I just didn’t know how much.
While the 1970s represented the rise of oil, the 2010s represent its twilight.
The 70s were marked by two key crises, in 1973 and 1979, during which supplies were cut and prices skyrocketed.
The 2010s have already seen one price collapse, in 2014. It is going to see another before the decade is out.
It is against this backdrop that I would like to revisit the administration of Jimmy Carter. This time, especially if you’re a liberal, try to imagine yourself in opposition.
This isn’t difficult for me, because I began the 1970s as a genuine conservative activist. My politics shifted left, slowly, during the decade, but I still voted for Gerald Ford in 1976, and still refused to support Carter in 1980. (Sorry, Jimmy.)
What conservatives saw during that decade was just what liberals see today, in reverse. In the 1970s conservatives saw a natural majority growing, with power tantalizingly out of reach. Democrats in 1977 held all branches of government, as Republicans do now, and were very optimistic about putting their program into motion.