Sunday, August 9, 2015

GOP Ran A Businessman Like Trump Before To Greatest Vote Success



The political enemies of Donald Trump from left and right and of course the media have run multiple memes trying to discredit his ,so far, runaway, campaign. I have kept a tally of most of them as they "progress" and fall away and am up to 22 at the moment.

One of the reasons the worthies give that Trump is not suited for the presidency is that he has no governing experience in the political arena. It would be a more than valid answer to point  out that some of the worst disasters in that high office have come from candidates who were elected because of their supposed prowess in governing but taking to the high road the best response is to show that in point of fact we have been here before.

A number of people have been elected to the presidency from outside of congress. Generals Jackson/Harrison/Taylor/Grant and Eisenhower, a number from the ranks of Secretary's of State War and Commerce. In 1940 The Republican Party chose a man from the business  community Wendell Willkie, who had no history whatsoever of being in elective office as their standard bearer and the result was exceptional.

Wilkie, like Trump and Reagan before him was a former liberal Democrat who, through his belief in a strong business community as the best formula for American progress joined the Republicans. Wilkie was a corporate lawyer for major utility company who "supported new Deal programs that dealt with problems that could not be better solved by private enterprise but otherwise was a strong proponent of the private enterprise system."

Through his work in that area and especially through his debating skills defending private enterprise on radio he became of national note and gained support tin the Republican Party as the election of 1940 loomed.
His liberal foreign policy views where he presented an anti-isolationist and strong support for beleaguered England gained him the nomination at a time of foreign policy crisis.

Willkie's rise to the nomination and full background can be found at  this entry

Apart from the similarities to the current Trump campaign what is of particular note is not that he wasn't elected as president. That is almost besides the point as no opponent of President Roosevelt., a hero to millions, could have been elected at such a time of national crisis, a country still coming out of the worst depression in its history and on the verge of war. What is of particular note is how Willkie did under near impossible circumstances.

The Republican party was at its lowest ebb in its history. President Hoover had been defeated in a landslide by Roosevelt in 1932 and in 1936 the defeat was the most devastating in the history of the party  (exceeded only  in presidential elections by Reagan's defeat of Mondale in 1984). Here is the result in 1936 when Roosevelt kept the GOP to only Maine and Vermont

At at time of crisis with Roosevelt having an unprecedented landslide behind him and the country in crisis Willkie through his offering of a return to pro-business, pro-capitalism for the economy whilst ensuring a safety net for the disadvantaged and America was kept safe at home and abroad through support of her traditional allies transformed the Republican situation in the popular vote.

At the election Willkie added nearly 6 million more votes to the GOP's column than had the previous nominee Landon in 1936. His 16,679,543 votes was the highest vote total for a Republican in its previous history and he held that honor till 1952 nearly a hundred years from the founding of the GOP in 1856. His carry of ten states was more than Hoover and Landon's combined total and only two less than Dewey's in 1944.

History that a candidate for the presidency who promotes the values that Willkie and Trump do can succeed against the odds. Wilkie to the nomination and greatly improved performance, certainly better than career politicians. 

Trump, a successful businessman, as opposed to potential candidates who were unsuccessful in business, has every chance to outdo the historical platform that Willkie has provided from the business community and repeat Ronald Reagan's achievement in election and office