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News Link • Government

The Millennial Generation and Civil Liberties

•, By Jay Stanley
In essence, Beinart argues that the Reagan era has come to an end.

Historians often speak of the period from 1932 through 1980 as the New Deal Political Order—a period characterized by a Democratic political majority made possible by a coalition of Southern whites, northern liberals, African Americans, and unions. Although the Democrats won some battles and lost others, the political debates of the era were defined by the Democrats to such an extent that even when they lost, they often won, as when Richard Nixon supported policies that were pro-environment, pro-Social Security, and pro-national health care.

The realignment of 1980 represented the end of that era, and its replacement by a more conservative one in which a new “intergenerational debate” (as Beinart terms it) took place “between the yard lines Reagan and Clinton set out.” In this era, the Republicans often won even when they lost, as Bill Clinton for example rolled back welfare benefits.

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