Book Trailer For Madam President

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Has There Ever Been an Election Like This Before? Yes 1876 and it was even worse.

 Recounts and all. Ruther B. Hayes and Samuel Tilden in 1876. Hayes the Republican lost to Tilden in the popular vote by an even wider margin than Trump to Clinton. And the election was rancorous and racist. Here is the kicker. Tilden won the electoral as well. So Hayes lost the popular and the electoral college. One would think he was done. Not so in 1876. Hayes called the election rigged. Sound familiar? And demanded that there be a massive recount. There was and in the end Hayes turned four states republican under the cloud of voter fraud in the recount! Still, it didn't matter, Ruther B. Hayes snatched the election from Tilden and became President.

So what does this mean to us. We have Jill Stein who probably lost the election for Clinton with her Green party. A fact she ignores by saying both candidates were equally bad and she was the logical alternative. And so the recount begins with Trump saying he could have won the popular except there was voter fraud. The Clinton's are standing on the sidelines technically but watching every carefully.  No one thinks Steins recount will prove anything but if we look back to 1876 we see there are no certainties. It gets even worse. A back room deal decided the election in 1876  when 20 disputed electoral votes came into play with the Democratic bosses agreeing to throw the election to the republicans if they wouold withdraw Federal Troosp from the South. In essence Tilden won but became a victim to a back room deal called the compromise of f 1877.

So what does this mean? Hayes had both the electoral and the popular vote against him and he turned it around to win. A recount is a public assessment of the election and in a democracy this is important. It gives both sides a chance to make sure nothing was missed. And upsets do happens. Back room deals happen. Think if Hayes had walked away and not challenged the results in the four states that turned the tide. Hillary too lost in four crucial states and she has one up on Hayes, she won the popular. Rutherford would have killed for that advantage.

Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson

Books by William Hazelgrove