Standing In The Gap Of The Real And Perceived
1980 – Jimmy Carter Vs. Ronald Reagan
This is an installment in the series Sex For President, which considers the 2012 U.S. presidential race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in the historical context of previous U.S. presidential elections. To read more about the premise of Sex For President, read the first installment: https://americanparser.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/sex-for-president/
Ok, normally, beauty would have come before age, but the 1980 U.S. presidential election was like a sex appeal contest between Sean Connery and Clint Howard.
Okay, so maybe it wasn’t quite that bad.
But, really — this is no-brainer for everyone out there, right? Ronald Reagan was a movie star from the Golden Era of Hollywood. He was charming, funny, self-deprecating, disarming, smooth, decisive, and nobody’s fool. Meanwhile, Jimmy Carter was… wait a minute. Didn’t we already do this? After four years, Carter’s folksy, quiet Southern temperment started to wear as thin as the laid-back attitude of your live-in surfer dude boyfriend who’s put you in the hole for months before you finally have to kick him out. Sure, he’s agreeable. But eventually, with the bills stacking up, pizza crusts strewn everywhere, and the come-ons from the creep next door unanswered, you realize: you can do better.
Don Henley sums up Reagan in the song Little Tin God, from the “End Of The Innocence” album, like this:
The cowboy’s name was Jingo
And he heard that there was trouble
So in a blaze of glory
He rode out of the west
No one was ever certain
What it was that he was sayin’
But they loved it when he told them
They were better than the rest
Whatever you thought of his policies, like Clinton, Reagan’s personal appeal was undeniable. And like Wilford Brimley, Reagan was just a straight shootin’, cool old guy.
For the benefit of you Millenials who haven’t had the pleasure, let me introduce you to the incomparable Mr. Wilford Brimley:
Back to the Reaganation of America. Here is how it all began:
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