A champion for the disaffected: Ross Perot's 1992 presidential crusade.

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/187056
Title:
A champion for the disaffected: Ross Perot's 1992 presidential crusade.
Author:
Broussard, James Allen.
Issue Date:
1995
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
In 1992, Ross Perot, billionaire entrepreneur from Texas, headed the most powerful independent presidential candidacy of the twentieth century, garnering nearly 19 percent of the popular vote. Perot's rhetoric demanded fundamental reform through a seemingly contradictory message calling for both individual responsibility and collective patriotism and sacrifice: corporate populism, a traditional, albeit profoundly paradoxical ideological appeal. Perot spoke of rekindling the "American Dream" for the next generation, whose prospects appeared bleak because of a post-Cold War credit crisis and withering of the United States' industrial base. He saw linkages between this crisis and a host of social problems, and advocated controversial solutions that made coalition-building difficult. Perot looked to his followers to develop consensuses on many issues of the day. Heading a "grassroots" movement organized from the top down, with disciples from all points on the ideological compass, however, Perot found consensus a rare commodity. As a result, his campaign lacked cohesion. Perot's methods, personality, and wealth raised disturbing questions about the future of representative democracy, but his unfolding campaign also highlighted shortcomings in American electoral institutions and processes. Perot's treatment by the press, for example, provides a case study of the mass-production of political portraits and the impact of those images. That so many citizens voted for a man often portrayed as a suspicious, morally rigid, unscrupulous, vengeful demagogue indicates how widely disaffection with American political institutions had spread. Tapping this discontent, Perot created the potential for a new kind of politics in the United States. He catalyzed discourse on policy issues like foreign trade, welfare reform, military policy, and Executive branch responsibility. He focused attention on chronic problems like the national debt, the annual budget deficit, and the insolvency of "entitlement" programs like Social Security and Medicare. His presence seems to have provoked an unusually high turnout on election day. He helped pioneer a new era of direct dialog between candidates and citizens through the use of interactive and electronic media. Finally, Perot's candidacy symbolizes the emergence of a new centrist political movement--a force which in 1994 began to dramatically reshape the American political landscape.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 1992.; Presidential candidates -- United States.; Businessmen -- Political activity -- Texas.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
History; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Committee Chair:
Dinnerstein, Leonard

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleA champion for the disaffected: Ross Perot's 1992 presidential crusade.en_US
dc.creatorBroussard, James Allen.en_US
dc.contributor.authorBroussard, James Allen.en_US
dc.date.issued1995en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractIn 1992, Ross Perot, billionaire entrepreneur from Texas, headed the most powerful independent presidential candidacy of the twentieth century, garnering nearly 19 percent of the popular vote. Perot's rhetoric demanded fundamental reform through a seemingly contradictory message calling for both individual responsibility and collective patriotism and sacrifice: corporate populism, a traditional, albeit profoundly paradoxical ideological appeal. Perot spoke of rekindling the "American Dream" for the next generation, whose prospects appeared bleak because of a post-Cold War credit crisis and withering of the United States' industrial base. He saw linkages between this crisis and a host of social problems, and advocated controversial solutions that made coalition-building difficult. Perot looked to his followers to develop consensuses on many issues of the day. Heading a "grassroots" movement organized from the top down, with disciples from all points on the ideological compass, however, Perot found consensus a rare commodity. As a result, his campaign lacked cohesion. Perot's methods, personality, and wealth raised disturbing questions about the future of representative democracy, but his unfolding campaign also highlighted shortcomings in American electoral institutions and processes. Perot's treatment by the press, for example, provides a case study of the mass-production of political portraits and the impact of those images. That so many citizens voted for a man often portrayed as a suspicious, morally rigid, unscrupulous, vengeful demagogue indicates how widely disaffection with American political institutions had spread. Tapping this discontent, Perot created the potential for a new kind of politics in the United States. He catalyzed discourse on policy issues like foreign trade, welfare reform, military policy, and Executive branch responsibility. He focused attention on chronic problems like the national debt, the annual budget deficit, and the insolvency of "entitlement" programs like Social Security and Medicare. His presence seems to have provoked an unusually high turnout on election day. He helped pioneer a new era of direct dialog between candidates and citizens through the use of interactive and electronic media. Finally, Perot's candidacy symbolizes the emergence of a new centrist political movement--a force which in 1994 began to dramatically reshape the American political landscape.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectPresidents -- United States -- Election -- 1992.en_US
dc.subjectPresidential candidates -- United States.en_US
dc.subjectBusinessmen -- Political activity -- Texas.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineHistoryen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.chairDinnerstein, Leonarden_US
dc.contributor.committeememberSchaller, Michaelen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRagsdale, Lynnen_US
dc.identifier.proquest9531080en_US
dc.identifier.oclc703280161en_US
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