One hundred years ago was, of course, a US Presidential election year just like this year. Well, maybe not like this year.
Warren Harding, long considered by most historians to be among the worst Presidents in US history, easily defeated James Cox capturing about 60% of the popular vote and 404 electoral votes to Cox’s 127. Who was James Cox’s running mate? Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Harding’s was, of course, Calvin Coolidge who succeeded Harding as Chief Executive after the latter’s death in 1923.
Harding actually “campaigned” against two-term incumbent Woodrow Wilson who, supposedly, wanted to run again but Democratic Party leaders did not want him to run given his poor health and lack of popularity. Harding’s most well-known campaign “slogan” was “Return To Normalcy,” but the slogan “America First” was also used. Everything old is new again…
On the first ballot at the 1920 Republican convention, Harding was just sixth among candidates in delegate votes. No candidate received a majority, obviously. He was not nominated until the tenth ballot. From Wikipedia:
“Harding’s nomination, said to have been secured in negotiations among party bosses in a ‘smoke-filled room,’ was engineered by Harry M. Daugherty, Harding’s political manager, who became United States Attorney General after his election. Prior to the convention, Daugherty was quoted as saying, ‘I don’t expect Senator Harding to be nominated on the first, second, or third ballots, but I think we can afford to take chances that about 11 minutes after two, Friday morning of the convention, when 15 or 12 weary men are sitting around a table, someone will say: ‘Who will we nominate?’ At that decisive time, the friends of Harding will suggest him and we can well afford to abide by the result.’ Daugherty’s prediction described essentially what occurred…”
From rarenewspapers.com (not a secure site, which is why I didn’t include the hyperlink):
The 1920 election was the first in which women were allowed to vote. It was also the first election after the ratification of the 18th Amendment, the “Prohibition Amendment.” Socialist Eugene Debs, running for President for the fifth and last time, received almost 1,000,000 popular votes or 3.4 percent of the total. He ran while in jail for advocating non-compliance with the draft during World War I.
While mass media and “social media” have changed the way messages are propagated, human nature hasn’t changed much, if at all, since 1920. Most people are still motivated by self-interest most of the time. The new means of communication have simply exacerbated the differences in society.
As I have written before, I do not vote because I disagree with most of the policy prescriptions of both parties. I cannot and will not support a candidate with whom I disagree on 65% or 75% of policy even if I disagree with the other candidate on 70% or 80% of policy. However, many of my previous posts reveal that I am not a believer in government as panacea. I am not a believer in monolithic business as panacea, either, which is why I believe that Guck Foogle and Fack Fucebook should be broken up. I DO NOT agree that Apple and Amazon are in the same situation, though, but that’s another discussion for another day.
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