A funny thing happened during the Reagan era. Young people became Republicans. Not all of them, of course, but a plurality. It was strange. After all, everyone knows you're supposed to be liberal and idealistic when you're young. You're supposed to vote for people like Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale.
Those young people aren't young anymore. We're middle aged, and the world bears little resemblance to the one we grew up in. It is, despite its obvious ills, a lot better.
Whatever impressions nostalgic TV shows may leave with those too young to remember the real decade, the late 1960s and 1970s were a scary time to grow up. The world just kept getting worse and worse, and nobody seemed to know why.
The Soviets were expanding, and the Cold War seemed destined to end in defeat or destruction. When the joke issue of my college paper announced the Soviet invasion of Iran, lots of students believed it.
The Saudis could--and did--cut off the oil whenever they got mad. People in the northeast froze from lack of natural gas; my father turned our thermostats down to 65, as though it would help. (Deregulation, Reagan's first act on becoming president, helped more.)
Prices went up and up, not just on a few things but on everything. After taxes, cost-of-living raises couldn't keep up. Interest rates hit two digits. Nobody my age would ever be able to own a house.
SECOND SECTION. It was an even more scary time in England, according to Andrew Sullivan.
RUNNING EXTRA: The Seventies were also a scary time to be in the military, according to Private Peters, recruit. (Hat tip: Vodka Pundit.)