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.
That's funny...I think I will have to record a new answering machine message tonight.:)
Thanks for the ping. I was 8 when Reagan was elected and this thread brings back so many memories!
I put the "bumper" stickers on the body.
My last car (a Ford Aspire) only had a fairly narrow strip of metal on the back, what with windows, tail-lights, lift handle, license plate depression, etc.
My current car (a PT Cruiser) has all the room in the world for magnetic stickers.
But where is the metal for it to stick? These things are covered in plastic and fiberglass, and separated from serious metal by a gap of air.
I really like mine. I got them for me, my daughter and grandchildren.
The body of the car is not.
Plenty of room.
This is all too typical of people who seek to lift themselves up by putting others down.
So I thought I would toggle a site that might give better credence to what you said:
"Just like most Boomers weren't pot-smoking hippies, most Gen-Xers aren't "slackers". Most are decent, pragmatic, creative, strongly independent, self-reliant, and hard-working. We have a surprisingly good work ethic - including a strong sense of company loyalty, as long as it's reciprocal - and we want to get ahead, even though we aren't as concerned with the trappings of "success" as earlier generations were. However, we're very concerned with financial and emotional security. We're hopeful that the future will be good to us, but we're also shockingly realistic and honest about the struggles we're going to face in a rapidly changing world of diminishing resources, an elderly society, and a culture dominated by, and designed for, "Baby Boomers"
I thank you very much....
That was what I always thought, based on reading "Generation X" by Douglas Coupland--the book that supposedly named us (at least by media accounts, but what do they know?). Sort of a unknown generation, like an 'X' in algebra--"Solve for X! They don't know what they are doing!"
But there is another book, the Fourth Turning by Strauss and Howe that I think talks about us being the 10th generation since the founding of the US. I read a bit of that then a pretty butterfly took my attention and I forgot about it (till just now).
Oh look, a plane ...
Oh wait, they call us the "13th Generation" not the tenth generation.
Damn butterflies ...
We're around the same age. I never really considered myself a boomer, but not quite Gen X either. The Reagan generation is a perfect description. My first vote at 18 was for Ronaldus Maximus and I've voted straight conservative ever since. It probably helped that one of my earliest memorys was of my mom walking me downtown to republican headquarters to get my sister & me Goldwater baloons and buttons. LOL.
Great article, CG. I am also a later "Boomer", born in the late 50's and inbetween the two generations...in HS in the 70's. Went to college in 76 and my roomate kept telling me about this guy running for President named Jimmy Carter.
Since my parents NEVER shared their political opinions with me I was left to fend for myself. When asked how he voted my dad would always reply, "You mean for the dumb Democrats or the rotten Republicans?" So my first vote was cast for Carter (I've repented here several times since I came her 4 years ago, LOL). But to make things worse, I campaigned for him in '80. and was so distressed he lost to Reagan.
Needless to say, I got married, grew up (in that order) and voted for Ronald Reagan in 1984. I am proud I got to vote for him at least once and rectify my terrible mistake of the previous election. :)
I have great hopes for the "Gen-Xers" (I like Gen-Reagan better!) My daughter just turned 18 and will vote in her first election. Thankfully she has common sense.
moodyskeptic. that anything like a disappointed realist?
I guess that fits me, the Disco Generation, LOL. But my teeth were first cut on the Beatles. We are the kids from "That 70's Show", though I've never seen it.
My daughter first voted in 2000. She went to all the freep gore rallies with me. What an experience for her.
We used to take our kids to pro-life rallies when they wer little and I took them to the rallies after the 2000 election. I hope one of them has inherited a little activist blood for their own children some day. :)
I forgot to add that I grew up in Maryland, about 20 minutes from Washington, DC. I can't tell you how many times I've seen stuff on here about the DC freeps knowing if I still lived there, I'd have been down there, too.
This seems to be the breakdown of the Generations that have set foot on American soil
G.I. (WWII, Greatest) 1901-1927.
Baby Boomers (Me, Worst) 1946-1964
Generation X (Baby Busters, Reagan) 1965-1981
Generation Y (Echo Boom, Millennial) 1982-1996
Generation Z (Cyber, New Adaptive) 1997-2025?
I've heard that we are the 13th before but I only count 10 going back to the founding of America,
The only way we could be 13th if we break the late Baby Boomers off into Generation Jones and the early WWII off into the Flappers and maybe split the large time period Transcendentals.
But if you do that you can do that with most generations and we would end up being the 20-26th
Then again, Some of the founding fathers (i.e. Ben Franklin Born 1706) were of the Awakening Generation, So if you count back to them we are the 13th generation if not we are the 10th.
Great! Thanks for the site. Since I have that stupid painted-plastic bumper, the normal stickers destroy it. My MD Gov sticker destroyed it last year and took me a week to get it all off - complete w/razor-blade smudges! On a car that was only a year old!
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