ELDER PATRIOT – For those of us old enough to remember the 1980 presidential election we see a striking similarity in the manner with which the mainstream media is portraying Donald Trump and how they had portrayed Ronald Reagan at that time.
With the failed and flawed record that Hillary Clinton has established over her entire public career the strategy of both the Democrats and the mainstream media is to project Trump as a worse and more dangerous choice than Mrs. Clinton.
Back in 1980, California pollster Mervin D. Field noted that both sides had candidates that the public viewed as highly unfavorable. He cited the “Truman-Dewey, Nixon-Kennedy, Johnson-Goldwater elections, [where] the winning candidate was the one with the lowest negative score, not true majority public support.”
Field explained the Democrats’ strategy would be to attack the Republican candidate in order to drive public perception of Reagan as low as possible to make their failed candidate the lesser of two evils in the eyes of voters. Field correctly predicted that “Reagan’s age, the feeling he’s out of it,” would be the Democrats’ attack strategy.
The New York Times endorsed Democrat Jimmy Carter with this glowing assessment of his first term as president: “Again and again, Jimmy Carter has seemed to be all sail, no boat.” And, “Mr. Carter’s economic policy amounts to nothing more than muddling through.” The Times then added apologetically, “But isn’t muddling through just where economics is today?”
During that campaign season the mainstream media took every opportunity to portray Ronald Reagan as a doddering old man who should never be trusted to oversee our nuclear arsenal. Substitute “thin skin” for “age-related infirmity” and it’s evident that the Democrats’ strategy has simply been repackaged for use against Trump:
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Reagan won that election in a landslide, garnering almost eight and a half million more votes than the incumbent president. By the 1984 election, the doddering old fool with the high negatives, who was then four years older, more than doubled his margin of victory. He had fixed the economy that the NY Times had excused Jimmy Carter for, as they are doing with Obama today, as “the new normal.”
After seven years of ginning up fears that Reagan’s policy towards the Soviet Union was dangerous and inviting of a nuclear war, President Reagan met with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. That meeting led to a resounding spread of freedom that benefitted the people living under both governments. By the time Reagan had left office the Soviet Union had disbanded and Eastern Europe had been freed without a single shot being fired.
Reagan had proven to be an expert at the art of the deal. He had brought to the table a fully developed military capability and booming economy that allowed him to negotiate peace through our nation’s strength.
Now Donald Trump has called for rebuilding the military as well as expressing a desire to engage with Russian President Vladimir Putin. That should be viewed as hopeful diplomatic outreach. Instead, Hillary Clinton with support from the jackals in the mainstream media is attempting to paint Trump as naïve and dangerous.
Logic would tell us that it was Hillary’s childish reset button that was naïve and her ignoring Russian aggression in the Baltics while Secretary of State that was dangerous.
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The fact that she failed has more to do with her than with the strategy of détente.
In 1980 Americans ignored the fear mongering and overwhelming voted to change the country’s direction. They were rewarded with the end to the Cold War and the bonus of an economic revival.
From her beginnings, America was founded by people who were not afraid to reject the security of the status quo for the promise of a better life. In 1980 they reaffirmed that spirit by ignoring those selling fear and by the time Reagan had left the White House America had been restored to that shining city on a hill.
It’s time to trust Donald Trump to do the same.