After 1966, I felt the Republican Party would become a Moderate to Progressive force in our country. They would address the issues and use the combined resources of federal, state and local governments, private enterprise, unions, and other interests. The basic idea was, in a joint effort to identify problems, take coordinated action, and move toward a final goal. We will never achieve these goals which will, of course, change at intervals; but we should see progress.
This was in marked contrast to the approach of the Democratic Party. Democrats often presented their ideas in regional and group terms not in ways that would benefits the entire country. These programs may have been desirable but they did not comprise a comprehensive national policy. All they reflected was a knee jerk reaction to a perceived problem and a rush to spend money.
This progress was lacking as we recall the urban unrest of the next two years after the Republican gains in 1966. We still had a long way to go. The summer of 1967 saw riots erupting all across the country. Following the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968 the same type violence continued.
In Washington, D.C. , the area around the White House became an armed camp. Other sections of the city and suburbs were marginally better. The Democratic Convention in Chicago is still a bitter memory with clashes between police, delegates, students, and minorities. No doubt this was a big factor in Richard Nixon’s narrow victory over Vice President Humphrey in November of 1968. Both New York and Philadelphia stayed quiet during both summers.
In willing the Presidency, Richard Nixon was able to gain the support of Liberals within the Republican Party. Edward Brooke from Massachusetts, Margaret Chase Smith from Maine, Robert Griffin and George Romney from Michigan, Charles Percy from Illinois, Thruston Morton of Kentucky, and Mark Hatfield from Oregon all preferred Governor Rockefeller but supported Nixon after the Convention. Repubican Liberals later began a nose dive.