The election of 1968 saw a backlash against the progressive movement begun by President John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier and continued further with President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. The wars on poverty and racial injustice were drowned out, however, by the war in Vietnam and the violence at home by race riots and assassinations of key figures both in the Civil Rights Movement.
These moments of fear destroyed any notion in people’s minds that the United States was moving forward as a nation. To some, it felt like a step backward. They were afraid. They wanted complacency.
So they turned to Richard Nixon.