Reagan vs. Carter - Cold War

Reagan vs. Carter - Cold War

The tv debates weren’t the regular feature in american politics, the Carter-Ford debate was the first since Kennedy-Nixon in 1960. When one candidate was running ahead, he didn’t want a debate – like Johnson in 1964, Nixon in 1968 and 1972 (especially after his debate with Kennedy). In 1976 Ford made this disasterous mistake we’ve talked about. Nowadays politics don’t make such mistakes and the analitics often say after a debate that the result was fifty-fifty. The debate can tell us something about the personality of the candidates. Americans don’t listen but look how the candidates respond the questions…

M. Dukakis was debating George Bush in 1988 and the issue of death penalty was very big then. G. B. Shaw asked Dukakis (“small, poor guy”:) if Kitty Dukakis was raped and murdered, would he be for the death penalty and he answered “that’s a good question Berni, but I want to talk about my tax policy…”

Carter didn’t make such mistakes (maybe one, when he talked about his daughter Amy,who didn’t want anuclear war etc.). Reagan went after that Jimmy is soft on defense, soft on the Russians, his economic policy is bad. But he didn’t have to say that, because the thing which mattered the most in 1980 was image. Carter became a symbol of what America couldn’t do, of post-Vietnam failure, he gave press-conference in a sweater, there was cold in White House (temperature), he gave the famous speech in 1979 (after firing the whole cabinet), when said that the society is lazy, people don’t care any more – he blamed the american public for the problems of the 70s (he was sort of right). People started to say they don’t want the president who is a peanut farmer in ugly sweater…Carter tried jogging and he had almost heart-attack, also when he was fishing he saw a little bunny-rabbit and beated him, because he was afraid of it. Many journalists and people from tv laughed about it. Reagan was not an intellectual but he wasn’t dumb. He knew what simple people think. Carter was a nuclear physicist but he couldn’t explain the problem in black and white. Ted Kennedy fought against him during the whole democratic convention (he was on the left side of the Democratic Party).

Comments are closed.