You know American democracy can't always have a 'West Wing' tone. Mud will be slung! Sexploits will be news! Results will occasionally be fishy! However, there is a cottage industry of people claiming the current negatives of American politics are new. They claim we are a few social changes (and a few purchases of MY NEW BOOK) away from "returning" to a more positive past. A past where noble patriots ran "traditional" campaigns and "did things the right way" and "were not divisive." But what if everything we just put in quotes is wishful fiction? What if most American elections have been...disapppointing? And what if gaining that historical perspective will make your 2020 a lot more tolerable?
On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians & satirists Zack Bornstein (The New Yorker, 'Alternatino') and Adam Tod Brown (Unpopular Opinion podcast network) for forgotten stories of dumb and embarrassing American elections. They'll share tales of corruption, lies, fraud, sex stuff, and other crimes dominating 200+ years of Presidential politics. It turns out the gross U.S. elections you do know about (2000, 2016, and maaaaaybe 1876) are the historical norm -- and boy will that wisdom do wonders for your 2020 mental health.
UVA Miller Center piece on President John Adams' foreign policy -- features Adams' efforts to decrease hostilities with France, and bring an end to the Quasi-War.
Tally of Electoral Votes for the 1800 Presidential Election (archives.gov) -- story of VP candidate Aaron Burr almost stealing Presidency from his running mate Thomas Jefferson. The 12th Amendment (passed 1804) prevented this in future elections.
"Yooo @MittRomney the streets need you!" -- @davonmagwood on Twitter, Feb 24th 2016
William Henry Harrison: Life Before the Presidency (UVA Miller Center) -- partial description of Battle of Tippecanoe: "Harrison ordered a counterattack that was successful in routing the Native Americans by midmorning. The graves of several Indians killed in the battle were dug up and desecrated.
Questions that kill candidates' careers (Politico) -- features CNN reporter Bernard Shaw's planned 1988 tough question for George H.W. Bush: "If he were elected and died before Inauguration Day, how would he feel about Dan Quayle's becoming president?"
The Dirtiest Election (American Heritage) -- more info on 1884 election between Cleveland and Blaine
Warren G. Harding: Campaigns and Elections (UVA Miller Center) -- this confirms Harding conducted a "front porch campaign" in 1920.
interactive electoral map for 2004 U.S. Presidential election (270 To Win) -- if you flip Ohio to Kerry, Kerry wins with 271 votes.
Recounting Ohio (Mother Jones) -- an opinion piece that argues Ohio was not stolen from Kerry in 2004, yet admits major problems like Franklin County (home to Columbus and to Ohio State U.) putting most of its voting machines in pro-Republican precincts, creating long lines in pro-Democrat precincts that drove voters away. Also points out the actions of Republican Ohio Sec. of State Ken Blackwell. "Blackwell's two most potent acts of disenfranchisement, skeptics say, were the purging of 133,000 mostly Democratic voters from the rolls and the non-counting of 92,000 ballots rejected by voting machines as unreadable." In 2004 Bush won Ohio by a total of less than 119,000 votes.
John Kerry's Service Record (Snopes) -- "CLAIM: John Kerry's Vietnam War service medals (a Bronze Star, a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts) were earned under "fishy" circumstances. STATUS OF CLAIM: False."
Our goal shouldn't be life, liberty, and the pursuit of ALWAYS FREAKING OUT.
Cash rules everything around you (and in the weirdest ways).
Not all heroes wear capes. Many of them wear their Netflix Binge Sweatpants.
Plus one insane calendar system you're using right now.