Magazine October 19, 2020, Issue

The 1980 Presidential Election in Retrospect

Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan debate in Ohio in 1980. (Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images)
It was unusually important

What qualifies an election as “the most important election”? Even in the days when politics was considered by some to be a mundane and boring profession, there was never an unimportant presidential election. But let’s face it: Some are more important than others. Think about the elections that did matter, such as in 1800, between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. These men agreed on nothing, especially the role and scope of the national government. It was so vicious, a supporter of Jefferson’s called Adams “a hideous hermaphroditical character which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the

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Craig ShirleyMr. Shirley is the author of four books on Reagan, as well as December, 1941 and the newly released Mary Ball Washington: The Untold Story of George Washington’s Mother. He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller, December 1941 and the forthcoming April, 1945. He is the visiting Reagan scholar at Eureka College, a member of the board of governors of the Reagan Ranch, and a frequent lecturer at the Reagan Library.

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It turns out that the Democrats don’t fear that women will be put into red robes but that they will be put into black ones.


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