Penney Nelson The Republican Party was badly divided in 1964 between its conservative and moderate-liberal factions. Former Vice-President Richard Nixon, who had been beaten by Kennedy in the extremely close 1960 presidential election, decided not to run. Nixon, a moderate with ties to both wings of the GOP, had been able to unite the factions in 1960; in his absence the way was clear for the two factions to engage in an all-out political civil war for the nomination. Barry Goldwater, a Senator from Arizona, was the champion of the conservatives. The conservatives had historically been based in the American Midwest, but beginning in the 1950s the conservatives had been gaining in power in the South and West.
The conservatives favored a low-tax, small federal government which supported individual rights and business interests and opposed social welfare programs. The conservatives also resented the dominance of the GOP's moderate wing, which was based in the Northeastern United States. Since 1940, the Eastern moderates had successfully defeated conservative presidential candidates at the GOP's national conventions. The conservatives believed the Eastern moderates were little different from liberal Democrats in their philosophy and approach to government. Goldwater's chief opponent for the Republican nomination was Nelson Rockefeller, the Governor of New York and the longtime leader of the GOP's liberal-moderate faction.
[pic]Lyndon B. Johnson, a Texas democrat who had been John F. Kennedy's Vice President, was elected President on his own in 1964 in a landslide. While South Vietnam's government survived the Tet offensive in 1968, a series of crucial battles in the Vietnam War. On January 31, 1968, the first day of the celebration of the lunar New Year, Vietnam's most important holiday, the Vietnamese Communists launched a major offensive throughout South Vietnam.
Johnson was defeated by another army and young anti-war protesters who mobilized behind Senator Eugene McCarthy Not to be confused with the anti-Communist senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy.
Eugene Joseph "Gene" McCarthy (March 29, 1916 – December 10, 2005) was an American politician and a long-time member of the United States Congress from Minnesota. McCarthy's had a surprisingly strong showing. He won 42 percent of the vote. Three weeks later, Johnson stunned the nation by announcing: "I shall not seek and I will not accept the nomination of my party as your President." Johnson's withdrawal left the Democratic field to Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, also of Minnesota, McCarthy, and Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York, brother of the slain President.
Challenging McCarthy for the mantle of which man was most antiwar. Kennedy generated an intense, almost rock-star-like excitement among his followers. Kennedy won the important California primary on June 5, but was assassinated. With Kennedy dead, Democrats nominated Humphrey. But what happened at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago helped doom his candidacy in November. In what the authorities later dubbed a "police riot Police riot is the wrongful, unbalanced, unlawful and illegitimate use of force by a group of police against a group of civilians.
It often describes a situation where police, clad in riot gear such as armor, helmets, padded knee and elbow protectors, and face shields, "the whole world is watching," the protesters chanted. But among Americans, reactions varied. To some it drove home the idea that Humphrey was too grateful to Johnson and had only belatedly challenged his support for the war. Many of them would stay home on Election Day or vote Republican.
Others saw the turmoil as the culmination of a cultural revolution that had produced the hippie and anti-war movements. It all played into the game plan of Richard M. Nixon, the Republican