Whatever you think of Donald Trump not promising to immediately accept the election result, don’t believe anyone who says challenging the result would be unprecedented. Donald Trump is not the first candidate to say a presidential election was “rigged.”
People were up in even more of a lather in previous elections. Four times in the history of the United States, it wasn’t the voters, or even presidential electors, that chose the president. Rather, it was a separate branch of government. I write about these in my book, “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.”
In the nation’s history, four candidates who lost the popular vote became president, but there was by no means anything illegal about it. The Electoral College decides the presidency, not the popular vote.
Keep in mind this election there are reports of massive voter fraud with more being done everyday to swig the election to Hillary. Throw in that Hillary has super delegates which will help determine the Electoral College vote.
Politicians are always finding a way to bypass the constitution and having super delegates should be illegal.
This may be off the topic as it has been developed but it relates to the subject. The U.S. is a republic, not a democracy. There are supposed to be filters that temper what were called “popular passions,” the Electoral College being chief among them. The Electoral College evolved into an automaton. The replacement for a group of respected elders giving a second look at the popular vote has been or should be the political parties. Thus I have no probelm with super-delegates. In many ways I wish they were more dominant in both parties.
Let’s face it; the current setup has given us garbage vs. garbage or more exactly Pathological Liar v. Sleazy Demagogue. We need to do better. Fortunately our country has done great in spite of its presidents rather than because of them. A partial list of bad presidents will suffice:
[li] John Tyler
[/li][li] Millard Fillmore
[/li][li] Franklin Pierce
[/li][li] James Buchanan
[/li][li] Woodrow Wilson (racist)
[/li][li] Warren Gamieliel Harding
[/li][li] Franklin Delano Roosevelt (lots of Jewish blood on his hands)
[/li][li] John F. Kennedy
[/li][li] Lyndon Johnson
[/li][li] Richard Nixon
[/li][li] Jimmy Carter
[/li][li] Barack Obama
Our country is great in spite of, not because of, its presidents.
I’m curious. Not that I think FDR was worth a hoot as President, but I’m not sure what you’re referring to in regard to Jewish blood on his hands. I understood (correctly or not) that American Jews largely voted Democrat because of FDR for going to war with Nazi Germany.
They sure did. Not only that, my mother, when she was born, was going to be named “Ruth.” Then appended an “ellen” to make it “Ruthellen” in honor of Eleanor Roosevelt since she was born November 7, 1932, on or very close to Election Day. It was pretty certain FDR was going to win.
There have been a number of books written on FDR’s baleful role both in regard to his reluctance to enter WW II and his dimout in saving virtually any Jews. I read Morse’s While Six Million Died in February 1973. I was so fascinated that I tacked bedsheets up on the window so that my mother would not see that I was still up reading after midnight. More recently I read Winick’s 1944. His books are always named for a year or even a month and a year.
For one particularly Google “Ship St. Louis.” A ship full of refugee Jews was poised to enter Cuba on corruption-purchased visas, At the last minute the caudillos held them up for more money than could be quickly raised. The ship was turned back, and lingered for a lengthy time within sight of the lights of Miami. Roosevelt refused to admit them. All went back to Europe. Many were killed; some did escape.
Another episode concerned bombing the concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau and/or bombing the rail connections to the camp during late 1943 and 1944. The Roosevelt Administration blocked such an effort with the feeble argument that it would divert resources from winning the war. This was in spite of the fact that other bombing runs were occurring within miles of the camps. One such run even accidentally did hit one of the crematoria, which did slow down the efforts to exterminate Jews.
If I “sound” angry it’s because I am. I grew up worshiping Roosevelt. My father died on January 5, 1973 not knowing of what I was to read about one and a half months later. I am convinced he might have rethought being a knee-jerk Democrat in light of that. While I am a Democrat it is more in sadness and resignation of the mess that the GOP has been since the end of WW II than out of any admiration.
I think I have heard of a little about some of these things, now that you mention it. I know that there was a lot of disbelief about the Holocaust during the war itself, although I have to imagine that FDR was better informed; in which case of course he bears responsibility.
I was not aware of any reluctance on his part to enter WWII; I understood that he was fighting the isolationists leading up to the U.S. entry into the war; he was certainly aiding Great Britain.
FDR had huge a Democratic majority in Congress after the 1936 landslide over Landon. It gradually subsided in subsequent elections, but he still got pretty much what he wanted in part because it was wartime. About the only thing FDR didn’t get was the packing of the Supreme Court with extra members druing his second term.
The Japanese-Americans have reason to dislike FDR too. He put their parents, grandparents and great grandparents in internment camps for the duration of the war. He took their property and their freedom without just cause. Even the liberal FDR worshippers admit that mistake.
There was a film, “Ship of Fools” that was made in the 1960s that recounted the fate of the Jewish people who on the ill-fated voyage of the St Louis.
I would not include Millard Fillmore on this list. He was quite average, but given the situation, the Compromise of 1850 was probably the best any president could have done about slavery, short of a civil war.
Looking back on the situation, I think the Civil War was inevitable. In order to end slavery thousands of Americans would have had to give up on hundreds of millions of dollars in “property” or “capital” either voluntarily or for compensation that was less than their investment. This was reason Lincoln was looking for a way to compensate slave owners. And for the record, when Great Britain compensated their slaveholders when they ended slavery in the 1830s.
Once the “Black Republican” Lincoln was elected, the war could not be prevented. But if he had not been elected, the alternatives would have either been a status quo or steps backward with a president like Breckenridge who in essence supported the policies of the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision.
I don’t understand why John F. Kennedy is on your list. Yes, he screwed up the Bay of Pigs, but that was because he did not step in and stop something that was already in motion. He learned something from that, which more than you can say for Obama, who has learned nothing during his time in office. Kennedy was headed in the right direction when he lowered taxes to stimulate the economy, and Johnson reaped the benefits. Had Kennedy lived, I think that he might been a better than average president. The wild card, of course, was his active sex life, which might have brought him down.
Franklin Roosevelt is very much of mixed bag. I think that the country might very well have been in revolution had he not given people hope, if not solutions, during the Great Depression. His second term was by far his worst. His arrogance was in full flower and his plan to pack the Supreme Court smacked of a political power grab and possible dictatorship. His leadership during World War II was marked his poor treatment of the Jews as your pointed out, and the Japanese-Americans. On the other hand his dictatorial style played well during the war years in mobilizing the country for the conflict.
Read your history. There were plans for the Bay of Pigs invasion before Kennedy took office, and he admitted to listening the generals who told him would work. That made him more skeptical of them during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
There is no question that he abandoned the troops on the ground with no air support, which earned him and Democrats the eminently of Cuban-American voters for many years.
I am taking the liberty of addressing two related posts at once. They all make very good points, many of which I don’t ag
Agreed. But he also didn’t use his popularity to save Jewish life. He knew enough of what was going on to help convene the Evian Conference, which on paper was tasked with seeking a solution to Hitler’s menace to Jewry. It turned into a circular buck-pass with the U.S. leading the way in doing nothing. Britain was the relative hero, organizing a “kinder-transport” for young children which saved some lives. But overall the record was disgraceful.
The turnback of the St. Louis was the most visible illustration of non-action. However the failure to bomb the concentration camps and/or the rail systems taking Jews to them resulted in far greater Jewish loss of life. Worse it appears to have been deliberate; neither Roosevelt nor Churchill wanted hordes of penniless refugees arriving. But unlike today’s Syrians the Jewish culture was not antithetical to civilization.
What should have been done was a brief encampment and a rapid vetting of and returning to homes of all bt those who were not a threat. That being said the Japanese-Americans made the same mistake the Mexicans are now; they enclaved and conducted business in their native language and not English. If you’re trying to administer a region that’s on the frontier of war (remember Hawaii and Alaska were territories and there was no certainty that they wouldn’t be occupied with the ease that the Philippines, the Marshall Islands etc. were grabbed) failing to integrate is not a smart strategy. Perhaps they couldn’t suddenly integrate but the Japanese made their choice in the preceding decades as the temperatures in that part of the world rose.
The Compromise of 1850 was far from the only black mark. In common with Pierce and Buchanan he tried to appease the South. Since in the long run they weren’t going to be happy with any conceivable arrangement war was going to come sooner rather than later. What Fillmore did do was allow the destruction of the Whig Party. The ten year delay in forming a viable Republican party (yes they ran Fremont in 1856) did some very real damage. Significantly his “Know-Nothing” party of 1856 contributed to Fremont’s inability to be a viable candidate. Buchanan’s resulting tenure gave the South plenty of opportunity to prepare for war.
I largely agree here. What likely should have happened was Buchanan, still President of the country prior to secession of all but some of the “Cotton States” should have secured Virginia to prevent its secession. Or at the very least secured Newport News, with massive naval assets without which the Confederacy would have been helpless. Further, the Confederacy would have been far more vulnerable to siege and famine.
Without Virginia going, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas might well have stayed in the Union. I don’t think a confederacy consisting of desperately poor states South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas could have long held out. The “war” would have been more like a long siege.
He may well have given the country hope but his economic accomplishments prior to the start of the war, in his first two terms, were slender. Worse than that he did not wish to expend political capital or popularity on a ramp-up of our military capability. I have troubled myself to read a front pages and continued articles of the New York Times from 1933 on. Anyone with an IQ north of 50 (my IQ is about 79) could have figured out that we were headed for involvement in the war. What most people don’t know is that France was experiencing constant rioting and was in no condition to militarize. In Britain Churchill was a lonely voice in the wilderness. Eventually madmen Hitler and Tojo were going to pitch the world into war. As they did.
Wrong. He stepped in and stopped something he had already started.[/QUOTE]I presume that Susanna was referencing JFK with her remark. JFK’s rhetoric was fine, throughout the 1950’s and in the early part of his presidency. His problem was that he did not “walk the walk.” He talked a good game, i.e. Ich ben ein Berliner" but ultimately and cynically did nothing.
> He may well have given the country hope but his economic accomplishments prior to the start of the war, in his first two terms, were slender. Worse than that he did not wish to expend political capital or popularity on a ramp-up of our military capability. I have troubled myself to read a front pages and continued articles of the New York Times from 1933 on. Anyone with an IQ north of 50 (my IQ is about 79) could have figured out that we were headed for involvement in the war. What most people don’t know is that France was experiencing constant rioting and was in no condition to militarize. In Britain Churchill was a lonely voice in the wilderness. Eventually madmen Hitler and Tojo were going to pitch the world into war. As they did.
I think that you are underestimating the power and influence of the isolationist movement in The United States in the mid to late 1930s. Virtually all of the Republican Party was on board with it as well as many Democrats. It was led by the aviator, Charles Lindbergh whose solo flight from New York to Paris a decade before still made him a national hero and celebrity, and a political force.
Lindbergh’s flirtations with the Nazis combined with Roosevelt’s efforts to “deep six him” ultimately brought “Lucky Lindy” down, but all of that took time. Contrary to popular belief, presidents are not all powerful, and they have be careful in the way they spend their political capital. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought an end to the isolationist hold on our foreign policy, but even today you have those who claim that FDR “arranged” for that attack to occur, which, given the evidence, I find ludicrous. Those claims represent the remnants of late 1930s isolationist mind set.
There were claims that Franklin Roosevelt was looking to become a dictator. If he had tried to start the military build-up that you suggest should have been done, he would have run into stiff opposition from both sides of the political aisle. Although he was a liberal Sinclar Lewis’ book, It Can’t Happen Here, represented the fears of many about the Roosevelt presidency. Twenty-twenty hindsight is great, but you have to take into account the political realities of the time in which a president served.
> The Compromise of 1850 was far from the only black mark. In common with Pierce and Buchanan he tried to appease the South. Since in the long run they weren’t going to be happy with any conceivable arrangement war was going to come sooner rather than later. What Fillmore did do was allow the destruction of the Whig Party. The ten year delay in forming a viable Republican party (yes they ran Fremont in 1856) did some very real damage. Significantly his “Know-Nothing” party of 1856 contributed to Fremont’s inability to be a viable candidate. Buchanan’s resulting tenure gave the South plenty of opportunity to prepare for war.
Here are the main points of the Compromise of 1850:
California was admitted as a free state to the Union.
The borders of Texas were defined (They were made smaller, which reduced the size of the Texas slaveholder state), and the territory of New Mexico was established. Texas got $10 million to help with its debts as compensation.
The territory of Utah was established.
The Fugitive Slave Law was enacted which required northern state authorities to take an active part in capturing and returning runaway slaves. This was already a part of the Constitution, so it was really nothing new.
The slave trade was ended in the District of Columbia although slavery itself continued.
Looking at the list, the only “bone” that the slaveholders got was the Fugitive Slave Law. The other four points when to the abolitionists. Compromises are just that. Each side gets something. I’ll stand by my previous statement. Fillmore was groping to find a solution to an problem that could not be solved in any other way except a war.
And yes, Fillmore was the American or “Know Nothing” Party candidate in 1856. My interpretation of that action on his part was that his political ambitions got the better of him. There is evidence that he did not support the Know Nothing stands on immigrants.
I’m not saying that he was a great or above average president. What I am saying is that lumping him with Pierce and Buchanan, who were truly poor presidents, the worst in fact, is unfair.
His radio broadcasts were powerful and well-delivered. He could have used his eloquence in a constructive manner. Instead he chose to “go along to get along.” He could have sold the military buildup as a way to increase employment. Also since national TV didn’t exist he could have educated people on what raders of papers like the New York Times knew; that Hitler was a maniac quickly destroying the civilized world.
As for Pearl Harbor there is an element of truth to the conspiracy nuts. Britain, Australia and the U.S. choked off the flow of oil from modern-day Indonesia to Japan, as well as other imports. They were strangling. Not that that’s a bad thing.