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Marokai Besieged
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« on: September 27, 2012, 08:25:38 am »
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Even If It Takes a Bloodbath.



"These so-called "peace rallies" across America have been a haven for negroes, sex deviants, communist sympathizers, and godless students only interested in chaos. My Administration will restore order to this great country, even if it takes a bloodbath. No more appeasement."
- President-elect Ronald Reagan. November 26th, 1968.



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« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 08:31:49 am by Marokai Béliqueux »Logged

Marokai Besieged
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2012, 08:26:39 am »
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1968: All This Excitement About Ronnie.


Nancy Reagan, looking onward at her husbands unlikely acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.

President Lyndon Johnson's announcement in the wake of the '68 New Hampshire primary that military campaigns were on hold in Vietnam, and that he would no longer seek the office of the Presidency, wasn't taken with a great deal of shock. The nation's trust in the Johnson Administration had cratered within the last year, and Republican challengers knew the office would soon be theirs for the taking.

And yet perhaps the only thing rivaled Johnson's political unpopularity, was the personal unpopularity of one Richard Nixon. Recently elected Governor of California, Ronald Reagan suffered from no such unpopularity, and late in 1967 decided upon making the concerted effort to contest the nomination of the Republican Party, hoping that voters would seem him as a charismatic and reasonable compromise candidate between the Liberal wing of Nelson Rockefeller and George Romney, and former Vice President Richard Nixon.

A few months before the New Hampshire primary, George Romney claimed in an interview that many American soldiers had been "brainwashed" regarding the Vietnam conflict, and his poll numbers fell shortly thereafter, providing Governor Reagan the opportunity he had been seeking to break through, doing interviews complimenting the troops for their service and spreading a message of having charismatic and "honorable" American leadership in a President. Visits to New Hampshire spreading this message to media outlets paid off for Reagan, as Nixon claimed an identical percentage in victory from the New Hampshire primary as President Johnson before his withdrawl; a mere 50%.

As Johnson withdrew from the Democratic nomination, many speculated that Richard Nixon would do the same, but he did not. Attention and focus swirled around Reagan in the news media (affectionately referred to by many of his supporters as "Ronnie"), while Nixon and his many challengers seemed to wither in comparison. Nixon halted much of this momentum by winning a 65% victory in the Wisconsin primary, but he was stopped right in his tracks by a victory in Pennsylvania by Ohio Governor James Rhodes, who had been running a campaign strictly within Ohio and neighboring primary states of Pennsylvania and Indiana. As Rhodes ran a rather anti-Nixon focused campaign, many of Reagan, Rockefeller, and other challengers' supporters flocked to Rhodes to register their desire for a leader who was not plagued by his past as Nixon was considered to be.

The "Not Nixon Again?!" movement scored another victory a week later, as Massachusetts voted in favor of its incumbent Governor John Volpe, by the thinnest of margins; 32% to Rockefeller's 27%, with Reagan surprisingly in third with 20%, ahead of Richard Nixon, a moral victory for the Reagan campaign.

The primary results continued to be mediocre to outright bad for Nixon as the primary calendar progressed. Indiana? Nixon, but only barely ahead of Rhodes. Ohio? Rhodes, by using his influence to be the only one on the ballot in his home state, managed to win a full slate of Ohio delegates. Washington D.C.? Nixon, followed by Reagan and Rockefeller virtually tied in the high 20s. Nebraska and West Virginia followed a week later, and in retrospect was considered the time and place that the tide finally broke in Reagan's favor; he scored a victory in both.

The West Virginia victory was considered a shocking win, but it wasn't so shocking to Team Reagan. Throughout the primary season, Reagan had spent time privately very close with Southern politicians deep within the South and along the "borderline." This work paid off days later, when Reagan won the Florida (and Oregon) primaries. By this point, Reagan had become a media darling, in contrast to Nixon's public image as a ruthless boss type figure, trying to deviously plot his way to victory behind the scenes. "The people," Reagan would claim that evening, "are with me all the way."

Not all of the people, it would turn out later, as Nixon scored a surprisingly strong victory in New Jersey, and, managing to be the only one on the ballot, in South Dakota as well. Reagan was still sitting pretty though; he was the only one on the ballot in California, and being a popular Governor of the state, his total popular vote margin during the primaries skyrocketed, far above the others. Nixon would go on to win the Illinois primary by a weak margin a few days later, but it was a silver lining for Nixon in a much bigger dark cloud.


The '68 Conventions.


Protesters outside of the Democratic National Convention clash with the Illinois National Guard during demonstrations.

The 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago was, to put it mildly, an utter catastrophe. Swarmed outside by protestors, nosy reporters uncovering deep divisions inside the convention itself, and no real notion of who would be the nominee, the convention is remembered more for the chaos that ensued rather than the eventual nomination of Hubert Humphrey and Edmund Muskie.

Anti-war protestors and racially motivated riots inspired by the assassinations earlier in the year of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy broke something deep within the Democratic's Party's psyche, and if there were doubts before that the Party could recover from that psychological damage, the Convention cemented those doubts for what would end up being the entire campaign season. Kennedy delegates loathed Eugene McCarthy, and were no fan of Humphrey's policies on the Vietnam War. Despite not participating that much in the primary season whatsoever, Humphrey emerged out of the chaos as the nominee with little organization.

In comparison to the Republican National Convention, the Democratic Party looked like a basket case. With 667 delegates necessary to secure the nomination for President, Reagan entered the first round of the convention with 402 to Nixon's 415. Nixon played to the establishment of the party behind the scenes, while Reagan took to the floor to individually talk with lesser candidates and delegates openly, and with a smile. Several lower tier candidates dropped out of the race, distributing to Nixon, Reagan, Rhodes, and Rockefeller.

The second round of voting resulted in Nixon's count rising to 507 to Reagan's 484. Nixon's campaign team behind the scenes grew increasingly worried about their position, as typically a leader of a convention tally that doesn't win soon can quickly become overwhelmed by the opposition; a well-founded worry. Governors Romney and Rhodes announced they would withdraw from the convention count, and encouraged their delegates to vote in Reagan's favor. Reacting to the news, Rockefeller withdrew, and released his delegates to "vote their conscience." The third and final count resulted in Reagan's ascension to the nomination. Reagan's final count: 709, barely more than required to be the nominee, but Reagan wasn't about to argue.

Many Rockefeller delegates refused to vote for either candidate, and continued to vote for the withdrawn Rockefeller regardless. Nixon's last count was a mere 585. Fuming, Nixon formally conceded the nomination and immediately left Miami. This would, in all likelihood, be the end of Nixon's political career. In return for his crucial help in receiving the nomination, Reagan would go on to choose Ohio Governor James Rhodes as his Vice Presidential candidate, as well as his electoral strategic value.
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Marokai Besieged
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2012, 08:27:33 am »
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The 1968 General Election.


American Independent Party candidate, Governor of Alabama George Wallace, speaking to the press in August 1968.

The Democratic National Convention had sold the narrative that the Democratic Party was a deeply fractured, radicalized group that seemed lost in the Vietnam Era. Boldly beginning his formal campaign in Mississippi, of all places, Governor Reagan began the general election declaring "I believe in states rights. I believe in freedom. I believe through education, not forced desegregation, we can all co-exist." Refusing to support forced desegregated busing, as well as supporting increased law enforcement presence in major urban areas and strict anti-protest laws, Reagan quickly gained the image of an unforgiving law and order candidate.

This image deeply concerned George Wallace, candidate of the American Independent Party in defiance of the national Democrats, as his strategy depended on causing a divided electorate to throw the election to the House, where he believed he could win. Wallace fiercely campaigned to the appeal of Southern whites and "the union men" to great success. Humphrey, left in Reagan's dust and trailing him by double digits, was bleeding suburban support to Reagan and labor support to Wallace. Repeatedly challenging Reagan to televised debates, Reagan ducked these requests taking the safe road, campaigning throughout South and Midwest.

While Wallace was a proud Southern man, he was on the ballot in all states, and would from time to time dare to campaign in traditionally considered safely Democratic states, to pick off Humphrey support. It paid off, as polls showed Wallace winning white males and half of all men from a union household.

Reagan campaigned in a markedly conservative manner in a direct attempt to outflank Wallace as he attempted to campaign ever more North, to try and permanently shift Southern Democratic allegiance to the Republican Party, campaigning against recent decisions from the Supreme Court on education and matters of religion, promising to appoint "responsible" judges who would be more reserved in their decisionmaking. Again outmaneuvering Wallace, Reagan pledged to immediately search for strategies to "secure victory in Vietnam," which was viewed more favorably as a moderate position on the war than Humphrey or Wallace were offering.

Meanwhile, labor unions went to work feverishly on Humphrey's behalf late into the campaign to win the support back, but the damage done to Humphrey from the public image of the DNC was too much to bear. While Humphrey had success winning some voters from the liberal wing of the Republican Party in New York and New England, he could never break out of the image the convention had laid on the Party, and strugged to outshine Reagan's sunny enthusiasm and public support.



Ronald Reagan/James Rhodes (R), PV 44.89%, EV 387
Hubert Humphrey/Edmund Muskie (D), PV 35.83%, EV 96
George Wallace/Curtis Lemay (AI), PV 18.45%, EV 56
Other Candidates (Assorted Parties), PV .83%, EV 0

House of Representatives:

Democratic Party: 233 (-15)
Republican Party: 201 (+14)
American Independent: 1 (+1)

Senate:

Democratic Party: 55 (-7)
Republican Party: 45 (+7)
American Independent: 0


George Wallace's plan had backfired. Instead of denying either candidate an electoral majority, he primarily ate into Humphrey support throughout the South, Midwest, and white members of the labor movement in Pennsylvania and New York. Though Humphrey managed to pick up enough disaffected liberal Republican votes in New England to tilt that region more in his favor than expected due to Reagan's surprisingly right-wing campaign, union work and ads late in the campaign only slightly managed to repair the damage that had been done to his campaign throughout the summer. Humphrey had been a dead man walking, but at least his electoral corpse looked better on election night than it had in early October.

Reagan's campaign wasn't successful at blocking much of Wallace's advance in the South, but they managed to turn many minds in Texas and the outer South in their favor for what would soon turn to be an impressive re-aligning of national politics in the outer Southern states. Reagan's charismatic conservatism and light race baiting worked for him, to only limited repercussions due to the unpopularity of Humphrey's campaign. Republicans picked up greater than expected seats in the House and Senate, though still denied a majority in either, Reagan anticipated he could form a working ideological majority in the weak House Majority with many of the so named "Boll Weevil" Democrats of the South who were Democrats more due to tradition than anything else.

America was badly damaged due to continuing and widespread social unrest. Reagan was about to begin the crackdown.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 08:30:08 am by Marokai Béliqueux »Logged

Oldiesfreak1854
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2012, 01:23:04 pm »
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Even If It Takes a Bloodbath.



"These so-called "peace rallies" across America have been a haven for negroes, sex deviants, communist sympathizers, and godless students only interested in chaos. My Administration will restore order to this great country, even if it takes a bloodbath. No more appeasement."
- President-elect Ronald Reagan. November 26th, 1968.



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Reagan initially supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act and said he believed it "should be enforced at gunpoint if necessary."  He was not a racist, regardless of whatever liberals may say.
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2012, 02:36:09 pm »
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This is awesome!
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Mechaman
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2012, 02:39:51 pm »
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First off, good job.  Of course it's almost impossible to make a bad 1968 Election TL, but this one seems to have taken a very interesting turn.

But, I must second Oldiesfreak's comments.  Granted, Reagan did ultimately oppose the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as a non-politician), but I doubt he would include the "negroes" with "sex deviants, communist sympathizers, and godless students".

Just saying.
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2012, 04:55:13 pm »
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While I agree with the others on the "negro" comment, I don't think it would be much of a big deal for him to say that in 1968 as it would be in 1980. Great timeline, this is going to be a good one. I love the details, and the pictures are great too Smiley
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Marokai Besieged
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2012, 06:14:04 pm »
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I thank everyone for the compliments.

As for Reagan, what Sanchez says deserves repeating. 1968 isn't 1988; society was a lot more tolerant of casually racist comments in 68 than they were even a few years later. Wallace in this TL ended up winning nearly 20% of the vote, society doesn't mind hearing that message. Reagan campaigned a ferociously southern strategy, which will lead to the South becoming nearly unwinnable for Democrats several election cycles early.

The inherent premise here is Reagan winning in '68 but also running the republicans in a more conservative direction than they'd been at the time, and sparking and supporting the modern conservative movement much earlier (and subsequently, radicalizing the conservative movement much sooner). A right-wing campaign in 1968 is going to be inextricably tied to a racial message, it's unavoidable.
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2012, 06:16:27 pm »
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I have a bad feeling about the title. Reminds me of a comment someone made in Historico's "Ronnie in '68" timeline, about Reagan wanting "war on America's campuses". Tongue Nonetheless, very interesting to see where this goes.
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2012, 07:35:09 pm »
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I am curious to see if Reagan picks Kissinger for any position, or will he prove to be tainted by his strong history with Rockefeller?
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2012, 07:52:56 pm »
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I have a bad feeling about the title. Reminds me of a comment someone made in Historico's "Ronnie in '68" timeline, about Reagan wanting "war on America's campuses". Tongue Nonetheless, very interesting to see where this goes.

This.  Also Kissinger for SecState would be awesome!  Or even Nixon?  Reagan would probably want to give him something, maybe SecState, Ambassador to UN, Ambassador to China (coolness), or maybe even Chief Justice!  That would be something.

Anyway keep up the good work man!
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« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2012, 10:17:27 am »
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Even If It Takes a Bloodbath.



"These so-called "peace rallies" across America have been a haven for negroes, sex deviants, communist sympathizers, and godless students only interested in chaos. My Administration will restore order to this great country, even if it takes a bloodbath. No more appeasement."
- President-elect Ronald Reagan. November 26th, 1968.



(Reserved for later use.)
Reagan initially supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act and said he believed it "should be enforced at gunpoint if necessary."  He was not a racist, regardless of whatever liberals may say.
Errr...no, he opposed the civil rights act of 1964, at least in every single source I've found.  It was on bullsh*t "state's rights" grounds.  And he campaigned with Strom Thurmond (who never renounced his own racism) and opposed sanctions on apartheid South Africa.  Oh, and he also called Mandela a terrorist. 
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Jerseyrules
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« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2012, 03:56:06 pm »
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Even If It Takes a Bloodbath.



"These so-called "peace rallies" across America have been a haven for negroes, sex deviants, communist sympathizers, and godless students only interested in chaos. My Administration will restore order to this great country, even if it takes a bloodbath. No more appeasement."
- President-elect Ronald Reagan. November 26th, 1968.



(Reserved for later use.)
Reagan initially supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act and said he believed it "should be enforced at gunpoint if necessary."  He was not a racist, regardless of whatever liberals may say.
Errr...no, he opposed the civil rights act of 1964, at least in every single source I've found.  It was on bullsh*t "state's rights" grounds.  And he campaigned with Strom Thurmond (who never renounced his own racism) and opposed sanctions on apartheid South Africa.  Oh, and he also called Mandela a terrorist. 

Well I'm not sure about the Civil Rights Act, but Strom renounced his racism towards the end.  He remained unapologetic for his earlier views though, saying that "at the time the nation wasn't ready" or some such thing.
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Endorsements:
President: Hillary Clinton
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« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2012, 04:02:52 pm »
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Considering that Reagan began his 1980 campaign near the site of the murder of civil rights workers with a speech about "states right", I think this portrayal of him 12 years earlier when it was a lot easier to get away with this stuff is completely fair.
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« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2012, 04:22:29 pm »
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Considering that Reagan began his 1980 campaign near the site of the murder of civil rights workers with a speech about "states right", I think this portrayal of him 12 years earlier when it was a lot easier to get away with this stuff is completely fair.

I agree.  I was just responding about Strom - there might be 10 people in the country who are against the VRA or CRA, but it seems Reagan seemed to out-racist Nixon and Wallace without ever coming across as being racist by being more pragmatic about it.  He'll probably slow civil rights down as much as possible but some in his party might force his hand.
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Quote
FOOL!  I AM Cathcon!

Endorsements:
President: Hillary Clinton
Governor: Brown (CA), Corbett (PA), Scott (FL)
House: Emken (CA)
Other: Rob McCoy (CA Assembly)

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