Political movement in the USA that combines numerous conservative or rightwing movements into a surprisingly cohesive whole. The Conservative Movement (CM) successfully established a dominant role in the Republican Party, and nearly all GOP officials are affiliated with it.
Members of the Conservative Movement are known as "movement conservatives."
In the USA, political parties themselves are very weak and nebulous; historically, they are not bound to any particular ideology or constituency. Instead, parties take their ideological guidance from movements, which endorse candidates based on their commitment to the goals of that particular movement. Movements also marshall fundraising and organizing networks, binding candidates to elected officials and to affiliated thinktanks. The CM is distinguished because it captured an entire party, and tied it to an emphatically rightwing ideology.
The three components of the CM are the neoconservatives (neocons), religious right (theocons, "Moral Majority"), and the AEI-affiliated business conservatives (money cons).
More important, conservatives who embraced conspiratorial thinking shared a sufficient set of complaints, assumptions, and common enemies that united them with their more "respectable" cohorts in one movement. They swam in the same ideological waters as the broader conservative movement... and. above all, participated in building one mobilization out of their common grievances against American liberalism.
Lisa McGirr, *Suburban Warriors* (2002)
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