I can’t believe I’m admitting this. Is authenticity really important?
The first presidential election I followed took place in 1988. One of the candidates for president that year was Michael Dukakis, the governor of Massachusetts. Even though I was a Massachusetts boy, there was no way in hell I could have supported Dukakis.
At the age of 14, I couldn’t understand why the “Duke” was so popular in Massachusetts. He raised taxes on working people and gave the money to people who didn’t want to work. Most importantly, he supported abortion.
Dukakis was running against George H.W. Bush. Bush was Ronald Reagan’s vice president. They had won the Cold War. Bush promised no new taxes.
I was so into my first presidential election that I called local radio stations, lied about my age, and told everyone why Bush was the better candidate. If a host disagreed, I called another show. The host was a Democrat.
By the time the Willie Horton story became part of the campaign, I knew Bush would win. A man who furloughed a murderer who committed rape during his release would never be president.
I woke up the morning after the election to my dad saying, “Bush won.” His words made me smile. The Republicans had the Whitehouse for four more years.