And Is A Foreshadowing Of How They Truly Will Feel About Any Election That Goes Against Them
I have come to realize over the last year of the intolerance of the left in almost every front. Their contempt and hatred for anyone who does not completely and totally believe in their ideology has become increasingly obvious over the last year in many fronts. Over the last year they have done everything in their power to ‘defend democracy’ by arguing the only way to do so is to completely suppress every single person who has an opposing viewpoint.
Not only must Fox News and Newsmax be banned but Republicans and conservatives can not express their points of view on legitimate news networks or the press. The ‘legitimate media’ job is to call every single Republican a fascist and threat to democracy, though by doing so they are only confirming what the left already knows. Not only must the electoral college be removed and new states created, but the Republican congressmen and elected officials must be given less and less power so they don’t have too much influence — which is to say, any at all. The Republicans have never done anything right and if they do, they don’t mean it. Democrats are always right and the media is not doing its job if it does not give them credit for it all the time. Democrats must not only defeat Republicans at the polls but they must not compromise with them to pass legislation. Moderation in any form is worse than bipartisanship. The voters for Republicans are at best empty vessels that have been filled with sewage by listening to Fox News all the time. And it is our jobs as loyal citizens to suppress them and ignore them. Some call for their being completely isolated from the rest of the county. Some actually say that you should disown them even if they are members of your family. All of them are racists, sexist, homophones without the slightest redeeming virtue, barely being deserving of the label human. They don’t say our country would be better off without them, but it’s implied.
Yet I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything more appalling then the most recent post in Daily Kos this past Wednesday with the headline: “Why has America tolerated six illegitimate GOP Presidents?” The headline alone is bad enough, but the entire article reads like the author has decided to take on the job of the kind of historians that conservatives have spent decades writing arguing about the failure of the New Deal and the Great Society as policies.
Yet this article is infinitely worse and far more troubling. The right loathes FDR and LBJ with every fiber of its being but I have yet to read any history that argues that neither man was legitimately elected president. The right will argue that everything about the New Deal was a failure, they still feel FDR was little more than a dictator (a feeling that has been held by the right for more than eighty years and was felt by some Democrats at the time) but as far I know none of them have ever question FDR was guilty of rigging any of his four elections. They make a different argument against LBJ about how his campaigning was among the most negative ads against Barry Goldwater (an accurate description) but they will allow that Goldwater had little real chance of winning and that while he lost the battle, long term the GOP won the war. They will still question the fact that JFK stole the Presidency from Richard Nixon in 1960, but in this case they are on firmer ground and I’m still inclined to agree with them.
The argument made by the author in this article is far more troubling and in many ways based on a read of history that completely ignores reality. In this article the left shows that it is just as capable of cherry picking history to reflect a message that makes its points clear.
Here are some of the ‘high’ points:
Nixon bribed South Vietnam to not take a peace deal on the eve of the 1968 election to make sure that he became President.
Gerald Ford is illegitimate because he would never have been President because of Richard Nixon.
Reagan never believed in democracy and arranged a back channel with the leader of Iran to steal the 1980 election from Carter.
Bush was only President because he served under Ronald Reagan, and the criminal investigation of Iran Contra avoided him.
All four of these Presidents appointed Supreme Court justices who, in their eyes, didn’t value democracy. They argue that Sandra O’Connor, one of the greatest justices in history is under the same brush as Scalia and Renquist, because she voted for Bush V. Gore. They argue the same for Anthony Kennedy even though he was the swing vote in the Oberfell decision. They mention David Souter but they ignore him altogether. Stevens was appointed to the court by Ford and he dissented in the Bush V. Gore opinion as did Souter. They ignore that as well.
Finally Trump. When it comes to the left, you don’t need to say anything else. (I will.)
All of this basically involves ignoring every single part of history involved and because I’ve written quite a lot about many of these events, let’s deal with what the author has conveniently chosen to omit.
And it starts in 1960:
In it, the author chooses to reverse how history worked. It argues that Nixon was responsible for every CIA and Mafia plot to assassinate Castro, not Kennedy. The fact that only the Bay of Pigs took place in the aftermath is ignored as well as the fact that later events proved that the Kennedys were responsible for okaying multiple assassination attempts on Castro during JFK’s administration, all of which failed. They also choose to ignore all of the dirty tricks Kennedy played in the election — including of course the voter fraud that took place in Texas and Illinois. They also ignore that Nixon was running a 50 state campaign and by far the cleanest campaign of his career. They also ignore that unlike the Nixon of eight years later, he courted the black vote and was the last Republican candidate to receive more than twenty-five percent of it. They also argue that Nixon took bribes during the 1952 campaign which was pure and simple not true. As is always the case with the left Nixon is always the villain.
Next comes 1968. The author ignores that the Democratic Party was divided about LBJ’s handling of the Vietnam War. They leave out basically every aspect of the Democratic campaign — which is basically everything. McCarthy’s protest vote, RFK entering the race, LBJ withdraw, Humphrey’s entering and locking up the nomination without entering a primary, Robert Kennedy’s assassination, everything that happened in the convention and the halls of Chicago — all of which made it look like Humphrey was going to be trounced in the general against Nixon. The Democratic Party did far more to defeat Humphrey than Nixon’s actions near the end of the campaign.
They also choose to ignore that four years later the leftist wing of the party united behind George McGovern and the Democratic party walked away from him. The fact that Nixon managed to win a landslide in 49 of 50 states does not count in their thinking because in their minds if Nixon hadn’t cheated in 1968, he would never been President in the first place. That said, they have no problem claiming Gerald Ford, who was basically a good man in a horrible situation, was similarly illegitimate even though he believed in democracy more than Nixon did.
Then they choose to argue that Reagan didn’t believe in democracy which is laughable. Reagan had tried to get the Republican nomination for President twice before in 1968 and 1976, both times as an outsider. He believed in the process. Similarly he went through 1980 on a long path to the nomination.
This also absolves Carter from any fault in his campaign, which is just as ridiculous. Carter’s approval ratings were so low by the middle of 1979 that the Party was terrified by what would happen when he stood for reelection and Ted Kennedy launched a primary campaign to unseat him. The hostage crisis more than anything else saved Carter from losing the nomination. The party thought he was a lame duck going in and up until the convention people were trying to get him to step aside in favor of Edmund Muskie and Jerry Brown.
Carter than campaigned horribly throughout the fall, using a poisonous tone that led to him being considered nasty. He also made multiple mistakes that could have helped him, such as refusing to debate third party candidate John Anderson, who had said he’d withdraw if Carter did so. And most importantly Carter could not come up with a reason to vote for him, rather than against Reagan. Despite what happened behind the scenes, Reagan almost certainly would have won anyway. It also ignores the fact that it wasn’t a close election: Reagan carried 45 states and 492 electoral votes.
This article also mentions the nomination of Kennedy as a consequence of the Reagan administration. Again it ignores that Reagan was up for reelection in 1984 and won in an even bigger landslide over Walter Mondale.
Bush 41 is attacked because of his negative campaigning and the fact that he was involved in Iran Contra. This goes out of its way to ignore the utter shitshow that the Democrats were going through in the primaries, including Gary Hart withdrawing because of the Monkey Business scandal, Joe Biden withdrawing early because of an excuse of plagiarism which took out a member of the Dukakis staff and the fact that Dukakis himself campaigned poorly throughout. Again, this was not a close election.
Now when it comes to W the author says he won only because of the Supreme Court. I find this a remarkable interpretation of events as neither side saw much of a difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush. It also conveniently ignores the presence of Ralph Nader, who I’m pretty sure every good leftist was campaigning for.
And of course, there’s Trump. No one can put a single argument that the left did anything wrong. Except…for one small detail the left has been hoping you’ll forget. In a poll that took place in the aftermath of the 2016 election, it was revealed that of those who voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary, eleven percent voted for Trump. Kind of remarkable they never let that fact come out of any complaint in the last decade.
So as history this is truly terrible as it cherry picks facts to make you believe that every Republican only became President because of cheating and that there were no other outside factors that had anything to do with their Presidency. But the implications are far worse.
The left has spent a lot of time over the last decade trying to find a way to explain how, if they are right on every basic principle and value, how the Republicans managed to win the White House seven times between 1968 and 2004. You can’t blame Fox News for what happened prior to 1996 nor the fact that these elections were stolen: as I have mentioned in the four out of five Elections the Republicans won between 1972 and 1988, in each of them they won more than four hundred electoral votes and in two the Republican candidate took 49 of 50 states. How on earth could that have happened if the Democrats were right on everything and the Republicans were wrong?
This article makes a simple argument. None of them were legitimate Presidents, results of the elections be damned. The fact that in four of these cases, millions of more people voted for the Republican over the Democratic candidate, is irrelevant. The fact that in Nixon and Reagan’s landslides, many Democrats voted for the Republican is irrelevant. The message couldn’t be clearer: if you don’t like what the candidate stands for, then they are illegitimate.
The fact that all four of these Presidents did do some good and that all of them were willing to work across the aisle is completely irrelevant too. If anything all of the Democrats who were in Congress should have brought the government to a standstill the moment they were elected. The Democrats should have started impeaching Nixon the day after he took office in 1969 — after all, they had the numbers which were far larger in both Houses of Congress than they are today. No legislation should have been passed at all during Nixon’s first term — after all, it made him look good. Similarly the Democrats should have held hearings the moment Ford became President and demanded a trial for Nixon, pardon be damned. And they should have started impeaching Reagan on day one of his administration and never worked with him.
And the implications for the democratic process are terrifying particularly as we enter an election year. On one hand, the left is arguing that the Republican party is doing everything in its power to destroy democracy as we know it by saying no Democratic victory is legitimate — something quite a few elected officials still say. On the other hand, in an article like this — and this is only the most detailed one I’ve seen — they are arguing that no Republican victory can every truly be legitimate. If you’ve decided that no past Republican victories were real ones, then it’s an easy step to say that no future ones are.
I’ve rarely seen an argument more deliberately inflammatory than this one. For the past decade Democratic candidates are increasingly becoming the ones that accept defeat more easily than Republicans do. An article like this basically says that this is a sucker’s move. It argues that conceding any loss at all, gracious or not, is something that has no place in our democracy if you don’t like the results. It argues that George McGovern and Walter Mondale’s biggest mistakes and candidates was not filing endless lawsuits in every state arguing that the elections were stolen. It argues that neither Al Gore should have ignored the Court’s ruling and that Hilary Clinton should not have conceded on election night. And it argues that in not only next year but all the ones to come, that no Republican President is legitimate even if they get more votes than the Democrat does.
It’s an argument that essentially says that democracy only works if your guy wins. And if it doesn’t you’re free to ignore the results. This ‘history lesson’ by far lays bare that there are those on the left who believe that democracy only works if it is totalitarian for your side, and if it doesn’t anarchy is acceptable. If ever there were an argument about extremists on both sides having the same governing principle, this article is exhibit A.