I had to have been the only kid in 8th grade who would go to bed at 9:30 PM and set my alarm for 1130 PM so I could get up and watch Nightline with Ted Koppel. Then afterwards I would reset my alarm for 6:35 AM, giving myself 25 minutes to get ready for school before Good Morning America with David Hartman and the news updates by Steve Bell that started at 7 AM.
I’d leave for school around 7:45 AM, riding my bike to get there around 8 AM- and the dash into the library where fresh copies of the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal awaited my eager perusal. The bell rang to go to class at 830AM where I would go through the motions of being a middle schooler. Until I could go home, gather the evening editions of the newspapers from my driveway – which I paid for by the way – and watch Eyewitness News with Jerry Dunphy and ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. To get the latest hostage news updates, of course.
I was one sick puppy.
I kept that up for over a year and during that time got to watch the 1980 Carter/Reagan Presidential Race. It was an election where the hostage crisis was always front and center as an issue in the campaign. We all know that Reagan won and thank G-d. But one thing always stuck in my mind, which seemed fishy. Reagan made a big deal about how if he were elected to the Presidency, that he would free the hostages. Then VOILA – on Inauguration Day, the hostages were freed!!!
My grandfather, who was a big contributor to the Orange County, California Republican Party, said something that day that always stuck in my mind, “We never would have got rid of that bastard Carter if he would have gotten the hostages released.”
At the time I didn’t think much of it.
Not until I came across an editorial in the New York Times by former President Carter’s National Security advisor, Gary Sick – he also wrote a great book called the October Surprise which left me in shock and crestfallen. In it Sick details a plot carried out by, who would become Reagan’s CIA Director, Bill Casey and former CIA Director and Reagan’s Vice-President, George Bush. One where they promised to supply arms to Iran- to assist in their war with Iraq- if they would hold the hostages until Reagan was elected.
All of my heroes in the Reagan Administration and the Republican Party,
in general, involved in a conspiracy to hold the hostages for political gain?
That was my first taste of political reality; where people will kill, bribe, blackmail and for all intents and purposes, engage in treason to achieve political power.
I should have given up on politics back then, but foolishly I didn’t. No, instead I
decided to completely ruin my life by getting a Bachelors Degree in
Political Science, a Masters in Government and a Juris Doctorate.
Part 2 to follow.