August 31, 2012
Well, I’ve been afraid of changing/ ‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
I’m hearing the word “landslide,” and reading lots of “Carter and Reagan 1980” references.
I was there. Let’s keep the differences in mind, in terms of the general culture and atmosphere.
Carter got elected in 1976 because after Watergate, the Dems really could have run a pig for President and won.
But better yet, Carter was a Beltway “outsider,” a Southern governor and, we heard endlessly, peanut farmer. He looked and sounded like the anti-Nixon.
OK, so he had “lust in his heart” and saw a UFO AND was attacked by a killer rabbit. He still got elected.
Then came what economics textbooks at the time claimed was impossible: high unemployment AND inflation. They had to come up with a new name for it: “stagflation.”
Most folks just said “malaise.”
Gas prices have doubled under Obama? Sheesh. We. Had. No. Gas. In. The. Pumps.
And Iran held Americans hostage for 444 days, which the show Nightline was invented to cover, which it did, night after night after cold dark night to giant ratings.
America looked even more impotent when Carter’s Entebbe-style rescue mission failed.
By 1980, the situation was reversed: now Americans would vote for anyone but the Democrat.
And in an amazing stroke of fate and everything else, that “anyone” was (finally) Ronald Reagan.
But here’s the big difference:
Yes, millions of peanut shaped novelty items had been sold since 1976, but few people were possessed of a fanatical, irrational love of Jimmy Carter, at the beginning or at the end.
On the other hand, Obama fans are loyal to the point of irrationality, even if their loyalty is based on not being called “racist” or making their hipster/black friends mad, or just upon their hatred of Republicans.
There’s more than a whiff of looming violence in the American air that wasn’t there in 1980.
And Romney isn’t Reagan.
(But that only matters if you remember Reagan, and conservatives forget that millions of young people don’t. In an odd way, this can be a plus, because Romney can’t fail a comparison that kids won’t make anyhow.)
All this to say again: Don’t get cocky, you guys.
It’s all bullshit anyhow, but if we have to live under this system, I at least want the shit to come from my bull, not the other guy’s.