Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Will this be a history-making election?
I'm not talking about small things like the first black president or (unlikely) the first woman vice-president. No, the important question is this:
Will this be the first election where who I voted for becomes president?
Here's my record:
|Year ||Voted for ||Why |
|1972 ||McGovern ||Vietnam War. |
|1976 ||Ford ||Ford was a moderate to liberal Republican. Carter's born-again aspect was worrisome. |
|1980 ||Carter ||Reagan too conservative. Reagan not smart. Carter not impressive but better then Reagan. |
|1984 ||Mondale ||Reagan too conservative. Reagan not smart. Mondale's tax proposal looked good (this was prior to the '86 tax reform) |
|1988 ||Dukakis ||Viewed Bush as a continuation of Reagan (though not as bad). Not that jazzed about Dukakis though. |
|1992 ||Bush ||Liked Bush for raising taxes. Gulf War was in line with international rule-of-law. Handled dissolution of Soviet Union well. Clinton was untrustworthy. |
|1996 ||Dole ||Sentimental favorite. Liked his droll humor. Also, given the polls, it was an easy "throwaway" vote. Still considered Clinton untrustworthy and didn't like his neo-liberal economic policies (approval of Financial Services Modernization Act, Commodities Futures Modernization Act, NAFTA, giveaway of electromagnetic spectrum). |
|2000 ||Gore ||Bush was a crazy Christian conservative. Gore good on the environment and Social Security "lock box". Supreme Court appointments. |
|2004 ||Kerry ||Iraq War. Bush assault on civil liberties. Bush anti-science. Supreme Court appointments. |
|2008 ||Obama ||Republican party completely taken over by plutocrats and Christian conservatives. Country needs expanded social safety net. Tax code not progressive enough. Supreme Court appointments. |
CLARIFICATION: About the approval for "raising taxes". Don't like taxes but do think that when times are flush, it's appropriate to keep the national debt in check, especially with taxes on income and wealth. But when circumstances demand it, like in a recession, unwavering budget-hawkism is harmful and taxes should be lowered.
'88 - Dukakis - Why? Democrat
'92 - Clinton - Why? Democrat
'96 - Clinton - Why? Democrat
'00 - Gore - Why? Democrat
'04 - Kerry - Why? Democrat
'08 - Obama - Why? Democrat
I'm a rabid yeller dog who generally believes that Republicans must be kept as far away from the reins of power as possible.
screamin' demon: I'd say that's true now, but back in the 60's and even into the 90's, lots of Democrats were southern racists which made the party as a whole suspect. I started out as a liberal Republican (who in the 60's were often more liberal than even liberal Democrats). But whatever spectrum that used to exist in the Republican party (and the Democratic party) has now shrunk and moved to one side or the other.
Basically, the long-term historic issue in presidential politics is this: Where do the former Confederate states go? They were with the Democrats for a century. And now they are with the Republicans. Even though they are a unified social/political entity, and even though they've been a big factor in the last two decades, for most of US post-Civil War history, the Confederate states have been in the losing coalition.
screamin' demon: re Nixon: He's got a lot of demerits, but on the other hand many historians consider him the last of the "New Deal presidents". Watergate was bad, but Nixon worked in an environment that included figures such as "landslide Lyndon".
Shit, you're old.
I have a slightly better record (but not much):
1976 - Ford (better the devil you know...)
1980 - Anderson (remember him? Didn't trust Carter (who's gone on to be our greatest ex-president) or Reagan)
1984 - Mondale (not Reagan, had Ferraro who was much more interesting than he was)
1988 - Dukakis (overly demonized by the Republicans)
1992 - Clinton (yeah! "Don't Stop Thinkin' About Tomorrow")
1996 - Clinton (Don't folks remember how good the '90s were?)
2000 - Gore (he's gotten his revenge)
2004 - Kerry (OK, not the greatest speaker, but much more intelligent than Bush)
2008 - Obama!!!