Rest in Peace, John Anderson (1980 US presidential candidate)

Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2017 07:02 am
I had to put that in the title so no one would think I was writing about the lead singer of Yes (even though he doesn't spell his name with an H). But I digress.

My first time voting (I had turned 18 just 2 months beforehand) was in 1980 and it was a doozy - Carter was running for reelection and Ted Kennedy, Reagan, and Bush Senior were all running against him.

The Kennedy campaign was of interest because I was already here in Mass; it was my sophomore year, actually (yes, I started college when I turned 17). But he kinda fizzled on the national stage. The Bush campaign was the only really serious challenge to what was turning into the Reagan juggernaut and of course as I suppose everyone knows, Reagan chose him as his running mate.

Then there was Anderson. He was kind of in the middle on a lot of things, and I did some comparing among the candidates and I found I agreed with him on the most stuff. He was also rather clearly the underdog.

When he didn't get a lot of attention in the Republican primaries, he ran as an Independent.

I registered as a Democrat but I voted for him (absentee ballot in NY). I was for some odd reason invited to his victory party in Boston, which was held in some hotel (the Copley Plaza, maybe? My memory is sketchy on that). The Reagan victory party was being held just above us and they were a lot livelier and a girlfriend and I went upstairs where, despite the fact that we were wearing a crapton of Anderson regalia, we were promptly hit on by two Reagan supporters from, I think, Tufts University. I recall one of them tried the line, "Well, Anderson was my second choice."

Yeah, that really matters in anything but horseshoes and hand grenades, dude.

Anyway, I just remember feeling very hopeful. I imagine a lot of the support for Perot, Nader, and Sanders comes from a similar well.

Anderson was 95.

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Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2017 07:28 am
He was the only presidential candidate for whom I ever actively worked. He was the only one talking sense in 1980. Even when it was obvious that he could not win, I worked for him and encouraged those who had supported him to vote for him, at least so that he would qualify for Federal matching funds (he didn't). During that primary season, George Bush called Ronnie Ray-gun's economic plan "voodoo economics." An apt term, Bush forgot all about that when he was given the number two slot on the ballot. Working to keep Anderson in the campaign was an effort to fight the economic bullshit that Ray-gun was peddling. Those who remember know how very badly the working class, and even a lot of the middle class suffered from Ray-gun's fantasy economics in the 1980s.

He was one of the few politicians for whom I ever entertained genuine respect, and he happened to have been a Republican. I hope his last almost 40 years were peaceful and happy for him. Requiescat in pace.
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Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2017 07:30 am
I remember Anderson's campaign very well. I was surprised that he didn't poll better.
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Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2017 07:37 am
I remember him now that you mention him. I think I agreed with most of his positions on things.
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Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2017 09:40 am
I was involved with enough trying personal issues that I didn't notice Anderson enough to learn about his positions. I never considered him a serious contender, because it was obvious only two candidates stood a real chance. In the end, I voted Reagan. It was the last time I even considered voting Republican.
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