When I was young, it was always 1932 for the Democrats. They were always running against Herbert Hoover. It was fun for Democrats and brought back warm memories. Finally, an ex-FDR Democrat, Ronald Reagan, fully exploited his opponents` frozen-in-time aspect, convincing the Democrats after Mondale`s big loss that they had to modernize.
Not surprisingly, it`s always 1980 for the Republicans. Mansized Target notes:
Romney’s W-Esque Foreign Policy
Romney gave a big foreign policy speech at VMI. In it, he shows he has basically been living in a cave since 1980. Bottom line for him: America must be strong and America must lead. ...
He wants to be the next Reagan, but his written-by-others foreign policy neglects to remember that Reagan was a creature of time and place: a diminished economy, much like what we face today, but also a world where American faced a sui generis and aggressive foreign policy threat in the form of the Soviet Union. Likewise, Reagan inherited a demoralized military gutted by the post-Vietnam malaise of the 1970s. Today we have a strong and capable, if small, military, that is state of the art in every way. Whereas in 1980 out-in-front leadership and universal engagement made sense, today we are in a period of forced austerity, overcommitment, and failed nation-building.
Boosting military spending in the 1980s turned out to be colossally successful. The Red Army gave up without a fight. But because there`s no more Red Army, the upside of more defense spending is small. What`s the best that can happen now?
Historically successful policies can`t help but run into diminishing returns.