Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Cold War Really IS Over.

It is for me, at least. I did well on my paper. 97/100; I lost 3 points for some blah blah blah whatever thing; run-on sentences, I think. What? Ridiculous. My grammar is impeccable and my sentence structure is beyond reproach. Well, my grammar is good, anyway. Usually.

One paper finished, one more due on November 30, then a week more until the final. Right now, I’m up to my neck in the Carter White House, and that’s not as much fun as it sounds. Jimmy Carter didn’t even like it that much, and really, all of 1980 sucked for him. There’s my title: “The Carter White House in 1980: One Damn Thing After Another.” My thesis statement is “Seriously, how much did THAT guy wish he’d just stayed in Georgia? Right? Right?”

I remember feeling sorry for Carter when I watched the first Reagan inauguration. Yes, I did. I was 15, and I had the flu and bronchitis and was too sick to get up off the couch for a few days. Even my dad, who was not noted for coddling sick children, didn’t accuse me of malingering. Not much, anyway. So I watched the entire day on TV, with alternating coverage of the swearing-in and parade, and the hostages’ release. Carter looked one hundred years old. Even my 15-year-old self could tell the difference between the way Jimmy Carter looked old and the way everyone over 30 looked old.

My dad commented on it, too. He came home at 3:30 that day, as usual, and after telling me that I could AT LEAST sit up, he knows I’m sick, but REALLY, I wasn’t DYING or anything, said that he couldn’t believe that anyone could age that much in four years. Then, pointing to Reagan, he said “that guy’s going to outlaw unions (my dad was a UAW shop steward) and have us at war with Russia by Memorial Day”. Suffice to say that not every working-class Irish Catholic was a “Reagan Democrat”. He often threatened to vote for Gus Hall, mostly because it was an easy way to rile up my mother and grandparents. He actually almost never bothered to vote at all, so I don’t know why I always think of him when I think about politics or when election season comes around. And I don’t know how this post got from paper-writing to dad-reminiscence, but no one’s grading this (and I suspect that no one’s still reading it either), so emphatic organization can go right to hell.

32 comments:

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I was sick when they swore Reagan as well. Sick for what he was about to do to our country.

DCup said...

My dad was a union shop steward, too. No wonder we get along so fabulously.

Ish, Reagan. I remember my mom boycotting the inauguration. She loved Jimmy Carter (still does) and is convinced that we are related to him.

Sauntering Soul said...

The Carter Center is less than 15 minutes from my house. I've never been. Do you need me to run over there this weekend and pick up any material for you? I'll mail it with the book you won on my blog 12 years ago that is still sitting here in my office.

CDP said...

Dr. M---Dad, I've told you a hundred times, DON'T comment in some ridiculous disguise.

Actually, he's dead, sadly, but that comment sounded EXACTLY like him.

Dcup--was he? Yes, we were both raised by underground socialist union rabble rousers! Awesome! My parents liked Carter a lot too.

SS--Have you been? I love presidential libraries; I've been to Nixon's and Kennedy's. I've also been to the Truman house in Key West, the Eisenhower house in Gettysburg, and the Woodrow Wilson house here in DC. God, I'm a bigger geek than I thought. No, thanks for the offer, but I've found everything I need online. Send me a postcard from there if you go, though!

pistols at dawn said...

I think the Carter Years could really be summed up with the word "Oops."

I interviewed Stansfield Turner for a project I was working on, and even he was like, "There was essentially no way that hostage rescue was ever going to work."

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

I just watched American Experience episode about Jimmy Carter so I feel all informed and superior now.

BeckEye said...

Did you have to do an original oral?

susan said...

Damn, how well I remember feeling comfortable enough about the US in 1977 during the Carter years to actually not be too distressed about moving here from Canada with my then 7 year old son. Nixon was gone, Vietnam was over and the draft had been eliminated. I was sure national health coverage was next along with peace and cooperation everywhere. What a fool I was. Ah yes, I do remember the day Reagan was sworn in and I was sick too.

CDP said...

Pistols--where is Homeland Security when you're breezing in, chatting up retired NSAs and CIA directors? And can I have your Rolodex?

Lady--If you'll send me your notes from same, I'll use you as a source, citing you appropriately.

Beckeye--It has to be ORIGINAL, too? Oh for crying out loud.

CDP said...

Susan--you were commenting JUST as I was responding to the others. Yeah, that must have been a sick joke for an expat Canadian. Psych! Sorry, I couldn't resist.

enc said...

I give you an A+.

Extra credit for excellent grammar.

Matty Boy said...

Congratulations on your A paper, CDP. I have also been known to gripe about a 97 from time to time.

CDP said...

enc--thank you! I'll sign up for my next class with you.

Matty--it's so close, you know? Just 3 points away from a perfect grade. Oh well, my average in the class is very high, so I won't complain.

dguzman said...

Wow, glad you're not in my English class. I've hit you for TEN big ones for that run-on. But then I was a true hard-ass, and it was a composition course.

LOVE the thesis and title for your Carter paper! I think you should also include relevant details like "Delia thought Reagan was an oily-haired con man and was really pissed when he won." That ought to earn you two or three points right there.

CDP said...

Guzman, Delia: See, I'm thinking citation already. Ten points? Seriously, remind me never to take a class with you, because my 4.0 wouldn't survive a "ten points off for run-on sentences" policy.

WendyB said...

Carter looked like he'd been chewed up and spit out.

Beck said...

Ah, Jimmy Carter, the best former President the US ever had, if you know what I mean - he's used the time after his presidency very well. But I'm Canadian. Carter is very much our sort of guy.

Anita said...

cdp, I decided I'd best come read your blog basedon dcups advise. This one post convinced me to read more........I tend to ramble and yet still make sense...........like you.
My parents are die hard Dems...God love them, and the UAW has been a part of my whole life. My dad was a local union Pres in the Dallas Ford plantand went on to becomee a UAW Rep, he nogotiated contracts and supported the locals in the StLouis area..........He's a got a great retirement thanks to Ford and the UAW.........small worlds.
I met Jimmy Carter at the UAW convention in 78, he was too moral and good to be president.....and it pains me to say that, but it's sometimes dirty work.
I look forward to more of your blog.

CDP said...

Beck--see comment from Susan, Canadian expat! And I know what you mean about Carter, he's done tons of good since leaving the White House. I can't remember who said it, but he is the perfect example of the famous saying that being President is just a way station to the blessed state of being an ex-President.

Anita--I generally do whatever Dcup tells me to do. Which is why my own political career has come to an ignominious end. Sigh. Another child of the UAW--welcome!

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