Trump’s Triumph or Hillary’s Blunders?: Both are factors in the latest 1948 upset election in America

In 1948 republican Thomas Dewey took for granted he was going to win the presidency against incumbent Harry Truman and cut back on his campaigning. Most of the media agreed, yet they were all wrong. Dewey threw away his election just as Al Gore, in the election of 2000, made the same mistake. He was wrong.

Hillary Clinton, who never held press conferences and responded to WikiLeaks charges by trying to change the subject: She never commented on the veracity of the leaks. Her campaign would default into another attack on Donald Trump, which left many voters convinced there was something of substance to WikiLeaks.

There should be no mistake: She ran a disastrous campaign just as Dewey and Gore did (Gore, by the way, in 2000, refused to use the then popular President William Jefferson Clinton to campaign in two critical states that cost Gore the election---Tennessee, Gore’s home state, and West Virginia, traditional democratic states that went for George W. Bush in a close election).

Rigged Against Hillary?

Yes, but some of Hillary Clinton’s supporters are pointing out that this year she narrowly won the popular vote so the system was unfair. The election is determined by electoral votes, which are assigned in a winner take all system state by state. That puts a premium on the states with the biggest number of electoral votes, such as California and New York, which Hillary Clinton carried by huge numbers, and Florida and Texas, which Trump narrowly carried.

But Trump also carried a remarkable number of swing states---states that could have gone either way and that had moderate numbers of electoral votes. Many of these states, such as Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Wisconsin, were traditional democratic states that were well within her reach. Yet she lost all of them. And, in the case of Wisconsin, it was disgracefully lost. She was asked by local democrats to campaign in Wisconsin, yet she never went. She assumed that the state was hers. Be careful what you assume. (Disclaimer: I disliked both major candidates and voted for a third-party candidate).

So she lost by a wide margin in the electoral college and that has many of her supporters crying foul. But there is nothing foul about the rules of the game once both sides agree to them.

Another Narrowly Lost Contest, But It Was Still Lost

I would cite a baseball analogy to describe this system. Remember in 1960 when the New York Yankees lost to the Pirates in seven games in the World Series? Well, the Yankees, collectively, scored about 20 runs more than the Bucs over the course of seven games. Every Yankee win was by a big margin. Every Pirate win was by just a run. The Pirates won the series in seven games.

Does that mean the Pirate series win was illegitimate?

Je crois que non! Not at all.

Clinton made costly mistakes as did Trump but she made the biggest one of all.
Based on flawed polling in the tradition of 1948, she took the election for granted and said little in the last few weeks of the campaign.

Hillary Will Not Answer Any Questions

She never held a press conference! I found the latter amazing. Yet why didn't the mass media make a big deal of that? That was a big deal. Answer: A lot of the mainstream media was obviously in Hillary Clinton’s pocket. I say obviously because there were more than a few members of it who were practically crying on election night.

When there were WikiLeaks, instead of answering them, she immediately changed the subject and started attacking Trump. I was forced to conclude that WikiLeaks was right again and again since she never answered them. She made the same mistakes that Dewey made in 1948 and Gore in 2000.

Those elections were theirs for the taking. They didn't take them. They threw them away and their parties never forgot that. Neither the republicans nor the democrats ever wanted Dewey or Gore to run for president again. Hillary Clinton’s career appears over. Many democrats quietly entertain the same sentiment of Winston Churchill during World War II when the British surrendered Tobruk to the Germans: “Defeat is one thing. Disgrace another.” On many levels, Hillary Clinton’s defeat was a disgrace.

Nevertheless, Hillary Clinton had so many advantages----outspending Trump by a wide margin. She had a mainstream media that loved her. She had a president and first lady who stopped doing their jobs. They devoted their efforts day and night to working for her. That’s even though the Clintons and the Obamas actually hate each other.

As I said I was not in either Trump’s or Clinton’s camp. Most of the pols and the mainstream media sicken me. Most pols of both the left and the right, many Americans now believe, are careerists who will say or do almost anything to win an election. Trump took advantage of a grassroots populism that was above both the republican and democratic establishment.

Still, the election was little more than a curiosity to me. I’m glad I voted libertarian, even though, at times, Gary Johnson, the libertarian presidential candidate, acted like a clown. Still, his philosophy represented a set of values that I and liberty loving people cherish. They call for a peaceful, limited government; one that has an anti-war, trade and peace with all nations, approach. Johnson’s party represents a rejection of the runaway welfare/warfare state that will probably grow over the next four years and would have certainly grown a lot had Hillary and her minions won the election.

The crusade for liberty, for an end to the federal government’s social engineering, its perpetual war for a perpetual peace and outrageous spending and taxing, should never stop.

About The Author

Gregory Bresiger

Gregory Bresiger is an independent business journalist from Queens, New York. His Personal Finance articles have appeared in publications such as The New York Post & Financial Advisor Magazine. He is the author of the eBooks “Personal Finance For People Who Hate Personal Finance” and “MoneySense”.