Citation
The Perfect Storm

Material Information

Title:
The Perfect Storm Social Change, Partisan Realignment, and the Transformation of Modern Texas Conservatism, 1963-1980
Creator:
Cunningham, Sean P
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
Florida
Publisher:
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Language:
english
Physical Description:
1 online resource (366 p.)

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
History
Committee Chair:
Link, William A.
Committee Co-Chair:
Ward, Brian
Committee Members:
Esenwein, George R.
Spillane, Joseph F.
Kiousis, Spiro K.
Graduation Date:
8/11/2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Boxes ( jstor )
Conservatism ( jstor )
Hispanics ( jstor )
Liberalism ( jstor )
National politics ( jstor )
Paper conservation ( jstor )
Political campaigns ( jstor )
Political ideologies ( jstor )
Political parties ( jstor )
Voting ( jstor )
History -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
conservatism, conservative, democratic, ideology, liberal, liberalism, politics, reagan, republican, seventies, sixties, texas
City of Gainesville ( local )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
born-digital ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
History thesis, Ph.D.

Notes

Abstract:
This study is an investigation of the relationships between social changes and political transformations in Texas between 1963 and 1980, with a particular focus on the rise of modern conservatism in that state. The study argues that, in Texas, the death of the Democratic New Deal coalition coincided with the birth of a new conservative Republican coalition, the elements of which were not fully evident until the end of the 1970s. The study further illustrates that modern Texas conservatism must be understood as a complex coalescence of various factions, united under a broad and encompassing ideological rhetoric, and that analyses which do not fully incorporate the wide array of regional variances, issues, tensions, and traditions are not necessarily representative of national political culture. In Texas, the deconstruction of the one-party system and subsequent construction of two-party politics was the most visible manifestation resulting from a combination of factors including race, religion, economics, anticommunism, scandal, and a heightened emphasis on image. By illustrating how these forces collectively influenced political change in Texas, operating together almost as a perfect storm, it is the author s intent to contribute nuance to an already thriving historiography on Southern conservatism, bridge a long-standing disagreement over the national versus local origins of conservative rhetoric, and encourage a scholarly reexamination of regional identities and political culture in the understudied post-war American West and Southwest. ( en )
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local:
Adviser: Link, William A.
Local:
Co-adviser: Ward, Brian.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Sean P Cunningham.

Record Information

Source Institution:
UFRGP
Rights Management:
Copyright Cunningham, Sean P. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
660256260 ( OCLC )
Classification:
LD1780 2007 ( lcc )

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Full Text






in some cases an issue, individual, or movement may also be referred to as conservative if that

issue, individual, or movement was referred to as such by its contemporary opposition.13

As the socioeconomic and political culture in Texas evolved through the 1960s and

1970s, the public's understanding of its own conservatism also changed. Typically, conservative

Texans identified themselves--or were identified by others--as such for any number of reasons.

Some continued to equate conservatism with support for capitalism, free enterprise, and

libertarianism. Others viewed their conservatism as an expression of hostility toward the federal

government. Many Texans grew more conservative, in this regard, beginning in the late 1930s

when opposition to "radical" unionization, increased tax burdens, unbalanced budgets, and

federal encroachment typically characterized a growing opposition to the New Deal.14

Conservatism can also be applied to many (but not all) anticommunist impulses, general

opposition to civil rights, and the rise of the Christian Right.

In referring to the Christian Right--the resultant rise of evangelical influence in

American politics--it becomes necessary to define the terms "Right" and "Left." These terms

will be used from time to time, most often as an alternative for terms like conservative and

liberal. However, when necessary--and it is often necessary--this dissertation will distinguish

between ideological strands operating as factions within a political organization or party. For

instance, Donald Critchlow distinguishes between what he calls the Old Right and the New

Right, operating in competition within the GOP during much of the 1940s and 1950s. For

Critchlow, the "old" was that which was narrowly committed to anti-socialism and isolationism,






13 Nash, The Conservative Intellectual M~ovement since 1945.
14 David M. Kennedy, The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1999), 338-340.










also viewed Ford' s decision as a reflection of the President' s fundamental misunderstanding of

the area's economy. During the April campaign, conservative grassroots organizations working

in tandem with Texas Citizens for Reagan campaign offices publicized Big Spring's hostile

response to Ford' s closure of the base as an indication that Ford was out of touch with average

Texans and could not be trusted to keep the state's economic interests in mind.68

On issue after issue and perception after perception, Reagan bested Ford in Texas.

Reagan's momentum was, in one sense, self-perpetuating. In another sense, his momentum was

substantially fueled by anti-Ford hostility at the grassroots and in the media. In both cases,

Reagan played the role of conservative icon in a state built upon the platitudes of independence,

individualism, and freedom. Throughout April, Reagan's campaign appearances in Texas

consistently outdrew Ford's. Reagan typically appeared before large gatherings of enthusiastic

supporters and spoke about putting God back into public schools, eliminating wasteful research

grants to higher education institutions, improving law enforcement, the failure of busing, and

Gerald Ford's inept energy policy. On each topic, Reagan infused anti-government animus and

dire warnings of impending national insecurity. News coverage furthered this momentum,

particularly as the media began to cast Reagan as a conservative who could attract support from

both parties. The public's awareness of this appeal acted as a self-fulfilling prophecy, drawing

even larger numbers of undecided conservatives into the Reagan tent.69

Reagan's advertising and pubic relations campaign in Texas also enhanced his popularity

in the state. Reagan utilized both print and broadcast media in order to create free publicity

through the construction of news events and blend a variety of issues and ideological strands into

one, cohesive conservative message. His radio spots in Texas blended a broad conservative

68 MemOrandum, to Governor Reagan, from Peter Hannaford, subject: Texas Events, April 13, 1976, Box 6,
Peter Hannaford Papers, HI.
69 Dallas Morning News, April 14, 15, 1976, 7A, 1A.










treaties, whereas only 5 percent favored them. Just as significant, however, was the fact that at a

rate of 80-12, Democrats in Texas also disapproved of the treaties." Conservative Democrats in

Texas who felt strongly that the Panama Canal issue was a national priority were given little

choice but to publicly oppose Carter and side with the GOP.

The organization of a mobilized conservative grassroots was further evidence of the

power that the Canal debate had on the Texas citizenry. In 1972, the National Society of the

Sons of the American Revolution initiated operations across Texas, with a noticeably large base

in Houston, for the purpose of opposing the treaties on grounds that the canal had been paid for

and was therefore owned by the American taxpayer. The federal government, then, had no right

to "give it away."74 In 1977, another grassroots organization, the Emergency Committee to Save

the US Canal Zone, based its operations upon the precedent of Texas annexation, arguing that

the Canal Zone should be admitted to the Union as a new state in order to give the over 40,000

United States citizens inhabiting that zone full representation in Congress, and requiring "the

President to defend their territory in accordance with the supreme law of the land." This

organization, of which Phyllis Schlafly was a member, strongly objected to the relinquishing of

the canal to "the Marxist Revolutionary Government of Panama" and couched its objections

firmly in the context of anticommuni sm.75

Texas grassroots opposition to the canal treaties also came in the form of individual

agitators. For instance, George S. Petley of Houston began billing himself in the late 1970s as a

"Researcher, lecturer, and former Canal Zone resident" and used said billing to promote a series

of speaking tours throughout the state. During these lectures, Petley frequently compared the



7 Statewide Survey in Texas on Attitudes Toward the Panama Canal Treaty," Conducted by Opinion
Research Corp., Princeton, NJ Feb. 1978, Box 11, George D. Moffett Collection, JCL.
74 Citizens Groups, Panama Canal File, Box 66, Donald M. Dozer Papers, HI.
75 Emergency Committee to Save the US Canal Zone, 1977, Box 68, Donald M. Dozer Papers, HI.










anticommunists or other conservatives who prioritized older and, by the early 1970s, seemingly

less urgent or provocative issues. The formative success of modem conservatism in Texas can

be credited, in part, to its ability to bridge older and newer issues through a language that

transcended both time and specifics.'

Again however, rarely did religious issues, prior to 1974, have a direct impact on Texas

politics through campaign strategies and agendas. Throughout the early 1970s, Richard Nixon,

who often bragged about his co-sponsorship of this legislation in 195 1, j oined many of his party

brethren, including Texans George Bush and John Tower, in supporting passage of the Equal

Rights Amendment (ERA). In July 1971, even the Republican National Committee (RNC)

overwhelmingly voted to endorse ERA and in March of the following year, the Texas state

legislature ratified the amendment.19

Eventually, Texas conservatives j oined Republican conservatives in other parts of the

country in using religious issues like abortion, school prayer, and homosexuality to attract

evangelical Christians roused into political activism. The early 1970s was a crucial time for

nascent grassroots mobilization around such issues, but was hardly a time that witnessed the

infusion of such issues into the mainstream of political rhetoric. Still, by 1974 polls indicated

that Texans' concern with social issues, declining morals, and the protection of traditional

Christian values had significantly intensified. Throughout the early 1970s, school prayer and

abortion coincided with national movements for women's rights and homosexual rights.

Isolated, none of these issues was likely to garner the attention of state Republicans or

conservative Democrats. Taken as an aggregate representation of challenged family values,


1s "To keep our people safe and free," Campaign literature, 1970, Box 69, Deaver & Hannaford Papers, HI.
19 Dallas Morning News, March 23-25, 1972; Republican National Committee, July 22, 1971, Denver, CO,
Papers of the Republican Party [microform], ed. Paul L. Kesaris, Frederick, MD: University Publications of
America, 1987, George Smathers Libraries, University of Florida (Hereafter cited as PRP), Part I, Series B, Reel 8,
Frame 570; Equal Opportunity for Women, April 27, 1973, PRP, Part II, Reel 12, Frame 436.









the convention, members of the Texas delegation found themselves under attack from protesters

who gathered outside their hotel rooms.'

At the convention's close, Johnson's vice president and not Johnson's longtime political

ally found himself the nominee of his party for president. What especially irked conservative

Texas Democrats, though, was that Connally had also been denied the second spot on the ticket.

Despite, thwarting Yarborough's efforts and helping the convention to avoid nominating a more

liberal candidate, Connally's experience in Chicago left him permanently embittered toward the

liberal wing of his party. He believed Johnson had betrayed him by floating the possibility of the

vice presidency in exchange for his support of Humphrey. The forces of loyalty and tradition

kept Connally in check for the general campaign, but the long-term damage had been done.3

Strange Victory

Nominated in the midst of a tumultuous convention and a divided party, Hubert

Humphrey lost his bid for the presidency in 1968. Many political observers then and later

viewed the 1968 elections as a referendum on the Johnson presidency. This is not, however,

how the story played out in the Lone Star State. Though defeated by Richard Nixon in a very

narrow three-way national race that included Alabama's George Wallace, Humphrey still

managed to carry Texas--the only Sunbelt state carried by the Democratic candidate that year.

Humphrey's victory in Texas raises a number of interesting questions as to the nature of Texas

political culture in the late 1960s.3

John Connally's position atop the Democratic Party's campaign efforts in Texas was

arguably the biggest factor in Humphrey's success there. Connally's commitment to the

Humphrey campaign, despite his being snubbed at the nominating convention in Chicago, was

30Bass and DeVries, The Transformation of Southern Politics, 41-56.
31Reston, The Lone Star, 366-371
32Ibid.










The veteran voice of the Texas GOP had fallen into disfavor with the growing conservative

grassroots, largely because of his opposition to Reagan in both 1968 and 1976. Tower was also

unpopular, however, because, independently of his association with national figures, he had

difficulty relating to his changing constituency. In 1978, for instance, Tower supported proposed

legislation that would have permitted federal funds to be used for abortions, without restriction,

while Texas's junior senator, the conservative Democrat Lloyd Bentsen, opposed such a

measure. Tower' s rationale that morality could not be legislated fell on deaf ears among the

state's social conservatives, many of whom began to perceive Tower as a social liberal.8

Thus, image was at the top of Tower' s list of problems and manifested in several ways.

By way of comparison, Tower appeared noticeably less rugged, Western, or Texan than did

California's former governor, Ronald Reagan. Once an ardent Barry Goldwater supporter,

Tower was, in the late 1970s, more often remembered for his fondness of wool suits bought on

Savile Row in London than for his conservative resume. At the same time, the fact that Tower

had been educated at the London School of Economics became a detriment to his credibility in

Texas's conservative circles.86 Foreign influence of any kinds was still met with a measure of

di strust.

Tower responded to attacks on his Texas image by readjusting his rhetoric and mending

fences with the most recognizable and popular icons of conservatism in the state. In April 1978,

Tower began to publicly attack Jimmy Carter' s foreign policy, speaking gravely of the imminent

Soviet threat and arguing that Carter' s policies were playing into the hands of the Soviet

government. Tower also re-learned the benefit of linking such problems to big government

liberalism and geographic bias. Tower spoke more often in the spring and summer of 1978 of

85Houston Post, July 3, 1977, "Abortion," Folder 1, Box 1339, Houston Office, JTP.
86 Roger M. Olien, From Token to Triumph: The Texas Republicans Since 1920 (Dallas, TX: Southemn
Methodist University Press, 1982), 247.










(SEC) filed a lawsuit through federal court in Dallas, alleging that former state Attorney General

Waggoner Carr, former state Insurance Commissioner John Osorio, and Houston-area banker

Frank Sharp had conspired to commit stock fraud. Over the next several months, the tawdry

details dominated the media's coverage of Texas politics and threatened to stain virtually the

entire conservative wing of the state Democratic Party. What the Texas public essentially

learned throughout the reporting on this scandal in 1971 and 1972 was that Frank Sharp, the

chief executive of the Houston-area Sharpstown State Bank, had illegally granted over $600,000

in loans to state officials, who then used that money to buy stock in another of Sharp's holdings,

the National Bankers Life Insurance Corporation. Sharp then agreed, through various illegal

means, to artificially inflate the value of the stock, allowing investors to reap profits in excess of

$250,000. The case's bombshell, however, came when the SEC revealed that Texas Governor

and Democratic Party head Preston Smith had actually been bribed by Sharp into manipulating a

special session of the Texas legislature in 1969 during which legislation favorable to Sharp and

his corporate holdings was passed.4

The immediate impact of the Sharpstown scandal appeared to be a boon for state liberals.

As the sordid details permeated the state's political culture in the early 1970s, liberals took the

opportunity to champion reform legislation, including bills requiring state officials to fully

disclose all sources of income. Texas liberals, though reticent to go so far as to call for federal

intervention, did articulate a belief that the "good 'ole boys" club in Austin had grown far too

corrupt to govern effectively and needed dismantling.5 The earliest responses to the scandal in



SDallas Morning News, March 25, 1972; Sharpstown Stock Fraud Scandal Clippings, Folder 11, Box
758, Austin Files, JTP: Sharpstown Stock Fraud Clippings, Box 4C518, Harris County Democratic Party Records,
CAH.
STranscript, Firing Line, hosted by William F. Buckley, February 25, 1973, telecast on PBS, Audiovisual
Collection, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford University, Stanford, CA (Hereafter cited as
HI).










toward politics and government. Historians have debated the effect of Watergate in the context

of modern conservatism's national growth in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Some, like

Jonathan Schoenwald, see Watergate as a stumbling block on the road to national Republican

dominance. Others, like Bruce Schulman, see Watergate as enabling a GOP takeover by the

Reagan-wing of the party.'" James T. Patterson has argued that Watergate simply brought to a

head the growing animus against government which had been building for a decade. Vietnam, a

sagging economy, and corruption in multiple forms provoked a wave of anti-government stands

in the early 1970s. Both nationally and in Texas, the number of individuals identifying

themselves as independent, rather than affiliated with either party, increased during the early

1970s. If a citizen, therefore, rej ected both parties as untrustworthy, but refused to drop out of

the political process entirely, he or she could take an anti-statist or populist stand and maintain

(and even increase) their own respectability and sense of political legitimacy.79

Simply put, anti-statist attitudes helped tear down traditions and partisan loyalties both

nationally and in Texas. By the beginning of 1975, with Gerald Ford's pardon of Nixon still

fresh on people' s minds, over sixty percent of Americans believed that government leadership

was worse than it had been a decade earlier. Certainly, Americans' distrust in government did

not begin with Watergate and the various associated scandals. Polls in 1958 indicated that nearly

eighty percent of the American public tr-usted their government to "do the right thing" when

called to act. Those numbers began to decline in 1964 during Lyndon Johnson's administration

and continued to weaken steadily until the Watergate scandal allowed for a flooding of anti-

government animosity and paranoia into the mainstream discourse of American politics. Though



78Schoenwald, A Time for C /?.. ,,- wa220; Schulman, The Seventies, 43-48, 51; Craig Shirley, Reagan 's
Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign that Started it All (Nashville, TN: Nelson Current, 2005), CH 2.
79 JameS T. Patterson, Restless Giant: The United States fr~om Watergate to Bush v. Gore (New York:
Oxford University Press, 2005).











Ellis, Joseph J. American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson. New York: Vintage
Books, 1998.

Foley, Neil. The White Scourge: M~exicans, Blacks, and Poor TT-lrilev in Texas Cotton Culture.
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

Frank, Thomas. What 's the Matter With Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of
America. New York: Owl Books, 2004.

Fried, Richard M. The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!: Pageantry and
Patriotism in Cold-War America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Garcia, Ignacio M. Viva Kennedy: M~exican Americans in Search of Camelot. College Station:
Texas A&M University Press, 2000.

Goldberg, Robert A. BarryB~~~~BBBBB~~~~BBBB Goldwuater. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995.

Goldwater, Barry. Conscience ofa Conservative. Shepardsville, KY: Victory Publishing, 1960.

Green, George Norris. The Establishment in Texas Politics: The Primitive Years, 1938-1957.
Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1979.

Greenshaw, Wayne. Elephants in the Cottonfields: Ronald Reagan and the New Republican
Sonlu New York: Macmillan, 1982.

Hart, Roderick P. Verbal Style and the Presidency: A Computer Based Analysis. Orlando, FL:
Academic Press, 1984.

.The Sound ofLeadership: Presidential Communication in the M~odern Age.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.

Hayward, Steven F. The Age ofReagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order, 1964-1980. New
York: Prima Publishing, 2001.

Heale, M. J. American Anticommunism: Combating the Enemy Within, 1830-1970. Baltimore:
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990.

McCarthy 's Americans: Red Scare Politics in State and Nation, 1935-1965.
Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1998.

Heineman, Kenneth J. God is a Conservative: Religion, Politics, and Morality in Contemporary
America. New York: New York University Press, 1998.

Hofstetter, C. R. and Zukin, C. "TV Network News and Advertising in the Nixon and McGovern
campaigns," Journalism Quarterly, 56, (1979), 106-152.










extended to him personally by the Democratic nominee. Humphrey's cozy new relationship with

Yarborough irked Connally and further chilled to the Texas Governor' s already lukewarm

support. By October, Johnson was personally and very actively intervening in Texas on behalf

of Humphrey and the national Democratic Party, though his influence over Connally and other

conservatives--even those who were publicly loyal to the president--privately waned."

Like Connally, Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate and ardent conservative

Preston Smith, declined an invitation to appear alongside Humphrey at the Houston fundraiser.3

Though he shared Humphrey's partisan identification, it was clear from his campaign strategy

that Smith shared little else with the Democratic presidential nominee. Smith, who had served as

Connally's Lieutenant Governor since 1962, wanted to disassociate himself from all things

"liberal" and both Humphrey and Yarborough seemed to be just that.

Smith's campaign would have made any Texas conservative proud. Though not

especially media savvy, he was smart enough to consult numerous public relations and

advertising firms in a concerted effort to construct a conservative image tailored to the Texas

heartland. At the epicenter of these efforts was a blunt anti-liberalism used to distance Smith

from the chaos of the national party. Smith's advertising campaign reflected these efforts.

During the fall of 1968, he ran 60-second television commercials in which he derided liberals as

"defeatist and negative." He labeled himself a traditionalist, a loyalist, and a conservative. His

commercials promised that he would never "leave any of you alone to face riots in the streets of

Texas." He vilified special interest groups, big government, and equated liberals to both. Smith,

who by 1970 found himself under the tutelage of former Goldwater and Reagan campaign

advisor F. Clifton White, even championed his "heritage of individualism" and claimed a

37Reston, The Lone Star, 372-374; Remarks of Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey to the Houston Area
Labor Leaders, September 11, 1968, Box 281, Series I, Records of the Democratic National Committee, LBJL.
8H~ouston Chronicle, September 10, 1968, Box 4C515, Harris County Democratic Party Records, CAH.










had been dismissed as an oddity, the result of peculiar voting behavior in a special election to fill

Johnson's abandoned seat. Isolated GOP successes in smaller races were exactly that--isolated,

few, and far between. In 1964, with a Texas Democrat atop the presidential ticket and the JFK

assassination in Dallas still fresh on everybody's minds, the state was simply inhospitable to new

movements or to change. Another reason for the lack of a grassroots Goldwater movement in

Texas, however, was the Senator's inability to capitalize on the state's populist heritage. While

Goldwater' s campaign has been noted as seminal in the rise of populist conservatism, in Texas

the lack of any party support mixed with the instinctive loyalty many Texans gave to LBJ to

prevent Goldwater from effectively drawing on animus against big government or so-called

"Eastern Establishment" liberalism.22

Though it did not enj oy widespread popularity as a grassroots movement in Texas until

after 1964, this young populist-conservative insurgency did have some roots in the Lone Star

State. The Dallas-based oil baron H. L. Hunt, for instance, was among Goldwater' s earliest and

most faithful campaign contributors. Hunt, however, never became a maj or power broker in

Dallas because, as Texa~s Monthly magazine later put it, he was considered by many an "arch-

conservative" on the "lunatic fringe of the Right."23 Though devoid of tact and lacking in charm,

Hunt' s conservatism was similar to that of Dallas' s Bruce Alger, who, in 1954, earned national

recognition when he became only the second Republican to win a U. S. Congressional seat in

Texas. Alger's surprise victory in Dallas helped to organize small coalitions of grassroots

conservatives, but, alone, was not enough to make any maj or impact on the state' s political

establishment.



22 January 27, 1964, Press Release, Box 3H516, Stephen Shadegg Papers/Barry Goldwater Collection,
CAH; Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (Princeton, NJ: Princeton
University Press, 2001); Perlstein, Before the Storm, CH 4; White, The Making of the President, 1964, 98-129.
23 Texas Monthly, April 1976, 111, Box 9, David Stoll Collection, HI.










much of an effort to court evangelicals. A major reason for this was that in 1964, no organized

religious conservative movement yet existed. Even among ill-organized portions of the religious

community in Texas, Goldwater' s campaign not only failed to rally support, but was actually

rej ected and denounced. For instance, in Dallas, which was home to the largest Southern

Baptist, Methodist, and Southern Presbyterian congregations in the nation, as well as over 800

churches in Dallas alone, Goldwater' s appeal was lukewarm at best.2 Texas clergy were

typically just as loyally Democratic as any other constituency in the state, while many pastors

publicly criticized Goldwater' s conceptions of economic justice and world peace. Though

Goldwater tried to portray his campaign as a crusade, saying that "the real war liberals fear is a

holy war--a war of the faithful for their long-lost self respect and dignity--a war for

individuality waged on the spiritual plane of ideas and principles, the re-awakening of hope and

faith," his efforts were minimal and ineffective.29

If John Tower was the public face of populist conservatism in Texas, Peter O'Donnell

was its life blood. O'Donnell was an investment broker from Dallas. Having entered

conservative grassroots politics in the mid-1930s, O'Donnell successfully ran Bruce Alger's re-

election campaigns in 1958 and 1960, and also managed campaign efforts in Dallas for the

Nixon-Lodge ticket in 1960, where he achieved the largest Republican plurality of any

metropolitan area in the nation. In 1961, O'Donnell earned national attention as the mastermind

behind Tower' s ascension to the U.S. Senate. O'Donnell's success rested largely on his

prioritization of conservative ideology ahead of partisan loyalty, though in later years his



2 The Super-Americans" by John Bainbridge, 1962, Box 9, David Stoll Collection, HI.
2 The Goldwater Candidacy and the Christian Conscience: The Response of Protestant Theologians," Pre-
Election Material September, Box 6, Office Files of Bill Moyers, Presidential Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson,
LBJL.
29 "Citizens for Goldwater-Miller: Victory Manual," September 7, 1964, Box 3H513, Stephen Shadegg
Papers/Barry Goldwater Collection, CAH.










straight nomination. McGovern's support in Texas was weaker and far more attuned to national

displeasure over the war in Vietnam. Many of McGovern's supporters in Texas, including a pair

of young campaign workers named Hillary Rodham and Bill Clinton, believed their candidate

could offer the nation hope and optimism--something for which virtually every poll indicated

Texans desperately yeamed.42

But McGovemn's attempts to rally a Democratic base of support in Texas failed

miserably. In 1968, the popular John Connally had organized all statewide campaign efforts for

Humphrey, despite the fact that Connally disagreed with Humphrey on a number of issues--the

war in Vietnam, most notably. Connally's support and loyalty in 1968 contributed to

Humphrey's win in Texas. In 1972, Connally, following an appointment to Nixon' s cabinet as

Secretary of the Treasury, chaired the Texas Democrats for Nixon organization. Connally's

willingness to abandon the Democratic ship inspired many other conservative Texas Democrats

to do the same and was a crucial moment for the state GOP. As Connally's support lent

significant respectability to the Republican Party in Texas, McGovemn's failures in the state had

profound consequences for the perceptions of the Democratic Party. An examination of each

campaign's manipulation of image and media reflects this failure.

Richard Nixon's campaign strategy in Texas was based on efforts to connect McGovern

to dangerous and irresponsible weakness, particularly with regard to Vietnam. Nixon often

spoke in Texas of McGovemn's willingness to "surrender" Southeast Asia to the communists.

Nixon claimed that McGovern would roll back all of the current administration' s foreign policy

achievements and reduce the nation's arms holdings to a level "less than before Pearl Harbor."

Sensing an opportunity, many Texas Republicans jumped on the bandwagon they hoped would


42 General Correspondence, Box 600, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML; Washington Post, May 15,
1972, Box 782, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML; Dallas Morning News, February 3, 1972.










packet about the sin of abortion and its broader consequences for morality and ethics to every

pastor of a Southern Baptist Church in the Lone Star State.16

The fundamental politicization of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in the late

1970s had its roots in grassroots organizations like Texas Right to Life, which communicated the

need for churches to exercise a political voice--something the SBC was reluctant to do in the

1960s and 1970s. A similar process dealing with the issue of prayer in public schools was

already underway prior to the Roe decision. The Supreme Court outlawed prayer in public

schools in the early 1960s, but it was not until the early 1970s that Texas congressional

representatives began to hear concerns from their constituents over this issue in significant

numbers. Single-issue grassroots organizations quickly realized in the early 1970s that a fusion

of interests on the grounds of morality, ethics, and Christian protectionism would allow for

greater exposure and attract larger bases of support."

If the most important outcome of modern conservatism's ascendancy was the

establishment of the Republican Party as the ideology's recognized and viable home, then

understanding how that process happened must acknowledge that one of the most critical

components to that ascendancy--the rise of politically active evangelicals--was a phenomenon

born in the early 1970s, not the early 1960s. Conservatism in Texas may have begun its

development around issues of anticommunism, economics, and race, but it matured in the 1970s

through the infusion of a much wider array of issues and impulses. As social issues like abortion

and school prayer gained momentum, issues like civil rights and race did not entirely fade, but

did seem less urgent. In many cases, the infusion of a wider array of social issues facilitated a

growing mutual appreciation and cooperation between evangelical conservatives and

16 Texas Monthly, March 1974, "Abortion in Texas."
17 Questionnaire on Church and State, Box 376, George Mahon Papers, SWC: "Abortion File," Box 659,
Dolph Briscoe Papers, CAH.










Throughout the 1970s, rednecks, bikers, and other traditionally anti-establishment, anti-authority,

and anti-liberal groups were inculcated into the political process in ways that would have been

unpredictable a generation before. By the end of the decade, most of these constituents had

found common cause, (at least rhetorically), with the white, middle-class Texas suburbanite.

Hollywood also joined the fray in the 1970s and contributed to this growing anger toward

government and authority. The most common portrayal of politicians or government officials in

film was one of corruption and negativity. Political dramas regularly fostered distrust toward

politicians and championed the little guy for typically taking on and defeating the establishment.

Political campaigns grew dirtier in the early 1970s, with negative ads becoming the norm in most

elections.92

By 1975, Americans had grown very tired of the political status-quo and began to

demand change. They demanded to be heard and many Texans began to hasten the arduous

process of loosening the political traditions and loyalties that no longer seemed as appropriate in

the mid-seventies as they had in prior decades. Add to this dissatisfaction a growing perception

in Texas that the Democratic Party was embracing the concerns of the few at the expense of the

many, had liberalized beyond the point of workable cohabitation between ideological factions,

and a belief that a conservative voice for the disaffected and forgotten American did, in fact,

exist, and the result was the makings for what would later become known as the Reagan

Revolution. 93

The established leadership within the Texas Republican Party would fight against this

revolution, not because it necessarily disagreed with the tenets of populist conservatism, but



92 Terry Christensen. Reel Politics: 4merican Political Movies fr~om Birth of a Nation to Platoon. (New
York: Basil Blackwell Inc., 1987), 7-11.
93 "The New Conservatism," 4tlas World Press, March 1978, Box 85, Deaver & Hannaford, Inc. Papers,
HI.










of a "wheeler-dealer"--an image helpful in the early 1960s, but harmful in the post-Watergate

American political scene that largely distrusted politicians.5

Connally's presence meant that as the 1980 presidential campaign got underway, Ronald

Reagan's nomination was not a foregone conclusion. Democratic insiders in Washington quietly

feared that Connally was, potentially, their most formidable opponent in the upcoming election.

Having been a Democrat in a Southern state, they feared, Connally would be a much greater

threat to Carter's hopes for once again carrying the Solid South than Reagan. In looking at

Texas, the Carter team assumed the Lone Star State was still a Democratic haven, where

tradition and loyalty would always trump ideology on the national stage.56 At the same time,

however, Democratic strategists responded to Connally's statements that image was vital to

success in presidential politics by doing a study of Connally's appeal in critical swing states,

Texas included. Their findings were prescient. Though a Republican, Connally was not

perceived by the mass public, they believed, as a true conservative. Neither was Connally

"establishment" or "New Right." Put yet another way, if image was everything, as Connally

said, then his image lacked, as one Democratic analyst said, "coloration." The Carter campaign

believed that while Connally was potentially the GOP's most formidable candidate, he was also

the easiest to define--because no definition readily existed."' Democratic forecasts showing

Connally as potentially their strongest rival were not grounded in polls. This is evident because

early polls, even in Texas, showed Reagan maintaining a relatively comfortable lead on Connally

throughout 1979 and early 1980.58 Nonetheless, Carter's campaign advisors were distracted by


55 Ibid.
56 "Texas Overview" "3/24/79-3/25/79 Trip to Oklahoma and Texas," Box 124, Staff Office Files: Office
of Staff Secretary, JCL.
5 Analysis: 1980 Presidential Campaign, by Eddie Mahe, Jr. December 5, 1978, Box 4Ad34, George
Christian Papers, CAH.
58Memorandum, To: Mike Deaver, From: Peter Hannaford, July 6, 1979, Box 8, Deaver & Hannaford
Papers, HI; Reagan Country Update, Newsletter, September 1979, Box 50, Ronald Reagan Subject Collection, HI;










"Vote not for a label," Reagan exhorted, "but for values you faithfully believe in."84 One couple

from San Antonio responded to the speech in a letter:

God bless you for your stand on moral issues ... Your talk on July 6, was inspirational,
and gave the maj ority of the American people, (who we sincerely believe are honest and
decent and believe in the fundamental values you spoke of) a ray of hope that at least
they were being courageously and honestly represented by someone (the only candidate it
seems) who sees and points out the extreme danger of the crumbling of the American
family. Without this, our society can never endure.85

Another supporter from Houston understood Reagan's appeal this way: "Mr. and Mrs. Public

want straight talk from the shoulder and want somebody to call a spade, a spade. They

understand and want tough talk from a contender and they want an 'Old Time Revival."'"86I

nothing else, most Reagan supporters had one thing in common: they openly vowed to oppose

Ford in November. Different conservatives reacted to the campaigns of 1976 in different ways,

but very few had any loyalty to the Republican Party. Significant partisan realignment in Texas

first manifested as loyalty to Reagan and not necessarily to the Republican Party."'

At least three conclusions can be drawn from Texans' response to Reagan's 1976

campaign. First, Reagan's campaign persona bridged a gap between local politics and national

issues. Put another way, many conservative Texans embraced Reagan because they believed he

stood for their values. Though many of these values came to be defined by issues that

transcended local issues, Reagan and the populist conservative rhetoric effectively showed how

such issues threatened to affect individual neighborhoods, homes, and families. Second,

Reagan's victory in Texas was so overwhelming that no conservative in the state could overlook

it as an indicator of a changing political climate. In the coming years, Texas Republican leaders

84 Text of Governor Ronald Reagan's Nationwide Television Address, ABC, July 6, 1976, Box 121, Folder
6: Press Releases, 1976, James A. Baker Papers, SGML.
85Letter from Michael and Sara Walsh, to Governor Reagan, July 6, 1976, Box 75, Citizens for Reagan
Papers, HI.
86 Sears Correspondence, May 1976, Box 71, Citizens for Reagan Papers; Letter from WJ Martin, Jr. to
Citizens for Reagan Committee, July 30, 1976, Box 75, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.
8 Reasons for Reagan: Texas Citizens for Reagan Primary News," Box 6, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI.










Eggers's campaign was further undermined by a small cadre of Texas Republicans whose

power had long been contingent not upon party building but on patronage from the national

GOP. Fearing that Eggers' s moderation in the face of Smith' s conservatism would play into the

hands of liberals seeking to foment two-party reform in Texas, many of these Texas Republicans

shunned Eggers as a danger to the state's conservative balance. At the same time, conservative

Republicans attempting to spark realignment were disgruntled over the prospects of touting a

moderate against Preston Smith's tough-nosed law & order. In a chaotic political culture in

which the Eggers nomination was viewed almost like a pawn in a larger chess match over the

future of state party politics, Eggers struggled to find conservative supporters in Texas and

utterly failed to mobilize conservative Democrats against Smith.43

Eggers was also ineffective in his efforts to attract conservative support via radio or

television and, instead, took to the highways where he spent the summer of 1968 not only

courting conservatives, but also minorities, labor leaders, and liberals--to all of whom he argued

a viable second party was critical. Among liberals and minorities, Eggers was surprisingly

successful and even earned the endorsement of the notably liberal political periodical, the Texa~s

Observer. The Republican's appeal to moderate and liberal Democrats matured in part thanks to

a series of effective campaign speeches dealing with the long-held populist notions that Austin

politics was a "good 'ole boys club" and inherently corrupt. Along these lines, Eggers attempted

to draw connections between the conservative Texas Democratic establishment and the

credibility gap problems of Lyndon Johnson' s White House.44





43 Candidate Strategy for 1968: Confidential (First Draft), March 6, 1967, Folder 3, Box 639, Tower Senate
Club, JTP.
44 Texas Observer, October 18, 1968, 1-4; "Republican Research Report: Is the Democratic Party Fit to
Govern? May 15, 1968," PRP, Part II, Reel 6, Frame 328.










popular among liberals within the state party. Many anti-Guest Democrats were furious upon

receiving the letter and many threatened to (and some did) revoke their support for Carter as a

result. 901 JUSt days prior to the letter being mailed from Carter campaign headquarters, Texas

Land Commissioner Bob Armstrong, whose leadership in the state Democratic Party was

paramount in 1976, publicly announced that he would not support the re-election of Guest to the

state party chairmanship. Armstrong and his supporters were angry and embarrassed that the

party's standard bearer for that year had, without consultation of the Texas membership,

endorsed the controversially conservative Guest in opposition to a number of potential liberal

options.91

The Guest affair was indicative of the underlying disunity that plagued the Texas

Democratic Party. Liberal organizer Billie Carr was particularly angry over Carter's

endorsement of Guest and, on behalf of liberals within the Texas Democratic Party, contacted the

Carter campaign to demand an apology. Carr felt obliged to inform Carter that the fight for the

state chairmanship dated back to factional squabbles in 1952 and that the infusion of an

"official" endorsement was a maj or setback on the path toward ideological reconciliation and

unity. Like many other Texas liberals, Carr supported a progressive agenda that prioritized

greater attention to minority voters and could maintain working relations with black, Chicano,

rural, and other progressive caucuses.92 In August, Hamilton Jordan, overwhelmed with letters

from Texas liberals voicing their displeasure over Carter' s "butting in" to state issues, issued an

apology to the Texas Democratic delegation. At the same time, he blamed the use of Carter-

Mondale letterhead for the endorsement of Guest as a mistake made by campaign aide Frank



901 Miscellaneous Files, Box 1 1, Records of the Office of Congressional Liaison, Frank Moore Files, JCL.
91 September 7, 1976, Letter from Billie Carr to Hamilton Jordan, "Texas Folder," Box 219, Issues Office,
Rick Hutcheson Files, Jimmy Carter Papers (Pre-Presidential): 1976 Presidential Campaign Files, JCL.
92 Ibid.










explores the enduring quest to gain political advantage by either shaking and / or ascribing

various ideological labels to oppositional parties and candidates. Chapter Three delves more

deeply into divisions within the Texas Democratic Party between 1967 and 1970, with the

political campaigns of 1968 providing much of the contextual framework. Chapter Four

illustrates how local, state, and national scandals involving political figures and elected onfcials

undermined partisan loyalties in Texas and increased the salience of a populist-conservative

rhetoric that emphasized government as the true enemy and obstacle of the people.

Part Two, entitled "Constructing Two-Party Texas," seeks to explain how loyalties to

political ideology combined with populist-oriented rej sections of the federal status quo to

overcome the tradition of the "Yellow-Dog Democrat" in Texas, culminating with Ronald

Reagan's ascension to the White House in 1980. Chapter Five details perhaps the most

significant political battle to take place in Texas in the post-war era: Ronald Reagan's 1976

challenge to Gerald Ford for the GOP presidential nomination. This contest transformed the

Republican Party in Texas, allowing for the embrace of a conservative grassroots coalition

working on behalf of both Reagan Republicans and Reagan Democrats in Texas. Chapter Six

analyzes the socioeconomic conditions operating in Texas during the late 1970s and how those

conditions contributed to the coalescence of conservative grassroots organizers and political

candidates under a newly strengthened Republican tent. Also critical to the analysis of Chapter

Five is the maturation of anti-liberal rhetoric, used effectively by several candidates and not so-

effectively by others, which provided the state GOP with a better sense of how to manipulate

public opinion through the use of ideologically oriented rhetoric. Finally, Chapter Seven

explores the ultimate fusion of conservative factions, the maturation of image-management

strategies, and the mobilization of a conservative Texas grassroots working together on behalf of










encourage a scholarly reexamination of regional identities and political culture in the

understudied post-war American West and Southwest. This is a story of modern conservatism as

it evolved in one of the nation' s largest and most politically important states during the

tumultuous seventeen-year period between John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas and

Ronald Reagan's ascension to the presidency in 1980.

Put more succinctly, the story of modern American conservatism cannot be told without

understanding the central role that Texas played in its evolution. There are two key reasons why

the exploration of Texas is vital to moving historians closer to a more complete understanding of

post-war politics and modern conservatism. The first of these reasons seems the more obvious of

the two. Texas, through its sheer size and presence, has commanded a national stage and exerted

national influence for decades. Yet, this influence has dramatically increased since the early

1960s. The most visible manifestation of this influence has been the persistence of Texas

political leaders operating with national power. From Lyndon Johnson to John Connally and

Lloyd Bentsen, from John Tower to James Baker and Tom DeLay, from George Bush to Dick

Cheney to George W. Bush, no state has contributed as heavily to the images and

transformations of post-war American politics as has Texas.

Power, though, comes in many forms. To properly understand post-war American

conservatism, one must explore more than just top-down traditional politics--though such a

focus remains important. Rather, the development of modern conservatism must be understood

in Texas because the narrative of post-war American politics necessitates a balanced exploration,

not simply between traditional political history and the new political history of the grassroots,

but also between the various sources from which power was derived. Therefore, the second

reason why Texas stands as such a vital cog to the historical understanding of post-war American









The second measure of concern to those Texans with a vested interest in the energy

industry was Carter's Fuel Use Act of 1978. This act was designed to be the impetus that pushed

power plants and other maj or consumers of oil and gas away from those energy sources and

toward coal, with the ultimate intention that by 1990, no power plants in the United States would

use natural gas. Included in the act was an allocation of $4 billion for a select group of power

plants in the Northeast. Texas power plants estimated their cost in capital outlays for this

conversion to be in excess of $30 billion. In 1978, the vast maj ority of the nation' s power plants

ran on some combination of gas and oil, with Texas being one of the major suppliers. Texans

holding natural gas interests were especially concerned that the supplies they had been sitting on

for years would go to waste.3

Not surprisingly then, the maj ority of Texans supported measures to protect the status

quo when it came to the oil and gas industries. By the late 1970s, nearly half of the state's

revenue came from oil and gas companies. Already unhappy with the Fuel Use Act, many

Texans also feared the unknown repercussions of the Windfall Profits Tax. The Texas Energy

and National Resources Advisory Council hired the Interstate Oil Compact Commission to

conduct a study on the potential economic impact of the Windfall Profits Tax in Texas and found

that state producers would "lose and estimated 69. 16 million barrels of unproduced oil" if the

proposed tax were to be implemented. The study further proj ected that the Windfall Profits Tax

would cost the state upwards of $2.4 billion in crude oil revenue lost from the closure of a

projected 3,385 marginal wells. The potency of this finding was widespread as marginal wells

affected the vast maj ority of Texas oil businesses, not simply the larger and more well-known

corporate producers. The study's doomsday scenario forecast the "premature abandonment" of

over 13,000 oil wells nationwide and ten-year losses of 175 million barrels of unproduced oil,

32Texas Briefing: Office of Policy Coordination, Box 24, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI.










neighbors.14 JOhnson's stand on civil rights temporarily gave Republicans a boost in the South,

but the GOP received little such boost in Texas.'

This helps to explain why, in 1964, Texas Republicans were so dej ected to be running a

presidential campaign against Johnson rather than Kennedy. Texas Republicans believed

Kennedy would dump Johnson from the ticket in 1964. Instead, like a battalion rallying to the

cause of a wounded comrade, conservative Democrats--beginning at the very top of the state

Democratic Party--began to publicly embrace Johnson and solidify the state's Democratic base.

Former Texas Governor and conservative Democrat Allan Shivers, who gained national fame for

his repeated endorsements of Eisenhower and Nixon, was among the first of many Texas

conservatives to endorse LBJ.16

Johnson's 1964 public relations strategy in Texas rested on loyalty and tradition.

Publicly, the Texas Democratic Party rallied behind its native son. Privately, division was

rampant. Nowhere was this division more bitter than in the growing divide between Texas

Governor John Connally and the liberal faction attempting to operate within the state party.

Much of Connally's political career was spent in LBJ' s shadow and this was certainly true in

1964. Connally, still recovering from the wounds he suffered while riding in Kennedy's vehicle

at the time of the November assassination, reacted with stunned anger as Houston liberal Don

Yarborough announced his candidacy for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Having

been wounded in what some early conspiracy theorists were arguing may have been a botched

assassination attempt against Connally rather than one aimed at just Kennedy, the Texas



14 Texas Issues, Undated, Box 52, Series II, Records of the Democratic National Committee, LBJL.
1s New York Daily News, October 21, 1964, Box 337, Series I, Records of the Democratic National
Committee, LBJL; Matthew D. Lassiter, The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (Princeton, NJ:
Princeton University Press, 2005), 231.
16 Transcript, John Tower Oral History Interview I, 8/8/71, by Joe B. Frantz, Internet Copy, LBJL; Roger
M. Olien, From Token to Triumph: The Texas Republicans Since 1920 (Dallas: SMU Press, 1982), 188.










Democratic Party.83 On the other side of the aisle, the state Republican Party, by 1976, would be

in the middle of a civil war between the established party leadership--whose loyalty to Nixon

bordered on the irrational--and the populist-leaning conservatives whose champion was a

former Hollywood actor and governor of Califomnia. 8

Scandals like Watergate contributed to the breaking apart of the established political

status quo in Texas. The result was a tumultuous campaign culture in which more political

organizations began to operate in and through the grassroots. The birth and development of such

groups reflected the urgency and angst motivating many Texans. Another important result, and

perhaps a more tangibly felt one, was the Democratic wave that swept most elections across the

state in 1974. Yet it was clear to many conservative Texans, even at the time, that the

Democratic successes in 1974 had little to do with the Democratic or Republican Parties and

much to do with Richard Nixon and Watergate. Richard Nixon had never been popular in Texas

and he knew it, which is what drove his obsession to curry favor in that state during his

presidency. Nixon's 1972 triumph had been a rejection of McGovemn, so when Texas

conservatives had a legitimate reason to turn against Nixon, the turn was easily made.

In 1974, most candidates in Texas, the maj ority of whom were still Democrats, ran overt

campaigns dealing with issues of corruption in Washington, DC, while state GOP establishment

regulars, still trying to maintain loyalty to Nixon and the new Ford admini stration--loyalty based

on patronage and decades of tradition whereby the national party was the only thing keeping the

state GOP afloat-struggled to reconcile their party loyalties with a growing conservative

populist fervor.8



83Texas Monthly, April 1974, "Bob and George Go to Washington or The Post-Watergate Scramble."
4H~ouston Post, May 8, 1974, Box 4C519, Harris County Democratic Party Records, CAH: Newsweek,
November 24, 1975, Box 2, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI.
85Brands, The Strange Death of 4merican Liberalism, 132; Cannon, Governor Reagan, 386.










priorities would shift. Whether in public or in private, O'Donnell was adamant in his support for

"true conservatism" and threatened to bolt the GOP if New York Govemnor Nelson Rockefeller

or Michigan Govemnor George Romney received the 1964 nomination. Privately, O'Donnell

dreamed of turning the Republican Party into the only suitable and reliable home for

conservaltives.3

Whether it was Tower, O'Donnell, or Goldwater himself, the nascent conservatism in

Texas was almost synonymous with an emboldened anti-liberalism. "Liberals have taken us too

far to the left for the good of the nation, particularly when we find ourselves in a worldwide

struggle with the forces of the extreme left," Goldwater wrote Tower in 1963. "They have

deserted the lessons of history and perverted the real meaning of the word liberal." Liberals,

not communists were to blame for the nation's weakness, he argued.32 Texas Republicans,

though small in number and lacking significant influence, used Goldwater' s 1964 campaign to

highlight what the Republican National Committee (RNC) called the "Big Lie of Big

Government.""

In 1964, Texas Republicans hoped to alter their state's political culture. In order to do

that, the public would need to see their ideological convictions as under assault from an outside

force. This was exactly what the state GOP hoped to accomplish as it asserted connections

between Johnson, Democrats, liberalism, communism, and the Cold War. Despite its best

efforts, however, the Texas GOP failed in 1964 to achieve its goals. Instead, ideological labels

would be used most effectively against, rather than for, the Republican cause. Emphasizing


3 Secret: For a Free People," National Republican Convention: Platform Committee, July 1964, Folder
13, Box 442, Tower Senate Club, 1964 Goldwater Presidential Campaign, JTP.
31 "Liberalism has Failed," by Barry Goldwater, in "The Conservative Tide: A Student Joumnal of Fact and
Opinion," November, 1963, Folder 7, Box 17, Press Office, JTP.
32Perlstein, Before the Storm, CH 4.
3 Barry Goldwater Speaks Out on the Issues," Box 3H1514, Stephen Shadegg Papers/Barry Goldwater
Collection, CAH: "Speaker's Handbook." Box 3H1513, Stephen Shadegg Papers/Barry Goldwater Collection, CAH.










might have hurt. An important question is how much Tower' s courting of the Hispanic vote, or

Carr' s fumbling of it, changed the outcome of the election.113

Depressed voter turnout is the most likely answer to this question.114 Tower's campaign

emphasized the importance of decreasing voter turnout, particularly among the most traditionally

reliable constituents of the Democratic base."' Republicans knew that when two conservatives

ran against one another in Texas, Democrats almost always prevailed. Tradition and loyalty

gave many their only reason to show up. The GOP wanted to obliterate that tradition either by

forcing realignment, or in the short run, giving both conservatives and liberals no reason to vote

at all. Mexican-Americans were more disillusioned with Carr than they were enamored with

Tower and stayed home in large numbers. Liberal Democrats in Texas had long been a minority,

but they had also traditionally rallied to the party during the general election. In this case, they

did not.

Soon after their candidate's defeat, Carr' s supporters organized an early public relations

effort designed to undermine and eventually unseat the liberal United States Senator Ralph

Yarborough, whose re-election was still four years away. This corps of conservative Democrats

began to publicly express dissatisfaction with the Johnson administration, and emphasized the

ineptitude and weakness of liberalism at the state and federal level.116 Not wanting to be left out

of the anti-liberal parade, John Connally once again entered the anti-Yarborough fray, publicly

linking the liberal Texas senator to radicalism, revolution, and lawlessness. The not-so-subtle




113 W.N. Dorsett to Waggoner Carr, November 28, 1966; John W. Key, Jr. to Waggoner Carr, November
29, 1966, Box 2, 1966 Senate Campaign Correspondence File, Waggoner Carr Papers, SWC.
114 Olien, From Token to Triumph, 206-211.
Its Candidate Strategy for 1968: Confidential (First Draft), March 6, 1967, Folder 3, Box 639, Tower
Senate Club, JTP.
116 W.N. Dorsett to Waggoner Carr, November 28, 1966, Box 2, 1966 Senate Campaign Correspondence
File, Waggoner Carr Papers, SWC; John W. Key, Jr. to Waggoner Carr, November 29, 1966, Box 2, 1966 Senate
Campaign Correspondence File, Waggoner Carr Papers, SWC.










Reagan's media strategy in Texas also offered a glimpse into future GOP efforts. In

Reagan's earliest radio ads placed in Texas, Carter, who--along with his administration--was

referred to disparagingly as "them," was identified as responsible for the nation's ills. Reagan

appealed to young voters worried about getting j obs in the "Carter Economy."' Reagan' s

handlers were also supremely confident in their candidate's television savvy.146 Republican

pollster Richard Wirthlin told Reagan that he was "the best electronic media candidate in

history" and encouraged the GOP presidential nominee to use his humor to disarm Carter while,

at the same time, using his public appearances to stress optimism in contrast to Carter' s

pessimism and "acquiescence to mediocrity."'"

Reagan received encouragement and advice from a host of media advisors and campaign

strategists, but also from ex-political figures. In September, Richard Nixon wrote to Reagan that,

"In the Einal analysis, in a close election it comes down to how people look at the two men. You

come over on TV like gangbusters and, despite his glibness with facts and Eigures, [Carter]

comes over like a little man."' As good as Reagan was with the media, Carter's campaign

appearances in Texas floundered. Carter's appearances in Texas were usually scheduled in the

heat of the day, which noticeably annoyed the press team following him. Additionally, the press

corps traveling with the President had been hammering Carter for not establishing a clearer

theme in his campaign, and belittled the retreads of anti-Republican and Democratic-loyalty

messages to which Carter almost always reverted. Furthermore, the cloud of the Iran-Hostage

Crisis typically followed Carter to each campaign stop, where local reporters couched the


14 Political Field Operations, Texas Ads, Box 376, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980
Campaign Files, Regional Political Files, RRL.
146 MemOrandum to: Ronald Reagan, from: James A. Baker, re: Debate Strategy Robert Teeter,
September Box 134, James A. Baker Papers, SGML.
147Memorandum to: Ronald Reagan, from: Richard Wirthlin, re: Summary of the Debate Strategy. October
24, 1980, Box 134, Folder 6: Strategy Team, 1980, James A. Baker Papers, SGML.
'4s Letter from Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan, September 12, 1980, Box 134, A. Baker Papers, SGML.










criticized Carter for contributing to the nation's "welfare mess" and also linked busing and

affirmative action to government incompetence and wastefulness. He accused Democrats of

waging "devastating attacks against the people" and assured those in south Houston that he and

the GOP were "on their side." He spoke of Democrats waging "economic warfare against

American families" and charged liberal congressmen with "ineptitude." In a city struggling to

reconcile issues like busing, Reagan's speech to this audience of affluent suburban Houston

families was tailor-made. Regardless of location, though, Reagan's language was always plain,

conversational, and emotional.136

Reagan was just as effective and ubiquitous in campaigns elsewhere in Texas.' Bashing

Jimmy Carter was Reagan's specialty and was almost always effective. Regardless of the issue

being discussed-economics, morality, or national security--Reagan related failure after failure

to Carter, Carter to liberalism, and liberalism to the Democratic Party.' Reagan gave Texas

conservatives an ideal image. In his rhetoric, Reagan, more than any other political figure in the

state, tore down the barriers of loyalty and tradition that had kept many Texans voting Democrat

for so long. "Family, work, neighborhood, freedom, peace," Reagan told several Texas

audiences in 1978. "We should not repeat those words until they become second nature. We

should meditate on their meaning and how our policies can be applied to them. They should be

on our lips. But, they must also be in our hearts, just as they are in the hearts of Americans all

across this country."139 He referred to Democrats as "elitists" and quoted Thomas Jefferson as if

the two really had been good friends growing up. He spoke of freedom and hope and contrasted

136 Remarks by Ronald Reagan, September 11, 1978, Box 24, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan,
1980 Campaign Files, Hannaford / California Headquarters Files, RRL.
137 Remarks by Ronald Reagan, October 17, 1978, Box 24, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980
Campaign Files, Hannaford / California Headquarters Files, RRL: Campaign Records, 1978, Box 13, File 20, WCP.
13s Letter from Tom C. Reed to Mike Deaver, June 13, 1978, Campaign Records, 1978, Box 14, File 6,
WCP.
139 Remarks by Ronald Reagan, September 12, 1978. Box 24, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan,
1980 Campaign Files, Hannaford / California Headquarters Files, RRL.










did not begin in the early 1970s, but it did rapidly mature. At the same time that distrust in

government seemed to be on the rise, the ubiquity of scandal and corruption contributed to a

statewide reconsideration of partisan loyalties, opened the door for liberal advancement within

the state Democratic Party, and lent credence to the most central tenet of populist

conservatism--that government had replaced big business as the chief obstacle standing between

the American people and honest opportunity. In short, the politics of scandal and corruption

hastened ideological reconsiderations in Texas, confused the public's partisan loyalties, and

contributed mightily to the breakdown of the established leadership in both parties.

Outside of Watergate, the scandals that most Americans remember from the early 1970s

were, first, former State Department employee Daniel Ellsberg' s leaking of the so-called

"Pentagon Papers" to the New York Times in 1971 and, second, the resignation of Vice President

Spiro T. Agnew in 1973 following his conviction for tax evasion. Texas Republicans, even those

close to the Nixon White House, took opportunities like these to bolster their own credentials as

honest politicians. "I detest graft and corruption," John Tower wrote in the Dalla~s Times Herald

in October 1973. "I have no patience whatsoever with those who violate their public trust and

use public office for private gain."3 Nonetheless, national scandals, though highly influential,

were only partly responsible for Texans' growing distaste for all things political in the early

1970s. There were plenty of scandals deep in the heart of Texas to bring the issue closer to

home.

The most famous of these corruption tales became known as the Sharpstown Stock-Fraud

Scandal. In January 1971, attorneys for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission



SDraft of Op-Ed for Dallas Times Herald, by John Tower, October 1973, Folder 38, Box 17, Press Office,
John G. Tower Papers, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX (Hereafter cited as JTP): Undated Houston
Chronicle, Box 4C519, Harris County Democratic Party Records, Center for American History, University of Texas
at Austin (Hereafter cited as CAH).










Social and Religious Conservatism

The infusion of values, morality, and broader social issues into the state's political

landscape only added to the potency of socioeconomic contributions to the growing storm of

conservative Republicanism in Texas. Social conservatism had played an important role in

Texas for decades. The state, much like the rest of the South, was predominantly Protestant and

traditionally committed to churches and the Judeo-Christian ethics preached within. For years,

though, the state' s Democratic Party had been as much a political champion of these values as

had any other organization in the state. The public's awareness of and reaction to social issues

changed when the conflagration of particular issues in Texas reaching maturity in the late 1970s.

This conflagration intensified the urgency of the perceived threat to particular values and

heightened the need for state and local politicians to identify themselves with one side or another

on these various issues.

Thus, social and religious conservatism in Texas changed and flourished during the late

1970s. The growing popularity of the Republican Party in Texas was not the result of a simple

and uniform realignment of religious rural Democrats into the GOP tent. Republicans in north

Dallas and west Houston, for instance, had little patience or interest for the teetotaling of rural

Baptists. These urban and suburban Texans blamed government welfare for the rusting over of

the Northeast and were typically more interested in maintaining private investment opportunities

in their state than with the protection of Judeo-Christian ethics. Stereotypically, sophisticated

Houstonians and Dallasites enjoyed fine wine and gourmet food, but had little taste for the

philanthropy of Northeastern wealth, which was, as they saw it, insincere. Upper class Texans

paid little attention to social problems throughout most of the 1970s, paying only lip service to

civil rights. Yet, many affluent Texas conservatives also did not have any tolerance for the










with criticisms of how the nation had devolved under Johnson' s leadership, LBJ seemed under

attack from multiple directions. In Texas, however, Johnson's home state advantage seemed to

be dissipating primarily because of attacks from within.

John Connally and Democratic Factionalism

No conservative Democrat possessed a more loyal following in Texas than John

Connally. In 1966, then in his second of three terms as governor, Connally was among several

conservatives who, at the Texas State Democratic Party Convention, attempted to strike a

preventive blow against any potential liberal insurgency that seemed to threaten the conservative

stronghold in the state. Connally's weapon of choice was a rhetorical call to ideological arms,

couched as a patriotic duty to the independence and frontier spirit of his state, under assault from

encroaching federalism. "Greatness is not an attribute of government, but of the people who

create them and are their masters," Connally reminded those in attendance. "If this era is to be

remembered as a time of greatness, it must be because the people stood taller, rather than

because their government grew larger."25 Despite its economic dependence on federal military

contracts, the general attitude of conservative Texans toward government ranged from reluctance

and suspicion to aversion and hostility. Such sensibilities reflected both the historical legacies of

populism in the state, as well as populism's changing nature.

In addition to its populist heritage of anti-elitism and rural political awareness, Texas also

had strong conservative underpinnings. Traditionalists and grassroots conservatives had begun

to consider the social and political uproar of the 1960s as evidence of a national crisis. In the

midst of that crisis, Texas conservatives recognized the growing importance of communicating

and codifying ideology in such a way as to unify the grassroots. These conservatives, active in


25 Program, Texas State Democratic Convention, September 20, 1966, Austin, TX, Box 615, Preston Smith
Papers, SWC.










students, reignited the issue of race and federal encroachment on state and local rights,

particularly in Texas where civil rights activism of the 1960s had been cooler than in other parts

of the nation. so

It is when studying school integration and busing policies in the late 1960s and early

1970s that Texas seems most Southern." Nixon typically considered Texas to part of the South

only when discussing school administration policies, but even then distinguished in

conversations between Houston, South and East Texas, and the rest of the state. For most

Texans, the issue of racial integration was less heated than the specific solution proffered in

busing. Scholars like Matthew Lassiter have chronicled the suburban reactions to busing in

places like Charlotte and Atlanta and have found the coalition of moderate suburban whites,

working within local politics to protect what was often referred to as assembly and property

taxpayers' rights, at the forefront of new political responses to race issues.

Such coalitions were certainly operating in Texas. For instance, Dr. Mitchell Young of

Texas helped organize the United Concerned Citizens of America (UCCA)-an anti-busing

league dedicated to maintaining consistent desegregation standards nationwide. Young

represented a faction of suburban whites in the South who resented being targeted and

reprimanded differently, as they saw it, than other noncompliant school districts in other parts of

the nation.8

As John Connally had argued in the mid-1960s when he criticized the massive resistance

politics of Alabama and Mississippi, many Texans had hoped to avoid federal intervention even

if it meant compliance with school desegregation. While some Texans believed they had been

more than compliant, many also resented the noncompliance of East Texas districts that they


so Tyler, Ed., et. al., The New Handbook of Texas.
si Lassiter, Silent Majority, 225.









Nevada, Utah, and Colorado--its primary source of membership was in Texas. Founded in large

part by Jose Angel Gutierrez and Mario Compean, both of whom had been involved in Chicano

activism in Texas since just prior to the 1968 elections, La Raza first gained attention in the

state' s political establishment as a maj or threat to minority and liberal support of the Texas

Democratic Party. La Raza spoke, according to most conservative whites in the state, as a voice

of radicalism--of Mexican-American economic, social, and political self-determination.7

By April 1970, La Raza was already winning local races in South Texas--fifteen to be

exact--and existed as a majority on two school boards. Hispanic participation in Texas public

education via La Raza coincided with two landmark court decisions, both of which altered the

racial landscape of many public schools and brought the issue of busing, so salient among

suburban parts of the South, into Texas.

The first of these cases was the United States Supreme Court case Cisneros v. Corpus

Christi Independent School District, which was decided in 1970. Two years earlier, a coalition

of Mexican-American parents living in Corpus Christi filed suit against the city's school district,

charging that their children had been discriminated against by a de facto segregation system.

Prior precedent in the state had allowed for the evolution of similar "dual-school systems" in

places like Corpus Christi on the argument that Hispanics, and in this case Mexican Americans

specifically, were not legally identified as a separate race but merely "other white." Arguments

on behalf of the Mexican American parents rested upon many of the same principles of identity

politics and Chicano activism that characterized the impetus of La Raza' s founding. Citing

identifiable and distinct cultural, religious, physical, and linguistic distinctions, the Supreme

Court sided with the parents, thus giving Mexican Americans the legal recognition they had been



78La Raza Unida Party, Box 17, New Left Collection, HI.










watershed for Republican acceptability in the Lone Star State. Fueled largely by the momentum

of Reagan's 1976 bid and Texans' dissatisfaction with Carter, Clements hastened the

reconciliation of divisions that had left the Texas GOP temporarily fractured after 1976. He

helped recast the party as a new and stronger coalition of fiscal and social conservatives, united

by a common interest in anti-communism and anti-Carter liberalism. In doing so, Clements also

attracted disaffected conservative Democrats--one more link in the chain that moved the state

toward large-scale partisan realignment.

Yet, not every Republican who ran for public office in Texas in 1978 had the same good

fortune as Bill Clements. James Baker, for instance, fell twelve points short in his bid to win the

office of Texas Attorney General, losing to the state's incumbent Secretary of State, Mark White.

Still, Baker' s campaign was revealing. Having run Gerald Ford's 1976 campaign, Baker

understood the Texas political culture and intended to anchor his campaign to anti-liberal and

anti-Carter appeals."2 Baker had not, however, expected to run against the conservative

Democrat, White, but rather against Price Daniel, Jr., the liberal son of the former Texas

governor of the same name. White scored an unexpected, yet relatively decisive victory over

Daniel in the Texas Democratic Primary. During that campaign, White attacked Daniel as a

"liberal" with ties to the Carter administration. The Texas press did not assist Daniel in shaking

the label, and many metropolitan newspapers ran editorials critiquing the extent of Daniel's

leftward leanings."3 White further infused a sense of state pride and populist provincialism into

the race when he associated Daniel's campaign with "foreign influence"--which he defined as

federal encroachment and the influence of Northern "outsiders" migrating into Texas.114




112 Olien, From Token to Triumph, 262.
113 Miscellaneous Files, Box 37, Folder 1: General 73-78, James A. Baker Papers, SGML.
114 Baker News Digest and Analysis, No. 2, April 18, 1978, Box 37, James A. Baker Papers, SGML.










came to realize that Reagan wa~s the path toward a two-party state. Third, Reagan's supporters in

Texas rej ected Ford in 1976 as part of the same liberal establishment that controlled the

Democratic Party and appeared to be controlling the state GOP. These supporters charged in

1976 that "they"--meaning the faction of populist Reagan conservatives--had not had their

values considered by Ford from the moment Nixon resigned in 1974, and many cited the

selection of Nelson Rockefeller to the vice presidency as a prime indicator that Ford's GOP was

a tool of Eastern Establishment liberalism. 8

As Ronald Reagan's values, concerns, and ideologies were increasingly identified with

those of conservative Texans, many conservative Texas Democrats began to see themselves as

marginalized within their own party. This sense of marginalization was a feeling long-shared by

Texas liberals, though such concerns began to slowly dissipate in 1976 as liberals viewed

Reagan's emergence in Texas as a gateway to for their own advancement within the state

Democratic Party.89

Texans for Jimmy

Though seemingly less divisive than the bitter rivalries that plagued the GOP,

Democratic factionalism and image management still played a significant role in shaping Texas

political culture in 1976. Texas Democrats began to fracture as early as that summer, when

former Georgia Governor and 1976 Democratic Party presidential nominee Jimmy Carter used

his own campaign's letterhead to advocate the re-election of Calvin Guest as Texas Democratic

Party Chairman. Guest had been a loyal Bentsen and Dolph Briscoe supporter and was not


""Draft Press Release, Television News Inc., Undated. "Reagan reveals he was not consulted by Ford on
VP: California Governor Issues Warning not to Ignore '72 Mandate," Box 13, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.
89 Dallas M~orning News, April 21, 1976, 1A: Transcript, Issues and answers, ABC News, May 2, 1976,
Box 6, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI; Memorandum, From: Dick Bryan, to: Larry Uzzell, Re: Ford's Electability,"
June 10, 1976, Box 27, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Memorandum For: Rogers Morton, From: Peter Dailey,
May 14, 1976, Box B4, Hughes Subject File Advertising Primary Campaign, President Ford Committee Records,
1975-76, GFL.










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432.

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Schneider, Gregory. Cadres for Conservatism: Young Americans for Freedom and the Rise of
the Contemporary Right. New York: New York University Press, 1999.

Schoenwald, Jonathan. A Time for Choosing: The Rise of2~odern American Conservatism. New
York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Schulman, Bruce. The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society, and Politics.
New York: The Free Press, 2001.

.From the Cotton Belt to Sunbelt: Federal Policy, Economic Development, and the
Transformation of the .Limbl, 1938-1980. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

Schwartz, Tony. The Responsive Chord. Garden City, NJ: Anchor Press, 1973.

Shirley, Craig. Reagan 's Revolution: The Untold Story of the Camnpaign that Started it All.
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Smith, Oran. The Rise ofBaptist Republicanism. New York: New York University Press, 1997.

Sugrue, Thomas J. The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race andlnequality in Postwar Detroit.
Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996.

Tyler, Ronald, Ed., et. al. The New Handbook of Texas. Austin, TX: Texas State Historical
Association, 1996.

Viguerie, Richard A. The Establishment vs. The People: Is a New Populist Revolt on the Way?
Chicago, 1L: Regnery Gateway, Inc., 1984.

Ward, Brian. Media, Culture, and the M~odern Afr~ican American Freedom Strugle.~l Gainesville:
University Press of Florida, 2001.

.Radio and the StrCflne l~for Civil Rights in the .Liahl Gainesville: University Press
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1953.

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Texas in the 1960 Presidential Election. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1961.










The ascendancy of conservative Republicanism in Texas required the conflagration of

numerous events, movements, issues, and cultural changes--acting together to foment change.

This was a complex process--one that experienced many ups and downs. One maj or component

to this "perfect storm" would be the iconographic associations between individual leaders and

broad ideological strands. And it was in this political culture in Texas that national leaders like

Ronald Reagan-even more than local leaders like John Tower--came to personify ascendant

modern conservatism. As Reagan equated failures in Vietnam with the failures of liberalism,

and made conservative Republicanism more respectable in Texas, he emerged as a popular

icon.131 As television transmitted images from across the globe into individual Texans' homes,

image gained a new level of political importance. The political culture in Texas changed

between 1963 and 1966 as parties dealt with the need for better marketing strategies and public

relations, while issues and events slowly began to expose ideological polarities within political

parties. Between 1967 and 1970, the conservative image, to most Texans, would seem safer and

more familiar than anything liberals could offer.



















131 Transcript: Town Meeting of the World as broadcast over the CBS Television and Radio Networks,
May 15, 1967, Box 368, White House Central Files: Public Relations, LBJL; Lou Cannon, Governor Reagan: His
Rise to Power (New York: Public Affairs, 2003), CH 19; Steven F. Hayward, The Age ofReagan: The Fall of the
Old Liberal Order, 1964-1980 (New York: Prima Publishing, 2001), 140-150.










Republican Party, liberal leadership would never overtake the conservative establishment that

dominated the Texas Democratic Party. These Democrats denounced the conservative Carr as

"entirely un-Democratic"-proclaiming that their definition of Democratic meant a far friendlier

atmosphere for liberalism in Texas. They did not assume that their support would turn the tide of

the campaign, but did see their refusal to toe the party line as a symbolic gesture of defiance.95

Tower benefited from the liberal response to Carr. The Republican Senator had built a

respectable conservative record during his tenure in the upper chamber. At the same time, many

conservative Democrats failed to rally behind Carr for two reasons. First, Carr did not foster a

great deal of enthusiasm, whether because of his personality or mixed record. Second, many

conservative Democrats simply did not pay much attention to the race, either out of ambivalence

or over-confidence in their candidate's prospects. Meanwhile, Texas Republicans also worked

hard to appeal to Hispanic voters in 1966. The GOP's strategy for appealing to Hispanics was

based on what El Paso County GOP Chairman Hilary Sandoval, Jr. called "a moral obligation to

sell ALL Americans on Republican principles." In researching Hispanic communities across

Texas, Republicans began to successfully market conservative principles in the state as

uniformly "American" and color-blind in appeal.96 The biggest aid Republicans like Tower

received however, came not from the rewards of their own research but from liberal Democrats

deliberately encouraging Hispanic voters to vote against Carr. This strategy illustrates an

important reality about how race and politics functioned in Texas during the 1960s. Whereas the

manifestation of conservative politics was greatly affected by the grassroots response to the

African-American civil rights movement operating in much of the Deep South, the politics of



95Texas Observer, October 28, 1966, 7: Texas Observer, December 9, 1966, 24, Folder 11, Box 63, Press
Office, JTP: Unidentified 1966 newspaper article, Folder 7, Box 63, Press Office, JTP.
96 ((How to Canvass and Win the Latin-American Voter of Low Income," El Paso County GOP, Box 2,
Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.










its own independent school district. Thus, in addition to being a cog in the nation's military

industrial complex, an epicenter of religious conservatism, and a city with a renewed focus on

crime, the DFW Metroplex was also emblematic of larger patterns of white migration out of city

limits and into more cohesive middle-class white communities, complete with their own school

districts, zoning commissions, tax policies, and city managers.3

By 1980, economists ranked Fort Worth, with its mix of military and agricultural

industry, as home to the ninth best economy in the nation. San Antonio was ranked fourth,

Dallas second, and Houston--the state's biggest city--was ranked first. The fact that Texas had

the most vibrant economy in the nation should have been good news for incumbents. Instead,

the vibrant Texas economy moved more residents into the middle class, which resulted in new

construction, extended suburban boundaries, encouraged sprawl, and hastened ideological

polarization. The thriving economy attracted businesses and labor from across the nation, many

of whom relocated to Texas without the baggage of political loyalty dogmatically tying them

down to a single party."

For all of these reasons, Texas was at the epicenter of the Republican Party's growing

national strength. Not only did presidential contenders George Bush and John Connally hail

from Texas, but Ronald Reagan's organization was so well-established in the state that political

observers like Tom Wicker of the New York Times declared it to be the "real base of the Reagan

campaign." Yet, it was not solely for this reason that Texas became the locus of attention for the

1980 presidential campaign. Of all the Southern states Jimmy Carter carried in 1976, none was

as crucial to the incumbent president's re-election prospects as Texas. In the aftermath of the



36Political Brief: Ft. Worth, August 8, 1980, Box 406, Plano Political Brief, October 6, 1980, Box 415,
Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.
37Houston Chamber of Commerce Information Packet, Box 541, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald
Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Briefing Materials Files, RRL.










to government action, Ford mistook his unpopularity in the state as the direct and sole result of

the EPCA.64

Texans' sense that Ford was an agent of expanding federal power grew in large part

because of Reagan's Texas campaign. Across the state, Reagan pounded Ford on issues of

government intrusiveness, citing the national debt, increased inflation, and government

interference in numerous social issues. After a decade and a half of warfare, assassination, and

scandal, Reagan's anti-govemnment focus became a powerful campaign weapon both nationally

and in Texas.65

Two other decisions undermined Ford's popularity in Texas and contributed to the

consolidation of Reagan' s support, as well as to the popular perception that Reagan was the

choice for populist conservatives. Both decisions were made well before the campaign had

begun, but resurfaced in the context of Reagan' s charges that Ford had failed to work for

Texans' interests. The first of these episodes was a controversy between factions of the state

Republican Party and the Ford administration involving the appointment of W. J. Usery, Jr. as

National Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Usery's appointment to

this post in 1975 was immediately met with disdain among key Texas Republicans, Ray Barnhart

in particular. Before serving as co-chairman of the Texas Citizens for Reagan in 1976, Barnhart

served as Chairman of the Harris County Republican Party. In August 1975, while serving in

that capacity, Bamnhart had demanded to both John Tower and Gerald Ford that Usery be

removed from his post. Barnhart's demand, which was initiated in cooperation with county

Republican parties across the state, was based on the opinion that Usery's call to extend


64 Texas Issues Outline, April 3, 1976, Box 19, Presidential Briefing Book, GFL.
65 Dallas Morning News, March 18, 1976, 8A: Dallas Morning News, March 20-21, 1976, 11A, 36A:
Dallas Morning News, April 11, 1976, 1A, 14A: Texas Issues Outline, April 3, 1976, Box 19, Presidential Briefing
Book, GFL: U.S. President, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S.
Government Printing Office, 1974-1977), Gerald Ford, 1976-77, 1101.










experience as a Sunday School teacher at a Lubbock United Methodist Church, his advocacy for

the Death Penalty, and his generally conservative agenda that included tougher crime laws and

the elimination of federal welfare programs. Candidates across Texas used a similar

combination of platform points to bolster their image amongst both rural and urban conservatives

of both social and libertarian persuasions. Conservatism, as a result, came to be identified more

readily with both economic and social policies. The theme these two divergent strands of

conservatism shared in common was hostility toward the federal government and the corruption

produced therein. Politicians like Mahon legitimized social conservatives' agenda by linking

those agendas with more established conservative issues and a pandemic distrust of government

that had spread across the nation in the wake of Watergate.48

As local candidates began to employ Reaganesque qualities in their own campaigns,

Reagan himself was most the most effective weapon conservatives could use to attract social

conservative support in East Texas, where rural Baptist Democrats--the only constituency in the

state ever to show George Wallace any semblance of a loyalty--lived in a cultural atmosphere

that mirrored the Deep South. Reagan's staff initially differentiated between East Texas and the

rest of Texas. While social issues, including those involving race, consolidated Reagan's

conservative support by the close of the campaign, initial forays into the region were

spearheaded by a local grassroots which spoke to area residents first on an economic front. The

East Texas economy, less diversified than other parts of the state, was still dominated by oil in

1976--as it had been for decades. More than 80 percent of the oil used by Allied forces in

World War II had been supplied by East Texas oil fields, a fact of which the citizens of the

region were quite proud. Before Reagan made campaign stops in East Texas, during which his


48 General Correspondence: Letter to Dan Hanna, member, Board of Christian Men, from George Mahon,
September 2, 1976, Box 376, George Mahon Papers, SWC.










examples of chaos, all veiled under a cloak of weakness and no doubt aided by racialized

conceptions of crime and disorder which were simultaneously fueled by the growing militancy of

the national civil rights and early black power movements. These factions dividing segments of

the black community destabilized the maj ority of white Texans' slow progression toward

accepting reform and buttressed stereotypical connections between race and crime. Multiple

congressional campaigns across Texas reflected these efforts. For instance, in 1966 Joe Pool ran

for re-election as a Democrat from the 3rd COngressional district near Dallas. His campaign was

clearly intended to capitalize on a still-fervent anticommunism by linking those sentiments with

the fear and paranoia of violence and crime by way of liberal policies emanating from

Washington. Liberalism, it was charged, was placing white Texans at risk. Though Pool's

campaign did not directly take advantage of the race issue in the same way that his colleagues in

more segregationist states did, the effect was the same. Pool easily won re-election.119

Johnson's response to increasing crime rates gave conservatives more ammunition in its

battle to equate liberalism with weakness. Johnson did not see crime as a local problem.

Stronger law enforcement at the local level would not help, White House aides argued. Rather,

crime had to be attacked at its root level--poverty and the desperation that came with destitution

and discrimination. As early as 1964, the White House tried to avoid direct linkages between

race and crime, other than to argue that racial discrimination had contributed to poverty, and

therefore crime. Crime, the White House argued, was a national problem and required a national

solution. Johnson personally downplayed the problem of crime when he spoke publicly on the

subj ect, dismissing the Law & Order rhetoric of conservatives as a "scare tactic." Regardless of

who was in the right, the public almost uniformly wanted action--not at the federal level, but on

their local street corner. Whether crime was threatening their local neighborhood or not, a

119 Dallas Morning News, November 7, 1966, 18A.










USA." Another such brochure was emblazoned with the slogan, "Johnson/Humphrey must be

elected The alternative is frightening"--with an arrow connecting the word "frightening" to a

menacing photo of Goldwater. Yet another brochure featured a picture of an unsmiling

Goldwater, with arms stretched out, and the slogan, "In these hands--the hope of America' s

Children and Youth. The stakes are Too High for you to Stay at Home."61

The Johnson campaign's fears of a late Goldwater charge did not take into consideration

the ineptitude of Goldwater' s strategists. Barry Goldwater made five separate visits to Texas

during his bid for the White House. During those trips, he managed to rally sizable crowds,

hostile to four more years of, what he called, "Kennedy-Johnson liberalism." One rally in

Wichita Falls, Tower' s home town, drew over 12,000 supporters.62 Yet, his campaign did such a

poor j ob of providing local and state media with advance schedules that most of his rallies in

Texas were never captured on film. Goldwater also inexplicably avoided Dallas, where

conservative sentiment was very strong, and West Texas, which was arguably the region of the

state most tightly connected to the Western populist ideals he hoped to champion.63

Whether Goldwater' s campaign underestimated its level of support in these regions or

overestimated its supporters' loyalty is unclear. What is clear is that during each visit, the Texas

media consistently pushed Goldwater onto the defensive. His speeches failed to deflect charges

of extremism. In fact, Goldwater was so brazen in his rhetoric that his opponents often used the

Arizonian's own words against him. When Goldwater had chances to attack Johnson, he shifted

attention to Hubert Humphrey instead. Almost fearful of attacking a Texan in Texas, Goldwater

deferred to Johnson, and tried to convince apathetic audiences to support such proposals as

Social Security privatization. It was not so much that Goldwater advocated such change which

61 Pamphlets, Stickers, Records of the Texas State Democratic Committee, LBJL.
62 Transcript, John Tower Oral History Interview III, 11/1/71, by Joe B. Frantz, Internet Copy, LBJL.
63 A1|Stin 4lnerican Statesman, November 2, 1964, 1A.









alienated." Populists, Kennedy asserts, endured poverty, servitude, and barbarism, but would not

endure aristocracy. Existing in opposition to the "shadowy elites whose greedy manipulations

oppressed the poor and perverted democracy," populist ire began to shift in more conservative

ways during the second half of the twentieth century, seeing government rather than big business

as the monolithic source of elitist oppression. There are few locations better than Texas in which

to study the political implications and applications of populism. Having been, in some ways,

born out of a central Texas farmers' alliance, the populist movement of the 1880s and 1890s

contributed much to the state's enduring political legacy. Though most of the specific goals and

platform points of Texas populists have changed since 1890, the motivational impulse to strike a

blow for freedom against tyranny meshes well, at least rhetorically, with the state's persistent

kinship to more romantic images of the open range, the frontier, and boundless opportunity. It

was to this romantic impulse that many conservative Republicans used populist rhetoric to attract

new constituents in Texas, predominantly but not exclusively through a white middle-class that

felt it had been forgotten by the national Democratic Party. Regardless of whether or not

conservatives actually practiced populism according to one or any definition, this dissertation

will apply the term most often as a means of illustrating a style and particular message, most

effectively used by conservative Republicans in the 1960s and 1970s, whereby the rallying

together of the grassroots in opposition to Big Government provided a powerful and unifying

rhetorical weapon."

Liberalism, too, must be defined. In a simple way, this dissertation refers to as liberal

those who defined themselves as liberal. This dissertation also, however, spends a great deal of

energy illustrating how the term liberal became a source of conflict and competition between

Texans grappling with the implications of a changing political culture. On the one hand,

"7 Ibid.: Kennedy, Freedom from Fear, 235.










Race was one of several issues that made the 1966 campaign for Senate interesting. It

was a campaign which revealed much about the nature of anti-liberalism in Texas, the success of

the GOP's new marketing strategy, and the destr-uctive power of intra-party factionalism. The

incumbent, John Tower was, once again, an underdog in 1966. Many Texans viewed Tower' s

election to the United States Senate in 1961 as a fluke and Democrats were confident they would

regain the seat when Tower came up for re-election. His opponent was Waggoner Carr, who had

served as the state's attorney general and gained some notoriety for a small-scale independent

investigation into the Kennedy assassination. Assumptions about Carr's appeal and Democratic

dominance in the state triggered early press predictions of a potential landslide and forced the

incumbent Tower to assume the position of underdog challenger. On September 7, 1966, Carr

opened his campaign with a rally in his hometown of Lubbock. It proved to be an inauspicious

beginning. Overconfident and unprepared, Carr attracted less than 2,000 supporters. Earlier in

the week, Carr's campaign had made public its expectation that over 10,000 supporters would

attend. Adding to the embarrassment were statewide television and newspaper reports that those

in attendance were unenthusiastic and had to be repeatedly prompted to cheer by Carr campaign

staffers holding up "cheer" signs.94

Because he was a Democrat in a heavily Democratic state and had served under John

Connally's popular governorship, Carr was, to the dismay of both Republicans and liberal

Democrats, heavily favored by political observers in Texas. Carr, however, did not enj oy unified

support within his party. In 1966, Texas liberals chose the Carr candidacy as the perfect

opportunity to take a stand against a conservative Democrat, in the hopes of sparking

realignment and subsequent two-party reform. Liberals had long believed that without a viable

Series I, Records of the Democratic National Committee, LBJL: Support for and Opposition Against Civil Rights
Bill, 1964, Box 6, Series I, Records of the Democratic National Committee, LBJL.
94 Lubbock 4valanche-Journal, September 8, 1966, 1A.










Houston Chronicle to editorialize that the coming decade might be defined by the rise of"Brown

Power.""

Texas's African Americans shared many of the same general frustrations. Yet the issues

around which political activism centered differed between the two minority groups. Despite

some ongoing controversies in places like Houston, for instance, where the Department of

Justice's role in enforcing stricter busing policies was still being hotly debated, publicly, at least,

issues involving race in Texas were handled differently in the late 1970s than in previous years.'

Much of this was due to the natural evolution of attitudes, expedited by a civil rights movement

active nationally and influential in Texas because the power of mass communications made it

relevant. Yet, in other ways, the issues surrounding black civil rights changed. Racial attitudes

in the late 1970s were greatly affected by the recessed economy and debates over affirmative

action. Early discord on the issue of affirmative action included debated changes in college

admission policies, which recognized and attempted to correct the disadvantages minority

students faced in gaining access to higher education.19

Though Texas was the nation' s largest right-to-work state, and had some of the country's

weakest unions, organized labor in Texas was vocal enough to make waves in the late 1970s

regarding the issue of race and hiring. In places with heavier union influence, resentment toward

affirmative action programs intensified racial discord.20 Despite labor's weakness in Texas, blue

collar sentiment was affected by the national debate, and workers in Texas, regardless of union





17 Houston Chronicle, August 7, 1977, Box 9, Staff Offices, Special Assistant to the President Esteban
Torres, Records of the Office of Hispanic Affairs, Jimmy Carter Presidential Papers, JCL.
1s Texas Briefing: Office of Policy Coordination, Box 24, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI.
19 Political Brief: Texas, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files,
Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.
20 Press Release, October 17, 1980. Box 134, Folder 9, James A. Baker Papers, Seeley G. Mudd Library,
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (Hereafter cited as SGML).










seen in San Antonio's white community as a liberal attempt to provide free education to children

whose parents were not paying taxes."

As the Democratic Party's appeal declined among conservative Texans, the Hispanic vote

became more important. At the same time, liberals finally began to see opportunities for

leadership positions and vision-casting within the state and national party. Texas cities with the

highest Hispanic populations--such as San Antonio, Corpus Christi, which was home to the

national headquarters of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Harlingen,

which was 75 percent Hispanic, and El Paso, where, sarcastically, Carter' s plan to build a metal

fence to curb immigration became known as the "tortilla curtain"--gained attention from

candidates in both parties, though for different reasons.'8 While the Democratic Party attempted

to solidify its support among Hispanics, Republicans appealed to Hispanics through social issues.

At the same time, the GOP welcomed discontented whites struggling with the reality that their

vote meant less in a more inclusive Democratic Party than it used to. In some cases, white

conservative Democrats in these cities abandoned their party in favor of the revitalized and much

more unified GOP because their standing as a voter within the Democratic Party, they believed,

was being marginalized.

The importance of Hispanics as a political bloc was not isolated to these four cities. In

Dallas, for instance, Hispanic leaders were focused on greater inclusion into the city's business

community and industrial sectors. A few of these leaders vocally criticized what they viewed as

the insincere courtship of Democrats for their communities' votes. Feeling as though Democrats



17 Texas Political Brief, October 26, 1980: Office of Poliev Coordination, Box 25, Annelise G. Anderson
Papers, HI; Memorandum, To: Jerry Carmen, Fr: Rick Shelby, September 16, 1980, Box 406, Pre-Presidential
Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.
1s "El Paso Issues," Box 525, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Briefing
Materials Files, RRL: Political Brief: Harlingen, Corpus Christi, September 11, 1980, Box 406, Pre-Presidential
Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.










countercultural moral relativism that seemed to be liberalizing the West Coast.49 The threat that

the economic consequences endured on the West Coast as a result, it was theorized, of amoral

liberalism could creep its way into the Lone Star State worried affluent Texas conservatives who

otherwise might not have cared about social or religious issues.

Social conservative activism coalesced in the late 1970s thanks to both the charisma of

Christian personalities and the salience of certain issues. Texas's most famous churchgoer was

also one of the nation' s most well-respected men. Though born a North Carolinian, Billy

Graham had, in many ways, made Texas home. Since 1953, Graham had been a member of

Texas' s largest Southern Baptist Church, the First Baptist Church of Dallas, whose pastor, W. A.

Criswell, was the state's best-known preacher. Billy Graham influenced Christians in Texas in a

variety of ways throughout the decade, including by way of a policy change regarding host cities

for his crusades. Beginning in the mid-1970s, Graham began to select Southern and Western

cities for his crusades more regularly than he had in the past, and with greater frequency than he

selected cities from other parts of the country. This gave medium-sized cities like Lubbock the

opportunity to play host to the world-famous Graham and heightened the city's regional and

national awareness. The rationale for these decisions was largely a product of Graham' s

crusades being nationally televised and economic conditions in the Sunbelt offering low-cost

production alternatives to the union-dominated labor supply and high production expenses of the

Northeast. Nonetheless, Graham's presence in the state magnified the respectability and

importance of social issues in Texas and made the state more fertile breeding ground for similar

social and religious advances. o



49 Political Brief: Texas. Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files,
Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.
o0 Texas Monthly, March 1978, "The Power and the Glory of Billy Graham"; Christianity Today, March 11,
2002, "The Baptist Pope."










immigration problem that centered on a "temporary resident alien status" in which Mexican

workers would be given a watered-down variation of complete amnesty.' Polls showed that 73

percent of the Texas population disapproved of Carter' s proposal.8 Many Hispanics in Texas

adamantly opposed the measure as well, though for different reasons, saying that such a

classification was a rehash of the old "Bracero Program" and reduced all Mexican-Americans to

"second class citizenship."9 Republican proposals in Texas were generally more popular,

including the possibility of issuing work cards to aliens coming in from Mexico. This proposal

required workers to obtain a Social Security number and pay taxes, a plan discussed and agreed

upon by governors in the southwest border states. The measure was also supported by the

Mexican government, but not Carter, who continued to push for a resolution more closely related

to amnesty. In February 1977, Carter met with Mexican President Jose Lopez Portillo to discuss

these issues and the broader relationship between the two nations.'" Immigration, along with

illegal drug trafficking and the devaluation of the Mexican peso, dominated talks between the

two leaders, though no resolution on the immigration issue could be agreed upon." The lack of

progress on immigration upset conservative whites in Texas. Additionally, the lack of progress

contributed to a growing perception among Texas Hispanics that Carter' s affinity for their

minority bloc did not extend beyond expediency and convenient political benefit.


7 Texas Trip 6/78," Box 291, Staff Office Files: Domestic Policy Staff, Stu Eizenstat. Jimmy Carter
Library, Atlanta, GA (Hereafter cited as JCL).
SA Preliminary Report to the Clements for Governor Committee, V. Lance Tarrance and Associates,
Campaign Records, Box 10, File 21, William Clements Papers, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
(Hereafter cited as WCP).
9 "Texas Overview" "3/24/79-3/25/79 Trip to Oklahoma and Texas," Box 124, Staff Office Files: Office of
Staff Secretary, JCL. The "Bracero Program" was initiated as a joint venture by the US and Mexican governments
in 1942. The program allowed for the contracting of Mexican labor into the United States, first for work with
railroads, but later predominantly in agricultural sectors. The program was discontinued in 1964 in response to
numerous allegations of human rights violations and ill-treatment of the Mexican workers.
"' Draft Policy Position: Visiting Workers from Mexico, Box 10, Fred C. Ikle Papers, HI; Texas Briefing:
Office of Policy Coordination, Box 24, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI.
February 12, 1977, Memorandum for Jack Watson, from: Larry Bailey, Subject: Suggestions to Border
State Governors on Talks Between President Portillo and Carter, Box ST-16, Subject Files, White House Central
Files, Jimmy Carter Presidential Papers, JCL.










Fast forward almost four decades to 2004. That year, the platform of the Texas

Republican Party reaffirmed the United States of America as a "Christian nation," denounced the

"myth of the separation of church and state," demanded the inclusion of abstinence-only sex

education for public schools, and called for the elimination of, among other things, the

Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Internal Revenue Service, the

income tax, the gift tax, the inheritance tax, the capital gains tax, the payroll tax, and various

state and local property taxes.2 That same year, as Texas Republicans held all 27 statewide

elected offices, the Republican and former Texas Governor George W. Bush won his second

term as President of the United States, carrying over 61 percent of his home state's vote, further

evidence, as if any was needed by 2004, that George Reedy's predictions had been proven

correct.

Only two Texans, (three if you count George H. W. Bush, who struggled throughout his

career against the image that he was a Yankee interloper), have served in the White House as

President of the United States. The corollaries between these two Texans-each of whom

presided over controversial wars in distant parts of the globe, and each of whom sustained

tremendous home state support despite national criticism--offer a stark contrast to the

ideological and partisan affinities also ascribed to the two men. Johnson's home state support

was primarily based on the fact that he was a Democrat. Bush's home state support was

primarily based on the fact that he was a conservative. Situated in the narrative precisely

between the administrations of Johnson and Bush was the career of modern conservatism's

preeminent icon, Ronald Reagan. Reagan's popular support in Texas throughout the 1960s and

1970s suggests something important about the images that attracted Lone Star State residents


SKevin Phillips, 4merican Theocracy: The Peril and Politics ofRadical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed
Adony in the 21st Century (New York: Viking Press, 2006), 233, 249.










The Tower campaign was so effective that Carr charged it was being run by Ronald

Reagan's California team--the implication being that Tower needed out-of-state help in order to

build his own image. Additionally, the charge illustrates the early respect given to Reagan's

public appeal and campaign skill. Tower denied the charges and records strongly indicate that

Reagan was not involved.1m

Still, nothing Tower could do to his opponent was as effective as what Carr had already

done to himself. Nor was Tower's strategy as effective as the negative coverage Carr endured

from the Texas press. Th2e Texa~s Observer, for instance, ran photographs of Carr attending a

White Citizens' Council meeting in 1957 with other segregationists."' If Carr' s fragile support

among minorities in Texas was dwindling, it was non-existent after that controversy.

Furthermore, on the eve of the election, television stations across the state reported that Carr

maintained a comfortable 10-point lead over Tower in the latest Belden Poll. These numbers

quelled the urgency of the race. The next day, various election-day polls showed Carr holding

only a three-point advantage. At the end of the day, the only poll that mattered was the one at

the ballot box. In that poll, the decision of Texans' was loud and clear; John Tower won a

shocking 56.7 percent of the vote--a comfortable victory and easy re-election."

The lessons of the 1966 senate campaign in Texas were abundant though not always

clear. Carr garnered the endorsement of a popular conservative governor and even drew Lyndon

Johnson's public support. Yet, these endorsements did not help and in fact, in the case of LBJ--

whose liberalism seemed more apparent to Texans with each stroke of his Great Society pen-





110 Tower Topics, October 8, 1966, Folder 20, Box 711, Austin Office, JTP.
111 Letter From: Marvin Collins, To: Peter O'Donnell, Jr., October 10, 1966, Austin Office, Folder 11, Box
711, JTP.
112 Olien, From Token to Triumph, 209; Dallas Morning News, November 8, 1966, 1A.










had one thing in common, it was this: both represented people typically excluded from political

power in Texas.

During the early 1960s, Texans were wrestling more with their own ideological

definitions and political heritage. It was against this backdrop of political and ideological

deconstruction that Lyndon Johnson began his presidency. Being the site of the assassination of

a popular president embarrassed many Texans. Dallas had been stigmatized as a bastion for the

Radical Right prior to November 22, 1963, and certainly wanted no part in left wing conspiracies

or the likes of Lee Harvey Oswald. With the perpetrator dead, much of the nation' s ire was

redirected toward the venue of the assassination. John Tower described the nation's attitude

toward Texas and Dallas in the wake of Kennedy's death as laced with "hostility and even

hatred," and always recalled the tragic events of November and December 1963 as the

"grimmest experience" of his life." Texas could not shake what it was, nor could it purge

ideologues. It could however, try to soften its image in the wake of a national tragedy. In the

months following Kennedy's death, Johnson's popularity grew in proportion to his ability to

appear stable and moderate. Eric Jonsson, the architect of Texas Instruments--the electronics

corporation that eventually landed Jonsson a spot in Fortune Magazine 's "Business Hall of

Fame"-ran for mayor of Dallas after the Kennedy Assassination in part to implement a national

public relations campaign to get people's minds off of the gruesome tragedy that had taken place

in Dealey Plaza. 9 In much the same way, many Texans saw Johnson as the embodiment of an

opportunity to rebuild their state's image at the national level.'o




STranscript, John Tower Oral History Interview II, 9/22/71, by Joe B. Frantz, Internet Copy, LBJL.
9 Texas Monthly, April 1976, 111, Box 9, David Stoll Collection, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution,
and Peace, Stanford University, Stanford, CA (Hereafter cited as HI).
'0 "American Conservatism Defined," by Senator John G. Tower, in "The Conservative Tide: A Student
Journal of Fact and Opinion." November, 1963. Folder 7, Box 17, Press Office, JTP.










Privately, Goldwater wanted to avoid the issue of race altogether." He was not enthusiastic

about turning his campaign over to those who wanted to exploit racial tensions for votes in the

South. But Goldwater was also an ideologue and a visionary who desperately wanted to extend

his conservatism into the South. Goldwater's attempt to find a suitable balance between his

principles and his vision cost the Republican Party its credibility on race relations. Goldwater

cringed at the thought that his campaign would be waged as a battle against civil rights.3

Though he tried to avoid specific discussions of race, his support for "states rights"--regardless

of his intent--earned him favor in regions where sentiment against "government centralization

and collectivism" ran strong.39 The level of support he received in individual states is also

indicative, however, of the differing levels of importance those states assigned to particular

issues.

Texans did not assign the same level of importance to race that much of the rest of the

South did. When John Tower said in the summer of 1964 that he did not believe that race was as

big a factor in Texas as in other parts of the South, he was speaking not as a politician, but as an

observer of Texas political culture. Unlike the stereotypical response of most white

southerners, a great many Texans who otherwise might have obj ected more strenuously to the

central tenets of the 1964 Civil Rights Act rationalized and then accepted LBJ' s push for de jure

racial equality. By the summer of 1964, Texans who opposed civil rights measures were

increasingly inclined to give Johnson the benefit of the doubt as he pushed the Civil Rights Act


37K.H. Jamieson, Packaging the Presidency: 4 History and Criticism of Presidential Campaign
.i h r, a ;, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984), 208-215: Perlstein, Before the Storm, CH 19: Jonathan
Schoemvald, Time for C 0...** ;, The Rise ofidodern 4merican Conservatism (New York: Oxford University Press,
2002), 148.
(8 il,,,r;.;. Sun-Tiines, June 29, 1963, Box 48, Series I, Records of the Democratic National Committee,
LBJL: "Goldwater for President Committee: Issue Papers: Civil Rights," Box 3H513, Stephen Shadegg
Papers/Barry Goldwater Collection, CAH.
39 Numan V. Bartley, The New South: 1945-1980 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1995),
CH 4: Mc~irr, Suburban Warriors, 133.
"40ustin 4merican Statesman, July 17, 1964, 1A.










Nixon had Einally won in Texas, carrying the state by a 2-1 margin. Nixon's landslide

helped Texas Republicans gain seven seats in the State House of Representatives but only one

additional seat in the State Senate. These gains were significant, but not overwhelming. In the

weeks following the election, pundits and analysts in Texas assessed the fallout from the

campaign and determined that Nixon' s success was almost solely the result of McGovern' s

liberalism. Nixon was considered a moderate by most Texas conservatives while those same

voters viewed McGovern as a liberal "extremist." Democrats maintained control in most local

and state races, while Nixon' s attempt to remove himself from partisanship alienated Texas

Republican insiders. Virtually all political observers concluded that while the Texas GOP was

making strides, it was not yet a two-party state; Nixon's support there was little more than an

utter rej section what they defined as McGovern liberalism. 5

McGovern's liberalism also benefited John Tower, though Tower began to squander

some of that benefit in Dallas in early 1973 during the battles over the Trinity River Canal

Project. Tower's previous two senate campaigns had both been considered significant upsets.

Texas Democrats hoped 1972 would finally be the year that their party regained the Senate seat

lost in 1961 and rested much of that hope on a belief that Tower was vulnerable on the very

issues that seemed to be sparking the new populist-conservative revival. More specifically,

conservative insiders in the Texas Democratic Party formulated a generic campaign strategy to

defeat Tower based on the Republican Senator' s record on crime, taxes, economics, and failure

to, as they began to put it, "work for the common man."S6 In Order to succeed, however,

conservative Texas Democrats needed to distance themselves and their partisan identity from


55Austin American Statesman, June 13, 1972, 1A; LubbockAvalanche-Journal, November 9, 1972, 1A;
Texas Observer, December 1, 1972, 4-6; "Texas Still Not a Two-Party State," Houston Chronicle, November 19,
1972, Box 117, Folder 6: Clippings. James A. Baker Papers, SGML; 1972 Election Report: Editorial Reaction,
December 6, 1972, PRP, Part II, Reel 12, Frame 226.
56 1972 Election Report: The Cities Dallas, December 11, 1972, PRP, Part II, Reel 13, Frames 860-955.










time, Connally's campaign suffered from a dearth of originality. Borrowing from Reagan at

every turn-to the point of using Reagan campaign material as a basis for speeches--Connally

spoke openly against ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, was adamantly pro-life, and

even outdid the Gipper's passion on the issue of illegal immigration."" Connally, like Reagan,

also adopted an anti-Carter strategy and frequently reminded his audiences of Carter' s failed

promise to deregulate the oil and gas industries in Texas.61 Reflecting a growing belief among

Republicans that increased minority voting was both an existing threat and a potential new

constituency, Connally appealed to Texas minorities by praising Reagan's record on race

relations in California. He frequently cited the statistic that 20 percent of Reagan's appointees

during his first year as governor were minorities. Connally wanted to attract Reagan supporters

who were fearful of nominating a candidate that the general public would rej ect as extreme. He

chose to do this by associating himself closely with Reagan, even praising his opponent, in the

hopes that minority backers would be softened to the new conservative agenda. It was a curious

strategy and one that benefited Reagan far more than it did Connally.6

John Connally's bid for the presidency barely made it out of the starting gates. The

rough-and-tumble world of Texas politics, which actually organized in an effort to help

Connally's campaign, greatly contributed to its failure. The thrust of that story surrounds a

political situation in the Texas legislature that Connally's biographer and former New York Times

reporter James Reston called "decidedly Wild West."63 In 1979, a handful of Connally

supporters in the state legislature, most of whom were Democrats, began to organize support for

a proposed bill that would move the Texas presidential primary election up from May to March


"0 Campaign '80 Briefing Book, Box 1209-192, F-2, John Connally Papers, LBJL.
61 Memorandum, From: Sam Hoskinson, To: John Connally, Subject: Illegal Immigration, 1980 Campaign
Files, Box 743-461A, John Connally Papers, LBJL.
62Campaign '80 Briefing Book, Box 1209-192, F-2, John Connally Papers, LBJL.
63James Reston, The Lone Star: The Life ofJohn Connally (New York: Harpers & Row, 1989), 563.










status within the Dallas oil community, Clements faced a number of obstacles, not the least of

which was name recognition. Reservations were also made about his age; (he was 60 at the

time). GOP strategists, chiefly aware of the increasing power that television and radio was

playing in state and national campaigns, were also concerned by Clements's lack of charisma

and media savvy. 97 Launching the most expensive Republican candidacy in state history,

Clements's campaign attempted to solve these problems by spending over $1.8 million in

television and radio advertising during the primary alone. 98

Beyond money, however, Clements did enj oy one significant advantage in the race for

governor. He was not a liberal Democrat associated in any way with the Carter administration.

Clements's opponent, however, was and did. A surprise victor in the Democratic primary, Texas

Attorney General John Hill handily defeated the more conservative and incumbent governor,

Dolph Briscoe by capitalizing on the perception that Briscoe was a do-nothing governor.

Conservatives failed to tumn out during the primary and motivated liberals took advantage. Hill's

campaign against Briscoe exacerbated tensions within the state Democratic Party. Conservatives

were dismayed over Hill's aggressive attacks on Briscoe and feared that liberal activism within

the Democratic Party was threatening to take a stranglehold on the operations of that party.

Elected as a representative of liberal Democrats who were voting in larger numbers, Hill quickly

hoped to boost his credentials for the general election by gaining a national endorsement. On

May 17, Hill joined a constituency of Texas liberals in making a trip to Washington for a

meeting with President Carter. Hill quickly gained Carter's endorsement and favor.99




97 Clements for Governor, Primary Campaign Plan, Final Draft, March 11,1978, Prepared by V. Lance
Tarrance and Associates, Campaign Records, 1978, Box 14, File 5, WCP.
98 Texas Observer, April 28, 1978, 7; Texas Monthly, October 1978, 188.
99 U.S. President, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. Government
Printing Office, 1977-1981), Jimmy Carter, 1978, 934, 1168.









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

No proj ect of this magnitude can be completed alone. Throughout the course of my

graduate career, numerous individuals have contributed wisdom, insight, encouragement,

support, assistance, and time--all of which has enabled me to produce what I hope is a solid

piece of original research.

I would like to begin by thanking my dissertation advisors Brian Ward (now at the

University of Manchester, UK) and William A. Link, Richard J. Milbauer Professor of History at

the University of Florida. Any graduate student would be lucky to work with either one of these

mentors; I have been fortunate to work closely with both. My doctoral experience at UF was far

better than I ever could have hoped for and this, I believe, is a credit to the scholarly wisdom,

patience, communication skills, and dedication of these two men. I have also had the pleasure of

working with several other professors at both the University of Florida and Texas Tech

University, where I received my M.A. in 2002. Among those professors are George Esenwein,

Joseph Spillane, Robert McMahon (now at Ohio State University), Donald Walker, Alywn Barr,

Randy McBee, Paul Deslandes (now at the University of Vermont), Lynda Kaid, and Spiro

Kiousis. These men and women all contributed to this proj ect in unique and important ways.

My sincerest thanks go out to each of these scholars.

Numerous historians, archivists, and librarians across the country also contributed to this

effort. Specifically, I would like to thank the archivists and staff at the Southwest Collections at

Texas Tech University in Lubbock, George Schultz at the Cushing Library at Texas A&M

University in College Station, Robert Bohanan at the Jimmy Carter Library in Atlanta, Georgia,

William McNitt at the Gerald Ford Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the entire staff at the

Lyndon Johnson Library in Austin, Texas, Brenda Gunn and Stephanie Malmros of the Center










Immigration and the dynamic interplay that resulted between Republicans and

Democrats--and Texas whites, Hispanics, and alien workers--worked somewhat differently in

places like El Paso than it did in South Texas. El Paso was, in some respects, a quintessential

Sunbelt city. The city's economic base blossomed after World War II thanks to its proximity to

giant military installations such as Fort Bliss and the White Sands Proving Ground. More so

than the defense industry, however, El Paso was a bastion of low wage labor. Divided only by

the typically dry Rio Grande River, El Paso' s nearest neighbor, the Mexican city of Juarez,

provided an almost unlimited supply of low wage labor for the agricultural industry of the state.

By the end of the 1970s, over 50 percent of El Paso residents were of Mexican origin, though no

accurate numbers existed on how many were there legally. Despite the Hispanic maj ority,

whites still dominated the voting booth and the Democratic Party still dominated the district.12

In 1975, Mexican-American workers at El Paso's largest textile manufacturing plant,

Farah Pants, successfully unionized. Soon after, the plant was hamstrung by a long and bitter

labor strike, in which Catholic bishops in the city threw public support behind the Mexican-

American workers. A chief concern was Farah's hiring practices. Mexican-American workers

did not want to compete with Mexican immigrants flooding into the city. The influx of illegal

aliens, Mexican-American workers argued, reduced the overall demand for labor, and arguably

reduced the wage potential of the city's legal resident population. By the late 1970s, Farah Pants

refused to hire Mexican labor with work permits, resulting in the plant' s enj oyment of among the

most harmonious labor-management relationships in the nation.13





12 Political Brief: Sixteenth District, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign
Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.
13 Political Brief: El Paso, September 20, 1980, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980
Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.










direction of the national party, being forced to choose sides was a particularly daunting

proposition. Backing the national party's incumbent president was the expected play for Texas

party regulars, despite the fact that many of these leaders personally favored Reagan and

certainly valued the voting power of Reagan' s constituents. 2

At the same time, intra-party factionalism was personified in 1976 through the campaigns

of easily recognizable and identifiable Eigures, an aspect of modern politics that, in the coming

years, gained in importance. As the emerging icon of populist conservatism, Ronald Reagan

served as a catalyst for the eventual coalescence of various conservative factions under the Texas

Republican tent. Reagan operated as a catalyst in this process not only because he managed to

exude a confidence and optimism that escaped many politicians during the dreary 1970s, but also

because his image was crafted in such a way as to simultaneously appeal to seemingly disparate

conservative factions without contradiction. The growing importance of broadcast media,

television in particular, added a dimension to the state and national political culture that was

tailor-made for a former Hollywood actor.2

Reagan's image as a citizen-candidate and rugged frontier individualist was enhanced in

Texas by campaign strategists who labored to contrast that image directly with Ford's stiff and

less charming demeanor, as well as with the perception that the new president was a moderate

and untrustworthy tool of the corrupt Nixon and the liberal Eastern Establishment. Ford

struggled with the image that he had conspired with Nixon during Watergate, negotiating his

way to the vice presidency--and ultimately, the Oval Office--in exchange for an eventual

pardon. Whereas cynicism, suspicion, and indifference typically characterized Texans' response



24Roger M. Olien, From Token to Triumph: The Texas Republicans Since 1920 (Dallas: Southemn
Methodist University Press, 1982).
25Dallas Adorning News, March 24, 1976, 22A: Washington Post, March 26, 1976, Box 63, Deaver &
Hannaford Papers, HI.









one felt obliged to look up and admire without being absolutely certain about the details."3

Much the same can be said of Ronald Reagan, who, at the 1992 Republican National Convention

in Houston, stole a page from the Democratic playbook of just four years earlier, by saying that

he had known and was a friend of Jefferson' s and that the Democratic presidential nominee of

that year, Bill Clinton, was no Thomas Jefferson.4

Texas has continued to play a pivotal role in shaping national politics since the 1980s.

Houston's George Bush ran for and won the presidency in 1988, earning a measure of revenge

against the man who had defeated him in the 1970 Senate race--Lloyd Bentsen. Bentsen ran in

1988 as the Democratic Party's vice presidential nominee, alongside former Massachusetts

Governor Michael Dukakis. Despite a 17-point lead in the polls following the Democratic

National Convention that summer, the Democratic ticket was soundly defeated in November

1988, thanks largely to image warfare fought primarily with some of the era' s most vicious

campaign commercials. Those advertisements positioned the campaign as a battle between what

a majority of Texans saw as a contest between patriotic conservatism and malaise-ridden and

failed liberalism. Bill Clinton won two terms to the White House in the 1990s, but failed to

carry Texas in either of his campaigns. The polarizing Clinton presidency pushed still more

Texans into the Republican Party and, in 2000, the GOP gave its presidential nomination to

Texas Governor George W. Bush and his running mate, Dick Cheney, who--despite an official

Wyoming residency--had deep ties both to the Reagan and Bush administrations of the 1980s,

as well as the Houston oil industry of the 1990s. In two tightly fought national campaigns, the



SJoseph J. Ellis, 4merican Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson (New York: Vintage Books, 1998),
217.
SReagan's line was, of course, inspired by Lloyd Bentsen's similar statement from the 1988 Vice
Presidential Debate against Dan Quayle, during which Bentsen told audiences that Quayle was "no Jack Kennedy."
SKathleen H. Jamieson, Packaging the Presidency: 4 History and Criticism of Presidential Campaign
.7u. r, a s;~ (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 459-484.










ratification." That Texas became home to many conservatives who found disfavor with the

tenets of the ERA is not a surprise. What is a surprise was that, in 1977, Houston was selected as

the host city for the National Women's Conference. For several years, the selection made Texas'

largest city synonymous within feminist circles for women' s unification in the demand and fight

for universal equality.'" The Houston conference, though, was also significant for a variety of

other reasons.

The 1977 National Women' s Conference in Houston was chaired by prominent New

York women' s activist, and future Carter appointee to head the National Advisory Committee on

Women, Bella Abzug. Joining Abzug in attendance at the Houston conference were women

such Rosalynn Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford, Jean Stapleton, Billie Jean King, and

Margaret Mead.59 During the four-day event, delegates passed an agenda that included planks on

abortion, ERA, and gay-rights. Not all in attendance found accord with these actions. In fact,

between 15 and 20 percent of the delegates in attendance voted against one or more of these

planks.60 Antifeminists, though ridiculed and greatly outnumbered, justified the convention's

proclamation of diversity in political viewpoints, however nominal.

Conservatives' most powerful push for recognition, however, occurred not inside the

convention doors, but because of their large exclusion from them. In response to the Houston

convention, and the perception that only women who agreed with the general feminist platform

were genuinely welcome to attend, "Pro-Family" rogue "conventions" that acted as protest

gatherings gained steam in and around Houston.61 Led by Phyllis Schlafly, these protest


57"Texas Overview" "3/24/79-3/25/79 Trip to Oklahoma and Texas," Box 124, Staff Office Files: Office
of Staff Secretary. JCL.
58Bruce J. Schulman, The Seventies: The Great Shift in America 's Culture, Society, and Politics (New
York: The Free Press, 2001),186.
59 Ibid.
60 Miscellaneous Files, Box 6, Office of Public Liaison: Margaret Costanza Files, JCL.
61 Houston Post, November 23, 1977, A17. Staff Office Files: First Lady's Staff Press Office. JCL.










indicative of just how binding the culture of tradition and loyalty was in Texas throughout the

1960s. Connally's support had several motivations. Through August, he maintained hope of

being added to the Democratic ticket as the party's vice presidential nominee. At the same time,

Connally actively opposed the other Democratic contenders, whom he considered far too liberal.

When the vice presidential nomination went to Edmund Muskie instead, it was not until

Connally's loyalty to the party had already been publicly tested at the convention. Connally

remained loyal and was, in fact, among a handful of Texas Democrats who endorsed and

organized Humphrey's campaign efforts--the only serious efforts organized by any Democrats

on behalf of Humphrey in any Southern state. In the early months of the campaign, Connally's

trust and popularity among Texans was strong enough to keep Humphrey afloat, though

unenthusiastic campaigning resulted in a miniscule $150,000 in campaign donations--less than a

tenth of what had been raised for Johnson in Texas four years earlier.33

Connally's most effective strategy was to avoid mentioning Humphrey as much as

possible. Rather, the efforts on Humphrey's behalf focused on LBJ and the state' s tradition of

and loyalty to the Democratic Party. Texas Democrats rallied to Johnson, anti-Republicanism,

and tradition far more than they did to Humphrey or the national Democratic Party. As

conservative Democratic candidates across the state jumped on board with Humphrey, many

constituents followed suit. In the months immediately following the Chicago convention, many

conservative Democrats in Texas rallied together to unite the party around the issues of loyalty,

tradition, and many of the same populist strategies Republicans were also trying to use to their

benefit. 34



33 Ibid.
34 Numan V. Bartley, The New South, 1945-1980: The Story of the South 's Modernization (Baton Rouge:
Louisiana State University Press, 1995), 396; U.S. President, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States
(Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1965-1970), Lyndon B. Johnson, 1968, 963.










It was only when discussing this notion of "independence" that Baker managed with any

success to convey a Reaganesque vision of anti-government conservatism. It was also usually

(and only) within the context of a discussion on "independence" that Baker was able to use the

Carter administration against his Democratic opponent. Baker did this by highlighting areas of

incompetence in Washington and linking Texans' frustrations to existing and/or potential

problems in Texas.'2 Down in the polls and needing to broaden his base, Baker went after the

Hispanic vote in much the same way Tower had traditionally done. He promised to protect

Hispanic civil and voting rights and vowed to vigorously prosecute any and all violations against

that minority.124 Expanding the conservative tent, he often reminded his staff, was a needed step

on the road to national credibility. In the end, however, Baker' s campaign flopped where the

Clements campaign had flourished. Baker failed to out-conservative White, nor could he get

past the stigma of anti-Republican tradition that always surfaced in a contest between two

conservatives."

Another noteworthy political race in 1978 unfolded on the dusty plains of West Texas, in

the fight to replace 43-year incumbent Democrat George Mahon. The 76-year-old Mahon

announced his retirement from the United States Congress in 1977 and conservative Democrat

Kent Hance soon became the frontrunner to win the vacant seat. Hance, like Mahon, was a

conservative Democrat. Also like Mahon, Hance was a resident of Lubbock, a graduate of Texas

Tech University, and a friend to the farming constituency that dominated the South Plains--all

important factors to the constituents of the nineteenth congressional district. Hance also shared

much in common with his Republican opponent. Both had been publicly critical of the Carter



123 Letter from Frank J. Donatelli, August 10, 1978, Box 28, Folder 5, James A. Baker Papers, SGML.
124 Press Release, April 22, 1978, "Speech to League of United Latin American Citizens." Box 37, Folder
10: Strategy, 1978, James A. Baker Papers, SGML.
'25 Miscellaneous Files, Box 37, Folder 1: General 73-78, James A. Baker Papers, SGML.










those imprisoned for their opposition to the war, then added, "I'd like to be the judge who tried

them.""

While opposition to the war grew in other parts of the nation, the same cannot be said of

Texas. Anti-war protests in Texas were rare. Those that did take place were not as well-

attended or pronounced as such events were in other parts of the country. A few anti-war

protests were held on the outskirts of LBJ' s Ranch, though, according to even liberal

commentators, these were organized not by Texans but by so-called "outside agitators." Only a

handful of protests, typically poorly attended, took place on the state's various college campuses.

Military installations across Texas endured more active and well-attended protest rallies, but

even these were smaller in scale and impact than similar demonstrations held in other parts of the

nation. Grassroots anti-war activism in Texas was rare.14

That most Texans were hard liners on Vietnam, communism, liberalism, and passivity

was no secret. Yet the war in Vietnam exacerbated factional tensions in the Democratic Party

and heightened points of stress that already existed between the state and national leadership.

Though the overwhelming majority of the state' s elected officials publicly supported the war, a

very small minority of liberal Democrats saw the growing division as an opportunity. These

liberals exploited the division and rancor that existed between ideological factions in the hopes

of sparking substantive partisan (and ideological) realignment. Texas liberals continued to push

for a viable two-party Texas in which they would have a significant presence in a state

Democratic Party they hoped would one day mirror the philosophical and legislative impetus of

the national party. When it came to the issue of Vietnam, conservatives and liberals within the

Texas Democratic Party each hoped to purge its opposition from the party.


13 Texas Observer, May 26, 1967, 8.
14 Texas Observer, November 10, 1967, 11.










Texas. In 1980, the trouble for Democrats in Texas was that the political culture was

contributing to redefinitions of liberalism as extreme and the Democratic Party as the exclusive

home for liberals. Texans who identified themselves as moderate were typically in greater

accord with Republican conservatism when issues were discussed on a case-by-case basis.

Simply put, by 1980, conservative Texas Democrats--both elected officials and those at the

grassroots--felt disconnected from their national party and with little hope of reconciliation.'"

Jim Hightower, a former editor of the Texa~s Observer and among the state' s most

prominent liberal-progressives, had this to say about his state's political climate in 1980:

The political inclinations of typical Texans differs profoundly from the conventional
thought that they are don't rock the boat moderates at best, hard-core right-wingers at
worst. I'm talking about small business owners, family farmers, retired people,
homemakers, building-trade unionists, the courthouse crowd, and what' s known in Texas
as Yellow-dog Democrats. For the most part, these are non-ideological, commonsense
voters who won't be found on anyone's liberal list, but also don't share much ground
with the Dallas bankers, Houston oil barons, or other peers of the Texas plutocracy.
Such folks are hardly defenders of the Powers That Be, and their politics ought not to be
taken for granted. The old labels--"liberal" and 'conservative"--just don't stick to this
group. They are disgruntled mavericks, and they may be the maj ority."

The problem for Hightower and other Texas liberals was that the public increasingly perceived

the Democratic Party not only to be the more ideological party, but also the more extremist party,

and not at all the party for "disgruntled mavericks" like themselves. For small business owners

and family farmers, national Republicans like Ronald Reagan seemed much friendlier than

national Democrats on the traditions, values, and social issues that they valued--and seemed to

express just as sincere a level of concern over pocketbook issues.

It is, perhaps, in a study of ideology that the transforming power of perception becomes

truly evident in Texas during this time. Local politics remained important, but national politics


'o DMI: "A Statewide Survey of Voters in Texas" June 1980, Box 201, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald
Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Richard Wirthlin Political Strategy Files, RRL.
The Washington Monthly, October 1980, 57, Box 3, Bill Boyarsky Papers, HI.









the nation's problems in their living rooms. Where these things were happening mattered little;

it all appeared dangerously close. Thus, Texas Republicans capitalized on issues that were

taking place in other states, buttressed their own conservative credentials, undermined the

Democratic administration in Washington, DC, and did so without necessarily appearing

partisan--for it was liberalism, they said, that was ultimately to blame.

While some Republicans tried to paint Democrats as the source of liberal failure, both

Republicans and conservative Democrats in the 1960s gained far more by connecting the

nation's ills with liberalism than to a political party. This allowed conservative Texas Democrats

to remain popular throughout the rest of the decade, but keeping the public from connecting

liberalism with the Democratic Party eventually became a difficult a proposition. The stability

of the Texas Democratic Party was under assault and the fissures created between the state and

national party hierarchy ultimately contributed to many Texas Democrats switching parties in the

coming decades.

The war in Vietnam exacerbated all of these dynamics in Texas. As early as 1965, many

conservative Texans from both sides of the aisle began to speculate that Johnson' s administration

would be incapable of securing victory in Southeast Asia. Rather, only Republican leadership,

unencumbered by the domestic weight of the Great Society, could wage the all-out war that

would be needed. Conservative Texas Democrats, almost all of whom took hawkish positions on

the war without resorting to nuclear recklessness, typically sided with Republicans over liberals

in their own party. This was true particularly as liberalism came to be connected with the anti-

war movement. In this sense, conservatism overcame some of the dangerous connotations of

extremism by earning credibility within the context of Cold War anticommunism.130



130 Dallas Morning News, August 14, 1965, 1D; Dallas Morning News, November 7, 1966, 6A.










growing contingent of middle-class Texans feared that without stronger local security, Johnson's

long-term national solution would lead to more immediate local violence.'20

Conservative Republicans tried hard to undermine the notion that poverty and crime were

somehow linked. In doing so, Republicans smoothly segued to hostile diatribes about the

failures and dangers of big govemment-specifically the War on Poverty. These efforts to

undermine the Democratic administration, the War on Poverty, and the legacies of New Deal

bureaucratic liberalism aided the party's appeal to anti-big government conservatives in Texas.'2

Republicans reminded the public that crime had increased 88 percent since John F. Kennedy first

took office and attacked the liberal "poverty equals crime" thesis, arguing that:

Fighting crime primarily by fighting poverty [was] designed to hide the Administration's
refusal to attack the principle causes of crime--which [were] moral and philosophical--
and to sell Americans on a program of social welfare which many would rej ect if offered
on its own merits. -2

Republicans were not afraid of magnifying the gravity of the crime situation and equated

Democratic responses to crime with liberalism, liberalism with extremism, and extremism with

danger:

The fostering of a 'permissive society,' uncalled-for restrictions on police investigatory
powers, the failure of the Federal government to mount an effective attack on the barons
of organized crime--these and countless other factors contribute [to] the American
'crime equation.' Only a recognition of these factors, combined with the determination
and leadership to combat them, will return 'ordered liberty' to a nation threatened with
anarchy. 2

By the end of 1966, conservatism in Texas had strengthened its ideological roots in

anticommunism by stressing the global Soviet military menace. On social issues however, the

120 Memorandum for the President, September 23, 1964, Through Walter Jenkins, From: Bill Moyers,
Subject: Release of the FBI Report on Riots, Box 4, Office Files of Bill Moyers, Presidential Papers of Lyndon B.
Johnson, LBJL: Draft: Crime Message, March 6, 1965, From: Bill Moyers, To: President Johnson, Box 4, Office
Files of Bill Moyers, Presidential Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, LBJL: Speech Draft, September 14, 1968, Box 56,
Office Files of Harry McPherson, LBJL.
121 "Political Profiles of the States, 1968: March 1, 1968," PRP, Part II, Reel 5, Frame 457.
12 "An Indictment of the Democratic Party, 1961-1968," PRP, Reel 7, Frames 37-44.
'23 Crime and Delinquency, June 1968, PRP, Part II, Reel 6, Frame 451.










weakness, and malaise quite useful. To this extent, Carter came to represent what was wrong, in

the conservative mind, with the nation. Ronald Reagan is also referred to as an icon, largely

because so many of his supporters identified their own political ideologies against the backdrop

of their affinity for the former Hollywood actor. Simply put, then, icons are referred to as such

as a way of communicating the ability those individuals possessed--or were made to possess by

their opponents--for personifying either a political or ideological impulse. The term

"iconography," therefore, is used to explain the broad application and influence created by

linking either a political party or candidate with certain public Eigures who were generally seen

as representative of a larger body of ideas, philosophies, and stances.

To be certain, variations existed. What constituted an icon in Texas did not necessarily

constitute an icon in other parts of the nation--or in the nation as a whole. Nonetheless, for a

great many Texans, certain individuals no doubt came to symbolize larger themes, ideas, and

movements .

This dissertation will also frequently distinguish between various regions of the state.

Most typically, references will be made to Hyve regions: East Texas, North Texas, South Texas,

Central Texas, and West Texas. Several basic assumptions can be gleaned simply from these

geographic distinctions, but much more can still be said about the unique characteristics,

demographics, and socioeconomics of each section. Such an understanding is necessary for any

study of the state's political culture. For instance, only in East Texas--the region bordering

Louisiana and extending not quite to present-day Interstate 45--did the presence of a large

concentration of African Americans contribute to a political climate similar to that in much of

the Deep South. Yet, racial diversity was by no means limited to East Texas. In fact, far greater

racial diversity existed in South and Central Texas, where high concentrations of Hispanics










analyzed the issues for which Wallace's support seemed to be derived. One Nixon-Agnew

campaign memorandum described Wallace's appeal this way:

Governor Wallace is usually thought to derive most of his strength from those who
oppose the moves of recent years to admit Negroes to a greater share of America' s
progress and to give them the political voice that is the birthright of every American. But
it is becoming apparent that many Americans who harbor no ill-will toward Negroes
whatever, who are happy to see the generations of discrimination and inequality come to
an end, are also intrigued by the other aspects of Wallace' s appeal. Those aspects,
briefly, are respect for the constitution, reliance on local government, reduced federal
spending, and increased emphasis on law and order.'0

In order to succeed among Wallace conservatives, Nixon undermined Wallace's claim to

being a true champion of conservative values, even disparaging the Alabama Governor as a

liberal in conservative clothing. Wallace's record in Alabama reflected some affinity for

government intervention, just not on issues of race and integration specifically. The Nixon

campaign distributed, to great effect, information on Alabama's increased crime rate, higher

taxes, and expanding bureaucracy since 1962. Nixon's attempt to paint the Wallace campaign as

deceptively liberal was also a concerted, though not entirely successful, effort to distance his

own candidacy from the same charge. In addition to conservative attacks on Wallace's latent

liberalism, Nixon also used Texans' fear of being pinned with the extremist tag as a means of

undermining Wallace's support. Nixon emphasized that Wallace' s preaching of "repression and

retrogression in race relations" was divisive and antithetical to conservative values of individual

and meritocratic achievement, whereas Nixon was for "greater opportunity for all Americans,

justice for all, renewed respect for law, and peaceful resolution of conflicts that mar our

society.",7





70 George Wallace--Southern Liberal: A Profile in Political Description, Box 16, Annelise G. Anderson
Papers, HI.
71 Memorandum for R. Nixon and S. Agnew, Sept. 20, 1968, Box 15, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI.










In positioning himself to Daniel's right, White also neutralized the "liberal" issue for the

general campaign against Baker. Thus, a maj or difference between the campaigns of Tower and

Clements and that of Baker was the conservatism of their Democratic opponents. Baker' s

strategy for the general election was supposed to center on magnifying the liberal stigma of his

expected opponent. Campaign staff repeatedly assured Baker that Daniel's liberalism was

"potentially the most damaging" part of his record." Against White, however, the same charges

were ineffective, not just because they were less true about the conservative White, but also

because White had used the same strategy to defeat Daniel in the primary."5 Left scrambling to

devise a new approach, Baker' s strategists emphasized the need to get to White' s right on three

issues: crime, energy, and federal encroachment. The Baker campaign also accused White of

ignoring the problem of illegal immigration from Mexico, yet also courted the Hispanic vote by

charging that White was "dragging his feet" on "minority concerns."116

The only specific issue Baker consistently used to any degree of effect was White's

public support of the Equal Rights Amendment, which Baker believed would benefit him "with

conservative groups in West Texas." On this issue however, Baker' s consistent argument was

less about the infusion of gender or family into the campaign, but rather that everything the ERA

was intended to do was already provided for by the 14th amendment and was thus nothing more

than Constitutional tampering and federal encroachment."' Baker' s strategy on ERA was

effective to the degree that he maintained the support of ardent libertarians. This strategy was

ineffective, however, for drawing in rural Democrats whose blood was already up because of the

social ramifications surrounding events like the previous year' s women' s conference in Houston.



"5 Memorandum to James Baker, from Jim Cicconi, re: Thoughts on Opposition to Date, December 22,
1977, Box 37, Folder 1: General 73-78, James A. Baker Papers, SGML.
116 "Opposition and Issues Report," Box 37, Folder 2: General 1978, James A. Baker Papers, SGML.
117 Ibid.










president during each of the next two election cycles. James Baker, Ford' s chief campaign

strategist in Texas, was regularly advised that Carter' s strategy in the Lone Star State could be

boiled down to the same old story of loyalty and the tradition of Republican-bashing. 106 Cre

broached these themes through the issue of trst. In campaign stops across Texas, Carter

reminded supporters that Ford and the Republican Party could not be trusted.'"'

Still, Carter had more to say in Texas than simply that the GOP was evil and duplicitous.

Carter' s campaign is remembered for its emphasis on populism and government corruption.

Carter is also well-remembered for promising that he would "never lie," but was discouraged

from making that his predominant message because, his strategy team argued, the focus was on

his honesty rather than his opponents' dishonesty. Instead, his speeches deployed phrases like

"Republican mess," or simply "Republican" in an effort to evoke deeply-rooted animosities

toward Ford, Nixon, and the GOP in general. They further made a point to include each of the

following words or phrases in the vast maj ority of Carter' s public speeches and Q&A sessions:

"new," "fresh," "leadership," "unity," "hope and progress," "tr-ust and confidence," and

"mistakes of the Washington Establishment." It was the final phrase that rang most true in Texas.

Anti-government sentiment, made more popular as a campaign issue by Reagan during the GOP

primary, worked to Carter' s and the Democrats' advantage during the 1976 general election.10s

At the same time, Carter was desperate to avoid having labels applied to him. He did not

want to make conservatism or liberalism an issue in the campaign, in large part because he

acknowledged it as a losing game. In Texas, Carter' s running mate was one of the biggest



106 MemOrandum to: Jim Baker, From: Paul Manafort, re: "Political Activity in Texas Since the President's
Visit," October 14, 1976, Box 126, Folder 8: Political Division, James A. Baker Papers, SGML.
107 JulY 14, 1976, Wall Street Journal, Box 2, Issues Office, Stuart Eizenstat Files, Jimmy Carter Papers
Pre-Presidential): 1976 Presidential Campaign Files, JCL.
10s "9/8 Campaign Themes," Box 2, Issues Office, Stuart Eizenstat Files, Jimmy Carter Papers Pre-
Presidential): 1976 Presidential Campaign Files, JCL.










Though Carter' s religion was, perhaps, more well-known than Reagan' s, the

Republican's relationship with the Texas religious establishment was far healthier. On August

22, Reagan spoke before the Religious Roundtable's National Affairs Briefing in Dallas. This

event provided Texas Republicans with an opportunity to bolster its standing within the state by

drawing from the momentum of a national event being held in Texas's most religiously active

city. Leading up to the event, Reagan was terribly frustrated over how he should approach the

speech in Texas and even told one advisor that he would just "wing it."' '' Ultimately, Reagan's

speechwriters managed to craft a speech that was, in their words, "denominationally clean." The

speech was also written with what Reagan' s handlers called "code words"--meaning religious

allusions that only evangelicals would pick up on, but that would illustrate a deep awareness of

and commitment to fundamentalist Christianity.'2

Regardless of how Reagan arrived at the podium to address an audience full of socially

conservative evangelicals in Dallas, the result was a smashing success. Reagan preached the

authority of scripture, calling it "God-breathed," as adeptly as would a pastor. He articulated the

need for America to revive its ethical code based on Biblical standards.'2 He lamented

America' s "moral decline" and related that decline to increased "peril [faced] from atheist

tyranny abroad." Reagan' s speech even drew the praise of national Jewish leaders, not just for

its reassertion of support for Israel, but also because of Reagan' s general stand on morality and

ethics.'2 Reagan did something else with this speech--something that was tactically brilliant in

light of Texas's Democratic heritage and his awareness that Carter would be using that heritage

12<> "Friends" lead-in to Reagan Speech, 1980, Aug. 22, Typescript, Box 12, Deaver & Hannaford Papers,
HI.
121 Memorandum, To: Ed Meese, Bill Gavin, and Mike Deaver, Fr: Bill Gribbin, Box 437, Pre-Presidential
Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Speech Files, RRL.
122 "Friends" lead-in to Reagan Speech, 1980, Aug. 22, Typescript, Box 12, Deaver & Hannaford Papers,
HI.
123 Memorandum, To: Ed Meese, Bill Gavin, and Mike Deaver, Fr: Bill Gribbin. Box 437, Pre-Presidential
Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Speech Files, RRL.









collided in 1977 and 1978 and resulted in a thunderous foreshadowing of the perfect storm that

engulfed the state in 1980. If the experience of Texas is at all representative of a national

experience, then the roots of modern American conservatism were expansive, multifaceted, and

varied--and converged from multiple directions rather than evolving from a single stream.

Between 1976 and 1980, the allegiance that most Texans' held toward the Democratic Party was

destroyed and replaced with a loyalty to conservatism's icon and new home, the Texas

Republican Party.


































O 2007 Sean P. Cunningham










considered the most powerful man in the nation--was 80 years old in 1978, and typically walked

the streets of Houston unnoticed and unrecognized. If Texas power was defined, as it was by

many, as the "ability to get things done," then by the late 1970s, the conservative Democratic

establishment in Texas enjoyed significantly less power as each year passed.2

By the late 1970s, however, conservative Texas Democrats were not the only ones

struggling to maintain the status quo. As factionalism at the national level promoted

philosophical and limited partisan realignment, Texas liberals struggled to retain the loyalty of

Hispanic voters, particularly as the state's emerging Republican Party viewed minority voter

participation not only as a threat to legitimate second party status, but also as an opportunity.3

While much of the state thrived economically during the 1970s, Hispanics were largely

left out of the boom. Hispanics in Texas resented their economic plight for reasons that melded

nicely with the growing social conservatism in the state. Culturally, the Catholic-dominated

Mexican-American population in South Texas typically encouraged women to work at home as

housewives and stay-at-home mothers. Economic realities often dictated otherwise, forcing

some Mexican-American women to work against their families' wishes. Proud, many Mexican

American males were often reluctant to accept "handouts" or "charity," creating an unwelcome

tension between the need to provide for their family and the government welfare check that, in

many cases, allowed them to do so.4 The vocal dissatisfaction among Texas Hispanics

heightened their political importance and recognition. At the same time, small defections to the

GOP, defections based largely on religious and social issues, hurt liberal chances in the state.



STexas Monthly, April 1976, 73-74, Box 9, David Stoll Collection, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution,
and Peace, Stanford University, Stanford, CA (Hereafter cited as HI).
SPolitical Brief: Texas, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files,
Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.
4 Hispanic Issues," Box 414, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political
Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.










bulking up the nation's law enforcement capabilities. By 1972, Republicans across the nation

took pleasure in bragging that while serious crime rates had increased by as much as 19 percent

during the last years of LBJ' s administration, similar figures had virtually flatlined under Nixon.

Proj ected against a backdrop of the 1960s, a decade which saw African Americans agitate

against status quo discrimination in the South, messages of Law & Order often resonated with

Texas whites, fearful that such chaos might be extended into their state. There is little doubt that

the increases Nixon enjoyed in his popularity among Southerners during the early 1970s can be

traced to the same issues that won him support among conservatives in that region, indeed across

the nation, in the late 1960s--namely, issues of race. 31 That story has been well-documented, but

the story does not end there.32

Still, Nixon's rising popularity in Texas was the result of much more than just his stands

on busing, crime, or civil rights. On the one hand, of course, Nixon had never been all that

popular in Texas, a reality which made even small increases to his favorability ratings substantial

and noticeable. Despite his best efforts to be seen as a man of the people in 1968, many

conservative and even some populist-leaning liberals dismissed Nixon, identifying him as a

deceptive voice for the hated Eastern Establishment. Nixon, thanks in part to popular stands on

issues like busing and crime, made great strides in unraveling this stereotype during his first

years in office. On the other hand, Nixon benefited from an atmosphere of social and cultural

change that transcended the monocausal. Issues like busing gave Nixon momentum in Texas,

but no more or less than other issues which coalesced into a message that, in the coming years,


31 Washington Post, May 15, 1972, Box 777, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML; "Crime File," Box 779,
George S. McGovern Papers, SGM; 1972 Campaign Factbook, PRP, Part II, Reel 11, Frame 39; Crime, October 12,
1972, PRP, Part II, Reel 12, Frame 154.
32 Kevin Kruse, White Flight: Atlanta and the Making ofi~odern Conservatism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton
University Press, 2005); Lassiter, The Silent Majority; Dan T. Carter, The Politics ofRage: George Wallace, The
Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation ofAmerican Politics (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State
University Press, 1995).










spoke to the Dallas Crime Commission about the need for stronger law enforcement, while at the

same time linking criminal activity, disorder, and chaos to the incompetence and false-promises

of big government. Reagan made numerous other appearances in Texas between 1973 and 1975

and during each, prioritized his courtship of the conservative grassroots, most of which still

claimed Democratic loyalties.8

Many Texas conservatives, regardless of party, saw Reagan as a solution to the

"corruption of the Washington Establishment." Reagan attracted middle class suburbanites and

rural voters alike, and many of these individuals donated small sums to the Citizens for Reagan

operation. Many, in donating to Citizens for Reagan, openly proclaimed that they preferred to

give their money straight to Reagan than to see it contribute to the state Republican Party. For

many Texans, trust was offered first to Reagan, and only later to Reagan's party. Another direct

outgrowth of Reagan's appeal in Texas was the adoption, at the 1974 Texas GOP Convention, of

several resolutions highly critical of the Ford administration. Though mostly symbolic, these

resolutions surprised some state party regulars who had pledged support for the administration in

large part because of the heavy presence that Texans like George Bush, Dick Cheney, and James

Baker were playing in that administration.89

Watergate, in and of itself, was a maj or story in Texas, but was also--perhaps more

importantly--another link in the chain that connected anti-statist and populist conservatives with

political credibility and power in the Texas Republican Party. The scandal undermined the

established leadership of the GOP, encouraged new blood in the party through the rallying



""Dallas Times Herald, February 12, 1974; Washington Post, October 21, 1973; April 28, 1974, Press
Conference and Speech, Houston, TX, Tapes 547, 548, Ronald Reagan Gubernatorial Audiotape collection: 1965-
74, RRL.
89 General Correspondence, 1974-75, Texas, Box 45, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Roger Olien. From
Token to Triumph: The Texas Republicans Since 1920 (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1982), 236-
238.










fact, critiquing liberals was a very bipartisan enterprise in Texas. Though Texans more often

than not voted out of loyalty and tradition, most were also keenly aware of the ideological

positioning of candidates running for public office. Texas did not fit the mold of a Southern

state, nor did it entirely fit the mold of a Western state. Pockets of Texas seemed to conform to

different regional interests, though the state as a whole remained conservative. By the close of

the 1960s, Texas was still a bastion of conservative Democratic dominance. At the same time,

however, liberal factions, a growing dissatisfaction with the political status quo, a reinvigorated

populist conservatism, a new Western standard-bearer in Ronald Reagan, and an understanding

of ideology that placed the blame for the nation's problems on "liberal weakness" all came

together to make the 1970s the decade Texas Republicans had long waited for.92






























92 "General Election Results, 7" District," November 15, 1968, Box 12, Folder 12, General 66-72, James A.
Baker Papers, Seeley G. Mudd Library, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.










growing power of the Republican Party, both nationally and in Texas, by connecting the social

conservative agenda with that of a western populism that emphasized strength, efficiency, and

the liberation of Americans from the yoke of big government. This amalgam of special interests

helped conservatism coalesce in Texas, contributed to redefinitions of liberalism, and even

helped win the loyalties of Hispanic women in places like San Antonio, where the local GOP

used family, abortion, and ERA to undermine Democratic appeals to Catholics.66

The rise of evangelical social conservatism in Texas coincided with numerous other

political maneuverings in the state and contributed to the coming fusion of conservatism within

the Texas Republican Party. Conservative factions with seemingly little in common united under

a worldview of conservatism that simultaneously appealed to multiple constituencies on the basis

of discontent and anti-liberalism. Affluent urban Texans shared the belief of rural Baptists that

the nation was in decline, Texas was threatened, and the government was to blame. Still, there

was yet another aspect to the GOP's appeal which allowed factions of middle class free market

libertarian conservatives to fuse with the state's rural social conservatives--the persistent Red

Menace.

Canals, Communists, and Giveaways

In the last years of the decade, social conservatives in Texas rallied behind numerous

issues, many of which went beyond the scope of gender.67 Richard Viguerie was among those

Texans with a passion to see the Republican Party carried to new national prominence on the

backs of reinvigorated "New Right." His early career included stints with the Right-Wing

anticommunist radio preacher, Billy James Hargis as well his service as the Executive Secretary



66 RNC Executive Meeting, March 12, 1977, Washington, DC, PRP, Part I, Series B, Reel 15, Frame 003.
67 Texas Briefing: Office of Policy Coordination, Box 24, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI; Briggs
Initiative, 1978, Box 4, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI; Atlas World Press, March 1978, "The New Conservatism," Box
85, Deaver & Hannaford, Inc. Papers, HI.










While Eggers's strategy earned him the support of some liberals and only few

conservatives, Richard Nixon seemed more aware of the political winds blowing through Texas

in 1968. More importantly, Nixon's campaign team understood those winds and attempted to

channel that energy into a public relations campaign designed to localize national issues and win

support in disparate regions through a purposefully vague conservative rhetoric. In some ways,

Nixon's 1968 campaign strategy reflected lessons learned from his previous political defeats. In

1960, Nixon promised to visit all fifty states during his campaign. Eight years later, his

experience told him instead to concentrate on targeted audiences. Nixon's ability to secure the

Republican nomination was in many respects an indication of his ability to do at the national

level what Eggers could not achieve in Texas--unify conservatives and moderates under the

same party. For Nixon, this meant a strategy focused on winning conservatives in the South,

winning moderates in the North, and convincing both sides that he was really one of them. 4

Nixon's strategy, however, was not initially as effective in Texas as he hoped. Prior to

his securing of the nomination in Miami, Nixon' s chief rival for conservative affections in Texas

was Ronald Reagan, who had burst onto the national scene as a result of his charismatic support

for Goldwater in 1964. Over 63 percent of voting Texans had rejected Goldwater in 1964. Few

notable grassroots organizations had operated on his behalf. By 1968, however, Reagan began

establishing pockets of influence in the state in conjunction with his first campaign for the

presidency. Texans saw Reagan very differently than they had seen Goldwater. Nearly fifty

percent of Texans had found Goldwater too "radical" to risk a vote on in 1964, but only a tenth

of Texans felt the same way about Reagan in 1968. Unlike Goldwater, Reagan maintained

support among the state's business community while simultaneously appearing to be a rank-and-

45Donald T. Critchlory, Phyllis \, Iyl,:le and Grassroots Conservatism: 4 Woinan 's Crusade (Princeton,
NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005); Matthew D. Lassiter, The Silent Majority: John Micklethwait and Adrian
Wooldridge, The Right Nation: Conservative Power in 4merica (New York: Penguin, 2004), 68-71.










Eix an association among grassroots conservatives between weakness and the Democratic Party.

Coordinated Republican campaign efforts across Texas routinely emphasized McGovern's

liberalism ahead of local or state issues, even in local and state races. Texas Republicans

constantly used the words McGovemn and surrender in the same sentence, spoke often of

Democratic weakness, and jumped at the chance to use the word liberal as the quickest and

easiest descriptor of all such attitudes.43

While McGovern became a major focus for conservative Texans, Texas was not a maj or

focus for McGovemn. This was evident particularly in August, when McGovemn scheduled a visit

to the LBJ Ranch to confer with the former president and receive his endorsement. During his

visit, McGovern tried to emphasize a number of similarities with Johnson. McGovemn frst

established a rapport with Johnson on the basis of their having experienced similar paths on the

rise to public office. McGovemn also tried to Eind common cause with Johnson's own quest for

peace in Southeast Asia, a strategy designed to shift the blame for American involvement in

Vietnam from the Democrat Johnson to the Republican Nixon. McGovern also highlighted

Johnson's insistence on larger roles for women in his campaigns, noting that LBJ was the first

Texan to make such an insistence. Lastly, the Democratic nominee portrayed himself as sharing

with Johnson a "deeply felt populist hostility to big business and to 'the interests."' 44

Although the event received considerable press coverage, McGovern's strategists were

under no illusions that the meeting would boost their candidate's support in Texas. The

discussion between the two public figures was scripted prior to the actual meeting and certain

topics were deemed inappropriate and potentially dangerous. For instance, McGovern's staff



43 MemOrandum to: State and Local Staffers, from: Frederic V. Malek, October 20, 1972, Box 117, Folder
13: Committee for the Re-Election of the President, James A. Baker Papers, SGML; McGovern Manual, PRP, Part
II, Reel 10, Frames 653-778.
44 MemOrandum for Milt Gwertzman, August 17, 1972, Box 329, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML.










only appealed to Hispanics during election years, some Dallas-area Hispanic activists denounced

such disrespect and encouraged other Hispanics to withhold their votes until their various

concerns were legitimately addressed.19 The national Democratic Party met these challenges not

by embracing Hispanic concerns, but by resorting to its party's populist tradition. Carter

administration official Esteban E. Torres, for instance, addressed politically active Hispanic

organizations across Texas in 1980, not by proposing new policy or discussing the nuances of

certain issues, but by reminding Hispanics of the evils of Republican elitism and the Democratic

"common man" tradition of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Franklin Roosevelt, John

Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and--of course--Jimmy Carter. Frustrated, the Texas Hispanic

leadership sought attention by reframing their discontent and political value in the context of

broader racial discrimination. Just as African Americans had struggled in Texas as well as in

other parts of the nation, these leaders argued, so Hispanics were also suffering under the yoke of

delayed desegregation.

The city receiving the most attention from Hispanic leaders on this issue was the state's

capitol. Between 1960 and 1970, Austin was Texas's fastest growing city. Though by 1980 its

rate of expansion was no longer exceeding the state's industrial hubs, Austin continued to grow

and during the late 1970s was fast becoming among the nation's leaders in electronics

manufacturing and technology. The Motorola Corporation, for instance, moved its headquarters

to Austin in 1975, bringing with it an initial 2500 new jobs. The rapidly expanding population

was largely due to the creation of new white-collar job opportunities. Over 50 percent of the

19 "Dallas Trip 4/24/80," Box 10, Staff Offices, Special Assistant to the President Esteban Torres,
Records of the Office of Hispanic Affairs, Jinuny Carter Presidential Papers, JCL.
20 "Suggested Talking Points for Ambassador Esteban E. Torres for Tejanos for Carter, April 12-13, 1980,"
Box 9, Staff Offices, Special Assistant to the President Esteban Torres, Records of the Office of Hispanic Affairs,
Jimmy Carter Presidential Papers, JCL.
21February 8, 1980, Letter from Arturo Gil, National Hispanic Institute, to Esteban Torres, Box 9, Staff
Offices, Special Assistant to the President Esteban Torres, Records of the Office of Hispanic Affairs, Jimmy
Carter Presidential Papers, JCL.










Ronald Reagan, however, was not one of those state party regulars. It is, therefore, not

surprising that the California Governor and aspiring presidential candidate made a strong

showing in Texas throughout 1973 and 1974. Though Reagan publicly acknowledged his

support for Nixon and the party, his rhetoric betrayed an agenda that was thoroughly anti-

Washington, anti-government, and appealed to disaffected Texans angry over political corruption

in both parties. In November 1973, Reagan visited Houston, billing himself as a "Crusader for

the Disaffected." Reagan's speech lambasted corrupt politicians in both parties and demanded

that the voice of the people be heard, listened to, and respected

Reagan cannot be singularly credited as a visionary who spoke instinctively to the needs

of Texas voters. Rather, Reagan' s team of political strategists began informing their boss as

early as 1973 that the possibility existed to make a splash in places like Texas, which was

"entering a period of rapid and possibly irreversible change about the way people feel toward

institutions." Reagan's advisors added that, "the public is currently angry, mean, and in a

frustrated mood" and encouraged Reagan to take advantage of this mood by highlighting

government' s failures, misrepresentations, and incompetence, while at the same time using his

skill and charm as a political communicator to bring a sense of hope and optimism to those who

had neither."' Reagan certainly capitalized on this collective anger and frustration, especially in

Texas, which he had already identified as a potentially maj or base of operations for future

presidential campaigns. During the spring of 1974, Reagan spoke at both Texas Republican

fundraisers--where the established leadership knew he was sure to draw a large turnout--and

before local civic organizations unconnected to either major party. In February, for instance, he



86 Ibid.: November 19, 1973, C he...es;.. Tribune, p. 1, Box 92, Issues Office, Noel Sterrett Files, Jimmy
Carter Papers (Pre-Presidential): 1976 Presidential Campaign Files, Jimmy Carter Library, Atlanta, GA.
87Memorandum to Governor Reagan, from Peter D. Hannaford, July 3, 1974, Box 1, Peter Hannaford
Papers, HI.










the South and West, but Texas had a socioeconomic and political climate that uniquely affected

the way such spatial developments informed the public's political perceptions and behavior. The

stereotypical narrative of modern Republicanism's ascendancy, and the one that the recent

literature has sought to redress, understands the GOP's ability to attract Dixiecrat segregationists

as the key to its success. Such efforts were at the heart of Nixon's famed "Southern Strategy."

What recent scholarship suggests, however, is that this narrative lacks complication and

intuitively dismisses racism in only its crudest and most disrespectable form. The new suburban

history has recaptured the nuances of racism and shown how complex white responses to civil

rights actually were, yet have also created an image of conservative Republicanism that

intuitively dismisses or inappropriately convolutes the broader narrative of social, political,

religious, and cultural changes evolving in the 1960s and 1970s. The homogeneity of white,

middle-class suburbia did not, in all cases, transcend regional traditions and variations, which is

why further local and regional studies are needed.8

Several historians have also contributed to the historiography of modern American

conservatism through biographies. Perhaps the most well-known example is Dan T. Carter' s

1995 book, 7he Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and' the

Transformation ofAmerican Politics. In studying Wallace, Carter finds a legacy of conservative

continuity connecting the segregationist politics of the Deep South with the eventual Republican

takeover of that same region. Carter discusses what he calls, the "Southernization of American

Politics"--a thesis he shares with other historians such as Bruce Schulman. Though a sometimes

caustic biography, Carter' s study of Wallace offers conclusions that, similar to those offered by

Lassiter, Kruse, and Crespino, overextend the reach of Southern influence into other areas of the


SLisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New 4merican Right (Princeton, NJ: Princeton
University Press, 2001).










comparatively smaller percentages of African Americans, created a unique socioeconomic and

racial climate. By the late 1970s, Hispanics comprised 18 percent of Texas's legal population,

compared with African Americans at just 12 percent. As a new decade approached, Texas

Hispanics and African Americans shared many of the same barriers to social and economic

integration. At the top of the list was the conservative Democratic Party machinery that had

dominated state politics for much of the twentieth century. For years, restrictions like the poll

tax or other burdensome obstacles, along with a primary system in which conservative

incumbents were always more Einancially advantaged and could, thus, conduct more extensive

media campaigns, worked together to discourage political participation among poorer Texans--

of which both blacks and Hispanics comprised a disproportionate percentage. However, after

1965, but particularly by the late 1970s, political participation among ethnic minorities in Texas

took on a new importance.

Race in Texas often had less to do with sheer bigotry than with the distribution and

protection of political power. Maintaining power in Texas traditionally depended on fostering

party loyalty, and, for many years, few states had as Hiercely loyal a Democratic following as did

Texas. Democratic power--long the only power in the state--had always been enhanced by

liberal support from ethnic minorities, but was rarely dependent upon it. Elitist power and old

money still controlled the Texas Democratic Party through the 1970s. Yet, as a collective group

of businessmen and political leaders, "old money" began to appear past its prime, and many

warned of an encroaching new power--the youthful emergence of grassroots conservative

activism not necessarily loyal to the Democratic Party of their fathers and grandfathers. Lyndon

Johnson's power broker and campaign financier George R. Brown, for instance--once


SPolitical Brief: Texas, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files,
Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, Ronald Reagan Library, Simi Valley, CA (Hereafter cited as RRL).










promoted Reagan as a man of law and order whose political ideology was drawing widespread

support among Texas Republican "insurgents and American conservatives." The TSCPA

succeeded in drawing a great deal more press coverage for their meeting than was the norm, but

Reagan was the real winner, as was often the case when other organizations in Texas undertook

similar advertising campaigns. Between May and December of 1975, Reagan continued to make

appearances before sales and marketing executives in Houston, Veterans and Prisoners of War in

San Antonio, GOP fundraisers in Dallas and Beaumont, women's organizations in Dallas and

Wichita Falls, the National Soft Drink Association in Dallas, and the Association of Builders and

Contractors in Houston.12

During appearances in Texas not directly sponsored by the Republican Party, Reagan

typically emphasized his affinity for speaking to non-political audiences. Before businessmen in

Houston, for instance, he expressed relief at being able to speak before business leaders and not

politicians. He told the National Soft Drink Association in Dallas that he had agreed to speak

because he valued a chance to mingle with small business owners--a core component, he

proclaimed, of the American free enterprise system.13 Reagan often constructed his speeches in

such as way as to remove himself and his audience from the sense that they were there for

political reasons at all. Reagan, who fancied himself a citizen-politician, managed to mobilize

both social and economic conservatives in Texas without seeming to have made a political

overture of any kind. His popularity as a speaker in Texas grew so rapidly that, by early 1976,


12 Texas GOP Fundraiser, Dallas, TX, June 20, 1975, Box 93, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Sales and
Marketing Executives of Houston, TX, May 28, 1975, Box 93, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Texas GOP
Fundraiser, Dallas, TX, June 20, 1975, Box 93, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Texas GOP, Beaumont, TX, June
21, 1975, Box 93 Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; P.O.W. Reunion, San Antonio, TX, June 28, 1975, Box 93,
Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; National Federation of Republican Women, Dallas, TX, September 12, 1975, Box
94, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Assn., Builders & Contractors, Houston, TX, November 14, 1975, Box 96,
Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Woman's Forum, Wichita Falls, TX, November 18, 1975, Box 96, Citizens for
Reagan Papers, HI; National Soft Drink Assn., Dallas, TX, November 19, 1975, Box 96, Citizens for Reagan
Papers, HI; Southern Rep. Conference, Houston, TX, December 13, 1975, Box 96, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.
13 National Soft Drink Assn., Dallas, TX, November 19, 1975, Box 96, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.










South as warranting federal intervention, as did many conservatives in Texas. At the same time,

much of Connally and other conservative Texans' support for racial progress was motivated less

by a concern for racial equality than out of deep desire to avoid similar federal interventions in

their state.43 COnnally spent a great deal of time as governor shaping Texas's image as a racially

moderate Southwestern state. He viewed himself as a racial progressive and openly promoted

Texas' s heritage of racial and ethnic diversity, often speaking of a "Texas bloodline" comprised

of 26 distinct ethnic strands. Movements of massive resistance were few and far between in

Texas, even at the height of the civil rights movement.

The civil rights issue aided Goldwater in states like South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama,

Mississippi, and Louisiana, but not in Texas. Goldwater' s biggest problem in Texas, however,

was not the perception that he was conservative, but that he was considered an extremist. Had

Goldwater simply been seen as a conservative, it seems likely that more Texans would have

supported him. For numerous reasons, though, Goldwater's ideology was seen as dangerous,

reckless, and extreme--not conservative. This perception was largely the product of a concerted

effort to frame Goldwater this way, first by his opponents in the GOP primary and then by

Johnson. In Texas, these efforts resulted in a profound shift in attitudes toward the Arizona

Senator. And because the Arizona Senator had been anointed as the best representation of the

nascent populist conservative movement, shifts in attitudes toward Goldwater meant a shift in the

public relations needs of conservatism itself.

Such a conclusion is born out through polling data. In October 1963, Peter O'Donnell

was given the results of a public opinion survey he had commissioned on Texans' attitudes

toward Barry Goldwater. The results, especially when contrasted with Texans' attitudes toward

Goldwater a year later, were striking. Among other things, the study concluded that in Texas,

43 Reston, The Lone Star, 294-317.










Since 1964, one or more of these factors had yet to reach maturity in Texas. By 1980,

this was no longer the case. The final and critically important component to this partisan and

ideological metamorphosis was the establishment of a clear and iconic dichotomy between

conservatism and liberalism, represented respectively by national figures Ronald Reagan and

Jimmy Carter. Thus, driven by national party movements, economic issues, grassroots

mobilization, and the emergence of ideological icons, a maj ority of Texans abandoned the

Democratic Party and replaced the New Deal coalition with a coalition of conservatives united

under one Republican banner. In 1980, the success of modern conservatism manifested in Texas

as a rej section of liberalism, the coalescence of conservatism, and the ascribing of those re-

defined terms to isolated parties. This success came in the form of Republican respectability,

partisan realignment, and a landslide victory for the conservative movement' s preeminent icon--

and took place when it did because of the relative synchronic maturation of a multiplicity of

social and political forces. It was the perfect Republican storm and Ronald Reagan was the

weatherman who told Texans about it.

The Setting

Even Mother Nature played a role in Texas's political transformation. During the

summer of 1980, seventy-eight Texans died as a result of a record-breaking heat wave. In

Houston, where 92 percent of buildings were air-conditioned, energy demands reached all-time

highs. In Dallas, one woman approached a parked truck loaded with bags of ice and, without

word to the driver, climbed into the back of the vehicle to lie down on the cargo. In West Texas,

the heat scorched the state's biggest crop-cotton-inciting small-scale panic among farmers.2

Then, in August, Hurricane Allen, a Category 5 storm (though it was only a Category 3 storm


2 Time, July 14, 1980, 21, Box 1, Bill Boyarsky Papers, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace,
Stanford University, Stanford, CA (Hereafter cited as HI).










in Texas, the Republican Party welcomed disgruntled conservatives like Carpenter who used

anti-liberalism to lend public respectability to the GOP and encouraged partisan realignment.4

Though the intellectual heritage of modern American conservatism stretched back to the

period before World War II, the emergence of modern conservatism as a viable and marketable

grassroots political philosophy began in earnest in 1964. Between 1964 and 1966, conservatives

struggled to maintain a voice in a Republican Party where the established leadership was

convinced that Goldwater' s brand of conservatism was a losing ideology. The GOP would

struggle with factionalism at both the state and local level for several years to come, but for a

brief time in 1968, a small measure of temporary unification was achieved.

Better marketing was the first improvement made by Republicans on their path toward

unity, second-party viability, and conservative coalescence, particularly in Texas. Encompassed

within new political marketing strategies was the re-definition and application of anti-liberalism

to very tangible social, cultural, and economic "problems." In 1968, more effective marketing

strategies combined with widespread disillusionment over a range of national issues to pave the

way for Richard Nixon's election to the presidency of the United States. Nixon' s election was

largely a credit to those whom he referred to as "forgotten Americans." These forgotten

Americans were predominantly the white, middle-class, churchgoing taxpayers who supported

the war in Vietnam and detested the rampant crime increasingly flooding American streets.

Within the next two years, this constituency would more famously be dubbed the "Silent

Maj ority."

Texas was full of such forgotten Americans, and yet Nixon failed to carry the state in

1968. Despite the anti-liberal venom being spewed by men such as Ben Carpenter, conservative

SMarch 26, 1968, Address by Ben H. Carpenter, President, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers
Association at its Annual Membership Convention, "Speeches," Box 613, Dolph Briscoe Papers, CAH: Dallas
Moving News, March 3, 2006.










when it made landfall) tore through South and Central Texas with winds in excess of 115 miles

per hour, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage and leaving seven dead. In the

aftermath of Hurricane Allen, the Carter administration allocated Federal Disaster Aid to much

of the state, but chose to exclude two particular counties in South Texas where the damage had

been less severe. The residents of these counties, most of whom were Hispanic, were outraged

about their exclusion from federal aid.3 The weather caused many problems for Texans, but was

also an unwelcome situation for Jimmy Carter, who undoubtedly had no control over nature, but

was certainly blamed for policies seen as having contributed to high energy costs and agricultural

struggles-shortcomings that were intensified as the winds blew and the mercury rose on

thermometers across the state.

The weather was only one of a myriad of things affecting the state' s political culture in

1980. In order, therefore, to come to terms with the ramifications of the political campaigns of

that year, it is first necessary to understand the broad foundations--the economic issues, social

currents, and local distinctions--that made Texas what it was. Raw demographics and economic

statistics also provide insight. In a state with an economy based on energy, Einance, insurance,

real estate, and agriculture, nearly half of the state' s employed workers held white collar j obs,

while just over a third held blue collar ones. By 1980, only 4 percent of Texans still farmed for a

living. In July, the state's unemployment rate stood at only 5.6 percent, a significant 2-3

percentage points lower than in the rest of the nation.4 As it was nationally, inflation was a

problem in Texas and was largely seen as a covert tax.5 Also important was the state's ethnic

composition. African Americans comprised only 12 percent of the population, significantly less

than other parts of the South and far more in accord with national averages. Furthermore, even

STexas Briefing: Office of Policy Coordination, Box 24, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI.
4 Ibid.
SMiscellaneous Issues, Box 21, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI.










EPCA, positioning himself as the only declared candidate in either party to say that he would

have vetoed the legislation. In addition to the obvious political benefit such a stand gave Reagan

in Texas, the Republican challenger focused his obj section to the EPCA on three principles. First,

Reagan argued that price controls in the United States would increase dependence on foreign

sources of oil. Second, Reagan claimed that price controls were a disincentive for domestic

producers and fundamentally un-American. Finally, Reagan argued that price controls conflicted

with conservationist goals because fixed prices encouraged, rather than discouraged,

consumption.62

Ford' s popularity plummeted in Texas in the immediate aftermath of his signing of the

EPCA in late 1975. As his popularity continued to decline steadily in Texas throughout 1976,

Ford and his campaign staff became convinced that the EPCA was the predominant source of

Reagan's support in Texas and subsequently discounted evidence that suggested that Reagan

backers had either been attracted by a combination of the EPCA and several other issues, or

supported Reagan for entirely different reasons.63 While Ford's internal polling numbers

suggested that the EPCA had indeed cost Ford support in Texas, the numbers clearly indicated

that for many Texans, Ford' s signing of the EPCA contributed not solely to fears about divesture

and price controls, but also significantly exacerbated broader fears about the expansion of

government into the private sector, the manipulation of economic forces by the White House,

and a growing sense that freedoms were being taken away from them by the federal government.

Ford's myopia was costly. Rather than understand the Texas political climate as broadly hostile



62 MemOrandum For: Bo Calloway, From: Robert Teeter, December 5, 1975, Box B2, Marik File Market
Opinion Research, President Ford Committee Records, 1975-76, GFL; Texas Issues Outline, April 3, 1976, Box 19,
Presidential Briefing Book, GFL.
63 MemOrandum For: Dick Cheney, From: Jerry H. Jones, November 20, 1975, Box 19, Richard Cheney
Files, 1974-77: Campaign Subject File, GFL; Memorandum For: Bo Calloway, From: Robert Teeter, December 5,
1975, Box B2, Marik File Market Opinion Research, President Ford Committee Records, 1975-76, GFL.










for American History at the University of Texas at Austin, Jennifer Mandel of the Ronald

Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, Dan Santamaria of the Seeley G. Mudd Library at

Princeton University, Kathryn Stallard of the John G. Tower Library at Southwestern University

in Georgetown, Texas, and Carol Leadenham and the entire staff at the Hoover Institution on

War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford University. I extend my sincerest thanks to each of these

men and women.

While professional and academic support was obviously necessary for a proj ect such as

this one, just as necessary was the encouragement, love, and support I received from friends and

family. First, I would like to thank my grandfather, J. Pat Cunningham, who in 1980 became the

first Republican County Commissioner elected in Potter County, Texas, and gave me my first

taste of just how powerful the Reagan tidal wave of the 1980s was. My grandfather passed away

just two months before I completed the first revised draft of this dissertation and I regret that he

never had the chance to review it, though I imagine he might have disagreed with a few of my

conclusions. I would also like to thank my parents, both of whom have no doubt shaped my life

in too many ways for me to even notice sometimes. My mother, Kay, and father, Kirk have each

taught me a great deal about life, love, service, and sacrifice--and are in large part responsible

for the man I am today. Each of these people, along with the support of my brother Eric and

sister-in-law Averi, grandmothers, friends, church family, and colleagues, provided uniquely to

my pursuit of graduate education in history and thus contributed to my ability to complete this

proj ect.

Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank my wonderful wife Laura. Laura has

been with me through the duration of this proj ect and no individual has endured more of my

daily grind than she has. Laura sacrificed her own academic and career ambitions to serve me as










conservatives in the state."' Reagan's specific ability to turn Carter's greatest assets in 1976--

his honesty and ethics--against him in 1980 was a particular coup for the Republican

presidential hopeful."2 Conservatives made Jimmy Carter a main issue in the 1980 elections--

not just at the presidential campaign level, but in campaigns at every level. Carter was accused

of corruptions and abuses including leaking classified information, fudging on statistics, and

misusing federal employees."

Republicans gained some additional notoriety by reintroducing a "Truth Squad" to the

campaign--this one operating as a watch dog on virtually everything Carter said in public

appearances. The very existence of a "Reagan-Bush Truth Squad" contributed to distrust of

Cater and government in general.114 Attacking Carter' s honesty successfully reminded Texas

voters that corruption in Washington, DC was bipartisan. Adding to the perception that political

corruption knew no partisan boundaries was the fact that Texas House Speaker and Democrat

Billy Clayton had been on trial in Houston for the better part of the year, defending himself

against allegations that he had illegally awarded insurance contracts for state employees. The

Clayton scandal was widely reported throughout the state and made attacks against other

Democrats, particularly Carter, seem more credible."

Texas Republicans painted Carter as weak and incompetent, while Reagan blasted the

incumbent president for being "missing in action"--a reference with military connotations to



III Memorandum to: Ronald Reagan, from: James Baker, Myles Martel, re: 10/28/80 Cleveland Debate
Strategy, Box 134, Folder 6: Strategy Team, 1980, James A. Baker Papers, SGML.
112 Memorandum, September 5, 1980, To: All Republican Members, From: Paul Russo, Folder 10, Box
873, JTP.
113 White Paper on Incumbency Abuses by the Carter Administration, October 23, 1980, Box 20, Annelise
G. Anderson Papers, HI.
114 Texas Political Brief, September 12, 1980, Box 253, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980
Campaign Files, Political Operations William Timmons Files, RRL: Southern Region Files, Box 385, Pre-
Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Regional Political Files, RRL.
11'5 Texas Political Brief, September 12, 1980, Box 253, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980
Campaign Files, Political Operations William Timmons Files, RRL.










nation, particularly as he casually incorporates the South into the Sunbelt without fully making

sense of how the distinctive political cultures of Southwestern states informs his thesis.9

Another biography, Donald T. Critchlow's 2005 study, Phyllis Schlafly and' Grassroots

Conservatism: A Woman 's Crusad'e, does much to correct the assertion among many historians

that the regional genesis of modern American conservatism had a purely Southern accent.

Instead, Critchlow argues that the history of modern American conservatism must incorporate

more focused studies beyond the issues of race and region. Whereas historians of the modern

American South have interpreted the development of a color-blind conservative rhetoric as

evidence in support of the well-known "code words thesis," Critchlow finds that anticommunist

conservatives in much of the rest of the country not merely prioritized issues other than race, but

were in some cases relatively sympathetic to the need for improved race relations. The research

of recent Brown University Ph.D. Dan Williams concurs with this assessment, by studying the

influence of Northern and European evangelicals on shaping and influencing Southern religion in

the late 1970s, culminating with the dramatic, fundamental, and politicizing shift within the

Southern Baptist Convention in 1979. "

Several other biographies, including Rick Perlstein' s 2001 book Before the Storm: BarryB~~~~BBBBB~~~~BBBB

Goldwuater and' the thimaking of the American Consensus, Robert Dallek' s 1991 book Fknueed

Giant: Lynd'on Johnson and His Times, 1908-1960, James Reston's 1989 study of the life of

John Connally, and John Knaggs's 1986 book, Two-Party Texas: The John Tower Era, 1961-

1984, each contribute great insight into the political culture and changes in the American



9 Dan T. Carter, The Politics ofRage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the
Transformation of 4merican Politics (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995); Bruce J. Schulman, The Seventies: The
Great Shift in 4merican Culture, Society, and Politics (New York: The Free Press, 2001).
'o Donald T. Critchlory, Phyllis \, ///0)l? and Grassroots Conservatism: 4 Woinan 's Crusade (Princeton, NJ:
Princeton University Press, 2005); Daniel K. Williams, "From the Pews to the Polls: The Formation of a Southern
Christian Right," Ph.D. Dissertation, Brown University, 2005.











TABLE OF CONTENTS




ACKNOWLEDGMENT S ............. ...............4.....

ABSTRACT .............. ...............8.....

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION .............. ...............9.....


2 MARKETING IDEOLOGY INT LBJ' S TEXAS, 1963-66 ................ .........................37

3 DISMANTLING TEXAS' S NEW DEAL COALITION, 1967-70 ................. ................. 92

4 SCANDAL, MOBILIZATION, AND ANTI-LIBERALISM, 1971-74 ............. ................142

5 CIVIL WAR, 1975-76 ................ ...............187........... ...

6 THE GATHERING STORM, 1977-78 ............. ...............239....

7 TEXAS AND THE REAGAN REVOLUTION, 1979-80 ............. ....................29

8 EPILOGUE .............. ...............349....

LIST OF REFERENCES .............. ...............355....

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............. ...............366....










posturing of men like Carpenter also grew out of notions of white Southern honor and the

impulse to protect family, home, and tradition against "invasion." Much of what Carpenter

referred to in this speech, rising crime rates and rampant rape for instance, was somewhat less

true in much of Texas than it was in other parts of the nation. National figures indicate that

between 1960 and 1968, the number of reported violent crimes per 100,000 people nearly

doubled, from 161 to 298. Nationally, the number or forcible rapes per 100,000 increased from

10 to 16. Similar increases were reported on the number of burglaries and other forms property

crime. In Texas, violent crime and property crime increases were slightly less, though still

significant. Regardless, just as vital to the shaping of average Texans' trepidations were the

images of crime being broadcast and discussed by conservative politicians on radio and

television. The reality of rising crime rates mixed with the powerful imagery of isolated riots

and other manifestations of violence fueled the potency of conservative rhetoric as the decade

approached its close.3

Four months after delivering his speech to the Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers

Association, Carpenter--a visionary in the Dallas business community and the man almost

single-handedly responsible for the development of the Las Colinas suburban magnet for

corporate relocation into the DFW Metroplex--was tapped to head the Texas Democrats for

Nixon campaign. According to business leaders like Carpenter, liberalism had poisoned the

nation's social and cultural climate. The blending of civic responsibility and political activism

was crucial to the moral and economic survival of city, state, and nation. Though debate as to

which political party was best suited to solve the nation's ills continued through the late 1960s,



SU.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Crime, State Level,
State-by-State and National Trends, 1960-1980.
SMichael J. Robinson, "Public Affairs Television and the Growth of Political Malaise: The Case of the
'Selling of the Pentagon, '" 4merican Political Science Review, 70 (1976), 409-432.










establishment." McGovern's nomination in 1972 alienated large segments of the moderate and

conservative population and forced many Texans to reexamine their political loyalties in light of

the increasing estrangement between conservatism and the Democratic Party.6

It was also in the early 1970s that the word "liberal" became much more synonymous

among conservatives with the word Democrat. Research reports conducted for the RNC in 1972

indicated that most Americans associated liberalism with individualism, advocacy for the

underprivileged, and a free-thinking hostility toward special interests. With the expressed intent

of undermining this definition, the RNC funneled strategy papers to state and local campaigns

within which a concerted effort was made to link liberalism with weakness, permissiveness, and

relativistic amorality. By painting McGovern as a weak, bleeding-heart liberal, conservatives

both nationally and in Texas managed to undermine the perceived ideological traditions of the

Democratic Party.6

The strategy of coupling Democratic liberalism with a host of pej oratives collectively

intended to redefine liberalism as a philosophy of entitlement and weakness was most effective

against McGovern, but was not limited to him. During the 1972 campaign, Texas Republicans

openly questioned George Wallace's persistent candidacy for national power as a threat. Some

Texans even viewed Wallace as an "advocate of dangerous and collectivist welfare state

politics."65 Among many volunteers working for Republican candidates in Texas, George

Wallace, whose name among many Republicans connoted extremism and unprofessionalism,

was simply not a name they wanted their campaign to be associated with.66 Similar but more



63Dallas Morning News, February 3, 1972, Box 589, Preston Smith Papers, SWC: Schoemvald, 4 Time for
( i,... ,, 251-265; Schulman, The Seventies, 113-14.
McGovern Manual, PRP, Part II, Reel 10, Frames 653-778: Davies, Froin Opportunity to Entitlement.
65Schoemvald, 4 Time for C I,...-s ,-, 252.
66Lynda L. Kaid, Interview with Author, November 7, 2006, Gainesville, FL. Kaid served as a campaign
worker for Paul Eggers gubernatorial campaign in 1970 and John Tolver's senate campaign in 1972.










forced on multiple occasions throughout the primary and general campaign to come out against

allowing gays in the military, for what he justified as "national security reasons associated with

potential blackmail.""

On November 2, Carter defeated Ford in Texas by a margin of 51-48 percent. Following

the election, Carter insiders, who were well-aware of the divisions that still plagued their party

and threatened their admini stration-particularly on ideological grounds, began to formulate new

strategies for future elections. Six weeks prior to Carter's inauguration, pollster Patrick Caddell

submitted a report on political strategy in which he made a number of prescient conclusions. "In

the end, the decline in the South that took place in October because of ideology was reversed

only by regional pride," Caddell wrote. "This has some disturbing implications, however, for the

future." Caddell continued, noting that, "Conservatives have become a larger and larger block of

the electorate," and determined that the Democratic Party was on the brink of being forced to

form a new coalition, because its current one was "fading fast." The essence of the report,

written for Carter and his top advisors, was the debate and confusion surrounding which

coalitions to approach, and a concern that the party could not win an ideological battle for the

public's hearts and minds. Democrats, he asserted, "must transcend ideology" because, for

liberals, ideology was a losing game.114

Less than two weeks after his initial report, Caddell issued a follow-up, at Carter' s

behest, in which he concluded that the, "Democratic Party is in serious national trouble--with a

shrinking and ill-defined coalition. We need a new and broader political coalition that can attract

new support. It would be a mistake, however, to try to create an all-inclusive coalition." The


113 "Gay Rights," Box 34, Issues Office, Sam Bleicher Files, Jimmy Carter Papers (Pre-Presidential): 1976
Presidential Campaign Files, JCL: Transcript, March 19, 1976 "NBC Tomorrow Show," Box 34, Issues Office,
Sam Bleicher Files, Jimmy Carter Papers (Pre-Presidential): 1976 Presidential Campaign Files, JCL.
114 December 10, 1976, "Initial Working Paper on Political Strategy," by Pat Caddell, Box 4, Press Office,
Jody Powell Files, Jimmy Carter Presidential Papers, JCL.










Republicans invest their resources in national success was a well-established practice.86 At the

same time, Reagan's appeal to socially conservative and more rural Democratic Texans reflected

a branding of conservatism that was appealing virtually regardless of region. Though the Texas

GOP did well with its more affluent constituents, Reagan also received more small donations

from rural Texans in 1980 than did Carter. s Also important was the dramatic infusion of out-of-

state dollars into the Texas Republican effort. For instance, an independent organization known

as Americans for Effective Presidency (AEP) raised and spent over a half million dollars on anti-

Carter advertising in Texas, Illinois, and Ohio. The efforts of the AEP stand as a microcosm for

numerous aspects of Republican development in the Lone Star State. Funding flowed in from

outside the state and was directed at converting conservative Texas Democrats to Republicanism

based on anti-Carter and implied anti-liberal sentiment.8

One of Reagan' s greatest allies in Texas was Bill Clements, who had made Jimmy

Carter' s defeat a personal goal. Clements also served as the Campaign Chairman for Reagan-

Bush in Texas.89 Though he had largely been elected as a friend to Dallas and Houston big

business, with some social conservative cross-over, Clements invested his political capital in

1980 into the mobilization of grassroots Texas conservatives. Clements raised over $2.5 million

in funds for the Reagan-Bush campaign in Texas, which embarked on the most gargantuan and

successful grassroots Republican operation in the state's history. By the end of September, the

Reagan-Bush campaign had over 30,000 volunteers staffing 50 phone centers in 39 cities across

the state, each operating 66 hours per week. By Election Day, these call centers alone had


86 Roger M. Olien, From Token to Triumph: The Texas Republicans Since 1920 (Dallas: Southemn
Methodist University Press, 1982).
87White, 4merica in Search ofltself
""Memorandum II: Debate Strategy, Patrick H. Caddell, October 21, 1980, in: Drew, Elizabeth. Portrait of
an Election, 417.
89 MemOrandum for Reagan-Bush Committee, October 14, 1980, Box 25, Annalise G. Anderson Papers,
HI.




Full Text

PAGE 1

THE PERFECT STORM: SOCIAL CHANGE, PARTISAN REALIGNM ENT, AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF MODERN TEXAS CONSERVATISM, 1963-1980 By SEAN P. CUNNINGHAM A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2007

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2 2007 Sean P. Cunningham

PAGE 3

3 For Lauramy wife and my love

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS No project of this magnitude can be co mpleted alone. Throughout the course of my graduate career, numerous individuals have co ntributed wisdom, insight, encouragement, support, assistance, and timeall of which has enabled me to produce what I hope is a solid piece of original research. I would like to begin by thanking my dissert ation advisors Brian Ward (now at the University of Manchester, UK) and William A. Link, Richard J. Milbauer Professor of History at the University of Florida. Any graduate student would be lucky to work w ith either one of these mentors; I have been fortunate to work closely with both. My doctoral e xperience at UF was far better than I ever could have hoped for and this, I believe, is a credit to the scholarly wisdom, patience, communication skill s, and dedication of these two men. I have also had the pleasure of working with several other professors at bot h the University of Florida and Texas Tech University, where I received my M.A. in 2002. Among those professors are George Esenwein, Joseph Spillane, Robert McMahon (now at Ohio St ate University), Donald Walker, Alywn Barr, Randy McBee, Paul Deslandes (now at the Univ ersity of Vermont), Lynda Kaid, and Spiro Kiousis. These men and women a ll contributed to this project in unique and important ways. My sincerest thanks go out to each of these scholars. Numerous historians, archivists and librarians across the coun try also contributed to this effort. Specifically, I would like to thank the arch ivists and staff at the Southwest Collections at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, George Sc hultz at the Cushing Library at Texas A&M University in College Station, Robert Bohanan at the Jimmy Carter Library in Atlanta, Georgia, William McNitt at the Gerald Ford Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the entire staff at the Lyndon Johnson Library in Austin, Texas, Brenda Gunn and Stephanie Malmros of the Center

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5 for American History at the University of Te xas at Austin, Jennifer Mandel of the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, Dan Santamaria of the Seeley G. Mudd Library at Princeton University, Kathryn Stallard of the John G. Tower Library at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and Carol Leadenham and the entire staff at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford University. I extend my sincerest thanks to each of these men and women. While professional and academic support was o bviously necessary for a project such as this one, just as necessary was the encouragemen t, love, and support I received from friends and family. First, I would like to thank my grandf ather, J. Pat Cunningham, who in 1980 became the first Republican County Commissione r elected in Potter County, Te xas, and gave me my first taste of just how powerful the Reagan tidal wave of the 1980s was. My grandfather passed away just two months before I completed the first revise d draft of this dissertati on and I regret that he never had the chance to review it, though I imagine he might have disagreed with a few of my conclusions. I would also like to thank my pare nts, both of whom have no doubt shaped my life in too many ways for me to even notice sometimes My mother, Kay, and father, Kirk have each taught me a great deal about life, love, service, and sacrificea nd are in large part responsible for the man I am today. Each of these people, along with the support of my brother Eric and sister-in-law Averi, grandmothers friends, church family, and co lleagues, provided uniquely to my pursuit of graduate education in history and thus contributed to my ability to complete this project. Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank my wonde rful wife Laura. Laura has been with me through the duration of this proj ect and no individual has endured more of my daily grind than she has. Laura sacrificed her own academic and career ambitions to serve me as

PAGE 6

6 I progressed throughout my graduate career at the Universi ty of Florida. She gave of herself willingly and always joyfully, and supported and e ndured my numerous res earch trips, many of which took me out of town for w eeks at a time. Simply put, I c ould not have done this without Laura and will be forever grateful. She is the love of my life and I thank God for bringing the two of us together during my time in Gainesville. This work is dedicated to her.

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7 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ..............................................................................................................4 ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................... ..............8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................ ...9 2 MARKETING IDEOLOGY IN LBJS TEXAS, 1963-66 ....................................................37 3 DISMANTLING TEXASS NEW DEAL COALITION, 1967-70.......................................92 4 SCANDAL, MOBILIZATION, AND ANTI-LIBERALISM, 1971-74 .............................142 5 CIVIL WAR, 1975-76..........................................................................................................1 87 6 THE GATHERING STORM, 1977-78 ...............................................................................239 7 TEXAS AND THE REAGA N REVOLUTION, 1979-80 ..................................................293 8 EPILOGUE .................................................................................................................... ......349 LIST OF REFERENCES ............................................................................................................ 355 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ......................................................................................................366

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8 Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy THE PERFECT STORM: SOCIAL CHANGE, PARTISAN REALIGNM ENT, AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF MODERN TEXAS CONSERVATISM, 1963-1980 By Sean P. Cunningham August 2007 Chair: William A. Link Cochair: Brian Ward Major: History This study investigates the relationships be tween political transformations and social changes in Texas between 1963 and 1980, with a focus on the rise of modern conservatism. In Texas, the death of the Democr atic New Deal coalition coinci ded with the birth of a new conservative Republican coalition, the elements of which were not fully evident until the end of the 1970s. The study argues that modern Texas c onservatism must be understood as a complex coalescence of various factions, united under a broad and encompassing ideological rhetoric, and that analyses which do not fully incorporate th e wide array of regional variances, issues, tensions, and traditions are not necessarily represen tative of national political culture. In Texas, the deconstruction of the one-party system and s ubsequent construction of two-party politics was the most visible manifestation resulting from a combination of factors including race, religion, economics, anticommunism, scandal, and a heightened emphasis on image. By illustrating how these forces collectively influenced political ch ange in Texas, this st udy contributes nuance to the historiography on Southern conservatism, bridges a long-standing disagreement over the national versus local origins of conservative rh etoric, and reexamines the regional identities and political culture in the understudied po st-war American West and Southwest.

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9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION In May 1968, less than two m onths after announcing to the wo rld that he would not run for re-election, Lyndon Johnson remained desperate to understand the convergence of political events that had so decisively unraveled his pr esidency. Perhaps surprisingly, no state puzzled Johnson more than his home state of Texas. In seeking to understa nd the changing political climate of the state that had first sent him to Wa shington as a representati ve, then as a senator, Lyndon Johnson charged George Reedy, his former pr ess secretary and recen tly re-hired special counsel, to prepare an analysis of Texas politics that could be used to benefit the Democratic Party in the upcoming general election. Reedy ti tled his report, Forces at Work in Texas. The political problems of Te xas are complicated by the vast amount of territory that is covered, Reedy wrote. The state ranges over so much of the nation that it comprises areas which differ in their geography, economy, history, and social outlook. The treaty of annexation authorizes Texas to divide itself into five stat es and the problems of Texas political leaders would be greatly simplified if this should happen as they coul d then deal with relatively homogenous populations. Reedy went on to de tail the demographic, social, and economic nuances across the various regions of the state, and discussed the impact of urbanization as well as the growing disconnect betw een Texas liberalismwhich he said was actually populism confused with liberalismand the growing national liberal es tablishment. Among his many conclusions, Reedy warned that Texas, despite ci rcumstances that differed from other Southern states, could potentially become a bastion of conservative Republicanism in the coming decades.1 1 Memorandum, May 23, 1968, For: Ernest Goldstei n, From: George E. Reedy, Box 70, White House Central Files: Political Affairs, Lyndo n B. Johnson Library, Austin, TX.

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10 Fast forward almost four decades to 2004. That year, the platform of the Texas Republican Party reaffirmed the United States of America as a Christia n nation, denounced the myth of the separation of church and state, demanded the inclusion of abstinence-only sex education for public schools, and called fo r the elimination of, among other things, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protecti on Agency, the Internal Revenue Service, the income tax, the gift tax, the inheritance tax, th e capital gains tax, the payroll tax, and various state and local property taxes.2 That same year, as Texas Republicans held all 27 statewide elected offices, the Republican and former Te xas Governor George W. Bush won his second term as President of the United States, carrying over 61 percent of his home states vote, further evidence, as if any was needed by 2004, that George Reedys predic tions had been proven correct. Only two Texans, (three if you count George H. W. Bus h, who struggled throughout his career against the image that he was a Yankee in terloper), have served in the White House as President of the United States. The corollar ies between these two Texanseach of whom presided over controversial wars in distant parts of the globe, and each of whom sustained tremendous home state support despite national criticismoffer a stark contrast to the ideological and partisan affinities also ascrib ed to the two men. Johnsons home state support was primarily based on the fact that he wa s a Democrat. Bushs home state support was primarily based on the fact that he was a conser vative. Situated in the narrative precisely between the administrations of Johnson and Bush was the career of modern conservatisms preeminent icon, Ronald Reagan. Reagans popu lar support in Texas throughout the 1960s and 1970s suggests something important about the images that attracted Lone Star State residents 2 Kevin Phillips, American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century (New York: Viking Press, 2006), 233, 249.

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11 during this time. That support further shows how su ch images translated in to political loyalties and behaviors. Despite the states prominence in shaping national politi cs throughout the final decades of the twentieth centurynot to menti on the first decade of the twenty-first century the history of conservatism and party politics in post-World Wa r II Texas has, to this point, escaped the attention of most scholars attempting to understand th e relationships among local, regional, state, and national pol itics. Additionally, despite an abundance of fresh, provocative literature and a renewed zeal among historians in recent years to understand the diversity and complexity of its adherents, the history of m odern American conservatism remains incomplete. These two problems are not unrelated. It is, in large part, the reconc iliation of these two historiographical shortcomings that lie at the heart of this study. This study argues that the death of the New D eal coalition coincided with the birth of a new conservative coalition, the elements of whic h were not fully eviden t in Texas until the end of the 1970s. It is a further argument of this study that modern Texas conservatism must be understood as a complex coalescence of various factions, united under a broad and encompassing ideological rhetoric, and that an alyses which do not fully incorpor ate the wide array of regional variances, issues, tensions, and tr aditions are not necessarily repr esentative of national political culture. In Texas, the deconstruction of the one-party system and subsequent construction of two-party politics was the most visible manifest ation resulting from a combination of factors including race, religion, economic s, anticommunism, scandal, and a heightened emphasis on personality and ideological iconography. By illustra ting how these forces collectively influenced political change in Texas, operating together al most as a perfect storm, it is my hope to contribute nuance to an already thriving historiography on Southern conservatism, bridge a longstanding disagreement over the national versus local origins of conservative rhetoric, as well as

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12 encourage a scholarly reexamination of regiona l identities and political culture in the understudied post-war American West and Southwest. This is a st ory of modern conservatism as it evolved in one of the nations largest and most politically importa nt states during the tumultuous seventeen-year period between John F. Kennedys assassination in Dallas and Ronald Reagans ascension to the presidency in 1980. Put more succinctly, the story of modern Am erican conservatism cannot be told without understanding the central ro le that Texas played in its evolu tion. There are two key reasons why the exploration of Texas is vital to moving histor ians closer to a more complete understanding of post-war politics and modern conservatism. The first of these reasons se ems the more obvious of the two. Texas, through its sheer size and pr esence, has commanded a na tional stage and exerted national influence for decades. Yet, this influe nce has dramatically increased since the early 1960s. The most visible manifestation of this influence has been the persistence of Texas political leaders operating with national power From Lyndon Johnson to John Connally and Lloyd Bentsen, from John Tower to James Baker and Tom DeLay, from George Bush to Dick Cheney to George W. Bush, no state has c ontributed as heavily to the images and transformations of post-war Amer ican politics as has Texas. Power, though, comes in many forms. To properly understand post-war American conservatism, one must explore more than ju st top-down traditional politicsthough such a focus remains important. Rather, the developmen t of modern conservatism must be understood in Texas because the narrative of post-war Ameri can politics necessitates a balanced exploration, not simply between traditional political history and the new political history of the grassroots, but also between the various sources from wh ich power was derived. Therefore, the second reason why Texas stands as such a vital cog to the historical understandi ng of post-war American

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13 politics is less obvious than the firs t, yet just as important. Situat ed centrally in what the former conservative political strategist Kevin Phillips once coined in the late 1960s as the new American Sunbelt, Texas has stood not onl y at the heart of post-war Americas ideological, economic, demographic, and social development, but has al so existed as a bridge connecting the political traditions of the South with the rugged frontieri sm and individualistic ethos of the American West. Texas has been at the forefront of national urbanization, s uburbanization, and even exurbanization. During the last decades of the tw entieth century, Texas was home to four of the nations top ten largest and fastes t growing cities, embraced and benefited from the Rust Belt to Sunbelt migration of industrial workers, and es tablished itself as the nations energy nucleus particularly through the emergence of the ever-e xpanding and influential 1970s oil industry. Texas was also central to the rise of the milita ry industrial complex, boasted the most vibrant economy in the country for much of the 1970s, and became an operations hub for the emerging evangelical Christian Right. Fu rthermore, Texas offers a multifaceted setting which both mirrors and simultaneously contradicts traditional interp retations of race in the 1960s. Texas was, generally, a less-heated front for the African-American civil rights movement and yet fierce racism and segregation was palpable in several s ections of the state. Yet at the same time, Texass demographics reflect a racial dynamic far more complicat ed than most areas of the South, where racism was focused more directly on blacks seeking integr ation and a political voice. In Texas, a signifi cant Hispanic populationone that was larger than the black population of the statealtered th e political sensibilities of both candidates and citizens pertinent to broader notions of white supremacy and even definitions of whiteness itself.3 3 See, for instance, Neil Foley, The White Scourge: Mexicans, Blacks and Poor Whites in Texas Cotton Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999).

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14 Therefore, to a large degree, this study is just as concer ned with what a majority of Texans perceived to be at the heart of state a nd national politics in the 1960s and 1970s as it is with the reality. In the age of mass media and popular culture, re ality was increasingly confused with, and at the very least info rmed by, perception. This often made the ability to communicate a desired image among the most potent political w eapons available to local state, and national candidates whose primary goal was to win votes. Political communication in the age of mass media does more to entrench or solidify pre-existi ng values, attitudes, and beliefs than it does to overturn such ideas. In Texas, political co mmunication through va rious forms of media bolstered a majority of Texans ideological connotations, but also undermined the powerful roadblocks of loyalty and traditiontwo complementary themes that allowed for the endurance of conservatism while also obstructing th e rise of modern Texas Republicanism. For much of the twentieth century, these loya lties and traditions meant that Republicans had little chance of succeeding in Texas, regardless of what issues or ideas the party chose to champion at any given time. At the state and lo cal level, Texas remained solidly Democratic until the close of the 1970s, though it was not until th e close of the 1990s that a complete shift from Democratic to Republican dominance was made. At the national level between 1945 and 1990, only Richard Nixon in 1968 managed to win the presidency without car rying Texas. From a wider and slightly different vantage point, only Herbert Hoove r in 1928, Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956, and Richard Nixon in 1972 managed to carry Texas as a Re publican presidential candidate between the years of 1876 and 1976. Yet not a single Democratic presidential candidate has carried Texas since 1976. These trends have not gone unnoticed, but the most common explanations have failed to fully explore the critical exis tence of the state as a bridge

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15 not simply connecting various regions of the count ry, but actually spearh eading the formation of a new regional identity, with new political ch aracteristics, loyaltie s, and personalities. This dissertation argues that the perfect stor m which eventually engulfed the Lone Star State by the late 1970s, precip itating the emergence of not onl y a viable and powerful Texas Republican Party, but also ideological coalescence a nd partisan realignment, was fueled from six major sources. Three of these sources existed as individual strands of a diffuse and nascent midcentury conservative intellectual revival, those being a movement of anti-New Deal libertarian and free-market capitalists, traditional moralists influenced intellectually by the works of Edmund Burke and C. S. Lewis (among others), and zealous anticommunists, including both those who prioritized the threat of domestic subversives as well as those whose focus was concentrated on not simply containing, but rollin g back the Red Tide of global communism. In Texas, the first and third of th ese strands functioned with deeper roots and wider followings than did the intellectual movement, which remained most influential on university campuses and think tanks in the Midwest and Northeast United States. Nonetheless, the fusion of these three conservative strands was essential to the formati on of a new political alliance both in Texas and the nationa coalition built upon ideological rather than partisan loyalties and through the fracturing of a national two-party system that al lowed for the consolidation of left and right wings under Democratic and Republican tents respectively.4 Fusion, however, did not happen overnight. No r was it the result, solely, of top-down influences emanating from state and national party headquarters. The growth of modern conservatism was greatly affected by the attitudes, issues, perceptions, and mobilization of individuals in more local setti ngs. Instead of seeing the conservative ascendancy of the 1960s 4 George H. Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Mo vement in America Since 1945 (Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 1996).

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16 and 1970s as either the result of top-down national strategies or grassroots mobilizations, a more proper view seeks balance. In Texas, the impetus for this fusion of c onservative factions had two primary sources, each of which necessitated a cooperative dynami c between top-down political strategists and grassroots mobilization. The firs t was a redefined sense of patr iotic Americanism that engulfed Texas conservatives from each of the above three strands through issues and events that, thanks to the growing ubiquity of mass media and mass cu lture, not simply prioritized the national over the local, but actually transformed the national in to the local. For instan ce, during much of the 1960s, few Texans witnessed firsthand the anti-war protests, racial turmoil boiling over into the streets, rising crime rates, or general chao s and violence that, according to images being broadcast into citizens homes on a nightly basis, was being experienced in other parts of the country. Yet successful candidates running in Te xas for offices ranging from the city council to the state legislature to gover nor almost uniformly emphasized the need to deal swiftly and strongly with each of these problems. During th e 1970s, as oil shocks crippled national energy policy and economic shifts brought large chunks of the Northern manufacturing sector to a grinding halt, the Texas economy exploded. Houst on thrived as a mecca for the nations oil and gas industry, while sharing with Dallas the benef its of a rapidly prolifer ating real estate and finance market. Other cities in Texas experi enced similar economic growth, yet by 1980, Ronald Reagan had convinced the state that Jimmy Carters economy was an unmitigated liberal disaster. The ability of Reagan and ot her skillful conservative pol iticians to communicate national problems as local concerns for Texas is a reflec tion of the second source providing an impetus to the fusion of conservative fac tions in the 1960s and 1970sima ge. More specifically, the

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17 construction of political iconography through br oadcast media, the connection of that iconography with political ideology, the associati on of political ideology w ith party politics, and the redirection of state traditi ons and loyalties, created an im age of liberal and Democratic weakness, failure, and un-Americanism. At the same time, this process amplified a corresponding image of c onservative strength and Republican respectability, perhaps the GOPs most daunting obstacle in Texas since the end of Reconstruction in the late 1870s. Republican respectability came in many forms. In the mi d-1960s, many Texans were attracted to the GOPs stand against the civil rights movement, not by advocating racial viol ence or overt white supremacy, but rather by championing a vision of color-blindness and local control that prioritized both economic considerations as well as the perceptions that Americans outside of Texas would have of the Lone Star State. Th e GOP became a more resp ectable alternative in Texas as Lyndon Johnsons Democratic Party was seemingly ready to abandon numerous centuries-old traditions. One decade after Johnson first took the presidential oath of office while aboard an airplane parked on a Dallas runway, co nservatism generally remained strong, even as the issues Texans were debating, such as race, changed. By the mid-1970s, the imminent threat was not race per se but a declini ng morality and the perceived loss of Christian values, most of which centered on issues of gender and sexuality. Running alongside these impulses was a cornucop ia of other issues, most significantly a parallel stream whose current channeled antico mmunism, anti-statism, and anti-liberalism into one mighty river of discontent and social anxiety. Social anxiety in Texas was fostered thanks in large part to a reciprocal dyna mic whereby political parties communicated an imagery which sought to redefine ideologies a nd recast loyalties, while the grassroots res ponded to and informed political parties about exactly wh at concerns needed to be emphasized and images targeted.

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18 What is perhaps most striking about the Re publican Partys ability to manipulate mediacommunicated images in such a way as to transfor m century-old public perception is the fact that much of its technique was borrowed from L yndon Johnsons 1964 presidential campaign during which he skillfully used the media to underm ine the conservatism of Barry Goldwater as dangerous and extreme. Modern Texas cons ervatism was as influe nced by perception as anything else. In a related development, the sixth and final component to this per fect storm was the mobilization of a suburban grassroots, which both responded to and influenced the decisionmaking process and direction of the state and na tional Democratic and Republican Parties. The politics of the modern suburb has been a growing concern for histor ians in recent years, and with good reason. Coexisting with the literature on mode rn suburbia is an analysis which places the politics of race, and more specifically mobilized white opposition to the civil rights movement, at the core of modern conservative development. However, while the racial origins for post-war suburban growth might be similar across much of the nation, too great an d singular a connection has been drawn between these origins and the overa ll political culture, awar eness, and nature of white suburban dissatisfaction. The new suburban history has coincided with a revived focus on the tenets and peculiarities of modern American conservatism. What th is new suburban history has convincingly illustrated is that the origins of modern conserva tive rhetoric in the South can be traced back, in various forms, to the narra tive of white flightth e white suburban response to inner-city racial te nsions, expansion, and desegregation of public accommodations. Southern white resistance to the African-American freed om struggle was more complex, this history argues, than the stereo typical and simplistic image of poor, rural, segregationist Klansmen decrying any and all challenges to white supremacy. Rather, as the plantation economy around

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19 which racial dogma had long been anchored was plowed under by bulldozers making way for new shopping centers, public schools, golf course s, businesses, and backyard swimming pools beyond the reach of integration, Southern whit e suburbanites accommodated much of the civil rights agenda. This accommodation included the integration of public places while reconstructing a new spatial hierarchy which th ey hoped would be impenetrable to the shots being fired by black integrationist s and other liberal progressives against Jim Crow. In the world of Southern Suburbia, socially unacceptable racial extremism wa s replaced by a more color-blind rhetoric, attractive to relocati ng industries and pub lic relations advisors from Georgia to Louisiana and from Virginia to Floridaand to Texas. Nonetheless, a persisting problem limits th e broader application of these historical analyses that identify race at the very center of modern conservatisms evolution. While no doubt applicable across the South, too many historians apply regiona l conclusions to the national context, without fully taking into account the de mographic and cultural di stinctions that make various regions distinct. In Te xas, the empowering of the political ly active white suburban voter was no doubt the result, partially, of racial tensions and oppositi on to desegregation and civil rightsan opposition far more nuanced than simple massive resistance. Yet, while the language of property rights, freedom of assembly, anti-fed eral encroachment, and social and moral decline can in some places, including places in Texas, be traced back to the politics of race, more attention needs to be given not simply to the orig ins of such a discourse, but also to the far more complex ways in which that discourse evolved to encompass the spectrum of issues and impulses that allowed for a broad-based conservati ve coalition by the close of the 1970s.5 In other words, 5 Joseph Crespino, In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007); Kevin M. Kruse, White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005); Matthew D. Lassiter, The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005).

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20 race played a crucial role in shap ing modern conservatism in Texas, as it did in the rest of the South. But because hard-line massive resisters were not as prevalent or as active in Texas as in other parts of the South, race is but one of several important factors shaping the states conservative and partisan reali gnments in the 1960s and 1970s. The perfect storm approach to understandi ng the development of modern conservatism in Texasas well as the parallel narrative of the rise of modern Republicanismnecessitates an examination that pays attention to both the prim acy of local grassroots mobilization, as well as top-down strategies influential in shaping partis an realignments and ideological redefinitions. Top-down influence and grassroo ts origins are not mutually exclusive theories. Modern American conservatism was far too complex for explanations which ignor e one or the other of these approaches. Additionally, because the r ecent scholarship on m odern conservatism has failed to acknowledge the prof ound importance of television and broadcast media on the shaping of popular opinion and perception, this studys focus on electoral politics becomes more necessary as a tool for unde rstanding the critical dynamic between image and behavior. It is, perhaps, important at this point to examine in greater detail how the existing historiography reflects, complement s, and inspires the locus of this particular examination into modern American conservatism in Texas and how this study might also contribute to a deeper understanding of the states region al identity, ideological herita ge, and late twentieth-century political transformations. A number of scholars ha ve, in recent years, turn ed their attention to the post-war American South in the hopes of e xplaining the political transformations of that region and their impact on national politics sinc e the 1960s. A recent trend among many of these scholars is to move beyond studies of the segregationist rhetoric of extreme racism in order to consider the development of a more subtle, nuanced, and purportedly color-blind and suburban

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21 dialogue. For instance, Matthew Lassiters 2005 book The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South argues that suburban middle-class whites in Atlanta and Charlotte were at the forefront of rejecting the segreg ationist extremism that, in these peoples views, threatened to undermine the economic development of Southern cities. Also published in 2005, Kevin Kruses book White Flight: Atlant a and the Making of Modern Conservatism draws conclusions similar to those espoused by Lassiter, ar guing that the formation of mode rn conservative rhetoricthe rhetoric of individualism, prope rty rights, and federal encroach mentevolved first in the Deep South as a more nationally palatable statement of opposition to African-American civil rights. Joseph Crespinos 2007 study, In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution analyzes how the white citizens of Mississippi responded to the popular resistance against black civil rights by reform ulating the public discourse within which various strands of anti-liberalism matured and then intersected with religion and other cultural movements. Many white Mississippians responded to these social transformations with both extreme violence and accommodation, through wh ich the dialogue of race was slowly incorporated into a larger di scussion of socialism, communi sm, and liberalism. Crespino acknowledges that different states behaved di fferently than Mississ ippi, and effectively illustrates how Southerners redirected liberal social critiques to Northern metropolises in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a way to deflect federal ta rgeting of de jure segregation in the South. In Crespinos analysis, modern conservati sm in Mississippi evol ved out of hard-line segregationism to encompass broader criti ques against government expansion and national liberalism.6 Still, at the heart of these historians arguments is the pe rmeating politics of race. In Lassiters account, the formation of the famed S ilent Majority can be directly tied to the 6 Ibid.

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22 organization of white middle-class parents unitin g against busing laws. For Kruse, the origins can be found even earlier and for more broadly conceived opposition to desegregation. For Crespino, whose narrative stretches from the la te 1950s to 1980, conservatisms roots can be traced back to the segregationi st impulses that intersected wi th, were altered by, and conformed to a broader and more respectable national discourse which prioritized religion, suburban protectionism, and color-blindness, asserted as critiques against liberalisms nagging for continued agitation on the path toward egalita rianism and social, cu ltural, and economic integration. For all three, the or igins of modern conservative rhet oric are also found at the local level. What these three excellent monographs do not account for, however, are the ways in which other regions of the country diverged from the Deep South when it came to the formation of political rhetoric and partisan loyalties.7 Lassiter, Kruse, and Crespino al l cite Lisa McGirrs 2001 book, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right as a crucial salvo into the study of white suburban politics and modern conservatism. McGirr focuses her study on Orange County, California from the late 1950s through the initial rise of R onald Reagan in 1966. In this analysis, far greater attention is given to the fusion of libertari ans and anticommunists into what McGirr calls the birth of populist conservatisma brand of conservatism empowering the people not against corporate America, but against their real enemy, government For McGirr, race is but one of several important factors affecting the formation of cons ervative rhetoric. Th is dissertation regards McGirrs work as an important standard, yet also acknowledges that McGirrs conclusions are more valuable as a contribu tion to a fuller understanding of modern American conservatism when studied in tandem with research on other re gions, such as that offered by Lassiter, Kruse, and Crespino. Similarities no doubt existed betw een Texas suburbs and those in other parts of 7 Ibid.

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23 the South and West, but Texas had a socioeconomi c and political climate that uniquely affected the way such spatial developments informed the publics political perceptions and behavior. The stereotypical narrative of modern Republicanis ms ascendancy, and the one that the recent literature has sought to redress, understands the GOPs ability to at tract Dixiecrat segregationists as the key to its success. Such efforts were at the heart of Nixons fa med Southern Strategy. What recent scholarship suggests, however, is that this narrative lacks complication and intuitively dismisses racism in only its crudest and most disrespectable form. The new suburban history has recaptured the nuances of racism and shown how complex white responses to civil rights actually were, yet have also created an image of c onservative Republicanism that intuitively dismisses or inappropriately convolut es the broader narrative of social, political, religious, and cultural changes evolving in th e 1960s and 1970s. The homogeneity of white, middle-class suburbia did not, in all cases, transce nd regional traditions and variations, which is why further local and regional studies are needed.8 Several historians have also contributed to the histori ography of modern American conservatism through biographies. Perhaps the mo st well-known example is Dan T. Carters 1995 book, The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, th e Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics In studying Wallace, Carter finds a legacy of conservative continuity connecting the segregationist politics of the Deep South with the eventual Republican takeover of that same region. Carter discusses what he calls, the Southe rnization of American Politicsa thesis he shares with other histor ians such as Bruce Schulman. Though a sometimes caustic biography, Carters study of Wallace offers conclusions that, similar to those offered by Lassiter, Kruse, and Crespino, overextend the reach of Southern influence into other areas of the 8 Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001).

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24 nation, particularly as he casually incorporates the South into the Sunbe lt without fully making sense of how the distinctive political cultures of Southwestern states informs his thesis.9 Another biography, Donald T. Critchlows 2005 study, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Womans Crusade does much to correct the a ssertion among many historians that the regional genesis of modern American conservatism had a purely Southern accent. Instead, Critchlow argues that the history of mo dern American conservatism must incorporate more focused studies beyond the issues of race a nd region. Whereas historians of the modern American South have interpreted the developmen t of a color-blind conservative rhetoric as evidence in support of the well-known code words thesis, Critchlow finds that anticommunist conservatives in much of the rest of the country not merely prioritized issues other than race, but were in some cases relatively sympathetic to th e need for improved race relations. The research of recent Brown University Ph.D. Dan Williams concurs with this assessment, by studying the influence of Northern and European evangelicals on shaping and influencing Southern religion in the late 1970s, culminating with the dramatic, fundamental, and politicizing shift within the Southern Baptist Convention in 1979.10 Several other biographies, incl uding Rick Perlsteins 2001 book Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus, Robert Dalleks 1991 book Flawed Giant: Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1908-1960 James Restons 1989 study of the life of John Connally, and John Knaggss 1986 book, Two-Party Texas: The John Tower Era, 19611984 each contribute great insight into the poli tical culture and changes in the American 9 Dan T. Carter, The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995); Bruce J. Schulman, The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society, and Politics (New York: The Free Press, 2001). 10 Donald T. Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman's Crusade (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005); Daniel K. Williams, F rom the Pews to the Polls: The Formation of a Southern Christian Right, Ph.D. Dissertation, Brown University, 2005.

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25 Southwest and in Texas. Yet none of these biogr aphies has managed to combine their analysis with both the precision of professional history an d an incorporation of the recent historiography of suburban and grassroots political studies, t hough Dalleks work comes closest. Professor William A. Links upcoming biography of Jesse Helm s will likely be a major contribution in this regard, but is still unlikely to address the peculiar ities of Southwestern po litics, particularly in Texas.11 In fact, with only a few exceptions, it is stri king that Texas, in this discussion of the influence and breadth of the historiography dea ling with modern Ameri can conservatism, has received so little scholarly a ttention. Few historians have pa id close attention to post-war politics in the Lone Star Stat e, with Roger Oliens 1982 book From Token to Triumph: The Texas Republicans Since 1920 and Don Carletons 1985 study Red Scare!: Right-Wing Hysteria, Fifties Fanaticism, and Their Legacy in Texas standing as notable exceptions. For Texas to receive so little attenti on is puzzling and should be corrected. It is my hope that this dissertation, by studying a state that is simultaneously Sout hern, Western, Southwes tern, American, and altogether unique while examining a range of events, issues, and problems, might fill a major gap in the existing historiography of modern Ameri can conservatism and encourage future scholars to think broadly when defining someth ing as amorphous as political ideology. Already, however, some are beginning to take notice. In 1969, Kevin Phillips, then an emerging Republican strategist, au thored the highly influential book, The Emerging Republican Majority out of which came the basis for Nixons S outhern Strategy. By 2006, Phillips, like so many conservatives, had distanced himself from the GOP, angry over what he termed the 11 Robert Dallek, Lone Star Rising: Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1908-1960 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991); John R. Knaggs. Two Party Texas: The John Tower Era, 1961-1984 (Austin: Eakin Press, 1986); Rick Perlstein, Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (New York: Hill & Wang, 2001); James Reston, The Lone Star: The Life of John Connally (New York: Harpers and Row, 1989).

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26 Bush Dynastys betrayal of traditional conser vative values. In 2006, Phillips published his book American Theocracy in which he describes the late twentieth-century transformations in American politics as Texification rather than Southernization. Such a shift in terminology may very well be appropriate.12 Before going any further, a comment needs to be made on both the method of this study as well as the meaning of the vari ous and often slippery political terms that pepper the narrative. It makes sense to begin by explaining how the terms conservatism and conservative will be used. The biggest problem for historians co mmenting on conservatism is that no singular definition exists, even among conser vatives. Largely because of the widespread factionalism of its adherents, definitions of conservatism often fail to provide historians with a neat framework. Nevertheless, for the purposes of this dissertation conservatism will be defined as one in general accordance with the plethora of definitions offe red by its many adherents, rather than as a singular, coherent political or social ideological doctrine. In other words, conservatism refers to different traits in different people. Additionall y, this dissertation will attempt to avoid applying regional connotations to the larg er definition. In other words, definitions of conservatism in post-war America, in some ways, depended upon where the word was being used. Many historians have understood conservatism only in the context of a particular region, but the totality of historiography on the subjec t illustrates that conservati sm was complex, fluid, and not confined to only one section of the nation. Theref ore, this dissertation w ill generally refer to someone as conservative as long as that someone referred to themselves as conservative, though 12 Don E. Carleton, Red Scare!: Right-Wing Hysteria, Fifties Fanaticism, and Their Legacy in Texas (Austin, TX: Texas Monthly Press, 1985); Roger M. Olien, From Token to Triumph: The Texas Republicans Since 1920 (Dallas: Southern Methodist Univer sity Press, 1982); Kevin P. Phillips, The Emerging Republican Majority (New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1969); Phillips, American Theocracy

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27 in some cases an issue, individual, or movement may also be referred to as conservative if that issue, individual, or movement was referre d to as such by its contemporary opposition.13 As the socioeconomic and political cultu re in Texas evolved through the 1960s and 1970s, the publics understanding of its own conservatism also ch anged. Typically, conservative Texans identified themselvesor were identified by othersas such for any number of reasons. Some continued to equate c onservatism with support for cap italism, free enterprise, and libertarianism. Others viewed their conservatism as an expressi on of hostility toward the federal government. Many Texans grew more conservative in this regard, begi nning in the late 1930s when opposition to radical unionization, in creased tax burdens, unbalanced budgets, and federal encroachment typically character ized a growing opposition to the New Deal.14 Conservatism can also be applied to many ( but not all) anticommuni st impulses, general opposition to civil rights, and the rise of the Christian Right. In referring to the Christian Rightthe re sultant rise of evangelical influence in American politicsit becomes necessary to define the terms Right and Left. These terms will be used from time to time, most often as an alternative for terms like conservative and liberal. However, when necessaryand it is of ten necessarythis disser tation will distinguish between ideological strands operating as factions within a political organization or party. For instance, Donald Critchlow distinguishes betw een what he calls the Old Right and the New Right, operating in competition within the GOP during much of the 1940s and 1950s. For Critchlow, the old was that which was narrowl y committed to anti-socialism and isolationism, 13 Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement since 1945 14 David M. Kennedy, The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 338-340.

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28 and the new was that which incorporated a br oader anticommunist worl dview into critiques against collectivism, liberalism, and moral relativism.15 To the point of party factionalism, anothe r term which often finds its way into the narrative and, therefore, must be defined, is the concept of Establishment. Generally speaking, references to the Establishment were made by political leaders seeking to isolate and distinguish between operations th at were of the people and those that were of elites. Increasingly throughout the last de cades of the twentieth century, populist-conservatives, such as those described by Lisa McGirr in her book on S outhern California, also employed the term Establishment to denigrate the moderate and lib eral influences within the Republican Party. Very often, but particularly in the 1970s, Te xas conservatives referred to the liberal Establishment as synonymous with liberal elites or liberal Ea stern Wing. In fact, the term liberal Eastern Establishment came to sign ify a power base in both the Republican and Democratic Parties that populist-co nservatives identified as an almo st conspiratorial, hegemonic, and corrupt source of anti-tradit ional and anti-American elitism. Whether or not a liberal Eastern Establishment actually existed or how it operated is less important to this study than the fact that many grassroots Texans heard these ph rases, generally accepted them, and applied their own definitions and emotional responses to them. In other words, contradictions that existed between one conservatives applic ation of the term Establishmen t and anothers understanding of the term does not undermine the importance a nd power that such terminology had in shaping public opinion and transforming the vi sceral responses to such labels.16 Populism is another term that needs clarif ication. David M. Ke nnedy has defined early twentieth-century populism as a voice to the fear s of the powerless and the animosities of the 15 Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism 34-35. 16 Ibid., CH 2; McGirr, Suburban Warriors Introduction.

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29 alienated. Populists, Kennedy asserts, endured poverty, servitude, and barbarism, but would not endure aristocracy. Existing in opposition to the shadowy elites whose greedy manipulations oppressed the poor and perverted de mocracy, populist ire began to shift in more conservative ways during the second half of the twentieth cen tury, seeing government rather than big business as the monolithic source of elitist oppression. Th ere are few locations better than Texas in which to study the political implications and applica tions of populism. Having been, in some ways, born out of a central Texas farmers allian ce, the populist movement of the 1880s and 1890s contributed much to the states enduring political legacy. Though most of the specific goals and platform points of Texas populists have changed since 1890, the motivational impulse to strike a blow for freedom against tyranny meshes well, at least rhetorically, with the states persistent kinship to more romantic images of the open ra nge, the frontier, and boundless opportunity. It was to this romantic impulse that many conservati ve Republicans used populis t rhetoric to attract new constituents in Texas, predominantly but not exclusively through a white middle-class that felt it had been forgotten by the national Demo cratic Party. Regardless of whether or not conservatives actually practiced populism according to one or any definition, this dissertation will apply the term most often as a means of illustrating a style and particular message, most effectively used by conservative Republican s in the 1960s and 1970s, whereby the rallying together of the grassroots in opposition to Bi g Government provided a powerful and unifying rhetorical weapon.17 Liberalism, too, must be defined. In a simple way, this dissertation refers to as liberal those who defined themselves as liberal. This dissertation also, however, spends a great deal of energy illustrating how the term liberal becam e a source of conflict and competition between Texans grappling with the imp lications of a changing political culture. On the one hand, 17 Ibid.; Kennedy, Freedom from Fear 235.

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30 therefore, liberalism will be vi ewed as it existed at the time, as a philosophy which sought to maximize civil liberties for the individual and ch ampioned civil rights and racial egalitarianism, largely through the powerful employment of federa l resources. On the other hand, liberalism will also be viewed as it was redefined and r ecast, particularly by Texas conservatives, as a frightful step on the evolutionary ladder toward socialism, collectivism, and even communism. The relationship between anti-liberalism and an ticommunism is a crucial one, and deserves greater analysis. Conservatives in post-war Am erica not only saw contin uity between liberalism and communism because of a shared willingness to use government to solve social problems, or because of the political loyalties liberals en joyed from labor unions and other working class organizations, but also because many worried that liberals did not fear communists as much as they should and were, therefore, na ve and dangerously soft in thei r diplomatic dealings with the Soviet Union.18 Because it plays such a vital role in th e overall thrust of this studys argument, a definition also needs to be provided for the term s icon and iconography. I have chosen to identify as icons those individua ls who served as widely accepted symbols or targets for the various ideological or emotiona l impulses present both nationally and in Texas during the 1960s and 1970s. Lyndon Johnson, for instance, is referred to as a liberal icon primarily because so many conservatives vilified Johnsons Great So ciety as the quintess ential example of government expansionism run amok. To refer to Johnson, therefore, as a liberal icon is to suggest that certain images of liberalism came to conservatives minds when they thought of Johnsonor, conversely, images of Johnson came to mind when they thought of liberalism. Jimmy Carter is also referred to as a liberal icon, but for different reasons. It became clear by the late 1970s that Texas conservatives found the prac tice of linking Carter to images of failure, 18 Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement since 1945 94-96.

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31 weakness, and malaise quite useful To this extent, Carter came to represent what was wrong, in the conservative mind, with the nation. Ronald R eagan is also referred to as an icon, largely because so many of his supporters identified thei r own political ideologies against the backdrop of their affinity for the former Hollywood actor. Simply put, then, icons are referred to as such as a way of communicating the ability those in dividuals possessedor were made to possess by their opponentsfor personifying either a polit ical or ideological impulse. The term iconography, therefore, is us ed to explain the broad appli cation and influence created by linking either a political party or candidate with certain public fi gures who were generally seen as representative of a larger body of ideas, philosophies, and stances. To be certain, variations existed. What c onstituted an icon in Texas did not necessarily constitute an icon in other part s of the nationor in the nation as a whole. Nonetheless, for a great many Texans, certain individuals no doubt came to symbolize larger themes, ideas, and movements. This dissertation will also frequently disti nguish between various re gions of the state. Most typically, references will be made to five regions: East Texas, North Texas, South Texas, Central Texas, and West Texas. Several basic assumptions can be gleaned simply from these geographic distinctions, but much more can still be said abou t the unique characteristics, demographics, and socioeconomics of each section. Such an understanding is necessary for any study of the states political cu lture. For instance, only in Ea st Texasthe region bordering Louisiana and extending not quite to presentday Interstate 45did the presence of a large concentration of African American s contribute to a political climat e similar to that in much of the Deep South. Yet, racial diversity was by no means limited to East Texas. In fact, far greater racial diversity existed in South and Central Texas, where high concentrations of Hispanics

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32 created a very different sociopolitical dynamic. Class tensions ran high in these regions, particularly in South Texas where a small but powerful number of cons ervative land owners typically controlled the economy in which large numbers of Span ish-speaking peoples attempted to forge a living. Settled predominantly by Ge rman immigrants, Central Texas was an early bastion of Western frontierism and rugged individualism, and argua bly still embraces the states heritage of independence and trad ition more tenaciously than a ny other section. The economy of West Texas has long been based on oil and natural gas, and much of the states energy wealth is derived from the oil fields of the Permian Basin. This region, which is also the largest cottonproducing area of the stateand one of the larges t in the nationhad a sp arse African-American population and mirrors, demographically, the Amer ican Southwest far more than it does the American South.19 Variations also existed with in each of these regions. Major urban metropolises like Dallas and Houston complicated the political cultu re of North and East Texas respectively, while San Antonio and Austin became eclectic hubs for sources of political conservatism, moderation, and liberalism in South and Central Texas. Austin, in particular, forged an identity as one of the nations fastest growing and dynamic cities, welc oming the relocation of numerous industrial, technological, and even entertainment enterprises. The religious makeup of the state also varies by region. The states heavy Baptist influence and traditional anti-Catholic impulses have, for instance, necessitated a political reckoning with the overwhe lmingly Catholic and Hispanic population of South and Far West Texas. To understand the political and social culture of Texas is to see that demographic, economic, cultural, and racial distin ctions combined with the vast ex panse of its land to create a 19 Memorandum, May 23, 1968, For: Ernest Goldstei n, From: George E. Reedy, Box 70, White House Central Files: Political Affairs, Lyndo n B. Johnson Library, Austin, TX.

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33 state that defies easy regional id entification. Furthermore, it s hould not be merely assumed, but actually stated that Texas was, by and large, a conservative state in 1963, when this story of modern conservatism begins. Conservatives of all stripes enjoyed influence in Texas, though what this dissertation illustrates is that no conservative movementthe unification of all disparate strands of the conservative persuasion into an actual political powerexisted until the close of the 1970s, when the movement finally ali gned itself with a Repu blican Party willing to fully embrace new constituents and new leadershi p. Texas liberals, meanwhile, existed not so much on an ideological fringe, but as an aging band of New Dealers whose time had largely past them by. Younger progressives cert ainly rallied behind a new liberal agenda, including the Great Society and various civil rights m ovements, but were generally less influential and not politically mobilized. Minority voters in 1963, both blacks and Hispanics, were predictably participating in lower percentages than they would in the coming y ears, a change that hast ened the liberalization of the state Democratic Party and the emergence of a new conservative GOP. Broadly and more to the point, the Lone Star States very comp lexity, coupled with its political heritage and national prominence, makes it a fruitful venue in which to conduct histor ical research on the origins, nature, and transformations of modern American conservatism. In terms of structure, this dissertation is di vided into two parts, each of which contains three chapters. Part One, entitled Deconstructing One-Party Texas, seeks to explain the shifts in race relations, the changing applications of marketing technology and conservative rhetoric, the importance of intra-party factionalism, and th e resultant shifts in Texans perceptions of political ideology and party politics between 1963 and 1974. Chapter Two examines how John F. Kennedys assassination in Dallas in Novemb er 1963 altered the political landscape in Texas and contributed to the developm ent of anti-extremist marketing campaigns. The chapter also

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34 explores the enduring quest to gain political advantage by eith er shaking and / or ascribing various ideological labels to oppositional parties and candidates. Chapter Three delves more deeply into divisions within the Texas Democratic Party between 1967 and 1970, with the political campaigns of 1968 providing much of the contextual framework. Chapter Four illustrates how local, state, and national scandals involving political figures and elected officials undermined partisan loyalties in Texas and in creased the salience of a populist-conservative rhetoric that emphasized government as the true enemy and obstacle of the people. Part Two, entitled Constructing Two-Party Te xas, seeks to explain how loyalties to political ideology combined with populist-orient ed rejections of the federal status quo to overcome the tradition of the Yellow-Dog Demo crat in Texas, culminating with Ronald Reagans ascension to the White House in 1980. Chapter Five details perhaps the most significant political battle to take place in Texas in the post-war era: Ronald Reagans 1976 challenge to Gerald Ford for the GOP presidenti al nomination. This contest transformed the Republican Party in Texas, allowing for the em brace of a conservative grassroots coalition working on behalf of both Reagan Republicans an d Reagan Democrats in Texas. Chapter Six analyzes the socioeconomic conditions operating in Texas during the late 1970s and how those conditions contributed to the coalescence of cons ervative grassroots orga nizers and political candidates under a newly strengthen ed Republican tent. Also critic al to the analysis of Chapter Five is the maturation of anti-liberal rhetoric, used effectively by severa l candidates and not soeffectively by others, which pr ovided the state GOP with a be tter sense of how to manipulate public opinion through the use of ideologically oriented rhetoric. Finally, Chapter Seven explores the ultimate fusion of conservative factions, the maturation of image-management strategies, and the mobilization of a conservative Texas grassroots working together on behalf of

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35 Ronald Reagans campaign to oust the man wh o in 1976 was a born-again Southern moderate, but who in 1980 was cast as the epitome of liberal weakness and failure. In the conclusion of his 2007 book on the maki ng of modern conser vatism in Mississippi, Joseph Crespino challenges future scholars to r emain sensitive to the multiplicity of causes and the complex intersections of various categories of analysis [that have shaped our understanding of post-war American politics]. Only by doing so will we begin to have a more complete understanding of historical continuity and change in the American South and the role that white southerners played in the ma king of modern conservatism.20 This study has attempted to do just that, though it does not seek to cr eate a new paradigm for the study of modern conservatism. Neither does this study claim to provide the level of depth and nuance that each individual issue, event, or personality, in many cases, no doubt will ul timately deserve. In several cases, an issue that may have been vitally important to the unde rstanding of a larger them e has been covered in minimal detail. Race, for instance, which has been discussed in this introduction more than any other factor, is given less at tention throughout the following chapters than it may otherwise deserve simply because that narrativ e has been covered in substantial detail in other texts. Limits of space and time precluded a fuller assessment, though this author concurs with the essential premise that modern conservatisms roots did, in many cases and in many areas, extend back to the politics of both massive re sistance and white flight. It is not the intent of this author to challenge those interp retations, but rather to spend greater time on those impulses which have received less treatment, either individually or in a larger context. Such is the unfortunate nature of a study that seeks to advance the thesis that change is a result of a multiplicity of forces and can only be underst ood in a properly wide context. Thus, it is a goal of th is dissertation to illustrate to future scholars the importance of 20 Crespino, In Search of Another Country 278.

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36 understanding political change in the broad context of state, regional, and national milieu. Texas, because of its own diversity, provides an opportunity to see how the various explanations for political change in the 1960s and 1970s might be applied nationally. Yet, understanding how the forces of change came to foment partisan realignment and the cons truction of a Republicandominated two-party political system in Texas is, in and of itself, an important contribution to the understanding of national politi cal changeeven if the way in which change happened in Texas is not perfectly an alogous to the way it happened in the nation as a whole. Either way, it is the hope of this author that a contribution has been made.

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37 CHAPTER 2 MARKETING IDEOLOGY IN LBJS TEXAS, 1963-66 The story of modern Texas conservatism is largely a story about the tenuous balance between change and continuity. That story, wh ich parallels the growth of the modern Texas Republican Party, began in earnest in 1964 with the landslide elec tion of a liberal Democrat. That year, Texans joined the vast majority of American voters by casting a ballot for Lyndon Johnson for President of the United States. Yet, ev en as the majority of these Texans cast their ballots for LBJ, very few considered themselves to be a liberal. This apparent contradiction was embodied by the very man for whom the majority of Texans had voted, for Lyndon Johnson was both a Texan and a liberal. He was not, however, a li beral Texan. The distinct ion here lies in an understanding of how politics was marketed in Texas during much of Johnsons career. Political marketing, however, began to change at about th e same time that Johnson became president on a November, 1963 afternoon in Dallas. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, notions of cons ervatism and liberalism, particularly Texans understanding of the relationship between political ideology and partisan politics, were redefined. This process had root s in the 1950s and early 1960s as Texans wrestled with issues like civil rights, communism, and violence. However, many Texans ultimately came to understand the process of social and political ch ange not as a struggle against any particular issue, but as one of broad ph ilosophical disagreements. Longs tanding ideas about what it meant to be conservative or liberal no longer seemed as reliable as numerous social changes collided in a state where political power was dependent on loyalty and tradition. Between 1963 and 1966, Texans wrestled with the meaning loyalty and tr adition, while also ascribing greater importance to image and personality. Slowly, political part ies become more inextricably linked to national issues, ideological perceptions, and icons.

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38 One such icon was Lyndon Johnson. Johnsons shadow hovered over national politics in the 1960s much as it had in Texas throughout hi s early career. Johnson emerged as a major political presence in Texas as a New Deal liberal but was perfectly willing throughout his career in the House of Representatives a nd the Senate to adjust his ideol ogical leanings to the context of his times. Johnson was, for the most part, a pragmatist. Texans during this time were, by and large, also pragmatists. Texans were also, however fiercely loyal to the Democratic Party. This political culture first began to change in the 1950 s with the advent of a more active and assertive media, television in particular. The dawn of th e television age contributed to the reprioritization of image as crucial to political fortunes. Along with this heightened emphasis on image came the need to define oneself in such a way as to be effective on a national scale. All of this required that political parties, at both the state and national levels, adjust their priorities to account for these new realities. LBJ had long boasted that his agenda was Te xass agenda. But Texas politics began to change almost as soon as Johnson first took the oath of office. By the end of his presidency in 1969, Lyndon Johnson had come to personify 1960s liberalism in much the same way that Ronald Reagan eventually came to personify conservatism. As an icon against which conservatives could define their own political beli efs, Johnson stands as a central figure in the rise of modern conservatism.1 The rise of modern Texas conservatism began in the context of a complex political culture in which liberals often voted Republican, Republicans courted both conservatives and minorities, factions warred with one another within both parties, and ideologies sought iconographic re presentation through a new and more vibrant media presence. This is the story of how the rise of modern Texas conservatism began. 1 John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America (New York: Penguin, 2004), CH 2.

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39 Fuzzy Ideologies and Yellow Dogs Lyndon Johnson notwithstanding, Texas was still a conservative one-party state in the early 1960s. Conservatism in Texas was multifacet ed. Anticommunists, anti-New Dealers, fiscal conservatives, isolationists, and other strands of conservative ideology each had their followings. Because it was multifaceted, however, conservatism was also hard to define in Texas in the early 1960sand there seemed to be little urgency to do so. The reason? Politics was power, and power rested with the Democrat ic Party. Party politics in Texas was not multifaceted. Most Texas Democrats were generally conservative, but to a large degree, early 1960s conservatism in Texas was primarily about maintaining power. This is not to say, however, that Texas was utterly de void of liberals. Liberalism in Texas during the early 1960s was also diverse and ill-defined. Most Texas lib erals would not have id entified themselves as having much in common with Kennedys Harvard-sa turated cabinet. Rather, most Texas liberals were populists who cared less about whether or no t the New Deal had been a step on the road toward socialism than they simply cared about food, shelter, electricity, and relief. These liberals actively supported farm subsidie s, social security, and many ot her programs which originated during the New Deal and continued to popularly endure. In 1964, LBJs liberalism also continued to speak to the common man with pr omises of better opportunities, while reminding everyone that the Republican Party was the party of the wealthy and the elite.2 Texas liberals, however, were still a minority. In Texas, liberalis ms biggest enemy was the same political party through which that minor ity was attempting to operatethe Democratic Party. Established power structures negated opportunities fo r liberal influence at the state level. Texas liberals problems did not st op there. In 1963, Texas ranked 44th nationally in adult literacy and 50th in per capita expenditure for child welf are services. Higher education was also 2 James Reston, The Lone Star: The Life of John Connally (New York: Harpers & Row, 1989).

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40 a major problem. Among University of Texas gr aduates who later sought graduate degrees, 86 percent did so out of state. Faculty salaries at the University of Texas, the states flagship institution, were less than those at Chico State University in Califor nia, while faculty salaries at Texas Tech and Texas A&M were less than those at Bemidji State College in Minnesota. The state of New York produced five times as many P h.D.s as did the state of Texas and the number of impoverished Texans was the largest in the nation.3 Though a minority faction largely unable to fome nt real change, Texas liberals used these and other socioeconomic shortcomings to make political waves in Texas and drew strength largely but not exclusively from the national De mocratic Party. Ronnie Dugger was perhaps the most outspoken Texas liberal during the LBJ-er a. Dugger was a classic Texas populist-liberal and, in 1954, became the first editor of the new and influential liberal periodical, the Texas Observer Though it received more heralding outside of the state than it did insidewhere its circulation hovered around 10,000Dugger, through the Observer promised to maintain a spirit of independence and quested to expose graft, corruption, and privilege where such things ought not to have existed. Dugger was an outspoken critic of elitist es tablishments and maintained a long-standing feud with Lyndon Johnson over the i ssues of power abuse, though the two shared similar progressive goals. Dugger also represen ted a faction of Texans clamoring for greater influence within their home state, but prevented from realizing that influence by the established state party infrastructurewhich in the la te 1950s and early 1960s meant conservative Democrats.4 In 1964, Dugger, dismayed over how national ch aracterizations of political philosophies in Texas were being shaped, was the most outspoken among a faction of Texas liberals 3 Ibid., 289 4Houston Chronicle June 26, 1964, Box 4C512, Harris County Democratic Party Records, Center for American History, University of Texa s at Austin (Hereafter cited as CAH).

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41 increasingly aware of th e importance of perception to political success. Most of all, Dugger lamented that liberals had been forced into defending big government rather than recognizing that, True liberals understood that big govern ment can be a menace to the person, can be impersonal, and can be confused. Dugger was not campaigning against big government, but rather against liberals acquiescence to conservatives age nda-setting, whereby public debate had been recast as an ideological struggle rather than one in which the focus was on finding practical solutions to social problems. In one sense, therefore, Duggers observations portended the populist-conservative backlash against government th at became a staple of Republican politics in the following decades. In a much larger sense, however, Dugger was pleading with national progressives to avoid giving into the temptation to defend libera lism and federal involvement at the expense of a more profitabl e discourse, one in which Texans attention would be shifted toward the rampant inequalities a nd injustices that plagued their everyday lives. Dugger worried that an association between socialism and liberalism, though misguided in his mind, was beginning to take deeper roots in Texas and threatened to undermin e reform at both the state and national levels. Texas liberals like Dugger advocated social jus tice, racial equality, and the continuation of federal programs designed to tran sfer opportunity away from the privileged and toward the masses. Texas liberals, however, were also firmly aware that in order to have the kind of voice that could champion such initiatives with authority, the state party power structure would need to be restructured.5 Like many Texas liberals, Dugger also believed the answer to these problems was in the development of a strong Republican Party. Until anti-government conservatives were forced out of the Democratic Party, liberals would have no voice there. Without a foundation of progressive optimism or the moral high ground that often provided the rationale for reform, 5 Ibid.

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42 Dugger believed that conservative Texas De mocrats would eventually break with their increasingly liberal national party. The conse quences of this break, Dugger began to tell his liberal friends, would be a more viable state Re publican Party, the consol idation of conservatism within that party, and a weakeni ng of the Democratic establishmen t in Texas. In time, Duggers prognostication proved prescient. While Dugger focused his efforts on articulati ng a liberal message in Texas, the states conservative voiceor at least of Republican conservatismwas John Tower. Tower made his first foray into politics in 1938, handing out leaflets for Ral ph Yarborough, the liberal New Dealer then running for state atto rney general. It was not until 1951 that Tower be gan to identify himself as a Republican, a decision he said was based on his economic philosophy of limited government, free-market capitalism, and anticomm unism. The son of an East Texas clergyman, Tower quickly worked his way through the GOP ranks and in 1952 served as Sergeant-at-Arms at the tumultuous Republican Nati onal Convention of that year.6 After shocking the political world in 1961 by becoming the first Republican to win a Senate seat in Texas since Reconstruction, Tower used his elevated status to discuss political philo sophy. He grew fond of proving that classical liberalism was the legitimate ancestor to modern American conservatism. Modern American conservatis m, Tower wrote in November 1963, is the antithesis of authoritarianism. According to Tower, liberalism was the new gateway to authoritarianism and meant more bureaucracy and less control for Texans. The conservative would leave as much to popular control in the area of public decision as possible, Tower wrote. He is essentially liberal in the more classical definition of the term.7 If Tower and Dugger 6 Transcript, John Tower Oral History Interview I, 8/8/71, by Joe B. Frantz, Internet Copy, Lyndon B. Johnson Library, Austin, TX (Hereafter cited as LBJL). 7 Ibid.; Conservatism Unashamed, By John G. Tower, January 1963, Folder 1, Box 17, Press Office, John G. Tower Papers, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX (Hereafter cited as JTP).

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43 had one thing in common, it was this: both repres ented people typically excluded from political power in Texas. During the early 1960s, Texans were wrestl ing more with their own ideological definitions and political heritage. It was agai nst this backdrop of political and ideological deconstruction that Lyndon Johnson began his presiden cy. Being the site of the assassination of a popular president embarrassed many Texans. Dalla s had been stigmatized as a bastion for the Radical Right prior to November 22, 1963, and certain ly wanted no part in left wing conspiracies or the likes of Lee Harvey Oswald. With the perpetrator dead, much of the nations ire was redirected toward the venue of the assassina tion. John Tower described the nations attitude toward Texas and Dallas in the wake of Kenne dys death as laced with hostility and even hatred, and always recalled the tragic ev ents of November and December 1963 as the grimmest experience of his life.8 Texas could not shake what it was, nor could it purge ideologues. It could however, try to soften its image in the wake of a national tragedy. In the months following Kennedys death, Johnsons popular ity grew in proportion to his ability to appear stable and moderate. Eric Jonsson, the architect of Texas Inst rumentsthe electronics corporation that eventually landed Jonsson a spot in Fortune Magazines Business Hall of Fameran for mayor of Dallas after the Kennedy Assassination in part to implement a national public relations campaign to get peoples minds o ff of the gruesome tragedy that had taken place in Dealey Plaza.9 In much the same way, many Texans saw Johnson as the embodiment of an opportunity to rebuild their stat es image at the national level.10 8 Transcript, John Tower Oral History Interview II, 9/22/71, by Joe B. Frantz, Internet Copy, LBJL. 9 Texas Monthly April 1976, 111, Box 9, David Stoll Collection, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford Univ ersity, Stanford, CA (Hereafter cited as HI). 10 American Conservatism Defined, by Senator John G. Tower, in The Conservative Tide: A Student Journal of Fact and Opinion. November, 1963. Folder 7, Box 17, Press Office, JTP.

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44 Johnson used Kennedys martyrdom to his pol itical advantage in 1964, both nationally and in Texas. Race was more greatly affected by this political advantage than any other issue, and no piece of legislation relied on the events of November 1963 more th an the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Understanding how race affected the pol itical culture in Texas during the mid-1960s is a key to understanding the regional identity of th e state. Though some Texans recoiled at the thought of their native son presid ent pushing through such a transfor mative piece of legislation, the majority of white Texans, unlike whites in mu ch of the Deep South, we re either resigned to the new social realities or relatively ambivalent.11 One of many respected conservatives in Te xas, the Reverend Billy Graham, himself a member of the First Baptist Chur ch of Dallas, recalled Johnsons at titude toward civil rights as sincere and not at all politically motivateda characteri zation he believed stemmed from a different mentality toward race in Texasone which generally allowed people to care for one another.12 In 1962, the noted author John Bainbridge s poke of Texans attitudes toward race in the context of reactio ns to the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision: The reaction of Texans to the 1954 United St ates Supreme Court decision declaring school segregation unconstitutional has been typically American, and then some. Depending mainly on the section of the stat e, it has run all the way from anger, resentment, and all-out opposition, through cal m detachment and resigned acceptance, to reluctant approval and, here and there, genui ne endorsement. In contrast to other Southern states, where the decree was everyw here met with open defiance, sixty-five school districts in Texas volunt arily ended segregation within a year after it became illegal, and sixty-nine mo re did the same in 1957.13 While still hostile to the public accommodation measures containe d in the legisl ation, most Texans were rather more moderate on civil ri ghts than were many of their white Southern 11 Letter from Mrs. Charles B. Quin n to Denison Kitchel, August 17, 1964, Box 4, Denison Kitchel Papers, HI. 12 Transcript, Billy Graham Oral History Interview, Special Interview, 10/12/83, by Monroe Billington, Internet Copy, LBJL. 13 The Super-Americans by John Bainbridge, 1962, Box 9, David Stoll Collection, HI.

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45 neighbors.14 Johnsons stand on civil rights temporar ily gave Republicans a boost in the South, but the GOP received little such boost in Texas.15 This helps to explain why, in 1964, Texas Repub licans were so deject ed to be running a presidential campaign against Johnson rather than Kennedy. Texas Republicans believed Kennedy would dump Johnson from the ticket in 1964. Instead, like a battalion rallying to the cause of a wounded comrade, conservative Democr atsbeginning at the ve ry top of the state Democratic Partybegan to publicly embrace Johnson and solidify the states Democratic base. Former Texas Governor and conservative Democrat Allan Shivers, who gained national fame for his repeated endorsements of Eisenhower a nd Nixon, was among the first of many Texas conservatives to endorse LBJ.16 Johnsons 1964 public relations strategy in Texas rested on loyalty and tradition. Publicly, the Texas Democratic Party rallied behind its native son. Privately, division was rampant. Nowhere was this division more bitt er than in the growi ng divide between Texas Governor John Connally and the li beral faction attempting to opera te within the state party. Much of Connallys political care er was spent in LBJs shadow a nd this was certainly true in 1964. Connally, still recovering from the wounds he suffered while riding in Kennedys vehicle at the time of the November a ssassination, reacted with stunned anger as Houston liberal Don Yarborough announced his candidacy for the De mocratic gubernatorial nomination. Having been wounded in what some early conspiracy th eorists were arguing may have been a botched assassination attempt against Connally rather than one aime d at just Kennedy, the Texas 14 Texas Issues, Undated, Box 52, Series II, Records of the Democratic National Committee, LBJL. 15 New York Daily News October 21, 1964, Box 337, Series I, Records of the Democratic National Committee, LBJL; Matthew D. Lassiter, The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005), 231. 16 Transcript, John Tower Oral History Interview I, 8/8/71, by Joe B. Frantz, Internet Copy, LBJL; Roger M. Olien, From Token to Triumph: The Texas Republicans Since 1920 (Dallas: SMU Press, 1982), 188.

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46 Governor viewed Don Yarboroughs candidacy as a slap in the fa ce. In retaliation, Connally recruited several conservatives to potentially challenge the liberal Ralph Yarborough (no bloodrelation to Don) for the U.S. Senate. Howeve r, when Johnson ordered Connally to stop this maneuvering in the hope of maintain ing a united front and a much need ed liberal vote in the U.S. Senate, the Texas governor reluctantly acquiesced.17 Though Connally easily defeated Don Yar borough in the Democratic Gubernatorial Primary, his relationship with Texas liberals reached a new low in 1964, while his friendship with Johnson also suffered. Though he had initially agreed to Johnsons request that he cease efforts which could potentially undermine part y unity, Connally waffled that summer and covertly organized multiple conservative challenges to the liberal delegations from San Antonio and Dallas attempting to be sat at th e state party convention that summer.18 When the liberal delegations offered to compromise with Connally and split the seats equally among conservatives and liberals, Connally rejected the offer. To he ll with em, Connally told the emissary relaying messages between factions. After succeeding in the removal of liberal delegations from the convention, Connally pou red salt in his opponents wounds by appointing Marvin Watson as head of the Texas Democra tic Party. Watson was also directly tied to Democrats for George Bush, an organiza tion in support of Ralph Yarboroughs Republican opponent for the U.S. Senate.19 As Johnson tried to publicly promote party tr anquility, he privatel y scrambled to keep intra-party factionalismm uch of it the effect of Connallys covert actionsto a minimum. In 17 Reston, The Lone Star CH 7; Texas Monthly November 1979, The Truth About John Connally.; Transcript, John Tower Oral History Interview I, 8/8/71, by Joe B. Frantz, Internet Copy, LBJL. 18 The liberal delegations from these two cities existed, in part, as a show of respect to Kennedys memory and the wishes of the national party. 19 Texas Monthly November 1979, The Truth About John Connally.; Transcript, John Tower Oral History Interview I, 8/8/71, by Joe B. Frantz, Internet Copy, LBJL.

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47 Texas, Johnson decided that the best way to avoid squabbles was to avoid issues that polarized the ideological factions within the party. Sp ecifically, Johnson tip-toe d around the Great Society in Texas in the hopes of avoiding ideological labels and discussions of big government issues on which conservatives and liberals could generally not agr ee in Texas. When it came to the issue of Cold War anticomm unism and foreign policy, however, Johnson charged into Texas like a stampeding bull. Johnson might not have cared as much about his reputation as a credible and capable diplomat, or as a tough-minded and resolute an ticommunist Cold Warrior, had his opponent for the presidency in 1964 been anyone other than Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater. Goldwater emerged as the GOP nominee after an intra-part y struggle that virtually destroyed his campaign before it even started. This struggle, si gnificant since the late-1940s, pitted ardent anticommunist and libertarian conservatives agai nst the more moderate wing of the party. GOP conservatives often viewed moderate Republicans as liberals and viewed this wing of the party as their chief obstacle. At the same time, pa rty liberals fancied themselves as principled moderates and viewed their chief struggle as a need to purge th e GOP of conservative extremisma label actively employed but vaguely defined.20 This national dynamic manifest in Texas in similar ways and paralleled the li beral struggle to find a voice within the state Democratic Party. Ultimately in both cases, these divisions w ould contribute to ideological coalescence and partisan realignment.21 No significant Goldwater movement emer ged in Texas in large part because no significant Republican Party yet ex isted in Texas. John Towers victory as a Republican in 1961 20 Extremism in the Defense of Liberty, by D. Kitchel, Draft Copy, Box 5, Denison Kitchel Papers, HI. 21 Rick Perlstein, Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (New York: Hill & Wang, 2001) CH 4; Theodore H. White. The Making of the President, 1964 (New York: Atheneum, 1965), 98-129; George H. Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Move ment in America Since 1945 (Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 1996).

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48 had been dismissed as an oddity, the result of pecu liar voting behavior in a special election to fill Johnsons abandoned seat. Isolated GOP successes in smaller races were exactly thatisolated, few, and far between. In 1964, with a Texas Demo crat atop the presidentia l ticket and the JFK assassination in Dallas still fresh on everybodys minds, the stat e was simply inhospitable to new movements or to change. Another reason for th e lack of a grassroots Goldwater movement in Texas, however, was the Senators inability to ca pitalize on the states populist heritage. While Goldwaters campaign has been noted as seminal in the rise of populist conservatism, in Texas the lack of any party support mi xed with the instinctive loyalt y many Texans gave to LBJ to prevent Goldwater from effectively drawing on animus against big government or so-called Eastern Establishment liberalism.22 Though it did not enjoy widespread popularity as a grassroots movement in Texas until after 1964, this young populist-conservative insurgen cy did have some roots in the Lone Star State. The Dallas-based oil baron H. L. Hunt for instance, was among Goldwaters earliest and most faithful campaign contributors. Hunt, however, never became a major power broker in Dallas because, as Texas Monthly magazine later put it, he wa s considered by many an archconservative on the luna tic fringe of the Right.23 Though devoid of tact and lacking in charm, Hunts conservatism was similar to that of Da llass Bruce Alger, who, in 1954, earned national recognition when he became only the second Repub lican to win a U.S. C ongressional seat in Texas. Algers surprise victor y in Dallas helped to organize small coalitions of grassroots conservatives, but, alone, was not enough to ma ke any major impact on the states political establishment. 22 January 27, 1964, Press Release, Box 3H516, Stephen Shadegg Papers/Barry Goldwater Collection, CAH; Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001); Perlstein, Before the Storm, CH 4; White, The Making of the President, 1964 98-129. 23 Texas Monthly April 1976, 111, Box 9, David Stoll Collection, HI.

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49 Two Texans, however, contributed more to Go ldwaters conservative crusade than any others: John Tower and Peter ODonnell. Tower did so more publicly. In 1961, Tower garnered national attention and became a Republican darling by simply winning a campaign in Democratic Texas. Tower added necessary cr edibility to the state GOP. By 1964 Tower was using his elevated platform to promote a new vi sion of Republican conservatism. He stressed individual liberty, limited government, and what he called a diffusion of power. He spoke of a government with a heart whereby he noted that Republicans recognize and support the concept of equality of opportunity under the law yet support strict adherence to the spirit and letter of the Constitution.24 Using such language to rally Texans to cons ervatism was easy, but rallying them against the Democratic Party was more daunting. Still, To wer believed that in order to make the GOP a viable entity in Texas, stat e conservatives would have to abandon the Democratic Party, something that could only happen, he thought, if conservatives no longer felt as though they could control the Democratic Party. In such a sc enario, conservatives woul d be forced to choose between their ideology and their party, with, Tower believed, a lib eralizing national Democratic Party in the backdrop. As much as anyone else, John Tower began th e process of dismantling Texans loyalties to the Democratic Party. Tower asserted in speeches and through literat ure distributed across Texas, that the national Democratic Party was the real establishmentthe home to liberal elites who could not be trusted to protect the popular conservative ma jority in his state. Still, Tower was careful not to alienate state Democrat s. As the effectual head of the Texas GOP, 24 A Declaration of Republican Pr inciple and Policy, Undated, Folder 2, Box 442, Tower Senate Club, 1964 Goldwater Presidential Campaign, JTP.

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50 Tower sought to attract the support of conservativ e Democrats by blaming the national party not individuals within that party.25 Towers status and efforts in Texas on behalf of the conservative agenda earned him the seconding speech at the 1964 GOP convention in San Francisco. Knowing that he had the attention of Texans whom he woul d ask to re-elect him in two y ears, Tower spoke with force. His message was not about why Barry Goldwate r should be president, but why Republican conservatism was the solution for a nation plag ued by Democratic weakness. We are faced with a growing menace to our security and sovere ignty as a free nation, in the form of a Godless ideology, based in the Kremlin, and possessed by men determined to wreak their will on the whole world, Tower said. He continued: We are faced with a new foible in our so ciety, caused in part by moral decay, which effective political leadership could overcome. Consider for a moment this terrible tragedy: Weve come to the point when people can be mauled and beaten and even killed on the streets of a great city with hundreds of people look ing on, and doing nothing about it. We have come to the point where, in many cases, the lawbreak ers are treated with loving care while those who uphold and champi on the rule of law and order are looked upon in some quarters as suspect. I submit that this is the direct result of the gradual reduction of our people to a status of depe ndency on government, to an erosion of our sense of individual responsibil ity, and a departure from the biblical admonition that we are our brothers keepers.26 Towers speech certainly foreshadowed the power ful infusion of social conservatism into the state Republican Party. It also no doubt affirmed the intellectual affinity that many Christians had toward anticommunism and anti-lib eralism. Towers speech did not necessarily cause these Texans to reevalua te the links between liberalism and communism, but did reflect the feeling among many Christian conservatives that liberals did not fully appreciate the ramifications of big government in the context of the Cold War. Goldwater himself never made 25 Ibid. 26 Seconding Speech to the Nomination of Barry Goldwate r, Folder 12, Box 442, Tower Senate Club, 1964 Goldwater Presidential Campaign, JTP.

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51 much of an effort to court evangelicals. A major reason for this was that in 1964, no organized religious conservative movement yet existed. Even among ill-organ ized portions of the religious community in Texas, Goldwaters campaign not onl y failed to rally support, but was actually rejected and denounced. For inst ance, in Dallas, which was home to the largest Southern Baptist, Methodist, and Southern Presbyterian congregations in the nation, as well as over 800 churches in Dallas alone, Goldwater s appeal was lukewarm at best.27 Texas clergy were typically just as loyally Democratic as any othe r constituency in the st ate, while many pastors publicly criticized Goldwaters concepti ons of economic justice and world peace.28 Though Goldwater tried to portray his campaign as a crusad e, saying that the real war liberals fear is a holy wara war of the faithful for their longlost self respect a nd dignitya war for individuality waged on the spiritu al plane of ideas and principl es, the re-awakening of hope and faith, his efforts were minimal and ineffective.29 If John Tower was the public face of populist conservatism in Texas, Peter ODonnell was its life blood. ODonnell was an invest ment broker from Dallas. Having entered conservative grassroots politics in the mid-1930s ODonnell successfully ran Bruce Algers reelection campaigns in 1958 and 1960, and also managed campaign efforts in Dallas for the Nixon-Lodge ticket in 1960, where he achieved the largest Republican plurality of any metropolitan area in the nation. In 1961, ODonnell earned national attention as the mastermind behind Towers ascension to the U.S. Senate. ODonnells success rested largely on his prioritization of conservative ideology ahead of partisan lo yalty, though in later years his 27 The Super-Americans by John Bainbridge, 1962, Box 9, David Stoll Collection, HI. 28 The Goldwater Candidacy and the Christian Consci ence: The Response of Protestant Theologians, PreElection Material September, Box 6, Office Files of Bill Moyers, Presidential Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, LBJL. 29 Citizens for Goldwater-Miller: Victory Manual, Se ptember 7, 1964, Box 3H513, Stephen Shadegg Papers/Barry Goldwater Collection, CAH.

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52 priorities would shift. Whether in public or in private, ODonnell was adamant in his support for true conservatism and threatened to bolt the GOP if New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller or Michigan Governor George Romney rece ived the 1964 nomination. Privately, ODonnell dreamed of turning the Republican Party in to the only suitable and reliable home for conservatives.30 Whether it was Tower, ODonnell, or Goldwate r himself, the nascent conservatism in Texas was almost synonymous with an emboldened an ti-liberalism. Liberals have taken us too far to the left for the good of the nation, particularly when we find ourselves in a worldwide struggle with the forces of the extreme left, Goldwater wrote Tower in 1963. They have deserted the lessons of history and perver ted the real meaning of the word liberal.31 Liberals, not communists were to blame fo r the nations weakness, he argued.32 Texas Republicans, though small in number and lacking significant in fluence, used Goldwaters 1964 campaign to highlight what the Republican National Committee (RNC) called the Big Lie of Big Government.33 In 1964, Texas Republicans hoped to alter their st ates political culture In order to do that, the public would need to s ee their ideological c onvictions as under assault from an outside force. This was exactly what the state GOP hoped to accomplish as it asserted connections between Johnson, Democrats, lib eralism, communism, and the Co ld War. Despite its best efforts, however, the Texas GOP failed in 1964 to achieve its goals. Instead, ideological labels would be used most effectively against, rather than for, the Republican cause. Emphasizing 30 Secret: For a Free People, Nati onal Republican Convention: Platform Committee, July 1964, Folder 13, Box 442, Tower Senate Club, 1964 Goldwater Presidential Campaign, JTP. 31 Liberalism has Failed, by Barry Goldwater, in The Conservative Tide: A Student Journal of Fact and Opinion, November, 1963, Folder 7, Box 17, Press Office, JTP. 32 Perlstein, Before the Storm CH 4. 33 Barry Goldwater Speaks Out on the Issues, Box 3H514, Stephen Shadegg Papers/Barry Goldwater Collection, CAH; Speakers Handbook. Box 3H513, Stephen Shadegg Papers/Barry Goldwater Collection, CAH.

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53 ideological integrity over partisan loyalty would eventually drive the Republican Partys growth in Texas. Such an emphasis would ultimately transform voter loyalties in the state. In 1964, however, the tables quickly turned as part y loyalty, tradition, and Lyndon Johnson waged unmitigated warfare against the dangers of extremism.34 Race, Morality, and Extremism Rarely is Barry Goldwater remembered for his successes in the 1964 presidential campaign. In much of the South, however, success is exactly what he achieved. This regions shift away from the Democratic Party only months after the passage of th e Civil Rights Act of 1964 is typically not seen as a coincidence.35 Without much analysis, the conclusion that the South rallied behind Goldwater on the issue of r ace seems highly plausible. The Souths vote for a Republican candidate, however, was just as much a repudiation of Johnson as it was an embrace of Goldwater. As white Southerners grew disgruntled with the Democratic Party, black Southerners began to wholehearted ly embrace it. Yet, the vast majority of white Texans, unlike the majority of white Southerners, also re jected Barry Goldwater in 1964. Why? Texas certainly had its fair share of race-baiters a nd hostility toward civil ri ghts in Texas was not uncommon. Was it simply that Texans were so l oyal to their native son that they would have voted for Johnson regardless? In what ways di d the debate over civil rights alter Texans understanding of political ideology? The answer s to these questions are complex and reveal much about the political culture and regi onal identity of the Lone Star State.36 Barry Goldwaters early political career includ ed efforts to desegregate public schools in Phoenix. Most who knew him regarded him as a genuinely nice person without a racist agenda. 34 October 28, 1964, letter from William F. Erwin, Box 4C512, Harris County Democratic Party Records, CAH. 35 Perlstein, Before the Storm, CH 2. 36 Ibid., CH 11, 19.

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54 Privately, Goldwater wanted to avoid the issue of race altogether.37 He was not enthusiastic about turning his campaign over to those who wanted to exploit racial tensions for votes in the South. But Goldwater was also an ideologue and a visionary who desperately wanted to extend his conservatism into the South. Goldwaters attempt to find a suitable balance between his principles and his vision cost the Republican Pa rty its credibility on race relations. Goldwater cringed at the thought that hi s campaign would be waged as a battle against civil rights.38 Though he tried to avoid specific discussions of race, his support for states rightsregardless of his intentearned him favor in regions wher e sentiment against government centralization and collectivism ran strong.39 The level of support he received in individual states is also indicative, however, of the differing levels of importance those states assigned to particular issues. Texans did not assign the same level of importa nce to race that much of the rest of the South did. When John Tower said in the summer of 1964 that he did not believe that race was as big a factor in Texas as in other parts of the S outh, he was speaking not as a politician, but as an observer of Texas political culture.40 Unlike the stereotypical response of most white southerners, a great many Texans who otherwis e might have objected mo re strenuously to the central tenets of the 1964 Civil Rights Act ratio nalized and then accepted LBJs push for de jure racial equality. By the summer of 1964, Te xans who opposed civil ri ghts measures were increasingly inclined to give Johnson the bene fit of the doubt as he pushed the Civil Rights Act 37 K.H. Jamieson, Packaging the Presidency: A History and Criticism of Presidential Campaign Advertising (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984), 208-215; Perlstein, Before the Storm CH 19; Jonathan Schoenwald, Time for Choosing: The Rise of Modern American Conservatism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 148. 38 Chicago Sun-Times June 29, 1963, Box 48, Series I, Records of the Democratic National Committee, LBJL; Goldwater for President Co mmittee: Issue Papers: Civil Rights, Box 3H513, Stephen Shadegg Papers/Barry Goldwater Collection, CAH. 39 Numan V. Bartley, The New South : 1945-1980 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana St ate University Press, 1995), CH 4; McGirr, Suburban Warriors 133. 40 Austin American Statesman July 17, 1964, 1A.

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55 in Washington. Most Texans explained Johnsons support for this measure as an obligation or debt to the slain Kennedy, rather than an indication of long-term policy or ideology.41 Several polls commissioned by the state Democratic Part y in the summer of 19 64 showed that those Texans identifying themselves as most conservativ e also cared the least a bout civil rights, while voters who cared the most about civil rights were far more varied in how they self-identified their ideological affiliation. These same polls i ndicated that twice as many Texans considered themselves more conservative than liberal.42 As a very popular and conservative Texas De mocrat, John Connallys response to race in Texas not only reflected attitude s in the state, but also, to some degree, helped shape them. Connally was publicly critical of the Civil Rights Act for many of the same reasons that Goldwater and other conservatives denounced th e actas an unwelcome expansion of federal authority. At the same time, Connally was dogge d in his criticism of several Deep South governors, Ross Barnett of Mississippi and Geor ge Wallace of Alabama most notably, for their handling of black protestors in their respective states. Connally believed that massive resistance had emboldened the civil rights movement and ag itated the federal government to the point that federal intervention could no longe r be justifiably withheld. Fu rthermore, Connally felt that Johnsons civil rights bill was being thrust upon the rest of the nationTexas includedbecause states like Alabama and Mississi ppi had created such a stir as to force Washingtons hand. Responsible conservatives, according to Connall y, understood the value of compromise and accommodation. While Governor, Connally even viewed the civil rights turmoil in the Deep 41 General Correspondence, Box 71, White House Centra l Files: Political Affairs, LBJL; Texas Attitudes toward Kennedy and Johnson, August 1963, Confidential Report of Results of a Statewide Survey of Voters, Louis, Bowles and Grace Research Consultants, Box 9, O ffice Files of George Reedy, LBJL; A Statement Relative to the Civil Rights Bill, By Senator John Tower (for Li fe Magazine), Folder 10, Box 17, Press Office, JTP. 42 Opinion Surveys in Four Districts of Texas, Marc h 1964: Confidential, Box 4zd517, Ralph Yarborough Papers, CAH; Support for and Opposition Against Civil Rights Bill, 1964, Box 6, Series I, Records of the Democratic National Committee, LBJL.

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56 South as warranting federal interv ention, as did many conservatives in Texas. At the same time, much of Connally and other conservative Texans support for racial progress was motivated less by a concern for racial equality than out of deep desire to avoid similar federal interventions in their state.43 Connally spent a great deal of time as governor shaping Texass image as a racially moderate Southwestern state. He viewed himself as a racial progressive and openly promoted Texass heritage of racial and ethnic diversity, often speaking of a Texas bloodline comprised of 26 distinct ethnic strands. Movements of massive resistan ce were few and far between in Texas, even at the height of the civil rights movement. The civil rights issue aided Goldwater in st ates like South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, but not in Texas. Goldwaters bigge st problem in Texas, however, was not the perception that he wa s conservative, but that he was considered an extremist. Had Goldwater simply been seen as a conservative it seems likely that more Texans would have supported him. For numerous reasons, though, Goldwaters ideology was seen as dangerous, reckless, and extremenot conservative. This perception was largely th e product of a concerted effort to frame Goldwater this way, first by his opponents in the GOP primary and then by Johnson. In Texas, these efforts resulted in a profound shift in attit udes toward the Arizona Senator. And because the Arizona Senator had been anointed as the best representation of the nascent populist conservative movement, shifts in attitudes toward Goldwater meant a shift in the public relations needs of conservatism itself. Such a conclusion is born out through po lling data. In October 1963, Peter ODonnell was given the results of a public opinion surv ey he had commissioned on Texans attitudes toward Barry Goldwater. The results, especially when contrasted with Texans attitudes toward Goldwater a year later, were striking. Among ot her things, the study concluded that in Texas, 43 Reston, The Lone Star 294-317.

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57 neither Republicans nor Democrats identify Gold water as part of the radical right, but both would like to see him repudiate it in so many words. Referring spec ifically to ch arges initiated by Rockefeller that Goldwater was being contro lled by the John Birch Society, the study quoted a Democratic survey participant who said that Goldwater would be out of his mind if he had anything to do with them.44 The study showed that Texa ns identified Goldwater as a conservative and not with any pa rticular issue or cause. Fu rthermore, Texans found strong appeal in Goldwaters desire to reduce heavy government spending. The study warned, however, that without a strong re pudiation of the extreme right, there was considerable danger that the Texas public would disass ociate itself and its own brand of conservatism from that of Goldwater. Lastly, the study offered a prophetic conclusion: [Texas] Voters actually like Goldwater as a ma n better than they like LBJ. But, they are afraid of Goldwater to varying degrees because of the bad, frightening things they have heard about him from the Demos and because of the lack of constructive statements he himself has made. In other words, there a ppears to be a large group of people who are just waiting for reasons to vote for Goldwater. If they are not given these reasons, they will probably vote for LBJ as the lesser of two evils (if they are afraid of BG) OR as the man they already know something about.45 Goldwaters campaign organizers in Texas shoul d have paid closer at tention to this study as their candidate was not portrayed in Texas as a conservative, but as an extremist. Allan Shivers refusal to endorse the Republican candidate was based both on Johnsons native son status as well as Goldwaters extremism.46 Throughout the summer of 1964, Rockefeller painted 44 Edwin Diamond & Stephen Bates, The Spot: The Rise of Political Advertising on Television (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992), 124. 45 Texas Attitudes toward Kennedy and Johnson, A ugust 1963, Confidential Report of Results of a Statewide Survey of Voters, Louis, Bowles and Grace Research Consultants, Box 9, Office Files of George Reedy, LBJL; The Public Image of Senator Barry Goldwater: A Pilot Study, Conducted for Mr. Peter ODonnell, Jr., Opinion Research Corporation, Research Park, Princeton, NJ, October 1963, Folder 14, Box 443, Tower Senate Club, 1964 Goldwater Presidential Campaign, JTP. 46 Letter from Peter ODonnell, Jr. to Texas Editors, October 23, 1964, Box 3H516, Stephen Shadegg Papers/Barry Goldwater Collection, CAH.

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58 Goldwaters conservatism with the brush of radicalism.47 During the Republican National Convention in San Francisco, as the nation saw what appeared to be a hostile takeover of the GOP initiated by Goldwater conservatives, Rockefeller Republicans used the media to disparage their political brethren as da ngerous, further polarizing the pa rtys already estranged wings. Goldwater was aware that his opponents were pr epared to fight the campaign on these grounds when he addressed the convention floor with hi s famous line, Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.48 Attacks subsequently came from almost everywhere. The New Republic published a special magazine enti tled Psychiatrists say Goldwa ter is Psychologically Unfit to be President! The AFL-CIO published literature in various forms trying to link Goldwater to radicalism by charging that the Republican nom inee was a provocateur of hate. These and similar charges were made reasonably by linki ng Goldwater to the John Birch Society, and outrageously by asserting that Kennedy had been mu rdered by the same hate virtually endorsed by the Republican candidate.49 Whether accurate or ridiculous, the were effective. Even oil and business leaders in Texas, who had initially pr ovided Goldwater with his strongest base of support in the state, began to shy away from th e GOP nominee in the wake of reports outlining Goldwaters position on nuclear weapons and foreign affairs.50 Goldwater did as poor a job of repudiating the charges of extremism as he did in marketing his own brand of conservatism. Wher eas conservatives in th e coming years made use of specific issues as a means of defining thei r political ideology, Goldwater often avoided specific issuesand was criticized heavily for doing so. In Houston, for instance, Goldwater championed his campaign theme of peace throu gh strength, progress through freedom; purpose 47 Diamond & Bates, The Spot, 125. 48 White, The Making of th e President, 1964 190-220. 49 The Extremists, AFL-CIO Committee on Public Education, Box 52, Series II, Records of the Democratic National Committee, LBJL. 50 Austin American Statesman July 18, 1964, 1A.

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59 through Constitutional orderyet spoke of a vague philosophy without mention of any practical application.51 Goldwater was most successful in Texas when he attacked liberalism as an ideology. He often disparaged Johnsons running mate, Minnesota Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, as a liberal radical while at the same time accusing Democrats of offering a soft deal for communism.52 Many Texans enjoyed the rhetoric for a time but found no application for it in specific issues and were far more influenced by the public relations campaign which labeled Goldwater as dangerous and extreme. At the same time, Johnson was cautious not to expose his own liber alism to political debate in Texas. On campaign swings through Texas, Johnson shied away from labels like conservative and liberal. Johnson also understood Texans traditional distrust of federal encroachment and largely saved the rhetoric of his crusade against poverty for states where big government was less of a political liability.53 Johnson spoke with optimism and hope, in contrast to what he called Goldwaters doom and gloom He even quoted Robert E. Lee on the importance of unity and loyalty.54 In the end though, knowing that he could not honestly portray himself as a Texas conservative, Johnson adopted a national media st rategy to capitalize on a nd extend the depiction of Goldwater and his followers as extremists. Privately, Johnson lamented the power of the media to create false images. This did not st op him, however, from using the media to position 51 Campaign Speech at the Colt Stadium, Houston, Texas, October 15, 1964 by Senator Barry Goldwater, Republican Candidate for President of the US, Office Files of Bill Moyers, LBJL; Memorandum. To: Pam Rymer, From: Jody Baldwin, Subject: Summary of trend reports for the week of Sept. 27 Oct. 3, Polls, Box 3H516, Stephen Shadegg Papers/Barry Goldwater Collection, CAH. 52 Campaign Speech at National American Legion Convention, Memorial Auditorium, Dallas, TX, September 23, 1964 by Senator Barry Goldwater, Republican Candidate for President of the US, Office Files of Bill Moyers, LBJL; Campaign Speech at Colt Stadium, Houston, Texas, October 15, 1964 by Senator Barry Goldwater, Republican Candidate for President of the US, October 15, 1964, Office Files of Bill Moyers, LBJL. 53 Memorandum, October 13, 1964, Preparation for a Debate, Box 11, Office Files of Richard N. Goodwin, Presidential Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, LBJL. 54 Remarks of the President at the Dedication of John F. Kennedy Square, Texarkana, Texas-Arkansas, September 25, 1964, Box 24, Office Files of Bill Moyers, LBJL.

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60 himself in every conceivable contrast with his opponent.55 Johnson also used public relations in Texas to negate the potential appeal of Goldwaters frontierism and cowboy persona.56 Johnson dictated the when, where, and how of virtually all his photo ops in Texas and was often pictured on his ranch, riding his horses, with boots sh ining and cowboy hat doffed. Johnson privately obsessed with his desire to be seen as a local hero.57 Johnson also spoke often of the loyalty and tradition of Texas Democratic politics. Though each candidate attempted to embrace a rugged frontier image, only Johnson was successful in Texas.58 Despite all his advantages in Texas, neither Johnson, nor his staff, nor the loyal Texas Democrats committed to holding their state for th eir native son, rested. During the final weeks of the campaign, Bill Moyersone the Presiden ts top strategists (a nd member of LBJs University of Texas answer to Kennedys Ha rvard brain trust)believed that Goldwater was capable of a last-minute charge on the issue of mo rality and wanted to cut that possibility off at the pass.59 One confidential memorandum encouraged the president to avoid disparaging Republicans without, at the same time, referring to extremism as the reason why the GOP could not be trusted. A lot of people support [Goldw ater] for a reason, one Johnson aide concluded. They somehow feel that the government no longer belongs to the good, solid, church-going, property-owning citizen. It could be at least partly our fault. In any case, we must not alienate them.60 Meanwhile, the Texas Democratic Committ ee distributed pamphlets across the state with the slogan, For a Decent Home in a Decent NeighborhoodJohnson/Humphrey for the 55 Hart, Verbal Style and the Presidency 119. 56 Jack Bass and Walter DeVries, The Transformation of Southern Politics: Social Change and Political Consequence Since 1945 (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press., 1995), 306. 57 Roderick P. Hart, The Sound of Leadership: Presidential Communication in the Modern Age (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987), 164. 58 Austin American Statesman July 19, 1964 July 28, 1964, 1A. 59 Memorandum, October 16, 1964, To: Bill Moyers, From: Fred Dutton, Office Files of Bill Moyers, LBJL. 60 Personal For the President: Points on Campaign Strategy, 1964, Box 71 (1 of 2), Confidential File: Political Affairs, Presidential Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, LBJL.

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61 USA. Another such brochure was emblazoned with the slogan, Johnson/Humphrey must be elected The alternative is frighteningwith an arrow connecting the word frightening to a menacing photo of Goldwater. Yet another br ochure featured a picture of an unsmiling Goldwater, with arms stretched out, and the slogan, In these handst he hope of Americas Children and Youth. The stakes are Too High for you to Stay at Home.61 The Johnson campaigns fears of a late Goldwate r charge did not take into consideration the ineptitude of Goldwaters strategists. Barry Goldwater made five separate visits to Texas during his bid for the White House. During thos e trips, he managed to rally sizable crowds, hostile to four more years of, what he calle d, Kennedy-Johnson liberalism. One rally in Wichita Falls, Towers home town, drew over 12,000 supporters.62 Yet, his campaign did such a poor job of providing local and stat e media with advance schedules that most of his rallies in Texas were never captured on film. Goldwate r also inexplicably avoided Dallas, where conservative sentiment was very strong, and West Texas, which was arguably the region of the state most tightly connected to the West ern populist ideals he hoped to champion.63 Whether Goldwaters campaign underestimated its level of support in these regions or overestimated its supporters loyalt y is unclear. What is clear is that during each visit, the Texas media consistently pushed Goldwater onto the defens ive. His speeches failed to deflect charges of extremism. In fact, Goldwater was so brazen in his rhetoric that hi s opponents often used the Arizonians own words against him. When Gold water had chances to at tack Johnson, he shifted attention to Hubert Humphrey in stead. Almost fearful of attack ing a Texan in Texas, Goldwater deferred to Johnson, and tried to convince apat hetic audiences to support such proposals as Social Security privatization. It was not so much that Goldwa ter advocated such change which 61 Pamphlets, Stickers, Records of the Texas State Democratic Committee, LBJL. 62 Transcript, John Tower Oral History Interview III, 11/1/71, by Joe B. Frantz, Internet Copy, LBJL. 63 Austin American Statesman November 2, 1964, 1A.

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62 made him dangerous and ineffective, though many Te xans saw Social Security privatization as a benefit to the GOPs traditional northeastern base of elites. Still, that Go ldwater even broached a specific issue was music to the ears of many of his campaign advisors. The larger problem was the fact that, when given a small window of me dia opportunity, Goldwater consistently failed to make news, let alone sound bitesnor did he re buke the charges of radicalism. Like Johnson, Goldwater did not like the media. Unlike J ohnson, however, Goldwater did not understand its power.64 Goldwaters supporters blamed their candidates disastrous performance on liberals in the media. Liberals, they argued, had manipulated the media to build fear in the minds of voters that the GOP was reckless. This criticism downplayed the vital role of public relations in the campaign. It is difficult to tell the story of the 1964 presidential campaign without discussing race, radicalism, or the media. The story of Ronald Reagans emergence must be included as welland that story, more predic tably than ironically, began on television. Before a national TV audience on October 27, 1964, Ronald Reagan delivered what came to be remembered as the Speecha blistering attack on Johnson, liberals, and the Washington establishment. It was a thoughtful address (as it was introduced) about the Goldwater campaign, but really benefited Reagan far more than the ma n whose credentials he was trumpeting. Subsequently, Texas Republicans became increasingly enamored w ith Reagan who became one of the most anticipated and frequently courted guests fo r statewide GOP fundraisers throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Reagans speech helped make him an icon of the conservative movement and began a longstanding relationship between the former Hollywood actor and Texas conservatives.65 64 Ibid. 65 A Time for Choosing, Speech Transcript, by Ro nald Reagan, October 27, 1964, Office Files of Bill Moyers, LBJL.

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63 What does Reagans popularity in Texas, especially when compared to the beating Goldwater received there in 1964, say about the states political cult ure and ideological predilections? To some degree, Reagans popularity appears to va lidate early campaign literature and polling data which showed suppor t for many of Goldwaters ideas throughout Texas. Most Texans were in favor of limited government and even distrusted Washington as an establishment in the same populist vein as they had traditionally distrusted big business (and big labor). It also indicates the paramount importance of personal image in campaigning. Reagans smile and affinity for the camera softened th e framing of the conservative message, while avoiding a softening of the message itself. Texans who wanted to connect with the energy of the conservative movement were reluctant to do so with Goldwater at its head. Furthermore, Reagan could criticize Lyndon Johnson and liberalism in Texas without running the risk of forcing Texans to vote against their nativ e son in an actual election. Go ldwater, of course, could not. Lastly, Reagans appeal also shows the importa nce of timing. The fact that Kennedy had been killed in Texas in 1963 helped Johnson win Texa s in 1964. Loyalty and a Democratic tradition also helped Johnson in Texas. However, over the next several years, these obstacles to conservative GOP progress were minimized or eliminated. The emergence of Ronald Reagan notwithst anding, the 1964 elections were not kind to Republicans in Texas. The liberal Democra tic incumbent Senator Ralph Yarborough won reelection against his Republican challenger from Houston, Geor ge Bush. During the campaign, Yarborough rarely used the word liberal, but en thusiastically talked about his populism and agenda for the working men and women of Texas. When he was not disparaging Bush as a privileged Northeastern Connecticut Republica n, Yarborough tried to link his campaign to that of Johnsons. He campaigned as a Texas Democrat in a state loyal to Democrats. On the issue

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64 of civil rights, Yarborough ope nly courted minority voters.66 His teams research indicated that while some white districts were generally opposed to civil righ ts for blacks, many more were simply apathetic. Far more helpful to Yarboroug h were Johnsons coattails and Goldwaters bad public image.67 Yarborough campaigned as a populist and lambasted Bush as a darling of the John Birch societywhich was wholly inaccurate but in the wake of Goldwaters campaign, more believable. Yarboroughs strategy put Bush on the defensive and, like the head of the GOP ticket, prevented Bush from mounting an effective campaign.68 Johnsons 63-37 percent landslide in Texas pr oduced a ripple effect for Democrats across the state. Still, Bush carried over 100,000 more votes in Texas than did Goldwater, indicating that many Johnson supporters had opposed Yarbor ough. Elsewhere across the state, Republicans fell by the wayside. Bruce Alger lost in Dallas as did the only other GOP congressman in Texas, Ed Foreman of Odessa. Johnsons 26 percent marg in was also the largest pro-LBJ margin in the greater South. Comparatively, J ohnson barely carried Florida, by just over 2 percent, won by 13 percent in North Carolina, and only 6 percent in Virginia. The Deep South, in contrast, overwhelmingly sided with the Republican. Gold water carried Georgia by 8 percent, Louisiana by 13 percent, South Carolina by 18 percent, Al abama by 29 percent, and Mississippi by an eyepopping 74 percent.69 The political atmosphere in Texas during 1964 provided Lyndon Johnson with an almost perfect set of conditions in which to campaign. Texas was still overwhelmingly Democratic and loyal to their native son. It was also a state seeking redemption in the wake of a tragedy. Texans 66 Dallas Morning News October 2, 1964, 5A. 67 Opinion Surveys in Four Districts of Texas, Marc h 1964: Confidential, Box 4zd517, Ralph Yarborough Papers, CAH. 68 Bass and DeVries, The Transformation of Southern Politics 312; Dallas Morning News October 28, 1964, 5A; James A. Leonard to George Bush, June 2, 1965, Box 5, George Bush Senate Campaign File, Waggoner Carr Papers, Southwest Collection, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX (Hereafter cited as SWC). 69 Dallas Morning News November 4, 1964, 1A.

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65 were especially fearful of extremismor of being perceived as extremeand Johnsons campaign solidified the importance of stability and moderation, while convincing the public that Goldwater was dangerous. In Texas, Goldwater s extremism was most definitely a vice. The Republican nominee had his followers in Texas, but could not rally them in the face of such obstacles. He failed to mount an effective media campaign and c ould not prevent the barrage of extremist darts aimed in his direction from hittin g their target. As these favorable conditions dissipated in the coming months the repackaged ideology of populist conservatismof smaller government, anti-communism, and moralityrecei ved a face lift in Texa s and paralleled an attack on the meaning of liberalism, recons tructed within the context of weakness. Strategizing the New Conservative Image In May of 1966, NBC broadcast a sp ecial portrait of the nations 36th president and his home entitled, The Hill Country: Lyndon Johnson s Texas. Hill Country residents were ebullient at receiving such national attention a nd gave thanks to Johnson personally for the good publicity. The special emphasized the regions fr iendliness and natural b eauty, with Johnson as the chief tour guide. It was an almost tra nquil portrait of a man embroiled in the most untranquil of times. For Lyndon Johnsons Texans, the television respite was much needed relief. Such sympathetic media attention was rare in the mid-1960s.70 Friendliness, beauty, and tranquility were not typically associated w ith Johnson and did not routinely bump crime or violence from the front pages of the daily newspapers or, as was becoming increasingly important, nightly news broadcasts. By the mid-1960s, people everywhere were aware of the nations rising crime rates, sporadic violence, and chaos in the stre ets. The important question to ask is not whether these images and stories affect ed the political climate in Texas. Rather, the 70 General Correspondence, Hill Countr y, Lyndon Johnsons, Box 371, White House Central Files: Public Relations, LBJL.

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66 important question to ask is how these images a nd stories of crime and violence affected that climate. Did such images and stories make Texa ns more conservative? This would have been difficult to accomplish considering that in the mid-1960s, well over half of all Texas voters who classified themselves as Democrats also simultane ously classified themselves as conservatives. The number of Republicans in Texas who consider ed themselves conservative was, predictably, even higher.71 In view of this, what impact did imag es of crime and violence have on shaping Texans political ideology? In Texas, race, crime, and Law and Order wo rked together to affect change, but not in a monocausal way. During the mid-1960s, one of the mo st important elements in what would later become the perfect storm through which a mul tiplicity of issues w ould collide by the late 1970s was introduced to Texas in the form of shifting ideological per ceptions and political marketing strategies. It is important to rec ognize differences between these efforts in Texas because much of what stereotypically characteri zes the Southernization of American Politics certainly also holds true in Texas.72 Much, however, does not. Much of what characterizes the suburban origins thesis also holds true in Texas. Much does not.73 One particular hot-bed of Republican marke ting angst was Harris C ounty, the largest and most politically influential coun ty in the greater Houston area. After Goldwaters defeat in 1964, the Harris County Republican Party erupted into a fight between two wingsone labeled extreme because of its endorsement of Barry Go ldwater during the previous year and another that sought moderation and part y growth. The voice of the Ri ght was a collection of local 71 The Belden Poll, September 1967, Box 178, Office Files of Frederick Panzer, LBJL. 72 Dan T. Carter, The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univers ity Press, 1995). Carters book popularized the Southernization thesis, but conflicts with some studies of conservatism in suburbia. 73 Kevin M. Kruse, White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005); Lassiter, The Silent Majority ; McGirr, Suburban Warriors

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67 grassroots elements, not party leadership.74 The message of the Right was anticommunism plain and simple. On such Houstonian Ri ght Winger was Edwin Walker, a retired Major General in the United States Army and prominent anticommunist. While Walkers rhetoric often tangentially dealt with race in a less-than tactful way, the bul k of his writing in 1964 and 1965 stressed the broad dangers of co mmunistic influences in places like Texas public schools, where he argued desegregation was one of only several liberal assaults threatening white Americas children.75 Walkers writings reflec ted a growing association am ong conservatives in the mid1960s between encroaching socialism and communi sm and liberalism, even going so far in public appearances as to equate these philosoph ies. Though his temperament and lack of tact kept Walker from gaining much public credibilit y, and even harmed conservative efforts to distance their ideology from noti ons of extremism, Walkers popularity in Texas suggests a growing audience of sympathetic ears. While ma ny white Texans were attracted to Walkers hard line on racial segregati on, others were more attracted to his broader anticommunism. Similar to messages from grassroots conservatives in the Midwest, where organization was far more advanced in the mid-1960s, Walker stre ssed the dangerous liber alism of the national Democratic Party and urged Texans to find a new home in the GOP rather than seek to rehabilitate the Democratic Party.76 Hoping to mitigate the backlash that he knew was sure to come from party moderates and liberals who blamed extremism for the disast rous outcome of 1964, Peter ODonnell supported Harris Countys moderation efforts, claiming th at winning elections was more important than 74 Houston Chronicle, September 9, 1966, Box 4C514, Harris County Democratic Party Records, CAH; Newspaper Clippings, November 1966, Box 4C514, Harris County Democratic Party Records, CAH. 75 The American Mercury: To Bear Witness to th e Truth, Summer-September 1965, Box 14, New Left Collection, HI; Christian Crusade Collec tion, Box 15, New Left Collection, HI. 76 The American Mercury: To Bear Witness to th e Truth, Summer-September 1965, Box 14, New Left Collection, HI; Donald T. Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Womans Crusade (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005).

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68 ideology.77 Many agreed. George Bush, for instance, was intricately involved in the fight for a more moderate Republican platform in Harris County. Following his unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate, Bush was angry over charges that had surfaced during his ca mpaign that he was a Bircher. Bush detested labels and his age nda prioritized specific state issues, minimized ideology, and even gave vocal support to ci vil rights for African-Americans and MexicanAmericans. Having been associated with Gold water extremism in 1964 convinced Bush that the future of the Texas Republican Party was not in fighting an ideological struggle. He downplayed liberal-conservative debates, claiming that t hose terms were outdated and relative, based on where you lived. Bush, like many other Texas Republicans between 1964 and 1966, struggled to redefine his own conservatism in a Texas political culture that wa s already conservative, but did not want to see itself as extreme. In 1966, Ge orge Bush sold himself as a supporter of free enterprise who was also eager to so lve issues like poverty and urban decay.78 Nationally, Republican moderates, almost all of whom viewed factionalism as a primary factor in the landslide defeats of 1964, were less unified on what to do about the Right of their party. Though much of the Eastern Establishm ent wanted to purge the party of the most conservative ideologues, others in the RNC viewed the proble m as one of public perception, which overstated both th e strength of extremism and of the Right Wing.79 In 1965, the RNC decided to test a new public rela tions and marketing campaign in Texas, where, it believed, the political culture was conservative enough, Southe rn enough, and yet suburb an enough to reflect growing trends in the national culture. The fi rst issue the RNC prioritized in Texas was the 77 Houston Chronicle, October 2, 1966, Box 4C514, Harris County Democratic Party Records, CAH; Newspaper Clippings, November 1966, Box 4C514, Harris County Democratic Party Records, CAH. 78 Ibid.; Houston Chronicle, May 6, 1965, Box 4C514, Harris County Democratic Party Records, CAH. 79 Remarks by Kentucky Senator Thruston B. Morton: Republican National Committee, January 22, 1964, Chicago, IL, Papers of the Republican Party [microfo rm], ed. Paul L. Kesaris, Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1987, George Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Part I, Series B, Reel 4, Frame 518-520. (Hereafter cited as PRP).

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69 reconstruction of conservative ideology. Hist orian Jonathan Schoenwald has argued that between 1964 and 1966, the Republican Partyregar dless of localized efforts to minimize ideologyused a broadly based and r econstructed conservatism as th e mortar that held together the sometimes uneven building blocks that compri sed the party platform. The most effective aspect of the new marketing campaign was its su btlety. Rather than making conservatism the linchpin of Republican appeal, the RNC chose to use conservatism as a mechanism for girding together the sometimes dissident factions that existed within the party structure.80 While only marginally successful in unifying dissident factio ns, the RNCs efforts did manage to keep the anticommunist grassroots loya l to the party without subjec ting candidates to charges of extremism. The first and most important step taken on the path toward repackaging conservatism was to aggressively define and pejo ratively label their opponents liberalism. The process of deconstructing liberalism began in th e aftermath of Barry Goldwaters defeat and was a concerted effort by the GOP to do to liberalis m what the extremist caricature had done to conservatism in 1964. In 1966, Texas Republicans under the guidance of the RNC, hoped to reunify their party and extend Republicanisms appeal by initiating an ideological war using the principle weapons of welfare reform, big government, loss of local power, and anticommunism. These themes were carefully selected as the most advantageous fr amework for a reconstruction of the conservative image and simultaneous deconstruction of the De mocratic Party. Virtually any issuelocal, state, or nationalcould be spun to fit into one of these themes. At the same time, while vague in the abstract, these themes could also be us ed as segues to more specific issues, allowing concrete and relevant examples to be used with in an ideological framework. These themes also provided the basis of a uniform me ssage. Regardless of which fac tion of conservatism a voter 80 Schoenwald, Time for Choosing 219.

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70 might align him or herself with, local politics co uld easily be couched wi thin this ideological framework. Republicans who disagreed with one another on specific issu es could still espouse similar overarching beliefs. Under the banne r of conservatismwhich itself was broadly defined with reference to an anti-liberal philosophythese fa ctions found common cause. By rallying around a new marketing strategy, the Re publican Party slowly began to detach the stigma of extremism from conservatism and und ermine the unity of its Democratic opponents.81 Race and Electoral Politics in 1966 On Tuesday, November 8, 1966, members and supporters of the Dallas County Republican Party gathered togeth er at a dance club on the noto riously rambunctious Greenville Avenue section of downtown Dallas. They gath ered around television sets to watch, and they hoped to celebrate, the evenings electoral returns. The biggest cheer of the evening came at the announcement of Ronald Reagans landside vict ory over the incumbent Democrat, Edmund G. Pat Brown in the California gubernatoria l race. The next day, copies of the Dallas Morning News greeted readers across Texas with the stor y it considered most significantthat of Reagans election in California. Reagans public service career in California officially began that night, but his political popularity in Te xas was already strong. Following his landslide victory, Reagan received a commendation from the Ripon Society, a nationally active moderate Republican organization. The Ripon Society co ngratulated Reagan for winning his campaign without resorting to ideologica l warfare. Rather, Ripon asse rted, Reagans victory was a testimony to the power of a positive media mess age in which the people, not ideas, were championed.82 However, the moderate Republican organizations celebration of Reagans 81 The State of the Republican Party as of February 1965: Report by RNC Chairman Dean Burch, PRP, Part I, Series B, Reel 4, Frame 733. 82 Dallas Morning News November 9, 1966, 12A-13A; A Ripon Society Press Release, November 13, 1966, Box 48, Series I, Records of the Democratic National Committee, LBJL; Matthew Dallek, The Right Moment:

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71 victory did not prevent that same society from pointing out a noticeable shortcoming: black voters had not contributed to the victory. The Ripon Society believed the future of Republican electoral success hinged on appeal ing to black voters. Reagans victory in California without such support was impressive, they argued, but al so anomalous. Other candidates, particular Republicans in the South, would not be so fortunate.83 The Ripon Society was hardly alone in this assessment. While the RNC labored to create a uniform message that appealed to voters on the basis of a th eme-oriented and anticommunist conservatism, it also debated wh at role African Americans shoul d play in the new strategy. While some Republicans publicly believed that th ey would never win in the South unless they appealed to black voters, many more reaffirmed their conservatism as not about race, but rather, the heavy swell of opposition to the welfare state, communism, foreign aid, and federal spending.84 Some argued that, if for no other reas on, winning black votes was a critical step toward undermining the Democratic Partys growi ng base. Only 6 percent of African Americans supported Republican candidates in 1964. In Dall as, black Republican voting decreased from 41 percent in 1956 to only 3 percent eight years later.85 By 1968, 90 percent of blacks felt that the Democratic Party was more interested in issues of race than was the GOP. At the same time, 62 percent of African Americans generally favored Democratic candidates, whereas only 3 percent favored Republicans. Most blacks simply doubted the sincerity of Republican efforts on civil Ronald Reagans First Victory and the Decisive Turning Point in American Politics (New York: The Free Press, 2000). 83 RNC Executive Committee, Executive Session, January 21, 1965, Chicago, IL, PRP, Part I, Series B, Reel 4, Frames 363-367. Republicans at this meeting debated which constituency in the South was more for the taking blacks or conservative whites. One notable idea was that the GOP should market itself to the Beverly Hillbillies crowed, meaning conservativ e whites. In 1965, the Beverly Hillbillies was among the most popular shows on television. 84 New York Journal-Americans July 15, 1964, Box 337, Series I, Records of the Democratic National Committee, LBJL. 85 The 1964 Elections: A Summary Report with Supporting Tables: October 1965, PRP, Part II, Reel 4, Frames 427-429; The 1966 Elections: A Summary Report with Supporting Tables: September 1, 1967, PRP, Part I, Series B, Reel 5, Frame 81; Political Profiles of the States, 1968: March 1, 19 68, PRP, Part I, Series B, Reel 5, Frame 424.

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72 rights, but were still only loosely tied to the Democratic Partypredominantly because, in the South, the Democratic Party was the only party in town and home to some of the nations most ardent segregationists.86 Outside of the South, the vast majority of anticommunist conservatives, both in intellectual circles and at the grassroots, rejected the politics of massive re sistance that seemed to characterize the racial discord in much of the South. William F. Buckley, for instance, spoke of racial division as a communist weapon and encour aged conservatives across the nation to unify against communism, not blacks. These conservati ves were engaged in th eir own battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party and hoped to appeal to newly enfranchised black voters through a message of Americanism, assimilation, and democratic freedoms. Such a conservative viewpoint offered little practical assistance to the African-Ameri can freedom struggle, and may very well have been an obstacle by way of passi ve complicity, but it was not the direct and more immediate obstacle which barricaded blacks in their path toward reform. Though racial hostility and civil rights resistance was often recast in Texas as part of a larger struggle against communism, socialism, and liberalism, significant pockets of anticommunist thought and activity also operated on the periphery of such impulse s and allowed many Texans to embrace their anticommunist commonalities with similar thinkers in other parts of th e country where racial discord was less of an issue and, it was hoped, w ould remain that way. Rather, grassroots anticommunist conservatism func tioned in most of Texas much as it did in the West and Midwestwith race operating in the shadow of issues like federa l growth, national security, and moral laxitycollectivel y espoused under a growing anti-liberal rhetoric.87 86 Political Profiles of the States, 1968: March 1, 1968, PRP, Part I, Series B, Reel 5, Frame 424, 465185. 87 Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism ; Schoenwald, Time for Choosing 252-253.

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73 This is not to say that oppositi on to civil rights did not exist in Texas. It certainly did, though for a complex set of reasons. Yet only in pockets of East Texas, with its heavy concentration of African-American residents, did the Negro Issue typically make its way to the very top of most candidates agendas.88 In the rest of the state, opposition to civil rights, while present and important, existed no t as massive resistance but as a blending of racial fears and ideological convictions, primarily over the expa nsion of federal power and seemingly radical protests spilling over into the streets. The co mplexity of opposition to civil rights in Texas illustrates how the rise of modern conservatism in American manifested differently across disparate regions of the country, despite historical assessments which characterize the movement as inherently Southern or even suburban.89 Republican conservatives in the North, like Buck ley or Phyllis Schlafly for instance, were far less motivated by race. Not all, but ma ny conservatives in Texas behaved similarly.90 Some of this behavior can be explained thr ough an understanding of the socioeconomic transformations affecting the stat e as early as the mid-1960s. Th e economic transformations that shaped Texas and refashioned much of the S unbelt as the new home for industrial growth, particularly military defense industries, contri buted to the migration of Northerners with traditional Republican leanings into defens e and energy hubs like Dallas and Houston.91 Industrial growth, especially de fense manufacturing, pr ovided new jobs not just for migrating Northerners, but for working-class Texans and minor ities. Each of these factors contributed to a 88 General Correspondence, Box 5, Waggoner Carr Papers, SWC. 89 Gerard Alexander, The Myth of the Racist Republicans, The Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy: Claremont Review of Books (Spring 2004); Carter, The Politics of Rage ; Bruce J. Schulman, The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society, and Politics (New York: The Free Press, 2001); Kruse, White Flight ; Lassiter, The Silent Majority 90 Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism 91 Bruce J. Schulman, From the Cotton Belt to Sunbelt: Federa l Policy, Economic Development, and the Transformation of the South, 1938-1980 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991); Meeting of the Republican National Committee, January 31, 1966: Trends in Public Opinion Thomas W. Benham, PRP, Part I, Series B, Reel 5, Frames 77-97.

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74 redefined populist ethos in Texas in which the tenets of anti-elitism, distrust of establishment entities, and strict adheren ce to individual rights generated the framework for modern conservatism in Texas, thus providing a s timulus for the rise of the Texas GOP. Demographics and geography also played a ro le in the way race worked as a political issue in Texas. Unlike states in the Deep S outh, the African-American population in Texas was comparatively small. It was also more isolated to the eastern fifth of the state, which, in a state as vast as Texas, meant that many white Texans did not have as much daily contact with African Americans as did whites in the Deep South, even befo re the restraints of de jure segregation were torn down. Even in cities like Dallas, Houst on, and Beaumont, where the black population was higher than average, suburbanization efforts wh ich aimed to replace de jure with de facto segregation, went largely unchall enged and therefore contributed to the public perception that race was not the urgent political issu e that it was elsewhere in the South.92 Such trends, however, were not necessarily prescriptive for other cities like Amarillo, Austin, El Paso, Lubbock, or San Antonionor were these trends predictive of how the rural or exurban voters behaved. In the mid-1960s, radical organizations like the Ku Klux Klan and even the John Birch Society no longer functioned in Texas by the mid-1960s with th e same gusto as they operated with in other parts of the South, a reflection am ong other things of the states general aversion to extremism in all forms. With most candidates in Texas avoi ding race altogether, th e confrontation between massive resistance and middle class moderation that characterized racial politics in the suburban South was far less influential, necessary, or apparent in Texasat least through the mid-1960s.93 92 Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism ; Kruse, White Flight ; Lassiter, The Silent Majority ; McGirr, Suburban Warriors 93 Dallas Morning News July 3, 1964, Section 4, 1; Dallas Morning News August 7-11, 1965, Section 4; Chandler Davidson, Race and Class in Texas Politics 1990; An Indictment of the Democratic Party, 1961-1968, PRP, Part II, Reel 7, Frames 209-210; New York Journal-Amer ican, February 12, 1964, Box 48, Series I, Records of the Democratic National Committee, LBJL; Support for and Opposition Against Civil Rights Bill, 1964, Box 6,

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75 Race was one of several issues that made the 1966 campaign for Senate interesting. It was a campaign which revealed much about the natu re of anti-liberalism in Texas, the success of the GOPs new marketing strategy, and the destruc tive power of intra-party factionalism. The incumbent, John Tower was, once again, an und erdog in 1966. Many Texans viewed Towers election to the United States Senate in 1961 as a fluke and Democrats were confident they would regain the seat when Tower came up for re-e lection. His opponent was Waggoner Carr, who had served as the states attorney general and gain ed some notoriety for a small-scale independent investigation into the Kennedy a ssassination. Assumptions about Ca rrs appeal and Democratic dominance in the state triggered early press predictions of a pote ntial landslide and forced the incumbent Tower to assume the position of underdog challenger. On September 7, 1966, Carr opened his campaign with a rally in his hometown of Lubbock. It proved to be an inauspicious beginning. Overconfident and unprep ared, Carr attracted less th an 2,000 supporters. Earlier in the week, Carrs campaign had made public its expectation that over 10,000 supporters would attend. Adding to the embarrassment were statewid e television and newspape r reports that those in attendance were unenthusiastic and had to be repeatedly prompted to cheer by Carr campaign staffers holding up cheer signs.94 Because he was a Democrat in a heavily Democratic state and had served under John Connallys popular governorship, Carr was, to the dismay of both Republicans and liberal Democrats, heavily favored by political observers in Texas. Carr, however, did not enjoy unified support within his party. In 1966, Texas liberals chose the Ca rr candidacy as the perfect opportunity to take a stand against a conservative Democr at, in the hopes of sparking realignment and subsequent two-party reform. Li berals had long believed that without a viable Series I, Records of the Democratic National Committee, LBJL; Support for and Opposition Against Civil Rights Bill, 1964, Box 6, Series I, Records of the Democratic National Committee, LBJL. 94 Lubbock Avalanche-Journal September 8, 1966, 1A.

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76 Republican Party, liberal leadersh ip would never overtake the cons ervative establishment that dominated the Texas Democratic Party. Thes e Democrats denounced the conservative Carr as entirely un-Democraticproclaiming that their definition of Democratic meant a far friendlier atmosphere for liberalism in Texas. They did not assume that their support would turn the tide of the campaign, but did see their refusal to toe th e party line as a symbolic gesture of defiance.95 Tower benefited from the liberal response to Carr. The Republican Senator had built a respectable conservative record du ring his tenure in the upper cham ber. At the same time, many conservative Democrats failed to rally behind Carr for two reasons. First, Carr did not foster a great deal of enthusiasm, whether because of his personality or mixed record. Second, many conservative Democrats simply did not pay much attention to the ra ce, either out of ambivalence or over-confidence in their candidates prospect s. Meanwhile, Texas Republicans also worked hard to appeal to Hispanic voters in 1966. Th e GOPs strategy for appealing to Hispanics was based on what El Paso County GOP Chairman Hila ry Sandoval, Jr. called a moral obligation to sell ALL Americans on Republican principles. In researching Hispanic communities across Texas, Republicans began to successfully market conservative principles in the state as uniformly American and color-blind in appeal.96 The biggest aid Republicans like Tower received however, came not from the rewards of their own research but from liberal Democrats deliberately encouraging Hispanic voters to vot e against Carr. This strategy illustrates an important reality about how race and politics f unctioned in Texas during the 1960s. Whereas the manifestation of conservative politics was greatly affected by the grassroots response to the African-American civil rights movement operating in much of the Deep South, the politics of 95Texas Observer October 28, 1966, 7; Texas Observer December 9, 1966, 24, Folder 11, Box 63, Press Office, JTP; Unidentified 1966 newspaper artic le, Folder 7, Box 63, Press Office, JTP. 96 How to Canvass and Win the Latin-American Voter of Low Income, El Paso County GOP, Box 2, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.

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77 race was far more affected by the states abundant Hispanic population. If Hispanics could be convinced not to vote for Carr, they would either stay home or might be convinced to vote for Tower, not because he convincingly represented th eir values, but as a protest vote against the conservative Democratic establishment and a m eans toward a healthy and competitive two-party political culture.97 Hispanic leadership desperately wanted a pol itical voice and the establishment of a truly liberal Democratic Party was a necessary first step toward increasing opportunities for Latino political participation.98 Throughout the first six decades of the 20th century, Hispanics in Texas had been segregated by the same customs, traditi ons, and laws that prevented African Americans from enjoying the benefits of a fully integrated society. The customs and traditions that allowed for de facto segregation between Hispanics and Whites, however, began to break down in the 1960s.99 As the Hispanic population in Texas grew, e xpectations of political inclusion also grew. Tejanos were a noticeable force in John F. Kennedys 1960 presidential campaign and even organized Viva Kennedy clubs as a means to gr eater political organization and participation.100 Yet Hispanics were not satisfied with merely being acknowledged as a political constituency. Three years after Kennedys deat h, Mexican-American leaders, pa rticularly in South Texas, shifted their focus away from garnering inclusio na demand often met with token appointments or superficial declarations of equalityto a demand for greater influence legal rights. Once Mexican Americans were recognized and even c ourted as a unique and important bloc in 1960, their expectations were height ened. By 1966, Mexican Americans were not satisfied with token 97 Memorandum, April 25, 1966, To: Senator John Tower, From: James A. Leonard, Subject: Ethnic and Liberal Groups, Folder 1, Box 711, Austin Offices, JTP. 98 Ibid. 99 April 20, 1966, Radio Address Transcription, Box 28, Waggoner Carr Papers, SWC. 100 Ignacio M. Garcia, Viva Kennedy: Mexican Americans in Search of Camelot (College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 2000), 166, 179-180.

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78 recognition or superficial inclusi on. They wanted to be more fully incorporated into the body politic and see the rhetoric of white Democrats practically and actively app lied. In 1960, Kennedys efforts, however, nominal, had been seen as a step in the ri ght direction. In 1966, Waggoner Carrs efforts to court Mexican-Ameri can voters were not viewed as sincere, legitimate, or involved enough to overcome that vo ting blocs displeasure with the candidates record as attorney general.101 Part of that record includ ed a rather ugly incident involving Carr, the Democratic establishment in Austin, and the Mexican-Ameri can community in South Texas. In August, farm workers in the Rio Grande Valley stag ed a march to Austin to protest unionization obstacles. John Connally, openly in support of Ca rrs campaign, ordered the marchers dispersed. He justified this order by sayi ng that the marchers were interr upting vehicular traffic along State Highway 10. The result was a vi olent confrontation between the Texas Highway Patrol and the Texas Rangers on one hand and the marching farm workers on the other. When the marchers requested a meeting with the Governor, C onnally refused. In the weeks following the confrontation, some of the workers compared their march to the more famous one in Selma, where African-American marchers had been me t with violent resistance from Alabama law enforcement officials. As Texass attorney ge neral, the workers felt Ca rr did nothing to assist them in their efforts to unionize or seek just ice in the wake of th eir interrupted march. Connallys response to the marching farm wo rkers cost him considerable support among Mexican Americans in Texassupport he had enjoyed on the basis of his administrations distribution of over $25 million in education grants designed to help the 71,000 Hispanic school children enrolled in Texas public schools, a nd despite the fact that over 3300 Mexican Americans were gainfully employed in stat e government positions. The goodwill enjoyed by 101 Olien, From Token to Triumph 208.

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79 these actions vanished after the incident with the marching farm workers and Carr, too closely aligned with Connallys decision, saw his alre ady negligible support among Mexican Americans evaporate.102 As Carr struggled to maintain liberal a nd minority support, political pundits dismissed these problems as irrelevant. Meanwhile, Towerin tandem with state liberalsaggressively courted minority voters. 103 The Republican incumbent sought the endorsement of prominent Mexican-American leaders, but did so by trying to sell his conservative platform to Hispanic voting blocs. His strategy with Hispanics in Texas was among the first attempts by a GOP candidate to employ the strate gy constructed by the RNC between 1964 and 1966. At least to a small degree, the strategy worked. At the same time, Tower avoided labels of extremism by doing something Goldwater had refused to do two years earlier; he denounced the John Birch Society, saying that the orga nization was too divisive.104 As the campaign progressed, polls indicated that the only reason Tower was not the favorite going into his race with Carr was the fact that he was a Republican. Na tional pollster Louis Harris went so far as to say that If Tower were running under the Democratic symbol, he would have little di fficulty winning a second term. Harris also critiqued Towers positioning in Texas as a reflection of statewide attitudes on political ideology: [Tower] is thought to have done just as good a job as Senator as Connally has done as Governor. Of all candidates, he is felt to be closely aligned with the conservative philosophy of Texas voters. Yet Tower has skillfully differentiated between being a conservative and a right-wing Bircher. This is the major accomplishment of his campaign. 102 Ibid., 210-211; Reston. The Lone Star 301-302, 314. 103 Bert W. Thompson to Waggoner Carr, March 21, 1966, Box 2, 1966 Senate Campaign Correspondence File, Waggoner Carr Papers, SWC. 104 Houston Chronicle October 18, 1965, Box 4C514, Harris County Democratic Party Records, CAH.

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80 The Goldwater debacle, by appearing radical an d dangerous, harmed the conservative cause in Texas to the point that conservatives had no choice but to disavow some of the grassroots support which had fueled the movements popularity in the first place. That disavowal did not necessarily mean a loss of grassr oots support. Over the next decade, the fear of extremism, and the association of populist-conserva tism with extremism, seemed le ss tangible and less credible. In 1966, however, they were very real and Towe r was smart enough to try to distance himself from any such associations.105 Towers campaign strategy in 1966 reflected six lessons for future political campaigns in Texas and indicated an important shift in the way c onservatives marketed themselves in the state. First, Tower emphasized the importance of having a viable second party in the state. In doing so, he made the existence of a competitive Republican Party in Texas an important issue to conservatives fearful of losing influence at the state and national level as well as to liberals hoping for greater influence in the Democratic Pa rty. Second, Tower emphasized the principles of small government, repeatedly invoking th e name of Thomas Jefferson throughout his campaign. Conservatism embraced and then re defined a new populism in Texas and, according to Tower, could even be linked to the natio ns Founding Fathers. Towers campaign made conservatism seem patriotic and traditional, not ra dical or extreme. Third, Tower blamed liberals in Washington for the nations problems with crime, violence, and immorality. In doing this, he made national issues paramount and tangible to Texa ns. Fourth, Tower promised to return local and state control to Texas, though this promis e was vague and not applied to any specific agenda or issue, thus allowing i ndividuals to let the promise mean whatever they pleased. Fifth, Tower adamantly supported retaining Texas right -to-work law. The Americanism of the new 105 Louis Harris and Associates, Inc., Re port prepared for Walter Cronkite, CBS News Box 2M750, Walter Cronkite Papers, CAH.

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81 industrial culture of Texas did not have room for Yankee obst ructions to free enterprise, namely Big Labor. Finally, Tower addressed th e problem of race in Texas in a way that few other Southerners could; he called for a mode rate and sensible civil rights program for Texas.106 Simply put, Tower subtly communicated antiliberalism while still running a successful and positive campaign. His advertising largely avoided direct attacks against Carr and was generally viewed as upbeat and op timistic. Prior to the election, Tower took a high-profile trip to Vietnam where he gained national attention for his staunch support of the troops and of the war effort.107 Tower also thought creatively with rega rds to ad placement. The Tower campaign placed advertisements in Texas Football magazinea widely dist ributed and very popular periodical that provided readers with in-depth coverage of Texas high school, college, and professional football. The ad consisted of his gaining endorsements fr om such Texas football heroes as Donny Anderson (Texas Tech Univer sity, Green Bay Packers), Tom Landry (head coach, Dallas Cowboys), and Bob Lilly (Texas Christian University)among dozens of others. The ad also ran in Game Day programs at college football venues across the state. Carr was furious that Tower had monopolized advertising to the football crowd and was disappointed in his staff for missing such an obvious opportunity.108 Not to ignore the power of television, Tower also one-upped his opponent by airing a 30-minute documentary called, The John Tower Story. The film was broadcast across the stat e and then redistribute d to local neighborhoods, where watch-parties were organized for additional screenings.109 106 A Look at John G. Tower: Candidate for th e United States Senate, Folder 4, Box 814, Campaign/Political: Washington Office, JTP. 107 Vietnam Trip, Folders 19-20, Box 63, Press Office, JTP. 108 Letter To: Jim Leonard, From: Lance Tarrance, Subject: Texas Football Ad, October 19, 1966, Folder 9, Box 710, Austin Office, JTP. 109 Memorandum, From: Jerry Kamprath, To: Tower Chai rmen, July 27, 1966, Folder 21, Box 711, Austin Office, JTP.

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82 The Tower campaign was so effective that Carr charged it was being run by Ronald Reagans California teamthe impl ication being that Tower needed out-of-state help in order to build his own image. Additionally, the charge i llustrates the early respect given to Reagans public appeal and campaign skill. Tower denied the charges and records strongly indicate that Reagan was not involved.110 Still, nothing Tower could do to his opponent was as effective as what Carr had already done to himself. Nor was Towers strategy as ef fective as the negative coverage Carr endured from the Texas press. The Texas Observer for instance, ran photographs of Carr attending a White Citizens Council meeting in 1957 with other segregationists.111 If Carrs fragile support among minorities in Texas was dwindling, it was non-existent after that controversy. Furthermore, on the eve of the election, televisi on stations across the state reported that Carr maintained a comfortable 10-point lead over Tower in the latest Belden Poll. These numbers quelled the urgency of the race. The next da y, various election-day polls showed Carr holding only a three-point advantage. At the end of the day, the only po ll that mattered was the one at the ballot box. In that poll, the decision of Texans was l oud and clear; John Tower won a shocking 56.7 percent of th e votea comfortable vict ory and easy re-election.112 The lessons of the 1966 senate campaign in Texas were abundant though not always clear. Carr garnered the endorsement of a popular conservative governor and even drew Lyndon Johnsons public support. Yet, these endorsements did not help and in fact, in the case of LBJ whose liberalism seemed more apparent to Texa ns with each stroke of his Great Society pen 110 Tower Topics, October 8, 1966, Folder 20, Box 711, Austin Office, JTP. 111 Letter From: Marvin Collins, To: Peter ODonnell, Jr ., October 10, 1966, Austin Office, Folder 11, Box 711, JTP. 112 Olien, From Token to Triumph 209; Dallas Morning News November 8, 1966, 1A.

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83 might have hurt. An important question is how much Towers courting of the Hispanic vote, or Carrs fumbling of it, changed the outcome of the election. 113 Depressed voter turnout is the most likely answer to this question.114 Towers campaign emphasized the importance of decr easing voter turnout, particularly among the most traditionally reliable constituents of the Democratic base.115 Republicans knew that when two conservatives ran against one another in Texas, Democrats al most always prevailed. Tradition and loyalty gave many their only reason to show up. The GOP wanted to obliterate that tradition either by forcing realignment, or in the short run, giving both conservatives and liberals no reason to vote at all. Mexican-Americans were more disillusio ned with Carr than they were enamored with Tower and stayed home in large numbers. Libera l Democrats in Texas had long been a minority, but they had also traditionally ra llied to the party duri ng the general election. In this case, they did not. Soon after their candidates defeat, Carrs supp orters organized an early public relations effort designed to undermine and eventually unseat the liberal United States Senator Ralph Yarborough, whose re-election was s till four years away. This co rps of conservative Democrats began to publicly express dissa tisfaction with the Johnson admi nistration, and emphasized the ineptitude and weakness of libera lism at the state and federal level.116 Not wanting to be left out of the anti-liberal parade, John Connally once again entered the anti-Yarborough fray, publicly linking the liberal Texas senator to radicalism, revolution, and lawlessnes s. The not-so-subtle 113 W.N. Dorsett to Waggoner Carr, November 28, 1966; John W. Key, Jr. to Waggoner Carr, November 29, 1966, Box 2, 1966 Senate Campaign Correspondence File, Waggoner Carr Papers, SWC. 114 Olien, From Token to Triumph 206-211. 115 Candidate Strategy for 1968: Confidential (First Draft), March 6, 1967, Folder 3, Box 639, Tower Senate Club, JTP. 116 W.N. Dorsett to Waggoner Carr, November 28, 1966, Box 2, 1966 Senate Campaign Correspondence File, Waggoner Carr Papers, SWC; John W. Key, Jr. to Waggoner Carr, November 29, 1966, Box 2, 1966 Senate Campaign Correspondence File, Waggoner Carr Papers, SWC.

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84 implication was that Yarboroughs lib eralism was extreme and dangerous.117 No doubt tradition and loyalty still mattered in Texas, and the De mocratic Party was by no means dead. But, it was becoming apparent that attacking liberals might yield electoral success and shape new perceptions of political ideology. The animosity that had fractured the GOP nationally in 1964 seemed to be fracturing the Democratic Party as early as 1966. The power and longevity of the New Deal coalitionnationally as well as in Texaswas being threatened by a renewed emphasis on the marketing of political ideol ogy, the importance of public perception, and Republican efforts to undermine Democratic loya lties by linking conservatism with the GOP. Democratic factionalism was also intensified by the belief among conservative Democrats that liberal disloyalty was costing them elections. Li berals wanted conservatives out of their party. Republicans wanted all the conservatives in thei rs. Both would eventually get their wish. Violence, Law & Order, and Anti-Liberalism Two years after failing to unseat John Towe r from the United States Senate, Waggoner Carr tried and failed to win his partys nomin ation for governor. Carrs strategy was to strenuously position himself as the Law & Orde r candidatestressing harsher sentences for criminals and an end to street violence a nd the general chaos of protest movements, confrontations, race riots, and widespread ch allenges to the traditional social peace.118 It was a winning strategyjust not for him. Carr was not alone in using crime as a major i ssue in the late 1960s. In and out of Texas, the idea that America was slipping into a violent a byss seemed all too real, thanks in large part to the routine coverage incidents such as race riot s and protests received from national and local media. Conservatives in both parties jumped on the opportunity to connect liberalism with such 117 Press Memorandum, Office of the Governor, March 8, 1966, Box 41, Waggoner Carr Papers, SWC. 118 Radio Spot Text, 1968 Gubernatorial Campaign Files, Box 5, Waggoner Carr Papers, SWC.

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85 examples of chaos, all veile d under a cloak of weakness and no doubt aided by racialized conceptions of crime and disorder which were si multaneously fueled by th e growing militancy of the national civil rights and early black power movements. These factions dividing segments of the black community destabilized the majority of white Texans slow progression toward accepting reform and buttressed stereotypical connections between race and crime. Multiple congressional campaigns across Texas reflected thes e efforts. For instance, in 1966 Joe Pool ran for re-election as a Democrat from the 3rd congressional district near Dallas. His campaign was clearly intended to capitalize on a still-fervent anticommunism by linking those sentiments with the fear and paranoia of violence and crim e by way of liberal policies emanating from Washington. Liberalism, it was charged, was pl acing white Texans at risk. Though Pools campaign did not directly take advantage of the r ace issue in the same way that his colleagues in more segregationist states did, the effect was the same. Pool easily won re-election.119 Johnsons response to increasing crime rates gave conservatives more ammunition in its battle to equate liberalism with weakness. Johnson did not see crim e as a local problem. Stronger law enforcement at the local level would not help, White House aides argued. Rather, crime had to be attacked at its root levelpovert y and the desperation that came with destitution and discrimination. As early as 1964, the White House tried to avoid direct linkages between race and crime, other than to argue that raci al discrimination had c ontributed to poverty, and therefore crime. Crime, the White House argue d, was a national proble m and required a national solution. Johnson personally dow nplayed the problem of crime when he spoke publicly on the subject, dismissing the Law & Order rhetoric of cons ervatives as a scare tactic. Regardless of who was in the right, the public almost uniformly wanted actionnot at th e federal level, but on their local street corner. Wh ether crime was threatening th eir local neighborhood or not, a 119 Dallas Morning News November 7, 1966, 18A.

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86 growing contingent of mi ddle-class Texans feared that without stronger local security, Johnsons long-term national solution would lead to more immediate local violence.120 Conservative Republicans tried hard to underm ine the notion that poverty and crime were somehow linked. In doing so, Republicans smooth ly segued to hostile diatribes about the failures and dangers of big governmentspecifi cally the War on Poverty. These efforts to undermine the Democratic administration, the Wa r on Poverty, and the legacies of New Deal bureaucratic liberalism aided the partys appeal to anti-big government conservatives in Texas.121 Republicans reminded the public that crime had in creased 88 percent since John F. Kennedy first took office and attacked the liberal pove rty equals crime thesis, arguing that: Fighting crime primarily by fighting poverty [w as] designed to hide the Administrations refusal to attack the princi ple causes of crimewhich [w ere] moral and philosophical and to sell Americans on a program of social welfare which many would reject if offered on its own merits.122 Republicans were not afraid of magnifying the gravity of the crime situation and equated Democratic responses to crime with liberalism, liberalism with extremism, and extremism with danger: The fostering of a permissive society, uncal led-for restrictions on police investigatory powers, the failure of the Fede ral government to mount an ef fective attack on the barons of organized crimethese and countless othe r factors contribute [to] the American crime equation. Only a recognition of thes e factors, combined w ith the determination and leadership to combat them, will return o rdered liberty to a nation threatened with anarchy.123 By the end of 1966, conservatism in Texas had strengthened its ideological roots in anticommunism by stressing the global Soviet milita ry menace. On social issues however, the 120 Memorandum for the President, September 23, 1964, Through Walter Jenkins, From: Bill Moyers, Subject: Release of the FBI Report on Riots, Box 4, Offi ce Files of Bill Moyers, Presidential Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, LBJL; Draft: Crime Message, March 6, 1965, From : Bill Moyers, To: President Johnson, Box 4, Office Files of Bill Moyers, Presidential Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, LBJL; Speech Draft, September 14, 1968, Box 56, Office Files of Harry McPherson, LBJL. 121 Political Profiles of the States, 1968: March 1, 1968, PRP, Part II, Reel 5, Frame 457. 122 An Indictment of the Democratic Party, 1961-1968, PRP, Reel 7, Frames 37-44. 123 Crime and Delinquency, June 1968, PRP, Part II, Reel 6, Frame 451.

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87 anticommunist strand that stressed the dangers of domestic communism was being transformed into an anti-liberal rhetoric that equated la wlessness and weakness with liberalisman equation that was effective in Texas because, in the mid to late 1960s, it remained bipartisan. Conservative Texas Democrats generally received more favorable feedback from constituents on the need for Law & Order than th ey received on any other issues.124 Though conditions in Texas generally did not lend themselves to potenti al race riotsor even rising crime ratesfears were not placated. The realit y did not matter. What mattered was the perception that such violence could erupt and that greater protection and harsher sentencing was needed. Most Texans blamed liberalism, not African Americans, for what they feared was the manifestation of potentially revolutionary racial discontent.125 Images of violence and discordrace-related or otherwisebecame all too common by the late 1960s. On August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman reminded Texans that their state, less than three years removed from the JF K Assassination in Dallas, was not immune to violence. Early that morning, after stabbing his mother with a bayonet before fatally shooting her in the head, Whitman returned to his Austin apartment where he stabbed his wife repeatedly as she slept. Between 9am and 10:30am, Whitman drove to a lo cal hardware store and purchased a .30 caliber rifle, clips, and some ammunition. He then we nt to Sears and, on credit, bought a shotgun. He then loaded his Marine Corps footlocker a mu ltitude of items, including several cans of Spam, toilet paper, water, 700 rounds of ammunition, a .30 caliber carbine, a 6mm Magnum, a .35 caliber Remington pump, a .30 caliber reconditio ned carbine, a .357 caliber Magnum pistol, two 9mm Luger pistols, and one sawed-off shotgun. Posing as an employee of the State Highway 124 Personal Correspondence, 1967-68, Box 615, Preston Smith Papers, SWC; Nations Business Feb. 1968, Box 435, George Mahon Papers, SWC. 125 Policy File: Riots, Box 376; File: Out of District Civil Rights, Correspondence, Box 376, George Mahon Papers, SWC.

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88 Department, Whitman obtained a parking permit and drove directly toward the Main Building a 307 foot tower that stood as the signature building on the Univers ity of Texas campus.126 Dressed in overalls and hauling his footlo cker, Whitman took an elevator to the 27th floor before climbing the remaining floor to the 28th story observation deck. There, Whitman immediately killed the receptionist before fata lly shooting two tourists At 11:45am Whitman, a marksman and sharpshooter in the Marines Corp s, began taking aim at students, faculty, and other individuals passing by some 300 feet below. Poor comm unication between the University Police Department (UTPD) and the Austin Po lice (APD), along w ith several ill-advised retaliations by students and f aculty who happened to be carrying guns on campus, allowed Whitmans shooting spree to last 99 minutes Whitman was finally killed by two APD patrolmen, but not before sixteen people had b een killed, with anothe r 31 wounded. It was the largest mass-murder in American history to that date. As they had in November 1963, Texans once again faced national shame over an outburst of violence.127 The Whitman murders contributed to many Te xans feelings of he lplessness, paranoia, and victimization. Just days after the shootings, an editorial in the Daily Texan the student newspaper at the University of Texas, compared Whitman to a Viet Cong terrorist, killing without mercy and without discrimination. The Un iversity truly lived th rough a hell comparable to that which the South Vietnamese endure. The University Tower, for many, has stood as a symbol of learning. The Tower now conjures up new images of death and horror. Such viewpoints were common across the st ate. As Austin joined Dallas as unenviable hosts to two of the centuries most famous shooting sprees, Texans were afraid, ashamed, and sensitive to what 126 Memorandum for W. Marvin Watson, August 1, 1966, Box 368, White House Central Files: Public Relations, LBJL. 127 Austin American Statesman August 2, 1966, A1; Gary M. Lavergne, A Sniper in the Tower: The Charles Whitman Murders (Denton, TX: University of North Texas Press, 1997).

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89 they perceived to be the declini ng safety, morality, and traditional lifestyle that they as Texans, but more importantly as Americans, ha d for so many years taken for granted.128 Conclusion In 1964, Barry Goldwater failed to spark a c onservative revival based on anticommunist principles and free-market libe rtarian economics. Such a philosophy was derided as extreme and only in the Deep South, where th e issue was almost entirely a bout race, did Goldwater garner significant support. The Republican Party lear ned and applied valuable lessons from the Goldwater debacle. Chief among the alterations to partisan strategy were efforts to reshape the Republican Party as the national party of middle class American values. As Matthew Lassiter has suggested, Republicans marketed themselves neither as defenders of civil rights, nor demagogues of white supremacy, but rather as the party of middle class suburban protectionism. In much the same way, by the mid-1960s, surr ounded by race riots and civil rights unrest, student protests of every kind, and challenges to the perceived moral order, conservatism was redefined in Texas as being more ordinary and of the people than was liberalism. Texans were already a generally conservative lot, but the urgency and substa nce of their conservatism was changingas were their perceptions of political id eologies in general. Liberalism became the defender of big government and conservatism ga ined a more populist tinge. Barry Goldwaters anti-government messagerejected in 1964 as extremewas beginning to seem more relevant, urgent, and necessary as the decade progressed.129 The Texas GOP desperately wanted to be seen as the conservative voice of its state. At the same time, television nationaliz ed much of the states politic al culture. Viewers could see 128 Alwyn Barr, Interview by Author, June 22, 2000, Lubbock, TX; The Daily Texan August 5, 1966, The Tower Massacre. 129 Lassiter, Silent Majority 232.

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90 the nations problems in their living rooms. Wher e these things were happening mattered little; it all appeared dangerously close. Thus, Texa s Republicans capitalized on issues that were taking place in other states, buttressed their own conservative credentials, undermined the Democratic administration in Washington, DC, and did so without necessarily appearing partisanfor it was liberalism, they said, that was ultimately to blame. While some Republicans tried to paint Democr ats as the source of liberal failure, both Republicans and conservative Democrats in th e 1960s gained far more by connecting the nations ills with liberalism than to a political party. This allowed conservative Texas Democrats to remain popular throughout the rest of the decade, but keep ing the public from connecting liberalism with the Democratic Party eventually became a difficult a proposition. The stability of the Texas Democratic Party was under assau lt and the fissures created between the state and national party hierarchy ultimately contributed to many Texas Democrats switching parties in the coming decades. The war in Vietnam exacerbated all of these dynamics in Texas. As early as 1965, many conservative Texans from both sides of the aisle began to speculate that Johnsons administration would be incapable of securing victory in South east Asia. Rather, only Republican leadership, unencumbered by the domestic weight of the Gr eat Society, could wage the all-out war that would be needed. Conservative Texas Democrat s, almost all of whom took hawkish positions on the war without resorting to nuclear recklessness, typically sided with Republicans over liberals in their own party. This was true particularly as liberalism came to be connected with the antiwar movement. In this sense, conservatism overcame some of the dangerous connotations of extremism by earning credibility within the context of Cold War anticommunism.130 130 Dallas Morning News August 14, 1965, 1D; Dallas Morning News November 7, 1966, 6A.

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91 The ascendancy of conservative Republicanis m in Texas required the conflagration of numerous events, movements, issues, and cultural changesacting together to foment change. This was a complex processone that experien ced many ups and downs. One major component to this perfect storm would be the iconogra phic associations between individual leaders and broad ideological strands. And it was in this political culture in Texas that national leaders like Ronald Reaganeven more than local leaders like John Towe rcame to personify ascendant modern conservatism. As Reagan equated failure s in Vietnam with the failures of liberalism, and made conservative Republicanism more resp ectable in Texas, he emerged as a popular icon.131 As television transmitted images from acro ss the globe into individual Texans homes, image gained a new level of political importan ce. The political culture in Texas changed between 1963 and 1966 as parties de alt with the need for better marketing strategies and public relations, while issues and events slowly began to expose ideologi cal polarities w ithin political parties. Between 1967 and 1970, the conservative im age, to most Texans, would seem safer and more familiar than anything liberals could offer. 131 Transcript: Town Meeting of the World as broadcast over the CBS Television and Radio Networks, May 15, 1967, Box 368, White House Central Files: Public Relations, LBJL; Lou Cannon, Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power (New York: Public Affairs, 2003 ), CH 19; Steven F. Hayward, The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order, 1964-1980 (New York: Prima Publishing, 2001), 140-150.

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92 CHAPTER 3 DISMANTLING TEXASS NEW DEAL COALITION, 1967-70 On March 26, 1968, Ben H. Carpenter, then pr esident of the Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Association, delivered a speech at the organizations Annual Membership Convention. Carpenter used the occasion to describe what he considered the slippery slope of American moral decline. He delivered a fourteen-page address on the dangers of liberal moral relativism that had permeated and threatened to destroy soci ety. We pussyfoot among a lot of high-sounding names, Carpenter told his audience. W e call drunkards alcoho lics, homosexuals deviates, slackers pacifists, and criminals victims of soci ety. I think the time has come when we should and must draw a line se parating compassion from softheadedness, permissiveness and timidity. Citing Edward Gi bbons study of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, Carpenter compared Americas decline with the dissolution of the great political force which had held the civilized world together fo r more than 500 years. Where did the Roman Empire go wrong? Its decline resulted from ex cessive government spending, an unwillingness of the young men to bear arms in defense of thei r country, widespread sexual immorality, the spread of effeminacy, and a social and cultural di sregard for religion. Carp enter warned of rising crime rates, particularly rampant rape, and said that regardless of the liberal perspective, America had not always been that way.1 Carpenters speech reflects numerous themes th at would continue to pepper conservative political rhetoric over the next several decades. Understanding liberalism as not only a threat to American individual liberty, but also as the political embodiment of weakness, altered Texans perceptions about the relationship between party and philosophy. The hyper-masculine 1 March 26, 1968, Address by Ben H. Carpenter, Pr esident, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association at its Annual Membership Convention, Speeches, Box 613, Dolph Briscoe Papers, Center for American History, University of Texa s at Austin (Hereafter cited as CAH).

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93 posturing of men like Carpenter also grew out of notions of white Southern honor and the impulse to protect family, home, and tradition against invasion. Much of what Carpenter referred to in this speech, rising crime rates a nd rampant rape for instance, was somewhat less true in much of Texas than it was in other parts of the nation. National figures indicate that between 1960 and 1968, the number of reported violent crimes per 100,000 people nearly doubled, from 161 to 298. Nationally, the number or forcible rapes per 100,000 increased from 10 to 16. Similar increases were reported on the number of burglaries and other forms property crime. In Texas, violent crime and property cr ime increases were slig htly less, though still significant.2 Regardless, just as vital to the shapin g of average Texans trepidations were the images of crime being broadcast and discu ssed by conservative pol iticians on radio and television. The reality of rising crime rates mixe d with the powerful imagery of isolated riots and other manifestations of violence fueled the potency of conservative rhetoric as the decade approached its close.3 Four months after delivering his speech to the Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Association, Carpentera visionary in the Dallas business community and the man almost single-handedly responsible for the developmen t of the Las Colinas suburban magnet for corporate relocation into the DFW Metroplexw as tapped to head the Texas Democrats for Nixon campaign. According to business leaders like Carpenter, liberalism had poisoned the nations social and cultural climate. The blendi ng of civic responsibilit y and political activism was crucial to the moral and economic survival of city, state, and nati on. Though debate as to which political party was best suited to solve the nations ills continued through the late 1960s, 2 U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Jus tice Statistics, Crime, State Level, State-by-State and National Trends, 1960-1980. 3 Michael J. Robinson, Public Affairs Television and the Growth of Political Ma laise: The Case of the Selling of the Pentagon, American Political Science Review 70 (1976), 409-432.

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94 in Texas, the Republican Party welcomed disg runtled conservatives lik e Carpenter who used anti-liberalism to lend public respectability to the GOP and encouraged partisan realignment.4 Though the intellectual heritage of modern Am erican conservatism stretched back to the period before World War II, the emergence of mode rn conservatism as a viable and marketable grassroots political philosophy began in earne st in 1964. Between 1964 and 1966, conservatives struggled to maintain a voice in a Republican Party where the established leadership was convinced that Goldwaters brand of conser vatism was a losing ideo logy. The GOP would struggle with factionalism at bot h the state and local level for several years to come, but for a brief time in 1968, a small measure of temporary unification was achieved. Better marketing was the first improvement made by Republicans on their path toward unity, second-party viability, and conservative coal escence, particularly in Texas. Encompassed within new political marketing strategies was the re-definition and application of anti-liberalism to very tangible social, cultural, and economic problems. In 1968, more effective marketing strategies combined with widesp read disillusionment over a range of national issues to pave the way for Richard Nixons election to the presidency of the Unite d States. Nixons election was largely a credit to those whom he referred to as forgotten Americans. These forgotten Americans were predominantly the white, middl e-class, churchgoing taxpayers who supported the war in Vietnam and detested the rampant cr ime increasingly flooding American streets. Within the next two years, this constituenc y would more famously be dubbed the Silent Majority. Texas was full of such forgotten Americans, and yet Nixon failed to carry the state in 1968. Despite the anti-liberal venom being spewed by men such as Ben Carpenter, conservative 4 March 26, 1968, Address by Ben H. Carpenter, Pr esident, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association at its Annual Membership Convention, Speeches, Box 613, Dolph Briscoe Papers, CAH; Dallas Morning News March 3, 2006.

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95 Texans in both parties struggled as much as ev er with the definition of their political philosophy and the extent to which their partisan loyalties seemed at odds with their ideological convictions.5 The New Deal coalition had dominated Texas politics since the 1930s. At its most basic level, this coalition existed as a partnership between economic popu lists who were also socially conservative, and liberals, whose desire to particip ate in the political process in Texas essentially left them no choice but to do so within a c onservative Democratic Party. Between 1967 and 1970, this coalition barely survived in Texas. E nduring intra-party factiona lism, social anxieties, and challenged loyalties, the De mocratic Party continued to wi n elections in Texas through the end of the decade. By 1970, however, the processes of Democratic demise and Republican ascendancy, both trends which mani fested in Texas as a result of ideological coalescence, began to show signs of maturation. Image had never been more important to Am erican politics as it was in 1968. When Texans watched their nightly news broadcasts, th ey saw images of a nation being torn apart. They saw a nation where chaos and lawlessness tr iumphed over order, stab ility, and traditional mores. They saw rising crime rates, a seemi ngly impotent American military, and a growing base of disaffected youth, minorities, and ot her constituents challenging the status quo of American cultural tradition. For many Texans fl ashpoints like civil rights, race riots, expanding government influence, socioeconomic debates, an d general violence lent credence to the words of men like Ben Carpenter. Though the New Deal co alition proved stronger in Texas than it did elsewhere, the political culture of the la te 1960s illustrates simultaneous resilience and tenuousness of partisan loyalties and traditions. 5 George H. Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Tradition in America Since 1945 (Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 1996).

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96 Vietnam and Credibility in Texas Perhaps the most important issue of th e 1968 campaigns was the war in Vietnam.6 Vietnam had not been a major issue in the 1964 ca mpaign. Nonetheless, the broader context of the Cold War continued to cast a shadow over politics both nationally and in Texas.7 Generally speaking, attitudes toward the Vietnam War were overwhelmingly hawkish in Texas. Conservative Texas Democrats supported Johnson while criticizing the Pr esidents war strategy as lacking the vigor needed for a quick and decisive victory. Ma ny conservative politicians in Texas defended and advanced their hawkish stan ces by contrasting thei r viewpoints with the organized hostility toward the war being e xpressed on the home fr ont through anti-war demonstrations. While criticism from politicians and their c onstituents was occasi onally directed at Johnsons Vietnam policy, most Texas conservative s paid far more attention to what they considered to be the cowardice of the anti-war Left. The connections Texans drew between the anti-war Left, liberal intellectuals, and the Democratic Party contributed to new conceptions of elitismconceptions which fueled conservative realignment in the coming decade. Into this mix was an evolving definition of liberalism, in creasingly defined by Texa s conservatives as the ideological cousin of moral relativism and subse quent moral decline. Some conservatives even argued that liberalism had pushed America dange rously close to collectivist socialism.8 6 Support Governor Reagan for President, Brochure, Campaign 68, Box GO152, Governor Ronald Reagan Papers, 1967-1975, Ronald Reagan Library, Simi Valley, CA (Hereafter cited as RRL); Opinion Research Corporation: Issues and Forces in 1968 Presidential El ection, Box 2M752, Walter Cronkite Papers, CAH; The New Conservatism, Atlas World Press March 1978, Box 85, Deaver & Hannaford, Inc. Papers, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, St anford University, Stanford, CA (Hereafter cited as HI). 7 Memorandum for Mr. Bundy, Subject: President Johnsons Foreign Policy Positions as developed in the 1964 Election Campaign, October 29, 1964, Box 41, Nationa l Security File: Subject F ile, Presidential Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, Lyndon B. Johnson Librar y, Austin, TX (Hereafter cited as LBJL). 8 Media Appearances, 1967, Transcripts; General Correspondence, Box 435, George Mahon Papers, Southwest Collection, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX (Hereafter cited as SWC); Letter from Ronald Reagan to Barry Goldwater, May 27, 1971, Box 2, Denison Kitchel Papers, HI.

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97 There were reasons beyond ideological cons ervatism and anti-liberalism that help to explain Texass hawkish political culture. Fore most among these was the economic boom in the American Sunbelt that resulted from the rapid expansion of the military industrial complex in that region. With the possible exception of Southe rn California, nowhere was that economic and population explosion more tangible than in Texas.9 The development of the Sunbelts military industrial complex fueled urban growth in Texa s and encouraged Northe rners (many of whom carried with them a Republican family tradition st ill foreign to most native Texans), to migrate to the Lone Star State for employment. In 1962, Texas firms had military contracts totaling $1 billion. In 1963, that number increased to $1.2 b illion. Each subsequent year witnessed even greater surges in military contracts for Texa s defense manufacturers and in 1966 the state enjoyed $2.3 billion in defense business.2% of a ll American military contracts. Cities such as San Antonio, which was already home to a thriving military community, certainly benefited, but not to the extent experienced in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. By 1967, eight of the ten largest prime contractors in Texas were based in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Between 1950 and 1970, 1.2 million men, women, and children move d into Texas from other parts of the nation. Among Southern states, only Florida expe rienced a similar upsurge in raw migration totals. Critics of the war often noted that whil e continuing involvement in Southeast Asia cost American lives, ending the war would cost Te xas defense manufacturers billions of dollars.10 The construction of a vast military industrial complex in Texas not only contributed to the states economic prosperity, its growing pol itical significance, a nd booming population, but also made it a relatively safe haven for pro-war rh etoric. Such a culture attracted conservatives 9 Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors : The Origins of the New American Right (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001). 10 Texas Observer March 3, 1967, 8; Chandler Davidson, Race and Class in Texas Politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990); Jack Bass and Walter DeVries, The Transformation of Southern Politics: Social Change and Political Consequence Since 1945 (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1995), 502

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98 of all stripes, including intellectuals, who dur ing the 1960s, began to bridge gaps between highminded conservative philosophy and grassroots antiliberalism. Few conservative intellectuals had as far-reaching an impact on shaping the ideo logical convictions of both politicians and the grassroots as William F. Buckley, Jr. In Marc h 1967, Buckley, the founder of the influential conservative political magazine National Review spoke to an audience of conservatives in Houston on a subject he dubbed The Dilemmas of Liberalism. Buckley viewed the war in Vietnam as an ideological crusade in the global war against communist dictatorship. Gracefully dismissing charges that the conflic t in Vietnam was a neocolonial or imperialistic effort, Buckley defended the war to his Texas audience as inhere ntly conservative, defined as both a moral and pragmatic crusade against global communism. Buckley denied any credit to LBJ, praising instead the military for its effort and overall strategic planning. Buckley also dismissed charges that the wa r in Vietnam was being sustained for the economic benefit of those with defense manufactur ing contracts or other financial stakes in the war, a message unmistakably written for his audience in Texas. Many Texans benefited financially from the war in Vietnam, but few, if any, were willing to ci te that benefit as a legitimate reason to support the war, regardless of whether it wa s or not. Rather, supporting American soldiers in a fight against communist totalitarianism was characterized not as an economic matter, but rather a matter of patr iotism, which many conservatives argued was antithetical to the anti-war demonstrations bei ng associated with liberalism. The good financial fortune brought to Texas as a result of the Vi etnam War was welcome, but it was the states anticommunist, anti-liber al, conservative herita ge that drove the publics stated support for American soldiers and aims.11 11 Texas Observer May 12, 1967, 10.

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99 Buckleys speech resonated with hawkish Texans who bristled at the association of their fiscal windfall with soldiers dying halfway acros s the globe. For Texans indirectly benefiting from the economic expansion rooted in military defense contracts, supporting the troops was an obligation and an act of patrio tism, making Buckleys speech a pplicable across class lines. According to conservatives in Texas, patriotism was a conservative virtue, and with numerous military bases providing a substantial percenta ge of the ground force in Vietnam, no Texan wanted their wealth to come at the price of their neighbors blood and grief. By shifting criticism away from those capitalizing financia lly on the war and toward those whose activity undermined the war effort, Buckleys speech affirmed in many Texans minds the connections between liberalism, weakness, anti-war ac tivism, and the national Democratic Party.12 Pro-war rhetoric was found in abundance in Texas during the late 1960s. Many vocal conservatives shared Buckleys sentiment, but not always his style. For instance, the conservative Joe Pool of Dallas, who campaigned and won re-elections to the U.S. House of Representatives on platforms of vague yet vi rulent and muscular anticommunism, drew noticeable public support for his advocacy of a formal Congressional declaration of war in Vietnam. Pool admitted that his support for such a declaration was based on the hope that it would allow for the legal prosecution of an ti-war peaceniks under various loyalty, sedition, and treason statutes. Dr. W.A. Criswell, pastor of First Baptis t Church of Dallasthe worlds largest Southern Baptist congregation, boasting by the early 1980s some 25,000 members preached that anti-war demonstrators were hal f-brains and left-winge rs. Criswell, whose congregation included Billy Graham and the c onservative oil baron and early Goldwater contributor H.L. Hunt, further commented in public that Martin Luther King should be among 12 Ibid.

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100 those imprisoned for their opposition to the war, th en added, Id like to be the judge who tried them.13 While opposition to the war grew in other part s of the nation, the same cannot be said of Texas. Anti-war protests in Texas were rare Those that did take place were not as wellattended or pronounced as such events were in other parts of the country. A few anti-war protests were held on the outskirts of LBJs Ranch, though, according to even liberal commentators, these were organized not by Texans but by so-called outside agitators. Only a handful of protests, typically poorly attended, to ok place on the states various college campuses. Military installations across Texas endured more active and well-attende d protest rallies, but even these were smaller in scale and impact than similar demonstrations held in other parts of the nation. Grassroots anti-war activism in Texas was rare.14 That most Texans were hard liners on Vi etnam, communism, liberalism, and passivity was no secret. Yet the war in Vietnam exacerbate d factional tensions in the Democratic Party and heightened points of stress th at already existed between the state and national leadership. Though the overwhelming majority of the states elected officials publicly supported the war, a very small minority of liberal Democrats saw the growing division as an opportunity. These liberals exploited the division and rancor that existed between id eological factions in the hopes of sparking substantive partisan (and ideological) realignment. Texas liberals continued to push for a viable two-party Texas in which they would have a significant presence in a state Democratic Party they hoped would one day mirro r the philosophical and le gislative impetus of the national party. When it came to the issue of Vietnam, conservatives and liberals within the Texas Democratic Party each hoped to purge its opposition from the party. 13 Texas Observer May 26, 1967, 8. 14 Texas Observer November 10, 1967, 11.

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101 Two of the more prominent Texas libera ls using the Vietnam War as means to ideological and partisan realignment were Bob Eckhardt and Henry B. G onzalez. In April 1967, at a speech given to the Texa s Young Democrats state conventi on in Austin, Congressman Bob Eckhardt of Houston became the first high Texas o fficeholder to attack directly the premise of American involvement in Vietnam by calling for unilateral de-escalation.15 That summer, Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez of San Antonio was the only congressman from Texas to vote against a 4-year draft extension. Gonzalez also voted against a draft-extension, he and Eckhardt were two of only sixteen congressmen to oppose a bill making the desecration of the United States flag a federal crime.16 Texas liberals like Eckhardt and Gonzalez represented the states minority and working class populations, segments of society that seemed to be paying a disproportionately high price in blood during th e war. While many Texas families chose to honor their fallen sons by supporting the war effo rt and maintaining an anticommunist outlook, Texas liberals tried to communicate the injustices of the war to those who were paying the greatest price and receiving the least financial benefit. Though successful among local constituents, liberals like Eckhardt and Gonzalez had difficulty spreading their message to the rest of the state. The actions of political leaders like Bob Eckhardt and Henry B. Gonzalez emboldened the states liberal c ontingent, but also emboldened conservative Texas Democrats who began to view even small pockets of oppositi on to the war as a potential source of intraparty factionalism and a possible threat to the states political status quo.17 Throughout 1967 and 1968, Lyndon Johnson endure d attacks coming from seemingly every direction. In the midst of those attacks, he hoped to find solace in the Democratic loyalties of his home state. That Johnson still viewed Texas as safe ground, despite strife within the state 15 Texas Observer April 28, 1967, 8. 16 Texas Observer July 21, 1967, 13. 17 Texas Observer November 24, 1967, 5.

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102 Democratic Party, is a testament to exactly how fractured and divided LBJs party was at the national level during the late 1960s. For th e nations commander-inchief, maintaining popularity in his home state, which had become in creasingly difficult as the onslaught of Great Society legislation, to many Texans, smacked of federal expansionism and socialism, was a prioritized goal and a political necessity.18 In Texas, the war in Vietnam actually helped to solidify Johnsons stature when it otherwise might have faltered. It was also during this time that Johnson began to worry more about his own image and legacy. Seeking counsel from political strategi sts and tacticians, Johnson slowly came to the realization that the nations polit ical culture had passed him by. Television had not been a friend to him and his public credibility was rapidly fa lling. At the same time, the Solid South was experiencing a demographic faceliftone that was also prompting reconsiderations of ideological conviction and partisan loyalty.19 Johnsons advisors worried that the influx of young suburban professionals in urban centers lik e Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston were coalescing into a potentially formidable voting bloc that would not be persuaded by the folksy and rural populism Johnson had used to rise to power in Texas in the previous decades.20 Still, Johnsons biggest problem both na tionally and in Texas was his growing credibility gap.21 While Texans supported Johnson out of loyalty and many out of a hawkish agreement with overall war aims, federal policy on Vietnam was not above criticism in Texas, 18 Memorandum, From: Jerry Hursh, To: Doug Bennet, Re: Texas, October 15, 1968, Box 178, Office Files of Frederick Panzer, LBJL. 19 Matthew D. Lassiter, The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006); McGirr, Suburban Warriors ; Republican Research Report: The Crisis in Credibility, June 9, 1966, Papers of the Republican Party [microform], ed Paul L. Kesaris, Frederick, MD: University Publications of Am erica, 1987, George Smathers Libraries, Un iversity of Florida (Hereafter cited as PRP), Part II, Reel 4, Frames 606-626. 20 A White Paper for the President on the 1968 Pr esidential Campaign: CONF IDENTIAL, By Lawrence F. OBrien, September 29, 1967, 1968 Campaign Reference File, LBJL; Undated Q&A Preparation, By George Christian, White House, Box 4Ad27, George Christian Papers, CAH; Undated Brownwood speech, Box 4Ad27, George Christian Papers, CAH. 21 Polls Folder, Box 38, National Security File: Subject File, Presidential Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, LBJL.

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103 where many Republicans believed the national De mocratic leadership was no longer capable of achieving military success in Southeast Asia. Johnsons credibility gap opened an important door for Texas Republicans seeking to unite cons ervatives. Buoyed by Johnsons failures and the increasing association of liberalism with those failures, Republicans linked the credibility gap with issues of honesty, integrity, trust, and morali ty. In tandem with the social anxiety expressed by men such as Ben Carpenter, national issues and iconic failures combined to create a potent conservative force in Texas. Over the course of the next decade, the linkage between morality, trust, anticommunism, and anti-liberalism becam e a bread-and-butter strategy for conservative Republicans.22 Vietnam contributed to several broader pr oblems for Johnson, both nationally and in Texas. The appearance that Vietnam had become a mess, that the mess was in some way Johnsons fault, and that liberals within J ohnsons party were undermining the war effort, demanded the attention of White House aides and fellow Texans Bill Moyers and George Christian, who tried to revitalize their bosss im age first by appealing to the media and then by appealing to Texas Democratic loyalties. Neither strategy worked.23 Instead, it was conservatives first in the Texas GOP and then in both parties who used the media to connect failures in Vietnam with images of dangerous riot s, looters, lack of law enforcement, and unsafe neighborhoodsall of which, it wa s argued, was the result of an inadequate and ill-conceived government bureaucracy which not only failed to prevent such chaos, but directly contributed to it.24 While the state Democratic Party struggled to maintain a united front or balance its loyalties 22 Republican Research Report: The Crisis in Credibility June 9, 1966, PRP, Part II, Reel 4, Frames 606626. 23 Memorandum to the President, From: Ben Wattenberg, January 16, 1967, Image Problem, Box 56, Office Files of Harry McPherson, LBJL; Miscellaneous Speechs. Box 4Ad29, George Christian Papers, CAH. 24 A White Paper for the President on the 1968 Pr esidential Campaign: CONF IDENTIAL, By Lawrence F. OBrien, September 29, 1967, 1968 Campaign Reference File, LBJL.

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104 with criticisms of how the nation had devolve d under Johnsons leadership, LBJ seemed under attack from multiple directions. In Texas, how ever, Johnsons home state advantage seemed to be dissipating primarily because of attacks from within. John Connally and Democratic Factionalism No conservative Democrat possessed a more loyal following in Texas than John Connally. In 1966, then in his second of thr ee terms as governor, Connally was among several conservatives who, at the Texas State Democra tic Party Convention, a ttempted to strike a preventive blow against any potenti al liberal insurgency that seemed to threaten the conservative stronghold in the state. Connally s weapon of choice was a rhetor ical call to ideological arms, couched as a patriotic duty to th e independence and frontier spirit of his state, under assault from encroaching federalism. Greatness is not an attribute of government, but of the people who create them and are their masters, Connally reminde d those in attendance. If this era is to be remembered as a time of greatness, it must be because the people stood taller, rather than because their government grew larger.25 Despite its economic dependence on federal military contracts, the general attitude of conservative Texans toward government ranged from reluctance and suspicion to aversion and hostility. Such sensib ilities reflected both the historical legacies of populism in the state, as well as populisms changing nature. In addition to its populist herita ge of anti-elitism and rural political awareness, Texas also had strong conservative underpinnings. Traditio nalists and grassroots conservatives had begun to consider the social and political uproar of the 1960s as evidence of a national crisis. In the midst of that crisis, Texas conservatives rec ognized the growing impor tance of communicating and codifying ideology in such a way as to unify the grassroots. These co nservatives, active in 25 Program, Texas State Democratic Convention, September 20, 1966, Austin, TX, Box 615, Preston Smith Papers, SWC.

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105 both parties, recognized the im portance of ideological coales cence, though they predictably disagreed on how achieving that coalescence should affect partisan loyalties. Texas Democrats sought conservative unity in the context of part isan tradition, whereas Texas Republicans wanted realignment based on ideology. This battle was fought on the grounds of a new conservatism one that harkened to a populist tradition a nd gave voice to both anti-government and anticommunist sentiment. Predictably, these Republicans and liberal Demo crats differed in their opinion as to how best go about solving these problems. More importa nt to the states political culture, however, was factionalism within the Texas Democratic Pa rty. Despite efforts by Texas conservatives like Connally to use rhetoric as a means of preservi ng the states Democratic status quo, factionalism and division had noticeably worsened when Texas Democrats assembled for their state convention in June 1968.26 In the wake of Johnsons decisi on to withdraw from the race and Robert F. Kennedys assassination earlier that month, two factions of Texas liberalsone supporting the presidential candida cy of Vice President and former Minnesota Senator Hubert H. Humphrey and another supporting Minnesota Se nator Eugene McCarthycontributed to the sense of acrimony permeating the convention halls. At the same time, some conservative Democrats refused to embrace either candida te and instead backed John Connally. The heralding of Connally as a presid ential candidate reflected the si ncere desires of many grassroots conservatives in Texas, in addition to much of the state partys established high command. However, promoting Connally was also a calculat ed effort to increase the odds of having a Texan (and more importantly, a c onservative) on the national ticket.27 26 Letter, May 31, 1967, To: The Pres ident, From: J.P. Coleman; Dallas Times Herald, October 27, 1968, Box 70, White House Central Files: Political Affairs, LBJL. 27 James Reston, The Lone Star: The Life of John Connally (New York: Harpers & Row, 1989), 344, 370371.

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106 Connallys popularity in Texas was unquestioned. He had gained a certain aura in the aftermath of the JFK assassination, during which he sustained and survived potentially lifethreatening wounds. To a small degree, but one that grew more evident in the coming years, Connally embodied the redemption of Texas in th e aftermath of Kennedys death in Dallas. Numerous conservatives across the state began to reinterpret recent electoral history, citing Connallys popularity and coattails as the main reason for Johnsons overwhelming victory in the state four years earlier. Re-writing their own history so as to distance themselves from Johnson, many conservatives even claimed to have been driv en to the polls in prev ious years out of their support for Connallys campaigns for governor, rather than out of th eir enthusiasm or loyalty to Johnson. Johnson himself lent some credibility to these assertions when he withdrew from the presidential race the previous March. Insiders believed Connallys decision not to run for reelection in Texas was the nail in Johnsons pol itical coffin. Without Connallys coattails, Johnson feared the embarrassment of losing his home state to any num ber of conservative alternatives.28 Johnson was not the only one concerned that Texas might swing Republican in 1968. State and local races, most of which featured incumbent conservative Democrats, featured strategies similar to RNC efforts to localize issues like crime, excessive government, and hawkish anticommunism. The Texas delega tions commitment to Connally, and only secondarily to Johnsons vice president, fueled the efforts of conser vative Democrats who wanted to make a stand against the left of th eir party at the national convention in Chicago. Many conservative Texas Democrats felt as t hough they were under siege in the summer of 1968. In addition to fending off the liberaliz ation of their nationa l party, they further struggled to deflect a barrage of challenges to the established party leadership and to the 28 Ibid., CH 15, 342-343.

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107 Connally delegations legitimacy in Chicagobot h challenges led by the populist (or liberal, depending on who was describing him) Ral ph Yarborough. In response to Yarborough, conservatives across the state in itiated a full-scale public relations campaign, targeting local party offices, blanketing the gras sroots with material designed to induce fears that without Connallys presence on the national ticket, the De mocratic Party would succumb to the liberal Eastern Establishments assault on the traditi onal values and integrity of the state party. Connallys goals at the Chicago convention we re two-fold. First and foremost, he hoped to block the efforts of Yarboroughs liberal insurgency to gain even the slightes t bit of cr edibility with the national party, particularly in the c ontext of shaping the na tional platform. Second, Connally hoped to block the nomination of a liberal to head the Democratic presidential ticket. He was perfectly fine with the prospect that in order to do this, he might have to secure the nomination for himselfor at the very least earn the second spot on the ticket.29 Throughout the convention, Yarborough acted as a thorn in Connallys side. Yarboroughs efforts were almost successful, tha nks to an increase in liberal and minority participation within the national Democratic Party. Conservative fears that their place within a liberalizing national party were be ing threatened seem, in retrospe ct, largely justified. Liberal influence was most certainly on the rise, part icularly as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 had exponentially increased African-American particip ation in the South by over 50 percent. For conservative Texas Democrats, these threats to the political status quo via minority voting participation and intra-party factionalism we re only overshadowed by the chaos that was erupting on the streets of Chica go and outside the convention hall. On consecutive nights during 29 Ibid.; Memorandum, November 30, 1967, by Marianne Means, Box 70, White House Central Files: Political Affairs, LBJL.

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108 the convention, members of the Texas delegation found themselves under attack from protesters who gathered outside their hotel rooms.30 At the conventions close, Johnsons vice pr esident and not Johnsons longtime political ally found himself the nominee of his party for pr esident. What especia lly irked conservative Texas Democrats, though, was that Connally had also been denied th e second spot on the ticket. Despite, thwarting Yarboroughs efforts and helpi ng the convention to avoid nominating a more liberal candidate, Connallys experience in Chica go left him permanently embittered toward the liberal wing of his party. He be lieved Johnson had betrayed him by floating the possibility of the vice presidency in exchange for his support of Hu mphrey. The forces of loyalty and tradition kept Connally in check for the general campai gn, but the long-term damage had been done.31 Strange Victory Nominated in the midst of a tumultuous convention and a divided party, Hubert Humphrey lost his bid for the presidency in 1968. Many political obser vers then and later viewed the 1968 elections as a referendum on the Johnson presidency. This is not, however, how the story played out in the Lone Star St ate. Though defeated by Richard Nixon in a very narrow three-way national race that included Alabamas George Wallace, Humphrey still managed to carry Texasthe only Sunbelt state carri ed by the Democratic candidate that year. Humphreys victory in Texas raises a number of interesting questi ons as to the nature of Texas political culture in the late 1960s.32 John Connallys position atop the Democratic Partys campaign efforts in Texas was arguably the biggest factor in Humphreys su ccess there. Connallys commitment to the Humphrey campaign, despite his being snubbed at the nominating convention in Chicago, was 30 Bass and DeVries, The Transformation of Southern Politics 41-56. 31 Reston, The Lone Star 366-371 32 Ibid.

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109 indicative of just how binding the culture of tr adition and loyalty was in Texas throughout the 1960s. Connallys support had several motivati ons. Through August, he maintained hope of being added to the Democratic ticket as the part ys vice presidential nominee. At the same time, Connally actively opposed the other Democratic contenders, whom he considered far too liberal. When the vice presidential nomination went to Edmund Muskie instead, it was not until Connallys loyalty to the party had already been publicly tested at the convention. Connally remained loyal and was, in fact, among a handful of Texas Democrats who endorsed and organized Humphreys campaign effortsthe only serious efforts organized by any Democrats on behalf of Humphrey in any Southern state. In the early months of the campaign, Connallys trust and popularity among Texans was str ong enough to keep Humphrey afloat, though unenthusiastic campaigning resulted in a mini scule $150,000 in campaign donationsless than a tenth of what had been raised for Johnson in Texas four years earlier.33 Connallys most effective strategy was to avoid mentioning Humphrey as much as possible. Rather, the efforts on Humphreys beha lf focused on LBJ and the states tradition of and loyalty to the Democratic Party. Texas De mocrats rallied to Johns on, anti-Republicanism, and tradition far more than they did to Hum phrey or the national Democratic Party. As conservative Democratic candidates across the state jumped on board with Humphrey, many constituents followed suit. In the months im mediately following the Chicago convention, many conservative Democrats in Texas rallied together to unite the party around the issues of loyalty, tradition, and many of the same popu list strategies Republicans were also trying to use to their benefit.34 33 Ibid. 34 Numan V. Bartley, The New South, 1945-1980: The Story of the Souths Modernization (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1995), 396; U.S. President, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Of fice, 1965-1970), Lyndon B. Johnson, 1968, 963.

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110 These successful efforts aside, Humphrey was not without his problems in Texas. Connally was the recognized l eader of the Texas Democra tic Party and his support for Humphrey encouraged others to do the same. Connally, however, could not hide his tepid enthusiasm. As the fall campaign progressed, th e united Democratic front began to weaken. When Humphrey gained national momentum by going dove, Connallys support waveredas did Johnsons. During a campaign trip to H ouston, Humphrey focused on his proposed deAmericanization of the war in Vietnam. Th ese remarks were coupled with a not-so-subtle critique of Johnsons handling of that conflict. Most Houstonian s were not amused. Letters to the editor flooded Houston-area newspapers, linking Humphrey with Northeastern liberalism, the anti-war crowd, and inherent weakness. Humphr eys liberalism was increasingly difficult to hide from the Texas public as the campaign wore on. The Democratic nominee openly rejected the Law & Order rhetoric that most conser vative Texas Democrats had adopted, repelled criticism that he was failing to listen to or ev en cared about the majority of Texans stands on both economic issues and on the war, and refused to establish an official party headquarters in the state, instead milking the f unds and energy of the state party.35 Republicans capitalized on the negative press and charged th at Humphrey was disrespecting Texas voters and caving into the left wing of his party.36 Humphrey again visited Houston in late-S eptember, this time for a Democratic fundraiser, where he eagerly joined Ralph Yar borough in multiple photo-ops, referring to both he and Yarborough as a pair of bone fide liberal s. Humphreys associ ation with Yarborough at the dinner prompted Connally to reject an invitation to introduce Humphrey, which had been 35 Opinion Research Corporation: Issues and Forces in 1968 Presidential Election, Box 2M752, Walter Cronkite Papers, CAH; The Humphrey Handbook for the 1968 Presidential Campaign, PRP, Part II, Reel 5, Frames 589-642. 36 Houston Chronicle September 22, 1968, Box 4C515, Harris County Democratic Party Records, CAH.

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111 extended to him personally by the Democratic nomi nee. Humphreys cozy new relationship with Yarborough irked Connally and further chilled to the Texas Governors already lukewarm support. By October, Johnson was personally and very actively interveni ng in Texas on behalf of Humphrey and the national Democratic Part y, though his influence ov er Connally and other conservativeseven those who were publicly loyal to the presidentprivately waned.37 Like Connally, Texas Democratic gubernator ial candidate and ar dent conservative Preston Smith, declined an invitation to appe ar alongside Humphrey at the Houston fundraiser.38 Though he shared Humphreys partisan identifi cation, it was clear from his campaign strategy that Smith shared little else w ith the Democratic presidential no minee. Smith, who had served as Connallys Lieutenant Governor since 1962, wanted to disassociate himself from all things liberal and both Humphrey and Ya rborough seemed to be just that. Smiths campaign would have made a ny Texas conservative proud. Though not especially media savvy, he was smart enough to consult numerous public relations and advertising firms in a concerted effort to cons truct a conservative image tailored to the Texas heartland. At the epicenter of these efforts was a blunt anti-liberalism used to distance Smith from the chaos of the national party. Smiths advertising campaign refl ected these efforts. During the fall of 1968, he ran 60-second television co mmercials in which he derided liberals as defeatist and negative. He labeled himself a tr aditionalist, a loyalist, and a conservative. His commercials promised that he would never leave a ny of you alone to face ri ots in the streets of Texas. He vilified special inte rest groups, big government, and e quated liberals to both. Smith, who by 1970 found himself under the tutelage of former Goldwater and Reagan campaign advisor F. Clifton White, even championed hi s heritage of indivi dualism and claimed a 37 Reston, The Lone Star 372-374; Remarks of Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey to the Houston Area Labor Leaders, September 11, 1968, Box 281, Series I, Records of the Democratic National Committee, LBJL. 38 Houston Chronicle September 10, 1968, Box 4C515, Harris County Democratic Party Records, CAH.

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112 populist high-groundone that affirmed him as tr uly of the people. The conservative Texas press trumpeted Smiths candidacy as right for Texas on the issues of crime and taxation, but Smiths success was about more than just issues It was also about not letting a liberalized national party drown a conservative De mocrat running for governor in Texas.39 Even in the midst of a divided national pa rty and reluctant support from the state party leadership, both Smith and Humphrey walked away victorious when Texas went to the polls in November. What can be said to explain this ? One explanation is that Smith and other conservative Texas Democrats were successful in 1968 because they ran as conservatives. These Democrats won for the same reasons they had always won. But what about Humphreys win? To a larg e degree, Humphrey carri ed Texas because of conservative coattails and Democratic loyalties, particularly to Johnson. Humphreys margin of victory, however, was very slim. Undoubtedly, many conservatives chose to split their ballots once they entered the voting booth. Not every explanation for Humphreys win in Texas in 1968 goes back simply to the behavior and activity of state Democrats. As Texas Democrats struggled to maintain the status quo, the Texas GOP grew st ronger as it strove for ideological coalescence and partisan realignment. In 1968, the Texas GOP coordinated with the national party to communicate a specific image on issues of crime and war. Though unsuccessful at the electoral level, these efforts so neatly paralleled the conservative impulse of many state Democrats that the ideological coalescence sought by Republicans seemed more legitimate, viable, a nd achievable. The demise of the New Deal 39 The Candidates Guide to Radio, February 16, 1968, Memorandum, From: MLS, To: Harold; General Text, Television Spot, Box 615, Preston Smith Papers, SWC; Advertisement Copy, May 24, 1968, Box 615, Preston Smith Papers, SWC; General Correspondence, Box 615, Pr eston Smith Papers, SWC; Letter from F. Clifton White to Preston Smith, October 12, 1970, Box 625, Preston Smith Papers, SWC; Letter from Mike McKinnon to George Mahon, May 18, 1971, Box 435, George Mahon Papers, SWC.

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113 coalition in Texas was largely th e result of Democratic factionalism, but that factionalism was exacerbated by a renewed energy comi ng from within the state GOP. Strange Defeat Not surprisingly, Republicans, both nationa lly and in Texas, benefited from the factionalism that threatened to tear apart the New Deal coalition. Yet, while the factious nature of the Democratic Party was arguably the mo re attention-grabbing story in 1968, Republicans continued to labor for a conserva tive coalition of their own. Ai ding this process in Texas was a population influx, the source of which was rooted in the very Sunbelt suburbia that befuddled Johnson and his old-guard populist style. This new dynamic altered pa rtisan loyalties and perceptions in Texas, as was also the case in Fl orida and Virginiaall stat es that experienced a surge in population thanks to the migration of Northern workers into the thriving Sunbelt economy.40 Though this was true enough in 1968, the changes wrought by this migration had yet to reach full maturity. This was evident, as was the fractiousness of Texas Republican politics, in the 1968 GOP gubernatorial campaign of Paul Eggers. Eggers entered the political scene as tax atto rney, Republican leader in Wichita Falls, and a friend of John Tower. In fact, it was afte r Towers 1966 senate victory over Waggoner Carr that Republicans first began to consider serious ly the possibility of winning the governorship. While his credentials superficially appeared to be just the recipe for attracting the needed coalition of Republicans and anti-establishment De mocrats (both conservative and liberal), early reactions to Eggers were lukewarm. This can partially be explaine d by understanding that Eggerss campaign was a surprisingly low prio rity for the state GOP. The Texas Republican Party had long existed not as a viable electoral orga nization in the state, but rather as a patronage machine, whereby state-level benefits depended on the national partys success and generosity. 40 Bartley, The New South, 1945-1980 429.

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114 Quite simply, the established leadership within the Texas Republican Part y owed quite a bit of loyalty to the national party. This, in essence, was the GOPs own little tradition in Texas. In keeping with this tradition, the Texas Republican Party prioritized Richard Nixons presidential campaign above all other efforts. At the same time, a number of conservatives within the Republican Party found themselves far more enamor ed with the conservative Democrat Preston Smith than with the moderate Eggers. The re sult was a poorly financed and poorly supported campaign on Eggerss behalf.41 Eggers earned the Republican nomination for governor on the backs of the partys moderate wingthose who, in the aftermath of 19 64, lamented their association with extremism and magnified the importance of winning electio ns over conservative proselytizing of the unconverted. Though they actively tried to distan ce themselves from the national GOPs Eastern Establishment, moderate Texas Republicans irri tated conservatives, leav ing Eggers without a unified base. There were several reasons for c onservatives displeasure with Eggers. For one, moderate Texas Republicans whos e first goal was party building, not ideological dogma wanted a candidate who could take liberal votes away from Democrats. Eggers was such a candidate and attracted a sizable number of liberal Democrat s, most of whom were convinced that without genuine two-party reform in Texas, liberals wo uld never have an opportunity to shape public policy. In voting for Republicans like Egge rs and Tower, liberal Democrats annoyed conservatives within their own party, but also annoyed conservative Republicans who used Eggerss attraction of liberals as evidence of his unacceptability as a bone fide conservative.42 41 Houston Chronicle November 27, 1966, November 10, 1968, Box, 4C514, Harris County Democratic Party Records, CAH. 42 Hawkins Henley Menefee, The Two-Party Democrats, The Study of a Texas Political Faction, MA Thesis, University of Texas at Austin, January 1970, Box 1, John Knaggs Papers, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX.

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115 Eggerss campaign was further undermined by a small cadre of Texas Republicans whose power had long been contingent not upon party building but on patronage from the national GOP. Fearing that Eggerss moderation in the f ace of Smiths conservatism would play into the hands of liberals s eeking to foment two-part y reform in Texas, many of these Texas Republicans shunned Eggers as a danger to the states conserva tive balance. At the same time, conservative Republicans attempting to spark realignment were disgruntled over the pr ospects of touting a moderate against Preston Smiths tough-nosed law & order. In a chaotic political culture in which the Eggers nomination was viewed almost like a pawn in a larger chess match over the future of state party politics, Eggers struggled to find conser vative supporters in Texas and utterly failed to mobilize conservative Democrats against Smith.43 Eggers was also ineffective in his efforts to attract conservative support via radio or television and, instead, took to the highways where he spent the summer of 1968 not only courting conservatives, but also minorities, labor leaders, and li beralsto all of whom he argued a viable second party was critical. Among liber als and minorities, Eggers was surprisingly successful and even earned the endorsement of the notably liberal poli tical periodical, the Texas Observer The Republicans appeal to moderate and lib eral Democrats matured in part thanks to a series of effective campaign speeches dealing with the long-held populist notions that Austin politics was a good ole boys club and inherently corrupt. Along these lines, Eggers attempted to draw connections between the conservati ve Texas Democratic establishment and the credibility gap problems of Lyndon Johnsons White House.44 43 Candidate Strategy for 1968: Confidential (First Draft), March 6, 1967, Folder 3, Box 639, Tower Senate Club, JTP. 44 Texas Observer October 18, 1968, 1-4; Rep ublican Research Report: Is the Democratic Party Fit to Govern? May 15, 1968, PRP, Part II, Reel 6, Frame 328.

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116 While Eggerss strategy earned him the support of some liberals and only few conservatives, Richard Nixon seemed more aware of the political winds blowing through Texas in 1968. More importantly, Nixons campaign team understood those winds and attempted to channel that energy into a public relations camp aign designed to localize national issues and win support in disparate regions thr ough a purposefully vague conservati ve rhetoric. In some ways, Nixons 1968 campaign strategy reflected lessons learned from his prev ious political defeats. In 1960, Nixon promised to visit all fifty states during his campaign. Ei ght years later, his experience told him instead to concentrate on targ eted audiences. Nixons ability to secure the Republican nomination was in many respects an indication of hi s ability to do at the national level what Eggers could not achieve in Texa sunify conservatives and moderates under the same party. For Nixon, this meant a strategy focused on winning conservatives in the South, winning moderates in the North, and convincing both sides that he was really one of them.45 Nixons strategy, however, was not initially as e ffective in Texas as he hoped. Prior to his securing of the nomination in Miami, Nixons chief rival for cons ervative affections in Texas was Ronald Reagan, who had burst onto the nationa l scene as a result of his charismatic support for Goldwater in 1964. Over 63 percent of votin g Texans had rejected Goldwater in 1964. Few notable grassroots organizations had operated on his behalf. By 1968, however, Reagan began establishing pockets of influence in the state in conjunction with his first campaign for the presidency. Texans saw Reagan very differently than they had seen Goldwater. Nearly fifty percent of Texans had found Gold water too radical to risk a vote on in 1964, but only a tenth of Texans felt the same way about Reagan in 1968. Unlike Goldwater, Reagan maintained support among the states business community while simultaneously appearing to be a rank-and45 Donald T. Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Womans Crusade (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005); Matthew D. Lassiter, The Silent Majority ; John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America (New York: Penguin, 2004), 68-71.

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117 file populist conservative without an extremist agenda but with media savvy. Reagan also benefited from George Wallaces campaign in 1968, which absorbed the brunt of Texans hostility to radical extremism and gave Reagan breathing room against similar attacks. In a sense, Wallace absorbed the extremist labels that Reagan, as a Goldwater disciple, might have been expected to bear in Texas.46 Though the 1968 campaigns are generally rememb ered as a three-way contest between Nixon, Humphrey, and Wallace, in Te xas, the emergence of Ronald Reagan as a presidential candidate was equally as significant and perhaps more so, particularly if analyzed through a long-term lens. With charm and charisma, R eagan used the Texas press in 1968 to endear himself to the states conservatives and establish a substantial grassroots base.47 Reagan, who publicly opposed the candidacy of George Wallace and whose personal relationship with Goldwater deteriorated when the Arizona Senato r privately lectured th e California governor on his duty to support Nixon, launched an unofficial campaign for the GOP presidential nomination with a summer barbecue fundraiser in Amarillo, Texas.48 As Reagan attempted to distance himself from Wallace on race while appealing to similar positions on anti-government hostility and anticommunism, he also made great stride s among Republican conser vatives in Texas who had been reticent to support Nixon, whom they viewed as the choice of the partys Eastern Establishment.49 Reagans appearances in Texas ble nded partisan attack s with conservative appeals. He tried not to alie nate conservative Democrats in Texas and actually attempted to 46 July 26, 1968, Note to Editors, Congressional Quar terly Service, Box 2M752, Walter Cronkite Papers, CAH; September 8, 1967 Memorandum, From: Fred Panzer, To: The President. White House Name File: Ronald Reagan, LBJL; The Belden Poll, Septem ber 1967, Box 178, Office Files of Fr ederick Panzer, LBJL; Statewide Poll, September 29, 1967, Box 70, White House Central Files: Political Affairs, LBJL. 47 Dallas Morning News August 7, 1968, 5A; Dallas Morning News August 6, 1968, 1A. 48 Press Release, November 13, 1967, Box GO152, Governor Ronald Reagan Papers, 1967-1975, RRL. 49 Transcript: Gov. Wallace on the Joey Bishop Show, Box 281, Series 1, Records of the Democratic National Committee, LBJL; Lou Cannon, Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power (New York: Public Affairs, 2003), 263-265. Reagan also distanced himself from the issue of abortion in 1968; Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).

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118 befriend them as God-fearing and patriotic and not in keeping with th e leftward swaying of their national party, to which, he always remi nded his Texas audiences, he had also once belonged.50 Texas Republicans enjoyed rare momentum leading up to the 1968 campaigns and much of this was credited to Reagans regular presence in the state. Reagan was the Texas GOPs top headliner and was invited to speak at multiple Re publican fundraisers across the state. Twice in 1967, Reagan headlined a conservative all-star ca st at fundraisers in Dallas. The former Hollywood actor did not disappoint. Reagans speech es in Dallas combined hard-hitting assaults on Robert F. Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, and LBJ with sporadic comedic breaks and a charm that forced the liberal Texas Observer to lament, This man is no Goldwater. Reagans ability to frustrate his liberal rivals furthe r endeared him to conservatives.51 In comparing Johnsons Great Society to a seco nd-rate rehash of the dark, dismal days of the past, Reagan also set a standard for LBJ-bashing in Texas. While tactically avoiding any criticism or mention of John Connally, Reagan di rectly attacked LBJ as an enemy of populist conservatism. In doing so, Reagan contributed to the process of dism antling the dominance of tradition and loyalty among Texas conservatives. Reagans critiques of Johnson were, for the most part, limited to the Great Society. On the issue of Vietnam, Reagan ardently supported a continued, but stronger war effo rt against communism across the globe, thereby placing him in accord with conservative Texas hawks in both partie s. Reagan also attacked big government as having been set up in opposition to the vast major ity of Americans interests, linked this to Johnsons widening credibility gap, and even blamed LBJs social policies for the fomentation of 50 Speech, Rice Hotel, Houston, TX, October 26, 1967, Tape 296, Ronald Reagan Gubernatorial Audiotape collection: 1965-74, RRL. 51 Town Meeting of the World: The Image of Ameri ca and the Youth of the World with Sen.Robert F. Kennedy and Governor Ronald Reagan, As Broadcast over the CBS Television Network and CBS Radio Network. Monday, May 15, 1967, 10:00-11:00 pm EDT, Ch arles Collingwood, Host. TRANSCRIPT SOURCE: RRL.

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119 radical leftist splinter groups. LBJ-bashing in Texas was a fi ne art and one that could only succeed by prioritizing Johnsons lib eralism while calling upon LBJ to do more, not less, to win the war in Vietnam. Nobody was better at this balancing act than Ronald Reagan.52 Reagans speeches in Texas charmed his conser vative audiences. He deftly used humor, told stories, but transitioned sh arply to measured diatribes agai nst big government, the planned economy, and the moral laxity and crime in the streets that accompanied itall while characterizing the Republican Pa rty as the more populist, future-oriented, and modern party. Reagans rhetoric was simple, to the point, and had a populist tinge and app eal. Yet the roots of Reagan conservatism also lay in the intellect ual tradition of conser vative thought revived by pundits and academicians since World War II. In branding the fusion of libertarianism and moral conservatism as anticommunism, anti-lib eralism, and populist conservatism, Reagan engendered tremendous grassroots support in Texas.53 He proclaimed himself to be on a Crusade for the people and sk illfully set conservative Rep ublicanism in Texas apart from liberal, intellectual, and collectivist elitism.54 Throughout the earliest months of 1968, Reagan was the only Republican candidate to consistently out-perform LBJ in public opinion po lls across the South. In Texas alone, Reagan ran stronger against Johnson th an did any other candidate.55 In the summer of 1968, Reagans grassroots supporters in Texas found themselv es at the center of a factious Republican 52 Dallas Times Herald October 27, 1967; Texas Observer December 22, 1967, 2; Press Conference, Rice Hotel, Houston, TX, October 26, 1967, Tape 296, Ronald Reagan Gubernatorial Audiotape collection: 1965-74, RRL. 53 Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Tradition in America Since 1945 54 Speech, Rice Hotel, Houston, TX, October 26, 1967, Tape 296, Ronald Reagan Gubernatorial Audiotape collection: 1965-74, RRL. 55 July 26, 1968, Note to Editors, Congressional Quar terly Service, Box 2M752, Walter Cronkite Papers, CAH; September 8, 1967 Memorandum, From: Fred Panzer, To: The President. White House Name File: Ronald Reagan, LBJL; The Belden Poll, Septem ber 1967, Box 178, Office Files of Fr ederick Panzer,LBJL; Statewide Poll, September 29, 1967, Box 70, White House Central Files: Political Affairs, LBJL; General Correspondence, Box 4, Kathryn R. Davis Papers, HI.

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120 controversy. At the Texas GOP Convention in June, over 300 Reagan grassroots supporters unexpectedly filed into the Corpus Christi c onvention hall waving pla cards in support of a Reagan White House bid. These conservative s hope to sway enough delegates from Nixon to give Reagan a strong Texas following and mo mentum as the national convention in Miami approached. To some degree, Reagans supporters succeed ed. The intensity and persistence of the Reagan backers in Corpus Christi, a throng comp rised largely of middle class white suburbanites from various locales across the state, prompted the national party establishment to consider Reagan as a potential runn ing mate on the Nixon ticket.56 Ultimately, though, Reagans grassroots support was not enough to trump the state party hierarchy. Though Reagan was an appealing candidate for many Texas conservatives the state GOP leadership was reluctant to endorse a candidate who stood in direct opposition to the Republican Eastern Establishment and thereby threatened, in their estimation, the party s ability to make the GOP viable in Texas. Though enamored with Reagans brand of conservatism, the co llective will of the Texas GOP hierarchy stood behind the choice of the national partyRichard Nixon. Two months later, Reagan supporters fl ooded Miami and courted the 56-member Nixonpledged Texas delegation. Their efforts to genera te support for the California Governor included the sponsorship of an all-night Reagan movie marathon on the evening prior to the conventions first day. The attention Reagan received from his Lone Star State supporters grabbed the majority of print space in Texas newspapers coverage of the Republican meeting. The Dallas Morning News consistently ran three to four stories on Reagan, his wife, and his supporters for every one they ran on Nixon or any other candidate. One reporter noted, The enthusiasm of the 56 Dallas Morning News June 12, 1968, 1A.

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121 Reagan followers has been perhaps the most spect acular feature of an otherwise lackluster preconvention period.57 On the conventions first day, Reagan met with the California delegation, formally announced his candidacy, and attempted (via a te am of strategists and campaign workers) to sway Texas delegates votes. Many delegates entertained the argument that a vote for Reagan would increase the likelihood of his being asked to join the Nixon ticket and fifteen delegates did, for that reason, switch their vote. When a pproached by reporters in the coming days, each of the remaining Nixon delegates openly supported Reagans candidacy in the press, but deferred their vote to Nixon, they said, sole ly on the basis of his substantia l advantage in foreign affairs experience.58 Though unsuccessful in their bid to capture Te xas on behalf of the conservative cause, the exuberance of Reagans Lone Star State su pport intrigued Nixon, who both detested and was fascinated by the power of conservative Texas Democrats like John Connally. Nixons frustration over his inability to secure the loya lty of Texas conservatives eventually contributed to his selection of Connally as a cabinet memb er, but also forced a reckoning among like-minded moderate-conservatives who understood the polit ical power of Texas frontierism, but not necessarily its nature. Shortly after accepti ng the Republican nomination, Nixon made appeals to Texas conservatives by referring to the st ate as unique and not Southern while embracing, by name, Ronald Reagan as an icon of Texas frontier populism.59 Reagan had a rhetorical impact on Nixons campaign against Humphrey, but also set Nixon up for comparisons with Reagan in Texas. Both Nixon and the RNC waged an aggressive 57 Dallas Morning News August 5, 1968 August 9, 1968, section A. 58 Dallas Morning News August 7, 1968, 5A; Dallas Morning News August 6, 1968, 1A. 59 Meeting of the Republican National Committee, August 9, 1968: Remarks by Richard M. Nixon, PRP, Part I, Series B, Reel 7, Frames 52-66; Reston, The Lone Star 372-376.

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122 campaign against Humphrey and liberalism, a ssociating the two with chaos, weakness, incompetence, untrustworthiness, and divisiveness. Nixon was particularly fond of blaming the federal government and liberalism for failing to address the nations rising crime rates and obstructing law enforcement. In reciting crime st atistics and using images of lawlessness, Nixon claimed Humphrey was not strong enough to be president and portr ayed the Democratic nominee as more concerned with the rights of the guilty than with the rights of the victim.60 Nixon attracted supporters in Texas through emo tional appeals that re flected a variety of preconceived prejudices and ideo logical convictions, ranging from libertarian anti-statism to overt racism. The reception of Nixons message depended on the audience, which is, in large part, what made it effective. Suburban whites did not have to hold racist beliefs in order to find common ground with Nixons call for safer neighbor hoods. Rural whites, particularly those in East Texas where racial fears had traditionally been the stro ngest and the population was most diverse, did not have to live in a suburban ne ighborhood to see race riots as evidence of social and racial instability, br ought on by outside agitator s, liberals, and the federal government. By using the power of broadcast media to manipulat e images of crime and violence for political effect, Nixon touched on issues that conservativ e Texas Democrats were also using to great effect, thus advancing his own cr edibility in the state as a popu list conservative rather than the moderate Republican the state had seen him as in 1960. As the fall campaign progressed, it was clear th at Nixon enjoyed several advantages over Humphrey in Texas. Between the states antico mmunist hawks who feared liberal passivity in Vietnam and a growing suburban middle class for which the mantra of Law & Order offered hope that future political leaders might protect them against risi ng crime rates and violence, the 60 Meeting of the Republican National Committee, August 9, 1968: Remarks by Richard M. Nixon, PRP, Part I, Series B, Reel 7, Frames 589-642; Memorandum for R. Nixon and S. Agnew, Sept. 20, 1968, Box 15, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI.

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123 Nixon campaign succeeded in Texas in many places where Goldwaters had fallen flat. Nixon was particularly effective in li nking failures in Vietnam to anti-wa r protests and unchecked crime in the streets, government interference with the rights of private ci tizens, and bureaucratic inefficiency.61 Early polling in Texas indicated numerous ot her advantages, as well. Nixon supporters showed greater enthusiasm and party loyalty th an did Humphrey backers, though neither figure indicated significant loyalty; sixty percent of Texas Republicans were committed to voting for Nixon, whereas only 40 percent of Texas Democrats sa id the same of their candidate. Of course, such statistics are misleading if not balan ced with an understanding of the overwhelming advantage Democrats still enjoyed in Texas when it came to partisan identification. Yet, the source of Democratic disillusionment remained important and could be traced back to the national convention in Chicago where, among othe r things, many Texas Democrats reacted with stunned horror to Humphreys selection of Muskie over Connally as his running mate. Additionally, most Texans saw Nixon as more p residential than Humphrey. Lastly, polls showed that the independent candidacy of George Wallace cut more deeply into the Democratic base than it did the Republican one. In othe r words, polls showed that, in Texas, Wallace actually took more votes away from Humphrey than he did from Nixon, a significant aspect to the larger story surrounding Wallaces campaign in Texas.62 Despite all of these advantages, however, Nixon still lost to Hubert Humphrey in Texas, still lost to George Wallace in the South, and yet won the general elec tion. Such an outcome speaks volumes to Texass regional identity, ideo logical positioning, and political culture in the late 1960s. To a great extent, Humphreys victory in Texas was a testament to th e resilience of 61 Letter from Nixon for President Committee, White House Name File: Richard Nixon, LBJL. 62 The Texas Poll, October 13, 1968, Box 178, Office Files of Frederick Panzer, LBJL.

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124 the New Deal coalition in Texasor probably mo re accurately, the loyalty that Texas Democrats paid to what they recalled as the New Deal coali tion in Texas. Put yet another way, the tradition of the Yellow-Dog Democrat was outliving its po litical rationale. Explaining why Texas went for Humphrey and Preston Smith in 1968, while rejecting both Nixon and Paul Eggers and snubbing its collective nose at George Wallace, can also be explained, in part, through a study of exactly how race worked in Texas at this time. Whereas many working class and rural conser vatives in the South embraced the fireeating rhetoric of Alabamas George Wallace, most Texas conservatives hoped not for a hard line on civil rights but for a conservative who represented a broader a rray of conservative values.63 As such, Texas conservatives were utterl y dissatisfied with the selection of Maryland Governor Spiro T. Agnew to be Nixons running mate.64 In a decision that seemed to lend credence to the notion of a Southern Stra tegy based on race-baiting, Nixon chose Agnew largely because of his conserva tive reputation on civil rights Though he was a moderate on other domestic and economic issues, Nixon pred icted that Agnews stance on racewhich mirrored the RNCs national strategy for appeali ng to African Americans through the concept of black capitalism and calls to do away with government paternalismwas enough to lure Southern support for the GOP ticke t without alienating moderates in other parts of the nation.65 In selecting Agnew, Nixon believed he had appeased the Souths greatest concern namely, that civil rights progress needed to be slowed down. Once the South was placated by the Agnew selection, Nixon felt greater freedom to push for various moderations to the GOP platform that did not involve a stance on civil ri ghts. That push for moderation, initiated that 63 The dynamic between Wallaces third party candidacy and the campaigns of Humphrey and Nixon is fleshed out in greater detail later in this chapter. 64 Dallas Morning News August 9, 1968, 1A. 65 Memorandum for R. Nixon and S. Agnew, September 20, 1968, Box 15, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI.

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125 summer during the national convention in Miam i, re-ignited charges among conservative Republicans that, despite basing his campai gn rhetoric on Law & Order, Vietnam, anticommunism, and anti-liberalism, Nixon was actually a pawn of moderate to liberal Republicans of the Eastern Establishment who looked to regain whatever control it felt it had lost during the Goldwater debacle of 196 4. A moderate platform that accepted federal interference with the economy, however subtle, antagonized ma ny Texas conservatives, particularly in the Republican Party and particul arly at the grassroots.66 Undoubtedly, much of this antipathy was ideological, rather than practical. Most Texas co nservatives, at least th ose with influence, did not advocate a wholesale withdrawal of federal influence. Such a withdrawal would have been impractical and conservatives largely understood th e need to strike a balance between practical politics and ideological rhetoric. Yet, even if Agnews selection was found marginally acceptable by the state party hierarchy, among the most ideologically dogmatic libertarian and anticommunist conservatives, Agnews modera tion on broader economic and social issues validated many Texas conservatives concerns that Nixons conservatism not only lacked sincerity, but might in fact be nonexistent.67 Evidence of a more moderate racial climate in Texas than other parts of the South can also be found in the responses of Texas minorities of all ethnic backgrounds to racial conditions and attitudes in their state. Polls published by the Dallas Morning News in 1968 showed that a majority of Texans believed African Americans should be given a fair shake and that they should have equal chances to be educated and receive promotions based on talent and hard work. The story quoted one Mexican-American male incl uded in the survey: I dont ever hear anyone 66 U.S. President, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1965-1970), Lyndon B. Johnson, 1968, 963. 67 Roger Olien, From Token to Triumph: The Texas Republicans Since 1920 (Dallas, TX: Southern Methodist University Press, 1982), 214-218.

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126 mention racial trouble around here I think [viole nce] is caused by individualism rather than racism. Im an American, but Im also a Mexi can [and] I dont feel any racism along the border.68 Because Lone Star State conservatism m eant much more than a hard line stance on civil rightsand in fact minimized the role of race in political rhetoric Nixon failed to carry Texas not just by joining Humphrey in losing vo tes to Wallace, but also by failing to overcome the loyalty of Texas Democrats who, without a cl ear conservative choice, defaulted their vote to partisan loyalty and tradition. The poor reac tion Agnew received among Te xas conservatives is but one indication of many Texans reluctance to support Nixon. It is al so indicative of what Texas conservatives actually desi red. Populist conservatives di strusted Nixon, who had spent the years leading up to 1968 working as an attorney in New York City. Rejected as a moderate and a tool of the Eastern Establishment, many Texas conservatives gazed West, not South, in search of a new standard-bearer.69 At the same time, just because Nixon lost Te xas does not mean that his overall campaign strategy was a complete failure. As it did in the rest of the nation, Nixons message in 1968 earned him some limited pockets of support am ong Texas conservatives. However, Nixons patchy support in Texas had more to do with what he said about his opponents than what he said about his own ideas. Nixon was popular among hi s supporters in large part because of an effective campaign, initiated by the RNC against Ge orge Wallace and Hubert Humphrey, as well as liberalism according to the GOPs definition of the word. The Nixon staff was especially successful in its efforts to undermine Wall aces conservatism. Undermining Wallaces conservatism necessitated an understanding of it. During the 1968 campaign, Nixons staff 68 Dallas Morning News April 1, 1968, 8A; File: Out of District Civil Rights, Correspondence, Box 376, George Mahon Papers, SWC. 69 An Indictment of the Democratic Party, 196 1-1968, PRP, Part II, Reel 7, Frame 103.

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127 analyzed the issues for which Wallaces suppor t seemed to be derived. One Nixon-Agnew campaign memorandum described Wallaces appeal this way: Governor Wallace is usually thought to derive most of his strength from those who oppose the moves of recent years to admit Ne groes to a greater share of Americas progress and to give them the po litical voice that is the birthr ight of every American. But it is becoming apparent that many American s who harbor no ill-w ill toward Negroes whatever, who are happy to see the generations of discrimination and inequality come to an end, are also intrigued by the other asp ects of Wallaces appeal Those aspects, briefly, are respect for the constitution, re liance on local government, reduced federal spending, and increased emphasis on law and order.70 In order to succeed among Wallace conserva tives, Nixon undermined Wallaces claim to being a true champion of conservative values, even disparaging the Alabama Governor as a liberal in conservative clothing. Wallaces re cord in Alabama reflected some affinity for government intervention, just not on issues of race and integration sp ecifically. The Nixon campaign distributed, to great effect, information on Alabamas increased crime rate, higher taxes, and expanding bureaucracy since 1962. Nixon s attempt to paint th e Wallace campaign as deceptively liberal was also a concerted, though no t entirely successful, effort to distance his own candidacy from the same charge. In additio n to conservative attacks on Wallaces latent liberalism, Nixon also used Texans fear of bei ng pinned with the extrem ist tag as a means of undermining Wallaces support. Nixon emphasized that Wallaces preaching of repression and retrogression in race rela tions was divisive and antithetical to conservative values of individual and meritocratic achievement, whereas Nixon was for greater opportunity for all Americans, justice for all, renewed respect for law, and peaceful resolution of conflicts that mar our society.71 70 George WallaceSouthern Liberal: A Profile in Po litical Description, Box 16, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI. 71 Memorandum for R. Nixon and S. Agnew, Sept. 20 1968, Box 15, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI.

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128 Even by 1968, when Wallaces race-baiting ha d toned down to sound more like a vision for individual rights and middleclass protectionism, the rhetoric for which Wallace had first made a name for himself remained fresh in vot ers minds. Yet, in Texas, Wallaces campaign was far less appealing than in other parts of th e South. Wallaces failed campaigns and lack of appeal among Texas conservatives is one indication of the states divergence from the Deep South. Among conservatives in the West and Midwest, Wallaces political roots in segregation reflected a dangerous diversion from Americans real enemyatheistic communism and liberal government. While Wallaces rhetoric appealed to some Texas conservatives, he did not.72 What can be said, however, a bout Wallaces supporters in Texashowever few they may have been? Wallaces appeal was largely isolated to East Texa s, where many whites were angry with Johnson because of his staunch support fo r civil rights. Most Wallace voters in Texas identified themselves as politically independent They were farmers and were, for the most part, Protestant. Only 8 percent of Catholics su pported Wallace, while only 9 percent of collegegraduates did sonumbers which were signific antly lower than Reagans support among voters in each demographic.73 A national Harris Poll released in September 1968, identified Wallaces support as Southern with a few pockets of solid support in the North. Wa llaces influence in the West was negligibleby far his weakest region.74 Whatever backlash manifested in response to civil rights in places like Alabama or Mississippi did not, on the whole, manifest in the same way in Texas.75 Rather, Texass relative moderation on race relations, at least with regards to the lack 72 Dan T. Carter, The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), Preface, CH 11; Isserman and Kazin. America Divide, CH 11-12. 73 The 1968 Elections: A Summary Report with Supporting Tables, PRP, Part II, Reel 8, Frame 186; Olien, From Token to Triumph 214-218. 74 Memorandum to the President, September 17, 1968 From: Fred Panzer, Subject: Advance Harris for Tuesday, September 17, 1968, Box 27, White House Cent ral Files: Political Affairs, LBJL; The Texas Poll, September 29, 1968, Box 178, Office Files of Frederick Panzer, LBJL. 75 Dallas Morning News August 9, 1968, 1A.

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129 of credibility given to massive resistance, mirrored the suburban integration and open-schools movements that characterized Sunbelt politics as well as th e color-blind and defense-minded anticommunist conservatism voiced in the most urbanized parts of the South and much of the Midwest.76 Looking at Wallaces support on a state-by-state basis is further enlightening. Wallace garnered 66 percent of the vote in Alabama and 63 percent of the vote in Mississippi. His support hovered between 39 and 48 percent in Arkansas, Georgia, and Louisiana. Even in Border South states like Flor ida and Virginia, Wallace received as much as 28 percent of the total vote. Comparatively, however, Wallace barely took 19 percent of the vote in Texas. This share of the vote was only slightly hi gher than Wallaces national averages.77 While Wallaces brand of populist conservatism dominated much of the South, it was Reagan who came to embody it in Texas. Race and Anti-Liberalism at the Dawn of a New Decade Many of the issues that dominated campaigns in 1968 continued to evolve as the 1960s came to a close. Race was among the issues that resonated in new and important ways in Texas after 1968. One source of Texans awareness of racial and ethnic discord was the grassroots Chicano movement that gained momentum and orga nization in South Texas. Of particular note was the establishment in early 1970 of La Raza Unida Partya third party movement born in Crystal City, Texas with the inte nt of mobilizing Hispanics into the largest third party in the state. The origins of La Raza stretch back to the mid-1960s, but it was not until after 1968 that the partys formal organizational efforts be gan in earnest. Though La Raza targeted the American Southwest for membershipprimaril y Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, 76 Lassiter, The Silent Majority ; Critchlow. Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism 77 The 1968 Elections: A Summary Report with Supporting Tables, PRP, Part II, Reel 8, Frames 187, 189.

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130 Nevada, Utah, and Coloradoits primary source of membership was in Texas. Founded in large part by Jos ngel Gutirrez and Mario Compean, both of whom had been involved in Chicano activism in Texas since just prio r to the 1968 elections, La Raza first gained attention in the states political establishment as a major threat to minority and liberal support of the Texas Democratic Party. La Raza spoke, according to most conservative whites in the state, as a voice of radicalismof Mexican-Ame rican economic, social, and political self-determination.78 By April 1970, La Raza was already winning lo cal races in South Texasfifteen to be exactand existed as a majority on two school boar ds. Hispanic participation in Texas public education via La Raza coincided with two landmar k court decisions, both of which altered the racial landscape of many public schools and brought the issue of busing, so salient among suburban parts of the South, into Texas. The first of these cases was the United States Supreme Court case Cisneros v. Corpus Christi Independent School District which was decided in 1970. Tw o years earlier, a coalition of Mexican-American parents living in Corpus Christ i filed suit against the citys school district, charging that their children had been discriminated against by a de facto segregation system. Prior precedent in the state had allowed for the evolution of similar dual-school systems in places like Corpus Christi on the argument that Hi spanics, and in this case Mexican Americans specifically, were not legally iden tified as a separate race but me rely other white. Arguments on behalf of the Mexican American parents rested upon many of the same principles of identity politics and Chicano activism that characteri zed the impetus of La Razas founding. Citing identifiable and distinct cultural, religious, physical, and linguistic di stinctions, the Supreme Court sided with the parents, thus giving Mexica n Americans the legal recognition they had been 78 La Raza Unida Party, Box 17, New Left Collection, HI.

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131 previously denied. The court ordered the Corpus Christi school board to institute majority-tominority busing.79 In November 1970, another court case altered the racial and political landscape of Texas. In response to litigation initiated in East Texa s courts where local sc hool districts had been noncompliant in moving to integrate a number of African American schools, United States District Court Judge William Justice, a liberal appointed to the bench during Lyndon Johnsons final months in the White House, provided a ne w outline for more rapid public school integration in his decision United States v. Texas The case, originated af ter investigations by the Department of Health, Educati on, and Welfare (HEW) deemed de segregation efforts in some East Texas districts to be de ficient. HEW then deferred jurisdiction in the case to the Department of Justice, which named the Texa s Education Agency (TEA) and the state as complicit in delaying appropriate integration in the state. Justices decision forced the noncompliant school districts in East Texas to ce ase their practice of segregated bus routes and consolidate all area school distri cts without using race as a fact or. TEA was charged with the responsibility of conducting annual compliance re views and imposing sanctions, including the denial of accreditation, to sc hools where integration was deem ed to have been unnaturally delayed or circumvented. The case received virtually zero press c overage until the decision was announced, at which point denunciations poured in from state po litical leaders and disg runtled area whites. Though the impact of Justices decision was fe lt most dramatically among East Texas communities, particularly in and around th e town of Marshall, the aftermath of United States v. Texas in technically altering the policies of over 1000 school districts with over two million 79 Ibid.; Ron Tyler, Ed., et. al., The New Handbook of Texas (Austin, TX: Texas State Historical Association, 1996).

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132 students, reignited the issue of race and federal encroachment on state and local rights, particularly in Texas where civil rights activism of the 1960s had b een cooler than in other parts of the nation.80 It is when studying school integration a nd busing policies in the late 1960s and early 1970s that Texas seems most Southern. Nixon t ypically considered Texas to part of the South only when discussing school administration po licies, but even then distinguished in conversations between Houston, South and East Te xas, and the rest of the state. For most Texans, the issue of racial inte gration was less heated than the specific solution proffered in busing. Scholars like Matthew La ssiter have chronicled the s uburban reactions to busing in places like Charlotte and Atlanta and have found the coalition of moderate suburban whites, working within local politics to protect what was often referred to as assembly and property taxpayers rights, at the forefront of new political responses to race issues. Such coalitions were certainly operating in Texas. For instance, Dr. Mitchell Young of Texas helped organize the United Concerne d Citizens of America (UCCA)an anti-busing league dedicated to maintaining consistent desegregation standards nationwide. Young represented a faction of suburban whites in the South who resented being targeted and reprimanded differently, as they saw it, than othe r noncompliant school distri cts in other parts of the nation.81 As John Connally had argued in the mid-1960s when he criticized the massive resistance politics of Alabama and Mississipp i, many Texans had hoped to a void federal intervention even if it meant compliance with school desegregation. While some Texans believed they had been more than compliant, many also resented the nonc ompliance of East Texas districts that they 80 Tyler, Ed., et. al., The New Handbook of Texas 81 Lassiter, Silent Majority 225.

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133 believed had forced federal intervention upon the rest of the state. Organizations like the UCCA tapped into this resentment and helped unite mi ddle-class white Texans on the grounds that they were being treated unfairly. Suburban organizations like the UCCA were typically viewed as a more respectable voice of white middle-class concerns in Texas. There were, however, a handful of radical grassroots manifestations in the late 1960s and early 1970s, ma ny of which used busing as a springboard for organizational grow th, but not as a direct focus. In Houston, Wickliffe B. Vennard, Sr. founded the Americans for America, an organization prim arily concerned with promoting the idea that liberals in the United States government were conspiring to erode citizens economic rights in order to eventual ly make everyone so utterly dependent on government as to enable a tota l seizure of dictatorial power. Arguing forcefully against the Federal Reserve System as an entity controlled by Northeastern and International bankers, while actively equating liberalism to socialism and a slippery slope toward communist tyranny, organizations like Americans for America helped to bridge the gap in Texas between racial discord and a larger spectrum of anti-liberal anti-government hostil ity under a banner of traditionalism and Christian values. Such or ganizations were commonly hostile to moderates and liberals in both parties and called into question the tenuous balance between ideological convictions and partisan loyalties. Though not yet powerful enough to upset the politic al balance in Texas, such trends had been evolving for some time. In 1968, Nixon wa s distrusted by many Texas conservatives as part of the liberal Eastern Establ ishment. Texans distrust of Ni xon in this regard only grew in the early years of his presidency. This view of Nixon among certain pockets of the grassroots gained popularity in Texas less because of issues like race and busing than because of issues of

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134 federal expansion and moderate, neo-liberal eco nomic policies. Still, the complexity and diversity of issues typically worked together to foment hostility. As grassroots organizations similar to Americans for America earned small yet vocal followings in Texas by equating liberalism, socialism, communism, and slavery, a few even began to link social issues like abortion into the same general conversat ion about the nations moral compass. The impact of such small political orga nizations tying together economic, racial, religious, and ideological issues under a banner of traditionalism and conservatism contributed to the decline of the New Deal coalition, much as third party movements and intra-party factionalism had also done.82 Yet, whereas race had been the predominant factor in shaping conservative suburban politics in other parts of the South as early as the late 1950s, similar manifestations hit Texas with force only in the la te 1960s and as part of a conglomerate of issues, all of which worked together to foment notions of liberal weakne ss, encroaching socialism, and a perceived loss, among mostly suburb an whites, of individual right.83 Yarborough, Bentsen, and Bush In the late 1960s, Democrats in Texas fought amongst themselves over ideological thrusts and the control of state party power. At th e same time, state Republicans fought amongst themselves over what the future of their part y should look like and to whom their loyalties should be offered. A growing division within the Texas Republican Party between committed conservatives and those who prioritized part y building and national unity threatened to undermine the quest for ideological coalescence. Active in both par ties was the rhetorical device of anti-liberalism, which could be used as an effective weapon on issu es ranging from Vietnam to crime to race and parts in between. In 1970, th e all-permeating existence of anti-liberalism in 82 The Texas Eagle Collected Editions, 1970-71, Box 17, New Left Collection, HI. 83 Americans for America, Collected Editions, 1969-1970, Box 14, New Left Collection, HI.

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135 Texas finally caught up with Ral ph Yarborough. In fact, few even ts so keenly illustrate the ideological dynamic that shaped Texas politics in this period than the 1970 race for the U.S. Senate. After eighteen years of service as a populis t-leaning liberal, Yarborough was defeated in the 1970 Democratic Primary by conservative Ho uston businessman, Lloyd Bentsen. Born in 1921, Bentsen flew B-24 combat missions in Italy during World War II, before working his way up the ladder of Houstons financial sector Bentsen defeated Yarborough in 1970 on the strength of a blatantly anti-liberal campaign, made far more sa lient in the context of what many saw as continued national dysfunction. Bentsens campaign against Yarborough was quintessential anti-liberalism. Yarborough was vilif ied as an ultraliberal and a peacenik. Primarily but not exclusively in East Texa s, Bentsen hammered Yarborough as a busing advocate and a radical integra tionist. He attacked Yarbor oughs support of Supreme Court decisions outlawing prayer in public schools and ran television advertisements associating Yarborough with Vietcong-flag wa ving anti-war protesters. In short, Bentsen neutralized Yarboroughs record of working on state-leve l issues and, instead, made the campaign a referendum on the national Left.84 Yarboroughs campaign strategy indicates that Texas liberals were either stubborn in their commitment to left-leaning ideologies, or may not have been fully aware of exactly how potent such critiques were and would continue to be in future campaigns. While Yarborough tried to focus his campaign on his experience and record while steering clear of the liberal label, he also shunned his staffs suggestions that he identify hims elf in more conservative ways. His platform was based on stereotypically populi st and working-class eco nomic initiatives and 84 Bass and DeVries, The Transformation of Southern Politics 313; Olien, From Token to Triumph 222226; Reston, The Lone Star 378.

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136 failed to engage Bentsen on the very subject ma tter used most effectively against himnamely, national issues surrounding the war in Vietnam, cr ime, race, and moral relativity. As a result, Yarborough did very poorly among middle-class whites. Yarborough spent far more energy rallying state minorities, which presumably confirmed in many Texans minds some of Bentsens attacks. Yarboroughs appeals includ ed advocating bilingual education in South Texas school districts while dismissing arguments that non-English speaking residents should be encouraged to learn the language of the major ity. Broadly, Yarboroughs campaign was a mix of antiquated Texas populism and post-Voting Rights Ac t liberalisma political style outdated in much of the urbanizing and suburbanizing Sunbelt.85 The same cannot be said of Bentsens campa ign, which did attract a substantial number of middle-class white conservative s. Bentsen was so overwhelmingl y anti-liberal that many state liberals, including those in or ganized labor, refused to endor se or support the Democratic nominee during the general electi on. That honor went to the Repub lican nominee, George Bush, who had hoped for a rematch with Yarborough duri ng which he wanted to employ the same antiliberal strategy that Bentsen had already su ccessfully used. Instead, Bush found himself inheriting the support of state liberals and organized labor, wh ich further undermined his palatability among conservative Republicans and only reinforced Bentsens popularity among conservative Democrats. Though Bush would eventu ally get the best of Bentsen, defeating both he and Michael Dukakis in th e 1988 presidential election larg ely on the strength of antiliberalism, in 1970 it was the Republican who seemed a shade too far to the left. With both Bush 85 Letter from Jimmy Wisch, to James A. Turman, Marc h 17, 1970, Press Release, April 1, 1970, General Correspondence, Here is what Ralph Yarborough has done to help [your] county, Box 4zd552, Ralph Yarborough Papers, CAH.

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137 and Bentsen hoping to wage the general campai gn on the grounds of conservatism and antiliberalism, the defaults of tradition and loyalty once again took center stage in Texas.86 Bentsens victory over Yarborough confused Bushs campaign strategy. Instead of running as the conservative option in a race with the liberal Yarborough, Bush had to repackage himself as an alternative to the conservative Bentsen. These efforts were largely awkward and unsuccessful, and rekindled intra-party factionalism Bush actively tried but failed to connect his opponent with the vilified liberal establishment. On the other hand, Bentsen employed the same strategy against Bush, but to a much greater level of effect. Desp erate, Bush, instead of aligning himself with state conservatism, more regularly attracted moderate and liberal support by coming out in favor of things like womens ri ghts issues, including a pro-choice statement on abortion and approval of the Equal Rights Amen dment, which in 1970 appeared to be on the brink of passage in the House of Representa tives. By November, popular opinion showed Bentsen to be the more conservative of the tw o candidates, the more anti-hippie of the two candidateswhich was a particularly important asset in rural Baptist counties in East and Central Texasand the candidate more likely to remain hawkish in the face of dovish pressures.87 Bentsen had effectively characterize d his opponent as the liberal option and maintained the support of conservative Democrats across the state. 86 Reston, The Lone Star 378. 87 CBS Memorandum, December 24, 1967, To: Jay Le vine, Fr: Martin Plissner, Box 2M752, Walter Cronkite Papers, CAH; Houston Chronicle, September 13, 1970 Houston Post November 6, 1970, Box 4C517, Harris County Democratic Party Records, CAH; Lloyd Bentsen Texas. November 19, 1970, PRP, Part II, Reel 9, Frames 356-357, 376; Edward Kennedy Massachusetts. November 19, 1970 February 4, 1972, PRP, Part II, Reel 9, Frames 356-357, 376; A Research Proposal Presented to the Honorable John Tower, For the 1978 Senatorial Campaign, June 1977. Folder 19, Box 542, Tower Senate Club, JTP; Five Reasons to Vote for George Bush for United States Senator, August 6, 1970, Bush 1970 Camp aign Files, Box 11, John Knaggs Papers, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX; George Bushs Answers to Some of the Questions People Ask, August 1970, Bush 1970 Campaign Files, Box 11, John Knaggs Papers, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX; Direct Mailing, From: Bush for Senator Headquarters, Bush 1970 Campaign Files, Box 11, John Knaggs Papers, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX; Bush 1970 Campaign Files, Bo x 11, John Knaggs Papers, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX.

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138 Bushs defeat was not, however, for lack of assistanceor at least attempts to help from Nixon and the RNC. Nixon personally helped raise millions for Bushs campaign on the hopes of securing a conservative vote in the Senate, though Bushs congressional record indicated agreement with Nixon onl y 64 percent of the timea significant percentage, but not an overwhelming one. Bush also took steps to a ssociate himself with Nixon in advertisements featuring images of the two working together and even attending the famous 1969 National Championship college football game between th e University of Texas and the University of Arkansas, a game famous for Nixons declaration of Texas as national champions in the midst of the Longhorns post-game locker room euphoria.88 Ironically, however, Bushs association with Nixon ultimately did him more harm than good, at least in the short term Nixon made multiple campaign appearances with Bush during the 1970 campaign. During trips to Dallas and Longview, Nixon spent most of his time attackin g school busing programs. Clearly intended to rally middle class white voters, Ni xons strategy did little more th an alienate liberal and minority voters who, refusing to support the candidate of the conservative Texas establishment, had chosen to support Bush. That support wavered fo llowing each Nixon visit. Following Bentsens victory, Nixon and Agnew each publicly declared vi ctory for conservatism in Texas, saying that the real success had come with the ousting of Ralph Yarborough.89 Conservative Democrats maintained stre ngth in Texas through the 1970 midterm elections. At the same time, Democratic Party dominance seemed to be dissipating. Electoral contests were far more competitive in most portions of the state and Democratic success depended on maintaining a conservative image. In fact, disassociati ng ones self from the 88 Texas Monthly July 1973, The Big Thicket Tangle; Draft for TV Ad, Bush 0 Senate Campaign Material, Box 11, John Knaggs Papers, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX. 89 November 6, 1970, Houston Post Box 4C517, Harris County Democratic Party Records, CAH; Bruce J. Schulman, The Seventies: The Great Shift in Am erican Culture, Society, and Politics (New York: The Free Press), 2001; Olien, From Token to Triumph 225-226

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139 national party became essential for conservati ve Texas Democrats. Those who succeeded benefited greatly from the states penchant for rallying behind the Democratic Party if, for no other reason, than out of trad ition and loyalty. Bush likely w ould have defeated Yarborough in the general election if Yarborough had managed to get through the prim ary. The agenda around which Texas voters understood thei r own political leanings was fa r different in 1970 than it had been in 1964. National issues gained in prom inence and the Democratic Party seemed, in the publics mind, to be slipping more rapidly into the abyss of liberalism During the early 1970s, the issue of corruption and sca ndal in government would add a ne w dimension to Texans voting habits. Conclusion In December of 1967, Walter Cronkite, the anchor of the CBS Evening News was briefed on the differences between factionalism in the Republican Party and factionalism in the Democratic Party. The analysis he was given suggested the following: Factionalism in [the] GOP tends to be ideologi cal, in [the] Democratic Party regional. Unity in [the] Democratic Party consists in linking up its Dixie divi sion every four years with that in the rest of the nation. In [the ] Republican Party, two ma in factions exist in substantial numbers in the majority of stat es and are often reflected in the makeup of individual delegations.90 GOP Factionalism was indeed ideological and factionalism in the Democratic Party was certainly regional. However, if Texas politics at all reflects the nation as a whole, then the above description is only partially true for factionalism in both partie s was kin to ideology and regional variations. The political war waged in Texas wa s to determine whether ideological or partisan loyalties would ultimately reign supreme in the st ate. Republican efforts to tap into what Nixon, by 1970, had began referring to as the nations silent majority were undermined by Democratic 90 CBS Memorandum, December 24, 1967, To: Jay Le vine, Fr: Martin Plissner, Box 2M752, Walter Cronkite Papers, CAH.

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140 efforts in Texas to do virtually the same thing. Conservative Democrats ability to play to the emotions in Texas that Republicans so effectivel y used to rally the masses against Northeastern elites, liberalism, and government in general, helped maintain the strength of the New Deal coalition in Texas long after that same coalition had already fractured irreparably in other parts of the nation. Lyndon Johnson famously commented after he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that, politically, he had just signed over the South to the Republican Party for at least a generation. By the close of 1968, however, the South was not yet a bastion of Republicanism, but the West was. Historian Matthew Lassi ter has argued forcefully agai nst the Southern Strategy explanation for political reali gnment in the American Sunbelt. In his estimation, backlash politics against racial progress resulted in very few successes. In contrast to the South, Republicans by 1970 had, for the most part, won the West and done so on the strength of a reinvigorated populist rhetoric whereby liberal s had been transformed into elitists and government was an obstacle standing between hard-working honest Americans and the traditional freedoms upon which, men like Ben H. Carpenter believed, the nation had been founded upon. Simply put, GOP success in the Am erican West stemmed from an ability to market a conservatism that spoke to the ideals held dearest by that regionideals of rugged individualism and anti-Big Government populism. This Western image played well in Texas.91 Still, GOP success was more limited in Texas than it was in either the South or the West. Where then does the political hist ory of Texas in the late 1960s f it in to this narrative? The simple answer, and the one which actually makes the most sense, is that it did not. In Texas, the strength of the Democratic Party was enough to overcome national discord, internal factionalism, and a far more adept program of anti-liberal cr itiques emanating from Republican circles. In 91 Lassiter, Silent Majority 275

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141 fact, critiquing liberals was a very bipartisan enterprise in Texas. Though Texans more often than not voted out of loyalty and tradition, most were also keenly aware of the ideological positioning of candidates running for public office. Texas did not fit the mold of a Southern state, nor did it entirely f it the mold of a Western state. Pock ets of Texas seemed to conform to different regional interests, though the state as a whole remained c onservative. By the close of the 1960s, Texas was still a bastion of conservative Democratic dominance. At the same time, however, liberal factions, a grow ing dissatisfaction with the polit ical status quo, a reinvigorated populist conservatism, a new Western standard-bear er in Ronald Reagan, and an understanding of ideology that placed the blame for the na tions problems on liberal weakness all came together to make the 1970s the decad e Texas Republicans had long waited for.92 92 General Election Results, 7th District, November 15, 1968, Box 12, Folder 12, General 66-72, James A. Baker Papers, Seeley G. Mudd Librar y, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.

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142 CHAPTER 4 SCANDAL, MOBILIZATION, AND ANTI-LIBERALISM, 1971-74 On January 22, 1973, Lyndon B. Johnson died. The next day, newspapers across Texas carried banner headlines announci ng the death of the only native Texan to serve in the White House to that point. Johnson spent much of the la st decade of his life at the center of a political stormone through which he had witnessed the dec line of the New Deal co alition in Texas. During that time Johnson also came to symboli ze the ideological confus ion and aging loyalties that characterized the Lone Star State throughout the 1960s. Newspapers in Texas also reported another significant story that da y. Typically buried at the bottom of page one on most statewide newspapers was the story of the United Stat es Supreme Courts landmark decision on abortion rights, Roe v. Wade decided on the same day as Johnsons death. The conflu ence of these two events on a single day, each surrounding issues of death and life, conservatism and liberalism, offers a striking image of the contrast and chaos that typified Texas politics in the early 1970s. Between 1971 and 1974, Texans endured a wild ride that saw the pace of changes to political ideology quicken, the infusion of new, diverse, a nd increasingly controversial issues of morality and God, the more rapid breakdown in the publics faith in government, in tensified challenges to partisan loyalties, and mass confusion and intra-pa rty factionalism at the na tional, state, and local levels. Though the processes of change had been maturing for almost a decade, several sudden events hastened that maturation process in the early 1970s. This was a crucial period in the story of Texass changing political culture and the corresponding emergence of modern conservatism During this time, traditional Democratic allegiances were further loosened as ideologi cal convictions continue d to replace partisan loyalties and national campaigns created sweeping connotations that connected certain partisan or ideological factions with individuals and events Of particular import in the early years of the

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143 new decade was the simultaneous maturation of anti -liberal and anti-government animus, the two impulses which provide the main focus of this chapter. In October 1972, less than two weeks be fore Richard Nixon would soundly defeat George McGovern and be re-elected as President of the United States, the Dallas Morning News ran an editorial which spoke to Texans intensifying hostility towa rd liberals and anyone else who favored the use of the federal government to solve peoples problems. The collective fury which many Texans felt over coexisting with a federal government that demanded bureaucratic life and death control over every phase of Amer ican life was fueled by specific alterations to the social and political landscape. This fury ma nifested not in a refort ification of partisan defense, but rather as an ideo logical offensive, in which part y increasingly took a back seat.1 If the 1960s, therefore, provided the ignition to Americas social and political upheavals of the late twentieth centur y, then the 1970s saw Texans ad just to these new realities.2 Scandals involving elected officials undermined the publics faith in government, issues like abortion slowly began to replace issues of race atop the st ates social agenda, gras sroots political activity mobilized a citizenry unconvinced that either party had their best interests in mind, and a presidential campaign so polarized ideological fac tions within the Democratic Party as to render the New Deal coalition all but obs olete and, certainly, ineffective. In Texas, the story of the early 1970s beginsand endswith scandal. The Politics of Scandal and Corruption Throughout the early 1970s, images of briber y, theft, tax evasion, conspiracy, election fraud, hush money, and an array of investigatio ns undermined Texans faith in government, politicians, and the civic process in general. The declining faith in government among Texans 1 Dick West, editorial, Dallas Morning News, October 29, 1972, Box 435, George Mahon Papers, Southwest Collection, Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX (Hereafter cited as SWC). 2 Dallas Morning News January 23-24, 1973, 1A.

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144 did not begin in the early 1970s, but it did rapidly mature. At the same time that distrust in government seemed to be on the rise, the ubiquity of scandal and corruption contributed to a statewide reconsideration of par tisan loyalties, opened the door for liberal advancement within the state Democratic Party, and lent creden ce to the most central tenet of populist conservatismthat government had replaced big business as the chief obstacle standing between the American people and honest opportunity. In short, the politics of scandal and corruption hastened ideological reconsiderations in Texas, confused the publics partisan loyalties, and contributed mightily to the breakdown of the established leadership in both parties. Outside of Watergate, the scandals that most Americans remember from the early 1970s were, first, former State Department employee Daniel Ellsbergs leak ing of the so-called Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1971 and, second, the re signation of Vice President Spiro T. Agnew in 1973 following his conviction fo r tax evasion. Texas Republicans, even those close to the Nixon White House, took opportunities like these to bolster th eir own credentials as honest politicians. I detest graft an d corruption, John Tower wrote in the Dallas Times Herald in October 1973. I have no patience whatsoever with those who violate their public trust and use public office for private gain.3 Nonetheless, national scanda ls, though highly influential, were only partly responsible for Texans growing distaste for all things political in the early 1970s. There were plenty of scandals deep in th e heart of Texas to bri ng the issue closer to home. The most famous of these corruption tale s became known as the Sharpstown Stock-Fraud Scandal. In January 1971, atto rneys for the United States Secu rities and Exchange Commission 3 Draft of Op-Ed for Dallas Times Herald by John Tower, October 1973, Folder 38, Box 17, Press Office, John G. Tower Papers, Southwestern University, Ge orgetown, TX (Hereafter cited as JTP); Undated Houston Chronicle Box 4C519, Harris County Democratic Party Records, Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (Hereafter cited as CAH).

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145 (SEC) filed a lawsuit through federa l court in Dallas, alleging that former state Attorney General Waggoner Carr, former state Insurance Commissi oner John Osorio, and Houston-area banker Frank Sharp had conspired to comm it stock fraud. Over the ne xt several months, the tawdry details dominated the medias coverage of Texas politics and threatened to stain virtually the entire conservative wing of the state Democra tic Party. What the Texas public essentially learned throughout the reporting on this scanda l in 1971 and 1972 was that Frank Sharp, the chief executive of the Houston-area Sharpsto wn State Bank, had ille gally granted over $600,000 in loans to state officials, who then used that money to buy stock in another of Sharps holdings, the National Bankers Life Insurance Corporation. Sharp then agreed, through various illegal means, to artificially inflate the value of the stoc k, allowing investors to re ap profits in excess of $250,000. The cases bombshell, however, came when the SEC revealed that Texas Governor and Democratic Party head Preston Smith had act ually been bribed by Sharp into manipulating a special session of the Texas legislature in 1969 during which legislation favorable to Sharp and his corporate holdings was passed.4 The immediate impact of the Sharpstown sca ndal appeared to be a boon for state liberals. As the sordid details permeated the states polit ical culture in the earl y 1970s, liberals took the opportunity to champion reform legislation, incl uding bills requiring stat e officials to fully disclose all sources of income. Texas liberals, though reticent to go so far as to call for federal intervention, did articulate a beli ef that the good ole boys cl ub in Austin had grown far too corrupt to govern effectively and needed dismantling.5 The earliest respon ses to the scandal in 4 Dallas Morning News March 25, 1972; Sharpstown Stock Fraud Scandal Clippings, Folder 11, Box 758, Austin Files, JTP; Sharpstown Stock Fraud Clippings, Box 4C518, Harris County Democratic Party Records, CAH. 5 Transcript, Firing Line hosted by William F. Buckley, February 25, 1973, telecast on PBS, Audiovisual Collection, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford University, Stanfo rd, CA (Hereafter cited as HI).

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146 Texas came from liberal Democrats and conser vative Republicansboth on the outside looking in at their respective st ate party leadership. These responses slowly grew more varied and, by early 1973, it was clear that the biggest losers in the Sharpstown scandal were incumbent, conservative Texas Democrats. In effect, the Sharpstown scandal so undermined the publics faith in the status quo of Texas pol itics that it allowed liberals to assert far greater influence in the state Democratic Party while, at the same time, boosting the resp ectability of antigovernment populist conservatives op erating at the grassroots and at the fringe of state-level Republican leadership.6 As a result of his involvement with Sh arp, Preston Smithtwice elected Governor of Texasfailed to win the nomination of his part y for re-election in 1972. Smith was the most visible political casualty of the scandal. The man who defeated Smith was Dolph Briscoe, a businessman and wealthy rancher from Uvalde, a small town in south-central Texas which proudly boasted itself as the home of former Speaker of the House and Vice President John Nance Garner. Briscoe, a conservative De mocrat, succeeded in 1972 in an atmosphere inhospitable to the conservative Democratic esta blishmentor Democrats in general, for that matter. Projecting a populist image complete with blue jeans and cowboy hats, Briscoes strategy was simple and foretelling. The ranche r from Uvalde hammered Smith as an agent of the elite, the establishment, and the corrupt politi cal leadership that needed to be overhauled in Austin. At the same time, he adopted the bulk of Smiths platform and agenda, highlighting tough stands on crime and his support for better training facilities for state law enforcement.7 Briscoe often spoke about Texans value of in dependence and reinforced the notion that the government should work for the people, not the ot her way around. Another of his catch-phrases 6 Sharpstown Stock Fraud Scandal Clippings, Folder 11, Box 758, Austin Files, JTP. 7 Crime in the Streets, Law and Order File, Box 613, Dolph Briscoe Papers, CAH; Texas Monthly April 1976, 112, Box 9, David Stoll Collection, HI.

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147 was, better government, not more.8 Briscoe routinely infused Frank Sharps name into speeches on Smith, government corruption, and the need to clean up Austin. He invited the support of state minorities, environmentalist l obbies, and other liber als, not by addressing specific issues of concern to those constituents, but by rallying a collective and shared animosity against established authority.9 Smiths feeble and ineffective response was to blame his misfortune on the media, often communicating anger over how televisi on in particular had portrayed him unfairly.10 Briscoe was also keenly aware of intra-pa rty factionalism, particularly the growing discord between national liberals and state cons ervatives. During the general election of 1972, he adamantly refused to campaign with the pres idential nominee of his party, George McGovern. Instead, Briscoe expressed utter dissatisfaction with the libe ralizing national Democratic Party. Though Briscoe counted on the support of conserva tive Democrats in his state, a clear message was, nonetheless, sent to Texa s voters. Party loyalty, though not yet dead, was in demise. The politics of scandal permeated the Texa s political culture of the early 1970s, but whereas national observers have ty pically identified this eras b acklash against political scandal with Watergate and a temporary setback for the Republican Party, no such strict associations were made in Texas thanks to Sharpstown. As officials in both parties seemed mired in illegalities, Democrats were, in the publics mind, just as gui lty of dishonesty as were Republicans. Thus, what came to command the loya lties of most Texas voters in the early 1970s was a reinvigorated anti-government populism that embraced sound economics, strong and traditional values on things like crime and foreign policy, and the projection of an image that was 8 Press Release, September 24, 1971, Box 659, Dolph Briscoe Papers, CAH. 9 Speech, July 9, 1971, Ben Kaplan Associates, Ann ouncement, Speech, July 21, 1971, Elgin, TX, Speech, August 26, 1971, Jacksonville, TX, Bo x 659, Dolph Briscoe Papers, CAH. 10 Press Release, April 5, 1972, KRAN Country Music Radio, April 11, 1972, Box 589, Preston Smith Papers, SWC.

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148 altogether incompatible with the various consti tuents being drawn to the liberalizing national Democratic Party.11 Grassroots Mobilizations The Texas political zeitgeist of the early 1970s was complex and confusing. Within the context of scandalous government, a variety of social, economic, and cultural issues provoked previously unmobilized segments of the state into greater civic activism and created a political atmosphere which perplexed many Texans. T hough the New Deal coalition exhibited greater resiliency in Texas than it did in other parts of the South, cr acks were becoming far more difficult to traverse by the early 1970s. It was in this climate th at Texas political leaders, the vast majority of whom were still conservative Democr ats, began to hear more frequent calls from their constituents to consider what steps they wo uld be willing to take in order to protect the future of the state. At the h eart of most Texans concerns wa s the integrity of their elected officials conservatism. The basis for this c oncern was almost always national politics. No matter how local a particular candi date could spin his or her credentials, the growing disconnect between local and national values very often trum ped specific issues of local or state concern when it came to the Texas voting publics political behavior and avowed loyalties.12 One common response offered by conservative Texas Democrats was to distance their positions from those of the national party. Indeed, many conservatives ceased aligning themselves with party and, instea d, directly aligned themselves, not so much with issues, but to national debates through wh ich certain issues were growing in importance.13 A major 11 Jack Bass and Walter DeVries, The Transformation of Southern Politics: Social & Political Consequence Since 1945 (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1995), 313; Dallas Morning News July 15, 1972, 1A. 12 Thomas Frank, Whats the Matter with Kansas?: How Co nservatives Won the Heart of America (New York: Owl Books, 2004). Frank describes a very similar process gripping Kansas during the 1990s. 13 General Correspondence, Box 376, Letter to Mrs. Jim Sexton, from George Mahon, George Mahon Papers, SWC; General Correspondence, Box 407, George Mahon Papers, SWC.

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149 consequence of this strategy was the discrediting of the national De mocratic Party as a voice for conservative Texans. As more state Democrats refused to align themselves with the national party, the national party became less attractive to many conservative Texans. Conservative Texas Democrats took steps to distance themselv es from the national party in several ways, including outright repudiation of the national agenda and their refu sal to endorse or appear with liberal national candidates. Removing the benefit and appeal of being a Democrat in Texas was a major step on the path toward realignment.14 Many of the issues that would come to define the states political restructuring in the 1970s had been largely secondary in importance during the 1960s. On no front was this truer than on social issues and issues of religiosit y and morality, though initia lly this process was a slow one. Abortion, for instance, played virtually no role in stat e or local campaigns in 1970 or 1972.15 Yet by the end of the decade, pro-life advocates had developed a major voice in conservative politics, both nationally and in Texas. Roe v. Wade a case which had originated in Dallas County, was a spark for many social cons ervatives whose personal dissatisfaction with liberal Supreme Court rulings had been growing since the early 1960s, but had not yet inspired significant political involvement. In 1974, grassroot s activists concerned with social issues like abortion began to mobilize. Organizations like Texas Right to Life a nd Birthrighteach of which actively lobbied for the reversal of Roe v. Wade and for restrictions to be established at the state levelgained reco gnition. Under the executive leadersh ip of Mary Jane Phelps, Texas Right to Life exhibited tremendous organization and reach in Texas, appealing to a broad interest group of white middle-class suburban churchgoers and spiritually minded ethnic minorities. Within one year of its founding, Texas Right to Li fe had distributed at least one comprehensive 14 Lynda L. Kaid, Interview by Author, November 7, 2006, Gainesville, FL. Kaid served as a campaign worker for Paul Eggers gubernatorial campaign in 1970 and John Towers senate campaign in 1972. 15 Ibid.

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150 packet about the sin of abortion and its broader consequences for morality and ethics to every pastor of a Southern Baptist Church in the Lone Star State.16 The fundamental politicization of the Southern Baptist C onvention (SBC) in the late 1970s had its roots in grassroots organizations like Texas Right to Life, which communicated the need for churches to exercise a political voi cesomething the SBC was reluctant to do in the 1960s and 1970s. A similar proce ss dealing with the issue of prayer in public schools was already underway prior to the Roe decision. The Supreme Cour t outlawed prayer in public schools in the early 1960s, but it was not until the early 1970s that Texas congressional representatives began to hear c oncerns from their constituents over this issue in significant numbers. Single-issue grassroots organizations quickly realized in the early 1970s that a fusion of interests on the grounds of morality, ethics, and Christian protectionism would allow for greater exposure and attract larger bases of support.17 If the most important outcome of mo dern conservatisms ascendancy was the establishment of the Republican Party as the ideologys recognized and viable home, then understanding how that process happened must acknowledge that one of the most critical components to that ascendancythe rise of politically active evangelicalswas a phenomenon born in the early 1970s, not the early 1960s. Conservatism in Texas may have begun its development around issues of anticommunism, economics, and race, but it matured in the 1970s through the infusion of a much wider array of issues and impulses. As social issues like abortion and school prayer gained momentum, issues like ci vil rights and race did not entirely fade, but did seem less urgent. In many cas es, the infusion of a wider array of social issues facilitated a growing mutual appreciation and cooperati on between evangelical conservatives and 16 Texas Monthly March 1974, Abortion in Texas. 17 Questionnaire on Church and State, Box 376, George Mahon Papers, SWC; Abortion File, Box 659, Dolph Briscoe Papers, CAH.

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151 anticommunists or other conservatives who prio ritized older and, by the early 1970s, seemingly less urgent or provocative issues. The formativ e success of modern conservatism in Texas can be credited, in part, to its ability to bridge older and newer issues through a language that transcended both time and specifics.18 Again however, rarely did religious issues, prior to 1974, have a direct impact on Texas politics through campaign strate gies and agendas. Throughout the early 1970s, Richard Nixon, who often bragged about his co-sponsorship of th is legislation in 1951, joined many of his party brethren, including Texans George Bush and Jo hn Tower, in supporting passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). In July 1971, ev en the Republican National Committee (RNC) overwhelmingly voted to endorse ERA and in March of the following year, the Texas state legislature ratified the amendment.19 Eventually, Texas conservatives joined Repub lican conservatives in other parts of the country in using religious issu es like abortion, school prayer, and homosexuality to attract evangelical Christians roused into political ac tivism. The early 1970s was a crucial time for nascent grassroots mobilization around such issu es, but was hardly a time that witnessed the infusion of such issues into the mainstream of political rhetoric. Still, by 1974 polls indicated that Texans concern with social issues, decl ining morals, and the protection of traditional Christian values had significantly intensifie d. Throughout the early 1970s, school prayer and abortion coincided with national movements fo r womens rights and homosexual rights. Isolated, none of these issues was likely to garner the attention of state Republicans or conservative Democrats. Taken as an aggregate representation of challenged family values, 18 To keep our people safe and free, Campaign litera ture, 1970, Box 69, Deaver & Hannaford Papers, HI. 19 Dallas Morning News March 23-25, 1972; Republican National Committee, July 22, 1971, Denver, CO, Papers of the Republican Party [microform], ed. Paul L. Kesaris, Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1987, George Smathers Libraries, University of Flor ida (Hereafter cited as PRP), Part I, Series B, Reel 8, Frame 570; Equal Opportunity for Women, April 27, 1973, PRP, Part II, Reel 12, Frame 436.

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152 however, these social and religious issues seemed far more menacing, subversive, and in need of a response. Texans were more concerned over th ese issues by 1974 than they had been at any point in the previous decade, t hough the state itselfwith its populat ion constantly in flux partly because of Northern in-migrationalso looked very different than it had a decade earlier.20 The political tumult of the early 1970s, and particularly the focus on issues with a religious emphasis such as gay rights, school prayer, and abortion, coincided with, and some cases sparked, greater political activism among Mexican Americans in Texas. In 1972, an organization known as Mexican American Republican s of Texas (MART) was established as an official operation of the state GOP. MARTs pr imary founder and early leader was businessman and self-proclaimed Washington outsider Lore nzo Trevino of Dallas. Trevino was among a number of Mexican Americans at the grassroot s in Texas who, since the mid-1960s, had been cooperating with the state Republican Partys efforts to attract Hisp anic voters to conservative causes by way of convincing them that voting Democr atic only contributed to the maintenance of one-party dominance and establishment power.21 The Republican Partys success among Texas Hisp anics can be traced to a number of issues. For one thing, Texas Republicans had, si nce the early 1960s, been just as active in courting Hispanic voters at the local level as had the Democratic Party. A major difference between the GOPs strategy for appealing to Hisp anic voters and that of the Democratic Party was that Texas Republicans, following the advice of the RNC, tried to win support among ethnic 20 Decision Making Information: A Study of National Attitudes, Prepared for Governor Ronald Reagan, July 1974, Box 57, Deaver & Hannaford Papers, HI; The Book of Dallas, New York Times 1976 Op-Ed. Box 9, David Stoll Collection, HI; Jonathan Schoenwald, A Time for Choosing: The Rise of Modern American Conservatism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 252; Lou Cannon. Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power (New York: Public Affairs, 2003), CH 16; Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), CH 13; Bruce J. Schulman, The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society, and Politics (New York: The Free Press, 2001), CH 4, 164. 21 Ignacio M. Garcia, Viva Kennedy: Mexican Americans in Search of Camelot (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2000); R onald Tyler, ed., et. al., The New Handbook of Texas (Austin, TX: Texas State Historical Association, 1996).

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153 minorities on the basis of their samenesstheir fundamental Americanismrather than through more cultured appeals.22 Perhaps more than anyone else, John Tower helped bring Hispanic voters into the Republican sphere of influence. MART organizers in the early 1970s specifically pointed to Towers support for j ob-producing defense contracts in th e 1960s as a major factor in shaping a GOP that appealed to Hispanic voters. The Texas GOP also attracted Hispanic voters by openly questioning the state Democratic Party s sincerity when it came to minority issues, thus using intra-party factionalis m and the conservative-liberal divide to suggest that the party establishment had no legitimate interest in appe aling to minorities. Texas Republicans further gained Hispanic support by characterizing the stat e Democratic Party as a political machine, arguing that until two-party politic s became a reality in Texas, Hispanics would continue to be denied a political voice. Eventually, the Republican Party be gan to attract more Hispanic voters not by appealing to the constituency on the basis of race or ethnicity, but rather on the basis of their typically Catholic sensib ilities. Beginning slowly in the early 1970s, conservatives attracted Hispanic support in Texas through the use of social and religious issues.23 The roots of what many eventually came to call the Religious Right can, to some degree, be traced back to evangelical activism in Texas. However, Texas was also a hotbed for another strand of conservative thought libertarianism. Issues other than school prayer, abortion, and gay rights routinely sparked grassroots politi cal mobilization throughout Texas during the early 1970s. In Dallas, one such issue was the propos ed canalization of the Trinity River, which stretched from the Gulf of Mexico just east of Houston all the way to th e northern-most suburbs of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (DFW). 22 Lynda L. Kaid, Interview by Author, November 7, 2006, Gainesville, FL. Kaid served as a campaign worker for Paul Eggers gubernatorial campaign in 1970 and John Towers senate campaign in 1972. 23 Tyler, ed., et. al., The New Handbook of Texas ; Albuquerque Journal February 13, 1972, Box 47, New Left Collection, HI.

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154 In 1965, Lyndon Johnson authorized a $1.6 bil lion construction pr oject designed to transform the Trinity River into a major canal, t hus enabling Dallas to co mpete with Houston for trade and shipping enterpri ses in and out of the Gulf of Me xico. For years, the project had received little short of the w holehearted support of DFW residents, as they eagerly awaited full federal appropriation. But in 1973 the project wa s suddenly killed by a gr assroots coalition led by anti-government libertarian conservatives fr om Dallas standing in opposition to the areas business community.24 The story of the Trinity River Canal Project speaks to both the impulses of a reinvigorated grassroots as well as the growing anti-libera lism and distrust of government that defined Texas in the early 1970s. During the spring of 1972, Alan Steelman, a young Dallas Republican aspiring to win a seat in the United States House of Representati ves, was introduced to a small, household-based organization committed to defeating the Trinity River Canal Project when it was presented to Congress for funding in the upcoming legislat ive session. The name of the grassroots organization was Citizens Organization for a Sound Treaty (COST). COST organizers had been unsuccessfully trying to rally opposi tion to the bill for years, bu t with the legi slation soon to come before Congress, time was of the essenc e and efforts doubled in the early part of 1972. Steelmans political ambition placed him in opposition to the in cumbent conservative Democrat from the Northeast Dall as district, Earl Cabell. Cabe ll, who was Dallass Mayor at the time of the Kennedy Assassination, had won a seat in Congress in 1964, ending the conservative Republican Bruce Algers career in elected political office. Cabells 1972 campaign had been waged on the promise to bring the canal to Dall as, thereby improving its place as a potential hub for new enterprises and industrial trade. Hopi ng to find an issue upon which he could distance himself from Cabell, Steelman latched onto the Tr inity River Canal Project arguing that with the 24 Texas Monthly June 1973, The Unholy Trinity Incident.

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155 construction of a new internat ional airport to be located between Dallas and Forth Worth, (eventually called DFW Internati onal Airport), canalization woul d be an outmoded duplication of shipping transit capacity, an unnecessary wast e of federal tax dollars, and bring only crime and pollution into the regi on. Steelman began to argue that Da llas citizens would be much better served if the money allocated to the canal project were refunde d in tax breaks. Calling the project a billion-dollar ditch, he managed to ta ke the ideas of COST and translate them into practical concerns for Dallas citizens. Steelman won the GOP primary.25 Despite Steelmans success, grassroots opposition throughout the DFW Metroplex remained embryonic until October 1972 when the can al project manager naively told a reporter that while the federal government was footing th e bill for the projects construction, some startup costs would have to be incurred by area citizens. For the first time, Dallasites were told that they would have to pay for th e initial phase of the Canal Project through an additional $150 million property tax hike. The result was a priori tization of the Canal Project as an issue in the general election. The established Dallas bus iness community, for whom the project was considered most important, began to organize their own operations in support of the canal. But their timing was off. A majority of Dallas citi zens had already grown concerned that the canal project was wasteful, particularly as national inflationary proble ms captured headlines and forced wage and price controls, when the space program based in large part in Texashad seen cuts in its funding, and when being a good steward of tax dollars was becoming a far more salient concern.26 In November, with the Canal Project issue as a major backdrop, Steelman easily won a seat in Congress, upsetting Cabell with an ast onishing 56 percent of the vote. For the canal 25 Ibid. 26 Ibid.

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156 projects opponents, however, Steelmans electi on was only the beginning of the fight. Seeing that a bond election in Dallas woul d be a necessary first step on the path toward the canals construction, COST shifted its focus away from Washington, DC and back to more local avenues of influence. Sensing that momentum was on its side, COST closely aligned itself with environmental engineers in Dallas who began to l eak reports to the press that the canal would result in deforestation and the pollution of several area lakes around which a number of DFW suburbs had been developed. While the Dallas business community tried to convince the area popul ace that what is good for downtown is good for them, suburban resi dents balked. In early 1973, COST exposed a report showing that eight of the twenty-four River Authority directors owned land in the Trinity River watershed, meaning that those business leaders most ardent in their support for canalization would also benefit most directly. The expanding suburban middle class in Dallas immediately objected. At this point, as middle-cl ass animus against the citys business elite was growing in the context of a tax war, the Dallas business community began to panic. Hoping to reinvigorate support, members of the community s business elite poured over $500,000 into a pro-canal public relations campaign, including a lavish gala celebra tion in support of the project. Every congressman from the area attende d the gala except oneAlan Steelman.27 COST organized its own public relations effort in the weeks leading up to the March 13 bond election. With the slogan, your money, their canal, COST rallied anti-tax conservatives and populists in both parties who had previously considered canalization a worthwhile and profitable endeavor. COST also welcomed the support of La Raza Unida, which rallied Hispanic voters against the canal through populist messages a nd anti-tax, anti-government diatribes. In early March, John Tower entered the fray on the si de of business, trying to use his conservative 27 Ibid.

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157 credentials to rebuild credibility for the canal among suburban voters and Hispanics. Towers decision was not only a mistake in that it le d to a decline in his own popularity among both constituencies, but also because it placed him on the losing side of an argument based on the principle that the federal government could not be trusted to do the right thing for local citizens. In the spring of 1973, just one year after COST organizers had been meeting in a living room with only a handful of particip ants, the Trinity River Canal Pr oject went down to a staggering defeat.28 The story of the Trinity Rive r Canal Project is an intere sting one because it depicts a successful grassroots campaign operating wi th the support of a young Republican leader overcoming the economic power of Dallas big busi ness on the basis of anti-government, anti-tax, anti-elitist rhetoric. This conservative gras sroots first attracted white suburbanites, but was eventually popular among Hispanics distrustful of a Democratic Party which it believed was all talk and no action when it came to helping their community. COST even attracted pockets of local environmentalist activists who, along with other Te xas liberals, viewed the state Democratic Partynot the GOPas their primary obs tacle on the road to political inclusion. What transpired in Dallas because of this issue do es not necessarily equate to a broader pattern of anti-liberalism and Republican growth at the gras sroots, but it does indicate the variety of issues around which white suburban grassroots conservativ es mobilized, as well as the instability of conservative Republican organization. Texans on the fringe of political power began to assert themselves with more tenacity in the early 1970s. Issues like school prayer and abortion slowly entered the mainstream of political discourse while the states abundant Mexican-American population also increased its involvement in Texas politics, and through a more diverse array of channels. Suburban whites 28 Ibid.

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158 rallied in opposition to federal intrusions that would seemingl y benefit their areas economy objections made almost solely on th e basis of taxation issues. It was in this tumultuous political context that the 1972 presidential campaign helped to crystallize these po litical impulses as evidence of liberalism run amok. The 1972 Campaigns On December 6, 1969, less than a year since his inauguration, Richard Nixon made his way into the visiting locker room of the University of Arkansass football stadium. There, much to the dismay of Penn State fans who were c onvinced that their undefeated Nittany Lions were the best team in America, Nixon presented the Un iversity of Texas footba ll team with a plaque, signifying his proclamation of the top-ranked Lo nghorns, having just defeated second-ranked Arkansas 15-14, as college footballs national champions for 1969. Five years later, during a commencement address at the school he worked for, Penn State Head Coach Joe Paterno famously wondered how Nixon could know so much about college football in 1969 and so little about Watergate in 1974. Nixons actions in Fayetteville that December day did not earn him any friends in Pennsylvania, but they certainly earned him friends in Austin, Texasand Nixon desperately wanted to be liked deep in the heart of Texas.29 Richard Nixons popularity acro ss the South soared in the early 1970s, primarily through his appeal for support from Americas Silent Majo rity. What many of the white Southerners in this Silent Majority really appreciated was the tough stand that Nixon was taking on public school integration measures like busing.30 Nixon also earned points in the South by continuing his pledge to address issues of crime and la wlessness through a reinvigorated commitment to 29 Miscellaneous Newspaper Clippings, Box 117, Folder 6: Clippings, James A. Baker Papers, Seeley G. Mudd Library, Princeton University, Prin ceton, NJ (Hereafter cited as SGML). 30 Matthew D. Lassiter, The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005).

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159 bulking up the nations law enforcement capabilities. By 1972, Republicans across the nation took pleasure in bragging that while serious crime rates had incr eased by as much as 19 percent during the last years of LBJs administration, sim ilar figures had virtually flatlined under Nixon. Projected against a backdrop of the 1960s, a decade which saw African Americans agitate against status quo discriminations in the South, messages of Law & Order often resonated with Texas whites, fearful that such chaos might be exte nded into their state. Th ere is little doubt that the increases Nixon enjoyed in his popularity am ong Southerners during the early 1970s can be traced to the same issues that won him support among conservatives in that region, indeed across the nation, in the late 1960snamely, issues of race.31 That story has been well-documented, but the story does not end there.32 Still, Nixons rising popularity in Texas was the result of much more than just his stands on busing, crime, or civil rights. On the one hand, of course, Nixon had never been all that popular in Texas, a reality which made even small increases to his favorabili ty ratings substantial and noticeable. Despite his be st efforts to be seen as a man of the people in 1968, many conservative and even some populist-leaning liberals dismissed Nixon, identifying him as a deceptive voice for the hated Eastern Establishmen t. Nixon, thanks in part to popular stands on issues like busing and crime, made great strides in unraveling this stereotype during his first years in office. On the other hand, Nixon benefite d from an atmosphere of social and cultural change that transcended the monocausal. Issu es like busing gave Nixon momentum in Texas, but no more or less than other i ssues which coalesced into a message that, in the coming years, 31 Washington Post May 15, 1972, Box 777, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML; Crime File, Box 779, George S. McGovern Papers, SGM; 1972 Campaign Factbook, PRP, Part II, Reel 11, Frame 39; Crime, October 12, 1972, PRP, Part II, Reel 12, Frame 154. 32 Kevin Kruse, White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005); Lassiter, The Silent Majority ; Dan T. Carter, The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, The Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1995).

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160 was perfected as a new wave of anti-liberalism. With Vice President Spiro T. Agnew serving as a very capable hatchet man, the Nixon White House established a consistent presence in Texas during the early 1970s. This presence was one through which messages were tailored to conservatives distaste for civil disobedience, anti -war protests, student up risings, and a growing fury targeted at elites, particularly in th e academic world and in the mass media, but not excluding elites such as those in the Dallas bus iness community whose partnership with the federal government on issues like the Trinit y River Canal Project compromised their identification with the middle class.33 In a very large sense, then, Nixons grow ing popularity in Texas during the early 1970s, and the seeming rise of Republican respectability during that same time, can just as easily be explained as statewide displeasure over the perc eived liberalization of the national Democratic Party. In fact, it was not so much that the Demo cratic Party was liberal, but that the Democratic Party seemed, to many Texans, to be radically and quickly moving to the far left. Gareth Davies has understood this as a period in which liberalism came to be redefined as a philosophy of entitlement, rather than opportuni tya period when identity politic s and civil rights seemed less extricable from the Democratic liberalism and mo re about seeking special rights rather than equal rights.34 Critically important in this timeline was 1972. That year, Vietnam remained a tough issue for Nixon, even in hawkish Texas. Po lls indicated that the publics trust in Nixon on Vietnam was fading, that patience was wearing thi n, and that many Texans actually preferred a new Republican nominee. Some conservatives in Texas even began preliminary efforts to organize a base of campaign operations for R onald Reagan, peppering th e California Governor 33 Schulman, The Seventies ; U.S. President, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1969-1974), Richard M. Nixon, 1972, 888-893; Managing Public Opinion April 11, 1970, Amarillo, TX, TX Libr ary Assoc., Box 4Ad27, George Christian Papers, CAH. 34 Gareth Davies, From Opportunity to Entitlement: The Transformation and Decline of Great Society Liberalism (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1996).

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161 with pleas to enter the race wh ile gathering pockets of momentum in traditionally Republican strongholds like suburban Houston. Reagan always rejected such pleas, but not without citing areas of disagreement between him and the Presiden t. Nonetheless, a sma ll but vocal number of Texas Republicans grew enchanted with the prosp ect of unseating the incu mbent figurehead of the party with the icon of conservative populism in the West.35 Clearly, the source of Nixons popul arity in Texas, which really began to spike only in late 1972, was not Nixon himself. Nixon lost Texa s in 1960; he lost again in 1968. Both defeats were to liberal Northern Democr ats who managed to convince the st ate that they were, in fact, moderate and not really all that different from the Republican nominee. The lesson: Texans, by and large, revert to Democratic traditions and lo yalties when they are not presented with a clear ideological distinction. Nixon would not make the same mistake for a third time. In 1972, Nixon made sure that Texans saw the difference between him and his opponent. Nixons ability to do this successfully was mainly, however, a cr edit to the Democratic Partys nomination of George McGovern for President of the United States. Put another way, McGovern made Nixons job in Texas much easier. By the eve of the Republican National Convention in August, pol ls indicated that Ni xons advantage over McGovern in Texas had reached a near 30 percent.36 This comfortably wide margin for the same man who had lost Texas just four years earlier cannot be explaine d as the result of any single issue, nor can it be explained as a collective change in Texans hearts. Nixons favorability ratings rose slightly in Texas during his first two years in office, with busing issues providing inroads into white suburban communities in plac es like Dallas, where school integration and 35 Republican National Committee, July 22, 1971, Denver CO, PRP, Part I, Series B, Reel 8, Frames 552569; New York Post July 5, 1972, GOP Credibility Problem, Box 779, George S. Mc Govern Papers, SGML; Form Letter from Ronald Reagan, January 1972, Political File, 1967-1972, Box 17, Deaver & Hannaford Papers, HI. 36 Dallas Morning News August 20, 1972, 13A.

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162 suburban expansion seemed to be happening mo st rapidly. By mid-1972, however, despite the fact that busing remained a topic fresh on th e minds of many Texans, Nixons popularity began to dip. Nixon tried to stand on his diplomatic ac hievementsparticularly his visits to China and the Soviet Unionbut such efforts were only margin ally effective in what was still a virulently anticommunist state. Nixon also championed economic issues like revenue sharing, a policy designed to send federal tax dolla rs into state coffers in orde r to subsidize state and local government. This was conceived as a way to cu rry favor with states rights advocates, but actually angered some conservative Texans who openly preferred federal tax breaks to revenue sharing. Nixon even tried to appeal to South Texas Hispanics and went out of his way to publicly thank Mexican-Americans for their contribut ions to national culture. Yet none of these efforts accomplished for Nixon what having Ge orge McGovern as an opponent could.37 McGovern was unpopular in Texas for a variety of reasons. He was hardly a friend to the states oil conservatives and was ha rshly criticized for his rather va gue calls to eliminate all tax loopholes, which were routinel y then coupled with diatri bes against th e oil industry.38 Aside from his stance on Vietnam, which openly appeal ed to the anti-war left wing of his party, McGoverns various other stands on foreign pol icy also troubled Te xas conservatives. McGovern could not, despite frequent pressure to do so, articulate a reasonable position on Americas alliance with Israel or Middle East policy in general. At the same time, his advocacy for a reduced nuclear arsenal and a stabilization of second strike defense growth contributed to many Texans growing association of liberalis m (and simultaneously, the Democratic Party) with, if not weakness, th en certainly with reductions in st rength. His suggestion that newly 37 Remarks of Charls E. Walker, November 29, 1972, Dallas, TX, Box 16, Charls E. Walker Papers, HI; 1972 Campaign Factbook, PRP, Part II, Reel 11, Frame 391; .S. President, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1969-1974), Richard M. Nixon, 1972, 888-893; Davies, From Opportunity to Entitlement 38 Economy File, Box 784, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML.

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163 appointed judges spend 10-15 days in jail in order to see what it was like was also not met with much enthusiasm in the Lone Star State. Neit her was his defense of marijuana users, of whom he said jail time was inappropriate unle ss the user was also acting as a dealer.39 Of particular disdain to conservatives in Texa s was McGoverns open associati on with long-haired hippies. In fact, frequently throughout the campaign, McGovern was derided as a friend to such constituents as a way to undermine his acceptabil ity to traditional Democrats. Such images speak to the power of percepti on in shaping ideological associ ations made between voters and candidates, as well as to gendered notions of strength and respectabil ityboth characteristics that changed in importance with resp ect to political cu lture in the 1970s.40 Although difficult to quantify, qualitative ev idence suggests that among conservative Texas Democrats who supported Nixon in 1968, most were ready to abandon the GOP ship in 1972, but refused to support McGovern on the basi s of his liberalism. Conservative Texas Democrats displeasure with McGovern began before he garnered the nomination. As the Democratic National Convention approached, the Texas delegati on leaned toward Hubert H. Humphrey. Texas Democrats support for Humphr ey, particularly in light of the fact that McGovern was seen as unacceptable, indicates an important divergence be tween factions within the party. Before the nominating convention, Hu mphrey was frequently recalled as a loyal follower of Lyndon Johnson, whose public image ma ny Texans were hoping to rehabilitate. Humphrey ran a populist campaign during the pr imary, championing himsel f as the Peoples Democrat who cared about th e street where you live.41 Texas Democrats largely responded well and went into the convention hoping to secu re the former vice president with his second 39 Campaign Files, Box 782, 784, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML ; Life Magazine Face to Face on the Issues, undated, Box 779, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML. 40 General Correspondence, Letter from Lawrence A. Carpenter, to George McGovern, June 15, 1972, Box 631, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML. 41 Media Strategy, March 9, 1972, PRP, Part II, Reel 11, Frames 890-899.

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164 straight nomination. McGoverns support in Texa s was weaker and far more attuned to national displeasure over the war in Vietnam. Many of Mc Governs supporters in Texas, including a pair of young campaign workers named Hillary Rodham and Bill Clinton, believed their candidate could offer the nation hope and optimismsometh ing for which virtuall y every poll indicated Texans desperately yearned.42 But McGoverns attempts to rally a Demo cratic base of support in Texas failed miserably. In 1968, the popular John Connally had organized all statewide campaign efforts for Humphrey, despite the fact that Connally disagr eed with Humphrey on a number of issuesthe war in Vietnam, most notably. Connallys support and loyalty in 1968 contributed to Humphreys win in Texas. In 1972, Connally, fo llowing an appointment to Nixons cabinet as Secretary of the Treasury, chaired the Texas Democrats for Nixon organization. Connallys willingness to abandon the Democratic ship inspired many other conservative Texas Democrats to do the same and was a crucial moment fo r the state GOP. As Connallys support lent significant respectability to the Republican Party in Texas, McGoverns failures in the state had profound consequences for the perceptions of th e Democratic Party. An examination of each campaigns manipulation of image a nd media reflects this failure. Richard Nixons campaign strategy in Texas was based on efforts to connect McGovern to dangerous and irresponsible weakness, partic ularly with regard to Vietnam. Nixon often spoke in Texas of McGoverns willingness to s urrender Southeast Asia to the communists. Nixon claimed that McGovern would roll back all of the current administrations foreign policy achievements and reduce the nations arms holdings to a level less than before Pearl Harbor. Sensing an opportunity, many Texas Republican s jumped on the bandwagon they hoped would 42 General Correspondence, Box 600, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML; Washington Post May 15, 1972, Box 782, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML; Dallas Morning News, February 3, 1972.

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165 fix an association among grassroots conservative s between weakness and the Democratic Party. Coordinated Republican campaign efforts acros s Texas routinely emphasized McGoverns liberalism ahead of local or st ate issues, even in local and state races. Texas Republicans constantly used the words McGovern and surre nder in the same sentence, spoke often of Democratic weakness, and jumped at the chance to use the word liberal as the quickest and easiest descriptor of all such attitudes.43 While McGovern became a major focus for conservative Texans, Texas was not a major focus for McGovern. This was evident particular ly in August, when McGovern scheduled a visit to the LBJ Ranch to confer with the former pr esident and receive his endorsement. During his visit, McGovern tried to empha size a number of similarities w ith Johnson. McGovern first established a rapport with Johnson on the basis of their having experienced similar paths on the rise to public office. McGovern also tried to find common cause with Johnsons own quest for peace in Southeast Asia, a strate gy designed to shift the blame for American involvement in Vietnam from the Democrat Johnson to the Re publican Nixon. McGovern also highlighted Johnsons insistence on larger role s for women in his campaigns, noting that LBJ was the first Texan to make such an insistence. Lastly, the Democratic nominee portrayed himself as sharing with Johnson a deeply felt populist hostility to big business and to the interests. 44 Although the event received considerable press coverage, McGoverns strategists were under no illusions that the meeting would boost their candidates support in Texas. The discussion between the two public figures was scri pted prior to the actual meeting and certain topics were deemed inappropriate and potential ly dangerous. For inst ance, McGoverns staff 43 Memorandum to: State and Local Staffers, from: Frederic V. Malek, October 20, 1972, Box 117, Folder 13: Committee for the Re-Election of the President, Jame s A. Baker Papers, SGML; Mc Govern Manual, PRP, Part II, Reel 10, Frames 653-778. 44 Memorandum for Milt Gwertzman, August 17, 1972 Box 329, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML.

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166 strongly discouraged their candi date from even mentioning Ra lph Yarboroughs name for fear that the association with such a liberal would permanently e nd any hopes they had for carrying Texas. This was a curious strategy consideri ng that Texas liberals had encouraged Yarborough to run for Governor in 1972 as a way to help Mc Govern. However, McGovern was also told not to mention John Connally who, despite having su ccessfully organized the Humphrey campaign in 1968 in the midst of rampant intra-party di scord, had angered LBJ in 1972 for organizing the Democrats for Nixon operation out of Texas. Johnson was slowly surrendering associations with the conservative wing of his party and Connallys own personal wrestling with partisan affiliation foreshadowed a conservative grassroot s undercurrent that came to envelope the state over the next eight years. I s ee relatively little immediate value in trying to rela te the meeting to the political situation in Texa s, one frustrated McGovern strate gist wrote of the press op with LBJ.45 Shortly after his meeting at the LBJ Ranc h, McGovern was advised to pull all campaign monies allocated to television advertising in Texas. Strategists working in the McGovern campaign, upon reexamination of national political re alities, divided states into two categories: needed or not-needed. Their analysis showed that 55 percent of Mc Governs advertising expenditures were being wasted on states not-n eeded. Seeing no chance of carrying Texas, McGoverns campaign announced plans to funnel virtually all advertising expenditures into states he needed, including California, New York, Pennsylvania, Illi nois, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Practically no effort was made by the McGovern campaign to change voters minds in Texas or other parts of the South.46 45 Ibid. 46 Letter from George S. McGovern, to Elizabeth Doremus, August 26, 1971, Box 600, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML; Letter from Lawrence A. Carpenter, to George McGovern, June 15, 1972, Box 631, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML; Letter from Charles Guggenheim to George McGovern, TV Advisors, Inc,

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167 What little media exposure McGovern was able to generate and c ontrol in Texas came through national channels, where hi s anti-war message, hostility to the oil industry, commitment to reducing the size of the military, and open a ppeals to civil rights and feminist activists contributed to a collective imag e of liberal entitlement rather than equality, opportunity, or certainly Texas-style anti-elitism. McGoverns style caused him problems as well. His speeches were often riddled with tec hnicalities and he was regularly criticized for sounding like a professional economist, though his training was as an academic historian. He appeared passive and struggled to master the art of looking the camera or people in the eye. McGovern missed multiple opportunities to connect with middle cl ass whites in Texas, a failing which played perfectly into Nixons strategy whereby the Democr atic Party had become the party of weakness, surrender, and Eastern Establishment elitism. 47 McGovern did appeal to the states racial a nd ethnic minorities, even taking time to speak to the states Native American population. McGove rn appealed to black Texans and liberals by supporting percent the polic y of busingsaying that he fa vored busing children, busing teachers, and busing money. Whereas most De mocratic candidates typically campaigned in East Texas hoping to earn white votes, McGovern campaigned in East Te xas with the hope of earning the unwavering loyalty of the regions African Ameri can population. McGovern told crowds of East Texas blacks that George Wall ace and the conservative wing of the Democratic Party stood directly between them and greater political freedom. He also told audiences in Texas that Nixon had failed to improve the nations safety because he had failed to see that the root of criminal activity was white racism, drugs, and povert y. He told Texans that the solution to these August 22, 1972, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML; Letter from TV Advisors, Inc., September 7, 1972, Box 874, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML. 47 Davies, From Opportunity to Entitlement ; Campaign Files, Box 784; Memorandum, To: George McGovern, From: Don OBrien, Re: California Campaign, June 9, 1972, Box 329, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML.

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168 issues was greater racial equa lity, gun control, and even s uggested taxing toy guns and toy soldiers at a 50 percent clip as a way to discourage parents fr om conditioning their children to violence.48 McGovern often spoke about having a constituen cy of the disaffected. Certainly, racial and ethnic minorities fit into this category, as did, in his esti mation, Americas youth. Having come from an academic world, McGovern felt co mfortable reengaging students and faculty at colleges and universities. McGoverns opponent s derided his 1972 campaign as a AAA appeal to the youth of the American Left on issues of acid, amnesty, and abortion. He tried to sound like a populist when he spoke of the nation suffering from Nixonismwhich gives aid and comfort to the banks and big business at the expe nse of the little man, but rarely, if ever, targeted these messages to rural and working-class Texas Democrats.49 Whatever appeal McGovern made in Texas diffe red little from his app eals to the anti-war left wing of his party. McGovern promised to end the war in Vietnam within the first ninety days of his administration. When given a chance to talk about local economic issues, he made comments such as, everybody is talking about high prices and boycotting the supermarkets. I say, the price of the war is too high and we s hould boycott the war! McG overns only effective strategy in Texas, and the one he had the best oppor tunity to use in order to make inroads into the populist-leanings of both state cons ervatives and liberals, was to hammer the issue of corruption and government dishonesty.50 McGovern criticized Nixon for misleading the nation by failing to 48 Material for Senator McGovern, from Hal Goodman, March 31, 1972, Incomplete FCC Correspondence, May 31, 1972, Box 329, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML; Letter from George S. McGovern, to Juanita Ahtone, August 26, 1971, Box 600, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML; General Correspondence, Report on the Conference of American Associates of Politi cal Consultants, March 11-13, 1972, Box 631, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML; Address by Jesse Jackson, March 18, 1972, Box 777, Blacks, Untitled Speech on Crime, Box 779, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML. 49 H. W. Brands. The Strange Death of American Liberalism (New Haven: Yale Un iversity Press, 2000); Incomplete FCC Correspondence, May 31, 1972, Box 329, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML. 50 General Correspondence with Professors from Texas, Box 600, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML.

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169 reveal his secret plan to wi n the war during the 1968 campaign, yet rarely managed to touch on issues of government corruption and dishonesty w ithout doing so in the context of the Vietnam War. Thus, McGovern overshadowed a potenti ally fruitful campaign issue in Texas by indirectly emphasizing the very i ssues that Nixon had successfully used to paint the Democratic nominee as an agent of the far leftreplete w ith images of surrender, weakness, and communist appeasement.51 In November, though voter ap athy resulted in the lowest turnout for a presidential election since 1948, Nixon trounced McGovern. Nationally, Nixon ca ptured over 60 percent of the vote, compared to McGoverns 37 percent. In Texas, the margin was even greater, with Nixon winning 66 percent of the vote, compared to McGoverns 33 percent. Nixon carried 246 of 254 Texas counties, became the first GOP candidate in history to win a ma jority of the states Catholic vote, which he carried 56-33, and won 59 percent of Texa s blue-collar workers. 52 This success translated even more h eavily in the states two larges t cities. In Houston, Nixon won both of the citys Jewish precinc ts by more than 60 percent, w on the blue-collar vote 68-31, and carried the youth vote 60-40. McGovern domin ated among Houston blacks, 97-3, and won the Mexican-American vote 68-32, but the small population and low turnout rendered these successes electorally insignificant.53 In Dallas, Nixon carried an overall vote of 70 percent. He carried youth voters by as much as 84-16 in some precincts, blue-colla r voters by an overall margin of 77-23, senior citizensthe most yellow of the yellow-dog Texans-22, and upperclass white voters by an astounding 89-11 percent.54 51 Material for Senator McGovern, from Hal Goodman, March 31, 1972, Box 329, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML; Corruption File, Box 779, George S. Mc Govern Papers, SGML; Vietnam, misc. File, Box 800, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML. 52 1972 Election Report: The Polls, November 22, 1972, PRP, Part II, Reel 12, Frame 171. 53 1972 Election Report: The Cities Houston, November 29, 1972, PRP, Part II, Reel 12, Frame 182. 54 1972 Election Report: The Cities Dallas, Decembe r 11, 1972, PRP, Part II, Reel 12, Frame 206.

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170 Nixon had finally won in Texas, carrying th e state by a 2-1 margin. Nixons landslide helped Texas Republicans gain seven seats in th e State House of Repres entatives but only one additional seat in the State Senate. These gains were significant, but not overwhelming. In the weeks following the election, pundits and analysts in Texas assessed the fallout from the campaign and determined that Nixons success wa s almost solely the result of McGoverns liberalism. Nixon was considered a moderate by most Texas conservatives while those same voters viewed McGovern as a liberal extremist. Democrats maintained control in most local and state races, while Nixons attempt to remove himself from partisan ship alienated Texas Republican insiders. Virtually all political observers concluded that while the Texas GOP was making strides, it was not yet a two-party state; Nixons support there wa s little more than an utter rejection what they de fined as McGovern liberalism.55 McGoverns liberalism also benefited John Tower, though Tower began to squander some of that benefit in Dallas in early 1973 dur ing the battles over the Trinity River Canal Project. Towers previous two senate campaigns had both been considered significant upsets. Texas Democrats hoped 1972 would fina lly be the year that their pa rty regained the Senate seat lost in 1961 and rested much of that hope on a belief that Tower was vulnerable on the very issues that seemed to be sparking the new populis t-conservative revival. More specifically, conservative insiders in the Texas Democratic Party formulated a generic campaign strategy to defeat Tower based on the Republican Senators r ecord on crime, taxes, economics, and failure to, as they began to put it work for the common man.56 In order to succeed, however, conservative Texas Democrats needed to distance themselves and their partisan identity from 55 Austin American Statesman June 13, 1972, 1A; Lubbock Avalanche-Journal November 9, 1972, 1A; Texas Observer December 1, 1972, 4-6; Texas Still Not a Two-Party State, Houston Chronicle November 19, 1972, Box 117, Folder 6: Clippings. James A. Baker Papers, SGML; 1972 Election Report: Editorial Reaction, December 6, 1972, PRP, Part II, Reel 12, Frame 226. 56 1972 Election Report: The Cities Dallas, December 11, 1972, PRP, Part II, Reel 13, Frames 860-955.

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171 McGovern. Extricating themselves from that liberal quagmire proved difficult. Conversely, Tower, whose organizing theme was to mak e Texas a true Two-Pa rty State, based his campaign squarely on ideological grounds.57 Tower lost some support when his opponent, Harold Barefoot Sandersa former Assistant A ttorney General and Legislative Assistant to President Johnsondefeated Ralph Yarborough in the Democratic primary. Without Yarborough to worry about, many Texas Democrat s believed they could successfully run an honestly moderate and populist-leaning Democrat against Tower.58 Texas Democrats underestimated, however, the po tency of using ideological loyalties as a foundational context for waging a statewide camp aign. In June 1972, Tower began to associate Sanders with McGovern and a nati onally liberalizing Democratic Pa rty. Prior to the Democratic convention, Sanders, unlike the Democrats gubern atorial candidate, Dolph Briscoe, made the mistake of announcing that he would faithfully s upport the presidential nominee of his party, no matter who that turned out to be. Virtually overnight, Sanders favorab ility ratings declined almost in perfect alignment with the number of Texas voters who perceived Sanders as liberal. Between June and November, Texans collectively characterizing Sanders as somewhat liberal increased 10 percent. The number of Texans characterizing Sanders as very conservative decreased 10 percent. Even more importantly, the number of Texans ch aracterizing Sanders as middle of the road declined, by 6 percent. Sa nders knew that McGovern was the source of his unpopularity. In response, Sanders refused to make any public appearances with McGovern, despite offers to do so from the national campaign.59 57 There is a Difference, Folder 5, Box 639, Tower Senate Club, JTP. 58 A Research Proposal Presented to the Honorable John Tower, For th e 1978 Senatorial Campaign, June 1977, Folder 19, Box 542, Tower Senate Club, JTP. Yarborough had been encouraged to run for governor by many state liberals, but decided, in stead, to try and regain a seat in the United States Senate 59 Ibid.; Bass and DeVries, The Transformation of Southern Politics 313; Dallas Morning News July 15, 1972, 1A.

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172 The proof that ideological asso ciations with the liberal McGo vern directly contributed to Towers victory in 1972 is in the proverbial pudding. Among voters who saw Sanders becoming more liberal, Tower won 57-33 percent. Among voters who saw Sanders staying conservative, Sanders won 50-40 percent. The problem for Sanders was that, according to statewide polling, there was a 20 percent swing in th e number of voters identifyi ng the Democratic Senate nominee as increasingly liberal versus those who saw him staying conser vative. Tower carried selfidentifying conservative Texans at a rate of three to one, broke even with Sanders among moderates, and only lost among self-identifyi ng liberals. Tower became the first Texas Republican to win a plurality of Hispanic voters, even outdoing his own impressive 1966 performance among that ethnic minority.60 Nonetheless, Towers support fe ll short of Nixons in Texas. Why? Tower was widely seen as among the most vocal opponents of busin g in the entire United States Senate. Yet Towers support was lower than Nixons, and si gnificantly so in cities where white suburban angst over busing was among the most intense in th e state. Political ob servers at the time, arguing that Towers victory was the result of McGoverns un popularity, also noted that the Republican Senator was no longer viewed as a strong advocate for conservative values, particularly as social and religi ous issues had slowly made thei r way into the publics political consciousness. In Houston, for instance, Nixon won easily wh en directly compared to McGovern. Tower also carried Houston, but with less enthusiasm, likely because his campaign only indirectly contrasted to McGover n. In other words, voters easily rejected McGovern in favor of 60 A Research Proposal Presented to the Honorable John Tower, For th e 1978 Senatorial Campaign, June 1977, Folder 19, Box 542, Tower Senate Club, JTP; Decision Making Information Polls, Sept. 1974, Folder 16, Box 638, Tower Senate Club, JTP; Election 2: The Mexican American Vote in Texas, February 1973, Folder 6, Box 454, Tower Senate Club, JTP.

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173 his opponent, but had to actively make the c onnection between Sanders, liberalism, and McGovern before casting a vote for Tower. At the same time, Houston boasted some of Ronald Reagans earliest centers of support and many lo cal pundits speculated that Tower had alienated the populist-leaning conservatives in Texas by aligning himself, at least as far as his public image was concerned, with the Eastern Establishment.61 One conclusion seemed certain: for both Richard Nixon and John Tower, their oppon ents image was everythingand that image was liberal. The early 1970s anti-liberal backlash in Te xas was consequential in several ways. For state Democrats, intra-party di visions were exacerbated as conservatives found themselves increasingly at odds with the liberalizing nati onal party. Though conservatives were still the dominant majority in Texas, the strength of th e national liberal movement emboldened the liberal Texas minority trying to operate within the Democratic Party.62 This emboldening intensified the animosity felt between ideological factions in Texas and coincided with the Republican Partys growth through the addition of religious and social conservati ves and ideologically minded conservative libe rtarians and populists. Yet the intra-party factionalism at work in bot h parties had distinctly different results. For Democrats, the divisions seemed to be tear ing the formerly dominant national party apart, while for Republicans the divisions, though tumult uous at times, allowed for growth. Bruce Schulman has argued that by the early 1970s, A merican conservatism was emerging from a slow, painful transformation. As the geographic locus of conservative politics had moved South and West, the nation had changed; it became mo re populist, more middle-class, more anti61 Austin American Statesman June 13, 1972, 1A; Lubbock Avalanche-Journal November 9, 1972, 1A; Texas Observer December 1, 1972, 4-6; Washington Post October 13, 1972, Box 777, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML; A Research Proposal Pr esented to the Honorable John Tower, For the 1978 Senatorial Campaign June 1977, Folder 19, Box 542, Tower Senate Club, JTP. 62 Houston Post February 6, 1971, Box 4C518, Harris County Democratic Party Records, CAH.

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174 establishment. McGoverns nomination in 1972 alienated large segments of the moderate and conservative population and forced many Texans to r eexamine their political loyalties in light of the increasing estrangement between conservatism and the Democratic Party.63 It was also in the early 1970s that the word liberal became much more synonymous among conservatives with the word Democrat. Re search reports conducted for the RNC in 1972 indicated that most Americans associated li beralism with individualism, advocacy for the underprivileged, and a free-thinking hos tility toward special interests. With the expressed intent of undermining this definition, the RNC funneled strategy papers to stat e and local campaigns within which a concerted effort was made to li nk liberalism with weakne ss, permissiveness, and relativistic amorality. By painting McGovern as a weak, bleeding-heart liberal, conservatives both nationally and in Texas managed to undermine the perceived ideological traditions of the Democratic Party.64 The strategy of coupling Democratic liberalism with a host of pejoratives collectively intended to redefine liberalism as a philosophy of entitlement and weakness was most effective against McGovern, but was not limited to him. During the 1972 campaign, Texas Republicans openly questioned George Wallaces persistent candidacy for nati onal power as a threat. Some Texans even viewed Wallace as an advocate of dangerous and collectivist welfare state politics.65 Among many volunteers working for Repub lican candidates in Texas, George Wallace, whose name among many Republicans c onnoted extremism and unprofessionalism, was simply not a name they wanted their campaign to be associated with.66 Similar but more 63 Dallas Morning News, February 3, 1972, Box 589, Preston Smith Papers, SWC; Schoenwald, A Time for Choosing, 251-265; Schulman, The Seventies 113-14. 64 McGovern Manual, PRP, Part II, Reel 10, Frames 653-778; Davies, From Opportunity to Entitlement 65 Schoenwald, A Time for Choosing 252. 66 Lynda L. Kaid, Interview with Author, November 7, 2006, Gainesville, FL. Kaid served as a campaign worker for Paul Eggers gubernatorial campaign in 1970 and John Towers senate campaign in 1972.

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175 benign criticisms were also commonly levied against Nixon, whose willi ngness to maintain high levels of federal spending to support domestic programs rankled conservatives disgruntled over the disconnect that they claimed existed between Nixons words and his ac tions as president. Criticizing Nixon was certainly not an expressed part of the RNCs plan to redefine liberalism, but was an outgrowth of concerted efforts on the pa rt of conservatives to aggressively label their opponents for political benefit. The quest to labe l Democrats as dangerous and out of step with American values was always a prime goal, but for many grassroots conser vatives, purging the Republican Party of closet liberalism was equally imperative. The 1972 campaigns served as a monumental stepping stone, not so much on th e road toward Republican respectability, but certainly on the path toward burying the New Deal coalition and destroyi ng the states yellowdog loyalties.67 Switching Grassroots conservatives mobilized around a va riety of issues in the early 1970s. The 1972 presidential campaign strained partisan a llegiances and made ideology a more visible qualifier for support in Texas. As these conservati ves reconsidered their pa rtisan allegiances and redefined their ideological convictions, they also mobilized around social issues, economic issues, and anti-liberal hostility toward the national Democratic Party. There was a feeling among many Texans that the time was nearing wh en ideological polarizat ion would necessitate partisan realignment. This feeling intensified in May 1973 wh en John Connally announced that he was leaving the Democratic Party to b ecome a Republican. Connallys announcement shook the political world in Texas to the point that state newspaper editorials began to envision a scenario by which a Connally pres idential campaign might be the necessary link connecting state 67 James T. Patterson, Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), CH 23.

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176 conservatives with the Republican Party.68 Just months earlier, Conna lly had eulogized his longtime political ally and friend, Lyndon Johnson from the same pulpit used that day by Billy Graham. Connallys eulogy triggered national r ecollections of John F. Kennedys assassination in Dallas less than ten years earlier and closel y linked Connally to the two major icons of 1960s liberalism. Though Connally had served in Rich ard Nixons administration as Secretary of the Treasury and chaired the Democrats for Nixon operations in 1972, few Texas conservatives received the news of his switch as anything less than significant.69 Members of both parties characterized Connally as the quintessentia l rugged Texanconservative, tough, and in possession of an important key to the conservative vote in Texas.70 Yet at the same time, Connally also appeared far more polished than did some of his conservative brethren. Connally biographer Ja mes Reston once described the former Texas Governors presence in his hom e state as almost regal. Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, Connally masterfully utilized the media in Texa s to communicate, as Reston put it, grace and charm, particularly as he refused to spe w race venom as other Southern governors were accustomed to doing. John Connallys Texas was the Texas of the space ageof skyscrapers, technology, and beginning in May of 1973, Republicanism.71 Connallys decision to switch reflected what was becoming a much more common impulse among conservative Texans. After a ll, Connallys career had been marked by Democratic loyalties. He was born in 1917 in a small town south of San Antonio and served as 68 Texas Monthly September 1973, John Connally Between the Acts, Undated, Houston Chronicle clipping, Box 4C518, Harris County Democratic Party Records, CAH. 69 Press Release, Democrats for Nixon, October 31, 1972, Box 782, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML; Dallas Morning News August 21, 1972, 1A, 8A; U.S. President, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1969-1974), Richard M. Nixon, 1972, 893-901; James Reston, The Lone Star: The Life of John Connally (New York: Harpers & Row, 1989), 443-444. 70 Issues and Answers Transcript, June 4, 1972, Box 777, George S. McGovern Papers, SGML. 71 Texas Monthly May 1973, Farewell to LBJ: A Hill Country Valediction; Texas Monthly September 1973, John Connally Between the Acts; Reston, The Lone Star 321-322.

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177 student body president at the Univer sity of Texas at Austin before joining the United States Navy during World War II, where he survived numerou s close encounters with enemy combatants. Following the war, Connally worked closel y with Lyndon Johnsons 1946 congressional campaign and was instrumental in securing J ohnsons 87-vote win, (wheth er by legitimate or illegitimate means remains a mystery), in th e infamous senate campaign of 1948. Taking a bullet from the same rifle that assassinated John Kennedy catapulted Connally into a position of national prominence, as did his subsequent gube rnatorial elections in 1964 and 1966. Connally agreed to head Hubert Humphreys Texas cam paign after his good friend Lyndon decided not to seek the Democratic Party nomination again in 1968, but rivalries within the state party and liberalization at the national level, particular ly on the issue of Vietnam, pushed Connally increasingly close to the Re publican side of the aisle.72 Connallys association with the Republican Party was not all, however, of his own initiative. Republicans like John Tower leaped at the opportunity to align himself with a conservative Texas icon the magnitude of Connally and such courtships ce rtainly flattered the former governor.73 Nobody, however, was more enthralle d with the notion of rubbing elbows with Texas power than the Presid ent of the United States. Wanting desperately to win the hearts of Texas conservatives, not simply on the basis of McGovernsor any other opponents liberalism, but on his own merit, Richard Nixon often obsessed about Texas. Befriending John Connally was one way, Nixon believed, to bolster hi s own credentials there. After appointing Connally as Secretary of the Tr easury in 1971, Nixon often consulted LBJs former confidant on political decisions and told his staff to mainta in close contact with Connally on major decisions.74 Nixon was fascinated by the kind of power Conna lly and LBJ had, at various times, wielded in 72 Reston, The Lone Star 73 Watergate Speech (Draft), 1974, by John To wer, Folder 1, Box 20, Press Office, JTP. 74 Handwritten Notes, February 15, 1971, Box 2, John Ehrlichman Papers, HI.

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178 Texas. Connallys aura as a man with deep political connectionssomeone who knew where all the bodies were burieddrew Nixon to Conna lly as much as Connally was drawn to the Republican Party.75 Nixon admired Connally so much that, in early 1972, he seriously considered asking Agnew to step aside in order to make room for the former Texas Governor on the national ticket. Only Connallys Democra tic affiliation and personal reluctance to accept such a nomination prevented a post-Watergate Connally administration.76 In later years Nixon wrote that Connally was the only man in either party who clearly had the potential to be a great president.77 But the political winds never bl ew exactly in Connallys dire ction. That does not mean, however, that the wind was not blowing. In fact throughout the early 1970s, one particular wind blew harder and more often than any othera nd contributed a powerful source of energy to the gathering political storm in Texas. The wind th at ripped through the Lone Star State with more fury than any other, including broadly defined anti-liberalism aimed at the national Democratic Party and the likes of George McGovern, was th e wind of scandal and co rruption. The politics of scandal and corruption had grown potent in Texas through the Sharpstown Stock Fraud Scandal that tore through the halls of the state capitol in Austin between 1971 and 1972, laying waste to many in the conservative Democratic establishment. The po litics of scandal and corruption were revived in 1973 and 1974, though this time the focus was on the White House. Watergate Though not the only scandal on the minds of Texas voters in the ea rly 1970s, Watergate no doubt contributed heavily to the paranoia, distrust, and pervasiv e dissatisfaction citizens felt 75 Reston, The Lone Star 378-380. 76 Memorandum, August 22, 1972, Committee for the Re-Election of the President, Box 117, Folder 13. James A. Baker Papers, SGML. 77 Reston, The Lone Star 443-444.

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179 toward politics and government. Historians have debated the effect of Wa tergate in the context of modern conservatisms national growth in the last quarter of the twen tieth century. Some, like Jonathan Schoenwald, see Watergate as a stumb ling block on the road to national Republican dominance. Others, like Bruce Schulman, s ee Watergate as enabling a GOP takeover by the Reagan-wing of the party.78 James T. Patterson has argued th at Watergate simply brought to a head the growing animus against government which had been building for a decade. Vietnam, a sagging economy, and corruption in multiple form s provoked a wave of anti-government stands in the early 1970s. Both nationally and in Te xas, the number of i ndividuals identifying themselves as independent, rather than affilia ted with either party, increased during the early 1970s. If a citizen, therefore, re jected both parties as untrustwo rthy, but refused to drop out of the political process entirely, he or she could take an anti-stati st or populist stand and maintain (and even increase) their own respectabil ity and sense of political legitimacy.79 Simply put, anti-statist attitudes helped tear down traditions and partisan loyalties both nationally and in Texas. By the beginning of 1975, with Gerald Fords pardon of Nixon still fresh on peoples minds, over sixty percent of Amer icans believed that government leadership was worse than it had been a decade earlier. Ce rtainly, Americans distrust in government did not begin with Watergate and the various associated scandals. Polls in 1 958 indicated that nearly eighty percent of the American public trusted th eir government to do the right thing when called to act. Those numbers began to d ecline in 1964 during Lyndon Johnsons administration and continued to weaken steadily until the Wa tergate scandal allowed for a flooding of antigovernment animosity and paranoia into the mainst ream discourse of American politics. Though 78 Schoenwald, A Time for Choosing 220; Schulman, The Seventies 43-48, 51; Craig Shirley, Reagans Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign that Started it All (Nashville, TN: Nelson Curr ent, 2005), CH 2. 79 James T. Patterson, Restless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush v. Gore (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).

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180 Watergate did not cause the decline in peoples tr ust in government, it did lend credibility to and fuel anti-establishment personalities.80 In Texas, it seems clear in hindsight that Watergate, though certainly not a starting point, was a necessary step on the path toward a legitima te and competitive two-party political culture. As conservative Democrats had an increasingly difficult time distancing themselves from the perceived liberalization of the national party, es tablished Texas Republicans unsuccessfully tried to juggle their personal loyalties to Nixon with the publics seemingly pervasive disdain for corruption. In many ways, Watergate was another salvo in the decline of John Towers viability as a spokesperson for Texas conservatives. T hough Towers anti-government rhetoric became far more vitriolic in the aftermath of Watergate, his unf linching loyalty to Nixon during the scandal invited criticism in Texas.81 Between 1973 and 1974, Tower seemed embroiled in a war of words with members of the Texas press, whic h he believed had unfairly misrepresented Nixon and the entire affair. Privately, Tower feared th at Watergate would turn Texans away from the GOP, thus stalling or destroying gains he and other party leaders had made on the path toward two-party politics in the state.82 In reality, Towers fears were only partiall y warranted. Many Texans did temporarily turn away from the GOP in the aftermath of Wa tergate, but voting for Democrats was certainly nothing new in Texas and did not necessarily repr esent a backlash. At the same time, however, conservative Texans were also turning away from the Democratic Party. As they bolted, state liberals eagerly jumped in and enhanced their pr esence and influence in Austin and in the state 80 Memorandum to Governor Reagan, from Peter D. Hannaford, July 3, 1974, Box 1, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI; Poll Reports, PRP, Part II, Reel 12, Frame 986. 81 The Hidden Tax of Government Regulation, by John Tower, September 1975, Folder 53, Box 17, JTP; Draft Letter, August 8, 1975, by John Towe r, Folder 51, Box 17, Press Office, JTP. 82 Draft of Op-Ed for Dallas Times Herald by John Tower, December 1973 Folder 40, Box 17, Press Office, JTP; 1974 Draft of Op-Ed, Folder 41, Box 17, Pre ss Office, JTP; Watergate Speech (Draft), 1974, by John Tower, Folder 1, Box 20, Press Office, JTP.

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181 Democratic Party.83 On the other side of the aisle, the state Republican Party, by 1976, would be in the middle of a civil war be tween the establishe d party leadershipwhose loyalty to Nixon bordered on the irrationaland the populist-leaning conservatives whose champion was a former Hollywood actor and governor of California.84 Scandals like Watergate contributed to the breaking apart of the established political status quo in Texas. The result was a tumult uous campaign culture in which more political organizations began to operate in and through the grassroots. The birth and development of such groups reflected the urgency and angst motivati ng many Texans. Another important result, and perhaps a more tangibly felt one, was the Democra tic wave that swept mo st elections across the state in 1974. Yet it was clear to many conser vative Texans, even at the time, that the Democratic successes in 1974 had li ttle to do with the Democratic or Republican Parties and much to do with Richard Nixon and Watergate. Richard Nixon had never been popular in Texas and he knew it, which is what drove his obsession to curry fa vor in that state during his presidency. Nixons 1972 triumph had been a rejection of McGovern, so when Texas conservatives had a legitimate reason to turn against Nixon, the turn was easily made. In 1974, most candidates in Texas, the majority of whom were still Democrats, ran overt campaigns dealing with issues of corruption in Washington, DC, while state GOP establishment regulars, still trying to maintain loyalty to Ni xon and the new Ford admi nistrationloyalty based on patronage and decades of tradition whereby th e national party was the only thing keeping the state GOP afloatstruggled to reconcile their party loyalties with a growing conservative populist fervor.85 83 Texas Monthly April 1974, Bob and George Go to Washington or The Post-Watergate Scramble. 84 Houston Post, May 8, 1974, Box 4C519, Harris County Democratic Party Records, CAH; Newsweek November 24, 1975, Box 2, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI. 85 Brands, The Strange Death of American Liberalism 132; Cannon, Governor Reagan, 386.

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182 Ronald Reagan, however, was not one of those st ate party regulars. It is, therefore, not surprising that the California Governor and aspiring presiden tial candidate made a strong showing in Texas throughout 1973 and 1974. Though Reagan publicly acknowledged his support for Nixon and the party, his rhetoric be trayed an agenda that was thoroughly antiWashington, anti-government, and appealed to disaffected Texans angry over politi cal corruption in both parties. In November 1973, Reagan vis ited Houston, billing himself as a Crusader for the Disaffected. Reagans speech lambasted co rrupt politicians in both parties and demanded that the voice of the people be heard, listened to, and respected.86 Reagan cannot be singularly cr edited as a visionary who spoke instinctively to the needs of Texas voters. Rather, Reagans team of political strategists began informing their boss as early as 1973 that the possibility existed to make a splash in places like Texas, which was entering a period of rapid and pos sibly irreversible change about the way people feel toward institutions. Reagans adviso rs added that, the public is cu rrently angry, mean, and in a frustrated mood and encouraged Reagan to take advantage of this mood by highlighting governments failures, misrepresentations, and in competence, while at th e same time using his skill and charm as a political communicator to br ing a sense of hope and optimism to those who had neither.87 Reagan certainly capitalized on this colle ctive anger and frustration, especially in Texas, which he had already identified as a pot entially major base of operations for future presidential campaigns. During the spring of 1974, Reagan spoke at both Texas Republican fundraiserswhere the established leadership kn ew he was sure to draw a large turnoutand before local civic organizations unc onnected to either major party. In February, for instance, he 86 Ibid.; November 19, 1973, Chicago Tribune p. 1, Box 92, Issues Office, Noel Sterrett Files, Jimmy Carter Papers (Pre-Presidential): 1976 Presidential Campaign Files, Jimmy Carter Library, Atlanta, GA. 87 Memorandum to Governor Reagan, from Peter D. Hannaford, July 3, 1974, Box 1, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI.

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183 spoke to the Dallas Crime Commission about the n eed for stronger law enforcement, while at the same time linking criminal activity, disorder, an d chaos to the incompetence and false-promises of big government. Reagan made numerous ot her appearances in Texas between 1973 and 1975 and during each, prioritized his c ourtship of the conservative gr assroots, most of which still claimed Democratic loyalties.88 Many Texas conservatives, regardless of party, saw Reagan as a solution to the corruption of the Washington Establishment. Reagan attracted middle class suburbanites and rural voters alike, and many of these individual s donated small sums to the Citizens for Reagan operation. Many, in donating to Citizens for Reaga n, openly proclaimed that they preferred to give their money straight to Reagan than to s ee it contribute to the stat e Republican Party. For many Texans, trust was offered first to Reagan, a nd only later to Reagans party. Another direct outgrowth of Reagans appeal in Texas was the adoption, at the 1974 Texas GOP Convention, of several resolutions highly critical of the Ford administration. Though mostly symbolic, these resolutions surprised some state party regulars who had pledged support for the administration in large part because of the heavy presence that Te xans like George Bush, Dick Cheney, and James Baker were playing in that administration.89 Watergate, in and of itself, was a major story in Texas, but was alsoperhaps more importantlyanother link in the chain that connected anti-statist and populist conservatives with political credibility and power in the Texas Republican Party. The scandal undermined the established leadership of the GOP, encouraged new blood in the party through the rallying 88 Dallas Times Herald February 12, 1974; Washington Post October 21, 1973; April 28, 1974, Press Conference and Speech, Houston, TX, Tapes 547, 548, Ronald Reagan Gubernatorial Audiotape collection: 196574, RRL. 89 General Correspondence, 1974-75, Texas, Box 45, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Roger Olien. From Token to Triumph: The T exas Republicans Since 1920 (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1982), 236238.

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184 together of grassroots elements already bei ng mobilized by social and economic issues, and thoroughly discredited liberalism because it was a philosophy dependent upon trusting the very government that evidence reve aled could not be trusted. Conclusion In 1973, a new magazine designed specifically for Texans hit newsstands across the state. Marketing itself as a commentary on all th ings Texassocial, political, cultural Texas Monthly in one of its earliest issues, reflected the states anti-governm ent political winds by publishing its first annual list of the Best and Worst Texas Le gislators. That year each of the ten best legislators included in the mag azines list was praised for th eir honesty, loyalty, open minds, and work ethic. Conversely, each of the ten worst le gislators was cited for corruption, incompetence, and obstructionism. The emphasis given to integr ity in compiling these li sts is not surprising, particularly given the political context.90 This was no doubt still the ca se one year later when, on August 9, 1974, Richard Nixon became the first president in American history to resign from office. That same month, Texas Monthly published a feature story on a growing fad in the Lone Star State. This fad lionized the redneck as a respectable, if new add ition to the social and political culture in Texas: Of late the Redneck has been wildly roman ticized; somehow he threatens to become a cultural hero. Perhaps this is because heroes are in short supply in these Watergate years, or maybe its a manifestation of our urge to return to simpler times: to be free of computers, pollution, the urban tangle, morally bankrupt politicians, shortages of energy or materials or elbow room, and other modern ist curses threatening to make our lives increasingly grim Since Necks have long be en identified with overt racism, we may be embracing them because we tired, in the Sixties, of bad niggers who spooked and threatened us and of laws busing our white ch ildren to slum schools; perhaps the revival is a backlash against hippie s, peaceniks, weirdos of a ll stripes Anyway, a lot of foolishness disguised as noble folk lore is going down as the Neck is praised in song and story.91 90 Texas Monthly July 1973, The Ten Best (And Sigh, the Ten Worst) Legislators. 91 Texas Monthly August 1974, Redneck!.

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185 Throughout the 1970s, rednecks, bikers, and other tr aditionally anti-establishment, anti-authority, and anti-liberal groups were inculcated into the political process in ways that would have been unpredictable a generation before. By the end of the decade, most of these constituents had found common cause, (at least rhetorically), w ith the white, middle-class Texas suburbanite. Hollywood also joined the fray in the 1970s a nd contributed to this growing anger toward government and authority. The most common portraya l of politicians or government officials in film was one of corruption and negativity. Politi cal dramas regularly fostered distrust toward politicians and championed the little guy for typi cally taking on and defeati ng the establishment. Political campaigns grew dirtier in the early 1970s, with negativ e ads becoming the norm in most elections.92 By 1975, Americans had grown very tired of the political status-quo and began to demand change. They demanded to be heard and many Texans began to hasten the arduous process of loosening the political traditions and lo yalties that no longer seemed as appropriate in the mid-seventies as they had in prior decades. Add to this dissatisfac tion a growing perception in Texas that the Democratic Party was embracing the concerns of the few at the expense of the many, had liberalized beyond the point of workable cohabitation between ideological factions, and a belief that a conservative voice for the di saffected and forgotten American did, in fact, exist, and the result was the makings for wh at would later become known as the Reagan Revolution. 93 The established leadership within the Texa s Republican Party would fight against this revolution, not because it necessarily disagreed with the tenets of populist conservatism, but 92 Terry Christensen. Reel Politics: American Political Movies from Birth of a Nation to Platoon. (New York: Basil Blackwell Inc., 1987), 7-11. 93 The New Conservatism, Atlas World Press March 1978, Box 85, Deaver & Hannaford, Inc. Papers, HI.

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186 because, more than anything else, it wanted to win. It would take a civil war within that party, fought between its established l eadership and a Reagan-inspired grassroots, to clarify for the state GOP exactly what direction it would need to take in order to make Texas a truly two-party state.

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187 CHAPTER 5 CIVIL WAR, 1975-76 Conservative Texans had been struggling to balance their ideology with their partisan loyalties for decades, but with particular earn est since 1964. During that same time, the chasm between the national and state De mocratic parties seemed to widen, and the New Deal coalition in Texas appeared to be on its death bed. Co rruption and scandal contributed to a growing animus against government in the early 1970s, while George McGoverns candidacy forced many conservative Texas Democrats to vote for a man that they had, in previous elections, rejected. Though still a minorit y, liberalslike ma ny of their Republican counterpartsyearned to make Texas a truly two-party state and had high hopes for doing just that as ideologically based political realignment no l onger seemed inconceivable. This process took a crucial step forward in 1976, as modern conservatism in Texas reached a critical turning point. That year, a civil war broke out within the Texas Republican Party. The basis for the war was a split between the established party leadership, which was committed, above all else, to making Texas a two-pa rty state, and a grassroots energized by antiliberalism, hostility toward government, and th e emergence of new and politically active conservative interest groups. Since Barry Go ldwaters disastrous performance in 1964, the national Republican Party had st ressed unity. Watergate undermined that quest for unity and in 1976 the GOP seemed, for the first time in over a decade, more splintered than its opposition. For Texas Republicans, this civil war resulted in short-term defeat. In November 1976, state conservatives once again rejected the GOP and rallied behind Democrats in races from city council to president of the United States. Most di d not realize it at the time, of course, but Texas would not give its electoral votes to another Democratic presidentia l candidate for the rest of the twentieth century.

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188 The perfect storm that eventually engul fed the state and brought with it GOP respectability, power, and control, while at the same time ripping apart the Democratic New Deal coalition, gained steam in 1976, as political ideol ogies became inextricably linked with national issues and icons. Between 1975 and 1976, the establ ished leadership of the Texas Republican Party tried to stress the Demo cratic Partys liberalism at the national level as a means of undermining loyalties to that party in Texas. At the same time, the state GOP tried to avoid any and all potential repeats of the 1964 Goldwater disaster. As the party would learn, however, the states political culture was fa r different in 1976 than it had been in 1964. Texas Republicans wanted their party to be seen as the party of the mainstreamof the Texas majority. It feared that candidates like Ronald Reagan would re kindle memories of Goldwater extremism and deflate any chance it had for moving into that mainstream and, thus, achieving second-party status. The state GOP would eventually come to dominate conservatism in Texas, but not before internal divisions were reconciled with a growin g grassroots conservative movement that seemed to alter the perception of what the ma instream of Texas politics actually was.1 God is Very Big in Dallas On July 23, 1975, the Fifth Circuit Court ruled that a desegregation plan, adopted in 1971 by the Dallas Independent School District (DISD), was inadequate The DISD had adopted this desegregation plan, known as th e Confluence of Cultures plan, four years earlier after United States District Judge William Taylor ruled th at a dual school system, resulting in de facto segregation, still functioned in Dallas. A majority of the citys white ci tizens were disgruntled, not only over these decisions, but also because of the entire series of events that had led to them. The logic of the original case had been that DI SD had failed to meet standards provided by the 1 Background Paper for Democratic Platform Committee 1976, Educa tion, prepared by Joseph Duffy, Chariman, Task Force on Education for presentation, January 31, 1976, Box 404, George Mahon Papers, Southwest Collection, Texas Tech University, Lub bock, TX (Hereafter cited as SWC).

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189 Brown decision in 1954, an opinion not shared by th e citys middle class white community, most of whom believed they had cooperated fully with desegregation ma ndates and were being unfairly targeted for further a buse and federal encroachment in the area of public education. John Tower was among those Texans whose blood bo iled over the busing issue. In September 1975 editorial in the Dallas Times Herald, Tower wr ote that if the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, then speeding down that road is a fleet of yellow school buses. Forced busing is immoral, undemocratic, inherently racist, ineff ective and counterproduct ive. Never has so tawdry a means been applie d to so noble a purpose.2 Despite Towers, and others objections, by Ma rch 1976, as a watershed in the history of Texas Republicanism neared, the DISD announced plans to bus over 20,000 students during the following academic year, a measure that would be paid for by an increase in the property taxes levied primarily against the very middle cla ss white conservatives whose children would be bused. Dallass white community was not prone to massive resistance, at least not in the mid1970s. Still, busing became only one of severa l issues around which a ne w conservative agenda was framed and communicated in Texas.3 At the same time that conservative Dallas wh ites began to feel the pressure exerted upon their community by federal court orders in the ar ea of desegregation and public education, other social issues began to more inextricably li nk religion and politics in the city and surrounding suburbs. As issues of race cooled in the mid1970s, issues of gender, sexuality, and morality captivated a growing segment of evangelical Texans who found entres into the states political 2 Draft Op-Ed, Dallas Times Herald September 21, 1975, Folder 55, Box 17, Press Office, John G. Tower Papers, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX. 3 U.S. President, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974-1977), Gerald Ford, 1976-77, 1262; Dallas Morning News March 13-14, 1976, A; Texas Issues Outline, April 3, 1976, Box 19 Presidential Briefing Book, Gerald R. Ford Library, Ann Arbor, MI (Hereafter cited as GFL).

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190 climate by way of national issues. Much of Da llass growing attraction to religion in the mid1970s, specifically Protestant evange lical Christianity, can be attri buted to disillusionment with government. State and federal corruption weaken ed existing political associations and many conservative whites responded by id entifying themselves first and foremost by their religion rather than their political party.4 In the mid-1970s, both the state and national GOP leadership hesitated to infuse religious issues into its partys conservati ve agenda. The party found it in creasingly difficult to strike a balance between libertarians, states rights advo cates, and moral traditionalists who were calling for government protection of Christian values. The call to protect Christian values was being driven by a collection of social issues, including busing, aborti on, school prayer, and homosexuality, which had grown in importan ce among middle class parents and evangelicals who were increasingly distraught over the liberalizati on of the national Democratic Party. On abortion, for instance, Republicans struggled to bridge the chasm between those calling for federal intervention to protect the rights of the unborn and those hostile to any federal intervention into the everyday lives of individual citizens, regardless of the situation. In Texas, as in much of the South, this chasm was bridged thanks to the peculiar nature of suburbs, which fostered a climate of individualism, anti-governm ent hostility, and traditional morals advocated by the rapidly expanding presence of eva ngelical churches in suburban enclaves.5 Evangelical Christianity did more than si mply mobilize suburban conservatives through the rhetoric of morality. In Dallas, a city be coming an economic and financial powerhouse, (nine of the states twenty largest corporations, w ith combined annual sales of $15.8 billion, were 4 The Book of Dallas, New York Times 1976 Op-Ed. Box 9, David Stoll Collection, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanfo rd University, Stanford, CA (Hereaft er cited as HI); Matthew Lassiter, The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005). 5 Memorandum to the Governor, From Lyn Nofziger, October 2, 1975, Box 1, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.

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191 based in Dallas), religion was, as the New York Times described it in 1976, big business. One anonymous poet even described the influen ce of religion in Dallas through verse: God is very big in Dallas, Just about everybody talks about God. I dont think you could ever amount to much in Dallas, If you went around bad-mouthing God.6 By the mid-1970s, as Texas enjoyed the fruits of a suburbanizing Sunbelt and became home to a proliferating middle class conserva tism, religion became a form of identification, particularly as a substitute for politics, which many eschewed in the wake of national scandals, failures, and general disillusionment. For many white middleclass Texans, political traditions and loyalties were being replaced by faith. In Dallas, Evange lical Protestant Christianity became the new identifier, not simply of ones spiritual conditi on, but of ones acceptability in the new economic, political, and social climate.7 This change in the political culture allowed for redefinitions of political ideology and the application of that ideo logy to economic and social causes. Th e result was an acute awareness of philosophical factionalism w ithin parties already str uggling to maintain unity.8 Traditional GOP politics in Texas reflected the primacy of fede ral patronage and big business to a party longrelegated to insignificant status. The nature of this existence meant that the state GOP was often little more than a tool of the national organiza tion. As such, conservative Texas Democrats had long attacked the GOP as the party of Northeaste rn elitism incapable of meeting average Texans needs. In the mid-1970s, however, many Texans be gan to associate Northeastern elitism with social liberalism rather than economic conservatism. In cities such as Dallas, where libertarian grassroots activism was already challenging partisan traditions the emergence of a thriving, 6 Texas Monthly April 1976, 74; Box 9, David Stoll Collection, HI. 7 The Book of Dallas, New York Times 1976 Op-Ed. Box 9, David Stoll Collection, HI. 8 Texas Monthly April 1976, 107, Box 9, David Stoll Collection, HI.

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192 though still nascent hotbed of religious conservatism, adde d a new dimension to the states political climate and challenged both parties to ad just their political age ndas in order to address the concerns of Texas voters. The rise of po litically active evangelical s in the mid-1970s also opened the door for significant alterati ons to the states political culture.9 Reagan Country With the possible exception of John Conna lly, Ronald Reagan was the most popular advocate for conservative causes in Texa s. Throughout 1975, Reagan could be found crisscrossing the state, making numerous public appearances and speeches before a variety of businesses and politically active or ganizations and civic groups. Reagan had maintained a heavy speaking load in Texas since the late 1960s, but the frequency of his trips to the Lone Star State increased as the 1976 campaign season approached. Reagans frequent visits to Texas fueled a rise in his popularity there. As Reagans popularity in Texa s grew, his name recognition and favorability ratings correspondingly climbed as well. Simply, Reagans popularity in Texas functioned as a fuel unto itself. Put yet anothe r way, Reagans popularity in Texas contributed to the construction of an iconography that made the fo rmer California governor appear larger than life and simultaneously heightened his stature and visibility. On January 14, for instance, the Dallas Chap ter of the Texas Manufacturers Association Annual Banquet billed Reagan, their keynote speaker, as a phenomenon.10 The next day he was introduced to the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce as an evangelist to spread the doctrine of the Free Enterprise System.11 In June, Reagan spoke to the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA) during their Annual Meet ing in El Paso. The TSCPA 9 Chandler Davidson, Race and Class in Texas Politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990), 17-18. 10 Texas Manufacturing Association, Dallas, TX, January 14, Box 92, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI. 11 Telegram to Governor Reagan, Western Union, November 25, 1974, Chamber of Commerce, San Antonio, TX, January 15, Box 92, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.

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193 promoted Reagan as a man of law and order w hose political ideology was drawing widespread support among Texas Republican insurgents an d American conservatives. The TSCPA succeeded in drawing a great deal more press cove rage for their meeting than was the norm, but Reagan was the real winner, as was often the case when other organizat ions in Texas undertook similar advertising campaigns. Between May an d December of 1975, Reagan continued to make appearances before sales and marketing executives in Houston, Veterans and Prisoners of War in San Antonio, GOP fundraisers in Dallas and Beaumont, womens organizations in Dallas and Wichita Falls, the National Soft Drink Associatio n in Dallas, and the Association of Builders and Contractors in Houston.12 During appearances in Texas not directly sponsored by the Republican Party, Reagan typically emphasized his affinity for speaking to non-political audiences. Before businessmen in Houston, for instance, he expressed relief at bein g able to speak before business leaders and not politicians. He told the National Soft Drink Asso ciation in Dallas that he had agreed to speak because he valued a chance to mingle with small business ownersa core component, he proclaimed, of the American free enterprise system.13 Reagan often constructed his speeches in such as way as to remove himself and his audi ence from the sense that they were there for political reasons at all. Reagan, who fancied himself a citizen-politician, managed to mobilize both social and economic conservatives in Texas without seeming to have made a political overture of any kind. His popularity as a speaker in Texas grew so rapidly that, by early 1976, 12 Texas GOP Fundraiser, Dallas, TX, June 20, 1975, Box 93, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Sales and Marketing Executives of Houston, TX, May 28, 1975, Box 93, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Texas GOP Fundraiser, Dallas, TX, June 20, 1975, Box 93, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Texas GOP, Beaumont, TX, June 21, 1975, Box 93 Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; P.O.W. Reunion, San Antonio, TX, June 28, 1975, Box 93, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; National Federation of Republican Women, Dallas, TX, September 12, 1975, Box 94, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Assn., Builders & Contractors, Houston, TX, November 14, 1975, Box 96, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Womans Forum, Wichita Falls, TX, November 18, 1975, Box 96, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; National Soft Drink Assn., Dallas, TX, November 19, 1975, Box 96, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Southern Rep. Conference, Houston, TX, December 13, 1975, Box 96, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI. 13 National Soft Drink Assn., Dalla s, TX, November 19, 1975, Box 96, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.

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194 Reagan was speaking to football banquets, Christ ian educators, real estate agents, fraternal lodges, journalists, university st udents, churches, adve rtising clubs, cable TV associations, and dozens of other groups and organizations across the state.14 Reagans popularity in Texas was also enc ouraged through the use of newspapers and radio. In 1976, Reagans political commentaries we re syndicated in eleven major newspapers in Texas and two dozen radio stationsmore th an in any other state except California.15 For common budgetary reasons that routinely plagued local radio stations, many radio stations throughout Texas frequently added, dropped, an d added programming, Reagans commentaries included. These inconsistencies were frequently met with letter-writi ng campaigns initiated by mobilized grassroots conservatives demanding th at Reagans commentaries continue to be broadcast. Reagans conservative base grew in Texas b ecause he appealed to almost every sector of the state, and did so in multiple formats. He connected personally during public appearances and ideologically through the mass media. Am ong a growing and increasingly unified following of disaffected Texas Democrats and anti-estab lishment conservatives, Ronald Reagan was becoming a statewide champion.16 One of the Gippers closer friends from hi s years in California was John Wayne. The connection some Texans even subconsciously made between Reagan and cowboys, the West, and rugged frontier individualism, indicates the extent to which iconography shaped the relationship that developed between Reagan and conservatives. Garry Wills has noted parallels between Reagans appeal and that of the Duke. For instance, Texas has long been remembered nostalgically as a land of cowboys and the open rangethe frontier that became 14 Sales and Marketing Executives of Houston, TX, May 28, 1975, Box 93, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Speech Invitations, Texas, Box 19, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI. 15 Newspaper Clients of Ronald Reagan, November 30, 1976, Radio Stations with RR Broadcasts, Box 106, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI. 16 Support Letters, July 1975, Box 84, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.

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195 home to one of the most potent iterations of the American Dream. Just as John Wayne had done on the silver screen, Ronald Reagan captured on the political speaking circ uit an aura of the cowboy spirit.17 Reagans oratory was often nostalgic, harkening back to the wisdom of our founding fathers who fought for maximum freedom for the individual. Reagan also spoke to fears of Americas weakened military posture and the threat of Communist imperialism. Without appearing to contradict himself, Reagan managed to cast himself as a citizen-candidate, angry about government corruption and incompet ence, nostalgic for frontier and free-market individualism, a champion for strength in the face of liberal weaknesses, and an advocate for traditional values.18 Not surprisingly, as Reagan worked to pe rfect his rugged cowboy and maverick persona during a variety of public app earances across the state, popular support for a Reagan White House bid intensified significantly in Te xas throughout 1975 and 1976. Incoming financial support is but one indicator of the states enthus iasm for Reagan. Texas Citizens for Reagan, the primary campaign organization for Reagan in the state, enjoyed an enormous influx of campaign contributions as the 1976 campaign approache d. Most contributors in Texas identified themselves as self-employed workers in areas ra nging from agriculture to medicine to education to middle management. Most only gave small am ounts $5 to $20 typically. Some more ardent supporters went further, contri buting advice along with money. In 1975, one Texan, a 52-year old former attorney named Merritt D. Orr, proc laimed to the Reagan campaign that he was so disgusted with the liberal decline of America that he was ready to le ave the country, but not before he attempted to fight for conservative causes through the donation of ten percent of the 17 Garry Wills, John Waynes America (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997). 18 Draft Letter, Reagan for President: Citizen for Re agan, Box 1, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Craig Shirley, Reagans Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign that Started it All (Nashville, TN: Nelson-Current, 2005), 92.

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196 earnings from his small businessa quasi-tithe to the states growing church of Ronald Reagan.19 Reagan was popular in Texas among the subur ban middle-class, evangelicals, freemarket libertarians, and disgruntled observers of political scandal and partisan bickering. He also attracted a substantial following among Te xas hunters and weapons enthusiasts. In September 1975, Guns & Ammo Magazine published an article laudi ng the former California governors record on second amendment rights and reminded readers that when dictators come to power the first thing they do is take away peoples weapons. G uns ensure, the article continued, that the people are the equal of their government whenever that government forgets it is servant and not master of the governed. Though edgy, such language paralleled Reagans rhetoricdirectly quoted in this articleof individualism and smaller government.20 In the aftermath of the Guns & Ammo article, Reagan received a wave of letters from Texans pledging their support. Many closed thei r letters by either saying you ar e in our prayers or we are praying for you.21 Reagans vision for America dovetailed nicely with the political climate of mid-1970s Texas. Reagan received so much support from Te xas conservatives that i ssues specific in nature to the state began to direct a larg er portion of his national agenda.22 Reagans advisors viewed Texas as a cornerstone for their future campaign am bitions and allowed Lone Star State issues to inform the shaping of its national platform. At the same time, many of Reagans supporters in Texas expressed as much concern over the nations health as they did about state and local 19 Campaign Contributions to Texas Citizens for Reagan April 1976, Box 3, Citi zens for Reagan Papers, HI; November 28, 1975, letter from Merritt D. Orr, to Joseph Coors, Box 5, Citi zens for Reagan Papers, HI. 20 Guns & Ammo September 1975, Box 38, Citi zens for Reagan Papers, HI. 21 General Correspondence, 1975, Box, 20, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI. 22 Dallas Morning News March 18, 1976, 8A, March 20-21, 1976, 11A, 36A; Support Letters, September 1975, Box 84, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.

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197 issues. At the heart of this concern was anger over the perceived moral decline that had gripped the nation since the 1960s and seemed to be ma nifesting in issues dealing with sexuality, government corruption, and federal expansion.23 Texas in the mid-1970s was ripe for Ronald Reagan, who seemed to speak on the right side of issues ranging from foreign policy and mo rality to economics an d individualism. If Reagan had a problem in Texas, it was not a l ack of support among the states Silent Majority but rather that he lacked support among the state GOP leader ship, which was eager to use Reagan as a means for fundraising, but which wa s reluctant to embrace the candidacy of anyone other than the incumbent president and head of the national party, Gerald Ford. The states Republican leadership hoped to grow its respectability in Te xas and capture conservative Democrats whose partisan loyalty seemed on the br ink of collapse. To do this would require avoiding mistakes of the pastsuch as allowi ng Democrats to label th e GOP as extreme and dangerous. The mistake the state leadership shou ld have learned from, however, was that while most Texans detested extremism they also appreciated conviction, conservatism, and antiliberalism. Only one Republican candidate in 19 76 would give conservati ve Texans what they yearned for. The Battle that Transformed Texas Politics The 1976 Republican presidential primary was a watershed even t in the political history of Texas. The struggle between Reagan and the incumbent president Gerald Ford intensified the intra-party factionalism that had gripped the GOP since 1964. For twelve years, competing definitions of conservatism inhibited the nationa l partys efforts to broaden its appeal, while ideological division between conservative populi sts and moderate Republicans stunted party growth in Texas. For state Republican leaders, whose very existence had long been tied to the 23 Support Letters, Box 84, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.

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198 direction of the national part y, being forced to choose side s was a particularly daunting proposition. Backing the national partys incumben t president was the exp ected play for Texas party regulars, despite the fact that many of these leaders personally favored Reagan and certainly valued the voting power of Reagans constituents.24 At the same time, intra-party factionalism was personified in 1976 through the campaigns of easily recognizable and identifiable figures, an aspect of modern politics that, in the coming years, gained in importance. As the emergi ng icon of populist conservatism, Ronald Reagan served as a catalyst for the eventual coalescen ce of various conservative factions under the Texas Republican tent. Reagan operated as a catalyst in this process not only because he managed to exude a confidence and optimism that escaped ma ny politicians during the dreary 1970s, but also because his image was crafted in such a way as to simultaneously appeal to seemingly disparate conservative factions without contradiction. The growing importance of broadcast media, television in particular, added a dimension to the state and nati onal political culture that was tailor-made for a former Hollywood actor.25 Reagans image as a citizen-candidate and rugged frontier individua list was enhanced in Texas by campaign strategists who la bored to contrast that image di rectly with Fords stiff and less charming demeanor, as well as with the per ception that the new president was a moderate and untrustworthy tool of the corrupt Nixon and the liberal Ea stern Establishment. Ford struggled with the image that he had conspi red with Nixon during Watergate, negotiating his way to the vice presidencyand ultimately, the Oval Officein exchange for an eventual pardon. Whereas cynicism, suspicion, and indiffere nce typically characteri zed Texans response 24 Roger M. Olien, From Token to Triumph: The Texas Republicans Since 1920 (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1982). 25 Dallas Morning News March 24, 1976, 22A; Washington Post March 26, 1976, Box 63, Deaver & Hannaford Papers, HI.

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199 to Ford, Reagan was consistently viewed as affa ble, positive, and honest. Reagan scored more points with Texas conservative s on the issue of honesty in government, openness with the American public, and opposition to Big Government, than he did with any other issue. Reagan even used this issue to revi ve the publics fear of communist subversion of the national intelligence agencies, arguing that under Fords watch, the Soviet Union had increased its use of spies.26 Reagans ability to turn the publics su spicion and distrust of government into an advantage was an ironic twist on Watergates im mediate political ramifications. In Texas, Reagan benefited mightily from the perception that he was the rugged Western antithesis to Fords moderation, a perception anchored in both inherent advantage a nd concerted efforts by conservative strategists to construct such a perception.27 Ford responded poorly to his image problem in Texas. Through much of 1975 and 1976, Ford strategists tried to position the President in Texas as a conservative in Reagans mold but without Reagans extremist baggage. Unlike Reag an, Ford did not see Te xas as crucial to his nomination and election and, thus, minimized the importance of the state to his overall campaign efforts. While Reagans popularity soared in Texas thanks to numerous public appearances there, Fords support in Texas was stagnant. Reag an also did a better j ob of fundraising in the state than did Ford, particularly through direct ma il, which produced far more in the way of small donations and grassroots s upport than did any of Fords similar attempts.28 26 How They Stand / Presidential Candidates Positions Edition III / May 1976, Box 6, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; U.S. President, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974-1977), Gerald Ford, 1976-77, 1066, 1262-1269. 27 Possible Carter Campaign Strategy: Attack Ronald Reagan, Box 92, Is sues Office, Noel Sterrett Files, Jimmy Carter Papers (Pre-Presidential): 1976 Presidentia l Campaign Files, Jimmy Carter Library, Atlanta, GA (Hereafter cited as JCL). 28 Shirley, Reagans Revolution CH 4; Dallas Morning News March 16, 1976, 7A; Dallas Morning News, March 24, 1976; Dallas Morning News April 11, 1976, 14A; The Political Animal January 23, 1976, issue # 131, Box 19, Richard Cheney Files, 1974-77: Campaign Subjec t File, GFL; Letter from Walter Keith, State Senate District 7, April 9, 1976. Folder 11, Box 638, Tower Senate Club, John G. Tower Papers, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX (Hereafter cited as JTP).

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200 Despite smooth sailing in Texas, the early months of 1976 were not kind to Reagans national campaign. In primary after primary, Fo rd used the power of the national party to discredit Reagans insurgent ch allenge and take command of the race for the GOP nomination. The Texas Republican primary, scheduled for May 1, appeared to be headed for irrelevancy until Reagan finally won a dramatic and surprising victory in the North Ca rolina primary on March 23. Reagan could credit the win in North Carolin a to Jesse Helmss subs tantial and influential political machine there. Of more specific bene fit, however, was Helmss ability to communicate the necessity of using issues like the proposed Pa nama Canal treaties, whereby the United States would eventually relinquish sovereignty over the vast Central American shipping waterway, as a channel for communicating Fords weakness, mode ration, and inability to directly meet the needs of America or the majority of its citizen s. The North Carolina primary in late March allowed the Texas primary to matter. Reagan ap proached April with the Texas primary in view and Fords image as a strong and ca pable leader severely undermined. One of the first major battles fought betw een Ford and Reagan in Texas was for the endorsement of the man Texas Monthly referred to in April of 1976 as THE man in Texas, former Texas Governor John Connally.29 Though he had only narrowl y escaped the stain of scandal and corruption that so powerfully grippe d a host of other Nixon administration officials, Connally was, in 1976, still a preemin ent power broker in Texas. As a result of his high standing and credibility among conservative Texans fr om both parties, Connallys endorsement was prized by both Reagan and Ford. For Connall y, the competitive courtship was a boost to his national credentials. As the sitting President of the United States and former Governor of California lobbied Connally for an endorsement, the former Governor of Texas coyly played 29 Texas Monthly April 1976, 108, Box 9, David Stoll Collection, HI.

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201 hard-to-get and, instead, used his high profile to establish himself as a potential Republican presidential nominee for 1980.30 Throughout April, Connally refused to endorse either candidate, but took advantage of the public spotlight. Press coverage of the candidates pursuit of Connallys endorsement afforded the former Texas governor opportunitie s to reestablish bipar tisan credibility by criticizing establishment politic s and declining party ethics. Connally positioned himself as a non-candidate voice of reason, seeking to save th e Republican Party nationa lly and spark greater levels of GOP acceptability in Texas.31 He gave numerous speeches throughout 1976 on the need for his party to repackage itself and stressed the importan ce of television as a tool for communicating agendas with the public at large. Connally also tappe d into the reservoir of antiliberal and anti-government hostility, speaking ofte n in Texas of the need to clean up the incompetence and corruption that plagued the fe deral government. Offering endorsement to no candidate or much in the way of specifics about his own remedies for Am ericas ills, Connallys message nonetheless resonated w ith those Texans drawn to Reag ans assessment of the problems of Big Government.32 Ford coveted Connallys endorsement more th an Reagan did and appeared desperate in his pursuit. Reports surfaced that Ford even o ffered to appoint Connally Secretary of State in exchange for an endorsement. Polling conducted on Fords behalf less than a month prior to the election found that a Connally endo rsement would result in a 29 pe rcent jump in the Presidents pledged support in Texas.33 Though post-election analysis cont radicted these earlier reports and 30 August 8, 1976, New York Times Magazine Box 2M449, Phillip Scheffler Papers, Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (Hereafter cited as CAH). 31 Dallas Morning News March 11, 1976, 3D. 32 Dallas Morning News March 12, 1976, 1A, March 13-14, 1976, A; March 18, 1976, 8A; March 20-21, 1976, 11A, 36A. 33 Dallas Morning News April 16-17, 1976, 8A, 11A, 1A.

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202 revealed that a Connallys endorsement would not have swayed voters to the extent that Ford predicted, the courtship of the former Texas gov ernor reveals much about the nature of Texas politics in 1976. For many conservative Texans, Connally represented the heritage and pride of Texas Democrats and the principl ed conservatism that many in the state valued even above partisan loyalty. As Connally stood at the forefront of partisan realignment in Texas, his role in the 1976 Republican primary also reflects the sign ificance of ideology an d public perception, not only in the minds of voters, but in the minds of candidates seek ing to align themselves with individuals and certain images in Texas.34 As a former conservative Democrat and Lyndon Johnson loyalist, John Connally was no stranger to factionalism in Texas. Existent in a variety of forms, factionalism played a key role in the formation of new partisan loyalties and shifting conceptions of pol itical ideology in Texas during the 1976 primary. For decades, the Texa s Republican Party had fought for second-party status. During that time, however, much of the st ates established party le adership also became inextricably linked to the directives of the na tional party. Party leaders like John Tower, who had stuck with the GOP through the embattled aftermath of the Goldwater campaign of 1964 and Watergate, insisted on maintaining partisan unity above all other concerns. The consequence of this decision was the association, in the public s mind, between state party officials and the White House.35 Texas Republican leaders feared disunity to the point that many failed to hear the rumblings of Reagans grassroots momentum over the groans of such trepidation. This disconnect between party leaders and the grassroots reflected in the state leaderships support of 34 Market Opinion Research: Texas Statewide Study, Box H6, Presid ent Ford Committ ee Records, 197576, GFL. 35 Texas Issues Outline, April 3, 1976, Box 19 Presidential Briefing Book, GFL; Shirley, Reagans Revolution CH 16; New York Times April 29, 1978, Box 37, James A. Bake r Papers, Seeley G. Mudd Library, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (Hereafter cited as SGML).

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203 Ford despite Reagans overwhelming popularity, ga ve credence to the per ception of Reagan and his backers as anti-Establishment renegades an d fostered a sense of maverick rebelliousness among many of Reagans conservative Texas follow ers. Ironically, this loyalty and quest for party unity, though founded on the e xperience of conservatives w ho knew firsthand the dangers of intra-party factionalism, backfired. Texas Re publicans dogmatic loyalt y to the national party contributed to their identification among many Texas conservatives as part of the Establishment. Texas GOP leaders tried to resist the divi sion that many had seen ruin the partys electoral prospects in 1964. Tension mounted as 27 members of the partys executive committee defiantly began to provide financial support to Texas Citizens for Reagan.36 Texas Citizens for Reagan chapters were supervised by Ernest An gelo, Jr. and Ray Barnhart, who served together as Co-Chairman for Reagans Texas campaign. Angelo and Barnhart took directives from Reagans Texas Campaign Chairman Ron Dear, who understood that divisions between the GOP Establishment in Texas were ironically fueli ng his candidates support. Dear, Angelo, and Barnhart worked together in 1976 to encourag e the notion that they were spearheading a renegade political campaign which had spoken to the souls of thousands of disaffected Texas conservatives who no longer wished to identify th emselves with the establishment politics of either party.37 Thus in 1976, party elders who feared a repe at of 1964 and, as a result, supported Ford over Reagan under the aegis of party unification, actually became the target of grassroots conservatives anti-establishment ire. The divisi on between the Texas Republican establishment and the growing grassroots support for Reagan can al so be viewed through the lens of anti-liberal animus. Texas Citizens for Reagan, for instance undermined the Ford administrations alleged 36 Reasons for Reagan: Texas Citizen s for Reagan Primary News, Box 6, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI. 37 Memorandum to Peter Hannaford, from Jeff Bell, re: Texas Issues, April 12, 1976, Box, 6, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI; Undated Press Release, Box 31, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.

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204 commitment to conservatism by invoking the na mes of Nelson Rockefeller, Elliott Richardson, Bill Scranton and other GOP moderates whose reput ation in Texas was that of liberal appeasers and conservative turncoats. Campaign literature derided this triumvirate of Ford White House officials as moderate and insi nuated that such mode ration was closely akin to Democratic liberalism.38 Reagan conservatives in Texas hoped to purge the state GOP of such moderate and liberal influences and believed that in order to do so, the established leadership of the state and national Republican Party would have to be ousted. Fords struggles in Texas can also be blamed on inaccurate polling and research. As early as 1975, Fords campaign became convinced th at businessmen, particul arly in the Texas oil industry, would stay loyal to the Democratic Party and not be a factor in the primary. Ford allowed Reagan to court the states busine ss community through a language of free-market capitalism and deregulation. Ford, on the other hand, overemphasized the importance of moderate Republicans in Texas, believing that most Texas Republicans were new arrivals, having migrated from the more moderate North in search of jobs in the thriving Sunbelt economy. Though partially true, Fords belief that such Republicans woul d reject Reagan once they got to Texas was flawed.39 Fords team further misinter preted their candidates approval ratings among Texas Republicans, which hovered in the low 70s, as a positive. Dismissing numbers which showed 30 percent of Texas Repub licans disapproving of Fords performance in the White House, Fords team rested upon a beli ef that New Texans who had flocked to the Sunbelt during the oil boom w ould overwhelmingly support the incumbent President, while business leaders would continue to vote in the Democratic primary. They were wrong on both 38 Dallas Morning News April 25, 1976, 1A 13A; Reasons for Reagan: Texas Citizens for Reagan Primary News, Box 6, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI. 39 Market Opinion Research: Texas Statewide Study, Box H6, Presid ent Ford Committ ee Records, 197576; Texas Issues Outline, April 3, 1976, Box 19, Presidential Briefing Book, GFL.

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205 counts. Instead, intra-Republican Party facti onalism meshed with conservative Democrats disillusionment to create a politically poisonous atmosphere for the incumbent moderate.40 The same poisonous atmosphere also nearly destroyed John Towers career. By April 1976, Towers signature appeared at the bottom of virtually every piece of direct mail sent to Texas voters on behalf of the President Ford Comm ittee. These letters stressed Fords leadership in the immediate afterm ath of Watergate and noticeably mirrored, though with less aggressive rhetoric, Reagans general sentimen t on defense and government growth.41 Towers leadership of the Ford campaign in Texas illustrates the eff ect that factionalism had on the states political culture. In August 1975, prior to accepting his role at the head of Fords Texas campaign, Tower offered a letter of unsolicited advice to Reagans national campaign manager, John Sears. In that letter, Tower cast a vision for Reagans campaign in Texasa vision that became a blueprint for conservative politics in Texas, but one which also returned to haunt its author. Whatever the issue, Tower told Sears, Governor Reagan s hould be portrayed as the courageous helmsman who can take command of a ship of state drif ting aimlessly on stormy seas, cast overboard villains who cut the anchor cable, and, after consulting the moral compass prepared by our forefathers, sail the ship confidently forward to new and brighter horizons. Towers advice indicated his keen awareness of the political climate in Texas. He continued, saying: By making himself a proud and unapologetic spokesman for traditional middle class values, Governor Reagan can win support from voters not wildly excited about Republican economics. He should make it clear he believes in God and thatBetty Ford to the contrary notwithstandingthat th e Ten Commandments have not yet been repealed. He should praise honesty, thrift, and the work ethic, wax rhapsodic about family life, condemn liberated lifestyles, a nd object strenuously to liberal affronts to Christian morality in textbooks, television, etc. 40 Dallas Morning News April 25, 1976, 1A 13A; Market Opinion Research: Texas Statewide Study, Box H6, President Fo rd Committee Records, 1975-76, GFL. 41 Pro-Forma Letter from President Ford Committee-Texa s, April 3, 1976, Box 6, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI.

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206 Towers final piece of advice to Sears was, pe rhaps, a tremendous capst one to the earliest and most well-articulated vision of the modern conservative rhetoric in Texas. Governor Reagan should direct his rhetorical fire at th e Four Horsemen of the Liberal Apocalypse Tower said. Big Government, Big Labor, Big Business and Big Mediawho have ridden roughshod over the political and economic liberties of the common man. Towers advice to the Reagan campaign speaks volumes to the Senators ab ility to tap into the conservative mindset in Texas. Towers ability to personally benefit fr om that mindset, however, was not nearly as prescient.42 John Towers decision to direct Fords 1976 campaign in Texas was a poorly calculated political move. Instead of positioning himsel f and the Texas GOP at the forefront of the insurgent movement he so clearly identified in his letter to Sears, Tower instead chose to stand in opposition to it. Towers leadership of the Ford campaign shifted his perception in the state from that of conservative to on e of establishment Washington moderation. For most Texas conservatives, Towers strident support for Barry Goldwater in 1964 appeared, just twelve years later, to be a distant and fa ded memory. Some grassroots conservatives believed Towers support for Ford in 1976 was selfish and the re sult of personal ambition. Reagan conservatives believed that Tower and older Texas Republicans were afraid of losing power and that the biggest threat to that power wa s Reagans loyal following. Thus, out of their own loyalty and even a sense of obligation, the established Texas Republican leadership, with Tower at the helm, backed the Ford campaign, thereby setting the Reagan campaign apart as the only perceived voice of the conservative grassroots.43 42 August 22, 1975, Letter from Mike Kelly, on behalf of John Tower, to John Sears, Box 5, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI. 43 Sears Correspondence, May 1976, Box 71, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.

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207 Reagans direct assault on both Towers and Fords honesty and credib ility acted as a nail in the coffin in which the hopes of the establis hed Texas GOP leadership were about to be buried. Reagan, who privately be littled Towers height during meetings and through memos to staff, and undermined the Senators respect even among his own Texas conservative volunteers, hammered Tower as often as he did Ford throughout the campaign in Texas. In order to align himself with the Ford campaign, Tower had revers ed course on issues such as immigration. Reagans team subsequently labeled the Sena tor from Texas a flip-flopper. The Texas Citizens for Reagan campaign organization dist ributed brochures and ran advertisements throughout the spring citing numerous examples of Fo rd and Tower dishonesty as an effort to undermine each politicians credibility. Ford wa s criticized for saying that no prospects existed for the establishment of diplomatic relations with North Vietnam, despite the fact that he had sent diplomatic correspondence to Hanoi just weeks earlier and that Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was appealing to the North Vietname se embassy in Paris to discuss normalizing relations.44 Texas Citizens for Reagan also publicized pr eviously made statements by Ford that he would not relinquish the Panama Canal, when documentation showed ot herwise. The Texas Citizens for Reagan took advantag e of the growing perception that Tower was either dishonest or spineless in his support of Ford with press releases such as the following: When we began following Mr. Tower around Texa s, we considered our description as a truth squad more or less a jest. We regr et that the performan ce of Messrs. Ford and Tower on issues of vital national security has made the need for truth all too apparent. We also find it shocking that the President s state campaign chairman, Senator Tower, could travel around this state saying that Mr. Ford has no intention of giving up US sovereignty and control over the Panama Ca nal. The facts ar e clear from sworn 44 Miscellaneous Campaign Files, Memorandum, to G overnor Reagan, from Peter Hannaford, subject: Texas Events, April 13, 1976. Box 6, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI.

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208 congressional testimony. As Mr. Tower well knows, the President has issued written orders directing a total giveaway of the canal.45 Because Tower echoed statements concerning American sovereignty over the Panama Canal yet continued to back Ford, he was seen as complicit in dishonesty. Tower was certainly not bli nd to the fact that Reagan had tremendous support and opportunity for success in Texas. Tower was also not blind to his own need to bolster his credentials among the ever-hei ghtening power of the state s social conservatives and evangelicals. Early in 1976, just months befo re the primary, Tower noticeably began to make more references to his own religious heritage, stressing his fathers ministry in the Methodist Church and associating freedom and patriotism with Big Government and the nations perceived loss of religion. Today, I thi nk the greatest enemy of freedom, the greatest enemy of liberty, Tower said to a Seminar on Christian Citizenship in March of 1976, is th e steady growth of big government I think that really big government can potentially be anat hema to religion. Tower understood the value of relating issues of gove rnment to issues of religious morality and tradition. He further understood that, in 1976, the publics distrust of the government could be related to liberal tax policy, whic h he called a subtle form of Bi g Brotherism. Tower hoped to translate this emotion into support for Ford, but Reagans campaign made those efforts appear insincere and actually magnified the di visions between the two conservatives.46 Tower also recognized but underestimated the alterations to the c onservative landscape wrought by the infusion of Texas Baptists into Re publican spheres of influence. Neither Tower nor Goldwater was Baptist and neither was ever embraced by that denomination, much of which had been as loyally Democratic as any other c onstituency in the state. Rural Texas Baptists, 45 Press release by Reagan State Co-Chairman, Ray Ba rnhart and Barbara Staff, Box 6, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI. 46 Conscience of a Conservative-197 6, Speech by John Tower, to Seminar on Christian Citizenship, March 22-24, 1976, Folder 19, Box 20, Press Office, JTP.

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209 among the key components in Texass populist he ritage and anti-elitist leanings, had long distrusted Republicans as the party of the Eastern Establishment. Between 1976 and 1978, no interest group was as vocally cri tical of Tower as Texas pro-life Baptists, who specifically cited Towers opposition to Reagan and support of Ford in 1976 as the reason for their opposition to the states senior Senator.47 National issues like abortion, homosexualit y, and the Equal Rights Amendment also emboldened the political activism of social conservatives in Texas. At the same time, Ronald Reagans courtship of evangelical s helped eventually to cement a partnership that, in the 1980s and 1990s, reshaped the landscape of modern American politics. Anti-government libertarian conservatives had never fully embraced the politic s of religious conservatism, in part because religious conservatives seemed to value ethi cal standards above free dom from government. Goldwater, for instance, was a staunch pro-c hoice advocate throughout hi s term in the United States Senate, on the basis that the government had no right to interfere in the decisions of individual Americans. By the mid-1970s, the te nsion between evangelicals and libertarians was replaced with cooperation. This cooperation wa s largely the result of conservatives, Reagan foremost among them, fusing the concerns of th ese two factions through emotional and fervent patriotic nationalism. At the local level, Texas conservatives in bot h parties learned to us e social and religious conservatism in new and successful ways in the mid-1970s. For instance, the former New Dealer and long-term Democratic Congressman from the nineteenth district, George Mahon, ran his entire re-election campaign not on the basis of his experience in Washington, but rather his 47 Olien, From Token to Triumph 246; Dallas Morning News May 4, 1976, 5A; Dallas Morning News May 5, 1976, 14A; A Study of Political Attitudes in the St ate of Texas, Prepared for Senator John Tower, March 1977, Campaign Records, 1978, Box 10, File 18, Willia m Clements Papers, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX (Hereafter cited as WCP); Reagan Dinner, June 20, 1975, Folder 55, Box 1258, Bill Keener Files, JTP.

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210 experience as a Sunday School teacher at a L ubbock United Methodist C hurch, his advocacy for the Death Penalty, and his generally conservative agenda that included tougher crime laws and the elimination of federal welfare programs Candidates across Texas used a similar combination of platform points to bolster their image amongst bot h rural and urban conservatives of both social and libertarian persuasions. Conser vatism, as a result, came to be identified more readily with both economic and so cial policies. The theme th ese two divergent strands of conservatism shared in common wa s hostility toward the federal government and the corruption produced therein. Politicians like Mahon legitimi zed social conservati ves agenda by linking those agendas with more established conservative issues and a pandemic distrust of government that had spread across the nati on in the wake of Watergate.48 As local candidates began to employ Reag anesque qualities in their own campaigns, Reagan himself was most the most effective w eapon conservatives could use to attract social conservative support in East Texas, where rural Baptist Democratsthe only constituency in the state ever to show George Wallace any semblan ce of a loyaltylived in a cultural atmosphere that mirrored the Deep South. Reagans staff in itially differentiated between East Texas and the rest of Texas. While social issues, includi ng those involving race, consolidated Reagans conservative support by the close of the campa ign, initial forays into the region were spearheaded by a local grassroots which spoke to area residents first on an economic front. The East Texas economy, less diversified than other part s of the state, was still dominated by oil in 1976as it had been for decades. More than 80 pe rcent of the oil used by Allied forces in World War II had been supplied by East Texas oil fields, a fact of which the citizens of the region were quite proud. Before Reagan made cam paign stops in East Texas, during which his 48 General Correspondence; Letter to Dan Hanna, member, Board of Christian Men, from George Mahon, September 2, 1976, Box 376, George Mahon Papers, SWC.

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211 assault on Ford was based on crime and morality, Reagan supporters in East Texas peppered the region with a plethora of grassr oots-produced literature denouncing the Ford administration as responsible for the worst Ener gy Legislation in History and the total mess of welfare, whereby the American principle of an honest da ys work for a days pay was being destroyed. This literature summarized Fords leadership in Washington by sarcastica lly charging that the Commander-in-Chief had been infec ted with Potomac Water on the brain.49 Painting Ford as a failure and a liberal made Reagans critiques of the president all the more potent and credible, particul arly when the focus shifted from economic issues to social ones. Reagans personal appearances in East Texas emphasized his identification with the regions religious heritage. He attacked Betty Ford for televised comments in which the First Lady professed a belief that premarital sex was okay. Reagan championed his wife, Nancy, as a better First Ladya housewife, mother, and strong supporter of her husbandwomanly virtue personified. The fact that Nancy was Reag ans second wife and that the couples first child had been born only seven months into the marriage was never used by Ford as a weapon to undermine Reagans credibility on i ssues of tradition, morality, and social conservatism. Neither did Ford use Reagans sporadic church attendance against him.50 With Reagan always on the offensive, his cred ibility on issues of tradition, morality, and social conservatism were buttressed thanks to his simultaneous and popular stances on crime and busing. Particularly popular in East Texas, where social conservatism easily trumped libertarianism, was Reagans support for a constitutional amendment outlawing busing. Not 49 For Governor Reagan: East Texas Economy, Issues Pertinent to East Texas, April 7, 1976, Box 6, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI. 50 Reasons for Reagan: Texas Citizen s for Reagan Primary News, Box 6, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI; April 27, 1976, Ronald Reagan on Equal Rights for Women, Box 38, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; U.S. President, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974-1977), Gerald Ford, 1976-77, 1262.

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212 wanting to distance himself from the support of No rtheastern moderates, Fo rd sidestepped direct questions on busing in Texas while Reagan used the issue to attract the support of both rural and middle-class white parents. Validating white hos tility to busing was easy in rural East Texas, where the states black population was most abunda nt. Reagans approach in Texas suburbs was more subtle, as he validated hostility toward busing not so much as a violation of parental sovereignty and states rights, but rather as a violation of indi vidual property taxpayers rights. In either case, Reagan used busing to rally white conservatives to an issue that could either be social or libertarian in nature, depending on the audience and the locale.51 Reagan also revived law and order strategies in Texas during the 1976 campaign and accused Ford of treating the safety of Texas citizens as an afterthought. C iting crime statistics that painted a rather bleak picture of national and state urban centers, Reag an presented himself as the only candidate to combat crime as a social evil rather than the re sult of structural poverty. Reagan belittled as liberal the notion that crime problems must be addressed through economic means rather than tougher sentencing and more police protection on the streets. Fo rd responded in April with a speech devoted solely to the issue of crime prevention in Texasa speech given at Texas Stadium in Dallas during which establishment Texas Republicans introduced a new get tough on crime prevention policy.52 Fords extension of the Voting Rights Act, which was signed into law with particular sanctions against Texas that did not apply to mo st other states, also placed him on the defensive in Texas. Many felt as if Ford had unjustly singled out the state as noncompliant, while many more recalled John Connallys succ essful attempts to keep the federal government out of Texas 51 Issues Pertinent to East Texas, April 7, 1976, Box 6, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI; U.S. President, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974-1977), Gerald Ford, 1976-77, 1262. 52 U.S. President, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974-1977), Gerald Ford, 1976-77, 1057.

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213 during the tumultuous 1960s and indignantly compared Ford to the liberal encroachment of that era. When Ford attempted to justify the Texas provisions of the Act, Reagan supporters in San Antonio organized a small protest in which Fo rd was denounced for leading a new wave of carpetbaggers into Texas in order to look ove r the shoulder of your local officials, while trying to establish Reconstructi on, just as in 1865. Such language reflected the web of emotion and tradition influencing Texas poli tical culture in 19 76. For many Texas conservatives, regardless of partisan affiliati on, Reagan captured a sense of both rebellion and crusade, allowing many to embrace an ideology of smaller government, individual rights, Christian ethics, and a nostalgic American past.53 Foreign policy further bolstered Reagans re putation in Texas and, at the same time, reinforced anticommunism and national security as a major tenet of modern conservatism. Reagans handlers in Texas used a variety of fo reign policy issues to paint Ford as weak and disingenuous. Reagan couched Fo rds policy toward decolonizati on in Africa, as well as his dangerously poor diplomatic relations with Angol a and Cuba, as weaknesses in the broader Cold War with the Soviet Union. Reagan told Texans th at the United States had, in the age of dtente, become a second-rate military power. On Ap ril 20, reports were leaked from the Pentagon which indicated that Ford was waffling between a pledge to expand th e Navy by either 500 or 600 ships and had decided to wait until after the Texas primary to make his decision. A loss would mean a greater commitment to national defense; a win woul d mean that no such move was necessary. Conservatives charged that Ford was playing politics with national security.54 Even Fords response to these critiques worked to Reagans advantage. The more Ford cited statistical references to complex tonnage figures and fi repower comparisons, the more 53 Issue Memo from the desk of Earl Lively, Undated, Box, 6, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI. 54 Corpus Christi Caller April 20, 1976; Press release by Reagan State Co-Chairman, Ray Barnhart and Barbara Staff, Box 6, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI.

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214 Reagans emotional plea for unquestioned military supremacy resonated in Texas, which enjoyed more ties to the United States military than a ny state in the nation. While campaigning in San Antonio, Ford equivocated, admitting that even if the United States did fall behind the Soviets militarily, Americas secure borders limited the need for increased military mightan argument that did not mollify conservative Texans concerns.55 Fords muddled explanation contrasted Reagans more marketable call for increased milita ry might and dovetailed nicely with criticisms of Secretary of State Henry Kissinge r and the very concept of dtente.56 In 1964, Barry Goldwaters anticommunism wa s portrayed and subsequently seen in Texas as extreme and dangerous. In 1976, by cont rast, Reagans anticommunism was an asset, despite Fords attempt to label him as dangerous and extreme. As Reagan warned Texans of an impending World War III with the Soviet Union and the potential that under Ford Americas military would not be prepared, he was viewed as strong rather than extreme.57 Though Reagan certainly benefited from the ongoing culture of the Cold War and Americans nagging inferiority complex in th e context of that war and Vietnam more specifically, greater benefit was en joyed on the issue of the Panama Canal treaties. Negotiations for the transfer of sovereignty over the Panama Canal had been well underway for years prior to 1976, but when Reagan discovered the issue as an effective weapon in the North Carolina primary, Ford came to be viewed as quietly will ing to backpedal on promises he had previously made to never renegotiate sovereign American te rritory. To his credit, Ford responded to the challenges directly, and tried to use the Panama Canal issue as a means for labeling Reagan as 55 Thomas Borstelmann, The Cold War and the Color Line: American Race Relations in the Global Arena (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001), CH 6; Possible Texas Speech, April 26, 1976, David Gergen Files, Texas Speeches, GFL. 56 Texas Issues Outline, April 3, 1976, Box 19, Presiden tial Briefing Book, GFL; Speech Excerpts and Press Releases, April 1976, Box 29 Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI. 57 Speech Excerpts and Press Releases, April 1 976, Box 29, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.

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215 irresponsible and extreme. More often than not however, he found himself, rather than Reagan, on the defensive for potentially destabilizing La tin America and opening the door for increased communist influence in the Western Hemisphere.58 On issues such as the Panama Canal, Fords advisors badly miscalculated the importance in Texas of anticommunism and foreign policy, often couched through appe llations of strength and weakness. Fords strategists refocused th e Presidents campaign away from foreign policy and national defense in Texas and toward economic and agricultural issues. While it is clear that economic and agricultural issues were important to Texans, ignoring foreign policy, thereby allowing Reagan the opportunity to monopolize the issue, severely hampered Fords chances in the state. Conversely, Reagans campaign capita lized on the states fervent anticommunism and used conservative Texans demand for strong na tional defense and tougher Cold War foreign policy as a bridge connecting social and fiscal conservati ves. Libertarians and evangelicals in Texas did not always agree on how best to handle abortion, law enforcement, or taxes, but they could almost always agree that the United St ates was in a life-and-death struggle with communism and that failure in that struggle w ould almost certainly c ontribute to the already declining moral fiber of a nation ridd led by liberal weakness since the 1960s.59 Reagans ability to capture the populist ma ntra in Texas was among his most impressive political feats in 1976. As a champion of averag e Americans, Reagan was forced to walk a fine line between his support for big business particularly the Texas oil industryand his appeal to the states middle class. By using Fo rds policies to his own advantage, Reagan drew 58 Dallas Morning News March 18, 1976, 8A; Dallas Morning News March 20-21, 1976, 11A, 36A; U.S. President, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974-1977), Gerald Ford, 1976-77, 1066; Texas Correspondents Interview, April 21, 1976, Box 53, Ron Nesson Papers, 1974-77, GFL. 59 Letter from William J. Casey to Gerald R. Ford, July 29, 1976, Box 37, Presidential Handwriting File, GFL.

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216 connections between the federal governments ener gy policy, the wishes of big oil in Texas, and public demands for better economic conditions and greater freedom from government control. Ford mistakenly believed that the majority of Texans would consider populist only those candidates who attacked big business. Though Ford s calculation that an ti-corporate sentiment could provide him with an important entree into the Texas middle class was not wholly inaccurate, it was so emphasized to the exclusion of other strategies as to discourage the states conservative power brokers, in addition to anti -government middle class conservatives in Texas who had benefited from the oil economy of th e 1970s. In the end, Fords strategy opened the door for Reagan to redefine populism as a mu ch broader and more conservative political appellation.60 Reagan redefined populism in his own image and identified himself as a champion of the middle class by way of several other issues, as well. On divesture, for instance, Reagan forcefully presented himself as opposed to the break up of Texas oil companies, saying that such a move would decrease efficienc y, productivity, and result in hi gher gas prices for middle class consumers.61 Reagan also critiqued Ford for his si gning of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), which established price controls on oil companies, a regulatory measure that fueled the already tense relationship be tween Texas oil companies and the federal government. In fact, among many Texas oil barons, particularly thos e who had become permanent fixtures at GOP fundraisers, Fords signing of the EPCA was viewed as a stab in the back. More so than in any other state, the EPCA became a major issue in Texas. Reagan attacked Fords position on 60 Memorandum For: Bo Calloway, From: Robert Teeter, December 5, 1975, Box B2, Marik File Market Opinion Research, President Ford Committee Records, 1975-7 6, GFL; Texas Issues Outline, April 3, 1976, Box 19, Presidential Briefing Book, GFL. 61 Ronald Reagan on Oil Company Divesture. May 13, 1976, Box 39, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Memorandum For: Bo Calloway, From: Robert Teeter, December 5, 1975, Box B2, Marik File Market Opinion Research, President Ford Commi ttee Records, 1975-76, GFL.

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217 EPCA, positioning himself as the only declared candi date in either party to say that he would have vetoed the legislation. In addition to the ob vious political benefit such a stand gave Reagan in Texas, the Republican challenger focused his object ion to the EPCA on three principles. First, Reagan argued that price controls in the Un ited States would increase dependence on foreign sources of oil. Second, Reagan claimed that pr ice controls were a di sincentive for domestic producers and fundamentally un-American. Finally, Reagan argued that price controls conflicted with conservationist goals because fixed pr ices encouraged, rather than discouraged, consumption.62 Fords popularity plummeted in Texas in th e immediate aftermath of his signing of the EPCA in late 1975. As his popularity continue d to decline steadily in Texas throughout 1976, Ford and his campaign staff became convinced that the EPCA was the predominant source of Reagans support in Texas and subsequently di scounted evidence that su ggested that Reagan backers had either been attracted by a combina tion of the EPCA and several other issues, or supported Reagan for entirely different reasons.63 While Fords internal polling numbers suggested that the EPCA had indeed cost Ford support in Texas, the numbers clearly indicated that for many Texans, Fords signing of the EPCA contributed not solely to fears about divesture and price controls, but also si gnificantly exacerbated broader fears about the expansion of government into the private sect or, the manipulation of economic forces by the White House, and a growing sense that freedoms were being take n away from them by the federal government. Fords myopia was costly. Rather than understa nd the Texas political climate as broadly hostile 62 Memorandum For: Bo Calloway, From: Robert Teeter, December 5, 1975, Box B2, Marik File Market Opinion Research, President Ford Committee Records, 1975-7 6, GFL; Texas Issues Outline, April 3, 1976, Box 19, Presidential Briefing Book, GFL. 63 Memorandum For: Dick Cheney, From: Jerry H. Jones, November 20, 1975, Box 19, Richard Cheney Files, 1974-77: Campaign Subject File, GFL; Memorandum For: Bo Calloway, From: R obert Teeter, December 5, 1975, Box B2, Marik File Market Opinion Research President Ford Committee Records, 1975-76, GFL.

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218 to government action, Ford mistook his unpopularity in the state as the direct and sole result of the EPCA.64 Texans sense that Ford was an agent of expanding federal power grew in large part because of Reagans Texas campaign. Across the state, Reagan pounded Ford on issues of government intrusiveness, citing the nationa l debt, increased inflation, and government interference in numerous social issues. After a decade and a half of warfare, assassination, and scandal, Reagans anti-government focus b ecame a powerful campaign weapon both nationally and in Texas.65 Two other decisions undermined Fords popul arity in Texas and contributed to the consolidation of Reagans support, as well as to the popular perception that Reagan was the choice for populist conservatives. Both deci sions were made well before the campaign had begun, but resurfaced in the contex t of Reagans charges that Ford had failed to work for Texans interests. The first of these episodes was a controversy between factions of the state Republican Party and the Ford ad ministration involving the appointme nt of W. J. Usery, Jr. as National Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Userys appointment to this post in 1975 was immediately met with disd ain among key Texas Republicans, Ray Barnhart in particular. Before serving as co-chairman of the Texas Citizens for Reagan in 1976, Barnhart served as Chairman of the Harris County Re publican Party. In August 1975, while serving in that capacity, Barnhart had demanded to both John Tower and Gerald Ford that Usery be removed from his post. Barnharts demand, wh ich was initiated in cooperation with county Republican parties across the st ate, was based on the opinion that Userys call to extend 64 Texas Issues Outline, April 3, 1976, Bo x 19, Presidential Briefing Book, GFL. 65 Dallas Morning News March 18, 1976, 8A; Dallas Morning News March 20-21, 1976, 11A, 36A; Dallas Morning News April 11, 1976, 1A, 14A; Texas Issues Outline, April 3, 1976, Box 19, Presidential Briefing Book, GFL; U.S. President, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974-1977), Gerald Ford, 1976-77, 1101.

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219 collective bargaining rights to government employees threatened the economic climate in Texas, which by 1975 was considered the most vibrant economic climate in the country. Barnhart believed that Fords endorsement of Usery would be construed in Texas as an endorsement of big labor and would destroy the Pres idents chances for carrying Texas in 1976.66 Barnhart even threatened to ensure Fords defeat in Te xas during the general elec tion unless the President removed Usery from the post. Usery, w ho had served in the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations, was not removed and Barnharts displeasure with Ford and the Republican Party grew. The fractious exchange between Barnha rt, Tower, and Ford was an early but clear warning that divisions between th e administration and conservatives in Texas were unlikely to be resolved.67 The second decision made by Ford which undermined his support and credibility in Texas was his plan to close Webb Air Force Ba se in Big Spring, a small community in West Texas. Big Spring residents we re extremely proud of Webb Air Force Base and feared the economic impact the closure would have on thei r community. Webb Air Force Base was in the midst of a $2 million renovation campaign, designe d primarily to upgrade the dormitory and living conditions on base, when Fords closur e decision was announced. Despite enjoying the highest number of clear weather da ys and greatest number of flyi ng hours of all bases in the Air Training Command in 1975, Ford chose to close We bb on the basis of its outdated facilities and the fact that it had only two runways, whereas most other ai r force bases had three. In his decision, Ford also cited urban encroachment in th e Big Spring area as cont ributing to logistical and economic problems that made continued opera tions at the base unten able. This rationale outraged Big Spring citizens, who saw Ford as disingenuous and unfair. Big Spring residents 66 Letter From: Ray Barnhart, To: Gerald Ford, August 1, 1975, Folder 53, Box 1258, Bill Keener Files, JTP. 67 August 29, 1975, Letter from Ray A. Barnhart, to Lyn Nofziger, Box 5, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.

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220 also viewed Fords decision as a reflection of the Presidents fundame ntal misunderstanding of the areas economy. During the April campaign, c onservative grassroots organizations working in tandem with Texas Citizens for Reagan cam paign offices publicized Big Springs hostile response to Fords closure of the base as an in dication that Ford was out of touch with average Texans and could not be trusted to keep the states economic interests in mind.68 On issue after issue and pe rception after perception, Reagan bested Ford in Texas. Reagans momentum was, in one sense, self-per petuating. In another sense, his momentum was substantially fueled by anti-Ford hostility at the grassroots and in the media. In both cases, Reagan played the role of conservative icon in a state built upon the plat itudes of independence, individualism, and freedom. Throughout April, Reagans campaign appearances in Texas consistently outdrew Fords. Reag an typically appeared before la rge gatherings of enthusiastic supporters and spoke about putting God back into public schools, eliminating wasteful research grants to higher education institutions, impr oving law enforcement, the failure of busing, and Gerald Fords inept energy policy. On each topi c, Reagan infused anti-government animus and dire warnings of impending national insecurit y. News coverage furthered this momentum, particularly as the media began to cast Reagan as a conservative who could attract support from both parties. The publics awareness of this a ppeal acted as a self-ful filling prophecy, drawing even larger numbers of undecided c onservatives into the Reagan tent.69 Reagans advertising and pubic relations campaign in Texas also enhanced his popularity in the state. Reagan utilized both print and broadcast media in order to create free publicity through the construction of news ev ents and blend a variety of issu es and ideological strands into one, cohesive conservative message. His radi o spots in Texas blended a broad conservative 68 Memorandum, to Governor Reagan, from Peter Hannaford, subject: Texas Events, April 13, 1976, Box 6, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI. 69 Dallas Morning News April 14, 15, 1976, 7A, 1A.

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221 ethos with issues ranging from busing and propert y taxpayers right to send their children to neighborhood schools, to the poten tial industrial shutdown that would result in Texas should Fords energy policies continue. Reagan used radio to speak address farmers and effectively tapped into the states reservoir of anticommunist fervor, particular ly in spots on th e evils of the Panama Canal treaties. In each of these spots, voters were reminded not only of why they should vote for Reagan, but how they could do so. The only way to make Governor Reagan president is to vote in the Republican primary on Saturday, May 1. For Texas, the choice is clear. Ronald Reaganthe conservative who can win These messages magnified the importance that fomenting a united and coalesced ideological front played in sh aping modern conservatism, both nationally and in Texas. These messages al so targeted specific votersconservative Texas Democrats.70 Reagans 1976 campaign in Texas demonstrated an effective use of targeted advertising among several other interest groups as well. He limited advertising spots directly focused on forced busing to Dallas, Houston, and San Ant onio. He ran advertisements in Houston, Big Spring, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi which dea lt exclusively with Ford s decision to close a series of air force bases in Te xas, as well as issues of nati onal security. In San Antonio, Houston, Austin, and various other parts of the Rio Grande Valley, the Reagan campaign purchased spots on excessive utility rate increases. Gulf Port ci ties were targeted with spots dealing with the renegotiations of the Panama Canal treaties, while Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio were targeted for messages on the impact of illegal Mexican immigrants on the local job market. Reagans statewide spots dealt with the broader ideological conservatism being used to cast a wide net over all such issues. Each of these advertisements emphasized anti-bureaucracy messages, help for small business owners, what conservatives in Texa s referred to as the 70 Texas Radio Ad Transcripts, Box 6, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI.

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222 difference between Gun Criminal Control a nd Gun Control, and por nographys impact on family values and tradition.71 Despite Reagans clear momentum, Fords strategists remained convinced through midApril that their candidate woul d defeat Reagan in Texas by as much as 14 points. These strategists reassured their boss that the influx of Northern bu sinessmen to the Sunbelt would more than make up for Reagans cross-over appe al to conservative Texas Democrats, which is what Fords supporters feared the most. These st rategists were wrong on two fronts. First, they overestimated Fords appeal to the new Texa ns Republicans migrating from the North and underestimated Reagans appeal to the same constituency. Second, Fords campaign staff underestimated Reagans appeal to conservative Democrats in Texas. As such, on May 1, 1976, voters in Texas went to the polls in record num bers. Turnout was so high, that several polling locations ran out of Republican ballots by mid-afternoon.72 When the votes were tallied, Reagan had w on an astounding 67 percent of the vote, swept every district, and claimed every de legate. Fords strategists had calculated that they would need 140,000 votes to overcome Reagans appeal among conservative Democrats. Ford received 152,022 votesexceeding his goal by over 12,000.73 However, the Ford campaign grossly underestimated the potential Re publican turnout in Texas, which gave Reagan over 310,000 votes. Notably, post-election analysis showed th at Reagan would still have defeated Ford by over 58,000 votes even without a single Democratic cross-over vote. It was a massive and overwhelming rejection of Ford a nd a simultaneous embrace of Reagan.74 71 Dallas Morning News May 1, 1976, 25A; Capturing Texas: The Most Critical State, Prepared by Chamberlain-Frandolig Inc., March 15, 1976 Box 31, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI. 72 Market Opinion Research: Texas Primary Survey, April 15, 1976, Box C11, MOR Texas Primary Survey Files, President Ford Committee Records, 1975-76, GFL. 73 New York Times Magazine June 6, 1976, Box 33, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI. 74 Certified Results of May 1 Texas Primary, May 18, 1976, Box C11, MOR Texas Primary Survey Files, President Ford Committee Records, 1975-76, GFL.

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223 For the next several months, Reagan a nd Ford continued to battle for the GOP nomination in primaries across th e country. That August, Ford, after a long struggle, narrowly captured the nomination at the Republican Nationa l Convention in Kansas City. Nonetheless, Reagans decisive victory in Texas had a prof ound and lasting impact on the resolution of intraparty factionalism in that statea shift driven by the influx of grassroots support for Reagan and conservative causes that seemed to question the authority of established political power. Among grassroots conservatives in Texas, Reagan pers onified what Jim Hightower would refer to in 1980 as the disgruntled maverickan iconic figur e of heroic frontierism to which Texans could identify with and depend upon to stand up for the little guy in the fight against bureaucracy and big government. By encouraging initia tive, self-reliance, i ndividual freedom, and independence from government, Reagan tapped into the states conservative impulse and then fueled its expansion.75 With Jimmy Carters successful campaign for the Democratic nomination being based on many of the same impulses, the 1976 primary became the turning point for partisan and ideological realignment in Texas a nd forced state Republicans to ultimately embrace Reagan Republicanism as the means by whic h significant two-party realignment would occur.76 Reagans support among the Texas grassroots was also grounded in the visceral. One couple in Lewisvillea suburb in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplexcommented to Reagan that they appreciated being treated as intelligent and as winnersnot as stupid losers as elitist liberals tended to treat them77 Reagans victory served as a ju stification for their conservative valuesa legitimizing force which gave credence to the righteous indignation many felt toward 75 Op-Ed Draft, by John Tower, New York Times October 28, 1976, Folder 68, Box 17, Press Office, JTP. 76 Shirley, Reagans Revolution Preface; News Release, March 16, 197 8, San Antonio, Campaign Records, 1978, Box 9, File 15, WCP. 77 General Correspondence, Letter from Bill and Mary Chaillot, July 7, 1976. Box 75, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.

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224 Washington and establishment politics. Small sum campaign contributions continued to pour into Reagans coffers from Texans even afte r the May 1 primary. Many contributions were accompanied with exhortations to continue his crusade for conservatismfrequently defined as American values. One pastor in Galveston commented after the primary that he could not vote for Ford because Ford was a liberal. For this pastor, the machineryas he put itof partisan politics snuffed out his belief that change could be affected against, as he again put it, the Democratic Party and the overwhelmi ng Liberal Washington Establishment.78 The sentiment expressed in this overflow of letters and contributions suggests much about the state of party politics in Texas and the ideological asso ciations Lone Star State voters made with established leaders and parties. One Texan, comparing Reagan to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, explained his s upport for Reagan this way: Last May 1st, I voted Republican for the first time in my life. The reason? I am sick and tired of party politics, of which the Democr atic Party has more than enough. Now that I have switched, I am beginning to see the same sort of thing from the fathers of the G.O.P. Take a lesson from the Democrats, dont put political machiner y ahead of what is best for the people. If the popular vote is behind a partic ular man, then put the party behind the man.79 A Wichita Falls man wrote to Reagan that Texans like he were sick, sick, sick and disenchanted with the whole picture in Wash ington. We want someone up th ere with the guts to buck the Establishment, clean house and make a really honest effort to rein state an old-fashioned honorable government for the people.80 Such sentiment helps to explain Jimmy Carters popularity in Texas in 1976, as well. Other Texa s conservatives likened Reagans cause to the 78 Sears Correspondence, May 1976, Box 71, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; General Correspondence, Letter from Bill and Mary Chaillot, July 7, 1976, Letter from Pastor Robert Berry, to Mr. Reagan, July 15, 1976, Box 75, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; .U.S. President, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974-1977), Gerald Ford, 1976-77, 1066, 1262-1269; Dallas Morning News March 24, 1976, 22A. 79 Letter from Durwood Foote, to: Governor Reag an, Citizens for Reagan Hg., May 13, 1976, Sears Correspondence, May 1976, Box 71, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI. 80 Sears Correspondence, May 1976, Box 71, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.

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225 protection of America from the gluttony, degrad ation, and pleasure-seeking that destroyed the Roman Empire.81 These Texans frequently prioritized social issues like abortion over high taxes and government bureaucracy, but did not re frain from including t hose targets in their secondary attacks.82 Texas conservatives often spoke of libera lism and the Establishment as synonymous referring regularly to the liberal establishmen t or Liberal Washington Establishment. Many came to the GOP with a preconcei ved notion that the establishmen t of both partiesboth state and federalwas inherently liberal. Such view s frequently reflected a belief that Reagan was the antithesis of establishment politics. This view was another crucial stepping stone in the process toward partisan realignment in Texas. Conservatives were initially reluctant to embrace the GOP, but could do so with less guilt if the man th ey were placing their trust in appeared to be just as hostile to es tablished party leadership as they were.83 Coinciding with anti-establishment animosity in Texas was a pervasive feeling that effective government and family traditions were in extricably connected. On July 6, Reagan gave a nationally televised speech during which he focu sed on the evils of intrusive government. He used words like domineering and dictatori al to describe the cu lture of Washington, DC, and told his audience that he was not a politici an by profession. I am a citizen, Reagan asserted, who decided I had to be personally invo lved in order to stand up for my own values and beliefs. Reagan made dire ct appeals to Democrats, sayi ng that he too had once been a Democrat, but the time came when he had to put his personal values ah ead of party loyalty. 81 General Correspondence, Letter from Bert and Lorraine Clayton, to Governor Reagan, July 6, 1976, Box 75, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI. 82 Davidson, Race and Class in Texas Politics, 196. 83 General Correspondence, Letter from Pastor Robert Berry, to Mr. Reagan, July 15, 1976, Box 75, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Sears Correspondence, May 1976, Box 71, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.

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226 Vote not for a label, Reagan exhorted, but for values you faithfully believe in.84 One couple from San Antonio responded to the speech in a letter: God bless you for your stand on moral issues Your talk on July 6, was inspirational, and gave the majority of the American peopl e, (who we sincerely believe are honest and decent and believe in the fundamental values you spoke of) a ray of hope that at least they were being courageously and honestly represented by someone (the only candidate it seems) who sees and points out the extreme danger of the crumbling of the American family. Without this, our society can never endure.85 Another supporter from Houston understood Reagans appeal this way: Mr. and Mrs. Public want straight talk from the shoulder and wa nt somebody to call a spade, a spade. They understand and want tough talk from a contende r and they want an Old Time Revival.86 If nothing else, most Reagan supporters had one thing in common: they openly vowed to oppose Ford in November. Different conservatives reac ted to the campaigns of 1976 in different ways, but very few had any loyalty to the Republican Pa rty. Significant partisan realignment in Texas first manifested as loyalty to Reagan a nd not necessarily to the Republican Party.87 At least three conclusions can be drawn from Texans response to Reagans 1976 campaign. First, Reagans campaign persona br idged a gap between loca l politics and national issues. Put another way, many conservative Texans embraced Reagan because they believed he stood for their values. Though many of these values came to be defined by issues that transcended local issues, Reagan and the populist conservative rhetoric effectively showed how such issues threatened to affect individua l neighborhoods, homes, and families. Second, Reagans victory in Texas was so overwhelming that no conservative in the state could overlook it as an indicator of a changing political climate. In the coming years, Texas Republican leaders 84 Text of Governor Ronald Reagans Nationwide Television Address, ABC, July 6, 1976, Box 121, Folder 6: Press Releases, 1976, James A. Baker Papers, SGML. 85 Letter from Michael and Sara Walsh, to Governor Reagan, July 6, 1976, Box 75, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI. 86 Sears Correspondence, May 1976, Box 71, Citizens for Reagan Papers; Letter from WJ Martin, Jr. to Citizens for Reagan Committee, July 30, 1976, Box 75, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI. 87 Reasons for Reagan: Texas Citizen s for Reagan Primary News, Box 6, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI.

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227 came to realize that Reagan was the path toward a two-party state. Third, Reagans supporters in Texas rejected Ford in 1976 as part of the same liberal esta blishment that controlled the Democratic Party and appeared to be controlling the state GOP. These supporters charged in 1976 that theymeaning the faction of populis t Reagan conservativeshad not had their values considered by Ford from the mome nt Nixon resigned in 1974, and many cited the selection of Nelson Rockefeller to the vice presid ency as a prime indicator that Fords GOP was a tool of Eastern Establishment liberalism.88 As Ronald Reagans values, concerns, and id eologies were increasingly identified with those of conservative Texans, many conservative Texas Democrats began to see themselves as marginalized within their own pa rty. This sense of marginaliza tion was a feeling long-shared by Texas liberals, though such concerns began to slowly dissipate in 1976 as liberals viewed Reagans emergence in Texas as a gateway to for their own advancement within the state Democratic Party.89 Texans for Jimmy Though seemingly less divisive than the bitter rivalries that plagued the GOP, Democratic factionalism and image management s till played a significant role in shaping Texas political culture in 1976. Texas Democrats began to fracture as early as that summer, when former Georgia Governor and 1976 Democratic Party presidential nominee Jimmy Carter used his own campaigns letterhead to advocate the re-e lection of Calvin Guest as Texas Democratic Party Chairman. Guest had been a loyal Bent sen and Dolph Briscoe supporter and was not 88 Draft Press Release, Television News Inc., Undated. Reagan reveals he was not consulted by Ford on VP; California Governor Issues Warning not to Ignore 2 Mandate, Box 13, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI. 89 Dallas Morning News April 21, 1976, 1A; Transcript, Issues and Answers ABC News, May 2, 1976, Box 6, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI; Memorandum, From: Di ck Bryan, to: Larry Uzzell, Re: Fords Electability, June 10, 1976, Box 27, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Memorandum For: Rogers Morton, From: Peter Dailey, May 14, 1976, Box B4, Hughes Subject File Advertisi ng Primary Campaign, Presiden t Ford Committee Records, 1975-76, GFL.

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228 popular among liberals within the state party. Many anti-Guest Democrats were furious upon receiving the letter and many threatened to (and some did) revoke their support for Carter as a result.90 Just days prior to the letter being mailed from Carter campaign headquarters, Texas Land Commissioner Bob Armstrong, whose leadersh ip in the state Democratic Party was paramount in 1976, publicly announced that he woul d not support the re-elec tion of Guest to the state party chairmanship. Armstrong and his su pporters were angry and embarrassed that the partys standard bearer for that year had, without consultation of the Texas membership, endorsed the controversially conservative Guest in opposition to a numbe r of potential liberal options.91 The Guest affair was indicative of the unde rlying disunity that plagued the Texas Democratic Party. Liberal organizer Billie Carr was particularly angry over Carters endorsement of Guest and, on behalf of liberals w ithin the Texas Democratic Party, contacted the Carter campaign to demand an apology. Carr felt ob liged to inform Carter that the fight for the state chairmanship dated back to factional squabbles in 1952 and that the infusion of an official endorsement was a major setback on th e path toward ideologi cal reconciliation and unity. Like many other Texas liberals, Carr supp orted a progressive agen da that prioritized greater attention to minority vo ters and could maintain worki ng relations with black, Chicano, rural, and other progressive caucuses.92 In August, Hamilton Jorda n, overwhelmed with letters from Texas liberals voicing their di spleasure over Carters butting in to state issues, issued an apology to the Texas Democratic delegation. At the same time, he blamed the use of CarterMondale letterhead for the endorsement of Gues t as a mistake made by campaign aide Frank 90 Miscellaneous Files, Box 11, Records of the Office of Congressional Liaison, Frank Moore Files, JCL. 91 September 7, 1976, Letter from Billie Carr to Hamilton Jordan, Texas Folder, Box 219, Issues Office, Rick Hutcheson Files, Jimmy Carter Papers (Pre-Pre sidential): 1976 Presidential Campaign Files, JCL. 92 Ibid.

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229 Moore and announced Carters neutrality in th e election of a new Texas Democratic Party Chairman.93 Despite Carters unwelcome intrusion into st ate Democratic politics that summer, Texas still eventually cast its electoral lot with th e peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia when the November election finally rolled around. The Demo crats ability to win in Texas in 1976 can be attributed to several th ings, not the least of which was conser vative populist ideology. Both prior to and during the 1976 campaigns, Jimmy Carter de fined himself this way. Carter marketed himself, both nationally and in Texas, as new pol itical blood, capable of helping the nation start afresh after a demoralizing d ecade of scandal and war. Carter stressed open and honest leadership, an end to lies and division, patriotism, and reflecte d hostility toward the Washington, DC Establishment.94 Carters faith as a self-professed born-again Ch ristian lent substantial credibility to his honesty-based populism in Texas. At the same time, however, Carter s Christianity was a source of division for many within his own campaign team Among his closest a dvisors, enthusiasm for Carter had more to do with his Southern bac kground than his spiritual one. Redeeming the South for progressive liberalism was a mantra on the minds of most Carter staffers, who often dreamily compared possible victory with the exub erance a woman or an African American might feel to have finally elected one of their own. Several of his advisors even privately questioned the sincerity of Carters fa ith and thought it was a hindran ce to progressive reform.95 Some even went so far as to argue with Ca rter over his infusion of faith into the campaign rhetoric. Carter 93 Ibid.; Revised Letter, August 1976, Texas Fold er, Box 219, Issues Office, Rick Hutcheson Files, Jimmy Carter Papers (Pre-Presidential): 1976 Presidential Campaign Files, JCL. 94 December 19, 1974 Letter, From: Ezra Wintz, To: Jerry Rafshoon, Themes an d Issues April 1976, Box 2, Issues Office, Stuart Eizenstat Files, Jimmy Ca rter Papers Pre-Presidential) : 1976 Presidential Campaign Files, JCL. 95 July 19, 1976, Editorial, New York Times by Patrick Anderson, Box 2, Issues Office, Stuart Eizenstat Files, Jimmy Carter Papers Pre-Presidentia l): 1976 Presidential Campaign Files, JCL.

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230 needed to distance himself from religion, they argued, because it hurt him among liberals and particularly Jews. Others believed Carter needed to em phasize his belief in the separation of church and state, as John F. Kennedy had done to combat the stigma of Catholicism in 1960.96 Evidence suggests that Carter wrestled with and considered these criticis ms. He even placated his advisors by professing that e very religion is equally pleasing in the eyes of God and every person has the right to fi nd God as he sees fit. 97 Carters campaign in Texas was not without its bumps. Many of these bumps can be traced back to Carters failure to understand the stat es political climate, as evidenced by the Guest affair. Carters inability to understand th at climate was an early indicator of the growing dissonance between national libe rals and conservative Texans.98 Carter recognized that he had another problem in Texas. Early on, he decide d that if his opponent was Ford, he would run against Washingtoncalling himself an outsider and Ford part of the old guard corrupt establishment. In Texas, though, Carter had a ri val for the hearts and mi nds of anti-government populism. Reagans popularity in the Lone Star State did not escape Carter, who was determined to avoid a populist popularity contest with Reagan in Texas and often tried to portray Reagan as an extremist and a potential national security thre at. Eventually, however, Carter recognized that Reagans political support in Texas was so di sconnected from the state partys Republican establishment as to be unfit for an effective or useful attack. 99 The fallout from the struggle between Ford and Reagan left the GOP, both nationally and in Texas, divided and weakened. When the general campaign began, many Texans were 96 May 3, 1976 Memorandum, To: Governor Carter, From: Stu Eizenstat. Religion, Box 27, Issues Office, Stuart Eizenstat Files, Jimmy Carter Papers (Pre-Presidential): 19 76 Presidential Campaign Files, JCL. 97 Letter from Jimmy Carter DRAFT, Religion, Box 27, Issues Office, Stuart Eizenstat Files, Jimmy Carter Papers (Pre-Presidential): 19 76 Presidential Campaign Files, JCL. 98 Themes and Issues April 1976. Box 2, Issues Offi ce, Stuart Eizenstat Files, Jimmy Carter Papers PrePresidential): 1976 Presiden tial Campaign Files, JCL. 99 July 14, 1976, Wall Street Journal Box 2, Issues Office, Stuart Eizens tat Files, Jimmy Carter Papers PrePresidential): 1976 Presiden tial Campaign Files, JCL.

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231 disillusioned with what they al ready viewed as anot her political defeat. The Republican Party struggled to find loyal adherents in the wake of the Watergate scandals.100 Knowing this, the Democratic ticket capitalized on their opponents division. They charged that Republicans division over their nominee had been symptomatic of a larger problemone of chaos, disorder, and failure.101 Texas was a critical swing state in 1976 and Fo rds failure there ultimately contributed to his doomed campaign. Ford failed to convince ma ny Texas conservatives that he shared their animosity toward big government. He also fa iled to convince conservatives, particularly evangelicals, that he shared their moral, religious, and social values Part of this failure can be blamed on the fact that Ford did not, in fact, sh are conservatives animosity toward government, other conservatives views on re ligion, nor did he readily id entify with the populism that amalgamated social and libertarian conservatism. In another sense, Fords failure can be tie d to his ineffective advertising and public relations strategyone that misse d opportunities to capita lize on Carters mistakes. In Texas, for example, Carters famed interview with Playboy magazine, in which the Democratic nomineequoting Christs Sermon on the Mountclaim ed that if the standard for adultery in Gods eyes was mere lust, then he was an admitted adulterer, infuriated conservative Democrats, including the influential pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, W.A. Criswell.102 The response from Christian leaders to Carters inte rview had less to do with the former Georgia Governors interpretation of scri pture than with his judgment in granting an interview to what 100 Market Opinion Research: Texas Statewide Study, Box H6, Presid ent Ford Committ ee Records, 197576, GFL; Dallas Morning News August 1, 1976, 21A; Dallas Morning News August 3, 1976, 1A; Dallas Morning News August 4, 1976, 4A. 101 Dallas Morning News August 1, 1976, 21A; Dallas Morning News August 3, 1976, 1A; Dallas Morning News August 4, 1976, 4A. 102 Matthew 5:27-30

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232 they considered a pornographic magazine. Cr iswell subsequently endorsed Ford over the Southern Baptist Carter. Even more problematic for Carter was the reaction to the article in the Hispanic communities of South Texas. For mi norities, Carters association of Lyndon Johnson as a liar on par with Nixon was disturbing a nd disagreeable. The fact that the Hispanic communities were also predominantly Catholic, and openly opposed to Playboy as a form of pornography, made the medium just as unsettling as the message. 103 In addition to upsetting South Texas Hispan ics by agreeing to an interview with Playboy then using that interview to vilify a former liber al president from Texas, Carter further angered Hispanic political leaders in Texas by failing to make direct and poi nted appeals to that constituency. Following the Demo cratic National Convention, Leonel J. Castillo, a future Carter appointee to head the INS, c ontacted Chuck Parrish, the Cart er Campaigns chief political advisor in Texas, and insisted that the Cart er-Mondale Campaign treat us and our constituents with the dignity befitting loyal sons, not as bastard children from some forgotten tryst. 104 Castillos passion reflected rese ntment among minorities in Texas, particularly among Hispanics, over Carters inability to connect with their co mmunity. Ford, however, failed to take advantage of Carters gaffes in Texas. He made little to no mention of it during public appearances in the state and after the election was highl y criticized for these omissions.105 The story of the 1976 presidential campaign, particularly in Texa s, is not just a story of Fords failure. It is also a story of Carters positioning and skillful avoidance, despite some hiccups along the way, of the liberal stigma that would haunt both he and his future vice 103 Miscellaneous Files, Box 316, Minority Affairs Coor dinator, Raymone Bain Files, Jimmy Carter Papers (Pre-Presidential): 1976 Presidential Campaign Files, JCL. 104 Letter, From: Leonel Castillo, To: Chuck Parrish, September 15, 1976, Box 316, Minority Affairs Coordinator, Raymone Bain Files, Jimmy Carter Papers (P re-Presidential): 1976 Presidential Campaign Files, JCL. 105 Malcolm MacDougall, How Madison Avenue Didnt Put a Ford in Your Future, New York Magazine February 21, 1977, Box 20, James A. Baker Papers, SGML.

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233 president during each of the ne xt two election cycles. James Baker, Fords chief campaign strategist in Texas, was regularly advised that Carters strategy in the Lone Star State could be boiled down to the same old story of loya lty and the tradition of Republican-bashing. 106 Carter broached these themes through th e issue of trust. In campai gn stops across Texas, Carter reminded supporters that Ford and the Republican Party could not be trusted.107 Still, Carter had more to say in Texas than simply that the GOP was evil and duplicitous. Carters campaign is remembered for its emphasis on populism and government corruption. Carter is also well-remembered for promising th at he would never lie but was discouraged from making that his predominant message because, his strategy team argued, the focus was on his honesty rather than his opponents dishonest y. Instead, his speeches deployed phrases like Republican mess, or simply Republican in an effort to evoke deeply-rooted animosities toward Ford, Nixon, and the GOP in general. They further made a point to include each of the following words or phrases in the vast majority of Carters public speeches and Q&A sessions: new, fresh, leadership, unity, hope and progress, trust and confidence, and mistakes of the Washington Establishment. It was the final phrase that rang most true in Texas. Anti-government sentiment, made more popular as a campaign issue by Reagan during the GOP primary, worked to Carters and the Democrats advantage during the 1976 general election.108 At the same time, Carter was desperate to avoi d having labels applied to him. He did not want to make conservatism or liberalism an issue in the campaign, in large part because he acknowledged it as a losing game. In Texas, Ca rters running mate was one of the biggest 106 Memorandum to: Jim Baker, From: Paul Manafort, re : Political Activity in Texas Since the Presidents Visit, October 14, 1976, Box 126, Folder 8: Political Division, James A. Baker Papers, SGML. 107 July 14, 1976, Wall Street Journal Box 2, Issues Office, Stuart Eizenstat Files, Jimmy Carter Papers Pre-Presidential): 19 76 Presidential Campaign Files, JCL. 108 /8 Campaign Themes, Box 2, Issues Office, St uart Eizenstat Files, Jimmy Carter Papers PrePresidential): 1976 Presiden tial Campaign Files, JCL.

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234 obstacles to avoiding a debate over political id eology. Walter Mondales Minnesota liberalism was not well-received in Texas a nd Carter struggled to redirect pointed questions regarding his running mates political ideology.109 Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe, who had openly refused to even be seen with George McGovern in 1972, announced his endorsement of Carter in May, though his public enthusiasm was tempered wh en Mondale was selected as running mate.110 When Mondales voting record and public preferen ces became an issue, as it did regularly on the issues of abortion and gun c ontrol, Carter stressed his own stand on the issuesquickly countering that he was personally opposed to both. Carter never accused his opponents of being conservative, but instead always referred to them as Republican. Conservatism, they admitted, was popular and gaining popularity. The Republican Party, howeve r, was not popular, and could easily become an obstacle for Ford, particul arly in yellow-dog states like Texas.111 Some issues, however, were simply too sensitiv e for Carter to redire ct or manipulate. Busing, for instance, was unpopular in Texas, and Ca rter wanted to show sensitivity. He chose to empathize with the anti-busing crowd and often answered questi ons on the issue by recounting all the reasons why someone might oppose busing w ithout resorting to racist motives. At the same time, however, Carter refused to dilute th e importance of civil rights or his commitment to breaking down all barriers. 112 Even more controversial than busing, was Carters support for an amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, wh ich would extend civil rights to homosexuals. Carter also openly supported th e pro-gay platform of the Nationa l Womens Agenda. Under fire in Texas and other parts of the Bible Belt for his receptivity to homosexual rights, Carter was 109 Debates Briefing Material for Third Debate, Box 9, Issues Office, Stuart Eizen stat Files, Jimmy Carter Papers (Pre-Presidential): 1976 Presidential Campaign Files, JCL ; New York Times July 17, 1976, Box 2, Issues Office, Stuart Eizenstat Files, Jimmy Carter Papers Pre-Presidential): 1 976 Presidential Campaign Files, JCL. 110 Dallas Morning News May 6, 1976, 1A, 6A; Dallas Morning News May 16, 1976, 24A. 111 Briefing Tough Issues. Debates Briefing Material for Third Debate, Box 9, Issues Office, Stuart Eizenstat Files, Jimmy Carter Papers (Pre-Presi dential): 1976 Presidential Campaign Files, JCL. 112 On Busing, Box 31, Issues Office, Sam Bleicher Files, Jimmy Carter Papers (Pre-Presidential): 1976 Presidential Campaign Files, JCL.

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235 forced on multiple occasions throughout the primary and general campaign to come out against allowing gays in the military, for what he justifie d as national security reasons associated with potential blackmail.113 On November 2, Carter defeated Ford in Te xas by a margin of 51-48 percent. Following the election, Carter insiders, who were well-aware of the divisions that still plagued their party and threatened their administra tionparticularly on ideological grounds, began to formulate new strategies for future elections. Six weeks prio r to Carters in auguration, pollster Patrick Caddell submitted a report on political strategy in which he made a number of prescient conclusions. In the end, the decline in the South that took plac e in October because of ideology was reversed only by regional pride, Caddell wrote. This has some disturbing implications, however, for the future. Caddell continued, noting that, Conservatives have become a larger and larger block of the electorate, and determined that the Democra tic Party was on the brin k of being forced to form a new coalition, because its current one wa s fading fast. The essence of the report, written for Carter and his t op advisors, was the debate and confusion surrounding which coalitions to approach, and a c oncern that the party c ould not win an ideological battle for the publics hearts and minds. Democrats, he a sserted, must transcend ideology because, for liberals, ideology was a losing game.114 Less than two weeks after hi s initial report, Ca ddell issued a follow-up, at Carters behest, in which he concluded that the, Democ ratic Party is in serious national troublewith a shrinking and ill-defin ed coalition. We need a new and broa der political coaliti on that can attract new support. It would be a mistake, however, to try to create an all-in clusive coalition. The 113 Gay Rights, Box 34, Issues Offi ce, Sam Bleicher Files, Jimmy Carter Papers (Pre-Presidential): 1976 Presidential Campaign Files, JCL; Transcript, March 19, 1976 NBC Tomorrow Show, Box 34, Issues Office, Sam Bleicher Files, Jimmy Carter Papers (Pre-Pre sidential): 1976 Presidentia l Campaign Files, JCL. 114 December 10, 1976, Initial Working Paper on Political Strategy, by Pat Caddell, Box 4, Press Office, Jody Powell Files, Jimmy Carter Presidential Papers, JCL.

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236 tenor of these reports no doubt seemed strange to many Democrats, still ba sking in the glow of their successful presidential campaign and the se eming demise of the GOP, still languishing in the wake of Watergate and the factionalis m that had pitted Reagan against Ford.115 Yet, in places like Texas, where partisan divisi on and rancor could still powerfully manifest even over the issue of campaign letterhead, the urge ncy of Caddells assessment seemed quite relevant. Over the course of the next four years, the Democratic Party in Texasat least as a familiarly functioning entityslowly dissolved. What had once been the only legitimate political party in Texas was, by the end of the decade, on the brink of bankruptcy. By 1979, over 40 percent of Texans no longer identified themselves with either political party. Yet, polling showed that greater numbers of so-called Independents were punching tickets for the GOP at the ballot box.116 Carter made a number of trips to Texas during his four years in office and encouraged the state leadership to find common cause with the na tional party. In most cases, however, Carter avoided a direct discussion of id eology or others sources of divi sion and typically tried to rally Texas Democrats solely by calling for an adhe rence to tradition and loyalty. For a new generation of independent conservatives, the app eal to tradition and loyalty left many feeling misunderstood and ignored.117 Conclusion Intra-party factionalism pla gued the Republican Partys effo rts to elect a president in 1976. As far as grassroots conservatives were concerned, the GOPs fac tionalism resulted in the partys nomination of the wrong candidate. Reagan s win in Texas exposed these divisions and suggested that partisan realignm ent might not simply coincide w ith ideological coalescence, but 115 Memorandum to: Gov. Carter, From; Patrick Caddell, December 21, 1976, Re: Additions to Dec. 10 Working Paper, Box 4, Press Office, Jody Powe ll Files, Jimmy Carter Pr esidential Papers, JCL. 116 Texas Overview 3/24/79-3/25/79 Trip to Oklahoma and Texas, Box 124, Staff Office Files: Office of Staff Secretary, JCL. 117 Texas Trip 6/78, Box 291, Staff Office File s: Domestic Policy Staff, Stu Eizenstat, JCL.

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237 would actually depend on it. Yet, it was Jimmy Cart er who seemed to benefit most directly from the states political wrangling in 1976. Left without a clear choice between liberalism and conservatism, Texans reverted to the tradition and loya lty that had long kept their state solidly Democratic. Yet, Jimmy Carter wo uld be the last Democrat to ear n Texass electoral votes in the twentieth century. The story of how the Texas GOP went from a facti onalized collection of conservative interest groups to the states recognized and respected home for conservatives of all stripes, united in a single cause against liberalism and the federa l government, is the same story that explains how Jimmy Cart er, by 1980, evolved into the icon of liberalisms failure. Modern Texas conservatism reached a turning point in 1976, but became a more viable political force in the years immediately following. Ronald Reagans efforts in the Texas primary served as a springboard for Texas conservatives who, in growing tandem with a state Republican Party optimistic about its mounting viability, e ndured the temporary Ford-Reagan fissure and slowly began to mobilize with greater freedom and power. If the 1976 campaigns were a springboard for Texas conservatives, issues and events in the year s leading up to Americas next presidential election provided that same grassroots with momentum, direction, purpose, and drive. In the aftermath of 1976, as Texas cha nged politically, it also changed demographically, economically, and socially. At play in the L one Star State was a reciprocal dynamic whereby economics affected demographics and demographics affected ec onomics, where social change motivated political activism and political change en couraged social activism, and where partisan realignment became less daunting to an older gene ration of loyal Democratic Texans, and was no obstacle at all to younger or recent migrants to Texas. It was the makings of a perfect storm. Between 1976 and 1980, Texans experienced a host of demographic, social, and economic changesall of which combined to alte r the states political culture. These changes

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238 collided in 1977 and 1978 and resulted in a thund erous foreshadowing of the perfect storm that engulfed the state in 1980. If the experience of Texas is at all representative of a national experience, then the roots of modern American conservatism were expansive, multifaceted, and variedand converged from multiple directions rather than evolving from a single stream. Between 1976 and 1980, the allegiance that most Texa ns held toward the Democratic Party was destroyed and replaced with a loyalty to conservatisms icon and new home, the Texas Republican Party.

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239 CHAPTER 6 THE GATHERING STORM, 1977-78 As the nation went in 1976, so went Texas. Intra-party factionalism, with its roots in ideological division, prevented the Republican Party from uniting behind a single national candidate. Conversely, the Democr atic Party embraced the moderate populist conservatism of a former Georgia governor who promised to ri d Washington of corruption and incompetence much the same rhetorical thrust endorsed by Texass favorite national Republican, Ronald Reagan. Reagans inability to unseat an incumbent Republican president, coupled with Carters adoption of a moderate and populist agenda, left conservative Texans little choice but to vote Democratic in 1976. The states electoral history made it clear that the votes of conservative Texans almost always defaulted to the Demo cratic Party unless a clear choice between a conservative and a liberal forced them to vote Re publican. Rarely had Te xas conservatives been forced to make that choice at the state or local level prior to the late 1970s. Conservatives could certainly be found in both parties, but it was the Democratic Party that had always served as the states real power broker. To many Texas c onservatives in 1976, Jimmy Carter represented redemptionof the South and of its Democratic Party. Carters popularity in Texas also reflected the hope of many Texas Democrats w ho had supported Nixon 1972a hope that trends which had seemingly threatened to transform the Democratic Party into a collection of liberal interests had finally reversed course. The state of Texas did not vote for another De mocratic presidential can didate for the rest of the century. In the decades following Carte rs election, the Texas Re publican Party emerged not only as a viable second part y in what was once a state domi nated by conservative Democrats, but also as a bedrock of nationa l conservative Republicanism. To be sure, this process took time and began long before 1976. But it was in the fa llout of the 1976 campaigns that partisan

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240 realignment in Texas truly began to gain steam. This realignment originated at the national level and slowly seeped into the state and local politic al culture. The question remains, however, how did this happen? How could a state that had grappled with partisan ideology since 1964 and broken ranks with the Solid South in 1968, take th e lead in transforming the Sunbelt from a Democratic-leaning region to a bastion of c onservative Republicanism? Why, in 1976, was Carter seen in Texas as an acceptable Democr at and, by 1980, demonized as the embodiment of federal encroachment and liberal failure? What changed in Texas between 1976 and 1980? The answer to these questions lies beyond the scope of monocausal explanations. Rather, the answer lies in an understanding of the ga thering together of factors which, when they collided, created a blending of demographic, econo mic, social, and political changes, fears, and beliefsall active in Texas for deca des, but none of which could si ngularly affect change or had matured until the late 1970s. The partisan re alignment that eventual ly gripped Texas and destroyed a century of political tradition descended upon the stat e as a fury of activity coming from multiple directions. This perfect storm had been building in Texas for decades, but reached maturity only in the late 1970s when a multiplicity of factors si multaneously collided, hastened change, and permanently altered most Texans as sociation of political ideology with partisan politics. The Politics of Socioeconomics An array of socioeconomic factors contributed to the states changing political culture. One such factor was the states ch anging demographics. It is part icularly important to recognize the differences between Texass racial makeup a nd that of states commonly studied in the context of modern American conservatism. One specific difference between Texas and the rest of the South was the heightened importance of Hi spanics in the state, which, when coupled with

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241 comparatively smaller percentages of African Americans, created a unique socioeconomic and racial climate. By the late 1970s, Hispanics comprised 18 percent of Texass legal population, compared with African Americans at just 12 percent. As a new decade approached, Texas Hispanics and African Americans shared many of the same barriers to social and economic integration. At the top of the list was the conservative Democr atic Party machinery that had dominated state politics for much of the twentieth century. For y ears, restrictions like the poll tax or other burdensome obstacles, along with a primary system in which conservative incumbents were always more financially adva ntaged and could, thus, conduct more extensive media campaigns, worked together to discourag e political participation among poorer Texans of which both blacks and Hispanics comprised a disproportionate percentage. However, after 1965, but particularly by the late 1970s, political participation among ethnic minorities in Texas took on a new importance.1 Race in Texas often had less to do with sheer bigotry than with the distribution and protection of political power. Maintaining pow er in Texas traditionally depended on fostering party loyalty, and, for many years, few states had as fiercely loyal a Democratic following as did Texas. Democratic powerlong the only power in the statehad always been enhanced by liberal support from ethnic minorities, but was ra rely dependent upon it. Elitist power and old money still controlled th e Texas Democratic Party through th e 1970s. Yet, as a collective group of businessmen and political leaders, old mone y began to appear past its prime, and many warned of an encroaching new powerthe you thful emergence of grassroots conservative activism not necessarily loyal to the Democratic Party of their fathers and grandfathers. Lyndon Johnsons power broker and campaign financie r George R. Brown, for instanceonce 1 Political Brief: Texas, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, Ronald Reagan Library, Simi Valley, CA (Hereafter cited as RRL).

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242 considered the most powerful man in the nation was 80 years old in 19 78, and typically walked the streets of Houston unnoticed and unrecognized. If Texas pow er was defined, as it was by many, as the ability to get things done, then by the late 1970s, the c onservative Democratic establishment in Texas enjoyed signifi cantly less power as each year passed.2 By the late 1970s, however, conservative Texas Democrats were not the only ones struggling to maintain the st atus quo. As factionalism at the national level promoted philosophical and limited partisan realignment, Te xas liberals struggled to retain the loyalty of Hispanic voters, particularly as the states emerging Republican Party viewed minority voter participation not only as a threat to legitimate second party stat us, but also as an opportunity.3 While much of the state thrived economically during the 1970s, Hispanics were largely left out of the boom. Hispanics in Texas resented their economic plight fo r reasons that melded nicely with the growing social c onservatism in the state. Culturally, the Catholic-dominated Mexican-American population in So uth Texas typically encouraged women to work at home as housewives and stay-at-home mothers. Economic realities often dictated otherwise, forcing some Mexican-American women to work against their families wishes. Proud, many Mexican American males were often reluctant to accept handouts or charity, creating an unwelcome tension between the need to provide for their fa mily and the government welfare check that, in many cases, allowed them to do so.4 The vocal dissatisfaction among Texas Hispanics heightened their political importa nce and recognition. At the same time, small defections to the GOP, defections based largely on re ligious and social issues, hurt liberal chances in the state. 2 Texas Monthly April 1976, 73-74, Box 9, David Stoll Collection, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford Univ ersity, Stanford, CA (Hereafter cited as HI). 3 Political Brief: Texas, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL. 4 Hispanic Issues, Box 414, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.

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243 Seizing upon this opportunity, Texas Republi cans appealed to Mexican Americans and other Hispanics by addressing their concerns ov er the cultural ramifications of Americas progressive society. This strategy worked well for a party which had long-determined that its appeal to ethnic minorities would be based on s ameness with the rest of the population, rather than racial distinction. Texas Republicans worki ng at the grassroots, par ticularly in the South Texas districts which had provided Jimmy Carter his heaviest concentration of support in 1976, made small but significant inroads into Mexican-American communities in the first year of Carters presidency by blending issues like inflat ion with a broadly defined morality ethos. For instance, in addition to connecting inflation a nd taxes with the need many families had for women to work, or contrasting welfare with cultural pride, Republicans also used private religious education to its advant age. Though most Mexi can Americans in Texas could not afford to send their children to privat e schools, some were intrigued by a Republican argument that tuition tax credits for private sc hools, including Catholic schools, could benefit their community. By drawing connections between economics and morality, Texas Republican conservatives were, eventually, also more easily able to use issu es like abortion and wome ns rights as a wedge between the states liberals, et hnic minorities, and Catholics.5 Immigration reform in Texas exposed other tensions between Texa s Hispanics and the Democratic Party. Thousands of Mexicans illega lly poured into Texas at ever-increasing rates throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The most obvious r eason for the increase in illegal migration was the population boom in Mexico, where a resi dent population of approximately 20 million in 1945 had ballooned to almost 70 million by the la te 1970sa figure the Mexican economy could not accommodate.6 In 1977, President Carter introdu ced and backed solutions to the 5 Ibid. 6 Texas Briefing: Office of Policy Coordination, Box 24, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI.

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244 immigration problem that centered on a tempor ary resident alien stat us in which Mexican workers would be given a watered-do wn variation of complete amnesty.7 Polls showed that 73 percent of the Texas population di sapproved of Carters proposal.8 Many Hispanics in Texas adamantly opposed the measure as well, though for different reasons, saying that such a classification was a rehash of the old Bracero Program and reduced all Mexican-Americans to second class citizenship.9 Republican proposals in Texa s were generally more popular, including the possibility of issuing work cards to aliens co ming in from Mexico. This proposal required workers to obtain a Social Security numbe r and pay taxes, a plan discussed and agreed upon by governors in the southwest border stat es. The measure was also supported by the Mexican government, but not Carter, who continue d to push for a resoluti on more closely related to amnesty. In February 1977, Carter met with Me xican President Jose Lopez Portillo to discuss these issues and the broader rela tionship between the two nations.10 Immigration, along with illegal drug trafficking and the devaluation of the Mexican peso, dominated talks between the two leaders, though no resolution on the immigration issue could be agreed upon.11 The lack of progress on immigration upset conser vative whites in Texas. A dditionally, the lack of progress contributed to a growing percep tion among Texas Hispanics that Carters affinity for their minority bloc did not extend beyond expedi ency and convenient political benefit. 7 Texas Trip 6/78, Box 291, Staff Office Files: Domestic Policy Staff, Stu Eizenstat. Jimmy Carter Library, Atlanta, GA (Hereafter cited as JCL). 8 A Preliminary Report to the Clements for Govern or Committee, V. Lance Tarrance and Associates, Campaign Records, Box 10, File 21, William Clements Papers, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX (Hereafter cited as WCP). 9 Texas Overview 3/24/79-3/25/79 Trip to Oklahoma and Texas, Box 124, Staff Office Files: Office of Staff Secretary, JCL. The Bracero Pr ogram was initiated as a joint ventur e by the US and Mexican governments in 1942. The program allowed for the contracting of Me xican labor into the United States, first for work with railroads, but later predominantly in agricultural sectors. The program was discontinued in 1964 in response to numerous allegations of human rights violati ons and ill-treatment of the Mexican workers. 10 Draft Policy Position: Visiting Workers from Mexico, Box 10, Fred C. Ikle Papers, HI; Texas Briefing: Office of Policy Coordination, Box 24, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI. 11 February 12, 1977, Memorandum for Jack Watson, from: Larry Bailey, Subject: Suggestions to Border State Governors on Talks Between President Portillo and Carter, Box ST-16, Subject Files, White House Central Files, Jimmy Carter Presidential Papers, JCL.

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245 Immigration and the dynamic interplay that resulted between Republicans and Democratsand Texas whites, Hispanics, and a lien workersworked somewhat differently in places like El Paso than it did in South Texas. El Paso was, in some respects, a quintessential Sunbelt city. The citys economic base blossomed after World War II thanks to its proximity to giant military installations such as Fort Bliss and the White Sands Proving Ground. More so than the defense industry, however, El Paso was a bastion of low wage labor. Divided only by the typically dry Rio Grande River, El Pasos nearest neighbor, the Me xican city of Juarez, provided an almost unlimited supply of low wage labor for the agricu ltural industry of the state. By the end of the 1970s, over 50 percent of El Pa so residents were of Mexican origin, though no accurate numbers existed on how many were ther e legally. Despite the Hispanic majority, whites still dominated the voting booth and the De mocratic Party still dominated the district.12 In 1975, Mexican-American workers at El Paso s largest textile manufacturing plant, Farah Pants, successfully unionized. Soon after, the plant was hamstrung by a long and bitter labor strike, in which Catholic bishops in the city threw public support behind the MexicanAmerican workers. A chief concern was Farah s hiring practices. Mexican-American workers did not want to compete with Mexican immigran ts flooding into the city. The influx of illegal aliens, Mexican-American workers argued, redu ced the overall demand for labor, and arguably reduced the wage potential of the citys legal re sident population. By the late 1970s, Farah Pants refused to hire Mexican labor with work permits resulting in the plant s enjoyment of among the most harmonious labor-management relationships in the nation.13 12 Political Brief: Sixteenth District, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL. 13 Political Brief: El Paso, September 20, 1980, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.

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246 Still, in other parts of the st ate, tension between Hispanic Texas Democrats and the Carter administration threatened the uneasy coalition of lib eral interests. Hispanic leaders such as Joe Bernal and Leonel Castillo, both affiliated memb ers of the Mexican American Democrats, a statewide organization founded in 1975 to combat the more radica l influence and confrontational style of La Raza in Texas, were convinced that Carter did not truly appreciate Hispanics as a minority bloc.14 Bernal was concerned with a variety of issues, including the role Mexican Americans played in Carters foreign policy, especi ally dealings with Latin America. However, Hispanic influence on United States foreign pol icy was a less pressing need to most South Texans than the issue of police brutality. Discriminatory practices and misconduct by South Texas law enforcement was prevalent throughout the 1970s, but was aggressively highlighted as an issue by Mexican-American grassroots activists in the region, beginning in 1977.15 Heavily concentrated between San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley, Texas Hispanics had been passionately loyal to lib eral Democrats for years. Wit hout a significant liberal presence to choose from in Texas, Hispanic voters remained loyal to the Democratic Party in both national and state and local elections. However, in a political climate that included a state GOP attempting to undermine these loyalties, Hispanic s grew increasingly impatient with the Carter administrations lack of attention to complain ts of police brutality coming out of the region.16 Carters ability to promote and implement change was, to Hispanics in South Texas, beside the point. More important to the political landscap e was the perception that Carter was not even trying. Campaigns to curb police brutality in South Texas, however unor ganized they may have been, magnified the growing discontent of Mexi can Americans in the state and prompted the 14 Miscellaneous Files, Box 9, Staff Offices, Special Assistant to the Pres ident Esteban Torres, Records of the Office of Hispanic Affairs, Jimmy Carter Presidential Papers, JCL. 15 Texas Trip 6/78, Box 291, Staff Office File s: Domestic Policy Staff, Stu Eizenstat. JCL. 16 Texas Briefing: Office of Policy Coordination, Box 24, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI.

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247 Houston Chronicle to editorialize that the coming decade mi ght be defined by the rise of Brown Power.17 Texass African Americans shared many of the same general frustrati ons. Yet the issues around which political activism centered differe d between the two minority groups. Despite some ongoing controversies in places like Hous ton, for instance, where the Department of Justices role in enforcing strict er busing policies was still being hotly debated, publicly, at least, issues involving race in Texas we re handled differently in the la te 1970s than in previous years.18 Much of this was due to the natural evolution of attitudes, expedited by a civil rights movement active nationally and influential in Texas b ecause the power of mass communications made it relevant. Yet, in other ways, the issues surroun ding black civil rights ch anged. Racial attitudes in the late 1970s were greatly affected by th e recessed economy and debates over affirmative action. Early discord on the i ssue of affirmative action includ ed debated changes in college admission policies, which recognized and attemp ted to correct the disadvantages minority students faced in gaining access to higher education.19 Though Texas was the nations largest right-to-w ork state, and had some of the countrys weakest unions, organized labor in Texas was vocal enough to make waves in the late 1970s regarding the issue of ra ce and hiring. In places with heavie r union influence, resentment toward affirmative action programs in tensified racial discord.20 Despite labors weakness in Texas, blue collar sentiment was affected by the national deba te, and workers in Texas, regardless of union 17 Houston Chronicle August 7, 1977, Box 9, Staff Offices, Sp ecial Assistant to the President Esteban Torres, Records of the Office of Hispanic Affa irs, Jimmy Carter Presidential Papers, JCL. 18 Texas Briefing: Office of Policy Coordination, Box 24, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI. 19 Political Brief: Texas, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL. 20 Press Release, October 17, 1980. Box 134, Folder 9, James A. Baker Papers, Seeley G. Mudd Library, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (Hereafter cited as SGML).

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248 affiliation, began to shift allegiance to the Republ ican Party in the midst of these debates, particularly over the protection of las t hired, first fired seniority rights.21 Texas Republicans, with Ronald Reagans rhetor ical backing, also init iated efforts in the late 1970s to de-stigmatize conservatism as a racist ideology. The acceptability of Republicanism was, in many ways, aided by these efforts to distance conservatism from the segregationist racism of Deep South Democratic conservatism. Reagan publicly rejected the notion that calls for law & order were coded raci sm, stating on his radio program and in speeches in Texas that the implication that law & order was coded racism was, in itself, racist because it assumed that blacks were actually the source, rather than victim, of rising cr ime rates. The truth is, Reagan said in one radio address, black s in America are victims of crime far out of proportion to their numbers. They are roughly ten or twelve percent of our population, but more than half of all murder victims are black.22 Reagans characterization of the racial climate in America was particularly effective in Texas be cause the percentages he cited, though national, were far more in accord with demographics in Texas than in much of the rest of the South. Texas Republicans joined Reagan in attempting to create a more co lor-blind party image, appealing to African Americans sameness a nd emphasizing that racial progress would come when blacks were no longer treated as a distinct voting bloc, but simply as part of the population as a whole.23 At the same time, the state GOP did not see the smaller number of blacks in Texas as a significant threat to its emerge nce as a viable second-party, or as an especially valuable opportunity to undermine Democratic coalitions. Sta tistical realities meant that race operated as 21 James T. Patterson, Restless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush v. Gore (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005). 22 Viewpoint with Ronald Reagan, Law & Orde r, Box 37, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI. 23 Ronald Reagan News Summaries, 1978, Box 85, Deaver & Hannaford, Inc. Papers, HI.

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249 a political force differently in Texas than in othe r parts of the South. Ra ther than addressing the concerns of a large African American consti tuency, Texas politicians juggled its agenda according to smaller percentages of black voter s and the need to deal with both African Americans and Hispanicstwo minority blocs that often competed for the attention of state liberals who were themselves struggling to overc ome the conservative dominance within their own party. Nowhere was the tension between races more dramatically felt in Texas during the late 1970s than in Houston, where the nations largest Republic an district shared a border with the nations most Democratic one. Houston, thus, pr ovides an insightful case study into the politics of socioeconomics in Texas during the late 1970s. Primarily, four distinct congressional districts competed for political clout in Houston. The eighteenth congressional district covered the central part of Houston and was home to the va st majority of the citys minority population. Nearly 50 percent of the distri ct was black, and another 20 per cent Hispanic. Living conditions in the eighteenth district were st arkly different than those of its neighboring districts. Unpainted frame houses littered the heavily minority dist rict and almost no residents enjoyed air conditioning. At the same time, the eighteenth di strict was the chief sour ce of the citys lowwage labor supply. Political part icipation in the eighteenth distri ct was as uniformly Democratic as any in the nation percent in most elections throughout the decade. Some Texas political observers credited high turnout in the eighteenth district for Carters victory in the state in 1976, though low turnout was a more traditional norm.24 Life looked very different in Houstons seve nth district. Whereas the politics of race dominated the overwhelmingly black and Hispanic ei ghteenth district, raci al tension was largely 24 Political Brief: Texas, Eighteenth District, Box 406 Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.

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250 an afterthought in west Houst ons seventh district, where only 2 percent of the population was black and only 6 percent was Hispanic. By th e late 1970s, the seventh district was the most uniformly Republican district in th e nation. Gerald Ford won 74 per cent of the districts vote in 1976, and as the 1980 presidential ca mpaign grew closer, Houstons seventh district boasted not one, but two GOP candidates in George Bush and John Connally. Houstons thriving economy made it the fastest growing c ity in the United States duri ng the 1970s. In 1960, the seventh district alone had a population of around 250,000. By 1978, its population approached 900,000. Houstons seventh district was al so home to a higher percentage of white collar workers than all but two of the 434 congressional districts in the nation, though overall cost of living was significantly less than most area s on the East and West Coasts.25 Evidence of the citys thriving economy was certainly most visible in this seventh district, where luxury trade mingled with an expansive sprawl of middle to upper income retail. In the midst of this suburban sprawl, the districts residents worked to create a comfortable envir onment; neighborhoods took advantage of the humid climate and created secluded encl aves through creative lands caping that made use of lush, and tall, greenery.26 The seventh districts congressman was B ill Archer, a free market conservative and former Democrat who succeeded George Bush in 1970 and quickly became an articulate and influential member of the House Ways and Me ans Committee and champion of the Reaganesque ethos of smaller government. In 1978, Archer won re-election, carryi ng 85 percent of the districts vote. Two years ear lier, no Democrat even challeng ed Archers popularity in the district. The congressman in Houstons eighth district, however, was the liberal Democrat Bob 25 Houston Chamber of Commerce Information Packet Box 541, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Briefing Materials Files, RRL. 26 Political Brief: Texas, Seventh District, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.

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251 Eckhardt. He did not enjoy the same overwhelmi ng popularity in his district that Archer enjoyed in the seventh, but had still managed to win re-election every two years since he first won in 1966. Eckhardts success was due predominantly to his districts fervent loyalty to the Democratic Party. As such, the eighth district in Houston behave d in much more traditionally Southern ways. Unlike their affluent neighbors in the seventh district, or their uniformly minority neighbors in the eighteenth, residents of the eight district ble nded anti-establishment populism with racial tension and hostility. T hough dominated by an industrial white working class, almost a fifth of the di stricts residents were African American and another tenth were Hispanic. Here, the manifestation of Houston s industrial and economic boom was more visible (or less so) in the rampant air po llution that plagued the district rather than through the presence of a Gucci or Tiffanys storefront.27 Most of Houstons economic growth was built on the back of oil and gas. Despite the 1978 debut of Dallas, CBSs hit television drama, which popularly linked that city throughout the coming decade with Texas oil wealth, Houston actually served as the capital of Texass oil and gas industry in the 1970s, while Texas, as a state, served as the nations energy hub. Even before oil prices soared in late 1978, thanks to the international shock of the Shahs ousting in Iran and subsequent price hikes arising from supply shortages, the Texas economy boomed throughout the decade on the backs of oil and gas. Industry giants like Exxon, Shell, and Gulf moved their headquarters to Texas during the 197 0s, bringing with them employees moving to Texas from across the nation. At the same time, thousands of companies found niche markets by producing drilling, piping, and mechanical pr oduction equipment, parts, and accessories.28 27 Political Brief: Texas, Eighth District, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL. 28 Political Brief: Texas, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.

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252 Throughout the 1970s, the Texas economy thrived for many of the same reasons the rest of the nation struggled. This dichotomy had important consequences for the political transformations the state experienced and alters the overall unde rstanding of how Texas reacted to and affected changes like partisan realignment and a rene wed popular conservative philosophy based largely, in Houston at least, on smaller government and free market capitalism. Jimmy Carter may have contributed to this dynamic political climate, but he certainly did not benefit from it in Texas. In 1978, with his approval rating in Texas below 40 percent and falling, Carter targeted Houst on as a launching point for a re newed discussion on American energy.29 The energy crisis of the 1970s contributed to the proliferation of Texas wealth during the same decade. Therefore, interest in pot ential changes wrought by Carter on the industry worried most Houstonians more than inflation or unemployment.30 Two specific measures were of particular concern. First, energy-conscious Texans adamantly opposed Carters support for a Windfall Profits Tax which would have coincided with welcomed price c ontrol deregulation but also would have imposed heavy taxes on prof its reaped by production companies above predetermined base prices. Texas oil leaders believed the answer to national energy woes lay not with such excise taxes, but with the increased domestic pr oduction they believed would result from deregulation. This had been the Republi can position on the issueand Reagans position in 1976. Instead, however, Carter stressed tec hniques such as conser vation and increased importation.31 29 A Preliminary Report to the Clements for Govern or Committee, V. Lance Tarrance and Associates, Campaign Records, Box 10, File 21, WCP; Texas Trip 6/ 78, Box 291, Staff Office File s: Domestic Policy Staff, Stu Eizenstat, JCL. 30 Texas Overview, /24/79-3/25/79 Trip to Oklahoma and Texas, Box 124, Staff Office Files: Office of Staff Secretary. JCL; A Preliminary Report to the Clements for Governor Comm ittee, V. Lance Tarrance and Associates, January 1, 1978, Box 28, Folder 4, James A. Baker Papers, SGML. 31 A Preliminary Report to the Clements for Govern or Committee, V. Lance Tarrance and Associates, Campaign Records, Box 10, File 21, WCP.

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253 The second measure of concern to those Texa ns with a vested interest in the energy industry was Carters Fuel Use Act of 1978. This act was designed to be the impetus that pushed power plants and other major consumers of o il and gas away from those energy sources and toward coal, with the ultimate intention that by 1990, no power plants in the United States would use natural gas. Included in the act was an al location of $4 billion for a select group of power plants in the Northeast. Texas power plants estimated their cost in capital outlays for this conversion to be in excess of $30 billion. In 1978, the vast majority of the nations power plants ran on some combination of gas and oil, with Te xas being one of the major suppliers. Texans holding natural gas interests were especially concerned that the s upplies they had been sitting on for years would go to waste.32 Not surprisingly then, the majority of Texans supported measures to protect the status quo when it came to the oil and gas industries. By the late 1970s, nearly half of the states revenue came from oil and gas companies. Already unhappy with the Fuel Use Act, many Texans also feared the unknown repercussions of the Windfall Profits Tax. The Texas Energy and National Resources Advisory Council hired the Interstate Oil Compact Commission to conduct a study on the potential economic impact of the Windfall Profits Tax in Texas and found that state producers would lose and estimated 69.16 million barrels of unproduced oil if the proposed tax were to be implemented. The study further projected that the Windfall Profits Tax would cost the state upwards of $2.4 billion in crude oil revenue lost from the closure of a projected 3,385 marginal wells. The potency of this finding was widespread as marginal wells affected the vast majority of Texas oil busine sses, not simply the la rger and more well-known corporate producers. The studys doomsday scenar io forecast the premature abandonment of over 13,000 oil wells nationwide and ten-year loss es of 175 million barrels of unproduced oil, 32 Texas Briefing: Office of Policy Coordination, Box 24, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI.

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254 with an accompanied monetary loss of $6.13 billion.33 Needless to say, these forecasts heightened the states sensitivity to proposed changes in energy policy during the late 1970s. On June 23-24, 1978, Carter visited Houst on, Beaumont, and Fort Worth, delivering speeches during a two-day trip almost exclusivel y focused on the issue of energy. Carter began preparing for the trip in early June. His or ganizing theme was that America was losing the energy battle and that this pr oblem had dangerous ramifications for the nations economic and military security. Carters staff was less ent hused about their bosss choice of theme. To contextualize a debate on energy as part of a larger battle was to create the image of winners and losersa game in which Carter was already trai ling in Texas, less than two years after barely eking out a win there.34 In fact, Carter ignored much of the advice he received from his White House staff leading up to the Houston trip. He was encouraged to fi nd a non-partisan voice on energy, inflation, and national defense and was told to keep his speeches brief. He was encouraged to stress the cooperativ e nature of his planto link Texa ss prosperity to the rest of the countrys. Lastly, Carter was strongly encour aged to avoid telling Texa ns that it was time to move beyond oil as a primary energy source.35 Virtually across the board, Ca rter ignored the adviceand his speeches in Texas were subsequently not well-received.36 Instead, Carter told audiences of Texas oil barons that the time to move beyond oil and gas had arrived.37 Carter even announced in his speech that he was ignoring the advice of his White H ouse staff, which had told him th at Texans would not listen to 33 Ibid. 34 June 7, 1978, Memorandum for the President, From J. Rafshoon, Subject: Energy Strategy, Box 8, Staff Office, Assistant to the President fo r Communications, Rafshoon Files, Jimmy Carter Presidential Papers, JCL. 35 Memorandum for the President, From George L. Bris tol, Box 8, Staff Office, Assistant to the President for Communications, Rafshoon Files, Ji mmy Carter Presidential Papers, JCL. 36 June 21, 1978, Memorandum for Jerry Rafshoon, From: Caryl Conner, Subject: Houston Speech, Box 8, Staff Office, Assistant to the Presiden t for Communications, Rafshoon Files, Jimmy Carter Presidential Papers, JCL. 37 Houston Speech Text Third Draft, Box 8, Staff Office, Assistant to the President for Communications, Rafshoon Files, Jimmy Carter Presidential Papers, JCL.

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255 presidential calls to move beyond oil and into expl oration of alternative fuels like coal. Not only did Texans with a vested interest in oil and energy production bris tle at Carters suggestions, but the style with which the administ rations policies were presented contributed to the appeal of Republicans in the state.38 Some in attendance during the Houston speech on June 23 recoiled at the didactic tone used by Carter especially as he lectured Texa ns to choose patriotism and the national interest ove r parochialism and self-interest.39 Republicans, predictably, capitalized on the en ergy issue in Texas. John Tower, whose popularity in Texas suffered because of his refusa l to support Reagan over Ford in 1976, jumped on the anti-Carter energy bandwagon, and reiterat ed commitments to provide incentives, not penalties, to those who find and produce our oil and gas reserves.40 Ronald Reagan asserted that American dependence on foreign sources of oil was a national security risk and strongly championed the acceleration of dom estic exploration and production.41 At the same time, by connecting with the growing construction activit y of nuclear power base s, including one in Dallas, Reagan managed to raise the appeal of alternative fuel sources without compromising his popularity in Texas.42 In addition to the popularity of GOP stan ces on energy, Texans also responded to Republicans on more general economic issues, la rgely because the party was adept at linking multiple economic problems back to Carter a nd the heavy-handed government that, in their estimation, was stunting the laws of free-market capitalism. For inst ance, Republicans across Texas adopted Reagans viewpoint that inflati on was a covert government tax that affected 38 Texas Speeches 6/23-24/78, Box 6, Hendrik Hertzberg Collection, JCL. 39 Texas Trip 6/78, Box 291, Staff Office File s: Domestic Policy Staff, Stu Eizenstat, JCL. 40 Draft Copy, Op-Ed, by John Tower, Folder 68, Box 17, Press Office, John G. Tower Papers, Southwestern University, Georgeto wn, TX (Hereafter cited as JTP). 41 Viewpoint with Ronald Reagan, Oil and the Shah of Iran. Box 39, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI. 42 Texas Briefing: Office of Policy Coordination, Box 24, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI.

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256 people who could afford such a tax the least.43 The argument put forth was that inflation was controllable, but out of control and was reducing consumer purchasi ng power. Inflation was then linked to taxes and both were subs equently linked to unemployment.44 Almost without fail, all economic problems were linked back to governme nt bureaucracy, waste, and incompetence. This message resonated in Texas and contributed to Carters plummeting popularity in the state, as well as the faltering image of the Democratic Party, which was being increasingly identified with Carter and other ic ons of national liberalism.45 Economic issues were used by conservatives in Texas in another important wayas a gateway to the growing infusion of morality and social conservatism into the states political culture. At least among the states wealthier business community, atti tudes in Texas about economic growth blended much more seamlessl y with values about family and God than attitudes did in places like the Northeast, wh ere these Texans perceive d that the impetus for charitable giving was wealth and guilt. Most middle and upper class Texans were confident, not only in the future, but in their own goodness and fairness. Their wealth was the result of honest and hard work and, they believed, a blessing from God.46 In practice, both Republicans and Democrats took advantage of this climate and me lded economic issues with stances on morality, and even anticommunism. In 1977, for instance, Karl Rove, a young but increasingly important political advisor in Texas, suggested to the Republican National Committee (RNC) that his party attack Carters decision to cut guaranteed student loans to college students whose parents were of mid-level income as an affront to middle class fa milies, a strategy appealing in Texas because of 43 Ronald Reagan on Unemployment, Bo x 39, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI. 44 Ronald Reagan on Spiritu al Commitment, Box 39, Citi zens for Reagan Papers, HI. 45 A Preliminary Report to the Clements for Govern or Committee, V. Lance Tarrance and Associates, Campaign Records, Box 10, File 21, WCP. 46 Political Brief: Texas, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.

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257 the high value placed on family and the fact that the vast majority of the state identified itself as middle-class.47 Even some Democratic candidates, like the conservative Geor ge Mahon of Lubbock, fused economics with morality to firm up suppor t. For instance, agricultural producers in Mahons nineteenth district w ho were also largely Southern Baptist and traditionally anticommunist, heard, out of the same mouths and during the same events, messages that spoke to both their displeasure with grain embargos against the Sovi et Union and their support for measures to remove tax burdens from churches citing the danger of government interference in spiritual matters.48 Platform presentations like thesesome car efully crafted, others notmagnified the salience of both economic and social concerns, an d fused the two in Texas. Such a strategy seemed non-partisan yet conservative in philosop hy, but was more beneficial to the Republican Party, which was suffering less from state-nationa l factionalism on these issues and used the strategy to stabilize its coaliti on between free market libertaria n conservatives and the growing pockets of traditional and politically active Chri stian evangelicals who prioritized social issues, but were additionally concerned with the st ate and management of the economy. Clearly, socioeconomic factors like race, suburbaniz ation, energy, and broad economic issues contributed, both individually a nd collectively, to the declining popularity of Jimmy Carter in Texas, as well as to the labeling of Carters po licies as liberal and the growing association of liberalism with the Democratic Party. 47 Clements for Governor, Primary Campaign Plan, Final Draft, March 11,1978, Prepared by V. Lance Tarrance and Associates, Campaign Records, 1978, Box 14, File 5, WCP; Republican National Committee, April 29, 1977, Chicago, IL, Papers of the Republican Party [mic roform], ed. Paul L. Kesaris. Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1987, George Smathers Libraries, University of Florida (Hereafter cited as PRP), Part I, Series B, Reel 15, Frames 92-97. 48 Questionnaire on Church and State, Box 376, George Mahon Papers, Southwest Collection, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX (Hereafter cited as SWC); Texas Political Brief, October 26, 1980: Office of Policy Coordination, Box 25, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI.

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258 Social and Religious Conservatism The infusion of values, morality, and broade r social issues into the states political landscape only added to the poten cy of socioeconomic contributi ons to the growing storm of conservative Republicanism in Texas. Social co nservatism had played an important role in Texas for decades. The state, much like the rest of the South, was predominantly Protestant and traditionally committed to churches and the Judeo-Christian ethics preached within. For years, though, the states Democratic Party had been as much a political champion of these values as had any other organization in the state. The public s awareness of and reaction to social issues changed when the conflagration of particular issues in Texas reaching maturity in the late 1970s. This conflagration intensified the urgency of th e perceived threat to particular values and heightened the need for state and local politicians to identify themselves with one side or another on these various issues. Thus, social and religious conservatism in Texas changed and flourished during the late 1970s. The growing popularity of the Republican Pa rty in Texas was not the result of a simple and uniform realignment of religious rural Demo crats into the GOP tent. Republicans in north Dallas and west Houston, for instan ce, had little patience or interest for the teetotaling of rural Baptists. These urban and subur ban Texans blamed government we lfare for the rusting over of the Northeast and were typically more interested in maintainin g private investment opportunities in their state than with the pr otection of Judeo-Christ ian ethics. Stereot ypically, sophisticated Houstonians and Dallasites enjoye d fine wine and gourmet food, but had little taste for the philanthropy of Northeastern wealth, which was, as they saw it, insincere. Upper class Texans paid little attention to social problems throughout most of the 1970s, paying only lip service to civil rights. Yet, many affluent Texas conserva tives also did not have any tolerance for the

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259 countercultural moral relativis m that seemed to be liberalizing the West Coast.49 The threat that the economic consequences endured on the West Co ast as a result, it was theorized, of amoral liberalism could creep its way into the Lone Star State worried affluent Texas conservatives who otherwise might not have cared a bout social or re ligious issues. Social conservative activism coalesced in th e late 1970s thanks to both the charisma of Christian personalities and the sa lience of certain issues. Texa ss most famous churchgoer was also one of the nations most well-respected men. Though born a North Carolinian, Billy Graham had, in many ways, made Texas home. Since 1953, Graham had been a member of Texass largest Southern Baptist Church, the First Baptist Church of Dallas, whose pastor, W. A. Criswell, was the states best-know n preacher. Billy Graham influen ced Christians in Texas in a variety of ways throughout the decade, including by wa y of a policy change regarding host cities for his crusades. Beginning in the mid-1970s, Gr aham began to select Southern and Western cities for his crusades more regularly than he ha d in the past, and with greater frequency than he selected cities from other parts of the country. This gave medium-sized cities like Lubbock the opportunity to play host to the world-famous Gr aham and heightened th e citys regional and national awareness. The rationale for these decisions was largely a product of Grahams crusades being nationally televised and economic conditions in the Sunbelt offering low-cost production alternatives to the union-dominated la bor supply and high production expenses of the Northeast. Nonetheless, Grahams presence in the state magnified the respectability and importance of social issues in Texas and made the state more fertile breeding ground for similar social and religious advances.50 49 Political Brief: Texas. Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL. 50 Texas Monthly March 1978, The Power and the Glory of Billy Graham; Christianity Today, March 11, 2002, The Baptist Pope.

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260 Graham was certainly no friend of controve rsy and when charges broke in 1977 that his evangelistic association had im properly given funds to a Dallas lawyer rather than numerous Christian ministries for which the funds had oste nsibly been raised, he repudiated the charges and blamed the media for attacking and misreprese nting the facts of the case. Unlike the most famous member of his congregation, however, Fi rst Baptist Church of Dallas Pastor W. A. Criswell often was a friend of controversy. A resp ected conservative voice in the state, Criswell drew himself into the partisan fray as an increasingly vocal proponent of Republican politics throughout the decade. Also unlik e Graham, who spent time in the 1960s touring with Martin Luther King advocating a peaceful acceptance of school integration, Criswells firebrand style offered his well-to-do congregation a blending of economic acceptance, traditional Southern values, and evangelical conservatism. Yet, Criswells influence extended beyond the messages he gave from his pulpit. More lasting in impact was the prol iferation of Megachurches like Criswells, which altered the states traditional social conservative dynamic. These churches, predominantly a phenomenon in the South and West were typically defined as mega by their membership totals. Any church drawing at least 2,000 people to weeken d services could be deemed a Megachurch. However, Megachurch es were also define d as much by who was attending as by how many were attending. Al most exclusively Protestant, these churches provided suburban communities with a fo cal pointa meeting place for expanding neighborhoods comprised of middle to upper class, college-educated whites. These churches served suburban enclaves by not only providing sp iritual guidance, but also intramural sports leagues, social mixers, and a host of other or ganized events, many of which allowed for the mobilization of like-minded and politically dissatisfied grassroots conservatives.51 51 Patterson, Restless Giant 2005.

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261 By the late 1970s, with Megachurches e xpanding just as rapidly as the suburban communities surrounding them, Dallas was becoming a new national hub for Christian ministry. The high cost of living forced many ministries out of Southern Califor nia and several in the coming years relocated to Texas because of the friendly religious clim ate and lower economic costs of the state. Thriving Ch ristian organizations like Keith Gr eens Last Days Ministries, a ministry that was, in many ways, a reflection of the relational wave known in the late 1970s as the Jesus Movement, came to call Texas its ne w home, buying land just east of Dallas. Other national organizations and leading figures, includ ing multiple divisions of Campus Crusade for Christ, Pastor Chuck Swindoll, a nd the Trinity Broadcasting Networ k, had all relocated to Dallas by the early 1990s. This infusion of national ministries into th e Texas social and political climate began in the late 1970s and refl ected internal and external growth. In addition to attracting national ministri es, Texas was also the base for many homegrown evangelists. Preachers like David Terrell of Fort Worth, fo r instance, managed to attract a statewide following thanks to wi dely broadcast radio sermons th at warned of impending famine and doom. In 1974, Terrell even persuaded severa l hundred people to move to the tiny central Texas town of Bangs, in an attempt to avoid th e corruption of Texass growing urbanity. The conservative Baptist James Robinson also garn ered a statewide following, as well as a small national one, during the 1970s. Op erating out of the Dallas ar ea, the youthful and attractive Robinson broadcast weekly sermons on fifty tele vision stations nationwide and launched a tour of one-night rallies and stadium revivals much like Grahams, throughout the state. Though Dallas dominated religion in much th e same way that Houston dominated oil, Texass largest city was not devoid of popular evangelical influence. Charles and Frances Hunter based their television mi nistry, The Happy Hunters, out of Houston and used that

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262 publicity to promote over fourteen authored book s to a combined total of four million sold copies. The subject matter for the Hunters books ranged from speaking in tongues to weight loss and their television show was broadcast regularly in most Texas markets. Chris Panos, also of Houston, gained fame in the late 1970s as the Christian James Bonda man who smuggled Bibles into communist countries and organize d spontaneous crusades in places like India, where he, on more than one occasion, drew crowds of over 100,000. The success of Panoss ministry also inspired him to market a seri es of books and tapes on how average, everyday people could hold their own evangelistic crusades.52 Religious conservatism in Texas contributed to the overall political cultu re of the state. A greater awareness of and dissatisfaction with the moral health of the nation blended nicely with claims that the political process itself had become corrupt and that government was to blame for not just economic problem s, but social ones as well. The relationship between social conservatives and the Republican Party was comp lex, but can be explaine d by both the perceived national liberalization of the Democratic Party as well as the GOPs willingness to incorporate social issues into its broadly conceived agenda. Certainly, the influence of such evangelists in Texas as those described above al so contributed to a redefiniti on of what exactly that word evangelical meant in everyday American context.53 Not all Texans shared a uniform belief in worship style or theology and many Christia ns deplored the commercialization of God emanating from such sources. The growing ma jority of Texas religi ous conservatives did, however, share some things in commonmost notab ly their concern over issues which spoke to the decline of families and national morals. 52 Texas Monthly March 1978, The Power and the Glory of Billy Graham. 53 Ibid.

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263 For social conservatives, issues of gender provided the most-noticeable collision point in Texas between family values and declining mora ls. This collision did not go unnoticed by the states conservative political hierarchy. George Mahon was one such conservative who saw the political value of Christian credentials. Du ring his 1976 congressional campaign, Mahon, in part spurred on by the first legitimate GOP opponent he had ever faced, aggressively courted the endorsement of prominent Christian organizations and reconstructed his bio to lead with his membership in a local Methodist church and work as a Sunday School teacher.54 In appealing to evangelical conservatives in West Texas, Ma hon also emphasized his advocacy of the death penalty, opposition to welfare, and belief that be ing tougher on crime was an essential priority for the upcoming Congress.55 Yet, the most serious reservations Mahon e xpressed during the late 1970s concerned the direction of his Democratic Partywith specific reference to elements of the national platform that appealed to and even courted feminist activ ists into the Democratic tent. Mahon believed his partys tent was becoming too broad and was, consequently, losing its moral authority56 As Democratic leaders like Mahon publicly ques tioned their own part ys moral authority, Republicans seemed more credible in charging their opposition w ith liberalism. Accordingly, greater numbers of Texas cons ervatives were inclined to see the GOP as a much more respectable alternative than before. In 1972, just four years prior to the notic eable shift in Mahons personal re-election strategy, Texas ratified the Equal Rights Amendm ent. Each subsequent year between 1973 and 1977, members of the Texas legislature initiat ed proceedings designed to rescind that 54 Political Brief: Nineteenth District. Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL. 55 Letter to Dan Hanna, member, Board of Christian Men, from George Mahon, September 2, 1976, Box 376, George Mahon Papers, SWC. 56 Letter from John C. White to George Mahon, March 29, 1978, Box 404, George Mahon Papers, SWC.

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264 ratification.57 That Texas became home to many cons ervatives who found disfavor with the tenets of the ERA is not a surprise. What is a surprise was that, in 1977, Houston was selected as the host city for the National Womens Conference. For several years, the selection made Texas largest city synonymous within feminist circles for womens uni fication in the demand and fight for universal equality.58 The Houston conference, though, was also significant for a variety of other reasons. The 1977 National Womens Conference in Houston was chaired by prominent New York womens activist, and future Carter appoi ntee to head the National Advisory Committee on Women, Bella Abzug. Joining Abzug in attenda nce at the Houston conference were women such Rosalynn Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford, Jean Stapleton, Billie Jean King, and Margaret Mead.59 During the four-day event, delegates passed an agenda that included planks on abortion, ERA, and gay-rights. Not all in atte ndance found accord with th ese actions. In fact, between 15 and 20 percent of the delegates in a ttendance voted against one or more of these planks.60 Antifeminists, though ridiculed and grea tly outnumbered, justified the conventions proclamation of diversity in poli tical viewpoints, however nominal. Conservatives most powerful push for rec ognition, however, occurred not inside the convention doors, but because of their large excl usion from them. In response to the Houston convention, and the perception that only women who agreed with the general feminist platform were genuinely welcome to attend, Pro-Family rogue conventions that acted as protest gatherings gained steam in and around Houston.61 Led by Phyllis Schlafly, these protest 57 Texas Overview 3/24/79-3/25/79 Trip to Oklahoma and Texas, Box 124, Staff Office Files: Office of Staff Secretary. JCL. 58 Bruce J. Schulman, The Seventies: The Great Shift in Am ericas Culture, Society, and Politics (New York: The Free Press, 2001),186. 59 Ibid. 60 Miscellaneous Files, Box 6, Office of Public Liaison: Margaret Costanza Files, JCL. 61 Houston Post, November 23, 1977, A17. Staff Office Files: First Ladys Staff Press Office. JCL.

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265 movements, 11,000 strong at one point, garnered as much press coverage as the main event itself.62 Schlafly proclaimed that, Houston will fi nish off the womens movement. It will show them off for the radical, anti-fam ily, pro-lesbian people they are.63 Incapable of ignoring the protests or the distrac tion, leaders inside the convention pub licly and privately dismissed these conservative factions as clones of the John Bi rch Society and even the Ku Klux Klan. Adding fuel to the fire, these appellations only incited gr eater protest and frequent press coverage of the event, particularly in Texas.64 From a historical perspective, the legacy of the Spirit of Houston seems mixed. It also appeared that way to contemporaries in the Texa s press. Editorials proclaimed the event as evidence that real power in America lies in coal ition building. Both co nservative and liberal factions were recognized as im portant political blocs. Attrac ting these blocs was seen as a gateway for a shift in the balance of power at the state and nationa l level. However, the agenda voted on and approved by conservative women opposed to the Houston agenda was not simply a statement of diametric opposition. Purposely lis ted in order of prioritization and perceived importance, the Pro-Family Coalition passed planks on the following: limited and lower taxes, reductions in government spending and waste, secu rity and national defense, local government control, opposition to the ERA, and a pro-life statement.65 Whereas the goal of the feminist agenda was to gain entre into the national political discourse by way of introducing a feminist agenda, conservative women chose an opposite st rategy. Rather than prioritize gay-rights, abortion, or the ERA, conservative women doffed their collective hats to and unified under the rhetoric of populist conservati sm. These conservative women ha stened and strengthened the 62 Wall Street Journal January 3, 1978, Box 85, Deaver & Hannaford Papers, HI. 63 Donald T. Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassro ots Conservatism: A Woman's Crusade (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005); Schulman, The Seventies 187. 64 Miscellaneous Files, Box 6, Office of Public Liaison: Margaret Costanza Files, JCL. 65 Houston Post, November 23, 1977, A17. Staff Office Files: First Ladys Staff Press Office. JCL.

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266 growing power of the Republican Party, both nationally and in Te xas, by connecting the social conservative agenda with that of a western popu lism that emphasized strength, efficiency, and the liberation of Americans from the yoke of big government. This amalgam of special interests helped conservatism coalesce in Texas, contribut ed to redefinitions of liberalism, and even helped win the loyalties of Hispanic women in places like San Antonio, where the local GOP used family, abortion, and ERA to underm ine Democratic appeals to Catholics.66 The rise of evangelical social conservatis m in Texas coincided with numerous other political maneuverings in the state and contributed to the coming fusion of conservatism within the Texas Republican Party. Conservative facti ons with seemingly little in common united under a worldview of conservatism that simultaneously appealed to multiple constituencies on the basis of discontent and anti-liberalism. Affluent urban Texans shared th e belief of rural Baptists that the nation was in decline, Texas was threatened, and the government was to blame. Still, there was yet another aspect to the GOPs appeal whic h allowed factions of middle class free market libertarian conservatives to fuse with the state s rural social conservativesthe persistent Red Menace. Canals, Communists, and Giveaways In the last years of the decade, social cons ervatives in Texas rallied behind numerous issues, many of which went beyond the scope of gender.67 Richard Viguerie was among those Texans with a passion to see th e Republican Party carried to new national prominence on the backs of reinvigorated New Right. His early career included stin ts with the Right-Wing anticommunist radio preacher, Billy James Hargis as well his service as the Executive Secretary 66 RNC Executive Meeting, March 12, 1977, Washington, DC, PRP, Part I, Series B, Reel 15, Frame 003. 67 Texas Briefing: Office of Policy Coordination, Box 24, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI; Briggs Initiative, 1978, Box 4, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI; Atlas World Press March 1978, The New Conservatism, Box 85, Deaver & Hannaford, Inc. Papers, HI.

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267 of the Young Americans for Freedom organization. Viguerie later founded the Conservative Digest magazine and began to work his way up th e Republican political ladder. After the National Womens Conference in Houston, Viguer ie saw an opportunity to network with and mobilize the over 11,000 protesters that had unified as part of the Pro-Family coalition and rally. That year, Vigueries private firm maile d 75 million fund-raising letters for conservative causes. Viguerie organized diverse groups with diverse complaints agains t a single source: big government. His conservative activism and mobilizat ion of grassroots for ces drew the attention of national media, which acknowledged the streng th of conservative grassroots activists through a collection of issues all addr essed under a united anti-governme nt banner. Prophetically, the Washington Post in a story on Viguerie in January 1978, reported that the GOP was making strides in an effort to ste al Jimmy Carters 1976 anti-government campaign issue and turn it against him and his Democrat ic allies in Washington.68 Also in January 1978, Viguerie helped orga nize a new incarnation of the Truth Squada speaking tour of conservative politic ians barnstorming across the nation and drawing significant amounts of free airtime on local and national news program s. The truth that this particular squad of conservative speakers want ed to communicate was occasionally disguised as an outright attack on th e Panama Canal Treaties.69 In 1978, as in 1976, such attacks resonated in Texas. After the treaties were signed in 1977, co nservatives fought against their ratification in the Senate and Republicans used the issu e to bolster their support in Texas among anticommunists, social conservatives, and anti-l iberals who saw the treaties as a giveaway. In 1977, John Tower, whose personal opposition to the canal stretched back to 1966, claimed to be receiving as many as 4,000 lett ers a week from citizens in Texas voicing 68 Wall Street Journal January 3, 1978, Box 85, Deaver & Hannaford Papers, HI. 69 Washington Post January 19, 1978, Box 85, Deaver & Hannaford Papers, HI.

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268 disapproval of the measure.70 A flood of these letters poured into Towers office in October 1977, after Jimmy Carter gave an interview to a Denver, Colorado radio station during which he rejected comparisons between the Panama Canal Zone and other territori es like Texas, which Carter argued the United States ha d bought and paid for. Texans were outraged to hear their state described in such a way and Tower, respon ding to the overflow of mail flooding his office, wrote Carter personally that, the independence of the Republic of Texas was purchased with the red blood of patriots, as Im sure you are now aware, and not with U.S. dolla rs. Texas existed as an independent nation from 1836 to 1845 when sh e voluntarily surrendered her sovereignty to become one of the United States. Tower added sarcastically that Carter was certainly correct in rejecting any analogy between Te xas and other situations. Texa s is unique and will forever remain thus.71 To a certain extent, then, the Panama Canal issue illuminated issues of state pride for many Texans, regardless of political ideology. S imultaneously, the issue reinvigorated animosity toward Carter. Furthermore, the issue in Te xas stirred passions for rugged individualism, independence, patriotism, traditi on, and strength. To another (and even larger) extent, the continued use of the Panama Canal Treaties as a mobilizing issue for Republicans was an example of how grassroots conservatives manage d to occasionally dictat e politicians agendas.72 The animosity of the Texas grassroots toward the Panama Canal Treaties was evident both in terms of raw polling data and mobilized opposition. By February 1978, 79 percent of Texans were opposed to the treaties, while only 11 percent supported them Partisan breakdowns were even more revealing. Not surprisingly, 86 percent of Texas Republi cans disapproved of the 70 Panama Canal: 1977-1978, Folder 38, Box 1339, Houston Office, JTP; Letter from John G. Tower to Donald M. Dozer, August 11, 1966. Box 78, Donald M. Dozer Papers, HI. 71 Letter from John Tower to Jimmy Carter, October 26, 1977, John Tower Name File, White House Central Files, Jimmy Carter Presidential Papers, JCL. 72 Texas Trip 6/78, Box 291, Staff Office File s: Domestic Policy Staff, Stu Eizenstat, JCL.

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269 treaties, whereas only 5 percent favor ed them. Just as significant, however, was the fact that at a rate of 80-12, Democrats in Texas also disapproved of the treaties.73 Conservative Democrats in Texas who felt strongly that the Panama Canal issue was a national priority were given little choice but to publicly oppose Ca rter and side with the GOP. The organization of a mobilized conservative grassroots was further evidence of the power that the Canal debate had on the Texas ci tizenry. In 1972, the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution initiated operati ons across Texas, with a noticeably large base in Houston, for the purpose of oppos ing the treaties on grounds that the canal had been paid for and was therefore owned by the American taxpaye r. The federal government, then, had no right to give it away.74 In 1977, another grassroots organiza tion, the Emergency Committee to Save the US Canal Zone, based its operations upon the precedent of Texas annexation, arguing that the Canal Zone should be admitted to the Union as a new state in order to give the over 40,000 United States citizens inhabiting that zone full representation in Congress, and requiring the President to defend their territo ry in accordance with the supreme law of the land. This organization, of which Phyllis Schlafly was a member, strongly objected to the relinquishing of the canal to the Marxist Revolutionary Gove rnment of Panama and couched its objections firmly in the context of anticommunism.75 Texas grassroots opposition to the canal treatie s also came in the form of individual agitators. For instance, George S. Petley of Hous ton began billing himself in the late 1970s as a Researcher, lecturer, and former Canal Zone reside nt and used said billing to promote a series of speaking tours throughout the state. During these lectures, Petley frequently compared the 73 Statewide Survey in Texas on Attitudes Toward the Panama Canal Treaty, Conducted by Opinion Research Corp., Princeton, NJ Feb. 1978, Box 11, George D. Moffett Collection, JCL. 74 Citizens Groups, Panama Canal File, Box 66, Donald M. Dozer Papers, HI. 75 Emergency Committee to Save the US Canal Zone, 1977, Box 68, Donald M. Dozer Papers, HI.

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270 Canal Zone to Fort Knox, saying that the compar ison was valid not just because both were the property of U.S. taxpayers, but also because givi ng away the Canal would be just as destructive to American interests as woul d a hypothetical giving away of Fort Knox. The Panama Canal was economically and strategically our greatest territorial po ssession, Petley wrote in his promotional literature. We cannot afford toa nd must notlose it! Petley also drew laughs from his audiences by routinely adding the qui p that America should not give Panama our Canal Give them Kissinger instead!76 As national icons like Ronald Reagan used th e issue in Texas to buttress his own support, the association of Democratic policies with li beralism and liberalism with weakness gained strength in the state and had a profound impact on pa rtisan allegiance in Texa s. In 1978, twice as many Texans still identified themselves as De mocrat than Republican. Yet, twice as many Texans also identified themselves as conservative rather than liberal. Texas conservatives from both parties increasingly identifi ed Carter with liberalism, and saw Americas problems as the failure of liberalism.77 In the summer of 1978, the Texas GOP distribute d brochures that listed some of Carters liberal actions. These brochures were easily iden tified by large-print banner headlines that read, Carter is NO Conservative, Carters Libera l Policies, and Carters Liberal Appointments.78 Wrapped up into this building animosity against Ca rter, the federal government, and liberal politics was an overarching conservative culture that blended anticommunism with anti-Statism and a general hostility toward government. The manifestation of this animosity took many forms in Texas. In Midland, for instance, city offi cials had, since 1975, rejected federal development 76 Letter and attached advertisement, from George S. Petley to Donald M. Dozer, March 2, 1976, Box 68, Donald M. Dozer Papers, HI. 77 Statewide Survey in Texas on Attitudes Toward the Panama Canal Treaty, Conducted by Opinion Research Corp., Princeton, NJ Feb. 1978, Box 11, George D. Moffett Collection, JCL. 78 The Texas Advocate June 1978, Folder 22, Box 542, Tower Senate Club, JTP.

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271 funds, citing their desire to main tain the spirit of independe nce and freedom from federal government.79 While places like Midland also deflected federal encroachment in order to avoid federal integrationist policies, the primary effect of anti-government sentiment in Texas was the destruction of the states once-dominant Democra tic Party. The widespread perception that Carters administration was too li beral on a number of major issues nationally discredited most Democratic efforts to elicit Te xans support for federal programs.80 Yet, the national Democratic Party was not solely to blame for the dissolutio n of its one-party dominance in Texas. Texas Republicans grew optimistic during the late 1970s that it was on the cusp of not only becoming a legitimate second party in the state, but also the states home for conservative politics, and presumably the states next power.81 Put another way, as more lib erals controlled the national Democratic Party it became hard er for the state Democratic Part y to remain conservative. The growing liberalization of the Texas Democratic Party was a victory for the states minority and progressive blocs, the cost of which was the status of the Texas Democratic Party as the dominant force in state politics. By 1978, a majority of Texans viewed Carte rs positioning on issues such as the Panama Canal and energy as liberal. Equally potent as a coalition-building fo rce among the grassroots was Carters policy toward the Soviet Union. Conservatives in Texas were dismayed over Carters proposed reductions in military spending, which Republicans portrayed as acquiescence, appeasement, and defeatism in the global war on communism. For instance, Carters decision to discontinue the B-1 bomber was part icularly unpopular both as an act of weakness and as a blow to the Texas economy, particularly in Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio, where defense and 79 Briefing for Campaign Appearances: Midland, TX, April 30, 1980, Box 55, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Hannaford / California Headquarters Files, RRL. 80 Texas Trip 6/78, Box 291, Staff Office File s: Domestic Policy Staff, Stu Eizenstat, JCL. 81 Republican National Committee, February 27, 1976, Arlington, VA, PRP, Part I, Series B, Reel 13, Frames 389-398.

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272 aviation manufacturing was a vital economic com ponent. In 1978, nearly 60 percent of Texans polled favored an increase in military sp ending, versus only 17 percent who favored a reduction.82 Most Texans were also opposed to SALT-II negotiations, for which Carter unsuccessfully attempted to rally support by soliciting the back ing of Texas clergy, even going so far as to suggest sermon topics on peace and the Christian perspective of war.83 Carters efforts could not combat the conservative momentum engulfing the state by 1978. As socioeconomic issues mixed with changing app eals to the states r acial minorities and a heightened sensitivity to the threat of encroach ing national immorality on state culture, the Texas political landscape was ripened for the most me morable midterm election season in the states history. The 1978 Midterm Campaigns Thanks in large part to the charismatic rh etoric of Ronald Reagan, anticommunism was once again en vogue among Texas Republicans in th e late 1970s. John Tower even managed to extend his anticommunist credentials to a renewe d interest in the American alliance with and protection of Israel. Tower spoke before seve ral Jewish organizations as his 1978 re-election campaign approached, couching his speeches as calls for a renewed commitment to Israels freedom in the midst of encroaching co mmunist influence in the Middle East.84 Tower readjusted some of his rhetoric after 1978 in antic ipation of what he feared would be his most difficult re-election fight. His instincts were correct. Towers 1978 re-election bid was his toughest to date and the obstacles he faced were predominantly of his own making. Towers reelection bid also reflected some of the conflicts in Texas between ideology and partisan loyalty. 82 Texas Trip 6/78, Box 291, Staff Office File s: Domestic Policy Staff, Stu Eizenstat, JCL. 83 Strategy, Box 12, Office of Public Liaison: Bob Maddox (Religious Liaison) Files, JCL. 84 Draft Speech for Senator John Tower, September 1, 1977, American Zionist Federation, Folder 36, Box 20, Press Office, JTP.

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273 The veteran voice of the Texas GOP had fallen in to disfavor with the growing conservative grassroots, largely because of his opposition to Reagan in both 1968 and 1976. Tower was also unpopular, however, because, independently of hi s association with national figures, he had difficulty relating to his changing constituency. In 1978, for instance, Tower supported proposed legislation that would have permitted federal funds to be used for abortions, without restriction, while Texass junior senator, the conservative Democrat Lloyd Bentsen, opposed such a measure. Towers rationale that morality coul d not be legislated fell on deaf ears among the states social conservatives, many of whom be gan to perceive Tower as a social liberal.85 Thus, image was at the top of Towers list of problems and manifest ed in several ways. By way of comparison, Tower appeared noticeabl y less rugged, Western, or Texan than did Californias former governor, Ronald Reagan. Once an ardent Barry Goldwater supporter, Tower was, in the late 1970s, more often reme mbered for his fondness of wool suits bought on Savile Row in London than for his conservative re sume. At the same time, the fact that Tower had been educated at the London School of Economi cs became a detriment to his credibility in Texass conservative circles.86 Foreign influence of any kinds was still met with a measure of distrust. Tower responded to attacks on his Texas im age by readjusting his rhetoric and mending fences with the most recognizable and popular icons of conservatism in the state. In April 1978, Tower began to publicly attack Jimmy Carters fo reign policy, speaking gr avely of the imminent Soviet threat and arguing that Carters policie s were playing into the hands of the Soviet government. Tower also re-learned the benef it of linking such problems to big government liberalism and geographic bias. Tower spoke mo re often in the spring and summer of 1978 of 85 Houston Post July 3, 1977, Abortion, Folder 1, Box 1339, Houston Office, JTP. 86 Roger M. Olien, From Token to Triumph: The Texas Republicans Since 1920 (Dallas, TX: Southern Methodist University Press, 1982), 247.

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274 his fight against the Northeastern Libera l Establishment than he had in years.87 At the same time, Tower, after privately mending personal wounds between he and the Reagan camp, took every opportunity he could to publicly affirm hi s fondness for Ronald Reagan and reveled in the opportunity to appear with Reagan at GOP fundraisers in Texas.88 The benefit of adding Reagans endorsement went beyond the scope of me re association with a popular conservative. Reagan could credibly say things to Texas vot ers that Tower, because of his opposition to Reagan in previous years, no longer could, for as much as Tower attempted to rail against Carter and liberalism, none of his efforts were as effect ive as having Reagan do the talking for him. Reagan effectively evoked wartime imagery on behalf of Tower as a means of uniting disparate factions of the conservative cause. Conservative rhetoric in Texas crea ted a patriotic urgency that otherwise might not have existed. Togeth er we can stop Jimmy Carter and his band of fumbling advisors, Reagan wrote in a dire ct mailing to Texas vot ers, by seeing that conservatives like John Tower are not replaced by liberals.89 Direct mailings like these were also effective because they help ed crystallize a correlation in the minds of Texas voters between liberalism and the Democratic Party. This image war shaped Towers campaign in 1978. In addition to Reagan, George Bush and former Texas Governor Allan Shiver s put their names to direct mailings endorsing Tower and denouncing the liberal alliance between big labor, big government, and the liberal elements of the Senate and House of Representatives.90 Shivers endorsement was a particularly effective benefit to Towers efforts to attract older conservatives who were reluctant 87 Remarks by Senator John Tower (R-TX) upon being presented the Annual Presidents Award of the American Defense Preparedness Association in Washington DC on April 27, 1978, Box 20, Press Office, JTP; Why John Tower will go down to defeat, Undated Poll An alysis, Box 542, Folder 10, Tower Senate Club, JTP. 88 Letter, From: Lyn Nofziger, To: John Tower, Apr il 26, 1977, Folder 7, Box 873, Washington Office, JTP; Letter, From: Nancy Palm, September 1977, Folder 7, Box 542, Tower Senate Club, JTP. 89 Direct Mailing, From Ronald Reagan, June 1978, Folder 14, Box 572. Tower Senate Club, JTP. 90 Direct Mailing, From George Bush, December 1977, Folder 7, Box 572, Tower Senate Club, JTP.

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275 to embrace the new perception of the Democr atic Party as a voice for liberalism.91 Still, the image war of 1978 was about more than just To wer; his opponent, Congressman Bob Krueger, was also an active combatant. Krueger was a former Duke University English professor who was fond of quoting Shakespeare on the campaign tr ail. Krueger was widely regarded as a liberal, though his campaign advertisements and brochures were all emblazoned with the word CONSERVATIVEin all capital lettersfollowe d, in a much more subdued presentation, by the word Democrat.92 Krueger, whose claim to fame in Texas was th at he had almost succe eded in getting the House to approve a natural gas deregulation bill, joined Tower in not only trying to manage his own image, but also disparage his opponents. Th e result was one of the nastiest campaigns in Texas history. When the Krueger campaign atte mpted to use Towers divorces as a wedge between the incumbent and social conservatives in Texas, going so far as to charge Tower with rampant womanizing, Towers campaign responded by circulating rumors that the bachelor Krueger was actually a closet homosexual. Krue ger responded to charges that he was gay by inserting a photograph of himself with two uni dentified adult women, three young girls, and a dogvaguely referred to in the photos capti on as familyinto new campaign circulars.93 Krueger campaigned as a good ole boythe antithesis of the upper-crust elitism many ascribed to Tower, though good ole boy ha d also become a double-edged sword as a euphemism for the Austin establishment. Wh ile Tower attacked Carter on foreign policy, Krueger made some headway by charging that his opponent cared little for the daily affairs of ordinary Texans. Krueger lost ground am ong conservative businessmen, though, when he 91 Direct Mailing from Allan Shivers, Undated, Folder 23, Box 560, Tower Senate Club, JTP. 92 The Texas Chameleon, by Mark Pinsky, New Times Magazine November 1, 1974, Folder 25, Box 560, Tower Senate Club, JTP. 93 Political Brief: Texas, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.

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276 unwisely introduced himself to the Downtown Kiwanis Club of Houston by saying, If youre looking for someone who is just a spokesman for business, youre not looking for me.94 Krueger tried to undercut Towers popularity among Mexican Americans by reminding them of the incumbent Republicans opposition to civil ri ghts legislation in the 1960s and also took advantage of a 1978 Department of Justice decisi on to use the Voting Rights Act as a means to command authority of Texas election laws in res ponse to allegations of voter discrimination. Tower adamantly opposed this action as federal usurpation of state power and garnered some support among white Texans as a result. Howe ver, among minorities, Towers popularity slid.95 The youthful Kruegers biggest mistake, howev er, was his decision to bring in national celebrities like Rosalynn Carter and Walter Mo ndale to campaign on his behalf. Rather than attract minority voters, as had been his hope, Krue ger decision was far more effective in sending conservative white Texans back into the Tower camp. When all the votes were tallied, Tower won re-election by a slim 1 percent. Towers narrow re-election may not have been secured without the assistance of the most groundbreaking Republican electoral achievement in Texas during the twentieth century. In November 1978, William P. Clements became the fi rst Republican to win the governorship of Texas since Reconstruction. Clem entss resume prior to 1978 re flected an alignment with the more traditional elements of the GOP. Having made millions in the Texas oil and drilling industry, Clements served as co-chair of the Texas Committee to Re-Elect the President in 1972.96 He subsequently served both the Nixon and Ford administrations as Deputy Secretary of Defense. During the early months of 1978, Texa s Republicans began to court Clements as a possible nominee for governor. Despite his service at the federal level, as well as his financial 94 Olien, From Token to Triumph 249. 95 Voting Rights Act, Comparison Papers, Folder 7, Box 561, Tower Senate Club, JTP. 96 Olien, From Token to Triumph, 252.

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277 status within the Dallas oil community, Clements faced a number of obsta cles, not the least of which was name recognition. Reservations were also made about his age; (he was 60 at the time). GOP strategists, chiefly aware of the increasing power that te levision and radio was playing in state and national campaigns, were al so concerned by Clementss lack of charisma and media savvy. 97 Launching the most expensive Republic an candidacy in state history, Clementss campaign attempted to solve these problems by spending over $1.8 million in television and radio advertis ing during the primary alone. 98 Beyond money, however, Clements did enjoy on e significant advantage in the race for governor. He was not a liberal De mocrat associated in any way w ith the Carter administration. Clementss opponent, however, was and did. A surp rise victor in the Democratic primary, Texas Attorney General John Hill handily defeated th e more conservative and incumbent governor, Dolph Briscoe by capitalizing on the percepti on that Briscoe was a do-nothing governor. Conservatives failed to turn out during the primary and motivated liberals took advantage. Hills campaign against Briscoe exacerbated tensions with in the state Democratic Party. Conservatives were dismayed over Hills aggres sive attacks on Briscoe and feared that liberal activism within the Democratic Party was threatening to take a stranglehold on the operations of that party. Elected as a representative of liberal Democrat s who were voting in larger numbers, Hill quickly hoped to boost his credentials for the general election by gaining a national endorsement. On May 17, Hill joined a constituency of Texas liberals in making a trip to Washington for a meeting with President Carter Hill quickly gained Cart ers endorsement and favor.99 97 Clements for Governor, Primary Campaign Plan, Final Draft, March 11,1978, Prepared by V. Lance Tarrance and Associates, Campaign Records, 1978, Box 14, File 5, WCP. 98 Texas Observer April 28, 1978, 7; Texas Monthly October 1978, 188. 99 U.S. President, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1977-1981), Jimmy Carter, 1978, 934, 1168.

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278 Throughout the campaign, Hills greatest weaknesshis perceived liberalism and association with the White Housewas also Clemen tss greatest strength. For all that Texans did not know about Bill Clements, they knew plen ty about Jimmy Carter. Polls released in Texas during 1978 indicated that as much as 80 per cent of the state believed that new leadership was needed in both Austin and Washington.100 These same polls indicated that Carter himself was listed among the things Texas voters saw as most problematic with the statenot just the nation. At the same time, Texas voters, thou gh dismayed over the direction Carter had taken since his election, still identified with the broad, ideological doct rines Carter had championed in 1976 and Reagan still championed by 1978. Survey samples consistently showed that the rapidly increasing upper to middle class Protestant population of th e state saw the solutions to their woes not in federal activism, but in wi nning the fight [against] the federal government.101 Despite these obstacles, Hill ran a relativel y passive general campaign. The unpopularity of the Carter administration in Texas only made the overconfident Hills quest for association with Washington all the more peculiar. Conserva tive Democrats feeling alienated by the divisive primary campaign against Briscoe joined Republican s in making Hills association with Carter a chief issue.102 Hill was also consistently lambasted in the press, which reported conservatives criticism of the Democratic nominees support for ERA and the pro-choice abortion lobby. 103 Regarding state-level issues, Hill faired little be tter. When a Briscoe-sponsored tax-cut package stalled and eventually died in the Texas Legisl ature, conservatives on both sides of the aisle blamed Hill. The Attorney General, they ar gued, indirectly defeated the tax-cut plan by 100 A Preliminary Report to the Clements for Govern or Committee, V. Lance Tarrance and Associates, Campaign Records, Box 10, File 21, WCP. 101 Clements for Governor, Primary Campaign Plan, Final Draft, March 11,1978, Prepared by V. Lance Tarrance and Associates, Campaign Records, 1978, Box 14, File 5, WCP. 102 Lubbock Avalanche Journal, October 19, 1978, Dallas Morning News October 1, 1978, Midland Reporter Telegram October 17, 1978, Campaign Records, 1978, Box 9, 17, WCP. 103 Ibid.

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279 organizing a coalition of moderate and liberal Democrats in the Te xas House of Representatives. Voters and Briscoe-insiders alike blamed Hill for playing governor and began to publicly support the Clements campaign.104 Republicans, however, did not rely solely on anti -Carter or anti-liberal sentiment. Rather, they actively sought to broaden the tent underneath which conser vative Texans could, without guilt, align themselves with the GOP. Clementss platform did not initially include discussion of national issues such as defense spending, dtente, or the Panama Canal Treaties. By the time of the general election, it did. Clements also regu larly included diatribes in his campaign speeches against the deregulation of oil a nd gas, (which many Texans belie ved Carter had promised them in 1976), as well as hot-button is sues like local control for edu cation, tougher crime laws that included similar sentences for similar crimes, and support for the death penalty. In addition, Clements touted a $314.8 million tax reduction plan, cer tainly attractive to fiscal conservatives in the old guard of the Texas GOP.105 Yet, just talking about these issues was not as effective as the iconographical alignment Clements established as the fall campaign appr oached. In August, J ohn Connally responded to the Clements platform by offering a ringing endo rsement, broadcast statewide via radio. The same endorsement was broadcast on television in September.106 Clements also earned the public endorsements of George Bush and Briscoe.107 By the end of the summer, the Clements team established campaign centers in over 130 rural coun ties in Texas, each of which was chaired by a registered and conservative Democrat. 108 Knowing that he had the support of oil leaders and conservative business leaders in Dallas and Houst on, Clementss team next prioritized Reagans 104 Olien, From Token to Triumph 257. 105 Bill Clements Position Papers, Campaign Records, 1978, Box 15, File 1, WCP. 106 Olien, From Token to Triumph, 256-257. 107 Austin American-Statesman September 14, 1978, Box 95, Deaver & Hannaford Inc. Papers, HI. 108 Olien, From Token to Triumph 255-256.

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280 exuberant base. These voters found resonance with issues such as busing, school prayer, abortion, gun control, and co mmunism. That summer, Reagan was approached about campaigning for Clements in Texas. Although he was initially asked to limit his speech topics to either issues of national securi ty or direct attacks on Jimmy Ca rter, evangelicals began to move more rapidly toward Clements as Reagans presence in the campaign increased. Reagan made campaign appearances with Clements on Septembe r 1, (in Austin), and again on October 19, as keynote speaker at the Fort Worth luncheon to kickoff the Convoy for Clements organization. He was also asked to lead campaign efforts in San Antonio and Lubbock, two of the top six vote producing counties for Reagan in hi s 1976 presidential primary campaign.109 As a sign of the states changing political climate, among the more lasting criticisms made against Clements during his election bid were ones centered on past comments made in support of Lyndon Johnson. Loyalty had been a stap le of partisan politics in the 1960s, but in 1978 yellow-dogs were fewer and further between. 110 Nonetheless, Clements campaign effectively combined strands of libertarian anti-Sta tism with social and fi scal conservatism. In September, Clements accepted the endorsement of New York Congressman Jack Kemp, who rallied with Clements to support a taxpayers bill of rights. From a national perspective, the contest between Clements and Hill was a potential referendum on the Carter presidency in Texas.111 In a narrow race, Clements used Carters unpopularity, Reagans appeal, and a rhetoric which fused multiple factions under a banner of anti-liberalism to defeat Hill and give the governors mansion a Republican resident. The Texas gubernatorial campaign of 1978 was a 109 Miscellaneous Correspondence, Le tter from Tom C. Reed to Mike Deaver, June 13, 1978, Campaign Records, 1978, Box 14, File 6, WCP. 110 Clements for Governor, Primary Campaign Plan, Final Draft, March 11,1978, Prepared by V. Lance Tarrance and Associates, Campaign Records, 1978, Box 14, File 5, WCP. 111 News Release, September 9, 1978, Campaign Records, 1978, Box 9, File 16, WCP.

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281 watershed for Republican acceptability in the Lone Star State. Fueled largely by the momentum of Reagans 1976 bid and Texans dissatisfac tion with Carter, Clements hastened the reconciliation of divisi ons that had left the Texas GOP te mporarily fractured after 1976. He helped recast the party as a new and stronger coa lition of fiscal and social conservatives, united by a common interest in anti-commu nism and anti-Carter liberalism. In doing so, Clements also attracted disaffected conservative Democratson e more link in the chain that moved the state toward large-scale partisan realignment. Yet, not every Republican who ran for publ ic office in Texas in 1978 had the same good fortune as Bill Clements. James Baker, for instance, fell twelve points short in his bid to win the office of Texas Attorney General, losing to the st ates incumbent Secretary of State, Mark White. Still, Bakers campaign was revealing. Ha ving run Gerald Fords 1976 campaign, Baker understood the Texas political culture and intended to anchor his campaign to anti-liberal and anti-Carter appeals.112 Baker had not, however, expected to run against the conservative Democrat, White, but rather agai nst Price Daniel, Jr., the liberal son of the former Texas governor of the same name. White scored an unexpected, yet relatively decisive victory over Daniel in the Texas Democratic Primary. Duri ng that campaign, White attacked Daniel as a liberal with ties to the Carter administration. The Texas press di d not assist Daniel in shaking the label, and many metropolitan newspapers ran editori als critiquing the ex tent of Daniels leftward leanings.113 White further infused a sense of st ate pride and populist provincialism into the race when he associated Daniels campaign with foreign influencewhich he defined as federal encroachment and the influence of Northern outsiders migrating into Texas.114 112 Olien, From Token to Triumph 262. 113 Miscellaneous Files, Box 37, Folder 1: General 73-78, James A. Baker Papers, SGML. 114 Baker News Digest and Analysis, No. 2, April 18, 1978, Box 37, James A. Baker Papers, SGML.

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282 In positioning himself to Daniels right, White also neutralized the liberal issue for the general campaign against Baker. Thus, a major difference between the campaigns of Tower and Clements and that of Baker was the conserva tism of their Democratic opponents. Bakers strategy for the general election was supposed to center on magnifying the liberal stigma of his expected opponent. Campaign staff repeatedly assured Baker that Da niels liberalism was potentially the most damaging part of his r ecord. Against White, how ever, the same charges were ineffective, not just because they were less true about the conservative White, but also because White had used the same strategy to defeat Daniel in the primary.115 Left scrambling to devise a new approach, Bakers strategists emphasi zed the need to get to Whites right on three issues: crime, energy, and federa l encroachment. The Baker campaign also accused White of ignoring the problem of illegal immigration from Mexico, yet al so courted the Hispanic vote by charging that White was dragging his feet on minority concerns.116 The only specific issue Baker consistently us ed to any degree of effect was Whites public support of the Equal Ri ghts Amendment, which Baker believed would benefit him with conservative groups in West Texas. On this issue however, Bakers consistent argument was less about the infusion of gender or family into the campaign, but rather th at everything the ERA was intended to do was already provided for by the 14th amendment and was thus nothing more than Constitutional tamperi ng and federal encroachment.117 Bakers strategy on ERA was effective to the degree that he ma intained the support of ardent libertarians. This strategy was ineffective, however, for drawing in rural Demo crats whose blood was already up because of the social ramifications surrounding events like the pr evious years womens conference in Houston. 115 Memorandum to James Baker, from Jim Cicconi, re: Thoughts on Opposition to Date, December 22, 1977, Box 37, Folder 1: General 73-78, James A. Baker Papers, SGML. 116 Opposition and Issues Report, Box 37, Folder 2: General 1978, James A. Baker Papers, SGML. 117 Ibid.

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283 Without appealing directly to evangelicals, Baker struggled to find other means of tying White to liberalism. For instance, Baker tried but failed to associate White s endorsement from the ACLU and United Auto Workers as a reflection of liberalism.118 The inability of Bakers campaign to out-conservative the conservative White was partic ularly frustrating to the Republican candidate, who understood the importance of shaping anti-lib eralism in the public mind and believed that against Daniel, he would have been able to successfully do so through the media. Against White, however, Baker was swimming upstream in his effort s to be Texans lone conservative option.119 The significance of the Baker candidacy goe s beyond the attempted association of White to Democratic liberalism. Baker also believed that television and radio were perfect mediums through which a campaign could emphasize crime as a political problem. Images of crime evoked emotion, he told his st rategists, and emotion rallied the conservative base.120 Early on, Baker prioritized crime as a t op issue in the campaign with th e overall agenda being a dovetailed argument on anti-federal issues. 121 Still, despite Republican efforts to convince the public that their candidate was the true (and only) conservative in the race, the Baker team struggled. In an effort to tap into rural Democratic constituen cies, Baker shifted his campaign rhetoric to a themed discussion of independencedefined broa dly to incorporate an agenda that gave both greater freedom and protection to police officers without having to fight bureaucratic red tape. Baker also argued that his own independence placed him beyond the influence of political power structures which still dominate Texas politicsmeaning the established Democratic leadership in Austin.122 118 Ibid. 119 Baker Clips, Box 37, Folder 2: General 1978, James A. Baker Papers, SGML. 120 Baker News Digest and Analysis, No. 1, March 29, 1978, Baker Clips, Box 37, Folder 2: General 1978. James A. Baker Papers, SGML. 121 Crime Top Priority, Box 28, Folder 21, Baker Clips, Box 37, Folder 2: General 1978, James A. Baker Papers, SGML. 122 Press Release, May 5, 1978, Box 37, Folder 10: Strategy, 1978, James A. Baker Papers, SGML.

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284 It was only when discussing this notion of independence that Baker managed with any success to convey a Reaganesque vi sion of anti-government conserva tism. It was also usually (and only) within the context of a discussion on independence that Baker was able to use the Carter administration against his Democratic opponent. Baker did this by highlighting areas of incompetence in Washington and linking Texans frustrations to existing and/or potential problems in Texas.123 Down in the polls and needing to broaden his base, Baker went after the Hispanic vote in much the same way Tower ha d traditionally done. He promised to protect Hispanic civil and voting rights a nd vowed to vigorously prosecute any and all viol ations against that minority.124 Expanding the conservative tent, he ofte n reminded his staff, was a needed step on the road to national credibi lity. In the end, however, Ba kers campaign flopped where the Clements campaign had flourished. Baker failed to out-conservative White, nor could he get past the stigma of anti-Republican tradition th at always surfaced in a contest between two conservatives.125 Another noteworthy political race in 1978 unfolded on the dusty plains of West Texas, in the fight to replace 43-year incumbent Democrat George Mahon. The 76-year-old Mahon announced his retirement from the United States Congress in 1977 and c onservative Democrat Kent Hance soon became the frontrunner to wi n the vacant seat. Hance, like Mahon, was a conservative Democrat. Also lik e Mahon, Hance was a resident of Lubbock, a graduate of Texas Tech University, and a friend to the farming c onstituency that dominated the South Plainsall important factors to the constituen ts of the nineteenth congressiona l district. Hance also shared much in common with his Republican opponent. Both had been publicly critical of the Carter 123 Letter from Frank J. Donatelli, August 10, 1978, Box 28, Folder 5, James A. Baker Papers, SGML. 124 Press Release, April 22, 1978, S peech to League of United Latin Am erican Citizens. Box 37, Folder 10: Strategy, 1978, James A. Baker Papers, SGML. 125 Miscellaneous Files, Box 37, Folder 1: General 73-78, James A. Baker Papers, SGML.

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285 administrations oil policies and each recognized the importa nce of connecting with the agricultural constituents that dominated the Lubboc k region of the district. On the issues, there seemed to be little distinction between the candidates, but this campaign was ultimately more concerned about image than issues.126 The Republican nominee in the nineteenth dist rict was not a native West Texan. He had not attended Texas Tech University, as had bot h Hance and Mahon, but in stead called the Ivy League schools of Harvard and Yale his alma ma ters. His family had moved to Midland during the oil boom of the 1950s and was forced to fight the labels of carpetbagger and Yankee. Simply put, Hances opponent, the 32-year-old George W. Bush, lacked West Texas credibilityand the Hance campaign team knew it. Throughout the race, Bush was attacked in Lubbock as an outsider, ignorant to the needs of area farmers, and incapable of representing West Texas in the US House of Representatives. In one particularly effective and memorable radio advertisement ran by the Hance campaign, Bu shs lack of Texas credibility was bluntly characterized: In 1961, when Kent Hance graduated from Dimmitt High School in the 19th congressional district, his opponent George W. Bush was attending Andover Academy in Massachusetts. In 1965, when Kent Hance gr aduated from Texas Tech, his opponent was at Yale University. And while Kent Hance graduated from the University of Texas Law School, his opponent -get this folks -was attending Harvard. We don't need someone from the Northeast telling us what our problems are.127 Bush also faced challenges beyond his roots challenges that also plagued his fathers campaign efforts in the 1960s and 1970s. The ni neteenth congressional district encompassed much of West Texas, with Lubbock as the largest city in the Northern region of the district, and 126 Biographical Profiles on Cong ressmen Elected in 1978 Demo crats, 1978, Democratic Study Group, Folders 4-5, Box 204, Kent Hance Papers, SWC; Texas Observer June 25, 1999, A Shrub Grows in Midland: Ws 1978 West Texas Campaign for Congress; Political Brief: Nineteenth District, Box 406, PrePresidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign F iles, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL. 127 Texas Observer June 25, 1999, A Shrub Grows in Midland: Ws 1978 West Texas Campaign for Congress.

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286 Midland the largest in the S outh. While the Permian Basin oil boom of the 1970s fueled a growth in wealth and prestige in Midland, it did not give th e city the population expansion necessary to compete with its sist er city in the North. Lubbock, therefore, c ontinued to serve as the de facto seat of congression al power and did, for all intent s and purposes, decide who the next congressman from th at district would be.128 Lubbock was one of the states most traditionally Republican urban centers, but because of the popularity and strength of conservative Democrats like Mahon, Lubbock routinely split its vote between Republicans at the national level and Democrats locally.129 Additionally, Lubbock was home to one of Ronald Reagans strongest support-centers in Texas, and any support for the son of George H. W. Bush was seen by some as aid toat the timea potential Reagan presidential rival.130 An inexperienced campaigner, Bush failed to impress during speaking engagements in Lubbock. Before a political science class at Texas Tech University, Bush, in answering questions about the United States grain embargo against Russia, promised to work toward the elimination of the embargo, but then launched in to a tirade against C uba and the evils of communism. When confronted a bout the apparent contradiction in his support for the continued embargo of Cuba, Bush appeared befuddled. Late r that day, as he and some campaign workers walked past a fraternity lodge less than a mile from campus, Bu sh had to be restrained from physically confronting a student from the cla ss who called the GOP candi date an idiot and pelted him with snowballs. Bushs cause was further damaged when a series of alcoholsaturated parties promoted as Bush Bashes attr acted Texas Tech University students to venues 128 Surveys, Box 25, Kent Hance Papers, SWC. This dynamic continued until 2004, when a redistricting plan separated Midland into its own congressional district. 129 Political Brief: Nineteenth District. Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL. 130 Texas Observer June 25, 1999, A Shrub Grows in Midland: Ws 1978 West Texas Campaign for Congress.

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287 where few, if any, of the students attending we re actually carded fo r proper identification.131 Shortly after the last of these partiesless than a week prior to the electi onlocal conservatives distributed a letter to pastors throughout the district explai ning that such behavior was unChristian and should not be tolerated at the ballot box.132 Regardless of why Bush lostand despite his problems, he still managed 47 percent of the vote, and an astonishing margin in Midla nd that reached a near 100 percentthis small campaign in West Texas demonstrates the broad power, malleable nature, and multiple applications of anti-liberalism in Texas. In this case, Bush fell victim to his own partys strategy of defining outside influences as foreign and dangerouswhether th ey originated in Moscow or Andover, Massachusetts. In a race between tw o conservatives, the pe ople of West Texas defaulted to a tradition of independence, lo cal control, and Christian family values. 133 In other races across the state, 1978 proved to be a big year for the Texas GOP. Though some races, such as the one in the nineteenth di strict, enabled conservative Democrats to remain in power, elsewhere across the state, Republican s not only won the governorship and retained Towers senate seat, but also won several loca l races and forced many conservative whites to choose between ideological conviction and pa rtisan loyalty. The Texas GOPs biggest congressional success story was Ron Paul, w ho unseated the liberal Bob Gammage in the twenty-second district, representing the south side of Houston down the coastal plain to Brazosport on the Gulf of Mexico. Two years ea rlier, Gammage defeated Paul by only 236 votes in the closest congressional race in the nation that year. Gamma ges record, including his voting 131 Leaders of the Republican Party in Lubbock accuse d the Hance campaign of pl anting the ad and funding the event. Hance campaign advisors indirectly denied the charge simply by stating that no such advertisement had been approved in their partic ular office. The actual source of the parties remains in question, though it is highly likely that the ads were placed by some one sympathetic to the Hance campaign. 132 Texas Observer June 25, 1999, A Shrub Grows in Midland: Ws 1978 West Texas Campaign for Congress. 133 Political Brief: Nineteenth District, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.

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288 history on labor issues, was more liberal than he advertisedpa rticularly to the affluent constituents in his district.134 Pauls campaign took advantage of this and also gained national notoriety when Ronald Reagan stumped on the Te xas Republicans behalf in September. No GOP candidate in Texas could find a better frie nd than Reagan, who told an audience of legislators in Houston that Pauls opponent sh ould be quarantined so that the liberal contagion doesnt spread.135 Reagans attacks deftly combined disarmi ng humor and quick wit with an empowering conservative rhetoric, tinged with a populist ethos and laced with anti-liberal and anti-Carter critiques. His campaigning for Paul had far le ss to do with Gammage than with the leftward slide of the Democratic Party. As he campaigne d for Paul and other conservatives in Texas, Reagan earned credibility by reminding his Te xas audience that he too had once been a Democrat. Once a rapport with his audience was es tablished, Reagan launched into his standard diatribeone that the 1978 midterms allowed him to perfect on the road to 1980. Reagan typically opened his speeches by saying, Im not going to present you with a long list of what is wrong with the current administration or the Demo crat-controlled Congress. Wed be here all night. Reagan then usually mentioned Jimmy Carter, Tip ONeill, or Ted Kennedy as a way to undermine emotional connections many Texans still had to the Democratic Party. By linking the Democratic Party to personalities like Carter, O Neill, and Kennedy, Reagan, in turn, created an association between these Democratic leader s and all Democratsa strategy particularly effective in a state hostile to both Carter and Northeastern liberalism. Reagan then typically shifted to, dependi ng on the location, any number of hot-button conservative topics. While campaigning for Pa ul, Reagan stressed pocketbook issues. He 134 Political Brief: Twenty-Second District, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL. 135 Houston Post September 12, 1978. Box 95, Deaver & Hannaford, Inc. Papers, HI.

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289 criticized Carter for contribu ting to the nations welfare me ss and also linked busing and affirmative action to government incompetence and wastefulness. He accused Democrats of waging devastating attacks agains t the people and assured those in south Houston that he and the GOP were on their side. He spoke of Democrats waging economic warfare against American families and charged liberal congressme n with ineptitude. In a city struggling to reconcile issues like busing, Reagans speech to this audience of affluent suburban Houston families was tailor-made. Regardless of lo cation, though, Reagans language was always plain, conversational, and emotional.136 Reagan was just as effective and ubiqu itous in campaigns elsewhere in Texas.137 Bashing Jimmy Carter was Reagans specialty and was almo st always effective. Regardless of the issue being discussedeconomics, morality, or national securityReagan related failure after failure to Carter, Carter to liberalism, and liberalism to the Democratic Party.138 Reagan gave Texas conservatives an ideal image. In his rhetoric, Re agan, more than any other political figure in the state, tore down the barriers of loyalty and tr adition that had kept ma ny Texans voting Democrat for so long. Family, work, neighborhood, free dom, peace, Reagan to ld several Texas audiences in 1978. We should not repeat those words until they become second nature. We should meditate on their meaning and how our polic ies can be applied to them. They should be on our lips. But, they must also be in our hearts just as they are in th e hearts of Americans all across this country.139 He referred to Democrats as elitist s and quoted Thomas Jefferson as if the two really had been good friends growing up. He spoke of freedom and hope and contrasted 136 Remarks by Ronald Reagan, September 11, 1978, Box 24, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Hannaford / California Headquarters Files, RRL. 137 Remarks by Ronald Reagan, October 17, 1978, Box 24, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Hannaford / California Headquarters Files, RRL; Campaign R ecords, 1978, Box 13, File 20, WCP. 138 Letter from Tom C. Reed to Mike Deaver, June 13, 1978, Campaign Records, 1978, Box 14, File 6, WCP. 139 Remarks by Ronald Reagan, September 12, 1978. Box 24, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Hannaford / California Headquarters Files, RRL.

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290 the American Dream with the Soviet threata th reat, he said, that wa s not being dealt with appropriately by the Democratic leadership in Washington. Reagan appealed to fiscal conservatives, hawks, and evangelicalsall at the same time and seemingly without contradiction. His rhetoric a nd skill were especially effec tive in uniting urban, suburban, and rural conservatives, each of whom came to the political table with a different appetite, but all of whom left Reagans banquets fully satisfied. Without Reagans presen ce in Texas during the 1978 midterms, the Republican Party would not have been nearly as succe ssful and without that success, the stage would not have been so neatly set for Reagans next bid for the White House in 1980.140 Reagan personified Texas conservatism even more than Connally. Though Reagans staffers were often perplexed by their bosss a ssociation with populism, they were also unwilling to dismiss the benefit of being defined as a populis t, especially in Texas. Reagan rarely shied away from the populist tag, but more typically as sociated his brand of conservatism with the integrity and wisdom of the common mant he property owning, inde pendent individualist whose prestige and importance Thomas Jeffe rson had championed. Reagans intentional association with Jefferson not onl y contributed to his sense as an advocate for the people but meshed nicely with the nostalgic aura that su rrounded the former Calif ornia governors call for patriotism, family, and the recapturing of th e greatness that defined Americas past.141 In a state proud of its own independent herita ge, Reagan was a natu ral fit. A feeling permeated Texas in the late 1970s, expressed through the sentiments of long-time volunteers, campaign organizers, and other grassroots ac tivists, that Reagan, with his unshakable 140 Speech by Ronald Reagan, September 12 1978, Dallas, TX. Box 104, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI; Texas Trip 6/78, Box 291, Staff Office Files: Domestic Policy Staff, Stu Eizenstat, JCL. 141 Memorandum to Peter Hannaford, from John McClaughry, April 2, 1980, Box 1, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI.

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291 commitment to defense and his grandfatherly ex hortation to patriotism and family, had singlehandedly removed the fear and gu ilt many middle-class whites e ndured as a result of casting a vote for the Republican Party. This newfound Re publican respectability in Texas manifested most visibly through grassroots mobilization in ci ties and small towns. One such organization, for instance, was the Texas Federation of Re publican Women (TFRW). By 1978, the TFRW had organized 130 clubs statewide, with over 6000 vo lunteers. These women had been contributing to conservative mobilization for years, but not un til the late 1970s did they become a force to be reckoned with. The TFRW alone supplied over 38,000 hours of volunteer support for GOP candidates in 1978 and most of those call centers and campaign headquarters were established because of Reagans primary campai gn in the state two years earlier.142 Including all other conservative organizations operating in Texas, over 37,000 grassroots workers mobilized in support of Republican campaigns and conservative causes in 1978.143 Texas Republicans were not just gaining respectability; they were on thei r way to overtaking the De mocratic Party as the top party in the state. Conclusion: The Road to 1980 As 1980 approached, the Texas sky braced for a Republican storm. The states political climate was affected by race, economics, energy policy, social debates, rising evangelicalism, and the iconography of two national figures who b ecame inextricably associ ated with political philosophy in Texas. Grassroots conservative s mobilized around many issues, but the one commonality these factions shared that contributed more than anyt hing else to the growth of the movement in Texas during the late 1970s was the iconic popularity of Ronald Reagan and unpopularity of Jimmy Carter. The study of how Texas could have supported Carter in 1976 and 142 Olien, From Token to Triumph 242-243. 143 Dallas Morning News November 1, 1980, 30A.

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292 then rejected him so vehemently and so quickly four years later is also the study of why Texass tradition of Democratic domi nance finally fell by the wayside during the late 1970s. The root of conservative Texans bolt to th e Republican Party lies in all of the above factors, maturing together and converging on Texa s as a relatively unified force. The impetus for realignment was further affected by alte red perceptions of political philosophy and the ascription of those perceptions to party politics. These perceptions were hastened into the Texas publics consciousness by the symbolic presence of Ronald Reagan as the standard-bearer for both modern American conservatism and tradit ional Texas values. The 1978 midterm elections in Texas reflected the convergence of these forces and the growing power of anti-liberal rhetoric in the state, as well as the cri tical effectiveness of using nationa l issues as a segue to state and local politics. Because of a po litical climate that both allowed th e synchronic maturation of these forces during the late 1970s and was affected by it, the state of Texas became the bedrock of national Republicanism for decades to come. Th e political winds in Texas converged from many directions during the late 1970s a nd united to form one powerful gale force. In 1980, the Reagan Revolution would sweep through Te xas like a perfect storm.

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293 CHAPTER 7 TEXAS AND THE REAGA N REVOLUTION, 1979-80 In 1980 Texans witnessed both an ending, of so rts, and a beginning. It was the end of conservative Democratic dominance in a one-party statethe culmination of almost two decades of political change, brought on by a host of economi c, social, and demographic forces. It was also a beginningthe birth of tw o-party Texas as the modern bedrock of conservative American Republicanism. Phrased differently, the rise of modern American conservatism and the birth of a dominant Republican Party in Texas coincided in 1980 as the fury of a perfect storm was finally unleashed. For years, th e state GOP had fought and failed to establish itself as a viable second party. When not presented with a clear dichotomy between conservatism and liberalism, Texans votes usually defaulted to tradition and l oyaltyand to the Democratic Party. Yet, after 1976and particularly by 1978the pol itical winds in Texas began to change. Intra-party factionalism within the GOP was replaced by a growing coalescence of conservative thought, united under a banner of an ti-liberalism and animus toward Jimmy Carter. At the same time, the New Deal coalition sp lintered under the weight of a liberal purge from the GOP and coalescence w ithin the Democratic Party. The states economy boomed while the rest of the nation went bust. The econom ic and corresponding population boom hastened the development of suburbs across the state. In many of these Texas suburbs, middle class whites, long mobilized at the grassroots in other parts of the South by race-ins pired protectionism of property and assembly rights, began to adopt such rhetoric with increasing gusto, though for a far more complex set of reasons.1 The maturation of Texas suburbs contributed to the maturation of conservative ideology, where libertarian middle cl ass rhetoric was blende d with the religious values of neighborhood, family, and patriotism. 1 Kevin M. Kruse, White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005), Epilogue.

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294 Since 1964, one or more of these factors had yet to reach maturity in Texas. By 1980, this was no longer the case. The final and critically important co mponent to this partisan and ideological metamorphosis was the establishm ent of a clear and iconic dichotomy between conservatism and liberalism, represented respec tively by national figures Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter. Thus, driven by national part y movements, economic issues, grassroots mobilization, and the emergence of ideologica l icons, a majority of Texans abandoned the Democratic Party and replaced th e New Deal coalition with a co alition of conservatives united under one Republican banner. In 1980, the success of m odern conservatism manifested in Texas as a rejection of liberalism, the coalescence of conservatism, and the ascribing of those redefined terms to isolated parties. This success came in the form of Re publican respectability, partisan realignment, and a landslide victory fo r the conservative movements preeminent icon and took place when it did because of the rela tive synchronic maturation of a multiplicity of social and political forces. It was the perfect Republican storm and Ronald Reagan was the weatherman who told Texans about it. The Setting Even Mother Nature played a role in Texass political transformation. During the summer of 1980, seventy-eight Texans died as a result of a record-breaking heat wave. In Houston, where 92 percent of buildings were ai r-conditioned, energy demands reached all-time highs. In Dallas, one woman approached a parked truck loaded with bags of ice and, without word to the driver, climbed into the back of the vehicle to lie down on the cargo. In West Texas, the heat scorched the states biggest cropc ottoninciting small-scale panic among farmers.2 Then, in August, Hurricane Allen, a Categor y 5 storm (though it was only a Category 3 storm 2 Time July 14, 1980, 21, Box 1, Bill Boyarsky Papers, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, Stanford University, Stanford, CA (Hereafter cited as HI).

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295 when it made landfall) tore through South and Ce ntral Texas with winds in excess of 115 miles per hour, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage and leaving seven dead. In the aftermath of Hurricane Allen, the Carter administ ration allocated Federal Disaster Aid to much of the state, but chose to excl ude two particular counties in So uth Texas where the damage had been less severe. The residents of these counties, mo st of whom were Hispanic, were outraged about their exclusion from federal aid.3 The weather caused many problems for Texans, but was also an unwelcome situation for Jimmy Carter who undoubtedly had no c ontrol over nature, but was certainly blamed for policies seen as having contributed to high energy costs and agricultural strugglesshortcomings that were intensified as the winds blew and the mercury rose on thermometers across the state. The weather was only one of a myriad of thi ngs affecting the state s political culture in 1980. In order, therefore, to come to terms with the ramifications of the political campaigns of that year, it is first necessary to understand the broad foundationsthe economic issues, social currents, and local distinctionsthat made Texa s what it was. Raw demographics and economic statistics also provide insight. In a state with an economy based on energy, finance, insurance, real estate, and agriculture, near ly half of the states employed workers held white collar jobs, while just over a third held blue collar ones. By 1980, only 4 percent of Texans still farmed for a living. In July, the states unemployment rate stood at only 5.6 percen t, a significant 2-3 percentage points lower than in the rest of the nation.4 As it was nationally, inflation was a problem in Texas and was largely seen as a covert tax.5 Also important was the states ethnic composition. African Americans comprised only 12 percent of the population, significantly less than other parts of the South and far more in acc ord with national averages. Furthermore, even 3 Texas Briefing: Office of Policy Coordination, Box 24, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI. 4 Ibid. 5 Miscellaneous Issues, Box 21, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI.

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296 at 12 percent, the African Ameri can population was largely concentr ated in the eastern portion of the state. At the same time, however, the Hispanic population was over 20 percent by 1980, and growing. These factors created a racial dynamic in Texas similar in many respects to the states neighbors in the West and Southwest. Politically, Texas was still, at least on paper, a bastion of Democratic dominance. Only three of 31 state senators we re Republicans and only twenty of 130 state representatives identified themselves as members of the GOP. Of the states 24 congressional districts, only four were represented by a Republican.6 Democratic dominance in Texas was based on tradition and loyalty, but those forces had become le ss powerful during the 1970s and these numbers actually represented significant gains for the st ate GOP. By 1980, as the base of the national Democratic Party changed to include demographi c minorities, a disconnect emerged whereby the Texas Democratic Party was less able to or willing to apply nationa l strategies for the recruitment of these minorities into the Democratic mainstream. Furthermore, the Texas population was rela tively youngthe median voting age in 1980 was 41 and less than ten percent of Texans were considered senior citizens. Eighteen percent of Texans were Catholica figure that corresponde d broadly to the stat es Hispanic population totals. Union labor was still quite weak in Texas and the states Jewish population was negligible. The more the state Democratic Part y was pressured to conform to the will of the national party, the wider the disconnect that deve loped between the party and Texas constituents grew.7 6 Texas Political Brief, September 12, 1980, Box 253, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations William Timmons Files, Ronald Reagan Library, Simi Valley, CA (Hereafter cited as RRL). 7 Polls, Box 79, Staff Office Files, Chief of Sta ff, Hamilton Jordan, Jimmy Carter Presidential Papers, Jimmy Carter Library, Atlanta, GA (H ereafter cited as JCL); Texas Political Brief, September 12, 1980, Box 253, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campai gn Files, Political Operations William Timmons Files,

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297 In 1982, longtime political observer Theodore White wrote that by 1980, the Democratic Partys New Deal coalition was all but dead. Na tionally, the party ceased virtually all talk of limited government, states rights and was widely rega rded as a collection of special interests. No cohesive or coherent body remained in operation; rather, the party was embroiled in competition for power and control of nominating conventions congressional caucuse s, and vision-casting.8 The Democratic Partys inability to present a un ited front contributed to a public perception that it was a sinking ship. Texass political culture had been shaped by a conglomeration of forces economic, social, and demographicbut it was most affected by image. As modern American conservatism meshed with the trad itions of brash Texas individualism, local issues slowly gave way to broader and less well-formed visceral responses to the icons ideas, rhetoric, and images that came to symbolize on a grand and powerful scale the totality of the same economic and social issues at work in Texas. For many white conservatives in the state, the word liberal, by 1980, came to mean something dangerous, radical, extreme, and not at all in accord with the interests and values of Texas. More and more Texans identified liberalism with the national Democratic Party. By 1980, 83 percent of Texans id entified themselves as either moderate or conservative.9 Texas was no doubt a conservative state, but it was also a state that shied away from extremes and ideological labels. In 1964, it wa s the perception that Barry Goldwater was an extremist, not the lack of an appeal for his agen da that, along with the loyalty given a native son in the aftermath of a national tragedy, doomed the original icon of m odern conservatism in RRL; Reagan for President Files, Box 354, Pre-Presid ential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Regional Political Files, RRL. 8 Theodore H. White, America in Search of Itself: The Making of the President, 1956-1980 (New York: Warner Books, 1982), CH 9. 9 Post-Election Poll, CBS News-NY Times Poll November 1980, Box 2M758, Walter Cronkite Papers, Center for American History, University of Texas at Aus tin (Hereafter cited as CAH).

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298 Texas. In 1980, the trouble for Democrats in Texas was that th e political culture was contributing to redefinitions of liberalism as ex treme and the Democratic Party as the exclusive home for liberals. Texans who identified them selves as moderate were typically in greater accord with Republican conservatism when issues were discussed on a case-by-case basis. Simply put, by 1980, conservative Texas Democrat sboth elected offici als and those at the grassrootsfelt disconnected from their national party and with little hope of reconciliation.10 Jim Hightower, a former editor of the Texas Observer and among the states most prominent liberal-progressives, had this to sa y about his states polit ical climate in 1980: The political inclinations of typical Texa ns differs profoundly from the conventional thought that they are dont rock the boat moderates at best hard-core right-wingers at worst. Im talking about small business owners, family farmers, retired people, homemakers, building-trade unionists, the c ourthouse crowd, and what s known in Texas as Yellow-dog Democrats. For the most pa rt, these are non-ideological, commonsense voters who wont be found on anyones libera l list, but also dont share much ground with the Dallas bankers, Houston oil barons, or other peers of the Texas plutocracy. Such folks are hardly defenders of the Powers That Be, and their politics ought not to be taken for granted. The old labelsliberal and conservativejust dont stick to this group. They are disgruntled maverick s, and they may be the majority.11 The problem for Hightower and other Texas libera ls was that the public increasingly perceived the Democratic Party not only to be the more ideo logical party, but also the more extremist party, and not at all the party for disgruntled maverick s like themselves. For small business owners and family farmers, national Republicans like R onald Reagan seemed much friendlier than national Democrats on the traditions, values, and so cial issues that they valuedand seemed to express just as sincere a level of concern over pocketbook issues. It is, perhaps, in a study of ideology that the transforming power of perception becomes truly evident in Texas du ring this time. Local politics rema ined important, but national politics 10 DMI: A Statewide Survey of Voters in Texas June 1980, Box 201, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Richard Wirthlin Political Strategy Files, RRL. 11 The Washington Monthly October 1980, 57, Box 3, Bill Boyarsky Papers, HI.

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299 defined peoples political identity. Icons define d, attracted, and unified disgruntled mavericks around core, thematic, big picture issues. Part of Reagans appeal in Texas can be summed up in Hightowers assessment of the po litical culture. Reagan was himself seen as a disgruntled mavericka cowboy of the West fed up with the mess in Washington and determined to do something about it. Reagan Democrats in Texas identified with the former California governor on many issues, but it was his persona and his word s more than the specifics of his platform and policies that engendered admiration. Mass politics created a need for local politicians to identify themselves with larger ideas and the larger id eas coming from the nations two main political parties left conservative Texa ns with only one choicevoting Republican. The act of voting Republican at the presidential level had contribute d to the tearing apart of traditional Yellowdog loyalties since the 1950s. Bu t it was not until the 1960s and 1970s that this act coincided with a growing movement of suburban, rural, and social conservative grassroots activists responding to perceived national chaos and malaise, couched as a threat to tradition, home, and happiness.12 As a liberal Texas Democrat, Jim Hightower claimed to know the grassroots. Yet in Texas, when the grassroots was given an opportu nity to speak up, it ofte n did, revealing much about the attitudes of the disgr untled mavericks of which Hight ower spoke. For instance, one anonymous resident of Brownwood, a small town in th e central part of the st ate, described to his local newspaper his understanding of Texans polit ical attitudes this way: Hell, most everybody around here calls themselves a Democrat, but that dont mean theyre a bunc h of crazy liberals. Identified only as an old Cowboy, this citi zen did more than just reflect the idea that liberalism, extremism, and the Democratic Party were becoming linked in the minds the Texas grassroots. This old Cowboy also reflected an emotional hostility toward the incumbent 12 Ibid.

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300 president: Carters ru ined our defense position. Hes le t some dinky little country push us around and kidnap our people. Hes sacrificed our farmers with his wheat embargo and ruined our economy while he runs giveaway programs and le ts a bunch of Cubans co me pourin in here. Maybe Reagan can turn things around.13 These words are telling. Across Texas, local issues remained important, but emotions ran highest on national issues. The emotional antipathy toward the national Democratic Party was as potent as the emotional connectedness grassroots conservatives felt when they listened to Ronald R eagan. Emotions like these affected changes in partisan loyalties and traditions, as did the adhe rence to old cowboy de signations as indicators of self-perception and image consciousness. The unification of conservative factions that resulted from iconogra phic personalities and mass political culture does much to explain Texas s behavior as a whole. However, it would be a mistake to argue that mass culture made local distinctions unimportant. Each small town and city in Texas brought unique ch aracteristics to the political ta ble. One such city was San Antonio. No city in Texas enj oyed as strong a heritage of inde pendence as did the Alamo City. Additionally, the city boasted one of the heaviest military concentrations in the nation, with two major air force bases (Lackland and Randolph), an Army medical center, and United Services Automobile Association (USAA)the predominan t financial hub for veterans and families of the United States Armed Services. San Antoni o also had the largest Hispanic population (60 percent) of any major city in the United States and was the congression al home of Henry B. Gonzalez, the liberal regarded by many in Sa n Antonio as the citys patron saint.14 13 Middletown Journal October 12, 1980, Box 483, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Research & Policy Files, RRL. The dinky little country being referred to was Iran. 14 Texas Political Brief, October 26, 1980: Office of Policy Coordination, Box 25, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI.

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301 In February 1980, Jimmy Carter chose San Antonio as the location for a major policy speech on immigration. It was the first of many effo rts by Carter to elicit support from the citys ethnic community. San Antonio became the most popular choice for national politicians wanting to make a statement on anything associated with Hispanic issues. Not surprisingly, therefore, local politics in San Antonio al so concentrated on issues close to Hispanics, while the relationship between social conservatism, religios ity, and race manifested in interesting ways. The civic activism of Hispanic women, for in stance, was visible in 1980 through campaigns designed to curb alcohol abuse in Mexican-Ame rican families as well as efforts to rectify problems referred to as Double Jeopardy is suesdiscrimination faced by Hispanic women both in society and in the home.15 The Republican Party was also heavily active in San Antonio in the late 1970s and early 1980s. As Hispanic women grew more active, and liberal Democrats discussed how best to organize minority activists, the Texas GOP emba rked on a new voter registration drive in the city.16 The result of the drive was a remarkable increase in the number of GOP voters in San Antonios Bexar County where new Republican vot ers outnumbered new Democratic voters at a 4 to 1 rate. With some Hispanics finding appeal in the GOPs pro-life, pro-family, traditionalist rhetoric, the Republican Partys growing popularity in San Antonio was not limited to the citys white community. Still, racial tensions did anim ate the white conservative grassroots from time to time. Of particular note was the debate ove r whether or not Texas could legally continue to withhold funds from school districts educating th e children of illegal immigrants. The issue was 15 February 15, 1980, Speech, San Antonio, TX, Box 9, San Antonio Trip 6/12/80, San Antonio Trip 9/8/80, Box 10, Staff Offices, Special Assistant to the President Esteba n Torres, Records of the Office of Hispanic Affairs, Jimmy Carter Presidential Papers, JCL. 16 Issues, Box 1, Staff Offices, Speci al Assistant to the President Cruz Files, Records of the Office of Hispanic Affairs, Jimmy Carter Presidential Papers, JCL.

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302 seen in San Antonios white community as a liberal attempt to provide free education to children whose parents were not paying taxes.17 As the Democratic Partys appeal declined among conservative Texans, the Hispanic vote became more important. At the same time, lib erals finally began to see opportunities for leadership positions and vision-casting within the state and national party. Texas cities with the highest Hispanic populationssuch as San Ant onio, Corpus Christi, which was home to the national headquarters of the L eague of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Harlingen, which was 75 percent Hispanic, and El Paso, where, sarcastically, Carters plan to build a metal fence to curb immigration became known as th e tortilla curtaingained attention from candidates in both parties, though for different reasons.18 While the Democratic Party attempted to solidify its support among Hispanics, Republicans appealed to Hispanics through social issues. At the same time, the GOP welcomed discontented whites struggling with the reality that their vote meant less in a more inclusive Democratic Pa rty than it used to. In some cases, white conservative Democrats in these cities abandoned th eir party in favor of the revitalized and much more unified GOP because their standing as a vo ter within the Democratic Party, they believed, was being marginalized. The importance of Hispanics as a political bloc was not isolated to these four cities. In Dallas, for instance, Hispanic leaders were focu sed on greater inclusion in to the citys business community and industrial sectors. A few of these leaders vocally criticized what they viewed as the insincere courtship of Democrats for their communities votes. Feel ing as though Democrats 17 Texas Political Brief, October 26, 1980: Office of Policy Coordination, Box 25, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI; Memorandum, To: Jerry Carmen, Fr: Rick Shelby, September 16, 1980, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL. 18 El Paso Issues, Box 525, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Briefing Materials Files, RRL; Political Brief: Harlingen, Corpus Christi, September 11, 1980, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.

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303 only appealed to Hispanics during election years, some Dallas-area Hispanic activists denounced such disrespect and encouraged other Hispan ics to withhold their votes until their various concerns were legitimately addressed.19 The national Democratic Party met these challenges not by embracing Hispanic concerns, but by resortin g to its partys populist tradition. Carter administration official Esteban E. Torres, for instance, addressed poli tically active Hispanic organizations across Texas in 1980, not by proposi ng new policy or discussing the nuances of certain issues, but by reminding Hispanics of the ev ils of Republican elitism and the Democratic common man tradition of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, andof courseJimmy Carter.20 Frustrated, the Texas Hispanic leadership sought attention by reframing their di scontent and political va lue in the context of broader racial discrimination. Ju st as African Americans had str uggled in Texas as well as in other parts of the nation, these leaders argued, so Hispanics were also suffering under the yoke of delayed desegregation. The city receiving the most attention from Hi spanic leaders on this issue was the states capitol.21 Between 1960 and 1970, Austin was Texas s fastest growing city. Though by 1980 its rate of expansion was no longer exceeding the states industrial hubs, Austin continued to grow and during the late 1970s was fast becoming am ong the nations lead ers in electronics manufacturing and technology. The Motorola Co rporation, for instance, moved its headquarters to Austin in 1975, bringing with it an initial 2500 new jobs. The rapidly expanding population was largely due to the creation of new white-co llar job opportunities. Over 50 percent of the 19 Dallas Trip 4/24/80, Box 10, Staff Offices, Sp ecial Assistant to the Pr esident Esteban Torres, Records of the Office of Hispanic Affairs, Jimmy Carter Presidential Papers, JCL. 20 Suggested Talking Points for Ambassador Esteban E. Torres for Tejanos for Carter, April 12-13, 1980, Box 9, Staff Offices, Special Assistant to the President Esteban Torres, Record s of the Office of Hispanic Affairs, Jimmy Carter Presidential Papers, JCL. 21 February 8, 1980, Letter from Arturo Gil, National Hispanic Institute, to Esteban Torres, Box 9, Staff Offices, Special Assistant to the President Esteban Torr es, Records of the Office of Hispanic Affairs, Jimmy Carter Presidential Papers, JCL.

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304 jobs in the greater Austin area were classified as white collar, versus only 26 percent of jobs classified as blue collar.22 Austin was also the states in tellectual hub. In addition to being the home of the states two most influentia l periodicals, the Texas Observer and Texas Monthly Austin was home to the University of Texas, among the nations larges t higher education institutions. UTs nearly 40,000 students had traditionally acted as a loyal voting bloc for liberal interests. By the close of the 1970s, however, UT students were increasingl y preoccupied with their job prospects in a nationally deflated economy. Though still cons idered an important lib eral bloc, political candidates viewed UTs student body as more conservative than most.23 With the local economy booming and uncertainties surrounding th e national economy, an in creasing number of UT students graduated and moved into jobs in the local sector, contributing both to greater partisan equilibrium and population growth. In sum, by 1980 access to higher education and new white collar jobs brought greater numbers of this traditionally Democratic haven into the conservative GOP corner.24 In the fall of 1980 the city of Austin bega n busing students across town in an effort to accelerate and adjust the desegregation process of its local public schools.25 Only 14 percent of Austins population was Hispanic, which was belo w the state average. However, 14 percent of the citys population was African American, which was slightly above the state average. As Hispanic leaders across Texas focused on desegreg ation efforts in Austin, the citys growing 22 Population Growth during the 1960s, Texas Cities Over 100,000, Box 541, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Br iefing Materials Files, RRL; States-Texas-Austin. (3/3), Box 525, PrePresidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Briefing Materials Files, RRL. This trend indeed did continue. In 1984, the Dell Corporation was founded in the north Austin suburb of Round Rock. Since then, Austin has become a national hub for the electronics industry. The city remains one of the nations fastest growing. 23 Local Issues Austin, TX, Box 414, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL. 24 Political Brief: Tenth District, Box 406, Pre-Presiden tial Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL. 25 Texas Briefing: Office of Policy Coordination, Box 24, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI.

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305 suburban population began to organize in protest. Under the pretext th at property tax payers right to send their children to local schools was being violat ed, numerous suburban neighborhood organizations across Austin formed to resist the forced integration. The most ardent efforts of these organizations were politically centered. Suburban anti-busing organizations actively sought the resignations of school board memb ers they believed had buckled under social pressures and betrayed middle-class family ri ghts. By 1987, busing laws in Austin were rescinded. In 1980, however, the divisions betwee n class and race reflected in the citywide busing debate heightened the salience of state a nd national conservative le aders anti-tax, antigovernment, populist rhetoric.26 Individual regions, cities, and towns in Texas made their way to the Republican fold from multiple directions. In the East Texas city of Longview, for instance, the issue was oil. Longview produced more independent oil than any other city in the United States. Area voters reviled Carters energy policies, the Windfall Profits Tax in pa rticular. Longview had provided Barry Goldwater with his larges t majority vote in the nation in 1964 and virtually its entire Chamber of Commerce was actively backing Rona ld Reagan in 1980. There was very little union activity in Longview, but a great deal of anti-union sentiment. Broadly speaking, the citizens of this East Texas town more activel y rallied around Republican ideals of free market capitalism than they rallied around any other issue, including reli gious, racial, or other social issues.27 Located between Dallas and Longview was Tyle r, the proud home of Earl Campbell, the 1977 Heisman Trophy winning running back from the Un iversity of Texas. In many ways, Tyler 26 Local Issues Austin, TX, Box 414, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL. 27 Briefing for Campaign Appearances: Longview, TX, March 25, 1980, Box 54, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Hannaford / California Headquarters Files, RRL.

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306 acted as a hinge between the Deep South a nd the Southwest. Roughly 15 percent of area residents were African American, but only 3 pe rcent were Hispanic. To the west, Tylers neighboring thirteenth congr essional district was ba rely 5 percent black. Th at district had been originally settled by people from northwest Ok lahoma and western Kans as; these parts of the district were traditionally Republican. To Tyler s east was the first congressional district, which was 22 percent black and traditionally Democratic At the same time, Tylers districtthe fourthwas one of the most staunchly Democr atic by registration, but was carried by Nixon in 1972 at a 72-28 clip. Carter recaptured the dist rict in 1976, but by only 2 percentage points and only as a protest against Ford. The district was one of Reagans strongest in 1976. In 1978, the fourth district overwhelmingly supporte d both Bill Clements and John Tower.28 Tyler was at the fulcrum of social, economic, conservative, and traditional political forces in East Texas. While Tyler slowly urbani zed, the surrounding area was still predominantly comprised of farmers with an an ti-elitist populist heri tage. Little suburban sprawl marked the territory, yet Reagans free market Republicanism seemed much friendlier when mixed with fear that the nations social travails threatened to invade East Texas if something was not done to stop its advance. Reagans popularity was a force to be rec koned with in Tyler. When the local party chairman Bill Lust, a Bush supporter, was se lected to lead the area GOP, many Reagan organizers balked. At the same time, the local Republican apparatus was ineffective in resisting the influence of several local religious groups, which were campaigning on behalf of Republican candidates and slowly demanding a greater voice over the partys directions and activities.29 28 Political Brief: Thirteenth District, Box 406, Pre-Pr esidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL. 29 Political Brief: Tyler (Smith County), Political Brie f: Fourth District, Box 406, Tyler Political Brief, September 20, 1980, Box 406, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.

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307 In central Texas, the states eleventh congres sional district was also home to one of the nations most prominent Army basesFort Hood. Fe wer white or blue colla r jobs existed in the eleventh district than in other parts of the state. The major ity of the districts residents maintained a farming tradition that was accomp anied politically by a deep loyalty to the Democratic Party. Jimmy Carter ear ned a solid 57 percent of the vot e in the eleventh district in 1976 and John Tower and Bill Clements came up far short in their bids to win over Republican converts from the area in 1978.30 As Democratic as the region was, it was also conservative. The dist ricts largest city, Waco, was home to Baylor Universitya privat e Southern Baptist college which sent more volunteers to the 1976 GOP convention than any ot her school in the nati on. In the spring of 1980, a controversy involving Ba ylor University coeds and Playboy magazine erupted into a highly visible reflection of how morality and family values could quickly trump other issues and offer a gateway to greater Republican respectab ility. When Baylors president, Dr. Abner McCallhimself a prominent Reagan supporterth reatened to expel any coeds who posed nude for the magazine, the school newspaper wrote an editorial highly critical of what it called the administrations censorship. Controversy raged across the campus and the city. Soon after the publication of the critical editorial in the stud ent newspaper, McCall acted by shutting down the newspaper for three weeks. When the school paper finally began publishing again, the three editors responsible for the diatri bes against McCalls policies had been fired and replaced. For students, the incident brought to light far more th an just a debate on sexual morality; it had also created a divide on the campus over whether or not the university had a right to mandate behavior and restrict free speech. Such concerns were of less importance in the city itself, where 30 Political Brief: Eleventh District, Box 406, Pre-Pr esidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL.

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308 the stance taken by McCall was largely applauded.31 Waco operated as a hub of grassroots religious conservatism both before and after the Playboy controversy. Churches in the area actively assisted independent or ganizations like the Moral Majo rity in distributing letters, fliers, brochures, and other forms of communica tioneach promoting the image of a Democratic Party overcome with liberalism, the result of wh ich was a decline in American prestige across the globe, military weakness, moral laxity, and communist appeasement. Efforts like these were aided by a pervasive fear among the grassr oots that liberal propos als like the Equal Rights Amendment would ultimately lead to the legali zation of homosexual marriage. Such fears became hot topics in Waco throughout the summer and fall of 1980.32 No doubt, other areas of the state were just as religiously aware and socially conservative as Waco and the eleventh district. Much of West Texas, for instance, with its farming communities surrounding Lubbock and Amarillo, behaved in similar ways.33 The political culture of Texass two biggest cities, however, was more complex. In 1980, Dallas was home to 650 different million-dollar net-worth companies, the fourth most of any city in the United States. The abundance of million-dollar companies fueled development and expansion in the city by providing a tax base that the citys resident s did not have to be burdened with. However, when a Supreme Court ruling disallowed the prac tice of charging businesses higher than market value property tax rates, Texanslong accustom ed to among the nations lowest overall tax burdensfound local home property taxes accelerating. Local citizens, particularly those in the 31 Briefing for Campaign Appearances: Waco, TX, Apr il 23, 1980, Box 55, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Hannaford / Califor nia Headquarters Files, RRL; Miscellaneous Files, Box 525, Briefing Materials Files, RRL. 32 General Correspondence, Box 253, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations William Timmons Files, RRL; Ron ald Reagan File, Box 13, Press Office, Jody Powell Files, Jimmy Carter Papers, JCL. 33 Briefing for Campaign Appearances: Lubbock, TX, April 9, 1980, Briefing for Campaign Appearances: Amarillo, TX, April 9, 1980, Box 54, Pr e-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reag an, 1980 Campaign Files, Hannaford / California Headquarters Files, RRL.

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309 citys growing suburban outskirts, were considerably displeased w ith the ramifications of this ruling. A renewal in anti-tax rhetoric ensued.34 Dallas also shared San Antonios reliance on the military as a major component of its economic base. The fighter plane manufactur er Ling-Temco-Vought Corporation based its operations in Dallas, as did General Dynamics. The militarys industrial presence in Dallas heightened the citys awareness of national s ecurity issues and made national defense budget debates, including Carters proposal to elim inate the B-1 bomber, a great concern. The conservative philosophy that emphasized strong na tional defense parallele d the citys economic participation in the military industrial complex. Yet, Dallas also had social problems that affected its political climate in 1980. A report earlier that year rev ealed that the city had led the nation in total number of sexual assaults during th e previous year. The city was embarrassed by this national attention and initiated a renewe d campaign for increased security and crime prevention.35 The renewed attention given to crime bene fited the state GOP, which already enjoyed greater unity in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metrople x than in any other area of the state. The proliferation of suburban sprawl in the DFW area al so contributed to this unity. As late as the mid-1970s, Interstate-635, known in the area as the Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway, unofficially served as the citys northern boundary. By 1980, tens of thousands of area residents had flocked to the new suburbs north of I-635, partly in response to the de cay of the inner city and the inability of the Dallas Independent School District to maintain a high standard of education for the citys residents. The largest such suburb to spring up north of I-635, for instance, was the city of Plano. Plano became one of the Metr oplexs largest suburbs a nd by 1980 had established 34 Texas Political Brief, October 26, 1980: Office of Policy Coordination, Box 25, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI. 35 Texas Briefing: Office of Policy Coordination, Box 24, Annelise G. Anderson Papers, HI.

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310 its own independent school distri ct. Thus, in addition to being a cog in the nations military industrial complex, an epicenter of religious conservatism, and a city with a renewed focus on crime, the DFW Metroplex was also emblematic of larger patterns of white migration out of city limits and into more cohesive middle-class white communities, complete with their own school districts, zoning commissions, ta x policies, and city managers.36 By 1980, economists ranked Fort Worth, with its mix of military and agricultural industry, as home to the ninth best economy in the nation. San Antonio was ranked fourth, Dallas second, and Houstonthe stat es biggest citywas ranked firs t. The fact that Texas had the most vibrant economy in the nation should ha ve been good news for incumbents. Instead, the vibrant Texas economy moved more residents into the middle class, which resulted in new construction, extended suburban boundaries, enc ouraged sprawl, and hastened ideological polarization. The thriving economy attracted businesses and labor from across the nation, many of whom relocated to Texas w ithout the baggage of political l oyalty dogmatically tying them down to a single party.37 For all of these reasons, Texas was at the epicenter of the Repub lican Partys growing national strength. Not only did presidential c ontenders George Bush and John Connally hail from Texas, but Ronald Reagans organization wa s so well-established in the state that political observers like Tom Wicker of the New York Times declared it to be the real base of the Reagan campaign. Yet, it was not solely for this reason that Texas became the locus of attention for the 1980 presidential campaign. Of all the Southern states Jimmy Carter carried in 1976, none was as crucial to the incumbent presidents re-electio n prospects as Texas. In the aftermath of the 36 Political Brief: Ft. Worth, August 8, 1980, Box 406, Plano Political Brief, October 6, 1980, Box 415, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Political Operations Jerry Carmen Files, RRL. 37 Houston Chamber of Commerce Information Packet Box 541, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Briefing Materials Files, RRL.

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311 1978 midterms, animosity toward Carter, encour aged by the Republican Party, intensified in Texas. Carter was widely viewed as havi ng reneged on a campaign promise to deregulate natural gas. His energy policy was unpopular among the states oil power. The vast majority of the state had opposed ratification of the Panama Canal Treaties. Carters popularity was slipping among the states Hispanics and grassroots conser vatives were mobilizing in both suburban and rural communities. Clearly, the political cultur e across the United States and particularly in conservative Texas, meant a steep uphill climb to a second term for Jimmy Carter.38 The states political climate was far more hospitable to Ronald Reagan. Texas was not simply perceived as a base of the Reagan campaignit actually was.39 The leadership of the Reagan campaign efforts in Texas was experience d and committed to the conservative ideology that had made their candidate a popular choice in Texas since 1968. Men like Ernest Angelo, Jr., Chester Upham, Ray Barnhart, Ron Dear, Lyn No fziger, and Bill Clements each influenced the Reagan campaign nationally and in Texas.40 As his campaign prepared for 1980, Reagan continued to make his presence known in Texas through an active speaking schedule before civic and business organizations across the state. Both Reagans presence in Te xas and the content of his messages made it appear as thou gh he cared deeply about the state.41 At the top of Reagans priorities for Texas was the enlistment of grassroots Democrats and independents to his conservative cause. Reagan believed that gra ssroots Texas Democrats and independents largely 38 New York Times April 22, 1979, E19, Box 461, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Research & Policy Files, RRL. 39 Thoughts on Campaign Strategy, Undated Research Report prepared for John Sears, Box 5, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI. 40 Press Release, May 11, 1979, Memorandum, To: Ch arlie Black & Andy Carter, Fr: Ron Dear, May 23, 1979, Box 112, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Ed Meese Files, RRL; Anonymous Memorandum, To: Omar Harvey, February 1, 1978, Camp aign Records, 1978, Box 14, File 5, William Clements Papers, Texas A&M University, College St ation, TX (Hereafter cited as WCP). 41 Memorandum to Gov. Reagan, Fr: James Stockdale, Re: Briefings for Campaign Appearances: Houston & San Antonio, October 29, 1979, Box 52, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Hannaford / California He adquarters Files, RRL.

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312 shared his philosophy on taxes and government wast e. The path to Democratic hearts in rural Texas, however, also necessitated communicating that Reagan, more than his GOP rivals and more than the born-again Southern Baptist Carter, was a true friend to ethics, morality, and family values.42 Reagan accomplished this through carefully crafted speeches that appealed to both economics and tradition. Reagans oratorical skills were the perfect complement to a team of speechwriters who knew how to frame big ideas with emotion and passion. Quite simply, Reagan spoke as a populist, a conservative, a Ch ristian, an anticommunist and a commoner all at the same time. He presented himself as the embodime nt of hope in contrast to Carters malaise. He magnified problems, simplified solutions, and ro manticized an American past that may never have actually existed. I am calling for an end to giantism, Reagan said in multiple speeches throughout Texas in 1979 and 1980. He called for a return to th e human scalethe scale that human beings can cope with; the scale of the lo cal fraternal lodge, the church congregation, the book club, the farm bureau. He continued: It is the locally owned factory, the small businessman who persona lly deals with the customers and stands behind his product, the farm and consumer cooperative, the town or neighborhood bank that invests in the community, the union local. It is this activity on a small, human scale that creates the fabric of community, a fabric for the creation of abundance and liberty. The human scale nu rtures standards of right behavior, a prevailing ethic of what is right and what is wrong, acceptable and unacceptable.43 On his own spiritual commitment, Reagan was no less passionateand won the support of social conservatives in Texas as a result: The time has come to turn back to God and r eassert our trust in Hi m for the healing of America. This means that all of us acknow ledge and reaffirm our belief in our JudeoChristian heritage and join forces to recl aim those great principles embodied in that Judeo-Christian tradition and in ancient scripture. Without such a joining of forces, the 42 Transcript: The Year of the Elephant by Ronald Reagan, September 26, 1978, Box 3, Peter Hannaford Papers, HI. 43 Speech Excerpts, Undated, Box 29 Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI.

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313 materialistic quantity of life in our country may increase for a time, but the quality of life will continue to decrease. Our country is in need of and ready for a spiritual renewal. Such a renewal is based on scriptural reco nciliationman with god, and then man with man.44 Reagan valued the support of conservative Demo crats in rural Texas and tailored much of his rhetoric in order to appeal to that constituenc y. Considering the relatively low percentage of farmers still functioning in that capacity in Texas, Reagans rhetoric serv ed the symbolic purpose of appealing to rural and agrarian values. Th e invocation of such neoJeffersonian agrarian virtue contributed to a nostalgia for small-town values in Texas by using farmers as short-hand for the forgotten American whose idyllic conser vative political climate had been plowed under by liberal expansionism and intrusion.45 Yet, Reagan also knew how to blend issues into a web of dissatisfaction and discontent with the status quo of Democratic leadership in Washington, always iden tified in tandem with liberalism, big government, and threat s to the American way of life.46 This blending allowed Reagan to maintain consistency with his message regardless of the audience. Whether he was speaking to businessmen or farmers, Reagan s ought to capitalize on the nations need for hope. He wanted to convey ideas that he was a sound leader, was tough and fair, and that the consequences of the upcoming election were paramount.47 Reagans most skillful and delicate a ccomplishment was his ability to champion simultaneously a conservative philosophy, malign a liber al one, and claim with credibility that he was not an ideologue. This was not accomplished by accident. Reagan only attacked liberalism directly when he knew he had a sympathetic audi encesuch as most of t hose he encountered in 44 Ronald Reagan on Spiritu al Commitment, Box 39, Citi zens for Reagan Papers, HI. 45 Elizabeth Drew, Portrait of an Election: The 1980 Presidential Campaign (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1981), 209, 213. 46 Gary Wills, Reagans America (New York: Penguin, 1982), 406-416. 47 The Reagan Candidacy: Advertising Strategy for 1980, prepared by C.T. Clyne Company, October 25, 1979, Box 6, Deaver & Hannaford Papers, HI.

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314 Texas. Reagan published editorials and other writi ngs that lambasted Carters litany of failures and accused the President of disrespecting workers and the middle-class. He rarely referred to liberals without referring to Liberal De mocrats or the Liberal Establishment.48 Reagan linked his Democratic opponents to elitism and ideol ogyboth characteristics historically applied to Republicans with mu ch greater frequency and negative impact, particularly in Texas. In doing this, Reagan i ndirectly promoted his own brand of conservatism, created a belief that Republicans were the true party of the common man, wh ile at the same time appearing above the ideological fray by condemning Democrats fo r a dogmatic adherence to a Leftist political philosophy. We all know how liberals win, Reagan wrote in 1978. They buy votes with big promises and bigger spending progra ms. They appeal to those who are willing to trade freedom and pay outrageous taxe s in exchange for the mirage of cradle to grave security of the bottom line profit that comes from big government contracts.49 To many Texans, Reagan represented a call to freedom from taxes a nd regulations, and to send children to neighborhood schools, to pray, and to bear arms. He accused Carter of changing voting laws to make it possible for liberal Democr ats and big labor to stac k and steal elections. He claimed that Carter had weakened Amer icas defense by dropping the B-1 bomber and cutting back our Navy, making special deals with the Soviet Union, a nd otherwise appeasing communism. In these cases, Reagans rhetoric was not subtle. Words like freedom, steal, weaken, and appeasement fomented emotion among the grassroots and created urgency in the minds of conservatives and non-partisan citi zens alike, most of whom in Texas came to believe that liberals were as extreme and da ngerous as Barry Goldwater had seemed in 1964.50 48 Citizens for the Republic Newsletters, 1979, Box 110, Citizens for Reagan Papers, HI. 49 Ibid. 50 Letter from Ronald Reagan and the Citizens for the Republic, March 5, 1978, Folder 7, Box 873, Washington Files, John G. Tower Papers, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX (Hereafter cited as JTP).

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315 Thus, the political atmosphere in Texas was ripe for the Reagan Revolution. The Republican Party gained respectability in the state thanks to demographic changes and an amalgam of social and economic issues. This resp ectability meshed with pe rceptions in the state that the Democratic Party had been overtaken by national liberalism. Those factions of the New Deal coalition existing in Texas began to ju mp ship and strengthen a growing conservative coalition of disgruntled maverick s, religious conservatives, and free market libertarians all of whom could agree on at least one thingthat Jimmy Carter was not for them. At the same time, Texas became a focus of the national Republic an Party, strengthened the state partys respectability, and simultaneously undermined the Democratic Party by way of contrast and comparison. Reagans oratorical skill and his le adership teams ability to promote a consistent and simplified message, tailor-made for the traditi ons of conservative Texas politics, made the Lone Star State an epicenter of Republican resu rgence nationally and shaped modern American conservatism. The End of Intra-GOP Factionalism Ronald Reagan may have been the most popular Republican in the state, but he was not the only Republican hanging his hopes for national office on Texas. In February of 1978, former Texas governor John Connally had a chance to ch allenge Reagan and establish himself as a frontrunner in the race for the 1980 GOP presid ential nomination. Connally promised to organize a fundraiser celebrati ng the Eisenhower-era Republican Pa rty. Funds raised were to go toward paying off the mortgage on the Republican National Committees permanent headquarters in Washington. Rather than pour his every effort into the occasion, however, Connally procrastinated. The last-minute organi zation of the event was plagued by logistical problems and the event itself raised only $400,000 of a publicized $1.5 million goal. Connallys

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316 inability to plan the event effectively was only part of his problem. On the night of the event, rather than organize a series of tributes to the Eisenhower-erathe purported theme of the fundraiserConnally dominated the evening. He delivered a speech that most in attendance found far too long and political in which the topi c of discussion were the problems of the Jimmy Carter White House. It was the right speech given at the wrong time and in the wrong place.51 Nonetheless, John Connally was running fo r president. In October 1979, Connally purchased the earliest presidential campaign TV a dvertisement in the nations history. He had procrastinated in organizing the RNC fundraise r the previous year, but was not about to procrastinate when it came to his own political ambition.52 Early funds for Connallys campaign were provided by some of the nations largest cor porations, a clear signal that the Houstonians business acumen and economic policie s would serve as his foundation.53 However, Connallys ideas about the presidency and the importance of personality drew more attention than his relationship with big business or his economic plans. Connallys ideas about image and public relations also shed light on the nations political culture of late 1970s and early 1980s, though the former Texas governor might have been wi se to stay quiet. In 1979, Connally told Texas Monthly magazine that personality is the one essen tial issue in presidential politics. We are too often mesmerized by matters of policy, looking for the smallest difference that will distinguish candidates, when the big differencethose of personalityare out there for all to see.54 For a candidate to openly minimize the importance of policy in favor of image was no doubt a questionable strategy. These statements had ot her consequences as we ll, including an opened door for critiques of Connallys personality. C onnally had long been viewed nationally as a bit 51 Los Angeles Herald Examiner February 6, 1978, Box 85, Deaver & Hannaford Papers, HI. 52 October 31, 1979, New York Times Box 2M449, Phillip Scheffler Papers, CAH. 53 The Wichita Eagle September 14, 1979, Box 9, David Stoll Collection, HI. 54 Texas Monthly November 1979, The Truth About John Connally.

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317 of a wheeler-dealeran image helpful in the early 1960s, but harmful in the post-Watergate American political scene that largely distrusted politicians.55 Connallys presence meant that as the 1980 presidential campaign got underway, Ronald Reagans nomination was not a foregone conclusi on. Democratic insiders in Washington quietly feared that Connally was, potentially, their mo st formidable opponent in the upcoming election. Having been a Democrat in a Southern state, they feared, Connally would be a much greater threat to Carters hopes for once again carrying the Solid South than R eagan. In looking at Texas, the Carter team assumed the Lone St ar State was still a De mocratic haven, where tradition and loyalty woul d always trump ideology on the national stage.56 At the same time, however, Democratic strategists responded to Connallys statemen ts that image was vital to success in presidential po litics by doing a study of Connallys appeal in critical swing states, Texas included. Their findings were pres cient. Though a Republican, Connally was not perceived by the mass public, they believed, as a true conservative. Neither was Connally establishment or New Right. Put yet an other way, if image was everything, as Connally said, then his image lacked, as one Democratic analyst said, coloration. The Carter campaign believed that while Connally was potentially the GOPs most formidable candidate, he was also the easiest to definebecause no definition readily existed.57 Democratic forecasts showing Connally as potentially their strongest rival were not grounded in polls. This is evident because early polls, even in Texas, showed Reagan main taining a relatively comf ortable lead on Connally throughout 1979 and early 1980.58 Nonetheless, Carters campai gn advisors were distracted by 55 Ibid. 56 Texas Overview 3/24/79-3/25/79 Trip to Oklahoma and Texas, Box 124, Staff Office Files: Office of Staff Secretary, JCL. 57 Analysis: 1980 Presidential Ca mpaign, by Eddie Mahe, Jr. Decembe r 5, 1978, Box 4Ad34, George Christian Papers, CAH. 58 Memorandum, To: Mike Deaver, From: Peter Hannaford, July 6, 1979, Box 8, Deaver & Hannaford Papers, HI; Reagan Country Update, Newsletter, Septembe r 1979, Box 50, Ronald Reagan Subject Collection, HI;

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318 the early Connally campaign and, to a significant degree, dismissive of Reagan as a viable national candidate. Connallys bid for the 1980 nomination had really begun at the 1976 GOP convention in Kansas City where, in the midst of the Ford-Reag an split that seemingly threatened to sever the GOP in two, Connallys name was bandied abou t as a potential compromise candidate. He maintained credibility among conservatives in Texa s, though he was seen as a bit of a turncoat among the states more established conservative De mocrats. In essence, he more than Reagan personified the political wrang ling many Texans had experienced over the previous decade. Initially a faithful, yet adamantly conservati ve Texas Democrat, Connally had supported Lyndon Johnsons congressional and senate campaigns. But his relationship wi th LBJ grew distant during the turbulent late 1960s. Connally spearheaded effort s like Democrats for Nixon in 1972 and even managed to serve the Nixon White House without himself acquiring the stain of Watergate, though only barely. By 1976, Connally was a convertnot by choice he would say, but because he had been forced. His party ha d left him. His new home was the Republican Party and many Texans, still struggling to reconc ile their conservatism with the loyalty that befell a yellow-dog state, identifie d with their popular former governor.59 Connallys constituency in 1980 paralleled Reagans. Though he trailed Reagan in most polls taken in the state leading up to the prim ary, Connally maintained one apparent advantage the perception of electability. Connallys campaign strove to take advantage of this, reminding some Republicans of Reagans association with the extremis t Goldwater campaign of 1964. Connally, however, underestimated Reagans skill in shedding the extremist label. At the same Austin Poll Summer 1979, Box 461, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Campaign Files, Research & Policy Files, RRL. 59 Personal Correspondence, Political, April 5, 1976 November 22, 1976, Box 553-52A, 52B, 72, 202, 232C, John Connally Papers, Lyndon Johnson Library, Austin, TX (Hereafter cited as LBJL).

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319 time, Connallys campaign suffered from a dearth of originality. Borrowing from Reagan at every turnto the point of usi ng Reagan campaign material as a basis for speechesConnally spoke openly against ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, was adamantly pro-life, and even outdid the Gippers passion on th e issue of illegal immigration.60 Connally, like Reagan, also adopted an anti-Carter strategy and freque ntly reminded his audiences of Carters failed promise to deregulate the oil and gas industries in Texas.61 Reflecting a growing belief among Republicans that increased minority voting was bo th an existing threat and a potential new constituency, Connally appealed to Texas mi norities by praising Reag ans record on race relations in California. He fre quently cited the statistic that 20 percent of Reagans appointees during his first year as governor were minorities. Connally wanted to at tract Reagan supporters who were fearful of nominating a can didate that the general public would reject as extreme. He chose to do this by associating himself closely with Reagan, even praising his opponent, in the hopes that minority backers would be softened to the new conservative agenda. It was a curious strategy and one that benefited Reagan far more than it did Connally.62 John Connallys bid for the presidency barely made it out of the starting gates. The rough-and-tumble world of Texas politics, whic h actually organized in an effort to help Connallys campaign, greatly contri buted to its failure. The thru st of that story surrounds a political situation in the Texas legislature that Conna llys biographer and former New York Times reporter James Reston called decidedly Wild West.63 In 1979, a handful of Connally supporters in the state legislature, most of wh om were Democrats, began to organize support for a proposed bill that would move the Texas presid ential primary election up from May to March 60 Campaign 0 Briefing Book, Box 1209-192, F-2, John Connally Papers, LBJL. 61 Memorandum, From: Sam Hoskinson, To: John Connally, Subject: Illegal Immigration, 1980 Campaign Files, Box 743-461A, John Connally Papers, LBJL. 62 Campaign 0 Briefing Book, Box 1209-192, F-2, John Connally Papers, LBJL. 63 James Reston, The Lone Star: The Life of John Connally (New York: Harpers & Row, 1989), 563.

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320 11. The goal was to provide Connally with a gold en opportunity for an early and big win, thus giving momentum to his campaign. The bill gained the backing of Governor Clements, but when the proposal officially made its way before the legislature, no vote could be had because no quorum existed; twelve liberal legislators who collectively came to be known as the Killer Bees went missing in action in order to prevent a quorum and kill the bill. The situation gained national attention, but not in a good way. The zany happenings of the Killer Bees made Connallys home state look like a circus. Political observers across the country called the situation a laughing stock and Connallys repu tation as a backroom po litical wheeler-dealer once again came to the forefront, tho ugh this time, he looked like a failure.64 Connally also lost the critical support of social conservati ves. Though he had tried to appeal to evangelicals by way of his stances on abortion and ERA, Connally made the mistake of suggesting that he would reconsider the United States support of Is rael if American oil interests were ever threatened as a resu lt. He also supported the establ ishment of a Palestinian state within Jordan. Evangelicals were not alone in charging anti-Semitism, but they were the most important. Despite his Southern appeal, his Texas popularity, his relative moderation, and an impressive war chest donated by some of the nations most powerful corporations, Connally never made it to the Texas primary. He withdrew after defeats in Florida and Iowa, leaving only one Texan left to challenge Reagan fo r Lone Star State Republican domination.65 That one challenger was George Bush, w ho chose a different strategy against Reagan than had Connally. In the week s prior to the 1980 primary elec tion in Texas, George Bush aggressively campaigned not only against Reaga n, but also against the Reagan conservative philosophy. This strategy was also a mistake. Loyalty alone should have given Bush a thriving 64 Ibid., 564. 65 Ibid., 575.

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321 home state advantage, but Reagan appealed to Texas conservatives far more than Bush did. Conservatism in Texas had grown past the factio nalism of the previous years and coalesced since 1976. Failing to recognize the success of the new c onservative agenda and, particularly, the antiliberal backlash that accompanied it, Bush de rided Reagans anti-gove rnment populism, forgoing that mantra for a broadly defined human rights theme.66 Characterized as a Republican for all factions, Bush seemed everywhere and nowhereall at the same time.67 He believed that Republicans were desperate to defeat Jimmy Carter and would make electab ility a top priority. In order to seem electable at the national level, Bush embraced his moderate background. He famously critiqued Reagans economic pol icy throughout the campaigncalling it voodoo economicsbut it was his opposition to Reagans proposed tax cuts that gained the most attention in Texas.68 On social issues, Bush consistently kept to Reagans left. He openly supported the Equal Rights Amendment and opposed a constitutional ban on abortion.69 The effect of this strategy was unintended and undesired. Setting himself up in opposition to Reagan on specific issues like taxes and values did not make Bush seem more electable to Texa ns, but more liberal, particularly in contrast to Reag an. The larger issue at stake, therefore, was image. Reagans appeal as a ranch owner from the West overshado wed Bush in Texas, who had difficulty shaping his public persona because of the perception that he had only moved to the state for political reasons and was, in reality, a carpet-bagging New Englander.70 Reagan also undermined Bushs presidential campaign by listing Bush, along with John Connally and Bill Clements, as potential 66 Box 128, Folder 3: Issues Papers, 1979, James A. Baker Papers, Seeley G. Mudd Library, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (H ereafter cited as SGML). 67 New York Magazine, January 21, 1980, Box 86-107/11, Allan Shivers Papers, CAH. 68 Dallas Morning News April 24, 1980, 14A. 69 George Bush on Abortion DRAFT, November 14, 1979, Box 128, Folder 3: Issues Papers, 1979. James A. Baker Papers, SGML. 70 Dallas Morning News April 4, 1980, 16A.

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322 running mates in the general election campaign.71 Bush wanted to seem moderate and therefore more electable, but failed on both counts. Unlike 1976, when Reagan won a surprisingly large victory in Texas over the incumbent Ford, there was little drama leading up to Elec tion Day in May of 1980. Reagan consistently outpolled Bush by no less than 25 points in su rveys taken throughout the campaign. In some parts of the state, Reagans lead over Bush in the polls exceeded 60 percent.72 Nonetheless, the 1980 presidential primary, though it lacked the pizzazz of the 1976 campaign, represented a culmination for direction and cont rol of the Republican Party in Texas. The previous years had fostered coalescence in the conservative tent and most of that activity took place under a Republican banner, even as many established cons ervatives remained loyal Democrats in name. Bush was seen as less a part of the Eastern Establishment than Ford had been four years earlier, but was individually reject ed as too liberal. The lack of factional identification meant that conservatives in Texas were more apt to unify around an individual than a philosophy, for the battle over philosophy was, for the most part, over.73 When voters actually went to the polls, Reag an defeated Bush as expected, but by a slimmer margin than predictedonly 4 points. Bush cut into Reagans lead during the final week of the campaign for three main reasons. First, the expectation of a Reagan landslide depressed voter turnout, giving Bush an opportunity to narrow the gap simply by getting his supporters out to the polls. Second, Bush shifted gears late in the campaign and decided to join Reagan in making Jimmy Carter the chief issue of the election.74 Bush wanted to appear more 71 Ibid.; Dallas Morning News April 5, 1980, 35A. 72 DMI: A Statewide Telephone Survey of Republican Voters in Texas April 24, 30, May 2, 1980, Box 200, Pre-Presidential Papers of Ronald Reagan, 1980 Camp aign Files, Richard Wirthlin Political Strategy Files, RRL. 73 White, America in Search of Itself CH 10. 74 Dallas Morning News April 4, 1980, 16A; Press Release, April 30, 1980, Box 8, Deaver & Hannaford Papers, HI.

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323 electable at the national level to voters in his home state, but it was Reagans focus on Carter rather than Bushs attempt at moderation that di d the trick. Reagan played for the national stage and most conservative Texans wanted to join in the fight. When Bush shifted his attacks away from Reagan, he seemed less divisive, less moderate, more conservative, and more Texan. Lastly, Bush began to match Reagans rhetor ic on national defense. This strategy was particularly effective in Houston, where Bush made small inroads by portraying Reagan as a potential risk, while at the same time adop ting Reagans stance on numerous foreign policy issues.75 Bushs shift to the Right contributed to Reagans decision at the GOP convention in Detroit that summer to tab the Houstonian as his running mate.76 The combination of Reagan and Bush helped unify the Texas GOP, where it had remained fatally divided in 1976.77 Y