The political scene in 1979 was very similar to what we are experiencing today. 1979 saw a president who had come into office with the American government broken.
In 1974 Jimmy Carter inherited a recession, immense party bickering and still had to deal with the issues surrounding the Cold War. In 2008 Barack Obama inherited an even worse recession, more extreme political hostility and a war in Afghanistan.
Both presidents entered office with high potential and after three years, many Americans were disillusioned with them. The 1980 election saw Ronald Reagan declare a ‘new morning’ in America, which eventually allowed him to win the Presidential election in 1980. Today, the Republican Party is going after Barack Obama, and based on current polls they appear to have a chance to win the Oval Office.
There is one difference between then and now; globalization. The advent of the Internet and modern communication opened the American public to worldwide cultures. The Cowboy culture that made the Republican Party so attractive in 1980 is a dangerous mindset today and will eventually be there downfall in 2012.
The definition of Cowboy culture is having the ideal that the United States of America is the best country in the nation and that we need to promote our ideals throughout the world.
As globalization spread throughout the world, we began to understand that other cultures are different, and nobody is better than another. We cannot promote American ideals anymore, because it implies that another culture is inferior to ours. The debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan should be exhibits as to why that is a dangerous way of thinking.
As 2012 draws nearer, the Republican Party will try to promote the ‘greatness of Americanism.’ Unlike 1980, the American public will understand that the world is far more complicated than the Republicans make it out to be. This understanding, and the acceptance of our new place in the world will push Barack Obama into reelection in 2012.