Recently I’ve been reflecting on how I became a conservative. “How did I get here writing a conservative blog?” I muse. I first became politically aware during the 1980 Presidential race. Ronald Reagan was running against Jimmy Carter. Back then I had no concept of what it meant to be conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat. My parents always watched the news so by default, I did too. All I knew is that whenever I watched the news, the story was not good. Every day was one more day of Iran holding our people hostage. Every day I heard terms like recession and stagflation, The Cold War was at it hottest. I remember watching infomercials (before they were called that) that mentioned how far we were behind the Soviet Union in just about every military category. As the race heated up, I heard Reagan talk about how he would fix these things. I heard Carter talk about well– not much. I did not see him as a Democrat or a liberal, I just saw him as someone who so far had no solution to America’s myriad problems. Likewise, I had no understanding at the time of what it meant to be conservative. I only knew that the other guy had a plan to catch up with the Soviets in the arms race, reduce taxes, make America great again.
Later, after Reagan was elected I saw him doing those things. We got our hostages released the day he took office. Little by little, things got better. For some reason, I wanted to hear him speak, I listened to probably every one of his speeches. It was at this time I would be forever converted to the Conservative point of view. Not by his speeches alone, but also listening to the Democratic responses and the response of the news media. I remember having a distinct feeling that I and the news media had heard two completely different speeches. “He did not say that,” I would find myself saying to the T.V. set. I was befuddled at what I was hearing. I now know this as media bias, but back then it was just the reporter lying. The news media lost me forever at that point, at least when it came to politics.
Now, decades later I see little has changed. Democrats and the mainstream media still distort and misrepresent what conservatives say. At least now we have Fox News to balance it out. Liberals are still weak on national defense. Democrats still want to tax and spend. Iran is still pulling our chain. We are once again in a Presidential race, and so far like in 1980, one side is asking us for more of our money and our freedom, one side has a positive vision for the future, one that sees America strong and respected, one side somehow thinks that’s a bad thing. There are several candidates in the race now, I don’t know yet if one’s the next Ronald Reagan, but I do know we don’t need another Jimmy Carter.