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Jimmy Carter won the 1976 Presidential election, beating republican nominee Gerald Ford by a two point margin. Carter’s victory signified the return of the Democratic Party, but throughout his presidency, the rise of the Conservatives was stimulated (up to the point that in 1980, Ronald Reagan won the Presidency for the Republican Party). Carter’s presidency failed to ratify the Democratic Party’s leadership because the social, political, and economic context did not favor it. During the 1970’s, the American society turned to traditional values: opposition to abortion, gay rights, and other such provisions made by liberals became widespread. As well, evangelical Christianity greatly resurged during the 1970’s; harsh economic times turned the people against democratic social reform programs as it was widely considered that such programs robbed the rest of Americans (Henretta and Brody).

Carter’s efforts to stabilize the economy failed; increased interest rates estranged the government from the public. Federal deregulation programs aimed to incentivize competition and bring prices down. Prices did go down, but competition was fierce and many companies went out of business. As unemployment increased and the American standard of living decreased, the people turned to Conservatism. Conservatism spoke of fighting crime and Communism, of defending the country zealously; its ideals spoke in favor of political regulation and against political activism and socialist reform. Enabling the poor and unemployed while the rest of the country barely held on was not an option the people were going to support. This is why Carter was an ineffective President, and that is why the Republican Party rose to power (both in the White House and in the US Senate).

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