I was just entering grade school when Ronald Reagan was elected president, I was not political but can tell you from a personal standpoint the effect his presidency had on me.
I was kind of a loose cannon at around the time of 1st grade, think it would be called ADD or ADHD today and pills would have been prescribed but back then we just sucked it up and went on with life. After being held back in and forced to repeat first grade because of my attitude my parents set me down and told me to get my act together. At the time my father worked 40 hours a week and my mother stayed home to take care of us three kids. My mother took an interest in my school work and I was not allowed to go outside or play with friend until the work was done. I flew through first grade and from then on was always at the top of my class each year.
Around 5th grade we where no longer taking family vacations anymore and money was obviously tight, by 8th grade my mother had taken not one but two jobs to help pay the bills. I no longer had that parent at home to keep me in line and stopped caring about school and was more into having fun with my friend. I always found school easy and hated to do the work, without a parent looking over my shoulder I stopped doing the work and from 10th grade on never brought a book home from school.
I enjoyed going and playing baseball and football with my friends but hated organized school sports. I kept up a good act at school finishing near the top of my class while taking advanced courses in science and math and computer courses (I managed to graduate high school without 1 since art credit). I passed 2 years of French class and can not speak, write or read a word. After taking the SAT and getting around a 1200 (at the time I believe a 1500 was the most you could get and you couldn’t use a calculator like the spoiled kids today). After that my parents made me apply to college, even though I had no interest in going so I applied to Penn State and got accepted.
I didn’t last long at the whole college thing, it takes structure and an interest in school neither of which I really had. I’ve done all right for myself after leaving college but can not help but wonder what would have been if I had that structure my whole life as I had my first years in school.
When I hear people like Rick Santorum blaming the family dynamic for a lot of problem I agree 100% but sadly thanks to Reaganomics which the republicans still practice today those days of having a parent who can stay home and be a huge part of their kids lives is long over.
While I’m not a fan of Welfare and other government programs the democrats shove down our throat I’m even less a fan of what republicans have done to the country and even more afraid of what they are trying to do to it. It’s ok to point out that when the nuclear family was destroyed America started to go downhill fast in education and other issues but you must also look back what ended the family.
Republicans look at the 80’s and see a great time in America where the rich got richer and think highly of President Reagan. I look back as a time where my family got poorer and they took my parents away from me. If you look at most of today’s problems they can be traced back to that time from education going downhill, weak defense and terrorism, national debt and the destruction of the American family structure all can be traced back to the 1980’s.