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Ashbrook Political Button Museum
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Ashbrook Political Button Museum
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Illustration of a white turn arrow pointing to the left with a red stripe going diagonally across the button and white text above the arrow on a blue background.

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This button was used in John Milan Ashbrook's campaign for Presidency in 1972. Ashbrook was running against the incumbent President Richard Nixon as an alternative conservative candidate. 

The button became a famous symbol among the conservatives, as it symbolized their frustration with Nixon, whom they saw as having abandoned conservative principles and "turned left" on foreign and domestic issues. During his first term, Nixon had resumed relationship with the People's Republic of China, pursued détente with the Soviet Union, and launched a series of liberal domestic policies such as canceling the convertibility of US dollars to the gold standard and endorsing Equal Rights Amendments; those policies had subsequently raised eyebrows from his fellow Republicans.

Although Ashbrook's campaign was unsuccessful, its messages had resonated with many conservatives, and thus paved ways for the ascent of Ronald Reagan in 1980. 

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