During the summer of 1979, Jimmy Carter gave his famous Crisis of Confidence speech. In the now infamous narrative, Carter intended to set forth a new energy plan. Instead, the speech revealed his shaky confidence in the American ideal. Behind shallow praise of the “American People,” the former peanut farmer painted a picture of our nation with a pessimistic brush. America was facing a “crisis of spirit” and had lost confidence in her future. Needless to say, this message of “Malaise” did not resonate strongly with a generation of Americans who had been raised in a nation with confidence and patriotism in their hearts. During the 1980 election, Americans came to a fork in the road. They had a decision to make between the “malaise” of the Carter administration and the future promised by a retired actor named Ronald Reagan.
Like me, my father was on his way out of college during the 1980 election cycle. Although he did not trust Reagan because of his years in the liberal cesspool that is Hollywood, he was deathly afraid of Jimmy Carter’s policies and lack of experience in the political sphere. Just like in 1980, I believe our nation is standing on the precipice of economic destruction and political chaos in 2012. The future President Obama promises does not align with the principles of hard work, individual innovation, and entrepreneurship that built my past. While the American people will always keep the fires of the American Dream alive in our hearts, our government has steadily progressed away from individualism and small government. At this juncture in history, I find it enlightening to look into the past for answers, both my past and my father’s past.
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