Seymour Lipset has argued, in Encounter, that the Goldwater movement has significance chiefly as the last desperate gasp of a dying social grouping, the final effort of traditional, Protestant, small town, inner-directed America before it succumbs to the assaults of the 20th Century. A good deal of evidence supports this view. Polls have shown, for example, that Goldwater’s positions on the American-Soviet detente, on the Civil Rights Act and on the welfare role of the Federal government represent a declining as well as a minority viewpoint. The election returns seemed overwhelmingly to confirm this. I hope Lipset is right, but I fear he is not.
The Lipset thesis fails to account for the large numbers of no...
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