George McGovern

Centennial Of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Birth: Most Prominent American Historian In Second Half Of Twentieth Century

Today, October 15, marks the centennial of the birth of renowned American historian, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr, considered by many scholars to be the most prominent American historian in the second half of the 20th Century.

I was fortunate to have been a graduate student under Schlesinger at the City University of New York Graduate School from 1966 to 1975, and I was one of eleven graduate students to have had the opportunity to produce a Ph. D. Dissertation under his support and tutelage. That dissertation, later revised, was published by The Johns Hopkins University Press under the title: TWILIGHT OF PROGRESSIVISM: THE WESTERN REPUBLICAN SENATORS AND THE NEW DEAL in 1981.

Schlesinger was a very cordial and supportive sponsor of my dissertation, and we kept in touch occasionally over the next three decades, and I was saddened by his death in February 2007 at the age 89.

Schlesinger helped for me to confirm my liberal and progressive convictions, and my blog that you are now reading was partly inspired by his influence, and has now been operated for more than nine years.

While I do not claim any of the greatness that Schlesinger represented, I am proud of my association with him.

Schlesinger was a public intellectual and social critic, and although he never went beyond an earned Bachelors degree from Harvard University, he was a leading historian, although he had many critics.

He was a Cold War Liberal, strongly anti Communist, and a founder of the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) with Eleanor Roosevelt, Hubert Humphrey, John Kenneth Galbraith, and Reinhold Niebuhr in 1947, and was its national chairman in 1953-1954.

A professor at Harvard University from 1947-1960, he was the son of the renowned historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr, and related also to 19th century historian George Bancroft through his mother.

He was a speechwriter to Democratic Presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and 1956; speechwriter and Latin American policy adviser to President John F. Kennedy; speechwriter and adviser to Senator Robert F. Kennedy during his Presidential campaign in 1968; speechwriter and adviser to 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee George McGovern; and also speechwriter and adviser to Senator Edward M. Kennedy in his 1980 Presidential primary campaign against President Jimmy Carter. That year, Schlesinger broke with his Democratic Party roots and voted for Independent Presidential nominee, Republican Congressman John Anderson, as did former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, both only revealed in their votes in the past few years.

Schlesinger was the author of more than 30 books and hundreds of articles, and was most famous for his two Pulitzer Prizes for his books: THE AGE OF JACKSON (1946) and A THOUSAND DAYS: JOHN F. KENNEDY IN THE WHITE HOUSE (1966). He also wrote three seminal volumes on Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, only getting as far as 1936, and telling me of his goal to finish in a few more volumes, but that never happened.

But he also wrote an important book on the threat of Richard Nixon–THE IMPERIAL PRESIDENCY (1973)—and also the standard study of his friend, Robert F. Kennedy–ROBERT KENNEDY AND HIS TIMES (1978).

Schlesinger was the recipient of the Albert Schweitzer Professor of the Humanities Chair at the City University of New Graduate School from 1966 to 1974, and that is how I became one of his graduate students.

His impact on the historical profession and American politics continues a decade after his death.

Jimmy Carter Becomes Fourth President In A Row To Hit Age 93! And New Age Records For First Ladies Too!

President Jimmy Carter turns 93 today, and it is a moment to celebrate!

Carter and his Vice President, Walter Mondale, have survived as a combo longer than any Presidential-Vice Presidential team, an amazing 37 years come next January 20.

Mondale will be 90 in early January, so Carter and Mondale will be the second team where both have reached the age of 90, after Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

Longevity has been an amazing situation in so many ways, as now we have four straight Presidents–Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush–who will have reached 93.

Only two other Presidents reached 90 and died at that age–John Adams and Herbert Hoover.

Additionally, however, two other Presidential-Vice Presidential nominee teams reached the age of 90 for both men—George McGovern and Sargent Shriver, who were the Democratic team in 1972; and Gerald Ford and Bob Dole, who were the Republican team in 1976, with Bob Dole still alive at age 94. And Bob Dole also was the Republican Presidential nominee in 1996.

And only in the Presidential Election of 1980 did we have all four on the ballot—President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale–and nominees Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush—live to the age of 90 and beyond and be in the Presidency and Vice Presidency, if Mondale survives until his 90th birthday on January 5, just three months away.

Amazingly, George H. W. Bush will pass Ronald Reagan in longevity of age on October 11, and Bush will be the longest lived President, beyond the age of Gerald Ford, who outlasted Reagan by 45 days, on November 25.

And Carter, who seems in better health than Bush, despite Carter’s having had brain cancer diagnosis more than two years ago, but being in remission, seems likely to outlive Bush, if he can survive Bush by less than four months, a total of 111 days!

Also, with Rosalyn Carter having reached the age of 90 in August, it is now reality that four straight Presidents who reached 93, also saw or are seeing their First Ladies having accomplished reaching the 90s—Rosalyn Carter now 90; Barbara Bush now 92; and Nancy Reagan who lived to 94, second longest lived First Lady, only behind Bess Truman, who was 97; and Betty Ford who reached 93, fourth longest, with Lady Bird Johnson being 94, but a few months less than Nancy Reagan, so third longest lived. So six First Ladies, all since World War II, have managed to reach the 90s, an amazing fact!

George McGovern Birthday, What Would Have Been His 95th: A Moment To Remember

Senator George McGovern of South Dakota, the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee against President Richard Nixon, would have been 95 today, a moment to remember this great man, who passed away five years ago on October 21, 2012.

McGovern may have been an historic loser, winning only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia in his race against Nixon 45 years ago.

But McGovern was, in many ways, the most principled man ever to run for President.

He ran as an anti Vietnam War candidate, who had been a fighter pilot in World War II.

He ran as a person committed to the hungry, the poor, the disadvantaged in our society. He worked across the aisle with Bob Dole of Kansas to take action to help the most deprived in our society.

He ran as a principled and decent political leader who wanted to bring America back to its purpose, to promote equality, justice and compassion.

Americans instead voted for the most unprincipled and corrupt President in American history, until Donald Trump came along.

George McGovern was my idol, my hero, as a young man in graduate school, inspired by the fact that he had, like myself, pursued a PH. D. in American history, and had taught on the college level before entering politics.

What is it about America that too often they vote for the candidate who is far less principled, decent, and compassionate–as with Richard Nixon and Donald Trump as two examples?

Why is it that we have, as a nation, too often made the wrong choice?

This is something that will be repeated until the better side of our nature finally returns to the basic principles of America, and steers away from those who exploit our fears and insecurities and worsens the American condition!

Senate Intelligence Committee (Richard Burr-Mark Warner) Might Be The New Watergate Committee (Sam Ervin-Howard Baker) Of 1973-74

Forty four years ago, in 1973, the US Senate formed a special committee to investigate the burgeoning Watergate Scandal under Richard Nixon.

The committee was headed by a conservative Southern Democrat, Sam Ervin of North Carolina, and the ranking Republican member of the committee was Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee, and the committee dedicated itself to the discovery of the truth.

Over the next year and few months, many witnesses were called, and evidence was gathered, which helped to lead to the indictment of 40 Nixon Administration figures and the conviction of several aides to Nixon on charges of obstruction of justice and other crimes.

Ervin and Baker became folk heroes, and John Dean and Alexander Butterfield became the most famous witnesses that, through their testimony, helped to lead to impeachment charges against Richard Nixon, and cause his resignation 15 months after the Watergate Committee began its work.

Nixon was in the early months of his second term, coming off a massive victory against George McGovern in the Presidential Election of 1972.

Now, we are witnessing another committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, headed by another North Carolina Senator, Republican Richard Burr, and assisted by the ranking Democratic member of the committee, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, beginning an investigation of Donald Trump and his Russian connection, believed to have assisted him in defeating Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential election. Trump had only a small margin in the proper combination of states to win the Electoral College, but with Hillary Clinton having won the popular vote nationally by 2.85 million votes.

Burr is a conservative Republican, as Ervin was a conservative Democrat more than four decades ago, and Mark Warner is a moderate Democrat as Howard Baker was a moderate Republican back in the 1970s, and all four of these Senators came from the South–North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia–and all four were and are dedicated to finding out the truth about Presidential scandals.

Expect the Senate Intelligence Committee to have a dramatic impact as the Senate Watergate Committee, and it seems likely that Michael Flynn will be the new John Dean, and that others we are not yet aware of will be the new Alexander Butterfield and other significant exposers of the facts that we learned about in 1973.

The Biggest Landslide Victories In Presidential Election History Since 1900

The biggest landslide victories in Presidential Election history since 1900 would be the following in chronological order:

The Election Of 1904–Theodore Roosevelt vs Alton B. Parker

The Election of 1920–Warren G. Harding vs James Cox

The Election of 1924–Calvin Coolidge vs John W. Davis and Robert La Follette Sr.

The Election Of 1928–Herbert Hoover vs. Alfred E. Smith

The Election of 1932–Franklin D. Roosevelt vs Herbert Hoover

The Election of 1936–Franklin D. Roosevelt vs Alf Landon

The Election of 1964–Lyndon B. Johnson vs Barry Goldwater

The Election of 1972–Richard Nixon vs George McGovern

The Election of 1984–Ronald Reagan vs Walter Mondale

Donald Trump Could Be On Way To Worst Major Party Candidate Popular Vote Percentage Since William Howard Taft In 1912 And John W. Davis In 1924!

As Donald Trump moves forward, proving ever more his ability to alienate traditional Republicans and conservatives, and his racism, nativism, misogyny, and xenophobia leading to a likely low percentage among African Americans, Hispanic and Latino Americans, Asian Americans, Muslim Americans, Jews, Social Justice Catholics, women, college educated, environmentalists, gays, disabled, and every other conceivable group, the likelihood that he might be on the way to the worst possible major party candidate popular vote percentage since 1912 and 1924 seems a strong possibility.

In 1912, President William Howard Taft, challenged by former President Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Party, ended up third, the only time a major party nominee ended up other than first or second, and only received 23.2 percent of the vote, winning 2 states and 8 electoral votes, and Woodrow Wilson winning the election. TR as the third party nominee won six states and 27.4 percent of the total national vote that year.

Once we get past that unusual situation, the next worst performance by a losing major party candidate is John W. Davis , who lost to Calvin Coolidge in 1924 and won only 28.8 percent of the total popular vote, winning twelve states and 136 electoral votes. However, Progressive Party candidate Robert M. La Follette Sr won 16.6 percent of the vote in that election.

Next was James Cox, who lost to Warren G. Harding in 1920, receiving only 34.2 percent of the vote, winning eleven states and 127 electoral votes.

Next was Alf Landon, who lost to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936, winning only 36.5 percent of the vote, and two states and 8 electoral votes.

Next was George H. W. Bush who won only 37.4 percent of the vote in 1992 against Bill Clinton, but Ross Perot won 18.9 percent of the vote that year as an Independent nominee. Bush won 18 states and 168 electoral votes in that election.

Next on the list is George McGovern who won 37.5 percent of the vote in 1972 against Richard Nixon, winning only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia and 17 electoral votes.

Next is Alton B. Parker who won 37.6 percent of the vote in 1904 against Theodore Roosevelt in 1904, but also won 13 states and 140 electoral votes.

Barry Goldwater, losing to Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, won only 38.5 percent of the vote, and had 6 states and 52 electoral votes.

Finally, President Herbert Hoover, losing to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932, had only 39.7 percent of the vote, and won 6 states and 59 electoral votes.

So nine times, a major party nominee since the Civil War has won less than 40 percent of the total national popular vote, but with three times, 1912, 1924, and 1992, being complicated by a strong third party vote.

Five of these candidates who won less than 40 percent of the vote were Republicans—Presidents Taft, Hoover and the first Bush, and also Landon and Goldwater.

The other four were Democrats—Davis, Cox, McGovern, and Parker.

Large Crowds For Speeches Not Indication Of Voting Results, Just An Entertainment Event!

Many Donald Trump supporters love to point out that he has tremendously large crowds which come out for all of his political rallies.

They say that is an indication of the enthusiasm that exists for the Trump Presidential candidacy.

And yet, all of the public opinion polls indicate a massive edge for Hillary Clinton.

So what gives here?

The answer is that large crowds have never been an indicator of voting results, and should be seen as an entertainment event that costs nothing, and therefore will draw large crowds.

Remember Donald Trump is primarily an entertainer, a reality TV star, a man of charisma, known for more than 30 years as a public figure.

And in other elections, the candidate who lost had very large crowds come to his event–as with George McGovern in 1972 and Mitt Romney in 2012, as two examples.

Where else can you get close to a well known person, who can be funny and as interesting, with his rants and ravings, as Donald Trump is, and pay nothing, and find people who feel the same as you?

So Trump crowds are NO indication of the total disaster about to take over the Trump Presidential bid.

Confidence In American Future: FDR, Reagan, Obama; Gloom, Doom, Fear View: Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, Donald Trump

A positive view of America’s future always is the better approach, one of hope and confidence, and we have had American Presidents who have campaigned on that theme.

Franklin D. Roosevelt did such in 1932.

Ronald Reagan did such in 1980

Barack Obama did such in 2008.

On the other hand, we have had Presidents who did just the opposite, promoted gloom, doom, and fear.

Herbert Hoover was very negative in 1932.

Richard Nixon was very negative in 1968.

And now, Donald Trump is doing such in 2016.

As with FDR, Reagan, and Obama, the result was victory.

And with Hoover and Nixon, their rating in history is very low.

And, well, with Donald Trump, he will go down as the most disastrous Presidential nominee in all of American history, even though he will not lose 49 states, as George McGovern in 1972 or Walter Mondale did in 1984, or 46 states as Alf Landon did in 1936. The number of states lost does not matter, as all three campaigned with dignity, something impossible of achievement by Donald Trump.

Small States’ (One House Member And Two Senators) Influence In Congress Since 1945

There are seven states that have had only one member of the House of Representatives, along with two US Senators, in the past 70 years. but despite their small populations, these states have had a massive impact on American politics and history!  In addition, for the first few decades since 1945, Nevada also had one House member until growth caused two, and then, three seats in the House.

The seven states are Vermont, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska!

But North Dakota, South Dakota,and Montana had two members of the House until recent decades when reapportionment caused them to lose a second seat.

So only Vermont, Delaware, Wyoming, and Alaska (since 1959) stand alone as consistently having one House member and two Senators per state.

But look at their influence:

Vermont had George Aiken (R) (1941-1975) and has Patrick Leahy (D) for 41 years (1975 to Present) and counting now, and Bernie Sanders since 1990,  who  was the lone House member for 16 years before election to the Senate in 2006,making him the longest serving Independent in the history of both houses of Congress.  Also, Howard Dean, former Governor of the state, was a leading contender for the Democratic nomination in 2004, and then became head of the Democratic National Committee, and helped the rise of Barack Obama with a “50 state” strategy between 2004-2008.

Delaware had Joe Biden as Senator for six terms from 1973-2009, and now as Vice President.  He became one of the longest serving Senators of all time, and sought the Presidency in 1988 and 2008.

Wyoming had Dick Cheney as its lone Congressman for ten years from 1979-1989, before he ended up as Secretary of Defense under the first Bush Presidency, and Vice President in the second Bush Presidency.  Also, Alan Simpson served in the Senate from 1979-1997 as  a Republican, and Gale McGree from 1959-1977 as a Democrat.

Alaska had Ted Stevens in the Senate for 40 years from 1968 to 2009, the longest serving Republican Senator in American history.  Also, Sarah Palin , while Governor, was the Vice Presidential nominee for the Republicans in 2008.

And if one looks at the other states which had one Congressman at least for the last few decades, we have South Dakota and Senator George McGovern (1963-1981), the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee; Montana, with Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D) (1953-1977) from 1961-1977; Nevada with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) (1987-Present) from 2007-2015; and North Dakota Senators Kent Conrad (1987-2013) and Bryan Dorgan (1992-2011).

So the “small” states have really had a major role in American politics, despite their small populations!

If Hillary Clinton Loses Iowa Caucuses, Full Panic Mode Is In Effect, And Joe Biden, John Kerry, Or Al Gore Might Enter Presidential Race!

If Hillary Clinton loses the Iowa Caucuses tonight, full panic mode is in effect, and one of the following might enter the Presidential race belatedly:

Vice President Joe Biden; Secretary of State John Kerry; Former Vice President Al Gore

It is claimed that Hillary will not be in panic mode if she loses tonight, but to lose tonight AND New Hampshire next week, if it happens, will be a major blow no matter what future states might do!

Bernie Sanders has great ideas, but despite polls that show him beating Donald Trump and other Republicans, it is hard to believe that will happen, as Sanders’ background as a democratic Socialist will be made to look as if he is a Communist, with the hammer and sickle emblem to be planted on all commercials and in all speeches by Trump or any other GOP Presidential nominee!

Sanders is, sadly, reminiscent of South Dakota Senator George McGovern, a wonderful human being with great ideas, who defeated Establishment favorite Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine in 1972, and then was smashed by a landslide of epic proportions, 49 states, by flawed President Richard Nixon, soon forced out of the Presidency due to the Watergate scandal.  But the Nixon campaign was able to make McGovern out to be an extreme leftist, and the Democrats went into eclipse, and moderation took over with Jimmy Carter in 1976.

It is very sad, but already Trump is labeling Sanders a Communist, and for the ignorant population of much of America, that will be enough to make it impossible for Sanders to win the White House!

And as said before many times, the Supreme Court future is at stake, so we may yet see other Democrats enter the race in the near future, IF Hillary has major troubles in the next eight days!