Pat Buchanan

Presidential Campaigns Lost By 15 Presidents

In our final examination of Presidents and their background and experiences for the White House, we will now examine Presidential campaigns lost by Presidents.

A total of 15 Presidents ran unsuccessful campaigns for Presidents as follows:

Thomas Jefferson lost the Presidential Election of 1796 to John Adams, but then won in 1800 and 1804.

Andrew Jackson lost the Presidential Election of 1824 to John Quincy Adams, but then won in 1828 and 1832.

William Henry Harrison lost the Presidential Election Of 1836 to Martin Van Buren, but then won in 1840.

Martin Van Buren received the most votes on the first ballot at the Democratic National Convention in 1844, but failed to win the required two thirds majority, and lost the nomination to James K. Polk. He also ran on the Free Soil Party ticket for President in 1848, and finished behind winner Zachary Taylor and second place finisher Lewis Cass. However, he had won the Presidency earlier in 1836.

James Buchanan competed for the nomination of the Democratic Party in 1848 and 1852, but failed to get the nomination, losing to Lewis Cass and Franklin Pierce, respectively, but then won the Presidency in 1856.

Millard Fillmore ran on the American (Know Nothing) Party ticket for President in 1856, but finished behind winner James Buchanan and loser John C. Fremont. Earlier, he had served as President after the death of Zachary Taylor.

Andrew Johnson competed for the Democratic nomination in 1860, but lost the nomination to Stephen A. Douglas. He later served as President after the death of Abraham Lincoln.

Ulysses S. Grant competed for the Republican nomination in 1880, losing the nomination to James A. Garfield. He had earlier been elected President in 1868 and 1872.

Theodore Roosevelt competed for the Republican nomination in 1912, losing the nomination to President William Howard Taft. He ran in the general election as the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party candidate, having earlier served as President, after succeeding to the officer upon the death of William McKinley, and then being elected in his own right in 1904.

Herbert Hoover competed for the Republican nomination in 1920, but lost the nomination to Warren G Harding, but then won the Presidency in 1928.

Lyndon B. Johnson lost the Democratic nomination to John F. Kennedy in 1960, became his Vice Presidential running mate, and succeeded to the Presidency upon Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, and was elected for a full term in 1964.

Richard Nixon lost the Presidency to John F. Kennedy in 1960, but then won the Presidency in 1968 and 1972.

Ronald Reagan competed for the Republican nomination in 1968 and 1976, losing the nomination to Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, respectively, but then won the Presidency in 1980 and 1984.

George H. W. Bush competed for the Republican nomination in 1980, losing the nomination to Ronald Reagan, but became his Vice Presidential running mate, and then Vice President, and then was elected to succeed him as President in the Presidential Election of 1988.

Donald Trump competed for the Reform Party nomination in 2000, but withdrew before Pat Buchanan won that party’s nomination, and later won the Republican nomination and was elected in 2016.

Also, two future Presidents competed for the Vice Presidency, with Franklin D. Roosevelt being the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate in 1920, losing to Calvin Coolidge; and John F. Kennedy competing for the Vice Presidential nomination of the Democratic Party in 1956, when Presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson opened up the Vice Presidential nomination to be decided by the convention delegates, and Estes Kefauver being selected over Kennedy.

The Destructive Nature Of Third Parties: Protest Vote But Leads Too Often To Less Preferable Nominee Winning White House

Third Parties are supposed to represent democracy in action, but we have now learned the hard way that it denies popular vote winners the Presidency!

It happened in 2000, when Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan took enough votes away to harm Al Gore, and elect George W. Bush.

And now it has happened again in 2016, with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein taking enough votes to harm Hillary Clinton and elect Donald Trump.

Bush did much harm in his Presidency, and realistically, Donald Trump can be seen as likely to do even greater damage.

Any one who voted third party in 2000 or 2016 should feel guilt, as it has led to the worse choice, and nothing was accomplished, except maybe to feel good that one protested.

There is no way to prevent third party movements, but it has NEVER had a positive effect, with maybe the exception of Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressive (Bull Moose) Party in 1912.

But in a democracy, nothing can be done to prevent this harmful action from taking place, so likely, we will lose the better Presidential nominee more times in the future!

The Closest Presidential Elections In American History

The closest Presidential Elections in American history would be the following in chronological order since the introduction of popular vote in 1824:

Presidential Election of 1824—Andrew Jackson vs John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and William Crawford

Presidential Election of 1876–Rutherford B. Hayes vs Samuel Tilden

Presidential Election of 1880–James A. Garfield vs Winfield Scott Hancock

Presidential Election of 1884–Grover Cleveland vs James G. Blaine

Presidential Election Of 1888–Benjamin Harrison vs Grover Cleveland

Presidential Election of 1892–Grover Cleveland vs Benjamin Harrison, James Weaver

Presidential Election of 1916–Woodrow Wilson vs Charles Evans Hughes

Presidential Election Of 1960–John F. Kennedy vs Richard Nixon

Presidential Election of 1976–Jimmy Carter vs Gerald Ford

Presidential Election of 2000–George W. Bush vs Al Gore, Ralph Nader, Pat Buchanan

Presidential Election of 2004–George W. Bush vs John Kerry

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

America First From Charles Lindbergh To Pat Buchanan To Donald Trump–1941-2016

In 1941, famed aviator Charles Lindbergh was one of the leading speakers for the America First Committee, arguing against US entrance into World War II. Despite his fame, he was an open antisemite, racist, and nativist who had openly spoken approvingly of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany!

In 1992, Pat Buchanan, former speechwriter for Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, ran for the Republican Presidential nomination against sitting Republican President George H. W. Bush, promoting antisemitism, racism, and nativism, and denying the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany. He promoted an overly nationalistic America First foreign policy, similar to Lindbergh a half century earlier.

Now in 2016, Donald Trump is running for President, and likely Republican nominee, and is a racist, nativist, misogynist, and Islamophobe, who is now promoting an America First foreign policy, similar to Lindbergh and Buchanan.

The concept of shutting out the world, ignoring alliances, and alienating other nations, including those who are natural friends, was damaging in 1941 and 1992, and is still so in 2016!

Donald Trump Is A Dangerous Authoritarian Figure Who Threatens The Maintenance Of Civil Order And Democracy In America!

This past weekend, the nation learned just how dangerous Donald Trump really is!

We saw violence and bullyism at public events by racists and nativists who were being rough, assaulting demonstrators at Trump rallies, and journalists being harassed by Trump aides, and Trump said he would support paying the legal fees of a 78 year old man who gave a sucker punch to someone being removed by police from a rally.

Trump blamed Bernie Sanders supporters, and called Sanders a Communist, and said he would send his supporters to disrupt Sanders’ s rallies. He would not tone down the rhetoric or tell his followers to avoid violence, and would not take responsibility for the hostile atmosphere his rhetoric and oratory has caused!

This display by Trump and his followers shows clear cut evidence of Fascist tactics, and it is clear to anyone who wished to keep his or her eyes open, that Donald Trump is a dangerous authoritarian figure who threatens the maintenance of civil order and democracy in America!

Trump is more dangerous than George C. Wallace was, or Pat Buchanan, or David Duke ever was, as he has millions of followers who are deaf, dumb or blind about the dangers of Trump becoming President.

It seems that Trump is someone who could, if a major untoward event occurred, such as a terrorist strike or the collapse of the stock market, convince enough Americans to elect him President, although if there is no such horrible event, the odds of a Trump victory are miniscule!

We cannot afford to have a demagogue, who could be a threat to the nation at large, ever reach the White House, and all efforts must be made to oppose Trump vigorously, before he gains power and threatens our way of life!

March 4, 1789–227 Years Without A Tyrant–Not About To Allow It To Happen Now With Donald Trump!

The American Constitution went into effect officially on March 4, 1789, even though the first President, George Washington, was inaugurated belatedly on April 30, 1789.

We so revere the Constitution without realizing that through domestic and foreign crises over the years, we have only come fairly close to danger just once–the lawlessness of Richard Nixon.

But even with Nixon, we were far from Fascism or dictatorship, and the Constitution did work well  in the 1970s.

Despite acts of illegality, and plans for more, Richard Nixon was stopped dead in his tracks, including Alexander Haig telling the Pentagon to ignore Richard Nixon if he ordered martial law!

So when we hear that Donald Trump would order the military to break international law and American law, and return to the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney system of torture through waterboarding that has been banned by Barack Obama; and when we hear that Trump would wish to kill the entire families of suspected terrorists, and have no limit on military engagement as the military would obey him–then we know we have a tyrant in the making.

And when we hear that Trump wishes his crazy followers to beat up anti Trump protesters at rallies, and would plan to curb freedom of speech, press and assembly, including against media critics including the New York Times and Washington Post when he gains power, then we know we have Fascism in our midst, much greater than Huey P. Long, Joseph McCarthy, George C. Wallace, Pat Buchanan, or other lesser demagogues!

We have not had a tyrant for 227 years of our Republic, and we are not about to allow it to happen now with Donald Trump and his ilk!

America’s Fascist Demagogues In History: Huey P. Long, Joseph McCarthy, George C. Wallace, Patrick Buchanan!

The United States has had its Fascist demagogues in the past nearly hundred years of our history, but luckily, they “burned out” very quickly.

We had Democratic Governor and Senator Huey P. Long, who condemned the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the early 1930s era of the Great Depression.  He had a big following on radio; drew large public crowds; preached “Every Man A King” and “Share The Wealth” as he attacked Wall Street; had his own group of “storm troopers” to protect him;  and made clear that he hoped to come to power on a national level, having alienated his Senate colleagues and the President by his tactics and showmanship.

His potential threat disappeared, however, when he was assassinated in the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge in September 1935, a mystery that still exists today, as covered in Chapter 7 of my book, ASSASSINATIONS, THREATS, AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY: FROM ANDREW JACKSON TO BARACK OBAMA (Rowman Littlefield Publishers, August 2015).  He reminded many of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, both of whom had not yet become as aggressive and warlike as they would become in the mid to late 1930s and early 1940s.

Then we had evil personified in Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin, who stirred fear and insecurity in America in the early 1950s, when he accused Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower and many government and other public figures of being Communists, or “soft on Communism”.

He ruined thousands of people’s lives, caused their deaths or complete destruction of their lives, but it was all a ploy backed by right wing conservatives, who continue to honor him, even after his political downfall in December 1954 when the US Senate condemned him, and his early death of alcoholism in May 1957.  This despicable man was a true Fascist demagogue with too many people ready to back him, but his cockiness and arrogance and false charges finally brought him down.

Then we had Democratic Governor George C. Wallace of Alabama, who sowed racism in America as he stood in the door of the University of Alabama in 1963 to attempt to block integration of the state university, and allowed police brutality in Birmingham and elsewhere, leading to the bombing of a black church and the death of young girls in the explosion.

A true Fascist demagogue of the worst kind, he actually gained five states and 46 electoral votes as a third party candidate for President in 1968.  Then, while running in 1972 again, he was shot and paralyzed for life by an assassin, a tragic event for sure, but brought on by his notoriety and demagogic nature.  Wallace’s story is well covered in Chapter 11 of my new book mentioned above.

And then we had Patrick Buchanan, an aide to President Richard Nixon and President Ronald Reagan, who promoted nativism and racism and antisemitism, including Holocaust denial,   as he campaigned against President George H. W. Bush in the 1992 primaries; against Bob Dole in the 1996 primaries;  and then ran as a third party candidate of the Reform Party in 2000.

Due to confusion in Palm Beach County, Florida, Buchanan gained 4,000 votes that were intended by voters for Al Gore, but mistakenly, these elderly, mostly Jewish voters punched the wrong hole on the “butterfly” ballots, and by doing so, caused the election of George W. Bush statewide, officially by a total of 537 votes, sadly denying Al Gore the Presidency, despite his national popular vote lead of 540,000!

Buchanan clearly was and is a Fascist demagogue, who, however, has become someone ignored, and no longer has a major media presence in his later years, as he once did on cable television as a political commentator on MSNBC and CNN, although he still is on Fox News Channel and PBS.

And now we have, at the least, two Fascist demagogues, now considered the front runners in the Republican race for President—Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz!  Again, the fight against right wing Fascism and its elements–racism, nativism, misogyny, antisemitism—remain a battle decent people must fight with every ounce of their energy!

Nativism, Racism Of Donald Trump Greatest Since Pat Buchanan Ran For President, And Hate Mongers Back Trump As A Result

The nativism and racism of Donald Trump is the greatest we have seen in American politics on the national level since Pat Buchanan ran for President in 1992, 1996,  and 2000.

Trump has gone out of his way to insult Mexican Americans in particular, and Hispanics-Latinos in general, and has gained 20-30 percent support in the various polls.

Now he has gone further and insulted Asian Americans, mimicking the way they speak English.  He has gained a lot of support from Southern states in polls for these controversial statements and nativist attacks.

In so doing, he  has insured that the Republican Party cannot win much of a percentage of either Hispanics-Latinos or the Asian American vote, and without it, they cannot win the Presidency.  And yet, his opponents seem powerless to fight against him at this point, and even Jeb Bush has ended up in trouble by using the term “anchor babies”, and then saying that he means Asian Americans, not people from Mexico or elsewhere in Latin America.

With his clear cut nativism and racism, along with his misogyny, Trump has gained the notice of hate monger groups, which include David Duke, the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, and candidate for Governor and Senator in Louisiana 25 years ago, causing a major problem then for President George H. W. Bush, who denounced his choice by the Louisiana GOP to be their nominee for those high positions.

But also, neo Nazi, white supremacist, and Confederate groups are rushing to support Trump, and his reaction has been quite tepid, to say the least.

With these elements, there is also, and worrisome, a large element of anti Semitism, a reality in the past for Buchanan and Duke that is well known, and has been again stated by Duke explicitly in his recent unasked for endorsement of Trump.

“We Are Taking Mexico’s Problems”: The History Of American Immigration!

Donald Trump has become infamous for his racist, nativist statements about Mexican immigration and Mexico.

He tells us that “We are taking Mexico’s problems”!

The history of American immigration is that the United States has ALWAYS taken on the “problems” of other nations’ oppressed populations, with the image of America being the Statue of Liberty, that we welcome those who are denied economic opportunity, civil rights and civil liberties, and are trying to escape war in their homelands.

America is a land of immigrants, and not all of them have been “legal” or “documented”.

People have fled to the Unites States in desperation, to escape deprivation, crime, war, discrimination, prejudice, and hatred.

And each group that has come, there has been fear that some of those arriving might bring in crime, and a small percentage have done so.

But that does not mean that we should hold 98 percent of immigrants who are good people and just want a better life from coming in to America, as the land of opportunity.

If we had done that, our nation would not have been blessed with the major contributions made by millions of immigrants.

And for those who did not get special notice for their contributions, they were still law abiding citizens, bringing up their children to be Americans, and helping the economic growth of the American republic.

We had Irish gangs; Italian Mafia; Jewish gangsters; Chinese opium dealers; and bad elements from every ethnic and nationality group that has become part of the American fabric.

But the overwhelming positive accomplishments of America’s immigrants far outweigh the few cases of criminal elements, and we should not allow stereotyping of any immigrant group to be spread by hateful propaganda.

We have seen the discrimination and prejudice seen in the immigration laws in the 1920s against Jews, Italians, and others from post World War I Europe. We have seen the anti Oriental immigration laws against the Chinese in the 1880s and the Japanese in the 1920s; we have seen the riots and bloodshed against many different immigrant groups over time. We have seen the nativist movements that led to the Know Nothing Party in the 1850s, the anti Semitism of the 1930s and 1940s, and now the Islamophobia of the past decade.

The fact that we have Congressman Steve King of Iowa; former Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado; past Presidential contender Pat Buchanan; Islamophobe Pamela Geller; and a whole slew of right wing talk radio and Fox News Channel commentators who are nativists and racists, does not mean we should take it lying down.

We need to fight back vigorously against such hatemongers, and while we need to work on ending illegal immigration, we should welcome those who are here, and only deport those shown to be engaged in criminal conspiracies.