Regardless of your political views or affiliations, it isn’t easy to be impressed by the results of the 1984 presidential election. However, there were many other factors in this race besides the large republican turnout.
People admired Ronald Reagan because, as he had declared before becoming office, they were ambitious and forward-looking, which was exactly what the United States needed.
Reagan based one of his campaign platforms on the stagflation that hit the nation’s economy in the 1970s, which he called a period of low economic growth, high-interest rates, and even higher inflation. Reagan used this to signal that he would work to alleviate the current economic crisis in the United States.
But Why Is Reagan-Bush Memorabilia Such a Hot Commodity?
Particularly in the South, the movement is connected to fraternities. T-shirts featuring Bush and Reagan are consistently in demand on the well-known Greek Website Rowdy Gentleman.
During his own presidential campaign in 2016, Jeb Bush wore a vintage Reagan Bush 84 t-shirt from Rowdy Gentleman underneath a formal shirt. He supported supply-side economics, incentivizing individuals to generate more goods and services. He did this, for instance, by slashing income taxes, which, in his words, resulted in a revival of the economy.
The Story from 1980 to 1984
In 1980, Reagan and the republican party won the most votes and the presidency, following the example of many candidates who promised economic success in their platforms. He also garnered a significant amount of support from potential voters.
When he became president of the United States, he set out to carry out his plans, and Reaganomics began to take effect. While this was unexpectedly successful, it was not to the level that Reagan and the Republican party had hoped.
He managed not only to maintain but even grow in popularity as president thanks to the recession’s end, reduced government spending, and improved economic prosperity. This, together with his other accomplishments while in office, made it clear that he should compete for re-election in 1984.
A large portion of his policy remained mostly unchanged. With the Republican Party giving him the green light, the only obstacle to his success was the Minnesota native and former vice president Walter Mondale.
Why the Sudden Craze?
The strange cult appeal of campaign merchandise from the 1984 election has been brought to light by the passing of the 41st president.
At the height of the Cold War, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush won re-election in 49 out of 50 states that year.
The attraction of Reagan-Bush memorabilia fits nicely with the recent wave of retro nostalgia swept through popular culture.
Thought pieces have been published about the pattern, and TV and film remakes of Star Wars, Star Trek, Dynasty, and Heathers have all documented it.
The release of Stranger Things, which featured a Reagan-Bush yard sign, also reached a post-modern, self-referential apex.
The decade of excess has been making appearances in fashion for a while now. Still, this fall’s collections included even more ’80s nostalgia, including jewel tones, oversized jackets, combat boots, and glittery accessories.
Some believe it is also a throwback to a more civilized time in politics.