Skip to comments.We’re Not Gen-X, We’re Gen-Reagan
Posted on 06/07/2004 1:31:59 PM PDT by Cinnamon Girl
Were Not Gen-X, Were Gen-Reagan
This is for everyone who was raised to believe that our young lives would soon end in a nuclear war, of mutually assured destruction, quivering under our school desks with President Reagan to thank for making the pink and gray tile on our classroom floors the last thing we would ever see.
This is for those of us raised in the post-graduate, post-doctorate suburbs where Volkswagens and Volvos taught us that we cant hug our children with nuclear arms and that war is not healthy for children and other living things.
This is for the generation that grew up watching Welcome Back, Kotter, Laverne & Shirley, Cosby Show and hundreds of bad impressions of President Reagan as a shellac haired cowboy buffoon who didnt have a thought in his head, followed by impressions of Dan Quayle as a simple minded bad speller who attacked the beloved Murphy Brown for having a baby and no husband, followed (in our adulthood) by monkey-like caricatures of the ignorant and stupid cowboy-war-monger President Bush.
We know who we are. We accept the moniker Generation X and we dont even know what the heck that means. It might have something to do with being jaded and feeling crappy about dolphins in canned tuna, and about the tragic death of Kurt Cobane. It probably refers to a specific group of people who saw every John Hughes teen movie and point to The Breakfast Club as a virtual documentary. It has never signified the Generation that grew up feeling good about America because of President Ronald Reagan.
Our generation went from an early childhood of Jimmy Carter, a droopy peanut farmer with big teeth and a hostage crisis, to a happy, energetic, powerful and confident Republican president who suddenly made politics interesting.
I remember watching a Carter/Reagan debate by myself one night when my mom was out. There was no doubt in my mind that Ronald Reagan would be president. He was irresistible, and he made America sound like an exciting, attractive place.
I remember collapsing on the couch in the family room, feeling as if Id been punched in the stomach, the day President Reagan was shot. It was in middle school. There was no discussion of the event by teachers or even the principal. My happiness that he would survive was a quiet and personal event.
While family friends and neighbors continued to wring their hands, and angrily mock what they called Reagans Star Wars fantasy, I remember him saying Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! He just seemed really gutsy. And my neighbors, who said Visualize World Peace, and meant it, seemed passé. Action, not words. That was hot.
In high school, I remember a school assembly before Reagans re-election. Nobody in our debate team wanted to be on the pro-Mondale side. Reagans second big win was a done deal and everyone knew it. Even before we could convincingly articulate our reasons for supporting President Reagan, and long before we could vote for him, we knew he was great, and that he was helping us.
In college, I waited in a long line of other students at USC to vote for President Reagans then Vice President, G.H.W. Bush. When I finally got to a voting booth, inside the small house of a Mexican-American family, I noticed on their mantle, a big framed photograph of President Reagan. Thats right. That is right.
When his second term was over, President Reagan came to speak at USC. Somehow, I managed to get a seat in the fully packed auditorium to see President Reagan in person. The standing ovation, when he took the stage, was 11 minutes long. And he was dazzling, of course. We were all riding the high for a long while afterward.
The first time I went to the Reagan Library, I was most impressed by the big chunk of graffitied Berlin Wall sitting outside, above the valley. I knew what that was about. That was a part of my growing up memories.
Tonight, I plan to go again to the Reagan Library, to pay my respects to the man who had a greater influence on my generation than any other person the media or the pundits bring to mind.
Thank you, President Reagan. G-d Bless you. And G-d Bless America.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
What a terrific post, Girl! Thank you.
How did you happen upon this? What were you keywording? ;)
I actually forgot what keyword I used, sorry.
Unless I'm mistaken, it's from Jewish tradition as a sign of respect towards God.
Reagan was the first person that I was old enough to vote for. And because of him, I registered as a Republican. Even though, I have always lived in blue states, I'm still a Republican.
I was born in 1962. I see people my age described as a "baby-boomer", but I don't agree. I do like the Gen-Reagan. I think that fits us much better.
We'd be France.
Reagan got elected when I was in kindergarden. Mad magazine made fun of him a lot in the 80s, but I always thought he was a really good public speaker. Seemed like he was President forever. 8 years is a lifetime when you're that age.
Good post. Reagan's reelection in 84 was the first election I was old enough to vote in. Sometimes I think it's very sad that my first vote will be the best vote I ever cast.
You mean back when they played videos?
Those were the days.
(Class of 1985)
Hey, Rich Little was good.
Vodeeo do bump
>> We are the kids from "That 70's Show", though I've never seen it.
I was Eric Forman, more than anyone else on that show. And a little bit of Hyde.
It's funny how old posts can make a comeback every once in a while.
Same here, I used to cut school and stay home to watch Shuttle launches.
I also get annoyed with writers who use BCE and CE, meaning "Before the Common Era" and "Common Era" instead of BC and AD.
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