Political Memory Lane

Booman had a post similar to this and it inspired me to think back on my political junky-ness.

1968 – This is the first election I was aware of, I was 6 years old. That year had a huge impact on my life. My father died of a heart attack, my oldest brother went off to Vietnam and my next oldest brother went off to college at Berklee College of Music in Boston, the Vietnam war was on TV, my other brothers were marching in anti-war protests. (5 boys in the family) I have impressions of Chaos and doom that Nixon would win. I told you so. :)

1972 – I was 10 and spent the summer working at McGovern Headquarters in Muskegon, Michigan – stuffing envelopes and handing out flyers at grocery stores, I remember the same sense of doom and depression because of the war.

1976 – I didn’t pay a lot of attention at 14 but vividly remember coming home on election night and watching the returns with my mom, the first feminist in the country, born in 1923. (I know there were many others before her, but she was way ahead of her time) I was surprised that Carter won, I remember assuming he would lose and was pretty excited that night.

1980 – Carter, Carter, Carter…I was very active in the election, Reagan was going to be the end of civilization as we know it. A senior in High School, I was fully addicted to politics, eating and breathing it.

1984 – Must stop Reagan and his puppetmasters….anyone but Reagan. Saw Mondale in Lansing Michigan where I was going to Michigan State University, I was over the top political junky, buying every paper I could find, watching every political show I could find on TV. Those days it was Sunday morning shows and the MacNeil Lehrer Newshour. In 1985, I took a General Business Law class with a professor at MSU who was one of Reagan’s speechwriters in the ’84 campaign. He graduated #1 from the University of Michigan Law School. We would have debates about the election, we re-fought the election during class. It was pretty crazy debating him about politics, I was way out of my league. He gave me an A in the class even though I really deserved a C.

1988 – Dismal year, I wasn’t happy with any of the candidates, really. Dukakis had no sex appeal and the electorate was coming off the Hollywood president, the empty suit. Dukakis was stiff, wonky…but I agreed with him and tried to help him get elected.

1992 – Clinton, Clinton, Clinton….I liked him a lot. I didn’t like some of his moderate positions like welfare reform and too many tax breaks for business, easing of regulations..but I did like the fact that he was intelligent, hands on, persuasive, telegenic, and not of the World War II era. When he came to Grand Rapids Michigan and spoke, I was interview by the Grand Rapids Press (GR is Amway land, Devos and Van Andel-ville), the paper ended up using a bunch of quotes from me that were picked up across the state. I told them how I wanted a president who didn’t live through the “Great War”, someone who was evolved beyond the “red scare” mentality that was still lingering.

1996 – Clinton all the way, more out of a sense of defending him from the bullshit from Republican attacks, lesser of two evils to some extent.

2000 – Wasn’t thrilled that Gore got the nomination, Mr. Excitement and I thought the Republicans did a great job picking Ole Bushie boy, he was considered moderate at the time, compassionate conservative bullshit. Of course I was obsessed with the recount, bastards….insert expletives here.

2004 – Depression, Kerry was a horrible pick, WTF were the democrats thinking, I guess the field of candidates wasn’t that great to begin with. I think I originally wanted Dick Gephardt and was certainly intrigued by Howard Dean, but he melted down too quickly. I think he quit too soon. Kerry was way too stiff. I was in Baltimore MD visiting when a young guy named Barack Obama gave the keynote address at the democratic convention. I told my wife that he was going to be the first black president, we were both blown away by him.

2008 – I supported Obama before he even announced his candidacy, I even made a sign that I put on my office door at the university where I work before he even announced. I gave money to the campaign and certainly did my part commenting on blogs, but I was too busy with my many projects and jobs to help out much. Unlike many in my party, I think he’s doing a masterful job, not perfect, but I don’t expect perfection.