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The Left’s Gift to Nixon


Episode description

1968 is often remembered as a time of revolution, when liberal activists stood up to the powers that be and established progressive movements that endure to this day. However, 1968 was also the year the GOP’s Richard Nixon won the White House – and the start of more than two decades of nearly unbroken Republican power in the executive branch. Arizona State University’s Donald Critchlow explains that this didn’t necessarily occur in spite of the left-wing protest movement – it may have happened directly because of it. As the unrest on campuses and in inner cities was beamed into Americans’ living rooms through television, millions of voters embraced Nixon’s promise to bring back “law and order.”

Read more in this article from Donald Critchlow: Politicians have long used the ‘forgotten man’ to win elections

Music: “Moonlight Reprise” by Kai Engel, found on, licensed under CC0 3

Archival sound: 1968 Democratic Convention part 1

Preview - 1968 DNC in Chicago - CBS News Coverage

Matthew Dallek and Robert Merry on Conservative Politics in 1968

Goldwater concedes to LBJ 1964

Future Pres. Nixon on Face the Nation

Election Shocks (1966)

Inauguration of President Richard M Nixon 1969, Part 7

Gerald Ford: Swearing In Ceremony - Aug 9, 1974

Inauguration of President Ronald Reagan 1981, Part 1

President George H.W. Bush takes the oath of office administered by Chief Justice William Rehnquist


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