The Politics of Extremism
John Tower's stunning victory in 1961 can and should be seen as a seminal moment in the process of constructing a legitimate two-party Texas. He was not the first Republican in the postwar era to make electoral waves in Texas. The politics of extremism acted as an albatross around the necks of Texas Republicans, who saw the gains of the Eisenhower years squelched by 1964. As Tower would do in 1961, Alger in 1954 ran as a conservative dedicated to building a viable state Republican Party. For Alger and many of his conservative constituents, the line between New Deal liberalism and socialism was thin, if it even existed at all, while the line between socialism and communism was only one of gradation.
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