And if you think the comparison to the Carter years is a stretch, just consider the irony of one of the other questions Reagan asked as he looked into that camera in 1980:

Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the store than it was four years ago?

Well? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the store than it was two years ago?

Reagan wanted the people listening to him to know that it was time to make a choice: that America faced a perilous future unless we changed course at that moment in time. And I dare say we will face an even more dire future now than we would have then, if we don’t determine to change our course in 2012.

ALSO READ: “Herman Cain: Barack Obama Is Not a Patriot.”