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The Elephant in the Room -- Writer's Poke #117

For Writers:

I was seven years old when Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in the 1980 presidential election. Like most kids my age, I'm sure, I followed the election very closely.

Even though I was only in first grade, this was the first election that I got to vote in, thanks to Weekly Reader. And when the results came back, grade schoolers across the nation gave Reagan a clear mandate.

Actually, most kids probably did not follow the election as closely as I did, but they heard who their parents supported, and the Weekly Reader results turned out to be a good indicator of how adults would vote on the "real" election day.

On election night, it became clear pretty early in the evening that Carter was going to be defeated. And after Carter's concession speech, his own band played Happy Days Are Here Again. Even then I found it odd that Carter didn't have a more appropriate (at least from his perspective) song lined up, but maybe he never thought an old Hollywood B-actor could actually beat him.

Although my political views and philosophies have shifted greatly from my "first" election, I still consider myself to be a Republican. I've tried to remove the label, but unlike Reagan, I'm apparently not made from Teflon.

Being a Republican is "my elephant in the room." What's yours?

"My roommate got a pet elephant. Then it got lost. It's in the apartment somewhere." -- Steven Wright


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