I despised Richard Nixon. That said, I would vote for him over Donald Trump in a heartbeat. At least that venal, rat bastard knew how the world and politics worked. The latter he understood intimately.
Trump’s favorite mantra now is how the election will be stolen in “those” communities. As he says, “You know what I mean.” Yes Donald, we do all too well. With that idea bouncing around in that coke-fueled velociraptor’s mind, Don’s not sure if he’ll concede the election if, horrors, he loses. With Trump’s over inflated ego, he knows he never loses. Donald always wins bigly.
So any loss must be fraud. It’s rigged by the International cabal of bankers, media, the elites, the FBI, DoJ, USPS, actual Billionaires, Saturday Night Live, the Republican establishment, foul Democrats, the Masons and the Illuminati.
He has veered into full tin foil hat Infowars territory dragging the Republican Party hopes of victory with him. Under this conspiracy The Donald is hinting he likely won’t concede when he loses. After all he’ll lose due to massive fraud and the election will be stolen. It can’t be a legitimate win by a superior, sane candidate.
The election will, as always, be decided in the Electoral College. A concession is simply a recognition the candidate lost a hard fought election and is a call for supporters to accept the results. It’s a political tradition observed across all American elections from the local to the national. It’s simply class, something that clementine-colored cretin sorely lacks, and he appears to be proud of that fact. After all, a graceful concession is so PC.
Donald’s willful ignorance of how campaigns are waged, won and lost allows him to deny reality at the expense of a centuries old American tradition calling for peaceful transition of power.
Now, if anyone understood possible election fraud resulting in a potentially stolen election it’s Richard Nixon.
1960. That contest was also a hard-fought election. It still ranks as one of the closest in history.
It was Nixon, the old school knife fighter, against Jack Kennedy of the liberal Massachusetts elite political class. 1960 was a study in contrasts in the first television election. Nixon was uniquely unsuited for the visual medium. He looked swarthy and shifty compared to the young handsome, charismatic U.S. Senator from Boston. The question about Nixon that swirled was “Would you buy a used car from this man?” For half the country the answer was NO.
The 1960 election was also the beginning of the destruction of old fashioned machine politics that for all intents and purposes died with Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago. The death throes started with the days of rage in 1968 Chicago and continued with the bitter, divisive 1972 convention. Jack Kennedy was a product of the Boston Irish Democratic Machine that made Massachusetts so blue it was the only state McGovern carried.
Richard Nixon rose to prominence as a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). With the Hiss investigation behind him, Dick showed he was ready to be a star of the Red Scare and was elected to the Senate.
He was friendly with and a sometime ally of Joe McCarthy during his time in the Senate. Eisenhower tapped Nixon to give Ike some anti-commie credentials in the relentless cold war. Nixon, by then, was a favorite of GOP era cold warriors as a prolific Red Baiter. The Kitchen Debate with Khrushchev was a media sensation. Nixon had made the Vice President’s office into a strong political base for himself.
In 1960 Nixon became the Republican standard-bearer by virtue of being Ike’s Vice President. His hard-line against the worldwide Red Menace, tough defense stands and rather moderate domestic agenda attracted strong support. Nixon was a policy wonk before the word or idea came into popular thought. He pushed himself as an everyday American. Dick had grown up poor and worked his way through a small college.
Nixon also pressed his experience as Vice President since he wouldn’t need on the job training. That sounds familiar.
Dick named Senator Henry Cabot Lodge (R-MA) to shore up Nixon’s flank with the East Coast wing of the GOP and attack JFK in his home State.
Jack Kennedy was wealthy, a war hero (PT 109) and a Harvard grad. JFK as a first term Senator used his charisma and oratory skills to beat LBJ and Hubert Humphrey in most of the few Democratic primaries. Kennedy had to deal with anti-Catholic bias rampant in the US.
In an attempt to get ahead of that Jack gave a speech in Houston to put to bed the fears he’d take marching orders from the Vatican. Kennedy shored up his weakness in the Bible Belt by giving the VP slot to Lyndon Johnson, a bitter rival.
The race was tight. Nixon and Kennedy agreed to the first Presidential debate. It may have been the most decisive debate ever.
Kennedy showed up tanned and relaxed from a stay at the Kennedy compound in Florida.
Nixon arrived recovering from a knee injury.
Jack was made for TV. He was photogenic, relaxed and understood television’s potential. He used an experienced makeup person backstage. Nixon passed on extensive makeup. The result was he looked nervous and shifty, sweating under the lights with a five o’clock shadow.
Unlike today’s standards the debate was amicable and issue driven. The two were so evenly matched that those who saw the debate on TV thought Kennedy had won. Those who listened on radio (Yes, that was a thing) felt Nixon had won. It was instrumental in the election results.
As were rumors of outright fraud and theft.
Jack Kennedy won the 1960 election by 113,000 votes. In many states the margin was razor thin. Nixon picked up California after a recount. Kennedy carried Texas by 46,000. Since Johnson was from Texas and dogged by rumors of election theft in his early career many saw his fingerprints on the results.
Chicago and Mayor Daley under who vote early, vote often was an accepted view of Cook County elections making the numbers suspect. JFK carried Cook County by 450,000 votes and Illinois by 9,000 votes.
Republicans were outraged and challenged results in Dem strongholds across the country.
Nixon publicly rejected the idea the election was stolen. In private he was sure it was. However Nixon took the visible high road as the party filed losing lawsuits, forced recounts and investigations wherever they felt there was Democratic chicanery.
Nixon while claiming that high ground, distanced himself from efforts to prove the election was stolen. That effort failed spectacularly. There’s a line from Oliver Stone’s Nixon saying they stole it fair and square. The conventional wisdom is, as observed by the Chicago Sun and others was when an election is stolen in Cook County, it stays stolen.
The National GOP folded their attempts to challenge the results when the Electoral College certified that John Kennedy was the President Elect. Others kept trying for a while “independent” of the candidate’s committee.
Nixon conceded following the election. In spite of feeling he was robbed. He knew a prolonged fight over the legitimacy of the election would be devastating blow to the country. He actually did the right thing. It kept him from being seen as a sore loser.
That perception would have marked the end of Dick’s political career. As it was he spent the next eight years rebuilding his brand. That brand was damaged a bit after he lost his Gubernatorial bid in California. He tossed out “You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore.”
Because he conceded in 1960 Nixon was able to hunker down, lick his wounds and then explode back on the scene like a meth-addled, rabid raccoon. Without avoiding a crisis of confidence there would have been no Nixon Presidency.
Should Trump refuse to accept the election results following 11/8 he will destroy himself. There will be no comeback. No absolution. A refusal to endorse the results as legitimate will only rile his base. Already many are sure the fix is in and will never accept Hillary as a duly elected POTUS.
The results will be ugly. Likely more ugly than what the right and alt-right felt about President Obama’s election. And reelection. After all, far too many of the Trump cultists have a tenuous grip on reality to begin with.
Nixon, a paranoid viper, conceded when there were legitimate concerns about theft of the election. Trump must do the same. It’s the good of the country over his massive ego. His staff must browbeat him, while confiscating his phone and breaking his fingers, into doing the right thing once in this long national nightmare of an election. For the good of the country he must finally do the right thing. Finally.