The 80’s were a respite between the social activism of the 70’s and the self-loathing of the ‘90s. It was a time that brought us teenage heart throbs like Kirk Cameron, Scott Baio, and Michael J. Fox. But it was also a decade where history was made. The Berlin Wall came down, the Cold War ended, AIDS became a national topic, and cable TV was born. It was an era inspired by technology. “So much of the technology that came out of the 80’s still stays with us today,” said David Sirota, author of Back to Our Future and the inspiration for National Geographic Channel’s The 80’s: The Decade That Made Us. “In the 80’s we started to say as a country, as a society, that ‘I’ is as important, if not more important, than the ‘we’ and the technology expresses that.”
“We are still in many ways living in the 1980’s,” Sirota said on Wednesday’s show. According to a survey by National Geographic Channel and Kelton Research, 3 in 4 Americans thought that our country was better off then, and 76% thought it was safer in the 1980’s. ”I think the epic struggles right now in our politics are effectively a struggle between a lot of folks who are saying the 80’s are outdated, they are not for this moment, and a lot of other folks who say no we want to continue with what we started in the 19080’s–for instance Reaganomics,” Sirota said. According to the same survey, if Reagan and Obama were running against each other today, 58% would vote for Reagan, showing how Americans are eager to return to that decade.
To honor this amazing decade, we put together our own playlist of songs that remind us of the 1980’s. Take a listen and let us know if you think we left off any gems.
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