Skip to comments.My Generation: We Are Reagan's Children
Posted on 06/13/2004 9:09:41 AM PDT by qam1
The British refer to young people who grew up from 1979 to 1990--during the time Margaret Thatcher was prime minister--as ''Thatcher's Children.'' We could easily say the same of the approximately 30 million Americans who were born during the Reagan years, me included.
We would be a decent generation to consider ourselves Reagan's Children. For every young person needs heroes. This generation has had few, and Ronald Reagan was the greatest.
As a 13-year-old, I wrote a letter to President Reagan: ''I have certainly been inspired by you and that which you stood for ... I will stand firm for America by going out and winning one for the Gipper.''
I read Ronald Reagan's autobiography ''An American Life'' in the fifth grade, and I considered him a hero after that. To this day, my bedroom wall displays a large poster of Reagan standing beside a pillar along the West Wing corridor, a 1984 ''Americans for Reagan'' campaign banner, and a poster with this quote by the Great Communicator:
Freedom is not something to be secured in any one moment of time. We must struggle to preserve it every day. And freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.
But can Reagan's Children preserve freedom for America? Can we carry on the mantle of greatness Reagan inherited from Washington and Lincoln and Cleveland and Coolidge? Can we still possess that genuine faith in God and country that gave breath to the Reagan Era?
Reagan's trademark optimism inspires me to answer nothing but an unequivocal yes, though the challenges are immense. Our culture, our government, and our sense of identity are at times and in places confounded. Still, our heritage and our hope remains.
''The future of our nation will be determined, more than anything else, by the character of our children,'' Reagan declared in 1982.
Indeed, we have character problems in America. But there is a strong and vital corps of young Americans who are committed to the simple, permanent things--the things of the spirit that define the American character. These are Reagan's Children who will keep America going.
Recent surveys show that Generation Next has more conservatives than any generation since statistics were available. The Harvard Institute of Politics reports that 31 percent of college students identify as Republicans, compared to 28 percent who are Democrats. And according to a Higher Education Research Institute report, 24 percent of college freshmen consider themselves liberal while an all-time high 21 percent say they are conservative. Even the Baby Boomers and Generation Xers who were Youth for Reagan in 1968, 1976, 1980 and 1984 could not rival with the energy and passion of what Rolling Stone and the New York Times have recently called, ''Young Hipublicans.'' These are Reagan's Children.
And Reagan's Children are lining the ancient sands of Babylon, fighting for the peace and freedom of Iraq, or they are defending liberty in Afghanistan, or they are at home on military bases struggling to prevent another terrorist attack.
Reagan's Children are the faithful corps of conservative college students, fighting against the leftist establishment in the dark realm of higher education, and studying eternal truths where that establishment has neglected to invade.
Reagan's Children go to church, plan for marriage and family--despise the deadly intellectual and moral poisons propagated by the left--and commit to a life of purpose and honor.
And Reagan's Children are optimists about the future. We are deeply divided at the moment, and civil wars of spiritual proportion are not out of the question, but it was only after the Civil War that America became the nation she is today. Reagan never ignored the reality of our circumstances and the inevitability of our struggle, but he never despaired. Likewise, Reagan's Children are both fighters and dreamers.
''If you take away the dream,'' warned Reagan, ''you take away the power of the spirit. If you take away the belief in a greater future, you cannot explain America--that we're a people who believed there was a promised land; we were a people who believed we were chosen by God to create a greater world.''
We must, at this moment and in this generation, renew our faith in America's future, for that is the best tribute we could pay to the legacy of Ronald Reagan. May Reagan's Children dare to dream, struggle to preserve the sacred fire of liberty, and ''go out and win one for the Gipper
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details.
Did it ever bother anyone else to hear that all the hope for the world was on the next generation, then realize they were talking about the kids that were in kindergarten, while you were barely in high school? The schools and media made it sound like they gave up on us before we had even had a chance to grow up and do anything.
I was in my early college years when Reagan was elected and was just coming of age; after watching with horror the ineffective opposition to the counter revolution throughout our childhood and adolescence, Reagan offered hope, inspiration and much more.
I know and have worked with a large number of Republicans between the ages of 23 and 35 and I must say it is the freshest, most energetic group of Republicans I have seen since the original Reaganite onslaught in 1980-81.
My eldest daughter, a libertarian streaked "Reagan-Kid" falls into this category. She has two portraits hanging in the wall of her room: One is a signed glossy of Bono (lead singer for U2) and the other is a signed Presidential portrait of Ronald Reagan, which I'd had since 1984 and gave her for her 18th birthday a few years back.
Yes! That is exactly what I was thinking when I read this! I'm just thrity-one, how can I be too old to count yet? ;)
I grew up in 1980s myself
Ronnie came into WH when I was 10 year old
He left when I was 19 year old
I grew up on this dude
I think it's because
1) There is so few of us that we are just overshadowed on both ends. By the time we dislodge the baby boomers from power we are going to be over run by Ys
2)Unlike Gen-Y when we grew up the WWII and Silents controlled everything (i.e. The Schools) so we couldn't be indoctrinated by the baby boomers while Gen-Y is getting the full brunt. Since Gen-X obviously rejected the counter culture movement very early on they put/are putting all their hopes on Gen-Y to take over their mantle.
3)They are really pissed at the Gen-X favorite TV show Family Ties during the 1980's and that many of us emulated Alex P. Keaton.
Busting on the Dodge Dart?? I have seen some made to be excellent musclecars.
It must have killed the libs that Alex P. Keaton was portrayed as a whiny, selfish conservative and his parents sensitive, understanding flower children, yet it was the character of Alex that stole the show. I think if that character was ever removed "Family Ties" would probably have gone the way "Spin City" did after Michael J. Fox left the show. Out.
One thing I really remember about the 80's, going from child to college in those years, is the way the country was so upbeat. Yes, there were excesses and really bad clothes and hair, but there wasn't much moroseness unless one was around liberals who are that way when any true freedom fighter is in governmental control.
I was born a month after Reagan's first inauguration - one of the fortunates born at the very end of GenX to have never known a world without him as President.
Young people (say ages 22-27) seem to be coming back to conservatism in large numbers - this opinion is based solely on my observations of how many college kids who thought they were "liberal" discovered that they felt differently once in the real world. Some of us were fortunate enough to have been raised by conservative parents (as I was), others realized their conservative leanings later in life (my fiance, who considered himself a liberal Libertarian just a few years ago and is now quite conservative).
Behind all the loud young far-left wingers, there is a quiet, but growing group of young conservatives. It's my fervent hope that someday we'll be able to undo the damage done by today's radical libs.
Don't put too much emphasis on Gen X and Y and Baby Boomers and us v. them. FR is a perfect example of how blurred the lines are. Defining generations by assigning a variable is so eighties. :)
Clinton ran against the eighties, if you remember----it was all about the Decade of Greed and Reganomics. I honestly believe he won because he made people feel bad about being successful in the 80s (and he had lots and lots of help from coconspirators who benefited by his election).
I don't think that crap would work anymore (which is why Kerry is struggling so badly for an identity). Thankfully.
What's your point?
We ARE the 80s.
We are Generation Reagan.
Yes...and it was why, not too long out of college (1989) that I started referring to our set of peers as being a kind of "Lost Generation." We're the ones too small to make any difference right?
its why I always say : "I have watched, I have recorded, I will teach...and there is nothing they can do about it."
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