My South Carolina Election Board recently queried me. They noticed that I had not voted in a while. Was I still alive and at the same address? I answered affirmatively. I was pleased to see that they were so much on the ball. And they were right---I had lost interest in voting some time back.
I was tired of being a loser, even when my candidate won. I voted for Goldwater in 1964 and Wallace in 1968. I never had any trust in Nixon, nor in any Bush, major or minors. I voted for a winner, Reagan (once) in 1980, although I already knew that with Bush on the ticket the Establishment had a rope around his neck and we would never see the promised reforms. The promised reduction of government was turned on its head.
I punched a hole for Buchanan in 2000. To tell the truth, I can’t remember whether I bothered to vote for Trump in 2016. I figured I had done my duty by writing good stuff about his candidacy. And I was happy that the Yankee dude had easily demolished a dozen empty-suit pygmies that were touted as the best and brightest of the Republican party. Another Bush would have meant certain death for the country. But as soon as I saw Pence on the ticket I knew that the Establishment had things under control and the grassroots rebellion had no chance. This conclusion was quickly confirmed by Trump’s top appointments.
So, as for voting, I was tired of the whole thing and sure that my little act was irrelevant. For added irritation, just on my way from the polling place not too long ago, a young policeman pulled me over. There was a very light rain and I was guilty of not having on my headlights. The home of the brave and the land of the free.
Politicians are astir about the importance of our “early” Republican primary in South Carolina. I am too bewildered to even know what to do. I would like Trump to win. I long ago lost any faith in him. I can’t see that he has learned anything that would make him a better Chief Executive. But he has all the right enemies, is the only contender with a real grassroots following, and we can entertain a desperate hope that he might actually do something. Anyway, I can’t see that the voting will make any difference at all. No matter the vote totals, Establishment Republicans and Democrat vote stealers will make sure that the candidate of the “deplorables” never gets in.
DeSantis started to look good for a while. He talked the talk and even walked the walk a little bit now and then. Now I am receiving every other day large, slick, coloured mailings on his behalf. These are exactly like the ones I get from Lispey Graham whenever he is up. They smack of money---Establishment? Adelson? DeSantis may be thinking he is helping himself but he is acting like a tool of the Republicans’ ruling politicians.
The message I am receiving is less pro-DeSantis than it is anti-Trump. We are warned that Trump will lose and carry the whole party down with him. Why should I care about saving the Republican party? I have been writing for 40 years that it is the biggest obstacle that exists to any conservative success. The best thing that Trump has done, as my friend Ilana Mercer has pointed out, is to shake up our smug rulers. The empty shell of the Republican party is breaking into fragments. It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of frauds.
I am tempted to vote in the Democratic primary for RFK Jr. The poor guy has the same voice trouble I have, he tells the truth now and then, and it might damage Biden.
I hope our Reckonin readers are not like the naïve run of Americans who actually believe that elections are honest. There has never been a completely honest election. Why should politicians, psychopaths seeking power over others for whom they have contempt, behave honestly when they have so much at risk? (“I feel your pain.”)
Government of, by, and for the people? American are blissfully ignorant of how many time men have got into the White House with less than 50% of the popular vote. (I am not criticizing the Electoral College that the Founders designed as an exercise in high statesmanship. That was destroyed by the tricks of party operatives long ago.)
Facts: Presidents who were elected without a majority popular vote:
1824, J.Q. Adams 30.9%; 1844, Polk, 49.5%; 1848, Taylor, 47.3%; 1856, Buchanan, 45.3%, 1860, Lincoln, 39.9%; 1876,Hayes, 48%, (win stolen for him by Congressional Republicans against the winning candidate); 1880, Garfield, 48.3%, (with only a .01 count over his opponent); 1884, Cleveland, 48.5 %; 1888, Harrison, 47.8%; 1892, Cleveland, 46.1 %; 1912, Wilson, 41.8%; 1916, Wilson, 49.2%; 1948 Truman, 49.4%; 1960, Kennedy, 49.7 (stolen for him in Chicago); 1968, Nixon, 43.4%; 1992, Clinton, 43%; 1996, Clinton 49.2%; 2000, little Bush, 47.9%, (stolen for him in court); 2016, Trump, 46%; 2020, Biden, (stolen).
In some cases, these minority Presidents were catastrophes, especially Lincoln, Wilson, and little Bush. A good many other Presidents, some considered popular, never got beyond the 50-52% range.
Clyde Wilson is a distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of South Carolina He is the author or editor of over thirty books and published over 600 articles, essays and reviews