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A New Spirit - 1980


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This is the first in a series of scenarios I intend to release, going from 1980 to around 2008; I may or may not get there, depends on the time I have available.



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The divergence for "A New Spirit" is that Jerry Brown enters the Democratic Primaries much earlier than he historically did, and so it is he rather than James Carter that ends up winning the Democratic Party nomination, and subsequently the general election against incumbent President Gerald Ford. Despite a new sense of optimism that Brown brings with him into Washington, the feeling is quickly depressed by the economy taking a turn for the worse, being further deepened by an energy crisis precipitated by the fall of the Iranian government to Islamists in September of '78. Legislation in favor of clean energy sources was shortly after pushed through Congress up until the Republican Party took up the majority in the House and Senate in January, and though funding is no longer to the levels as proposed by President Brown oil prices are coming down, with the initiatives winning the approval of the majority of Americans. Inflation remains a major concern however.



While the rise of the Islamic Republic in Iran was a notable political issue of the time, it was dwarfed in comparison with the movement of Soviet military forces into Afghanistan in June of '79. Publicly the Soviet Union justified their intervention in that it was meant to help the government lead by Nur Muhammad Taraki put down the insurgency that had developed against him. To most international observers however this was seen as nothing more than the propping up of a puppet government, and to those like Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson it was nothing less than the first stage of a Soviet attempt to expand their influence further into the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. The Brown administration bitterly condemned the intervention and formally lodged a complaint to the United Nations, but quickly found itself divided on how to respond beyond that. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance had worked with Brown to create some weak yet significant economic ties with the Soviet Union which would be undone by any suggested economic sanctions, additionally also jeopardizing the proposed SALT III talks. Zbigniew Brzezinski on the other hand was in favor of cooperating with multiple nations in arming the Mujahedeen who were fighting the Soviets and for severe economic sanctions until the Soviet Union withdrew from the country. Brown would as he often did eventually side with Vance, leading to Brzezinski's resignation in September.



Brown's governance has not been a fiscally liberal one, and on the issue of balancing the budget he had found more success in working the Republican Congress rather than the Democratic one. Cuts to social programs, especially in combination with a significant rise in the budget of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (which was also given a Cabinet Post), has earned him the animus of the Party's liberals, among them Senator Edward Kennedy and Representative Ron Dellums. Open pressure upon state legislatures to adopt the Equal Rights Amendment nor general Social Liberalism has moved this sentiment.



As the middle of October rolls around, Brown is in a rather weak state politically. Washington Senator Henry Jackson has declared that he would run against him and is but a few steps behind the President in the polls. Representative Ron Dellums, after strongly considering running as a third party candidate in the general election, has decided to challenge Brown directly also. A number of Republican candidates have also come to the fore, among them former Governor of Texas John Connally, Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker, George H. W. Bush, Governor Pierre du Pont, CEO Frank Borman, Senator Robert Dole, and others.



Among third parties, the American Party has managed to recruit Representative Larry McDonald of Georgia who is polling decently in the South and West.



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I'd post some pictures, but for some reason the forum isn't letting me do that (something about me not having permission to do so).



It's still in the alpha stages, but it will be chock full of various easter eggs pointing to the changes that have occured following the divergence. Anyway, in light of nothing more to give you, I'll end with a list of added, planned, and planned off candidates.




Democratic


  • President Edmund "Jerry" Brown - Added
  • Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson - Added
  • Representative Ronald "Ron" Dellums - Added
  • Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy - Added (Off)
  • Former Governor Cliff Finch - Planned
  • Former Governor Hugh Carey - Planned (Off)
  • Senator William Proxmire - Planned (Off)
  • Senator George McGovern - Planned (Off)

Republican


  • Former Representative George Bush - Added
  • Former Governor John Connally - Added
  • Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker - Added
  • Former President Gerald Ford - Added (Off)
  • CEO Frank Borman - Planned
  • Representative Phil Crane - Added
  • Governor Pierre "Pete" du Pont - Planned
  • Senator Robert "Bob" Dole - Planned
  • Senator Lowell Weicker - Planned
  • Senator Chuck Percy - Planned (Off)
  • Former General Alexander Haig - Planned (Off)
  • Representative John Anderson - Planned (Off)

American


  • Representative Larry McDonald - Added

Libertarian


  • Attorney Ed Clark - Added

People's


  • Pediatrician Benjamin Spock - Planned
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It looks reasonable so far. There may be some obscure fact about the end of the 70's in US politics I don't know, but what convinces Reagan not to run if Brown's the incumbant?

Its mentioned in one of the character bios, but I figure I should address this. Ronald Reagan ends up coming down with Pneumonia in the Fall of '78 while campaigning for congressional candidates with it eventually moving down to his lungs (something like this nearly happened in OTL but some months earlier). Sometime in December Reagan passes away, leaving the race for the Republican nomination wide open.

Jack Kemp was originally supposed to be the undisputed "heir" to the movement, but I decided to have him run for the Senate instead which would set him up nicely for a run in '84 or '88. Phil Crane and Frank Borman are possibilities to come on top, but Borman's politics remain a mystery to me, and Crane doesn't seem to have the same kind of pull as Reagan does. Du Pont is obviously a possibility, but he doesn't have much in the way of name recognition yet. May be best that the field is simply scattered.

I may also remove Anderson entirely as I want to put Chuck Percy in as an active contender, and the two would only serve to eat into the exact same base.

Also no longer decided on who the nominee for the Republican Party should be; I was initially set on Bush but now I'm leaning towards Baker, and when I set this out as a scenario for the 2008 version, John Connally was the nominee.

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If you check, the official TheorySpark 1980 scenario for P4E2008 has the platforms for most of the candidates you're considering (except, notably, Borman, among a few others), at least for that scenario's issues. You've probably already checked it out, but just in case it can offer some inspiration on a second glance...

Edit: I realize, on a second reading of your post, that this post is not at all helpful. :(

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If you check, the official TheorySpark 1980 scenario for P4E2008 has the platforms for most of the candidates you're considering (except, notably, Borman, among a few others), at least for that scenario's issues. You've probably already checked it out, but just in case it can offer some inspiration on a second glance...

Edit: I realize, on a second reading of your post, that this post is not at all helpful. :(

I've expanded the number of Issues to twenty-five, not counting the character ones and issue familiarity. I also have access to the original 1980 scenario and am pulling some from there, but obviously not all of them are present. I'd like to add events as well, but those aren't yet in the campaign editor, and I don't trust myself to add them in manually.

Also I have to ask, a bit out of desperation unfortunately, does your local library or (if you are attending one) university has access to GallupBrain? I need access to the polls for this period in regards to the Republican candidates, and I'm having a lot of trouble finding them in book form (which themselves are at best spotty). I'm asking a number of persons I know, and so far no luck.

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I've expanded the number of Issues to twenty-five, not counting the character ones and issue familiarity. I also have access to the original 1980 scenario and am pulling some from there, but obviously not all of them are present. I'd like to add events as well, but those aren't yet in the campaign editor, and I don't trust myself to add them in manually.

Also I have to ask, a bit out of desperation unfortunately, does your local library or (if you are attending one) university has access to GallupBrain? I need access to the polls for this period in regards to the Republican candidates, and I'm having a lot of trouble finding them in book form (which themselves are at best spotty). I'm asking a number of persons I know, and so far no luck.

I could always check, though, I'm afraid, I live in Canada, so it's a bit of a stretch.

Another thing that came to mind is, was a biography or (even better) autobography ever written on Frank Borman? If you could find such a text, even in online form, it may elucidate his political views (then again, it may just praise his business accomplishments and charitable good works and dote on his childhood and family life, you never know).

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This looks very promising! Now..I am me excited about this like..I get excited over a release on a game or a new game in a series lol. :D

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I could always check, though, I'm afraid, I live in Canada, so it's a bit of a stretch.

Another thing that came to mind is, was a biography or (even better) autobography ever written on Frank Borman? If you could find such a text, even in online form, it may elucidate his political views (then again, it may just praise his business accomplishments and charitable good works and dote on his childhood and family life, you never know).

Yeah, not sure if Gallup would extend to Canada. : /

I've found interviews and such with Frank Borman, but they never discuss politics, almost always being centered around his time with NASA and when he headed Eastern Airlines, in addition to some background bits. There are some articles that discuss Borman as a political candidate for an office (one Presidential, another I think as a Governor or Senator) but those are behind pay-walls. I'm trying to get access to those as well through my university library, but looking for backups just in case they prove to be rather bland regarding their information.

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  • 2 months later...

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