Woodrow Wilson

“Illegitimate” Presidents From JQ Adams To Donald Trump

The question of “illegitimate” Presidents is nothing new in American history.

Any President who has failed to win the popular vote (5), and any President who has failed to win a majority of the total popular vote (11 with 3 two times), due to more than two candidates in the race, has been seen by opponents as “illegitimate”

So we have John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, George W. Bush the first time, and Donald Trump that fit into the first category mentioned above.

We also have James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, Grover Cleveland twice, Woodrow Wilson twice, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon the first time, and Bill Clinton twice, who fit into the second category mentioned above.

So 19 times out of a total of 58 national elections for President, or one third of the time, we have had Presidents who did not have a majority of the voters behind them!

And 16 Presidents out of 43, nearly 40 percent, have not won the majority of the popular vote!

And then we have Barack Obama, who won a majority of the popular vote twice, but has had constant attacks that he is “illegitimate” based on a “Birther” theory that he was not born in the Unites States.

This issue of “illegitimacy” is rampant right now regarding Donald Trump, because he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million, much larger than the other four popular vote losers who won the Electoral College, and civil rights icon John Lewis, Georgia Congressman, has said, rightfully, that he sees Trump as “illegitimate” and will not attend Trump’s inauguration next Friday.

Since Trump led those who said Barack Obama was “illegitimate”, appropriate that John Lewis take the stand he has, and there is an old saying” “What is good for the goose is good for the gander”, and also “What goes around comes around”!

How Slim Margins Decide So Many Presidential Elections And Affect American History And Government Policies!

The argument that many ill informed people have is that “voting does not matter”, when just the opposite is true.

As we begin 2017 and the reality of President Trump in 19 days, a look at history tells us clearly how small numbers of votes or percentages of votes make a dramatic difference, as demonstrated in the following elections in American history:

1844– a switch of a few thousand votes in New York would have given the election to Henry Clay, instead of James K. Polk, and the difference was the small third party, the Liberty Party.

1848–a switch of a few thousand votes, again in New York, would have given the election to Lewis Cass, instead of Zachary Taylor, but Free Soil Party nominee, Martin Van Buren, former Democratic President and from New York, won ten percent of the total national vote, and threw the election to Whig candidate Taylor in New York.

1876—the dispute over the contested votes of South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida led to a special Electoral Commission set up, which rewarded all of those three states’ electoral votes to Rutherford B. Hayes, although Democrat Samuel Tilden led nationally by about 250,000 popular votes.

1880–James A. Garfield won the popular vote by the smallest margin ever, about 2,000 votes, and won the big state of New York by only 20,000 votes, in defeating his opponent Winfield Scott Hancock.

1884–Grover Cleveland won his home state of New York by about 1,000 votes, which decided the election, and nationally only by about 57,000 votes over James G. Blaine.

1888–Grover Cleveland won the national popular vote by about 90,000, but lost in close races in his home state of New York and opponent Benjamin Harrison’s home state of Indiana, so lost the Electoral College, as Harrison became President. The Harrison lead in New York was less than 14,000 votes and in Indiana, less than 2,000.

1916—Woodrow Wilson won California by less than 4,000 votes, but enough to elect him to the White House over Republican Charles Evans Hughes.

1948–Harry Truman won three states by less than one percent–Ohio, California and Illinois–over Thomas E. Dewey, and that decided the election.

1960–John F. Kennedy won Illinois by about 8,000 votes; Texas by about 46,000 votes; and Hawaii by under 200 votes, and only had a two tenths of one percentage point popular vote victory nationally, about 112,000 votes, over Richard Nixon.

1976–Jimmy Carter won over Gerald Ford by two percentage points, but a switch of 5,600 votes in Ohio and 3,700 votes in Hawaii would have given the election to Ford.

2000—Al Gore lost Florida by 537 votes, in the final judgment of the Supreme Court, which intervened in the election, and had he won Florida, he would have been elected President, even though he won the national popular vote by about 540,000. Bush also won New Hampshire by only about 7,000 votes, but won the Electoral College 271-266.

2016–Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by about 2.85 million, but lost the crucial states of Michigan by about 10,000; Wisconsin by about 22,000; and Pennsylvania by about 46,000, to Donald Trump, so together about 79,000 votes decided the Electoral College.

So the idea that voting is not important, does not matter, is proved wrong so many times in American history! Every vote does indeed count, and has long range implications on who sits in the White House, and what policies are pursued, which affect all of us!

Environmental Advancements Under Threat From Scott Pruitt And Ryan Zinke At Environmental Protection Agency And Interior Department!

Two of the most alarming appointments, of most of Donald Trump’s selections, for his top cabinet and agency personnel, are Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency he wishes to destroy; and Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke as Secretary of the Interior, a cabinet office which is supposed to promote National Parks and conservation, but which Zinke favors industrial development, limitation of national park expansion, and the rights of hunters over wildlife.

These men are like foxes in the chicken coop, out to destroy a century of conservation and environmental advancements that occurred under both Republican and Democratic Presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.

The refusal of these two men to accept that global warming and climate change are real is also an alarm bell ringing in the night, and both these men need to be blocked, if at all possible, from taking their posts. If just a few Republican Senators on committees or on the floor of the Senate oppose these people, they can be defeated with the help of Democrats in the Senate.

It is as if Donald Trump is out to destroy the entire American past, as he is ignorant of science and nature, and has picked the absolute worst people for these two crucial posts, while other Republican Presidents had respect for the importance of the environment and science.

The Cycle Theory Of American History Again In Play

The 2016 Presidential election magnified the significance of rural and working class whites, as they decided the election in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

The number of such people is constantly declining as a portion of the population, so the 2016 election is a last hurrah for these groups, as the growing number of people of Latino and Asian heritage will have a great effect on future Presidential elections, as more millennials become of age and are registered to vote.

This right wing tilt is going to have the ability to do great damage to the liberal-progressive tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Barack Obama in the short term future, but in the middle of the next decade at the latest, the political scene is likely to transform dramatically.

In a way, it is part of the Cycle theory of American history, where a period of reform is followed by a period of reaction, with such reform periods lasting 4-6 years, as with Woodrow Wilson and the New Freedom and New Nationalism, ended by World War I; Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, ended by World War II; Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society, ended by the Vietnam War; and Barack Obama and his reforms, ended by the War on Terrorism, which had a lot to do with Donald Trump’s victory. When we are engaged in concern about foreign policy and national security, it always dampens desire for reform among the people of the United States, who tend to react to fear.

Donald Trump One Of The Lowest Popular Vote Percentage Winners In American History, And NOT Due To Strong Third Party Performances!

Donald Trump’s percentage of the popular vote continues to decline, and now makes Trump one of the lowest popular vote percentage winners in American History, and NOT due to strong third party performances.

Right now, Trump has 46.28 percent of the vote and is 2.35 million popular votes behind Hillary Clinton, who has 48.2 percent of the vote.

The only 7 Presidents to have lower percentage are:

John Quincy Adams 1824—30.92

Abraham Lincoln–1860–39.65

Woodrow Wilson–1912–41.84

Bill Clinton–1992–43.01

Richard Nixon–1968–43.42

James Buchanan–1856–45.29

Grover Cleveland–1892–46.02

Before it is all over, Trump is likely to fall lower than Cleveland, and possibly Buchanan, in percentage of the popular vote, when all votes are accounted for.

In each of these seven cases, however, there were more than two strong Presidential candidates, and a third party and twice a fourth party gained electoral votes.

Adams had electoral vote competition from Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, and William Crawford in 1824.

Lincoln had electoral vote competition from John C. Breckinridge, John Bell, and Stephen Douglas in 1860

Wilson had electoral vote competition from Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft in 1912.

Clinton had electoral vote competition from George H. W. Bush and Ross Perot in 1992.

Nixon had electoral vote competition from Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace in 1968.

Buchanan had electoral vote competition from John C. Fremont and Millard Fillmore in 1856.

Cleveland had electoral vote competition from Benjamin Harrison and James Weaver in 1892.

However, Trump had no third party competitor who took electoral votes away from him or Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent.

And only Adams ended up second in popular votes with a percentage of the vote lower than Trump.

So Donald Trump cannot claim a popular mandate by any means.

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

“Policy Wonks” In The White House

It is uncommon to have a President who is a “policy wonk”, a person who delves into the details of policies.

After all, that is what White House staff and cabinet officers are for.

But yet, we have had “policy wonks” that have been President, and not always for the good.

Who among our Presidents clearly qualifies as a “policy wonk”?

Well, we have Abraham Lincoln, who spent innumerable hours a day trying to keep track of every detail of the Civil War.

Theodore Roosevelt put his eyes, ears, and hands into keeping track of everything imaginable, even after he left the Presidency.

Woodrow Wilson, as a good scholar, was intimately involved in every detail of his Presidency, until he suffered a stroke in the middle of his seventh year in the Presidency.

Franklin D. Roosevelt became a great detail man on every aspect of the New Deal and on foreign policy crises.

John F. Kennedy was always on top of everything going on in his administration.

Lyndon B. Johnson kept track of Great Society programs and the casualty counts in the Vietnam War, and was obsessive-complusive.

Richard Nixon was fanatical in keeping track of everything, including details of White House dinners, and that is a major reason why he taped every Oval Office conversation.

Jimmy Carter was obsessive in being intimately involved in his administration’s policies.

Barack Obama has, certainly, been a hands on President in every sense of the word.

And finally, it is clear that Hillary Clinton is a policy wonk, a very bright and perceptive woman, who will not let anything pass her by when she is elected President.

Utah, The Mormon State, Could Vote Democratic For First Time Since 1964, When They Voted Against Barry Goldwater

Utah, the Mormon state, has had an interesting history in their voting patterns on the Presidential elections.

Coming into the Union in 1896, Utah voted for Democrat William Jennings Bryan that year; for Woodrow Wilson in his second term bid in 1916; for Franklin D. Roosevelt four times in 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1944; for Harry Truman in 1948; and for Lyndon Johnson in 1964 (over Barry Goldwater).

So if Utah goes for Hillary Clinton, which now seems likely, it will be the first time in 52 years.

With Utah politicians, including Senator Mike Lee, Congressman Jason Chaffetz, and former Governor Jon Huntsman condemning Donald Trump, and with Mitt Romney, the most famous Mormon and 2012 Republican Presidential nominee, being vehemently anti Trump from the beginning of the 2016 Presidential race, it is seen as a blow to Trump having any chance to keep that state loyal to the Republican Party, which is natural in the past half century. Realize that Romney won 3-1 over Barack Obama four years ago!

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!