what circumstances and events caused the great coalition that fdr bequeathed to us to start coming apart why and how did we democrats lose our hold on the american electorate

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-NEED BY FRIDAY TO PROOF READ!!!!!!!!!! Due Tuesday of next week 28th

It is mid-November 1980. You are an advisor to President Jimmy Carter, who has just lost his presidential reelection bid to former California Governor Ronald Reagan. President Carter sends you the following memorandum:

Dear __________,

I know you are just as discouraged as I am by the election results. The notion that millions of our fellow citizens would willingly cast their lot with a man like Governor Reagan is, frankly, mind-boggling. But let’s see what we can learn from this debacle—or, to be more precise, what you can teach me. You and I go back a long way. We first met during the 1964 presidential campaign, which resulted in that amazing landslide victory for President Lyndon Johnson. I’m sure you vividly remember that (all too brief!) period of euphoria following the ’64 election. We Democrats were riding high. The great electoral coalition that Franklin Roosevelt had put together three decades earlier was holding up remarkably well. And yet here we are in November 1980, having just lost the White House and the Senate to the Republicans, trying to make sense of this cruel setback.

What I want to know is: What happened? How did our party get to this point? I’d be very keen on seeing a memorandum from you exploring these questions. By all means, talk about things that happened over the last four years, even if some of your observations don’t reflect terribly well on me or my administration—I can take it. But I also want you to go back further in the past, all the way back to those heady days of late 1964 and early 1965, when we were both so young and hopeful. What circumstances and events caused the great coalition that FDR bequeathed to us to start coming apart? Why and how did we Democrats lose our hold on the American electorate?


Your assignment is to write a memorandum of 1,400–1,600 words (12-point type, double- spaced) answering President Carter’s questions. Although you are producing a political document, you should bear in mind that Mr. Carter is man of great intelligence and rigor; he would expect your memo to reflect high academic standards, drawing on convincing and clearly cited evidence. (Mr. Carter is also a forward-looking individual, and he wouldn’t have minded receiving, in November 1980, a memo citing works of scholarship published well after that date.)

Unlike in the first writing assignment, when you were permitted to consult outside sources if you wished, you must use the assigned readings and the course lectures as your sole sources in this second assignment. In doing so, be sure to provide adequate citations, following one of the approved methods outlined in The Chicago Manual of Style or in Kate Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Information derived from course lectures should also be cited; a simple citation like “Lecture, History 17C, May 7, 2019” will do. Your section leaders will be available to assist you with citation issues and, more generally, to help you approach the assignment.

The second writing assignment is due at the start of lecture on Tuesday, May 28.


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