BA on Assignment

October 30, 2019

Presidential Election Revelation

As mentioned on numerous occasions, I am as non-partisan as it gets. Don’t care what party the candidate represents, only care that they are qualified and can make their case as a public servant. But I am VERY political…

I do of course have a degree in Political Science, which, technically makes me an expert in politics… Sooo… while I don’t believe that fact to be impressive, it explains my regular conversations and attention to POLITICS…

I had a revelation the other day…

Of the past five presidents, two of the elections have been contested and even questionable in actual victory — George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump. Both Republicans.

The other men elected to office were Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Both Democrats.

This gave me pause to think about our political parties and the value of our elections. It also made me think about the value of the men who were elected and the legacy they created.

Let’s start with the actual elections…

Election 2000: George W. Bush vs. Vice President Albert Gore. His election was only confirmed through petition by the Supreme Court based on a recount in Florida. This was the scandal of the hanging chad… Questionable.

#Election2016: Donald J. Trump vs. Hilary Rodham Clinton. On its face, the election appeared to be more about not voting for Hilary Clinton, but, it turned out to be more. Speculation of Russian interference with the election, confirmed by the U.S. intelligence community has continued to generate investigations.

Also the Mueller report confirmed malfeasance by Trump campaign associates leading to convictions and jail time. The report did NOT absolve President Trump of potential criminal charges… Questionable.

Bill Clinton won both of his elections fair and square…
Barack Obama won both of his elections fair and square…

Independent of what you think of Bill Clinton personally, his elections were decisive.

Barack Obama had no scandals, no questions of legitimacy, no issues with his elections or his presidency.

Though George W. Bush won re-election to a second term, his presidency was not a historic marvel. But, incumbency is powerful. Election 2020 will be a test of incumbency as well….

So at this point you might be wondering if I can count. Initially, I referenced FIVE previous presidential elections, but, I’ve only analyzed four.

Well, since you brought up incumbency…

Election 1988: Vice President George H. W. Bush vs. Michael Dukakis. While this election wasn’t marked by voter fraud, equipment failure or foreign interference, it was riddled with scandal at a time when weathering a scandal was not possible.

Michael Dukakis was a flawed candidate. This was also the election that exposed the Gary Hart cheating scandal. And while having an affair as a man or even as President of the United States wasn’t unheard of, it was certainly not discussed… it was still taboo. Or at least approaching the end of being taboo… Bill Clinton was the first to publicly weather that storm…

But the value of George H. W. Bush’s election was revealed in his defeat by Bill Clinton in…

Election 1992: William Jefferson Clinton vs. President George Herbert Walker Bush. An incumbent president defeated by a rural state governor. This suggests the field for the democratic nomination for 1988 was just not very strong.

This was decisive. Unlike…

Election 1976: President Gerald R. Ford vs. Jimmy Carter. Ford had only been president for a little over two years and voters just wanted all remnants of President Nixon and Watergate out of the White House…

But back to post 1988…

So the last time a Republican won the White House with no issues was technically George H. W. Bush, but, realistically, Ronald Reagan. The last two Democratic victories have been without issue. The last two Republican victories have been at issue…

I don’t know what that says about either party.

Does it mean Republicans are perfectly happy to win by default? Does it mean Democrats are more honorable people? Or do Democrats just have a history of nominating candidates that can’t win under any circumstances?

This is again a decision for the voters. But history continues to repeat itself in favor ofRepublicans in the form of some questionable circumstance that leads to victory.

With any luck, voters will see this pattern and choose to elect the right person for the right reasons. In any event, let’s just hold on and enjoy the ride to #Election2020.






 
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