From Ronald Reagan to Sarah Palin

Inspired by this.

I was born in January. I was 11 for the 1980 election.

The Iranian Hostage Crisis is my first political memory. The '81 recession is my next. After that was the glorious recovery; everyone could see it. Berke Breathed (a self-described "schmiberal") teased libs in Bloom County over the success of the Reagan Revolution.

Ronnie rolled over the '84 election like the USS Iowa over a sailboat. Iran-Contra was a bit of a black eye, but frankly, if he was trying to deal with the fscking Iranians, how could the Democrats have ever called this guy a warmonger?!?

I was a libertarian: I'd read Heinlein from junior high on, but aside from a belief in small govt., I was terribly uninformed. I did keep my eyes open, learned about the Venona intercepts (which helped vindicated the anti-Communists) and generally sneered at socialism—but my understanding was terribly shallow.

Hell, in 2000 I voted for Gore.

Please understand: I'm half gay (I'd say "bisexual" if it didn't sound so damned pretentious) and Pat Buchanan repelled me. (Still does.) Now he's a recognized pariah, but in 1992 he had addressed the Republican convention: hey, I hadn't expected him to lurve teh gheys, but he was seriously bent about the whole subject.

The first Gulf War? I supported it. Congress approved hostilities 2 days before my birthday. I was just 22.

I thought I was cannon-fodder.

Again, please understand: I was brainwashed by the media. Do you remember how they hyped that "fourth largest army in the world"? Aside from Grenada, what had we done since Vietnam and Jimmy's abortion of a military op that ended in fire in the sands of Iran? Our Congress-critters and the media were warning us to expect 20,000 casualties!

See, I didn't know. I didn't know how close we came to sealing victory in Nam before Congress cut off the money. I didn't know the military had, in fact, seriously revised its tools, tactics and strategy. I was also seriously unaware that those damned $600 hammers no one could shut up about were, in fact, seriously worth every G-d damned penny and that they were in fact all copies of Mjolnir because I was dancing around my rented room in my buddy's house when the U.S. military swept in like the wrath of an angry god.

I was treated to the sights of preening Congressional braggadocio only days after they had been staining the marble floors yellow.

And then we left Saddam Hussein in place. Remember how that felt?! After all that build-up, it was like a body blow. It was terrible hearing about the Shia, but a friend who was in the Army for Desert Storm explained exactly just how messed up the Middle East was, and how our occupation of Iraq would probably indeed set the place on fire just as I had been imagining only weeks before.

Clinton. I never hated Clinton. Gingrich could be a bit much, but he wasn't in the media so often. It was nice to see a Republican House. I was only upset that they never passed term limits. Government shutdown? Yeah, and that wrecked my day how, exactly?

I mostly voted Republican or Libertarian. It was easy to see how the unions were hurting Michigan; easy to see how their job rules, future pay pensions and hidden costs were hurting Detroit.

I know that the Federal government would have nothing to do with homosexuality if it wasn't for its Socialist tendencies. Social Security makes gay marriage a necessary Federal issue, nothing else. If all the Federal government had to say on it was about gay partners of US citizens being granted citizenship after a few years, we'd have it already.