Question for liberal dopers age 50 to 55

So politically speaking, is this (the “W” years) basically what the Reagan years were like? Just sort of a continuous sentiment like “is this some kind of fucking joke?”

I just returned to the US after being gone for a while and it just seems surreal… like, am I the only one who can “see the fnords?” This shit just seems so obvious, such a ruse, like the entire country has lost its basic ability to think. But then I remember back to when I was a kid in the 80’s and the entire nuclear destruction of everything was a casual bargaining chip or cheap movie plot, so I have to put it in perspective. So I guess I’m just wondering how these days look from the perspective of a like-minded person of my age in the Reagan years.

I’m a couple years off the high end of your target range, but nobody else has stepped up, soooooo . . .

I was thinking about this very thing this afternoon. Although there are similarities, this does not strike me as a rehash of the Reagan/BushXLI years. The main difference is that the oddities of that time—particularly Iran/Contra, but there were others—were more driven by ideology. Mind, I didn’t personally agree with said ideology, but I had the feeling that someone, somewhere, really believed it.

Now, I have the impression that there is no ideology behind the BushXLIII administration other than venality. It reminds me of a quote ascribed to Richard the Lionhearted when he was auctioning off everything in sight to raise funds for his Crusade: “By Gods Feet! Find me a purchaser and I’ll sell London itself!” The overriding philosophy of this administration seems to be that whatever lines the pockets of its buddies is good, and the rest of us be damned. At the very least, ideology has taken a back seat to cupidity.

(The stumbling block here is that I can’t fathom why they think they’ll get away with it indefinitely. Or maybe they just don’t care.)

As the forum, sez, MHO.

I don’t know why you’re setting the limits at 50-55. I’m old enough to remember Reagan even if I didn’t get the chance to vote against him.

And my thought has been…I can’t believe how much worse it’s gotten. I wish I could go back to listening to my Dead Kennedy records and believing that it was all a joke and we’d wise up eventually. The dismantaling of the social infrastructure (to say nothing of the physical infrastructure) has continued apace. The divide between rich and poor is coming along handsomely. The Culture Wars we went through in the Reagan years…HA. We thought it was divisive then. Then we had someone willing to pay lip service to the Christian Right, now we have one of them. I should point out as well though, that all these things continued through the Clinton years too.

Like I said, I don’t know why you put an age range on this, I feel old and cynical and curmudgeony already.

Youngster here, and although I was a pre-teen and teenager through the Reagan years and thankfully apolitical or at least blessedly unconscious of politics. I certainly can see how much worse things have gotten.

At least there seemed to be some checks and balances and a minimum of integrity during the Reagan years. Bush has zero integrity and worse yet, nobody seems to care or hold him to it.

I just want my country back. It’s insanity and I can’t believe we have 3 more years.

I’m a little young for the 50-55 range (why those years?) but Bush W seems way more surreal the the Gipper years.

This is truely Bizzaro World

A team of Chicken Hawks succeed in painting a war hero (Kerry) as a traitor.

The Bushies claim that the Valerie Pame revalations exonorates Karl Rove, plus its just a partisan smear campiagn by the Dems.

Anyone who screws up in the administration is awarded medals or given promotions.

No matter how poorly Iraq is handled, everything is going as planned.

Anything done by the previous administration was wrong, no matter how sucessful it was.

The answer to ending our dependance on foreign oil is to do away with CAFE standards and just look for more oil elsewhere

Put for former industrial executives in charge of federal agencies that they once opposed.

I could go on and on…

This is turning into a pitting of the Bush administration, so I am moving this from IMHO to The BBQ Pit.

It’s not our fault if they’ve done so much to warrant pitting. :slight_smile:

You know something’s seriously fucked up when these guys make Richard Nixon look like a saint by comparison.

Well I definitely fall into the age range requested in the OP and I definitely consider myself a liberal.
I’ve probably made hundreds of Dubya bashing posts and no doubt I’ve said this many times before but the Dubya years are just fucking unbelievably bad. Someone mentioned that this spoiled little shithead defeated someone who actually set foot in Vietnam. Let’s not forget that in 2000 he also defeated TWO Vietnam veterans - Gore and John McCain. How the fuck did he pull off shit like that?
I wasn’t the biggest Reagan fan, but at least he gave the Presidency some dignity. Dubya is just so fucking inept and hopeless it is aggravating to think that this clown is running this country. I wonder how Reagan would have handled the events of Sept 11, 2001? Some people say, this is what made Dubya’s presidency. Really? What did he say that inspired us? Can anybody think of anything Dubya has said that is worth quoting? (Not unless you are using one of his quotes to show just how “un-Presidentiable” he is).
And the heck with ideology - at least Reagan came from humble beginnings and spoke well. Compare that to Dubya.

I’m younger than the lower limit of your age range, but I’m a liberal by US standards so I’ll chime in anyway.

I never thought that I would look back with nostalgia at the Reagan presidency (not that I do in absolute terms, but by comparison…). 1980 is the earliest I can remember following US Presidential elections, and I first visited the US when Reagan was POTUS. The current administration makes the worst aspects of the Reagan years look like the work of a bunch of amateurs. Of course, in many cases it’s the same people involved – they’ve just honed their skills.

The person who is in the absolute best position to answer the OP’s question, but who would be unlikely to give an honest answer, is GWB’s father, the 41st President, GHW Bush. Although I had never set foot in the US at the time, I remember his primary campaign against Reagan, during which he was the person who first called Reagan on his “Voodoo Economics”. However, when Reagan won the primaries and offered GHWB the Veep spot, he had to knuckle under to the “Reagonomic” ideals. I’ve often wondered what he must have been privately thinking about his boss during those years.

Now, we have GHWB’s son in the White House, but the administration is much more “Reagan redux” than “GHWB redux” (although IMHO it’s much worse than the Reagan presidency). Many of what I think of as the better characteristics of GHW Bush (personal bravery, a certain integrity pre-1980, reluctance to bow to the religious right, preference for diplomacy over rash military adventure, respect for the UN) are essentially mocked by his son’s actions.

I actually feel quite sorry for George HW and Barbara Bush. I can’t imagine that they’re happy with the road down which their son is taking the US, and the world.

In 1988, I sincerely hoped that Reagan would be the worst US President that I would see in my lifetime. With hindsight, that’s turned out not to be the case, but I at least hope that the world will never see a POTUS worse than GWB.

good grief don’t compare Bush w/Ronnie - his administration would see that as the ultimate compliment.

The screech of mental gears clashing into an irretrievable jam of cognitive dissonance is summed up by this photo. I am utterly bewildered by the ability of the US electorate to ignore what is before their very eyes, and re-elect a president who lost a truth-telling contest with Saddam Hussein.

Due respect, Sentient, I’m not sure that that old photo implies much irony. As the article you linked points out, “Saddam’s regime was using much of Iraq’s burgeoning oil revenue to improve the daily lives of its people. It even won UN humanitarian awards for its literacy programs.” Maybe Saddam once cherished the naive tenets of his socialist Ba’athism, but became corrupted over time as he consolidated his absolute power. Things aren’t always stable, and history doesn’t always proceed linearly.

Due respect in return, Lib, but the irony is that that handshake took place when Saddam had biochemical weapons, but the invasion took place when he didn’t.

Things, indeed, aren’t always stable. Something happened two years ago which made Iraq a whole fuck of a lot less stable. “Is this some kind of fucking joke?” is precisely the right question to ask.

I said in my OP that I was interested specifically in the opinions of people who were roughly my present age (33) during the time of the Reagan years (1980-1988). Wanted to get people’s attention in the thread without making them do math :wink:

And I’m disappointed that this got moved to the pit… another example of abuses of the pit for trivial purposes, nobody’s really going nuts on this thread.

Just as an afterthought…

I was trying to rule out the nostalgia factor… most of us who were youngsters in the 1980’s will, regardless of politics, likely associate some degree of nostalgia with the prosperity of that era. Just look at the fact that global nuclear war was looming over all our heads, yet people still remember that time as some sort of golden age. We do not have that economic halo effect working for us right now. And children do lack a certain political sophistication, earnest though they may be.

I think also that once someone has gained a fairly well-informed, circumspect, and shrewd view of politics, the truth combined with the immediacy will always make it look like the worst era ever. For example, while we’re reflecting back on the Reagan years, the administration benefits favorable from the fact that, well, we survived. We didn’t get incinerated in a nuclear holocaust, the US economy didn’t go in the tank, and gamblers are rewarded. We don’t yet know whether Bush’s gambles will yield dividends although it is looking like he may well break even (if you don’t count losses in Iraq, which nobody really seems interested in counting).

Do you think it may have had something to do with Michael Moore and gay marriage?

If Michael Moore did his bat-shit crazy stuff in support of Bush, he’d slip very nicely into Rove’s spot with some sort of medal around his neck.

Say whatever you please, the Dems need to sit down and take a long, hard look at their party. They lost two presidential elections to a candidate as weak as George Bush Jr., and they need very badly to learn something from that.

They should start by listening to white, working class voters and stop dismissing us as a bunch of racist, sexist, homophobic yahoos.

Perhaps it did, but if you are contending that a majority of Bush voters cast their ballots for the nincompoop-in-chief primarily because they don’t like what Michael Moore has to say, or the notion of gays getting married, are you perfectly OK with that? Are there not more important issues on which to base one’s vote?

I guess I fit the OP’s constraints of age and political orientation, and IMO for an equivalent sense of an executive run completely amok whilst busily shoveling out truckloads of divisive, hate-filled, half-true pap tailored for the easily paranoid, you really have to go back to the Nixon administration. The Reagan years were practically a gilded fucking age by comparison.

And where do the Dems go if so many voted for Bush on a factually incorrect basis (pdf)? Must they start lying too?