Presidential Election 2012: Is History Repeating Itself?

23 Dec

I came across an intriguing article in the Huffington Post written by Al Checchi that really got me thinking about the upcoming 2012 Presidential Election. There are some striking similarities to the election in the 1980’s in which Ronald Reagan became our president and the pattern seems to continue some 30 years later. Is there nothing new under the sun?

Now think back with me to 1980, when the country was in a similar economic recession that we are facing today. President Carter’s approval rates were declining and many Democrats scoffed at the thought of extreme right winger and former actor Ronald Reagan becoming the Republican candidate for office. Many people were discontent with their financial situation, the U.S’s declining global influence and the expansion of government. Sound familiar?

Checchi writes that, “Seventy-five percent of the public feels that we are on the wrong track… As in 1980, Republican primary voters appear poised to cast aside another eminently qualified centrist and do the arguably more unthinkable and nominate for the presidency the former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich. Again, they appear to seek the more radical alternative…Democrats who are gleeful at the prospect of a race against the controversial Gingrich would do well to remember their similar elation over the Reagan nomination. Not only did the ‘amiable dunce’ and ‘right wing’ Reagan win a smashing electoral college victory (489 to 49) but he led his party to an unimagined gain of twelve seats and reversed fifty years of Democratic control of the Senate. Equally noteworthy, he went on to win an even greater 525-13 re-election victory and ushered in an era of significant political realignment.”

I think this is going to be an exciting year for politics and so far the race is far too close to predict who our next president will be. I’m surprised at the balance much of the media is providing; it seems that every day I find equal articles stating why President Obama will win or why Newt Gingrich is going to be the new president, or others close in the polls like Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann. Mr. Obama is clearly campaigning with all his might, but Gingrich is gaining speed and political fundraising savvy at a surprising rate.

All I know is that on November 6, 2012, I’ll be glued to my TV and laptop like the rest of the nation.

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