Week 46: Politics

Originally Published:  December 16, 2011

I have been a political junkie since I was in high school.  Politics was a frequent topic of conversation in our house even when I was a kid.  In our house our opinions were considered even when we were very young children.  Each of us would discuss the latest political events and we usually watched any presidential addresses or debates on TV.  We would usually watch the news on TV and would discuss what was going on in the world that day.

The first president that I remember was Jimmy Carter.  I remember that times seemed tough and that the news was full of the gas shortages and the hostages in Iran.  I don’t remember thinking of him as a good president.

The first presidential election that I remember was the election of Ronald Reagan.  I have vague memories of watching the debates and the lead up to the presidential election.  I was in favor of Ronald Reagan because I thought he would do something about the hostages and would make things better in the economy.  I don’t remember until the election coverage being aware of Ronald Reagan as an actor before he became a presidential candidate but I have since watched some of his movies and he was a pretty good actor, too.

I don’t remember much about the election of the elder George Bush.  I was finishing high school and starting college so I don’t think I was really focused on politics in that election although I am sure that it was a frequent topic of conversation.  I do remember the end of his presidency and thinking that he was out of touch with most Americans.

I remember watching the debates at the end of Bush’s presidency with Clinton.  He seemed completely out of touch and, in my opinion he lost the election during the town-hall debate when he answered the question from the audience about the price of a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk.  He answered that he had never done the shopping for his family and that the housekeeper usually did the shopping.  Bill Clinton answered that while he hadn’t been in a store in the location of the debate, that “back home in Arkansas a loaf of bread was about a dollar and a gallon of milk was about $2”.  I loved that answer and I think he won the election at that moment!

I actually attended a political rally for Bill Clinton on the U of A campus.  It was my one and only political rally attendance to date.  Bill Clinton is one of the most political men in this country and it is my belief that we would have had a completely different list of presidents if Al Gore and Hillary Clinton had followed his advice in their campaigns!

Bill Clinton’s presidency was a difficult time for me.  There were many difficult things going on in my life and his presidency was a very emotional time for me.  I think for many people my age he was the president of hope and dreams.  He was inspirational to me and actually gave me hope for the future.  During his presidency, there were many things about his personal life that became public that I thought were wrong for him to have done.  I was very disappointed in him and his actions.  However, as a president, he did many things that benefited me and my family.  The changes in student loans and scholarships in particular helped me and my brother and sister be able to attend college.  At the end of his presidency the budget was in surplus and financially the country seemed better off to me.

The election of the second George Bush as a disappointment to me.  I thought Al Gore should have won but I also think that the long, drawn-out election procedures would not have been necessary had Al Gore followed Clinton’s advice instead of running as far away from him as possible.  However, I thought at the time of 9/11 that he did what was needed to bring the country together and unite us against a common enemy.  I particularly thought his speech at ground zero was inspiring and comforting to the nation.  I do not think that the war was necessary but I don’t know whether he lied to the country about the evidence of weapons of mass destruction or whether the intelligence was really that bad!  Either one is a scary thought to me!

I was very interested in the last presidential election in 2008.  I was a supporter of Hillary Clinton and I think she would have been president had she listened to the advice of Bill Clinton or even my advice.  I actually took the time to email her during the election and advise her to fire any of her staff advising her to conduct herself in the debates with Barrack Obama as she was!  I somehow don’t think that her staff showed her my email since it likely advised her to fire whoever was giving her the email!  I was very disappointed when she lost!  One of the moments of that campaign that made me the most happy was the night that Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama had a meeting!  The press was all waiting outside her home for her to leave for the meeting when she returned home from the meeting that had already taken place!  To my knowledge the content of the discussion at that meeting has still not been leaked to the press!  Although, in my personal opinion, the discussion probably included some discussion of her current position as Secretary of State if she would support Barrack Obama’s presidential campaign.

The last congressional election was also very interesting to me!  I particularly enjoyed watching the coverage of several of the candidates.  First there was the candidate who actually released a commercial denying that she was a witch!  What I still want to know is who was the advertising salesman who got her to make this commercial.  This is a salesman that someone should be trying to hire because he can sell anything to anyone!  Then, there was the candidate who made some sort of remark (I can’t really remember what was said), but the result of the remark was that people dressed in chicken suits to show up to polling locations and to several of her events.  You can’t beat the entertainment value of people in chicken suits!  Finally there was the senate candidate in Arizona who was running against Harry Reid.  She kept threatening that her supporters would likely kill Harry Reid if she lost the election!  I believe her language was something similar to they “would exercise their 2nd Amendment remedies” if she lost!  I personally think that a case could be made that she was threatening a sitting US Senator, which I got to believe is some kind of crime!

The current campaign season has been very interesting!  I will withhold my comments on this election until a later date.  But things are changing every day!

Week #46 – Politics

Week 46. Politics. What are your childhood memories of politics? Were your parents active in politics? What political events and elections do you remember from your youth?

This challenge runs from Saturday, November 12, 2011 through Friday, November 18, 2011.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.