|Michael Dukakis 1988 election
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I had a funny, albeit surreal experience, reading one of my old journals tonight. It is always interesting to read my wistful thoughts with the benefit of hindsight. Amidst all the usual junior high angst, one entry particularly brought a smile to my face.
This entry was during the 1988 election, my earnest 12-year-old mind was very uneasy at the prospect of Michael Dukakis winning the election.
July 4, 1988
Dear Diary. Today is the 4th of July. All that is happening has got me thinking, this could be the last 4th of July we celebrate. Because if Mike Dukakis wins, we’ll probably go Communist, and I am so scared about what might happen.
Now, granted. I was 12, and had precious little grasp on what was going on [I probably still don’t]. I remember being VERY worried. Of course I didn’t understand the intricacies of his ideology, I only knew that they were very different from what I thought was right, from my very fledgling Conservative beliefs.
My stress was very real that night, I remember obsessing for hours about it. The vague notions I had about his policies were frightening. I’m sure I didn’t yet know what all Communism entailed, or even how his policies were going to enable such a horrid effect. 80s-era Russia was my only association with Communism, which scared me. It brought to mind a Narnia-esque environment where it was always winter but never Christmas. I knew, at the time, religion and free speech were suppressed there, two freedoms, I enjoy very much.
Now 22 years later, I look at that and laugh. I had little understanding of government or politics. [Heck, thank goodness I was too young to comprehend Jimmy Carter]. Now that I’m older and wiser, I haven’t changed much at all. I still tend to allow my concerns to seethe and simmer, over actively idling like my car used to do. Exerting the same sort of wasted energy as well.
I always enjoy reading my old journals. They always put things in perspective for me. See how things have worked out seamlessly, despite your fretting about them, they seem to say. Obviously, everything turned out ok in that election. Even if it hadn’t, I suppose we would have learned to live with it.