Days of Change

Beating the Odds | November 20, 2016

I was a Mitt Romney opponent for months in 2012 but eventually grew to like his combative spirit before the general election. One of the reasons I couldn’t get on the Trump Train is because I went through all this crap before. I thought the polls were wrong and people were really sick of Obama. There’s 100 ways that Romney ran a bad campaign, but we would be saying it about Trump is Romney had gotten another 300,000 votes in the right places or Trump lost a couple hundred thousand in the wrong places.

The other reason I don’t like Trump is that he’s not a Republican. While the president sets the tone for the party, their influence on the party is not assured. Trump attacked his opponents during the primaries. Most candidates do. However, he also went after former president George W. Bush and the party structure during the general election. Populism is a good strategy, but any party can come along and peddle it. In 2000, Trump tried to take Ross Perot’s Reform Party over and slap the name Trump on it, but failed. This time, he sets his sights higher.

So, what’s the point of this screed? It’s that the Manhattanite Miracle might appear to beat the odds, but isn’t actually all that spectacular. Here’s some points to ponder.

  • Since the Nixon impeachment, we’ve only had a couple of one term presidents. One was Jimmy Carter, who was literally under terrorist attack from Iran, and George H. W. Bush, who suffered from the next point.
  • Reelection is easy, but three-peats for a party are nearly impossible. Since the passage of the 22nd Amendment in 1951, Republicans and Democrats have had 8 year presidential terms, except for Carter, who only made it to 4 and George H. W. Bush, who extended it to 12 then lost with 39% of the vote in 1992.
  • Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush and Al Gore were all Vice-Presidents who tried to get 12 years out an administration. only Bush succeeded.
  • It seems really unfair that the popular vote winner loses the Electoral vote. The only problem is that the “winner” historically does not get the majority of the popular vote. Trump and Clinton got below 50%. So did Al Gore.

Americans seem to get tired of the same thing, but end up picking the previous thing to replace it. Like George W. Bush, Donald Trump slid in with a few losses in Congress. This bodes well for 2018, especially since the Senate is in the GOP’s favor, but not in 2022. If Trump wants to get stuff done, he’d better do it soon.

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