Eugene Debs

America Will Never Be A “Socialist” Country, But We Have “Socialist” Ideas Americans Want To Keep: Social Security, Medicare, Environmental, Labor, Consumer, Health Care, Education, And Civil Rights Laws, All Which Make Capitalism Work Better!

Donald Trump attacked “Socialism” in the State of the Union address, knowing full well that is simply a code word to attack progressive reforms that have become part of the American tradition and system of social justice.

“Socialism” in America is Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Federal Environmental Laws, Federal Labor Laws, Federal Consumer Laws, Federal Health Care, Education and Civil Rights Laws.

These laws are the hard, years fought for, efforts of primarily Democrats and some moderate Republicans over the century since Theodore Roosevelt, including Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and even contributions of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, George H. W. Bush, and innumerable Senators and Congressmen and state governors who saw these laws as essential for American advancement.

We are a nation of capitalism but with “socialism” mixed in, due to the promotion of such legislation by the Socialist Party of the 20th century, and its leaders, including Eugene Debs and Norman Thomas, and most Americans support and see the need for the laws we have.

We are not going to go back to the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, as the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the 1960s, and the Obama era have made our nation better, and the right wing attack on all these reforms will be fought bitterly and defeated!

Ten Most Divisive And Polarizing Elections In American History

As we near the end of an extremely divisive and polarizing election, it is a good time to look back and judge what were the ten most divisive and polarizing elections in American history.

Chronologically, they would be the following:

The Election of 1800 between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson

The Election of 1828 between John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson

The Election of 1860 between Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, John C. Breckinridge, and John Bell

The Election of 1876 between Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel Tilden

The Election of 1884 between Grover Cleveland and James G. Blaine

The Election of 1896 between William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan

The Election of 1912 between Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Eugene Debs

The Election of 1948 between Harry Truman, Thomas E. Dewey, Strom Thurmond, and Henry A. Wallace

The Election of 1968 between Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, and George Wallace

The Election of 2000 between George W. Bush, Al Gore, Ralph Nader, and Pat Buchanan

Danger Of Civil Disorder If Donald Trump Refuses To Accept Defeat, Which All Previous Losers Have Accepted With Grace And Dignity!

Throughout American history, there has been great emotions as battles for the Presidency go on, but at the end, when the election is over, the loser has always conceded with grace and dignity.

This includes the John Adams-Thomas Jefferson race in 1800, the first time an incumbent has lost to a challenger.

It includes the John Quincy Adams-Andrew Jackson Presidential races in 1824 and 1828.

It includes the Abraham Lincoln–Stephen Douglas–John C. Breckinridge–John Bell four way race on the eve of the Civil War in 1860.

It includes the hotly contested 1876 Presidential race between Rutherford Hayes and Samuel Tilden, resolved by the political deal known as the Compromise of 1877.

It includes the four way contested race of 1912 between Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Eugene Debs.

It includes the upset election victory of Harry Truman against Thomas E. Dewey in 1948.

It includes the John F. Kennedy-Richard Nixon race in 1960, which Nixon thought might have been corrupt, but chose not to challenge.

It also includes the Presidential election of 2000, when Al Gore challenged the results in court, but then was graceful once the Supreme Court intervened in favor of George W. Bush.

And it includes the grace and dignity of John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, when they lost to Barack Obama.

But now, we have had indications that Donald Trump will not concede, and will claim a “rigged” election if he loses, and this will only encourage civil disorder, and the potential for bloodshed and violence, and refusal to allow a peaceful transition to the inauguration and administration of Hillary Clinton.

This is not a laughing matter one iota, and a very worrisome matter!

Can Losers Of Presidential Race Come Back To Win? Yes And No!

Now that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has made clear that he will not accept a draft for the Presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July, speculation is beginning that former 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney might make himself available.

There is no way that seems possible, as Romney has totally alienated Donald Trump supporters, who would refuse to back him at the convention or in November, but the question arises whether or not losers of Presidential elections actually have been able to come back and be elected President at a later time.

The answer is both Yes and No!

Five times, a Presidential loser has come back to win, as follows:

Thomas Jefferson, lost in 1796 and won in 1800.

Andrew Jackson, lost in 1824 and won in 1828

William Henry Harrison, lost in 1836 and won in 1840

Grover Cleveland, lost in 1888 and won in 1892, only President to win (1884), lose, and then win again.

Richard Nixon, lost in 1960 and won in 1968

However, six other Presidential candidates lost more than once as follows:

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney lost in 1804 and 1808.

Henry Clay lost in 1824, 1832, and 1844.

Martin Van Buren lost in 1840 as a Democrat, after having won in 1836, and then again lost in 1848 as the nominee of the Free Soil Party.

William Jennings Bryan lost in 1896, 1900, and 1908.

Thomas E. Dewey lost in 1944 and 1948.

Adlai Stevenson lost in 1952 and 1956.

Additionally, three third party candidates have lost more than once as follows:

Socialist nominee Eugene Debs lost in 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, and 1920, a total of five times.

Socialist nominee Norman Thomas lost in 1928, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944, and 1948, a total of six times.

Reform Party nominee Ross Perot lost in 1992 and 1996, the first time as an Independent.

Are We On The Road To A 5th Four Way Presidential Election?

In American history, we have had four Presidential elections in which there were four candidates who gained a substantial percentage of popular votes.

The first time was 1824, with Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, William Crawford and Henry Clay.

The second time was 1860, with Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, John C. Breckinridge, and John Bell.

The third time was 1912, with Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Eugene Debs.

The fourth time was 1948, with Harry Truman, Thomas E. Dewey, Strom Thurmond, and Henry A. Wallace.

The first two times, 1824 and 1860, saw the success of new political parties, the Democrats under Jackson by 1828 and the Republicans under Lincoln in 1860.  The third time brought the success of progressivism at its peak under Wilson with Roosevelt’s indirect contributions, and the fourth insured the forward movement in foreign and domestic policy under Truman.

Now in 2016, we could have four candidates, including Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and potentially Bernie Sanders or Jesse Ventura.  And who can deny that Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney or John Kasich might also be potential candidates?

The first three named above seem almost certain, but there is some speculation that Sanders could run on a independent line, and that Jesse Ventura, the former Governor of Minnesota, might run if Sanders fails to be the Democratic nominee, and decides to avoid an independent run.  If Trump is nominated, the odds of Ryan or Romney or Kasich running as the “Establishment” Republican opponent grows, just as is likely that Trump will run as an independent if he is not the party’s nominee.

Hillary Clinton would win against a split Republican Party, but IF Sanders runs or even Ventura, the potential exists, in a four way race, for anything to happen, including the need to use the 12th Amendment, as occurred in 1824, which would give the Republican nominee the advantage, with the Republican control of the House of Representatives!

Death Of A President: Warren G. Harding, August 2, 1923

On this day, 92 years ago, the 29th President of the United States, Warren G. Harding, died in San Francisco, on his way back from a tour of Alaska, and taking time away from the White House, which was besieged by scandals erupting around him, causing him to be depressed and despairing from the political pressures.

Harding had never been all that interested in running, but his wife, Florence, had ambitions for him, and Republican establishment leaders of the time saw him as someone ideal in place of the image of a crusading, reform President, as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson had been perceived.

Harding is best remembered for the scandals that erupted around him, generally known as the Teapot Dome Scandals, including the indictments of Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall; Attorney General Harry Daugherty; and Veterans Bureau administrator Charles Forbes, plus the later revelations of his love life before and during the White House years.

For those reasons, Harding is rated the worst President of the 20th century, and near the bottom of all Presidents in scholarly rankings.

Yet, Harding had appointed former President William Howard Taft to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; Herbert Hoover to be Secretary of Commerce; and Charles Evans Hughes to be Secretary of State. Looking back, he had appointed a former President; a future President; and a Presidential nominee who lost to Woodrow Wilson in 1916. All three had a major impact on their institutions, and Hughes presided over the Washington Naval Conference and naval disarmament, an accomplishment that makes him one of the greatest Secretaries of State in American history.

Also, Harding had been responsible for the creation of the Bureau of the Budget, the first national agency to promote a national budget; and had given a pardon to Eugene Debs, the Socialist party leader imprisoned for his opposition to America’s involvement in the First World War. He had also spoken out against lynchings of African Americans in the South and Midwest, a growing phenomenon, which he strongly deplored.

His sudden death shocked the nation, and he was mourned as a popular President, until the scandals started to emerge.

The debate about his death from a cerebral hemorrhage has been to promote conspiracy theories about a coverup, that possibly Harding had committed suicide due to the scandals erupting around him, and the thought that his wife might have known about the sexual liaisons Harding had, and murdered him, and supposedly the Secret Service covered it up. But there is no basis for either of these rumors. It was known that he had gained weight and was having medical issues, well hidden at the time of his passing.

The fact that the casket was not open at his funeral, and that his wife burned a lot of documents in the year after his death until her own death in 1924, adds suspicions about Harding.

The irony is that Harding is most interesting in regards to the scandals erupting under him, the most since Ulysses S. Grant and the most until Richard Nixon; for his love life; and for the rumors about his death, not for anything else that occurred, including what has been mentioned above.

“Surprise” Presidential Nominees, And Often Winners, In American History

As we are about to enter August, the year before the Presidential Election Of 2016, we find two “surprise” candidates doing very well, if one is to judge by crowds and public opinion polls.

Whether Donald Trump and or Bernie Sanders have a real chance to be the nominees of the Republican and Democratic parties is impossible to know this far ahead.

But in American history, there have been many surprise nominees, and or winners of the Presidency.

The examples of this phenomenon follow—17 Presidents and 6 Presidential nominees in 23 Presidential elections:

In 1844, James K. Polk was nominated by the Democrats on the 9th ballot, and went on to defeat the better known and more famous Henry Clay.

In 1848, Mexican War General Zachary Taylor, with no political experience, and no stands on political issues, was nominated by the Whig Party, and elected over Lewis Cass and Free Soil Party nominee, former President Martin Van Buren.

In 1852, little known Franklin Pierce was nominated by the Democrats on the 49th ballot, and went on to defeat famous Mexican War General Winfield Scott.

In 1860, one term Congressman Abraham Lincoln, not in public office in 12 years, was the choice of the Republican Party, and defeated Stephen Douglas, John C. Breckinridge, and John Bell.

In 1868, Ulysses S. Grant, Civil War Union Army hero, with no political experience, was nominated by the Republicans, and defeated Horatio Seymour.

In 1872, the Democrats and a fringe group known as the “Liberal Republicans” nominated well known journalist Horace Greeley, who had never served in public office, losing to President Grant.

In 1892, former President Grover Cleveland, who had lost reelection in 1888 to Benjamin Harrison, came back and defeated Harrison, becoming the only President to win, lose, and then win, and therefore, being listed as the 22nd and 24th Presidents of the United States.

In 1896, a former Nebraska Congressman, only 36 years old, William Jennings Bryan, inspired the Democratic convention and was nominated for President, but lost to William McKinley.

In 1904, an unknown (except in New York) state court judge, Alton B. Parker, was the Democratic nominee against Theodore Roosevelt, but lost.

In 1912, President of Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson, nominated on the 46th ballot by the Democrats, defeated President William Howard Taft, former President Theodore Roosevelt (running on the Progressive Party line), and Socialist Eugene Debs.

In 1920, an obscure Senator with no special accomplishments or credentials, Warren G. Harding, was nominated by the Republicans, and defeated Democratic nominee James Cox.

In 1924, the Democrats were deadlocked at their convention for 103 ballots, and finally nominated corporate attorney John W. Davis, who lost to President Calvin Coolidge and Progressive Party nominee Robert LaFollette, Sr.

In 1928, the Democrats nominated the first Catholic Presidential candidate, Alfred E. Smith, but he lost to Republican nominee Herbert Hoover.

In 1932, the Democrats nominated Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had been judged as having “no particular qualifications” for the Presidency, and he went on to defeat President Herbert Hoover.

In 1940, the Republicans nominated a businessman with no political experience, Wendell Willkie, after he inspired their convention, but he lost to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1948, President Harry Truman shocked the political world by winning a full term over Republican Thomas E. Dewey, States Rights nominee Strom Thurmond, and Progressive Party nominee, former Vice President Henry A. Wallace. He had been shown to be way behind Dewey in every political poll taken that year.

In 1952, a World War II general, Dwight D. Eisenhower, never having been involved in politics, was finally convinced to run for President, and defeated Democratic nominee Adlai E. Stevenson.

IN 1960, the second Catholic nominee for President, John F. Kennedy, was able to overcome the religion barrier, and be elected over Republican Richard Nixon, the well known and experienced Vice President under Eisenhower.

In 1968, former defeated Presidential candidate Richard Nixon came back eight years after having lost, and he won the Presidency over Hubert Humphrey and American Independent Party nominee George Wallace.

In 1976, a one term Governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter, considered unknown to most and given little chance for the Democratic Presidential nomination, surprised everyone and was elected over President Gerald Ford.

In 1980, an aging two time candidate for President, Ronald Reagan, ended up winning the Republican nomination, and was elected over President Carter.

In 1992, despite a sex scandal, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton won the Democratic nomination, and was elected over President George H. W. Bush and Independent nominee Ross Perot, even with Bush having enjoyed a 91 percent public opinion poll rating during the Persian Gulf War 18 months earlier.

In 2008, an African American first term Senator, with an Islamic middle name of Hussein, Barack Obama, overcame former First Lady Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, and defeated Republican nominee John McCain for the Presidency.

So anything can happen in 2016, with further coverage of the upcoming election being resumed when the Iowa Caucuses take place on February 1.

Until then, this blogger will focus on the promotion of his new book on Presidential Assassinations and Threats. He will give information on the interviews that he will have on radio, tv/cable, the internet, and print media, so that my readers will have an opportunity to investigate my activities over the next six months.

When he has time, he will look at American political, diplomatic and constitutional history solely, as there is much fascinating material that can and should be discussed and analyzed. It will make a look at the future much more significant, as a result of the historical analysis of the Presidency, elections, political parties, the Congress, and the Supreme Court.

Could We Have Four Way Race For President, As In 1860, 1912, and 1948?

With the American political system in turmoil right now, and Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders getting most of the attention, and Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton, the so called “Establishment” candidates getting heavy criticism from within and outside their party structures, one has to wonder if it is possible we might have a four way race for President, with any result possible!

Certainly, either the Republican or the Democratic nominee would win the election, but it might lead to a situation where that winning nominee only gets as low as Abraham Lincoln gained in 1806 (39.5 percent) or as Woodrow Wilson gained in 1912 (42 percent) of the entire vote. Or the winner could gain as much as Harry Truman gained in 1948 (49.5 percent).

It all depends on how strong the third and fourth party candidates would be, with all four candidates in 1860 gaining double digit support; three of the four candidates in 1912 gaining double digit support; and only the two major party candidates in 1948 gaining double digit support.

Right now, if Donald Trump rain as a third party candidate, it would seem he would gain double digit support, while if Bernie Sanders ran, it seems more likely that he would gain medium single digit support.

The 1948 situation, where the third and fourth party candidates only gained about two percent each of the popular vote seems unlikely, but even in that year, one of those candidates (Strom Thurmond) gained four states and the second highest number of electoral votes up to that time for a third party candidate

The 1912 situation, with two candidates having results in the 20s and the winner 42 percent seems more likely in 2016, with the fourth candidate gaining about the six percent that Socialist Eugene Debs gained in 1912, with Bernie Sanders likely that individual.

The 1860 situation, with all four candidates being double digit, and the winner being under 40 percent could also happen, but still the two major party candidates would win the bulk of the electoral votes, and one would win the Presidency.

With the likelihood that Hillary Clinton (the presumed Democratic nominee) will be able to keep the loyalty of a higher percentage of her party than Jeb Bush would have in the Republican Party; and with Donald Trump likely to gain more total public support than Bernie Sanders, we would have the result being Hillary Clinton winning, and the potential for Donald Trump to beat out Jeb Bush or some other Republican for second place in popular votes and electoral votes, making the 2016 GOP Presidential nominee only the second major party nominee (after William Howard Taft in 1912) to end up third rather than second in the final election results!

President Warren G. Harding Love Letters Revealed After Nearly A Century!

This author and blogger has taught at the college level now for 42 plus years, and one of his favorite discussions was of the Presidency of Warren G Harding (1921-1923), generally acknowledged as the worst President of the 20th century, and close to the bottom of all Presidents on any ranking, sharing that with James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, and Franklin Pierce.

Harding is not remembered for very much, but he was the President who appointed former President William Howard Taft to be Chief Justice; pardoned Socialist leader Eugene Debs from prison; had his Secretary of State, Charles Evans Hughes, who had been the Republican Presidential nominee in 1916 against Woodrow Wilson, negotiate the Washington Naval Conference that promoted naval disarmament; established the first federal child welfare program; supported the idea of an eight hour work day; advocated an anti lynching bill to protect African Americans; and created the Bureau of the Budget.

He also had the greatest popular vote victory for a first term President in American history, and the percentage of the vote was only later surpassed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon after already residing in the White House!

Despite these accomplishments, Harding is best remembered for the scandals of his administration in the Justice Department, the Interior Department, and the Veterans Bureau (all of these generally known as the Teapot Dome scandals); and also, even more notably his sexual liaisons in and out of the White House years, most notably with Nan Britton, with whom he had an illegitimate daughter; and with Carrie Phillips, who he shared love letters discovered in the 1960s, but banned from revelation and publication at that time to avoid embarrassment.

Well, now those love letters, originally held by the Ohio Historical Society, are opened to scholars and journalists, and are the most extensive set of love letters ever discovered about any President! Much of it is x rated, and a bit shocking to many, as he describes his private parts as “Jerry”, and is extremely descriptive in his sexual language.

So one of the stories I told my students, that they would have to wait decades to learn about in detail, is open and available, revealed this week at the Library of Congress!

It will bring more attention to the 29th President, but is unlikely to raise him from the basement of rankings of Presidents of the United States!

Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, And The Espionage Act of 1917!

In 1917, after America had entered World War I, President Woodrow Wilson pushed through Congress the infamous Espionage Act, designed to be used against actual spies, but manipulated instead to bring Eugene Debs, the Socialist Party leader and five time Presidential candidate to trial, and to sentence him to federal prison, with Debs only being pardoned in 1921 by President Warren G. Harding, as Wilson refused to consider such a pardon.

That was not a bright moment in our civil liberties history, and Wilson remains condemned for promoting legislation that was abused by him and Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, not only the Espionage Act, but also the Sedition Act of 1918, the first such federal legislation of that name and type since the Sedition Act of 1798 under President John Adams, which was repealed under his successor, Thomas Jefferson! The Sedition Act of 1918 was repealed by Congress in late 1920, but never has that occurred for the Espionage Act!

The Espionage Act should have been repealed, but instead, it was used against Pfc, Bradley Manning, who used his position in the Army to give access to hundreds of thousands of documents about the Iraq and Afghanistan War to Wikileaks, and then, after being arrested, was horribly mistreated, including total isolation and being stripped naked, outrageous conditions he did not, and no one, deserves!

Manning has now been acquitted of “aiding the enemy” under the Espionage Act language, but still faces many years in prison, when to many, he was a “whistle blower”, who should not be prosecuted and convicted for exposing the secret actions of our government and military in both Iraq and Afghanistan, two highly unpopular wars created by the actions of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld!

The same controversy centers around Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency employee, who shocked the nation by exposing many secrets of the NSA and Central Intelligence Agency, and then fled, first to Hong Kong, and then Russia, and is trying to gain asylum in Latin America, if not Russia.

A majority of the American people see him as a “whistle blower” rather than a spy, and so the issue of how to deal with these two individuals, one military, and one civilian, divides the American people!