The five most significant political events in your lifetime.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Drifterwood, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Drifterwood

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    I thought that this might be interesting and it came to mind because of the Euro thread, but more on that later.

    1. The Oil Crisis of the 70's. Whilst I don't really remember it, the inflationary impact in the UK was enormous. My pocket money became worthless :eek:.

    2. The Maggie Thatcher impact. Whilst not aligned to her politically, I can see that the UK needed a serious wake up call and MT did this.

    3. The end of communism. Perhaps the US' finest achievement, winning the Cold War.

    4. The growth of China, India, Russia, Brasil etc. This is changing the global picture and will, as far as I can see, continue.

    5. Debt. Ow. This one is going to hurt for a very long time.

    European integration doesn't make it onto my personal list, because frankly, without fiscal union, it isn't that important, more of a blind alley.

    If you have more or less decades experience than me, please feel free to add or subtract to your list.
     
  2. accemb

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    1. The assassination of President Kennedy
    2. The assassination of Martin Luther King
    3. September 11, 2001
    4. The election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States
    5. The economic meltdown of 2009 that is ongoing worldwide
     
  3. shyguy01

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    1. Receiving a poll card in the post
    2. Reading it
    3. Sticking it on the fridge
    4. Laughing at David Cameron.
    5. Not voting
     
  4. nudeyorker

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    1. House Un-American Activities Committee Hollywood Blacklist
    2. The assassination of John F. Kennedy
    3. Becoming a US citizen.
    4. The fall of the Berlin wall and the end of communism.
    5. 11, September 2001
     
  5. Jason

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    1. The three day week. I was only a kid, but remember the power cuts, the strikes, my dad (and everyone else) working just 3 days. This was a country on the brink of collapse or Soviet take-over.
    2. The Thatcher years. Many faults - but Thatcher saved the UK as a prosperous nation able to afford social services.
    3. The break up of Communism. Done quite a bit of work since in the east (including the wild bits) so something that has had a direct impact on me.
    4. Good Friday Agreement. We actually have a chance to put behind us years of sectarian murder. If this continues to last the UK has created a road map for ending conflicts which seem without solution.
    5. The Coalition. Cameron and Clegg have (so far) done the right thing for the UK. I think they did their deal a few hours before the markets moved against the UK. In a way they saved the UK (like Thatcher, like Churchill). Yes I know no one agrees with me.
     
  6. Jason

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    Do better at the next election. Voting is part of taking part in society and contributing to society.

    If you don't like what any of the candidates represent then stand for election yourself.
     
  7. Bbucko

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    1) The Kennedy assassination (though I was too young to remember it) was one of the defining moments in American history;

    2) The Stonewall riots have been overhyped but still represent the first real time that gays and lesbians became a focus of international debate, ultimately leading to a level of acceptance that would have been unthinkable to previous generations;

    3) The Watergate scandal in general and Nixon's resignation in particular: no other American president has resigned while still in office. To this day, scandals are routinely named "-gate";

    4) The election of Ronald Reagan and the unholy alliance of religious fundamentalism and the GOP;

    5) September 11, 2001 changed everything in American life at least as much as Pearl Harbor, except that this time we had a shadow enemy, not a sovereign nation.

    Honorable mentions:
    *The collapse of the Soviet Union: I should probably have listed this instead of the Kennedy assassination;

    *The election of Barack Obama, if only for its symbolism.
     
  8. Ethyl

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    and:

    1) The Tiananmen Square protests of '89. Watching "Tank Man" left a deep impression on me. Humans are fragile and yet so powerful.
     
  9. Stretch

    Stretch New Member

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    Communism failed, mainly, because it collapsed financially. The "US" didn't really have much to do with it as an achievement. The administration at that time, including a younger Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, operating under the figurehead of Reagan, were instrumental in shutting down the natural flow of human events...a shutdown, which the group they represent are still propagating and which people, everywhere, continue to suffer.

    Five most significant political events in MY lifetime:

    1)...The explosion of the 60's...physically, mentally and spiritually. Breaking away from and transcending all that came before.

    The reaction and immediate shutdown of that explosive transcendence of humanity...mostly through assassination's

    2)...Watergate...The first modern multi-media political scandal as we know it, but mostly the jadedness that followed. There have been tons of scandals since...but they all have one thing in common...Iran or Contragate, Monicagate, Troopergate, Nipplegate...see the trend here?

    The Watergate scandal led to a hiccup of backlash that resulted in a Carter Presidency, but 4 years was more then enough time for the future authors of "http://www.newamericancentury.org/" to wheel and deal.

    3)...Choosing and putting Reagan into office was a masterstroke and a commitment to the lockdown. It was a "return" to the not so distant America of John Wayne, Apple pie and guys with the "White" stuff. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz...sound familiar? The main reason these guys got back into "legitimate" power was because they made a deal with the Iranians in 79' to keep the American's hostage until the election was over. "The hostages were formally released into United States custody the following day, just minutes after the new American president Ronald Reagan was sworn in". At the time, it was the straw that broke Carter's, already, fragile back. It was the beginning of the conflict, the planting of the seeds that have now flourished.

    4)...The Clinton Presidency was a triumph and an anomaly. In hindsight it's an amazing feat that a small state democratic governor was able to break through the clamp down. Either a tribute to his "manifest destiny" and political fortitude or his "Slick Willie" moniker. Either way...pretty cool.

    4.5)...Then we have the same cast of aging characters literally stealing back the political landscape and the office of the Presidency.

    5)An African American...BORN IN AMERICA...is elected president.

    I'm sorry. This is an American-centric list. Superficial at best. These were the first things I thought of that happened in my lifetime. Then again, I've been on the road for the last 20 years. I know nobody cares, but now I want to come up with a world list. Then again...that could easily turn into a lot of lists...and...and...and...gggrrr :cool:
     
  10. Drifterwood

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    Know your enemy's weakness.

    Enjoyed your list and no problems with them being relative to you. My list was as well.
     
  11. vince

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    The decision to enter the Vietnam War
    1967 Mideast War
    The Iranian Revolution
    The invasion of Afghanistan by the USSR. (led directly to the downfall of Communism)
    September 11, 2001

    It is hard to restrict to just five though.
     
  12. B_nyvin

    B_nyvin New Member

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    1. I'd have to say sept. 11 2001

    2. Bush getting re-elected (it was the first presidential election i could vote in)

    3. All of Michael Moore's documentaries

    4. The Iraq&Afghan wars....ONLY because it made it possible for me to get a really great MOS in the Marines.

    5. No child left behind act getting passed...it probably did sway me away from getting a degree in secondary education, which i'm certainly glad i did. High school teacher is one of the shittiest professional jobs out there.
     
  13. GayFrog

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    1. John Diefenbaker: Avro Arrow cancellation, Cuban Missile Crisis, Canadian Bill of Rights.

    2. Lester B. Pearson: introduces Canadian Universal Health-care & Canada Pension Plan.

    3. Pierre Trudea: October Crisis and use of war measures act, Repatriation of the Canadian Constitution, Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    4. Brian Mulroney: Meech Lake, Air India bombing, Canada/US Free Trade Agreement and the GST. Mulroney resigns and Kim Cambell is designated becoming Canada's first woman Prime Minister in June of 1993.

    5. Jean Chretien: resigns as Prime Minister over Sponsorship Scandal and Paul Martin is designated he introduces Civil Marriage Act, legalizing gay and lesbian marriages in Canada. Andre and I are married.
     
  14. Joll

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    I think he's vastly underrated. Tbh, I think he has a much better reputation over here than in the US. I don't think the UK bothered that much over the sex scandal, since he was a capable statesman, especially foreign-policy wise. Especially in comparison to the Bush/Rumsfeld years...

    Mine are:

    1. Thatcherism/Reaganism.
    2. Fall of Berlin Wall/Communism.
    3. European Integration (has had huge implications within Europe - and the possibility for impact around the world).
    4. 9/11.
    5. 2008 Financial Crisis.
    6. Arab Spring.

    Great thread btw, Drifter.
     
    #14 Joll, Apr 19, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2011
  15. gymfresh

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    The events since my birth that have most shaped life as I experience it are

    1. The big trio of assassinations in the 1960's: JFKennedy, MLKing Jr, RFKennedy. Shattered trust in politics and human behavior.

    2. US dollar going off the gold standard. Still has sweeping implications for inflation and chronic deficit spending.

    3. The Powell Manifesto. I don't have words strong enough to describe what destruction this long-term plan has wrought on American progress and peace. It defines our divergence from Canada, Australia and Europe. God damn mother fuckers and their scheme to dumb-down America, bombard us with right-wing propaganda, hoard wealth in as few families as possible, and constantly stir shit to create diversion. Larry Kramer: "They took the richest and most liberal nation in the history of civilization and turned it hard right into a classist, racist, homophobic imperial army of pirates. 30% of America now self-identify as conservative or extremely conservative. When Lewis Powell wrote his Manifesto [in 1971] that figure was less than 10%."

    4. Watergate. Slowed implementation of #3, but ultimately split Americans and made more people loathe government and politics. Public service may never recover; certainly will never be as noble a calling as in other nations.

    5. Massive deregulation of everything: financial markets, housing markets, airlines, shipping, and now many consumer protections. Hey, I understand free markets and their strengths; I'm a Chicago Booth MBA. But I also understand that to strike the right balance, sensible regulation and consumer redress are vital in a capitalist economy.

    --------------

    Most of these have been changes for the negative. Maybe I'm just a pessimist these days, but it seems that the awful events have had larger implications than the uplifting events. The few life-altering positive changes for progress include:

    Lawrence vs. Texas, the US Supreme Court case that wiped away the last shards of criminality regarding homosexuality. Truly momentous, long overdue, and will pave the way for still more progress and fairness.

    The Space Program/lunar landing. This achievement/investment was critical in the American psyche, probably the entire free world's psyche, and to this day sheds tremendous IP and technological benefits.

    Election of Barack Obama. It offered hope to millions and showed what the US is capable of after it hits rock bottom. After 8 years of raid-the-larder villainy, we finally got a leader who understands that our most prosperous and equitable times stem from the greatest public - not private - investment. And that requires a wealthy government.

    I do not consider September 11, 2001 to have much lasting significance. It was engineered by a corrupt government to control the masses through fear, and it's already proving ridiculously implausible. If anything, it merely showed the extent of political greed and disdain for the public's intelligence.
     
  16. midlifebear

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    1. The end of WWII on VJ day
    2. The stalemate end of the Korean War
    3. Assassination of Kennedy
    4. Civil Rights Act of 1964
    5. Voting Rights Act of 1965

    I could add similar stuff leading up to the 21st Century, but these five events eclipse most everything else since then.
     
  17. b.c.

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    The Election of Barack Obama - The historic, cultural, and global sociopolitical implications of which cannot be fully explained or comprehended.

    The Assassinations - of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Dr. King, events which changed America's destiny in ways we cannot know.

    The Civil Rights/Voting Rights Acts - which finally empowered those traditionally excluded from the political process to be a part of it, to effect change in our destinies.

    Watergate - Opened our eyes with regard to the forces at work within our nation and the lengths to which they were willing to go in order to have their way.

    Supreme Court Decision/Election of George Bush - Showed me (personally) that even in a democracy, the will of the people can be undermined and subverted. "A coup by any other name..."

    The Clinton Presidency - In spite of the much overblown scandal and the failed impeachment attempt, even his critics have to give Clinton (and his presidency) its due. Surely one of the greatest presidents of our era.
     
  18. rbkwp

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    agree Drifter so pinched for ease of passage

    1)The growth of China, India, Russia, Brasil etc. This is changing the global picture and will, as far as I can see, continue.

    2) The British having to exit with the Expiry of the 99 year lease of Hong Kong
    MAYbe the beginning of Chinas Rise & Britains demise?

    3) The Partial Peace in Ireland

    4) The end of the Viet Nam War

    5) The Death of Stalin/Amin ( i hope he is Dead) & all other Despots

    cant think of anything overly memorable as far as Au / NZ is concerned hha
     
  19. B_RedDude

    B_RedDude New Member

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    Oh, please. His signing of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act is sufficient to justify trashing the guy. Not to mention NAFTA.

    And the bonehead lost both houses of Congress in 1994.

    Liberal, my ass.

     
  20. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    So are we reduced to pigeonholing a president's legacy to a few isolated incidents and escalate them to heights that overshadow his entire stint in office in order to prove whether or not Clinton was liberal or at least as "liberal" as you wanted him to be? As if your benchmarks for what qualifies as true liberalism is what we should be going by? Or are you just trying to downplay or discredit political events that mean something to certain individuals for some other form of cheap, irrelevant forum credibility? Please... let's not go there. This is not an argument you'd be able to sustain around here.

    I've yet to post my five because there's so much to think about. But Clinton's presidency does stand out as one of them. He wasn't the perfect president by any means, however, his road to winning the election is as symbolic as Obama's (beyond the obvious). Both Clinton & Obama were able to energize and stimulate the youth vote and engage with the citizens of the nation by utilizing what was at that time the sources they connected with the most. In 2008, it was the internet. During Clinton's run, it was things such as MTV (who proved for the first time in the network's existence that they could provide a voice that mattered in political matters). Both aspects bring some level of humility to the messages they were trying to spread. Before presidents like these people, everyone else tried to go through the usual routes to obtain their votes. Clinton & Obama changed the game and opened up new ways for politicians to effectively spread their message. That needs to be recognized REGARDLESS of whether or not someone doesn't live up to your "liberal" or "conservative" scorecards. Then there's the obvious stuff in regards to the economy and civil rights, but I don't want to bore anyone who is in the mood to rip someone's character apart with historical facts.

    Damn... just what do I want to list as significant political events? So many that I would mention either happened before I was born, or during a time when I was too young to be socially aware to their full impact. One thing is for certain, Clinton does place in more ways than one. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and NAFTA does nothing to change that.
     
    #20 B_VinylBoy, Apr 20, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
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