How the Right Took Power in the United States

Phases and Coalitions 1940-2012

Showing the Three Times the Ultra-Conservative Coalition Mobilized to Move the Republican Party to the Right

Phase 3: 1950s Ultra-Conservative Fusionism

After World War II and the Truman Administration, a moderate Republican, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was elected President and took office in 1953. The Political Right in the Republican Party, (called the “Taft Wing” after the former President, Robert Taft), had been eclipsed. Three strategists, Frank Meyer, M. Stanton Evans, and William F. Buckley, Jr. decided it was time to carve a conservative movement out of the fractured remains of the Political Right, in part by specifically rejecting the legacy of overt White supremacy and antisemitism. Buckley had gained attention writing for the libertarian journal Freeman, but secured his niche when in 1955 he founded the influential National Review magazine.

Buckley, Evans, and Meyer sought a working coalition—a fusion—bridging three tendencies: economic libertarianism, social traditionalism, and militant anticommunism. According to Jerome L. Himmelstein, “The core assumption that binds these three elements is the belief that American society on all levels has an organic order––harmonious, beneficent, and self–regulating––disturbed only by misguided ideas and policies, especially those propagated by a liberal elite in the government, the media, and the universities.”This coalition plan became known as “Fusionism.”

Cite: Chip Berlet. 2007. “The New Political Right in the United States: Reaction, Rollback, and Resentment.” In Michael Thompson, ed, Confronting the New Conservatism. The Rise of the Right in America. New York, NYU Press. <Buy it at Powell’s>

Color
Key

Major Phases of
Right-Wing Movements

New or Reframed
Coalition Partners

Sub-Sectors
under a Major Section

Ultraconservative Coalition
Mobilizes a Rebellion

Discarded
Coalition Partners


1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

1932-1941:
Pre-WWII Conservatism
Post-WWII Republican Party Coalition 1950s: Ultra-Conservative Fusionism 1960s: Facing Challenges from
the Left
1963-1964: Goldwater Presi-dential Campaign 1970s: A “New Right” Builds a Movement 1980s: The Right-Wing Coalition Institutionalizes Post-1991: Reframing Political Debates Post-2008:
Tea Party & Town Hall Movements

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Economic Libertarianism

Economic Libertarianism

Economic Libertarianism

Economic Libertarianism

Economic Libertarianism

Economic Libertarianism

Economic Libertarianism

Economic Libertarianism

Economic Libertarianism

Economic Conservatism

Economic Conservatism

 

Economic Conservatism

 

Economic Conservatism

Economic Conservatism

Economic Conservatism

 

Sector: Business Nationalism

Sector: Business Nationalism

 

Sector: Business Nationalism

 

Sector: Business Nationalism

Sector: Business Nationalism

Sector: Business Nationalism

 

Sector: Corporate Internationalism

Sector: Corporate Internationalism

 

Sector: Corporate Internationalism

 

Sector: Corporate Internationalism

Sector: Corporate Internationalism

Sector: Corporate Internationalism

 

Militant Patriot
Anticommunism

Militant Patriot
Anticommunism

Militant Patriot
Anticommunism

Militant Patriot
Anticommunism

Militant Patriot
Anticommunism

Militant Patriot
Anticommunism

Militant Patriot
Anticommunism

Militant Patriot
Anticollectivism

Militant Patriot
Anticollectivism

National Security Militarism

National Security Militarism

 

National Security Militarism

 

National Security Militarism

National Security Militarism

National Security Militarism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neoconservatism

Neoconservatism

 

 

Social Traditionalism

Social Traditionalism

Social Traditionalism

 

Social Traditionalism

Religious Right
Christian Right

Religious Right
Christian Right

Religious Right
Christian Right

Religious Right
Christian Right

Naked
White Supremacy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naked
Antisemitism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2012, Chip Berlet