The 1972 Election


Race and Votes

Nixon wanted to continue with the southern strategy to win white voters

Busing was continuing to segregate people by sending children off to different schools, many didn't like this

Nixon nominated 3 southern republicans to be part of the supreme court, Burger was selected as Chief Justice yet Haynsworth and Carswell were rejected, Nixon said the only reason they were rejected is because they were from the south, appealing to southern voters

Democrats spoke out about Affirmative Action yet Nixon condemmed this, appealing to the average white voters who didn't want to pay the social and economic costs of it.

He wanted to stop discrimination against low income fathers who didn't deset their families, make more welfare recipients work, decrease the bureaucracyand to equalise payment in the US.

Family Assistance plan (FAP) August 1969 gave families support and got a 65% approval rate, but it didn't get through Congress as it was too expensive but it still won votes. 

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Law, Order and Votes

Nixon intended to get law and order back in America, which pleased many conservatives

After the several muggings of White House staff with Nixon's secretary losing $7000 worth of jewellery a bill was created: 'District of Columia Crime Control Act' 1970 was introduced to reduce crime, by making bail harder to obtain and faciltating search procedures.

Nixon ordered the invasion of Cambodia due to suspect communists causing anti-war protests to re-erupt

Kent state, Ohio a peaceful protest turned violent, National guard opened fire on students, killing two innocent girls. Nixon discredited the protestors saing that it was their own fault

Many people in middle America agreed with him that it was the students fault

He moniored those suspected protestors treating them harshly

Agnew his VP appealed to the right-wing Republicans, with his radical views on how to deal with law and order

Middle America approved tougher laws

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Foreign Policies and the Vote

This was Nixon's speciality so he used it to win votes

His promise of 'Peace with Honour' gained votes 

His foreign secretary Henry Kissinger annonced 'peace is in hand' which pleased the silent majority

SALT- Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty 1972 was signed by Nixon and the soviet leader in an attempt to put the breaks on the nuclear arms race

Nixon opened up relations with Communist China after 20 years of tensions, even though both sides were motivated by re-election it still won votes

Nixon ordered the relase of scapegoat Army lieutenant William Calley, who was made solely responsible for the My Lai massacre even if he was just following orders. He had originally be sentenced to life imprisonment by the Army Jury of Vietnamese Veterans, this appealed to voters.

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Nixon said people didn't care about the environment

January 1969 an oil rig leaked on 200 miles of the California Coast thousands of birds died, causing public sympathy

Cuyahoga River in Ohio caught fire due to the amount of pollution in it, there was also lots of air pollution, and this made people begin to care more about the environment then they did

Legislation: Clean Air 1970, Coast 1969, Endangered Species 1969, Environment Protection Agency 1970 were introduced

80000 acres of federal land was given to the state and 642 parks were created

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People voted according to their wallets, so many were concerned about inflation

Johnson had put America into more debt by trying to fund the war and the 'great society' by borrowing money

A decline in productivity due to competition in Europe and Japan wasn't helping either

August 1972, there was inflation and high unemployment, Nixon introduced the New Economic Policy (NEP) which froze wages for 90 days and devalued the dollar

However when controls were later dropped prices rocketed, known as the Great Inflation 1973

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Candidate Edward Muskie was an early front runner dropped out 1972.

George Wallace was the next best candidate however was left permantly disabled after an assasnation attempt so couldn't run.

The last contendor Teddy Kennedy, but was marred by the Chappaquiddick Scandal in which he crashed his car and was slow to inform authorites that his passanger a young girl had died in th crash.

At national convention the delegates were booed and cheers were in support of Ho Chi Minh

McGovern was the selected candidate and was supported by counter culture, Republicans played on conservatives fears saying he was 3A's candidate, Acid, Abortion and Amnesty E.g. Favouring drugs, irrsponsible sex and those who avoided military service

McGovern promised every American $1000, so to redistribute income and decrease poverty, other polices included legalising maijuana, abortion and cutting defense spending

This caused uproar with many trade unions traditionally democrat rejecting McGovern due to his feelings on war and defense spending

He fully supported his VP Senator Eagleton until he found out he had had electric-shock therapy then dropped him.

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Nixon believed traditional family values, and his policies on women pleased conservatives

He vetoed the 1971 Child Development Act which would have provided free childcare to the poor but it was too expensive and as considered 'Sovietise' due to it communal approch to family life, which he didn't want

This pleased those who valued Nuclear Families and that mothers should stay at home and look after thier children

Nixon oppsed abortion, taking a catholic view

When pointed out that Nixon's administration team only had 3.5% women, he the effort to promote more, seriously considering Rita Hauser as a Female Supreme Court Judge until he found out that she supported same sex marriage, Nixon felt it was unconstitutional, which made Nixon's wife was furious as she publically supported a female judge

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