I remember the 1980 Presidential election well. Ronald Reagan v. President Carter was a lop sided affair and proved the importance of looking good on tv. Reagan excelled while Carter was blind sighted. The day was November 4, 1980 – Tuesday. I lived in Houston – near the Galleria. That day was sunny – and a sense of excitement filled the corridors of tawny River Oaks – as I rode the bus home.
I attended a meeting that night – the Daughters of the British Empire and instead of staying home and watching the returns I hunkered down in my friend’s second story room and watched tv as the returns proved America was ready for a change. By 8:30 PM President Carter had conceded. A new day had been ushered in and many felt a great weight had been removed.
My brother recorded the election on his new VCR – a device which created wonder. Considering the advancements in technology 35 years later – it is almost laughable. The idea of iPads, cell phones, emails, text messages, Kindle Fires, etc. so far into the future – one would have considered such talk as truly a long time away. That night our thoughts were not on far flung technology but of hostages in Iran. We wanted them home.
I remember Vice President Bush was at his home in Houston, not far from my small apartment. He met with reporters outside the gates of his mansion. A reporter called him Mr. Vice President and at that point H. W. Bush stopped. a voice which broke with emotion as the reality of those words sunk in and he understood only a heartbeat separated him from the Oval Office.
No doubt President Carter supporters were chest fallen. Many of my friends were thrilled we would have a strong President as they did not believe Carter had what it took. He was a good guy but did he really understand? Was he Presidential? Certainly his family caused alarm from time to time and the image of a peanut farmer did little to persuade the voters he was the man for the job.
I realize no one person can solve the problems which America faces and that was true 35 years ago. I was 28 – almost 29 years old and had yet to come to the conclusion solutions do not always materialize in a life time. Sometimes one generation will die waiting for that reality which became intangible and eluded so many.
As President Reagan took the oath of office in January 1981- the hostages were released. The country celebrated. Reagan was credited for their freedom. Whether or not his Presidency convinced terrorist Iran to free the US citizens is debatable? The ideas of a criminal are so far off most of our radars we can no more understand them any more than we could have understood emails in 1980.
We have faced so many changes – and have seen so many changes – and sadly most have not been the product of a Godly nation. Thirty-five years ago we had hopes of a bright future. We had a positive leader who believed better just around the corner. He learned as we all have – better is not so easily achieved. Better is a by product – not the product.
I think of those days – that celebration – which swept across the country – and realize 35 years has truly come and gone. A new generation has evolved and sunk their teeth into the truths of the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, of sterling examples of a Godly nation – as taught by the 10 Commandments. We have strayed so far away – it is heartbreaking. We should pray and seek the Lord as it says in II Chronicles 7:14 – and trust HIM to do the rest.