasn't getting beaten up for putting too much American content in the portal, I'd add it there too. – Lionel (talk) 03:34, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
What I wrote can be easily seen above. If you can add something about the 1992 event then that'd be helpful.   Will Beback  talk  04:23, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Did you notice the election map of Goldwater's massive defeat? It has been in the timeline for almost a month. – Lionel (talk) 08:00, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for adding the illustrations.   Will Beback  talk  07:55, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Lopsided attendance estimates[edit]

I've added {{lopsided}} to the estimates of attendance at Washington for Jesus and the Taxpayer March on Washington. The latter reports the highest estimate cited in the WP article as fact, even though that estimate comes from one of the event's organizers. There's a whole section on Attendance in that article that could help in selecting a more neutral figure. The problems with the Washington for Jesus number are spelled out at the DYK nomination. Lagrange613 04:16, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure how anyone could have read this source: [12], and then written that an "estimated 600,000 to 800,000 people attended".   Will Beback  talk  04:45, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Totally unacceptable. Wikimedia needs to terminate their employment contract immediately and no severance. – Lionel (talk) 09:30, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
When we summarize sources, there's a requirement to be accurate. When a source says something like, "the promoters said 28 while other sources said 12", we can't just report "28".   Will Beback  talk  07:52, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

2000s pic[edit]

There's a bit of a gap in the 2000s where we need a pic. We have 4 options that I am aware of: Bush's 1st inaugural, Bush holding the megaphone in the rubble on 9-11 (note that there is also an ogg for this), Bush's Oval Office address 9-11, Bush signing the Partial birth abortion act. From an aesthetic perspective, the Abortion signing is perfectly spaced between Fox News and the Tea Party, and we already have the Bush 9-11 speech ogg in the article, so 9-11 is handled. Also the Abortion pic kills two birds (pardon the expression) as it were: Bush & abortion. I couldn't find a 2006 Values Voter so don't ask. Thoughts? – Lionel (talk) 09:24, 4 November 2011 (UTC)


As Will mentioned above, this article exhibits substantial bias in that it omits of a number of things that embarrass Conservatives. There's no mention of the Iraq War or the fact that it was started based on lies (I just added it myself); nothing about the Southern strategy or Jim Crow; nothing about Nixon's dirty tricks, or how they come down to the present day via Lee Atwater/Karl Rove (see also: Willie Horton); nothing about Iran Contra; nothing about the Great Recession, whose root cause was insufficient regulation of derivatives and the sub-prime mortagage industry. There are others I could name but those are some of the big ones that come to mind.

On a related note - this article includes several events whose importance is highly dubious. Is the founding of Conservapedia really all that important? Ditto the Values Voters summit. This isn't bias, per se, but more a lack of perspective. Raul654 (talk) 15:43, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

No doubt there is much still missing from the timeline, but that does not mean the article is POV. Feel free to add relevant events. And yes I think that Conservapedia is relevant. TFD (talk) 16:06, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
No doubt there is much still missing from the timeline, but that does not mean the article is POV This is a strawman argument. This article is not biased because it is unfinished; it's biased because it omits most/all criticism of conservatism.
And now that I think about it, my above list should also include Birtherism, Trickle-down economics (also known to Reaganites as supply-side economics), and some mention of Grover Norquist, starve the beast, and the exploding national debt. Raul654 (talk) 16:37, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
We have to be careful when it comes to Bush. Many of his policies were rejected by conservatives. I.e. immigration reform, Medicare prescription drug benefit, No Child Left Behind, farm subsidies. In fact, many conservatives reject Bush. The Iraq War, Watergate, in fact most everything about Nixon, have weight issues relevant to conservatism. If there is consensus to delete Conservapedia, then so be it. However Values Voter is challenging CPAC so it is definitely relevant. There is an ongoing discussion on how to treat racial issues so eventually we'll have a consensus on Southern Strategy. There are numerous topics that reflect positively on conservatism that are absent in the article. Jimmy Carter's entire presidency comes to mind. Where are the calls condemning the protection of Jimmy Carter's image? At such an early stage of this list it's premature to suggest that there is systematic suppression taking place. This is an article development issue, not a POV issue. The POV tag should be replaced with {{expand-section}}. – Lionel (talk) 18:39, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
It seems the southern strategy is relevant because it was an attempt to bring southern Democrats into the conservative fold, part of building the coaltion. However I do not see any benefit in enumerating the success or failure of Democratic presidents, except as they relate to conservatism, e.g., the New Deal provoked a reaction. TFD (talk) 18:55, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
The Medicare prescription D plan, No Child Left Behind, and the farm subsidies all passed in Congress with strong support from conservatives. Immigration was not rejected by all conservatives -- some conservatives (mainly social conservatives) opposed it, while others ("country club" conservatives who stand to benefit from hiring cheap labor) supported it. In his 8 years as president, the only issue that I can remember where he lost support from contemporary conservatives as a whole was the nomination of Harriet Meyers to the Supreme Court.
In fact, many conservatives reject Bush. - Yes, now that he's widely regarded as a failure by everyone (historians and John Q Public alike), I can understand the desire of conservatives to distance themselves from Bush by claiming he wasn't really one of them. However, that is flatly not the case and it is classic historical revisionism to claim it is.
The Iraq War, Watergate, in fact most everything about Nixon, have weight issues relevant to conservatism. - I'm glad you agree.
If there is consensus to delete Conservapedia, then so be it. However Values Voter is challenging CPAC so it is definitely relevant. - It seems to me that you're setting a very low bar for inclusion in this article, in which case, this article is going to end up being either very incomplete, very long, or both. But that's unrelated to the bias issues, so I'm not all that worried about it.
There are numerous topics that reflect positively on conservatism that are absent in the article. Jimmy Carter's entire presidency comes to mind. I agree with TFD's statement that I do not see any benefit in enumerating the success or failure of Democratic presidents, except as they relate to conservatism Otherwise you're going to end up with a list of essentially all political events of the 20th and 21st centuries.
There is an ongoing discussion on how to treat racial issues so eventually we'll have a consensus on Southern Strategy. - be that as it may, the article as it now stands omits these things, which is not acceptable.
At such an early stage of this list it's premature to suggest that there is systematic suppression taking place. This is an article development issue, not a POV issue. The POV tag should be replaced with {{expand-section}}. As I have already stated above, this complaint is not about incompleteness, per se, but about bias. You can remove the POV tag when you fix the bias issues. Raul654 (talk) 19:11, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Raul654 is only interested in complaining about Republican presidents. That is rather different than the conservative movement. But he's confused on the role of the article, which deals with the conservative movement. He does not like Richard Nixon, who was more of a New Deal liberal in his policies. The Southern strategy was Nixon's plan to switch southern conservatives from the Democrats to vote for Nixon, it worked in 1972 but failed and was gone by 1976 and did not emerge from the conservative movement. It was not a "movement to bring Southern Democrats into the conservative fold" (they were already there). In all, the Raul654 complaints are designed to inject his own biases into the article, and do not reflect a neutral position nor do they reflect the RS.Rjensen (talk) 02:11, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Bomber McVeigh[edit]

I wrote an entry about conservative extremist Timothy McVeigh but it was removed by Lionelt per BRD. Here's the entry:

one pareson says he is a "Conservative extremist"-- Timothy McVeigh

*April 19: The Oklahoma City bombing was carried out by conservative extremist Timothy McVeigh and accomplices. The bombing killed 168 and destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. McVeigh was described as a militant believer in gun ownership and small government. Gingrich and other conservative Republican congresspersons sought to distance themselves from terrorist activists such as McVeigh without alienating the gun lobby or conservatives with libertarian sympathies.

If McVeigh has been described as a "conservative extremist" then he qualifies for this list. If conservative politicians in America can be said to have reacted to McVeigh and the bombing in regard to the challenge to gun ownership, etc. then the entry is valid. McVeigh forced conservatives to scramble to define themselves somehow differently from a guy who made many of the same arguments as thousands of Republican right-wingers. Binksternet (talk) 02:37, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Farmer identifies Nazism and Fascism as variants of "Conservative Extremism." These types of radical ideologies are beyond the scope of this timeline. In essence Farmer is saying that McVeigh is an extremist, not a conservative. In this instance "conservative" is used as a modifier--not an ideology. – Lionel (talk) 02:55, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure the point - it is impossible for conservatives to be extremists? Barry Goldwater seemed to endorse extremism "in the defense of liberty".   Will Beback  talk  05:04, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
Farmer identifies Nazism and Fascism as variants of "Conservative Extremism." - This is not a the case of a single historian making that identification. Jonah Goldberg's bizzaro claims about history not withstanding, virtually all main-stream scholars agree that Naziism and fascism are ring-wing ideologies. Or, to quote the leads of their respective articles: However a majority of scholars identify Nazism in practice as being a far right form of politics.[21] From the lead of the fascism article: a majority of scholars generally consider fascism in practice to be on the far right.[24][25][26]
These types of radical ideologies are beyond the scope of this timeline - according to whom? This is a curious claim to make given that just a few hours ago I was complaining about the systemic omission of facts critical of conservatism from this article. Raul654 (talk) 06:38, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
If Nazism and fascism to be included then the title will have to be changed to "Timeline of right wing politics".– Lionel (talk) 07:16, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
Conservatism /= right-wing? Conservatism = anti-communism?   Will Beback  talk  08:03, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
Hrm, that's interesting. I tend to think of "conservatism" as synonymous with "right-wing" but the conservatism article suggests that conservatism is a form of ring-wing ideology rather than being synonymous with it. So be it. With that said, however, unless someone can define where conservatism ends and extremist right-wing ideologies (like Naziism) begin, renaming this article and thus clarifying its scope would probably be the best course of action. And if someone reading this is trying to conceive of such a definition to separate the conservatives from the right-wing extremists, I'll leave these test cases here for you to ponder:
While McVeigh may be considered a modern American conservative, the issue is whether he is significant for the article. He is mentioned briefly in the last version of The Radical Right.[13] Curiously, Lionelt believes that far right parties should be included in the Conservatism article. TFD (talk) 11:47, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
Given that the bar for importance has been set very low (see my comments above about the Founding of Conservapedia and the Value Voters summit), if we agree that he's within the scope of this article, then he's *certainly* important enough to merit a mention. Raul654 (talk) 14:35, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
A mention of McVeigh in this article makes about as much sense as mentioning the Wall Street Bombing in the history of progressivism in the United States. The only impact of McVeigh's attack on conservativism in the US was to cause Republican politicians to roll over more easily on anything where they felt Democrat or liberal Republicans could tie them to McVeigh's views- which ranged from conspiracy theories about the United Nations and FEMA to opposition to the Persian Gulf War. Nevard (talk) 21:17, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
I fear we are getting into partisan bickering. We should give topics the same weight they are given in reliable sources. McVeigh is not relevant to this article and the Weather Underground is not relevant to American liberalism. If anyone wants to start an article about the U.S. far right, then he can be included there. TFD (talk) 01:23, 6 November 2011 (UTC) gives 65,000 books that mention "Timothy McVeigh" only one of these authors calls him a "conservative extremist--that is Farmer. That makes Farmer's characterization a one-person fringe theory that no other author, whether liberal or conseervative has accepted. Sure enough, that is the only one mentionesd in a POV edit. As for Hitlerism & Mussolinism those are EUROPEAN right wing philosophies and are not part of the topic of this article Rjensen (talk) 04:02, 6 November 2011 (UTC)


The timeline currently has about 93 entries. I don't see how the founding of Conservapedia could in any way be considered among the top 100 events in the modern history of American conservatism. If someone can provide sources which show that it is so important then they're welcome to restore it. The existing source makes no claim about its importance to the conservative movement.   Will Beback  talk  03:33, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

That's a good point, we need a book or article about modern U.S. conservatism that establishes its significance. However, it would be more collegial if you were first to look for sources yourself and then post your objection once you were unable to find any. TFD (talk) 05:38, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't think the website is even in the mainstream of conservatism. It's a kind of fringe project which takes extreme stands on controversial issues. I assume this timeline is about political conservatism, not conservative Christianity. If I'm mistaken we should clarify the title.
Really, all of the entries here should appear in some kind of secondary or tertiary sources that establish their overall importance to conservatism. Sources which merely confirm that events occurred do nothing to show that they are of particular note in a short summary like this.   Will Beback  talk  06:22, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Conservapedia wouldn't seem to make the cut...– Lionel (talk) 00:59, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Why was it added to begin with?   Will Beback  talk  01:24, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
It was part of the original article. Going forward, we are taking more care in what is added can be sourced to articles that explain the significance. TFD (talk) 02:11, 13 November 2011 (UTC)


Could editors please provide sources for entries that explain the relevance of entries to conservatism, and explain the significance of events described. This edit for example does neither. TFD (talk) 20:24, 23 November 2011 (UTC)


Featured List criteria[edit]

  1. Prose. It features professional standards of writing.
  2. Lead. It has an engaging lead that introduces the subject and defines the scope and inclusion criteria.
  3. Comprehensiveness.
    • (a) It comprehensively covers the defined scope, providing at least all of the major items and, where practical, a complete set of items; where appropriate, it has annotations that provide useful and appropriate information about the items.
    • (b) In length and/or topic, it meets all of the requirements for stand-alone lists; does not violate the content-forking guideline, does not largely duplicate material from another article, and could not reasonably be included as part of a related article.
  4. Structure. It is easy to navigate and includes, where helpful, section headings and table sort facilities.
  5. Style. It complies with the Manual of Style and its supplementary pages.
  6. Stability. It is not the subject of ongoing edit wars and its content does not change significantly from day to day, except in response to the featured list process.


Let's see if we can get this to FL. – Lionel (talk) 11:31, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure the lede adequately covers the topic. We need to have a source pinning the advent of modern American conservatism around FDR's administration. Also, I think the lede should be somewhat more of a summary - that is, note the advent of fiscal and social conservatism earlier and the more recent advent of neoconservatism later. Additionally, I think the 1980s-1990s should get significant mention, as those led to a radical reshaping of the two parties from each having a liberal, conservative, and moderate wing to the DP having a progressive (ie. American version of the left-wing), center-left, and centrist wing and the GOP to having a social, fiscal, and defense/neoconservative wing. Additionally, we need to avoid confusing 'Republican' with 'conservative' - we may need to, for example, include conservative Democratic organizations and politicians. Basically, I think the lede should be a summary, from the '30s to the present day, not simply an overview of the topic itself. Toa Nidhiki05 15:33, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
when a timeline has dozens and dozens of discrete entries in chronological order, it's near-impossible to summarize them in the lede. Rjensen (talk) 11:12, 19 February 2012 (UTC)


Editors who desire to co-nominate and work to achieve Featured List sign below:

  • I checked against the FL criteria and this list is ready – Lionel (talk) 11:21, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
  • yes it's ready Rjensen (talk) 11:32, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I didn't do much, but I'll be more than happy to work out any problems FL reviewers state. Toa Nidhiki05 14:08, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

FLC status--IMPORTANT[edit]

Most of the issues at FLC have been handled. These are still open (see the FLC page for original authors):

  • Web references should have a title, publisher and access date given at the very least. Authors, publication dates, etc. should be given if available.
  • Thank you!!! At this point in the FLC... If you have any issues filling in the ref just move the entire item to "Do not pass go" and we can research the cite in depth later. With a list this long we won't miss it.– Lionel (talk) 02:04, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Books, including those accessed through Google Books, should be formatted with title, author, publisher, page numbers and publication year at the very least. ISBNs are often included, as well.
  • This is the last major item. If you cited a book please make sure you provided page nos. and other necessary items. – Lionel (talk) 01:50, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
I recommend against ISBN. They are not useful to our readers and are not recommended by RS like the Chicago Guide; the page numbers are not needed when the entire book deals with the topic Rjensen (talk) 02:04, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Sounds good: this is consistent with our policy WP:EBOOK. However we will need the publisher.– Lionel (talk) 09:31, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
  • For a list this long (over 65 kb) the lead needs to be longer - 3-4 paragraphs in general
  • I'll copy over some stuff from Conservatism in the US and History of the Repub Party unless someone has a better idea. – Lionel (talk) 01:55, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
  • 4 paras now. – Lionel (talk) 06:49, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
  • "Recession of 1937–38" is another item that shouldn't be capitalized. I'm not going to point out any more of these, but please check the whole article for situations like this.
  • I'll handle this.– Lionel (talk) 06:49, 20 April 2012 (UTC) Done – Lionel (talk) 00:02, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
  • There are some uncited bits such as Reagonomics and the elder George Bush's election. They aren't the most contentious points here, but FL criteria demands cites for content so they should be referenced along with everything else.
  • In progress...Lionel (talk) 02:06, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
  • A bunch of references need en dashes for page ranges.
  • This one is mine.– Lionel (talk) 00:02, 21 April 2012 (UTC) Done – Lionel (talk) 02:07, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Most of this is copyedit and grunt work. Please sign items you want to handle. The end is in sight. We can do this!!!Lionel (talk) 01:53, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Was 9-11 conservative[edit]

[coped from rjensen talk page]

Howdy, noticed you nixed the Bush photo. It isn't my first choice either: I don't want the timeline to get overloaded with pics of people. However, 9/11 does seem to be an important development in the 2000s section of the timeline, and there is a huge gap in pictures at that spot. Thus is prominent enough to rate a pic, and there is a space for it. Which pic? My first thought was soldiers. But the connection to conservatism would've been tenuous. The pic of Bush is iconic and historic--perhaps the most historic pic in the timeline. Thoughts? – Lionel (talk) 21:57, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

yes but it's not CONSERVATIVE. Bush appealed across the entire spectrum in his role of national leader in a crisis. To include it would say otherwise and seriously mislead students who do not remember those days. Rjensen (talk) 23:31, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
Even though Bush was popular with most people during that crisis, I would say he's definitely considered conservative. Anyway, may I suggest some version of the steel cross at Ground Zero? Here's one version. Yopienso (talk) 00:04, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Bush had 90+% support at the time and very near 100% in Congress. The supprot included liberals, moderates & conservatives. We need conservative imagery not nonpartisan imagery. Rjensen (talk) 02:05, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
What did you think about the cross? Yopienso (talk) 02:18, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
it's not a religious cross. How about using a photo of landing on the moon to represent liberalism? Rjensen (talk) 02:25, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
The American Atheists sure think it's religious. So do I. I don't follow your thought on the moon landing; are you joking? Yopienso (talk) 02:55, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
The American Atheists are not distinctly conservatives. This is about conservatism not atheism. not non-partisanship. But I was not joking about the man on the moon. It's nonpartisan and so was the Bush talk at Ground Zero. Rjensen (talk) 03:39, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The sourced entry for 2001 reads "9-11 terrorists attacks redefine the conservative role in foreign policy" and then it is summarized in the intro to the decade: "The terror attack on September 11, 2001 reorients the adminsistration towards foreign policy and terrorism issues, providing an opportunity for neoconservatives ..." Where do we go from here? – Lionel (talk) 06:29, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

[outdent] yes I wrote that passage on 9-11. 9-11 was important to conservatives and liberals both, and Bush spoke to both of them --he was NOT wearing a conservative hat that day--so the photo of him does not work for this article on conservatism. 9-11 indeed changed Am foreign policy. For example conservatives overnight agreed on nation-building in Afghanistan (a policy Bush had rejected in 2000). Where do we go? try using a photo of the plane hitting the twin towers or the Pentagon-- Rjensen (talk) 08:31, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Flying planes into buildings is conservative? Yopienso (talk) 09:10, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
OK. How about this. This "change in policy" we've been discussing, inspired by neocons, is the Bush Doctrine. Fleischer wrote that at the Sep 20 address to Congress "[the President] announced what became known as the 'Bush Doctrine'". So why not add the entire video of the address found here [14] at "View the President's Remarks"? (in the public domain as a work of a US Govt official) – Lionel (talk) 10:52, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes the Sept 20 speech works better. Rjensen (talk) 18:58, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
What do you think? – Lionel (talk) 00:42, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Young Americans for Freedom[edit]

Two things:

  1. For 1960 in the timeline we have " helps Goldwater win the 1964 nomination but is otherwise ineffective and collapses." However the YAF article says "the conservative movement that exists in America today, and especially its beachhead in the Nation's Capital, would not have developed were it not for Young Americans for Freedom." I think this needs work.
  2. Also from the article "On March 7, 1962, a YAF-sponsored conservative rally filled Madison Square Garden in New York City, drawing 18,000 people. In attendance was Barry Goldwater. The event has been described as "the birthday of the conservative movement."[12]". We should include, right?

Lionel (talk) 10:06, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

I watched YAF closely at the time & since (& helped direct a PhD dissertation on it) my opinion YAF was entirely ineffective at least after 1964. One rally with 18,000 people in NYC?? It's like the lottery--the payoff has to be much bigger for people to pay attention. The YAF article quotes Wayne Thorburn, who spent his whole life with the group and is currently on the board. He's not a reliable secondary source. Rjensen (talk) 10:22, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Excuse me for butting in, but this is pertinent. First, an explanation: I love WP because I learn so much from it. I try to help at least as a little Wiki-gnome, and more as I'm able. I am a Christian and used to be a conservative; I'm more a centrist now. WP has taught me how leftist American society is at present. I've been a history buff my whole life, and just two years ago started working on a history degree. Anyway, I've been watching this page. I'd never heard of the YAF (I remember the hippies and Yippies and SDS, but was just a child when JFK was shot.), but just now came across it in a reading assignment in one of my textbooks, The Enduring Vision, by Paul S. Boyer, et al., copyright 2011. From p. 890, copying the whole paragraph for context:
Johnson's Great Society horrified the "new conservatives," such as William F. Buckley and the college students of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF). The most persuasive criticism came from Arizona senator Barry Goldwater. A western outsider fighting the power of Washington and a fervent anticommunist, Goldwater advocated as little federal governmental intervention in the economy as possible and opposed government efforts to expand and protect civil rights and liberties.
From p. 905:
Many politically engaged young people mobilized on the right, joining organizations like Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), which by 1970 boasted fifty thousand members--far more than any other student group. Rather than John Kennedy, these youths idolized Barry Goldwater, who embodied the traditional values and muscular anticommunism they cherished. YAF would be the seedbed of a new generation of conservatives who later gained control of the GOP, yet it was overshadowed in the 1960s by young activists in the New Left.
Large portions of the book are online. Regards, Yopienso (talk) 16:10, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
thanks for the Boyer textbook. the second quote is problematic and is the reason Wiki advises against textbooks in favor of reliable secondary sources. Heineman (2001 p 160) says "the YAF itself suffered internal strife. In 1969 the organization split into competing, irreconcilable factions." Gregory Schneider says (1999 p 162): "in the mid-1970s YAF suffered from weak leadership based on factions and personalities rather than ability". Klatch (1999 p 9) says "When one young libertarian burned his draft card on the convention floor, the crowd turned into an angry mob and, ultimately, purged all libertarians from YAF. One libertarian faction stormed out of the meeting." That is, YAF self-destructed by 1969 and did not accomplish anything that any historian points to after 1964. Rjensen (talk) 23:28, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Very interesting; thanks. Yopienso (talk) 00:34, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
I just saw that Boyer passed away last week. His bio needs work. I had not realized he was a Christian, not that he wrote every word in the book. Yopienso (talk) 05:17, 2 April 2012 (UTC)


What do you guys think about caricatures?

Lionel (talk) 02:51, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

they work well on April 1  :) Rjensen (talk) 11:30, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Now that April fools day is over: those are all copyright and can't be used. Rjensen (talk) 05:08, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
(C)? The author licensed them CC-BY-SA at Flickr.. Am I missing something? – Lionel (talk) 05:13, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
yes you have to attribute them to the author and mention the license. Rjensen (talk) 05:31, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Do not pass go[edit]

Items removed per issues raised at FLC. Usually the item was removed because the source is offline. Please resolve specific issue raised before re-adding.– Lionel (talk) 10:08, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

  • 1938-- as his allies in the AFL and CIO battled each other; his Court packing plan was a fiasco; his attempt to purge the conservatives from the Democratic Party failed and weakened his stature; and the sharp Recession of 1937–1938 discredited his argument that New Deal policies were leading to full recovery.[1]
  • Socialist Michael Harrington popularizes[2] the term "neoconservative" for liberals who switch on foreign policy and domestic issues.[3]
  • 1983 The Cold War heats up, especially in Central America and Africa. [citation needed]
  • 2000s The terror attack on September 11, 2001 reorients the adminsistration towards foreign policy and terrorism issues, providing an opportunity for neoconservatives to have a greater influence on foreign policy.[citation needed]
  • Hayek wins the Nobel Prize in economics in 1974.[4][page needed]
  • November 7: Liberal icon Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected to a fourth Presidential term, defeating liberal Republican Thomas E. Dewey, governor of New York. Conservatives blame big city bosses and labor union political action committees (PAC).[5][page needed]
  • 1951 Political philosopher Francis Wilson in The Case for Conservatism (1951) defines conservatism as "a philosophy of social evolution, in which certain lasting values are defended within the framework of the tension of political conflict. And when given values are at stake the conservative can even become a revolutionary."[6][page needed][7][importance?][page needed]
  • 1943 Medical missionary Walter Judd (1898–1994) enters Congress (1943–63) and defines the conservative position on China as all-out support for the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek and opposition to the Communists under Mao. Judd redoubled his support after the Nationalists in 1949 fled to Formosa (Taiwan).[8][page needed]
  • 1945 Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973), having fled the Nazis, becomes professor of economics at New York University (1945–1969) where he disseminates Austrian School libertarianism.[9][page needed]
  1. ^ William E. Leuchtenburg, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal: 1932-1940 (1963) pp 231-74
  2. ^ see his article
  3. ^ Justin Vaïsse, Neoconservatism: the biography of a movement (2010) p. 298
  4. ^ Nicholas Wapshott, Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics (2011)
  5. ^ David M. Jordan, FDR, Dewey, and the Election of 1944 (2011)
  6. ^ Charles W. Dunn; J. David Woodard (1991). American conservatism from Burke to Bush: an introduction. Madison Books. p. 29. 
  7. ^ Francis Graham Wilson (2011). The Case for Conservatism. Transaction Publishers. p. 2. 
  8. ^ Lee Edwards, Missionary for Freedom: The Life and Times of Walter Judd (1990)
  9. ^ Israel M. Kirzner, Ludwig von Mises: the man and his economics (2001)


Re the Harrington quote--the RS is in the appropriate footnote: Justin Vaïsse, Neoconservatism: the biography of a movement (2010) p. 298

let's keep the 1938 entry, which is important as the foes of conservatism weakened; it's fully referenced. Rjensen (talk) 12:28, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Sources do not have to be online in order to be valid. — goethean 18:43, 19 April 2012 (UTC) There is no mention of Charles Lindbergh, a prominent conservative critic of FDR just before WWII. — goethean 18:46, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

I'm familiar with WP:V. I was pointing out that I couldn't work on the item because it was offline--not that it had to be accessible online. Currently the theme of 1930s, as far as this timeline is concerned, is conservative opposition to the New Deal, not necessarily conservative opposition to FDR. Also as far as I can tell, the rule-of-thumb for the timeline regarding specific items to include specific notable historical events, and regarding general items, include trends which affected a number of years. For my part, I try to make the individual entries as Did-you-knowish as possible, and for the intros to the decades I use WP:LEAD as a guide.
After writing this I wonder if we should recommend in a FAQ that we use WP:DYK hooks as a guide for entries--maybe adding that the fact should be notable--and WP:LEAD for intros to decades. – Lionel (talk) 00:56, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Lindbergh opposed the New Deal's foreign policy--but that does not make him a conservative (liberals such as John L. Lewis also opposed it, and conservatives like Henry Stimson supported it). Lindbergh is famous as an aviator, a kidnapping victim's father, an isolationist, and an environmentalist. Rjensen (talk) 02:12, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Agree that Lindbergh is not a notable conservative. He was an isolationist, and was widely known as one at the time, but the isolationist movement spanned the liberal-to-conservative continuum. Binksternet (talk) 02:40, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
This link [1] is a dead link. Toa Nidhiki05 23:36, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

1968 pres election[edit]

Perhaps we should mention that Wallace ran as a 3rd party candidate, and perhaps Reagan in the primary. From the main article (unsourced): "By early spring, California Governor Ronald Reagan, the leader of the GOP's conservative wing, had become Nixon's chief rival." Also the election was a realigning election. – Lionel (talk) 00:37, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

agree. Rjensen (talk) 01:10, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

1968 tax cut[edit]

"wealthiest Americans" and "lowest-earning taxpayers" is POV and inaccurate. Some "wealthy Americans" are not in the top bracket due to their income arising from from capital gains. For comparison, the main article used "top tax rate" and "bottom rate." We should do likewise. – Lionel (talk) 01:31, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

The lead / 1950s[edit]

Should we add to the lead something about the "low ebb" of conservatism in the 50s, and the revitalization starting with Conscience of a Conservative? The intro to the 1950s could also use a some treatment the "low ebb." – Lionel (talk) 06:45, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

For 1950, it already says, "The intellectual reputation of Conservatism reaches a low ebb." TFD (talk) 13:34, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Global warming[edit]

I don't see where this is representative of the decade, nor an important enough event to make the intro to the decade. In any event, I don't believe the conservative opposition is to "global warming" per se, but to far-reaching policies supposedly intended to counteract global warming such as cap-and-trade. I'll move it here so we can work on it.– Lionel (talk) 22:30, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

it's been one of the major conservative issues -- both in think tanks and in election campaigns and in Congress (and in state politics too). I suggest that opposition to global warming science and scientists has been a big deal, and the cited article (one of several) gives elaborate details. I think it has proven highly successful for conservatives and that enviornmentalist efforts to use global warming as a weapon or leverage for large-scale programs or taxes has been dramatically set-back (as of 2012). Rjensen (talk) 22:40, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
"Denialism" of anthropogenic global warming is not only a position held by the right wing, but one whose promotion is heavily funded by (e.g.) the oil-billionaire Koch brothers, see Political activities of the Koch family#Anthropogenic global warming skepticism. – Raven  .talk 05:18, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

I think it's a bit wider-reaching than just global warming. Opposition to science has become a hallmark of the conservative movement. To wit, their:

  • Advocacy for creationism, intelligent design, teach the controversy, and the weakening of scientific teaching standards
  • Opposition to stem cell research
  • Advocacy for restrictions on abortions in the name of preventing fetal pain when there is no evidence the fetus can feel pain for the 24th week. (See Fetal_pain#Fetal_pain_and_abortion)

Not to mention that surveys show that conservatives have stopped believing in science, and that this is concentrated particularly in those who are the most educated. It's become conservative de rigour to accuse climate scientists of being involved in some sort of conspiracy to provoke alarm in order to secure funding. I could go on, but there are entire books written on the subject. The point is, it's not just global warming but science as a whole that that should be mentioned in the article. Raul654 (talk) 05:36, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Distrust of Europe?[edit]

This is certainly true to some degree, but conservatives tend to support the UK. Perhaps it can be reworded to recognize that? Toa Nidhiki05 01:50, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

well they like Switzerland too. But the rhetoric denounces/ridicules "Europe" and rarely or never makes an exception for UK. Perhaps it's a matter of the UK supporting the US (as in Iraq especially) Rjensen (talk) 02:25, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
It goes back further, to WWII and Winston Churchill. Then again, the UK has stayed distinct from mainland Europe in many ways. Toa Nidhiki05 (iPod) (talk) 03:03, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
It is not universally accepted that the UK is part of Europe - a lot depends on one's political orientation. TFD (talk) 03:09, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree that conservatives avoid attacking the UK by name; they seem eager enough to attack generic "Europe", with occasional mention these days of Greece-as-bogey. Rjensen (talk) 03:24, 21 April 2012 (UTC)


I read through the article again and also the FL nomination. I find a problem in this article is scope. It needs to be more clearly defined in the lead and entries should be restricted to relevant items. For example, Lee Edwards concisely defines the topic: "America's modern conservative movement began as a Remnant with Albert Jay Nock and Frank Chodorov, grew into an intellectual movement with Friedrich Hayek, Richard Weaver, and Russell Kirk, blossomed into a political movement with William F. Buckley Jr. and Barry Goldwater, burst into full bloom as a governing movement with Ronald Reagan and the Heritage-ACU-YAF axis, succumbed to hubris with Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay, imploded under George W. Bush and the neoconservatives...."[15] That would seem to exclude Nixon, Strom Thurmond, etc., who were outside the movement, even if they could also be described as conservative. On the other hand, the success of the movement has blurred the lines between it and the Republican Party. TFD (talk) 19:05, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Lee Edwards is a popular writer and as a participant he emphasizes positions that he himself was involved with over the years. He ignores social issues and mentions not one religious figure--he also misses Milton Friedman. His essay is more about the future and this timeline is about the past. The scope is based on the major scholars being used such as Nash, Schneider, Allitt, Critchlow, Fronen, etc. I think the timeline now covers most of the people Edwards mentions, as well as numerous others. Rjensen (talk) 21:36, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Excellent points by both of you. While I think it is obvious what items should be included or excluded, without a "declared" scope the timeline will continue to be subject to POV attacks by ideologues. In fact the talkpage has ample discussion about the scope. I'll work on summarizing the salient points on talk and add a FAQ that we can discuss. – Lionel (talk) 08:28, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
How could this ignore the 1970 influential Powell memorandum and getting the Chamber of Commerce to seek large multimillionaire and corporate backing to create a much larger conservative media and policy infrastructure to counter perceived liberal educational institutions and the perceived liberal media bias and progressive policy think tanks? Elemming (talk) 00:29, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

The American Spectator[edit]

From :

The American Spectator was founded in 1924 by George Nathan and Truman Newberry over a cheap domestic ale in McSorley's Old Ale House. In 1967 the Saturday Evening Club took it over, rechristening it The Alternative: An American Spectator; but by November 1977 the word "alternative" had acquired such an esoteric fragrance that in order to discourage unsolicited manuscripts from florists, beauticians, and other creative types the Club reverted to the magazine's original name.

We need to fix the timeline and the main article. – Lionel (talk) 23:52, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

no, the connection with the old magazine "was only nominal" -- that is the name was bought & sold a couple times. see {{cite book|author=J. David Hoeveler|title=Watch On The Right: Conservative Intellectuals In The Reagan Era|url= February 1991|publisher=Univ of Wisconsin Press|pages=211–} The fun part is all the issues are online! see #9 and #10. Rjensen (talk) 04:38, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
Sounds good. And thanks for! – Lionel (talk) 07:32, 21 May 2012 (UTC)