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Mon Jun 23, 2014, 02:27 AM

What must it have been like to be a Democrat after the 1984 election?

I'm reading history, and in our current era of narrow, tightly-contested elections, I can't even imagine what a 49-state defeat would have felt like. Were there a lot of Chicken Littles who proclaimed that the Democratic Party would be going extinct? How did the political party bounce back?

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Reply What must it have been like to be a Democrat after the 1984 election? (Original post)
PlanetaryOrbit Jun 2014 OP
Skittles Jun 2014 #1
jwirr Jun 2014 #35
Skittles Jun 2014 #39
Spider Jerusalem Jun 2014 #2
Skittles Jun 2014 #3
Journeyman Jun 2014 #4
Spider Jerusalem Jun 2014 #5
stevenleser Jun 2014 #6
pnwmom Jun 2014 #7
Bluenorthwest Jun 2014 #18
klyon Jun 2014 #22
pnwmom Jun 2014 #27
Armstead Jun 2014 #19
Puzzledtraveller Jun 2014 #20
brooklynite Jun 2014 #8
bobGandolf Jun 2014 #9
Skittles Jun 2014 #10
FSogol Jun 2014 #29
bobGandolf Jun 2014 #11
Warpy Jun 2014 #12
MrMickeysMom Jun 2014 #43
Kablooie Jun 2014 #13
penndragon69 Jun 2014 #14
rickyhall Jun 2014 #15
Cresent City Kid Jun 2014 #25
deutsey Jun 2014 #16
HereSince1628 Jun 2014 #17
pinboy3niner Jun 2014 #21
bemildred Jun 2014 #23
ladyVet Jun 2014 #24
Greybnk48 Jun 2014 #26
Peacetrain Jun 2014 #28
Jenoch Jun 2014 #31
dawg Jun 2014 #30
ieoeja Jun 2014 #32
nadinbrzezinski Jun 2014 #33
WinkyDink Jun 2014 #34
G_j Jun 2014 #36
RebelOne Jun 2014 #37
3catwoman3 Jun 2014 #38
Skittles Jun 2014 #40
3catwoman3 Jun 2014 #42
WI_DEM Jun 2014 #41

Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 02:29 AM

1. we figured repukes would trash the country

and that is EXACTLY what they did

please say DEMOCRATIC PARTY - "DEMOCRAT PARTY" is incorrect and is used by teabaggers and other kinds of stupid conservatives

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Response to Skittles (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 12:11 PM

35. I have been saying Democrat Party since 1950 and so have many other good democrats. You need

to show me where FDR and HST did not call us by that name. And since I am old enough to remember that will be almost impossible. I am a Democrat and will stay one. Thank you.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #35)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 05:11 PM

39. uh huh

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 02:30 AM

2. "Democrat Party"?

 

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 02:31 AM

3. a sure sign of someone who only listens to rightwing assholes

yes indeed

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #2)


Response to Journeyman (Reply #4)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 02:35 AM

5. "Doesn't remember the 1984 election" isn't "obviously young", considering that was 30 years ago.

 

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 02:38 AM

6. Democrats lost three Presidential elections in a row. It looked bad for a while.

 

Reagan benefited from the end of the OPEC embargo resulting in a massive energy shock where oil and gas prices were cut in half which really sent the economy skyrocketing and so it appeared as if Supply side economics worked.

They have never appeared to work since and don't work.

But with that perception implanted in the minds of the voters, it was hard to beat Republicans for a while. The recession under George H. W. Bush started to make it clear to many people that supply side economics wasn't the success it had seemed to be.

Some folks still haven't learned that lesson though. But it is pretty self evident. We have had 20 years of Republican administrations trying supply side economics since 1980 and only 4-6 of those years have produced good economic growth.

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 03:21 AM

7. We had already watched Richard Nixon carry 49 states in 1972 over George McGovern.

So to see it happen again was extremely dispiriting; and yes, there were predictions that the Democratic party was doomed.

That's one reason so many Democrats who are old enough to remember are grateful to President Clinton for turning things around. He perceived, as many Dems then and now do not, that we couldn't win without winning a significant share of centrist and Independent voters.

If we ignore those voters and cater only to our most progressive base, we risk losing 49 states. So all the progressives who proclaim him a sellout are ignoring the fact that he was the first Democratic president in years who strongly prevailed over the Republicans -- and he did it by reaching out to the middle.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 08:43 AM

18. We found that many 'Democratic' voters were actualy Republican who voted for Reagan and Nixon

 

People who voted for Nixon and Reagan were not 'centrists' nor 'independents' nor 'moderates' they were, as the candidates they voted for in droves, Conservatives. The appeal of Reagan to these voters was his Right Wing religion, his Anti Choice views, his pronounced racism and his extreme bigotry toward LGBT people.
Clinton did not win by reaching out to the middle, he won by attracting liberal voters, African Americans, LGBT, Latino, the youth vote and women. A very familiar path to victory for the Obama generation...Clinton, 83% of the African American vote, 61% of Latinos, 8o% of the Jewish vote.
Bill's first election was also the very first in which the LGBT voters were organized and part of the coalition inside the Democratic Party. He was the first to mention LGBT people at all.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #18)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 09:55 AM

22. to be more accurate both parties were not bent on ideology before rayguns

there were people on the left and right in both parties
then the parties started realigning around money the republicans had it the Democrats did not
Clinton was able to find some cash and was able to compete and now we have polarized parties and a race for the money

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #18)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 11:00 AM

27. Not really.

Reagan managed to pull away many blue collar workers who had traditionally voted for Democrats ever since the FDR era. Clinton got them back.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 08:55 AM

19. Reaching out to Middle is not the same as selling soul to Wall St and Big Business

 

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Response to Armstead (Reply #19)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 09:01 AM

20. ouch

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 03:59 AM

8. What pundits WERE saying was that the Republicans had an "electoral lock" on the Presidency...

...didn't quite work out that way.

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 04:16 AM

9. It was a tough time.

It seemed like everyone was voting Republican.

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Response to bobGandolf (Reply #9)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 04:20 AM

10. yes, and the Reagan years THOROUGHLY fucked up Amerca

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Response to Skittles (Reply #10)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 11:33 AM

29. The Reagan years are still f'ing up America. n/t

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Response to bobGandolf (Reply #9)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 04:33 AM

11. No kidding!

Love how they rewrote history on Reagan.

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 04:47 AM

12. It sucked. We couldn't believe anyone still believed in that old fraud

enough to vote for him. His dementia was obvious to whoever knew what to look for and the "improved" economy benefited the few at the expense of the many. We especially couldn't believe people saw families thrown out on the street and would vote for more. And in a truly mind boggling national exercise in sheer stupidity, they voted his VP into office after him.

I can only conclude it was some sort of mass hypnosis caused by his history as a perfect corporate pitchman. Some people still haven't snapped out of it.

Fellow nurses expressed nausea at his reelection. The AIDS holocaust was hitting us hard and that evil man thought it was killing the right people (gay men) so he refused extra funding to study it and work on both treatment and a cure.

I will never forgive that old bastard for that. Never.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #12)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 05:22 PM

43. I was just over 30 thenů Even then I knew Reagan's dementia was being covered up...

And what was this, "trickle down" economics we all were supposed to swallow?

"Reagan's ruling class" had also been published by Ralph Nadar to show how all the corporations rewarded the marketers of "The Great Communicator's" bullshitery.

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 05:00 AM

13. I lived outside of the US in 1984 and it looked very strange from a distance.

I kept reading how delighted America was with itself and how everyone was deliriously happy because of Reagan.
I felt none of that and thought it all seemed arrogant and silly.

I missed all the "Where's the beef?" commercials too.
I had no idea what that was about when I returned.

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 05:11 AM

14. Two words

 

Mondale ,Ferrao . Just not worth their weight.

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 05:56 AM

15. Yup '84 was bad but started in '81

Iran hostages released the minute Raygun was inaugurated, school loan money frozen, had to drop out and get $5 an hour job, car wreck broke my back, nickel and dime jobs ever since.

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Response to rickyhall (Reply #15)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 10:41 AM

25. Somewhat similar story here

I was just starting college to study computer science at a time when the field was taking off. Pell grants dried up and I had to work at Pizza Hut, not as a temp job to keep me going through college, but as the only source of income for then and into the foreseeable future. I managed to learn the printing trade and make more than minimum wage, but missed out on being a programmer and making a middle class living.

The Reagan "recovery" was a lot of expansion of personal credit card debt and the businesses that expanded the most were fast food places. The rich benefited the most but the middle class received enough to get them voting to keep the gop on top. Basically, they "fixed" the economy by reducing the number of people they were fixing it for. Being poor in the 80's became a life sentence.

The difference between then and now is that now they are feeding on the middle class that got a pass in the 80's.

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 06:30 AM

16. The Democrats still had control of the House, I think

I recall they did relatively well in mid-term elections so that kept them viable.

That's just my memory, though. I don't have time to confirm this.

It was no surprise to anyone that Reagan won in '84, despite his bumbling performance during the debate with Mondale, or the disaster in Lebanon (241 Americans killed? yawn...but we sure kicked Grenada's ass!), etc.

They were masters of propaganda and knew how to promote their brand in a way that a lot of people just gobbled up. They swooned over the "pageantry" Reagan supposedly brought back to the White House (ooooh! look at all those flags!) and swallowed the grandfatherly cowboy schtick hook, line, and sinker.

It wasn't until his administration was caught secretly selling weapons to Iran and illegally diverting money from the sales to the Contras that cracks began to appear in the Reagan facade, but he still managed to survive, living up to his reputation as the Teflon President thanks to a tamed news media and a docile political opposition.

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 07:09 AM

17. It was a lot like watching the emerald city turn into rust.

The 80-83 recession hit the old foundry, union heavy, states very hard. At the same time, the south was offering special incentives free of unions and luring industry away from the north.

That time convinced a lot of people that the southern democratic governors had the answers and were performing miracles, and that the old ways of the union friendly party run by power in the 'northeast' had failed.

The combination of crumbling economics and inability to counter Reagan created in their wake the incubator of the DLC.



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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 09:08 AM

21. You should change "must have been" to "was"

Many here can answer that question.

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 09:58 AM

23. That was when I knew the lessons of Vietnam were forgotten.

And when I started expecting to see our present imperial decline. Once they double down on the jingo, you know it's just a matter of time.

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 10:07 AM

24. It was disappointing, but not surprising.

Mondale was hardly the candidate we needed to defeat Reagan. And a woman VP? In the eighties? Never going to happen.

But I had the satisfaction of publicly informing -- in a crowded voting precinct -- my then-husband, uber-fundie that he was, that he couldn't tell me who to vote for. He had this quaint notion that a wife should vote the way her husband did. Ha! That was one vote for old Ronnie Raygun that was cancelled out.

That was my first election, by the way.

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 10:54 AM

26. The election BEFORE that one was worse.

Many of us were not able to cast a vote!

I took a quick nap after work, got up at 6:45 pm CST, and was heading out to the polls around 7ish when a T.V. commentator called the election over for Reagan! I never got to vote, nor did my mother and father who were going with me!

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Response to Greybnk48 (Reply #26)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 11:31 AM

28. So true!

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Response to Greybnk48 (Reply #26)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 11:39 AM

31. Why didn't you get to vote?

 

Did they close the polling place?

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 11:34 AM

30. I think that election was more about image than issues.

Mondale just wasn't perceived as being a strong leader, and Reagan was. Reagan was a much better actor.

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 11:45 AM

32. My favorite 1984 election story: gas prices.

 


I was living on the north side of Indianapolis at the time, but still registered to vote in the small town near the family farm an hour or so south of Indy. So I drove down south, voted, then drove back.

I hit the south side of Indy 5 minutes before the polls closed and saw them changing prices at the first gas station I passed. Then the second. Then the third. Every single gas station I passed on my drive through Indianapolis raised prices the second the polls closed.

They were pretty obvious about it. And I bet most people didn't even notice.


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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 11:47 AM

33. The talk in the media was that the Dems were mostly done

 

why when people start with that talk I just smile.

Don't get me wrong, I think the GOP is in deep trouble, but they are in deep trouble because the Dems are taking the business friendly spot, which means the Rs are really getting desperate and going out there... like the Whigs did.

The parallels to 1858 are there.

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 11:48 AM

34. What do you mean, "What MUST it HAVE BEEN like....?" It was only 30, not 300, years ago!

 

Question should read, "What was it like, DU'ers older than, say, 40,.....?"

P.S. You could also ask freepers what it was like for them after 1964. J/S.

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 12:13 PM

36. one of the darkest days

and no, we have never recovered.

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 12:52 PM

37. I voted for Mondale. I hated Reagan.

But alas, Reagan won.

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 01:29 PM

38. I am still shaking my head that so many people bought...

...his avuncular feel-good BS.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #38)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 05:11 PM

40. it was the first time I realized there were so many stupid, easily fooled Americans

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Response to Skittles (Reply #40)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 05:20 PM

42. Many of whom are still with us...

...sorry to say, and they seem to be making more.

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Response to PlanetaryOrbit (Original post)

Mon Jun 23, 2014, 05:17 PM

41. Or 1972 or 1980

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