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View Diary: Republicans think November is theirs, but women have other ideas (98 comments)

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  •  Was 16 years-old & remember that 1980 evening well (1+ / 0-)
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    TomP

    Reagan's only job in his first face-to-face with Jimmy Carter was to disprove the perception that he was a wing nut.  

    Many people thought Reagan was a weak candidate in 1980, until the debate, when he pulled ahead.
    Yes, but it was even worse than that.  It was the reason(s) voters and reporters (back when reporters played a legitimate role covering important elections) believed Reagan's candidacy was Swiss cheese.

    In 1980, millions of voters harbored fears (appropriately & accurately) that Reagan was dangerously far-right, incompetent and completely unfit to serve as President. His age was an issue too.  Reagan's advisers successfully coached him  - for days & days before the debate -  to come across as a non-threatening former Governor with a rudimentary, or at least non-radical, understanding of the issues.  (Ronnie "smile confidently, stick to generalizations about making the U.S. a better & stronger nation, say the economy is horrible and blame Pres. Carter and don't say anything stridently reactionary").

    Reagan was able to convince people, during the minutes he spoke, that he wasn't nuts. The bar was low and he successfully stepped over it.  

    Reagan's performance successfully dispelled people's intuitively accurate understanding of him and the subsequent press coverage shifted as well.

    33 years since the Reagan's inaugural and we've seen  institutionalized burden shifting on non-millionaires (medical, educational, state/municipal erosion, etc) onto and extremely inflated taxation obligations on working people. This is the New Normal starting-point  governmental policy and conservative philosophy, which has been the foundation of every Congress/Presidential Administration since January 1981. Our economy has worsened every year since then by every rational measure.

    One debate in 1980 did not cause all this, but it sure deserves its own chapter in the history of how the U.S. Gov't and illiberal national leaders created and maintained an inexorable death march for the U.S. working class.

    sláinte,
    cl
    -- Religion is like sodomy: both can be harmless when practiced between consenting adults but neither should be imposed upon children.

    by Caoimhin Laochdha on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 05:05:32 AM PDT

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