To what extent did the rise of the New Right transform politics in the USA in 1980s and 1990s?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The rise of the New Right transformed politics in the '80s and '90s and its impact continues to be felt today.  From the election of Ronald Reagan on, the Republican Party has become more of a party of the religious right, more of "Main Street Republicans" as opposed to "country club Republicans" who were more prevalent in the '50s and '60s.

With the rise of the New Right, politics in the US has become more ideological and divided.  The New Right arose in response to the cultural changes and government spending of the '60s.  When it arose, US politics started to focus on things like reducing the levels of welfare spending and on issues like abortion and, now, same-sex marriage.  Previously, politics had been conducted on a much narrower range of issues.  This was a major transformation and it helped to make the US into the more polarized society that it is now.