That '80s Committee: The Reagan Revolution
It’s morning in America!
Welcome to the 1980’s: where greed is good, hair is big, bureaucracy is bad, and Soviets are the root of all evil.
It’s January, 1981, and Hollywood actor and 33rd Governor of California Ronald Wilson Reagan has just been sworn in as the 40th President of the United States. With him, America is turning in a new political direction: to the right. Reagan’s top Cabinet members and closest advisors are now charged with the daunting task of saving the United States from the failures made deep and wide by the Carter Administration, and must charter a new path forward for the sake of the future of the free world.
At home, the American people are suffering under a “misery index” of combined inflation and unemployment of nearly 20%, and the battle against the American people and their interest rates waged by the Fed has only launched the U.S. into a short but painful recession. Abroad, the U.S. has been continuously embarrassed by recent Presidential shortcomings -- failing to return home hostages in Iran with diplomatic strength, lacking the military superiority to offer a credible threat to the ever-looming Soviet Union, and ceding economic leverage to the Middle East and others through disastrous trade agreements. Soviet-inspired leftists are advancing in every corner of the world, especially across Central America and the African Continent, threatening the values of freedom, liberty, and democracy Americans hold at their very core with the communist ideals that are the antithesis to everything America hopes to exemplify and stand for.
The challenges are vast, and the solutions limited for the Reagan Administration, whose valiant leader has deemed government not as the solution to the problem, but the root of it. In order to succeed, there must be a rediscovery of values, of commonsense, and a revival of the American spirit.
And why should we not succeed? After all, “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.”
Welcome to That ‘80s Committee.
Welcome to the Reagan Revolution.
Greetings from the 1980’s! My name is Whitney Cravens and I could not be more excited to serve as your Crisis Director for That ‘80s Committee: The Reagan Revolution, this year. I am a senior at UA, regrettably studying economics and political science, and this will be my sixth year dabbling in Model UN, where I now compete at the collegiate level. I get the pleasure to serve this year as President of the Alabama International Relations Club, ALMUN’s parent organization, and you may also recognize me as Secretary-General of ALMUN IX. When I am not doing something MUN-related (which is almost never), you can catch me leading UA’s Greek Programming Board, swearing I’m not going into the corporate world in Culverhouse’s Business Honors Program, or consulting with small businesses in rural Alabama or Haiti. I hope to go into a career in foreign policy with the U.S. Foreign Service.
This committee, first and foremost, is the culmination of my many years experience as a delegate in various crisis committees gone wrong -- where I have wondered how we could make the delegate experience better from the other side -- and what that possibility could look like at ALMUN. A longtime childhood fan of President Reagan, and perhaps unnaturally obsessed with a decade I never lived through, the 1980’s, I couldn’t think of a more tumultuous, exciting, and politically relevant period in history to challenge delegates through the policy-making -- and crowd-winning -- of as a committee. The best part about Model UN, and about crisis committees in particular, is that it gives you a window into what it is like as a policy-maker in the real world, where you can practice debating policy and making decisions in high stress environments that ultimately have realistic consequences. In fact, doing just that in a high school crisis committee changed my career aspirations forever -- it is from Model UN that I first aspired to become a diplomat in the U.S. State Department. Thus, it is my hope that from That ‘80s Committee, where through a U.S. government decision-making body, you will interact with everything from domestic politics, the economy, foreign policy, pop culture, social movements, technological innovation, and more, that you discover more about what it takes to run -- and respond to -- a nation and world in distress. From a weekend at ALMUN living through the 1980’s, with a conservative government in charge, a standoff with the Soviets at the center, and volatility at every turn, I hope your outlook on the world will be more altogether more informed thereafter.
Strap in, however, because if you’re looking for a committee to sit in the back and text in, this is not it: cell phones barely existed in the ‘80s! Prepare to multi-task constantly, as Reagan’s ‘80s will give no time to let the world, or you, breathe. We expect delegates to both speak and write as much as possible, and knowing how to strike a balance between creativity and realism is of utmost importance. So, if you wish to succeed in this committee, do your research far beyond that of the background guide. On our side, we can promise you That ‘80s Committee will be consistently engaging, thoughtful, and delegate-driven -- and we’ll be sure to provide the occasional comedic relief to break up the inevitable political tension. Best of luck!
Crisis Director: Whitney Cravens
Economics and Political Science
Assistant Crisis Director: Andrew Smith
Chair: Davis Frazier
Co-Chair: Kyan Gilson
Electrical Engineering, Mathematics
Committee Staff: Sydney Rastatter, Mariah Ellis, and Samantha Parnell