Presidential Election Of 1968

National Conventions May Be Part Of History, Never To Return

It is now official: The two national conventions of the Democratic Party and Republican Party will not be held with large crowds, due to the CoronaVirus Pandemic, and it may be that the typical national convention format may now be part of American history, never to return.

National conventions in modern times have mostly been just coronations of the Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees. But there is no way to know whether in the future, that there might be a party divided as convention time arrives, as occurred in 1968 for the Democrats.

But with modern technology, it could be that saving money on conventions and focusing on the message being spread by the party nominees might be seen as a better use of funding.

Also, traveling the nation, which began with William Jennings Bryan in 1896, might no longer be the norm, as Joe Biden is doing an excellent job presenting his agenda in live speeches from home or specific locations, and then made available for cable and social media.

Too often, the constant traveling wears candidates down, and it would be better if the energy level could avoid exhaustion, which clearly shows in the last weeks of a Presidential campaign, particularly for the winner of the Presidency.

Donald Trump: George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, Pat Buchanan On Steroids!

President Donald Trump is a true nightmare, as he has brought to ultimate power the viewpoints and policies of Alabama Governor George Wallace, who ran for President on a third party line in 1968, and won 13 percent of the national popular vote, and 46 electoral votes from five Southern states at the height of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.

Donald Trump has also brought to mind the then South Carolina Governor and later US Senator Strom Thurmond, who won four Southern states and 39 electoral votes in 1948, also on an anti civil rights platform.

Donald Trump reminds us also of Pat Buchanan, journalist, commentator, and advisor to Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, who challenged President George H. W. Bush for renomination in 1992, and weakened his reelection campaign in that election year.

All three men were racists, hatemongers, Fascist oriented, and against civil rights.

Additionally, Buchanan was also a big time antisemite, who actually, indirectly, affected the Presidential Election of 2000. Four thousand Jewish voters in Palm Beach County, Florida, were confused by the so called “butterfly” ballot, and punched the hole for Buchanan, rather than Democratic nominee Al Gore, helping to influence the election result, with George W. Bush being declared the winner of Florida’s electoral vote by a margin of 537 popular votes statewide, and winning the Presidency!

All three of these candidates were obnoxious, disgraceful, and reprehensible, but while they all gained popular support to some extent, none was feared or became a dominant factor in leadership of the national government.

But now, we have a President who represents all of the evil and horrors promoted by Wallace, Thurmond, and Buchanan, but he was able to manipulate votes with Russian interference in 2016. Despite losing the national popular vote by a massive nearly three million to Hillary Clinton, he was able to win three states in popular vote combined of 78,000 (Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania) and become President.

He has unleashed one horror and disgraceful action and utterance after another, doing massive damage to American domestic and foreign policy, and attempting to do everything he can to make himself an authoritarian leader on a level unimaginable in American history.

Donald Trump makes George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, and Pat Buchanan look like choir boys by comparison. He raises the historical profile of the President most reviled for his actions and behavior before now—Richard Nixon–to a higher level, with at least Nixon having accomplished some really significant goals that are seen as positive in historical retrospect.

But many of the accomplishments of Nixon are now either gone or being destroyed by this maniac, who if he is somehow reelected by manipulation and fraud, is a clear threat to the Constitution and Bill of Rights!

Donald Trump A Combination Of George Wallace, Joseph McCarthy, John C. Calhoun: The Most Demagogic Figures In American Political History!

Donald Trump can be seen as a combination of three demagogues we have witnessed in American history.

He is George Wallace (1919-1998), the Alabama Governor, who ran for President in 1968, and gained five states and 46 electoral votes, preaching racism and white supremacy. Fortunately, he was a third party candidate, and not a serious possibility to win the White House.

He is Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957), the Wisconsin Republican Senator, who promoted the Red Scare in the early 1950s, and had Roy Cohn as his chief aide. In later years, Roy Cohn was a friend and had an impact on young Donald Trump, and Trump now has a young aide, Stephen Miller, who is as nasty and mean spirited as Cohn was. Until McCarthy destroyed himself at the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954, many saw him as a potential threat for the future, possibly even running for President.

He is also John C. Calhoun (1782-1850), the South Carolina Senator in the 19th century, who promoted secession, states rights, slavery, and white supremacy. As Vice President for nearly eight years under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, he was a heartbeat away from the Presidency. Although Calhoun died in 1850, many would later say that he helped to bring on the Civil War that began a decade after his death.

Two Men With Common Trait Of Empathy, Compassion, And Humanity, Born 17 Years Apart: Robert F. Kennedy (1925) And Joe Biden (1942)

Tonight, June 4, a tragedy occurred 52 years ago, just after midnight so early June 5, the shooting of Senator Robert F. Kennedy just after he had accepted victory in the California primary, and seemed likely on his way to becoming the Democratic Presidential nominee in 1968.

This author and blogger was watching when RFK was shot and mortally wounded early on June 5, and passed away about 26 hours later, on June 6, 1968.

The world changed, and has never been the same, and one could say the whole history of the past half century could have been dramatically different had Kennedy lived.

It is not that RFK was perfect, and there was no absolute certainty that he would have been the nominee against Richard Nixon, or would have defeated him.

But there are many who think RFK was our destiny, and he was taken from us tragically.

With his faults and shortcomings, which all political leaders and all of us have, what stood out about RFK was his empathy, his compassion, his humanity.

Now, a half century later, we have a Democratic Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, who has similar traits of empathy, compassion, and humanity, and who was inspired as a young man by what RFK represented. Biden was in his mid 20s, and starting his nearly half a century of public service as a US Senator for 36 years and Vice President for 8 years.

And imagine the irony: Both RFK and Joe Biden were born on November 20, in 1925 and 1942 17 years apart!

It can be hoped that what RFK represented can be accomplished in some way by Joe Biden, when he, hopefully, will take the oath of office as the 46th President of the United States!

Strong Possibility That Democrats Will Have A Tumultuous National Convention, Reminding Us Of 1968

There is a growing feeling that the Democratic Party will be divided all the way to the national convention in the second week of July in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Neither the progressive nor moderate wings seem likely to be able to gather enough delegates to lock up the nomination before July, as things now stand.

The Nevada Caucuses, South Carolina Primary, the 14 states on Super Tuesday, and 10 other states in the two weeks following Super Tuesday, might decide, but no certainty at this time.

The longer the struggle goes on, the more likely, horrible to say, that Donald Trump COULD win reelection, and destroy the Constitution and rule of law, making it impossible to recoup the damage that has been done during these three years of his Presidency.

The last time the Democrats were totally divided was 1968, and it led to the victory of Richard Nixon over a good, competent, decent man, Hubert Humphrey, who would have been far better than Nixon was.

The question remains: who is best equipped to win the Midwest, the area that had Hillary Clinton won, Donald Trump would not be President today, creating a constitutional crisis never ending!

The Ugly Specter Of Anti Semitism, Anti Socialism, Homophobia, And Misogyny Alive In 2020 Presidential Campaign

The Presidential Campaign of 2020 is in full swing, and due to Donald Trump willing to do anything to undermine his potential opponents, the ugly specter of Anti Semitism, Anti Socialism, Homophobia, and Misogyny are alive, and will be part of the discussion for the next nine months.

The fact that Michael Bloomberg and Bernie Sanders are Jewish, and that Sanders is a self professed “Socialist”, which is NOT Communism in any sense, will be part of the upcoming political debate.

The fact that Pete Buttigieg is gay and has a husband is certainly to be part of the political debate, with hatred and prejudice existing among right wing evangelical Christians, conservative Catholics, and Orthodox Jews.

The fact that Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar are serious Presidential contenders will stir the misogynists who think women should only be in the kitchen and the bedroom, and not running for President or Vice President.

It is certain that the Presidential Election of 2020 will match others as the “dirtiest” campaign, including the Presidential Elections of 1828, 1860, 1896, 1912, 1928, 1948, 1968, and 2016!

The Tumultuous Year Of 2020 Is Upon Us!

The tumultuous year of 2020 is upon us, and trying to figure out what will happen in the next year is a major challenge!

In many ways, this could be the most difficult year in American politics since 1968, when the nation suffered through bloodshed, violence, and assassination.

There is great fear that if Donald Trump loses reelection, we might see similar bloodshed, violence, and even assassination, with the latter being even before the election.

We have not had a serious threat to a sitting President, eye to eye, since 1981 and Ronald Reagan, and reminding ourselves of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, makes one fearful that some Democratic contender could face such a dire threat, as well, in the new year.

Constitutional government and democracy are at stake in a way not seen since the era of Fascism and Nazism, leading up to World War II.

Let us hope we make it as a nation through the year 2020 with our government stable and in safe hands after the election!

Justin Amash And Howard Schultz The Potential Spoilers In 2020 Presidential Election

In the midst of the battle for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2020, one can lose sight of the reality that a third party or independent candidate could affect the election result, as it did in 2016.

Third parties and independent candidacies for President have played a role in past elections, and the death last week of Independent and Reform Party Presidential candidate H. Ross Perot brings that to mind.

Presently, we have two potential spoilers–Michigan Republican Congressman Justin Amash, who might run as the Libertarian Party nominee against Donald Trump; and billionaire businessman Howard Schultz of Starbucks fame, who might run as an independent nominee, and harm the Democratic Presidential candidate.

Either or both could draw millions of votes, as Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party did in 2016, when Johnson gained 4.5 million votes and Stein gained 1.5 million votes. Additionally, Evan McMullin of Utah, who ran as an Independent, gained about nearly three quarters of a million votes. So together, these three non major party nominees gained a total of about 6.75 million votes , about 5 percent of the total popular votes cast.

Ralph Nader and Patrick Buchanan had played roles in the 2000 Presidential election, as Ross Perot did in 1992 and 1996. And John Anderson was a factor in 1980, as George Wallace was in 1968.

Whether Amash and or Schultz will be a major factor in 2020, and draw millions of votes, is a center of speculation in the summer of 2019!

Can Joe Biden Overcome The Obstacle Course Awaiting Him In 2020?

Former Vice President Joe Biden finally announced his campaign on Thursday, starting off as a front runner in polls.

But can he overcome the obstacle course awaiting him in 2020?

In his long career of 44 years in national office, 36 in the US Senate and eight years as Vice President, the longest public service record of any Presidential candidate in modern history, Biden came across as genuine, sincere, decent, and compassionate, and gained millions of fans, including this blogger and author.

But he also made judgments that are problematical, including being against school busing in Delaware; supporting the credit card industry in his state, and in so doing, undermining the ability of debtors to protect themselves by bankruptcy; his lack of protection of Anita Hill in the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991, for which he continues to apologize but in an unsatisfactory manner; his support of an interventionist foreign policy in Iraq; his many gaffes, many of them harmless but still giving him a reputation for loose and thoughtless language; and his habit of being too touchy feely with women and girls, although never accused of sexual improprieties.

Biden also promoted tough crime and drug laws in the 1990s, which are now looked at as blunders that put too many African Americans in prison unjustifiably, and his leadership at different times of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee has been criticized. His ability to “cross the aisle” and work with many Republicans is seen by some as a weakness, while others see it as a strength.

Biden is a centrist Democrat in 2019 at a time when many progressives are much further to the left than him, and one wonders if he could gain the support of those to his left if he wins the nomination, as he is perceived as too close to the traditional power centers of the party.

Joe Biden has many positive attributes, but his negative side and shortcomings, as seen by many critics, could doom him in a race against Donald Trump, when the most important thing possible is to insure that Donald Trump does not gain a second term, as that would be destructive of every progressive goal in the short run and long run.

This blogger and author has always looked at Joe Biden as a hero of his, as much as earlier, Hubert Humphrey was his model of what a political leader should be like. But Humphrey had the same problem 50 years ago of being admired and praised, but seen by many as not the best choice to oppose Richard Nixon in 1968, against Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy.

So the same quandary of 1968 awaits us in 2020, to find the best person to be successful against the greatest menace, Donald Trump, that we have had in a half century of American political history, far more damaging than Richard Nixon.

And while Hubert Humphrey was 57 at the time he ran for President in 1968, Joe Biden will be 78 shortly after the election, and as in 1960, 1976, 1992, and 2008, Democrats were able to elect a “new generation” leadership of John F. Kennedy (age 43); Jimmy Carter (age 52); Bill Clinton (age 46); and Barack Obama (age 47).

Should that be the direction for 2020 is the ultimate challenge for the Democrats.

And will Joe Biden be able to win the white working class of the Midwest and Pennsylvania? Will he be able to keep the African American community around him? Will he be able to draw moderate independents and alienated Republicans, who do not wish to vote for Donald Trump? Will he be able to win suburban whites, who veered toward Democrats in 2018? Will many seniors who supported Trump come back to the Democrats they once supported? And will enough young voters who have supported Bernie Sanders, who is 14 months older than Joe Biden, extend their allegiance to Biden if he stops the Sanders juggernaut?

These are the questions that will dominate the upcoming Presidential campaign of 2020.

Losing Presidential Candidates Who Should Have Been President: Henry Clay, Charles Evans Hughes, Hubert Humphrey

When one looks back in American history at losing Presidential candidates who should have been President in their times, three names stand out:

Henry Clay of Kentucky, 1824, 1832, 1844

Charles Evans Hughes of New York, 1916

Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, 1968

All three of these Presidential candidates were exceptional public servants.

Henry Clay was the most important legislator of the first half of the 19th century, known as the Great Compromiser, for his promotion of the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the Compromise Tariff of 1833, and the Compromise of 1850. He was the youngest Speaker of the House of Representatives, Secretary of State, and also served a number of terms in the US Senate. He stood for a stronger national government, in the Alexander Hamilton model, and had a great impact on many others including Abraham Lincoln, who became a Whig Party member due to the influence of Clay on him.

Charles Evans Hughes was the progressive Republican Governor of New York, in the Robert LaFollette-Wisconsin model in the early 20th century, served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, resigned to run for President against Woodrow Wilson in the closest electoral vote election since 1876, and third closest electoral vote election of all time, and then went on to be Secretary of State. Finally, he became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in the 1930s, the New Deal era.

Hubert Humphrey was the Democratic Senator from Minnesota, a leading liberal figure, who had been Mayor of Minneapolis before going to the Senate. He was seen as a premier liberal in Congress, responsible for many of the ideas that became the Great Society. He was Vice President under Lyndon B. Johnson, unhappy in that position and forced to support the Vietnam War in speeches, which undermined his Presidential campaign in 1968 against Richard Nixon. He came back to the Senate after his Presidential defeat, and sadly died at the young age of 66 in 1978.

If these three losing Presidential candidates had won, the history of the United States would have been vastly different.