1912 not 1992

As long as Donald Trump threatens to run as a third-party candidate, the media will use 1992 as an example of a three-party race when Ross Perot was a candidate along with Bill Clinton and George HW Bush. I think that the three-party race of 1912 would be a better example. William Howard Taft was the GOP president and Teddy Roosevelt wanted the nomination. When he didn’t get it, he ran as an independent and finished second. Wilson placed first. The results were as follows:

Wilson       6,294,284  41.83%

Teddy R.   4,120,609  27.39%

Taft            3,487,937  23.18%

One can look at the results and say that a united GOP would have won. Perhaps so, but there is another way to look at it. Wilson was a progressive Democrat and Teddy a progressive Republican. Adding their totals together, assuming the voters wanted a progressive, produces a landslide for the progressive platform. In 1912, the voters preferred Wilson to Teddy. Another progressive, Eugene Debs, received almost 6% of the vote, making a progressive total of nearly 75%.

In 2016, the likely contest will between Mitt and Jim Webb. In 2016, any Democrat will defeat any Republican. If Trump stays in the race, he will take votes away from Mitt who might even finish third in a three-way race.

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson, Plebian and Patriot by Robert W. Winston. Before reading this book, I knew little about Johnson, other than he was impeached, but not convicted by the Senate by one vote. I wondered why Lincoln replaced Hannibal Hamlin with Johnson as his running mate in 1864. Now I know that Lincoln and Johnson worked closely together to keep Tennessee in the Union. Johnson was a pro-Union Southern Democrat.

From the information contained in this book, I have drawn some interesting conclusions. They are my conclusions, not the author’s. Lincoln was elected in 1860 because the vote was split four ways. Lincoln was re-elected in 1864 because the GOP stole the election, something they continue to do today whenever possible. If he had lived, the radical Republicans in Congress would have impeached him, but probably been unable to convict him either. Johnson was impeached for following Lincoln’s policy of moderation toward the Confederate states.

It is amazing the similarities between how the GOP treated Johnson and how they are treating President Obama 150 years later.