The shifting political winds of the late 1970s staggered an unprepared Eckhardt, who had also faced, but repelled, similar struggles over busing a decade earlier. Between 1979 and 1980, locals challenged Eckhardt's support for Carter, specifically on abortion, the Panama Canal, tax exemptions for private Christian schools, and the hostage crisis in Iran. Texans' loyalties were challenged, traditions retired, and politics changed in less than three decades prior to the 1984 Republican National Convention. This transformation did not occur overnight, nor was it shaped by any single issue or cause. Certainly, economics was a key. Government itself seemed less and less capable of solving the problems of crime, chaos, and disorder that so many Americans had, in the past, turned to government to solve.
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