Indeed they did, though most would prefer that we forget that fact.
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1980 was the first Presidential Election in which I was eligible to vote (I had missed the primaries due to my late summer birthday). The issue most on my mind was Iran. The South Bay (San Jose, CA) had not yet morphed into it’s current deep blue political morass, and the trees were festooned with yellow ribbons. The water tower at Naval Air Station Moffett Field sported (briefly) a mushroom cloud and the legend “First Japan, Now Iran.” A satiric remake of a Beach Boys song was oft heard on the radio.
Supporters of James Earl “Jimmy” Carter were thin on the ground as the “Misery Index” climbed. After the Desert One fiasco, even fewer would admit to being Carter supporters.
Things appear to have been different in Manhattan.
A memoir of ignorance.
by Jeremiah Duboff
…As a youngster in Manhattan in the 1980s, I myself was formed in an
intensely Democratic milieu where distrust, resentment, and repulsion
underwrote our attitudes toward Reagan. Any honest attempt by any of us
to reckon with him must begin by admitting that, at heart, we hated
We hated Reagan because he hailed from another country, or another
version of this country, a strangely idyllic ranch outside Santa
Barbara, California. That place had no place in our parents’ iconic
1970s New Yorker poster — of a commanding but caricatured worldview, looking west from 9th Avenue. Hence it had no place for us. From our cultured, concrete canyons, the Reagan Ranch was and would remain terra incognita.
We hated Reagan because the grown-ups around us snickered at his old-time movie roles in Bedtime for Bonzo and Knute Rockne, All American. That we, at tender ages, were perfectly enamored of The Muppet Movie and E.T. and Rocky and Chariots of Fire bothered no one. We hated Reagan because MAD magazine mocked his interior secretary with the caption “Watt…We Worry!” Because New York Times editorials tended to sublimate MAD‘s
bias, at age twelve we gladly took out our first Gray Lady
subscriptions — to the nodding approval of the grown-ups around us.
I didn’t hate “Jimmy” Carter in 1980 (that came later, as he embraced dictators and murderous monsters world wide, and earned himself the more apt nickname of “Dhimmy”, but I digress), and I remember vividly just how viscous and petty the attacks on Reagan seemed to me at the time.
It only got worse.
The sudden and convenient amnesia of the left as regards their new found respect for Reagan must not be allowed to pass unmentioned, and my hat is off to Mr. Duboff for reminding folks that Reagan was the left’s favorite punching bag for decades.