Following FDR’s new deal, progressive change came rapidly. So much so, that within 30 short years, social revolt had reached almost every aspect of American life. We saw civil rights advance, increased drug use, alternative religious beliefs, the beginning of the gay-rights movement, the start of the environmental movement, and the birth of modern feminism. It was hippie heaven.

The only people unaffected by the social upheaval were old rich white people, but that was about to change. With the help of two treasonous presidents who sold out their country before they were even elected, it wouldn’t take long for the conservative revolution to get going.

First, back in 1968, Lyndon B. Johnson was trying to find a way out of the increasingly bloody Vietnam War. LBJ was desperately seeking a truce between North and South Vietnam. It was an election year, anti-war sentiment in the country was high and Johnson’s Vice President, Hubert Humphrey, was in a tight presidential race against Richard Nixon. Johnson knew that so long as the war raged, Humphrey could not win.

Johnson had it all but done. He forced the leaders of South Vietnam into an all-but-final agreement with the North. A cease-fire was imminent, and Humphrey’s election seemed guaranteed. But at the last minute, the South Vietnamese pulled out. LBJ suspected Nixon had intervened to stop them from signing a peace treaty.

Seymour Hersh of the New York Times revealed Henry Kissinger – then Johnson’s adviser on Vietnam peace talks – secretly alerted Nixon’s staff that a truce was imminent. According to Hersh, Nixon “was able to get a series of messages to the Thieu government [of South Vietnam] making it clear that a Nixon presidency would have different views on peace negotiations.”

Having sabotaged the peace talks, Nixon won a narrow election victory. The war would go on for another 4 years killing 20,000 more US troops and a million more Vietnamese. Nixon would win re-election and Kissinger was given the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the same settlement he helped sabotage in 1968.

As previously mentioned, when Nixon was in power, conservatism was in dire straits. “We are under siege” as corporate lawyer Lewis Powell put it. Powell wrote what is now referred to as the “Powell Memo.” In it, Powell laid out a strategy for conservatives: Dial back the power and financial stability of the middle class, and restore the role of the wealthy at the center of power to regulate society. Less than six months after the memo was written, Nixon appointed Powell to the Supreme Court.

The memo called for corporate America to become more active in molding politics and law in the United States. It sparked the development of several influential right-wing think tanks and lobbying organizations such as The Heritage Foundation, and ALEC. It also influenced the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to become much more politically active. The new gilded age had begun.

Following Watergate, the conservative revolution had to be put on hold, but it wouldn’t take long to get back on track. Corporate America had begun to take the Powell Memo seriously. They found their patsy in actor, governor, and corporate spokesperson Ronald Reagan.

Reagan managed to get elected by doing two things. One, he turned a population still angry about the Watergate scandal into a weapon by claiming government was the problem for society’s ills. Two, he made the Carter administration look incompetent by sabotaging the Iranian Hostage Crisis.

Nixon got elected after violating President John Adams’s 1797 Logan Act, which banned private citizens from intruding into official government negotiations with a foreign nation. Although there is far less physical proof than in Nixon’s case, it can be argued that Reagan did the same thing.

President Carter was close to negotiating the release of 52 American diplomats being held hostage in Iran, but Reagan’s campaign was long-rumored to have undercut an agreement to free the hostages because it would likely mean Carter’s re-election. It is said that with the help of Reagan campaign man and future CIA director William Casey and ex-CIA director and VP candidate George H.W. Bush, the Reagan campaign promised Iran a better deal than the one Carter could give them.

At the same moment Reagan completed his twenty minute inaugural address on January 20th, 1981, Iran released the hostages. Six years later, the Reagan Administration was caught selling weapons to Iran in exchange for American hostages in Lebanon. In short, it is likely the Reagan administration assumed power also as a result of treason.

What Reagan did with his eight years in office was nothing short of devastating to the middle class, its unions and income inequality. Reagan did what the Powell Memo suggested; reduce the power and financial stability of the middle class, and restore the role of the wealthy at the center of power.

It is a model that is followed still, if not more, to this day by the presidents that came after them. Two treasonous presidents sabotaging negotiations for political gain at the future expense of everyone.

9 COMMENTS

  1. I have known about the hostage release treasonous act of Reagan for years and I am sick of always hearing the republicans and democrats keep continually referring to him like he was a God. He also did great harm to this country with de-regulation, which helped the crash we had. He should have been put in jail like his fall guy, Oliver North. But we as a country get what we deserve for not informing themselves.

  2. A very factual article.Humphrey was foolish not to allow LBJ to go public with what the FBI knew about Nixon’s treason.And Reagan…That mess was a gift to him.Why he wasn’t impeached is a mystery to me.

  3. in the knowledge the Nixon, who else? wanted to know McGovern’s campaign strategy via Watergate burglarizing, and Reagan was ‘almost’ caught in the Iran-Contra scandal, this has a ring of true possibility.

  4. This is what the Reagan Revolution was all about.

    The Movement was created by GE “EDUCATION OF REAGAN THE GE YEARS” and the Oligarchy to destroy the middle class.

    http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/32681

    The BIG LIE worked.

    Trickle down trickle down repeat after me trickle down the GOP Polices that destroyed the country…….

    .All because the BOOMERS the Generation of ME believed the lies Reagan told them on their TV’s that they to would live the life of Dynasty.

    All you have to do you see is give the rich everything for TAX FREE. but did not tell them this you see …….we will drain the treasury..

    This is the Morning In American Reagan spoke about.

    http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/ronald-reagan/videos/morning-in-america

    Reagan’s Morning in America became the Mourning of America.

    Powerful and Continuing Nationalism Reagan communicated to Americans after the failure of Vietnam Nixon and the mess left to Carter by the GOP Nixon…….that we are EXCEPTIONAl they love those Mottos In god We Trust, One Nation under God all wrapped in a Commie Chinese made American flag they bought at NON Union Walmart as they are clinging to their bible and guns fearful of those desert dwellers in the middle east. .

    Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights The Party gave us torture back and GITMO. Mandatory sentences for pot.

    THE PARTY has their scapegoats they have a list of them. How the southern strategy has worked for them for the last 30 plus years now. Blame and project what you are actually doing on that scapegoat. Goebbels would be so proud.

    Supremacy of the Military …THE PARTY claims we are broke but always seem to find the money for WAR BUDGETS.

    RAMPANT SEXISM …THE PARTY has a war on woman and gays .

    THE PARTY has their own propaganda news FOX NEWSPEAK were they make the lies BIG repeat them often the other 5 corporate owned media pick it up it becomes truth in the eyes of the people. Again Goebbels would be so proud.

    THE PARTY’S Obsession with National Security gave us the Patriot act and NSA the rights to spy on us. First they went after them muslims most Americans did not care yet they were always spying on us.

    THE PARTY courted the religious right now they act against the basic tenets of that religion. No food for you no shelter for you and damn sure no health ace for you……….Compassionate christians now say you can do it we will give you moral support and pray that you do now be like the little train that could I think i can I think I can.

    THE PARTY Protects that CORPORATE POWER .ALWAYS they are now PEOPLE with souls and morals they defend in courts and claim will have to in heaven.

    THE PARTY started union busting during the days of ST FASCIST REAGAN and 1984 came right on time. Right to work for less one GOP state at a time.

    THE PARTY has a Distain for the educated and why THE PARTY is trying to destroy education with their Christian reconstruction creation bull and making profits off student loans and then making good Patriot serfs of them and not good citizen. .

    THE PARTY’S Obsession with crime and punishment gave us the drug war 3 strikes laws mandatory sentences and our shoot first laws.

    Rampant Cronyism and Corruption with Five Radical Male right wing social engineering judges to make it so for them.

    And how can we forget THE PARTY STEALING of elections 2000 and suppressing the votes and selling arms to Iran to hold those hostage just a few more days gutting voting right act.

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