Why is this film set in 1988?

from Movie FAQ – Donnie Darko on Rap Genius

Meaning

Richard Kelly has given various reasons for this:

These are all fair answers (except the flippant one about few films being set then), but the most important reason for choosing 1988 is the Bush v. Dukakis presidential race, which climaxed with a series of debates in October (precisely when the film is set). Eddie Darko watches a key one on TV the night the jet engine ‘first’ crashes and Kelly purposely chose a sound bite of Dukakis attacking Republican support for ‘a drug running Panamanian dictator’ (see comment on Seth Devlin’s character).

To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “Donnie Darko” by Movie FAQ and leave a comment on the lyrics box