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Davis ’24!

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I still maintain the greatest mistake The Atlantic ever made was not going hardcore for John Davis in 1924.

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  • Colin Day

    Why not LaFollette?

    • Because third parties are a total waste of time, then and now.

      To be fair though, LaFollette’s hair was awesome.

      • mikeSchilling

        It’s why his nickname was “LaFollicles”. (Well, it should have been.)

      • Manny Kant

        I think in 1924 Coolidge was probably the lesser evil if you’re going to refuse to vote for LaFollette. Davis wasn’t actually pro-Klan, but he was certainly a candidate who was seen as acceptable to the pro-Klan elements within the Democratic Party. (and in 1952, he was arguing before the Supreme Court in favor of school segregation)

        Coolidge wasn’t much better, but I’m hard-pressed to see any particular area where Davis was preferable (he favored US entry into the League of Nations, I guess? That might be it).

        If there’s ever an election where voting for the third party candidate on the grounds that the other two candidates were equally bad was completely valid, I think 1924 would fit the bill.

        Davis also got totally slaughtered. He got the lowest percentage of the popular vote of any Democratic candidate in history (except for Breckinridge, but Douglas beat him), lost by the second-largest popular vote margin, and holds the dubious distinction of being the last Democrat to lose New York City, which even McGovern and Mondale managed to win.

        • LeeEsq

          Nothing substantial was going to be done on the pressing issues of the day because Americans were generally still tired of liberal reform, the economy was booming, and most White Americans just wanted to enjoy the good times.

        • rea
        • osceola

          Wasn’t that the convention that went to 104 ballots before they finally settled on Davis? No wonder he did so poorly. Half the party workers who do the actual GOTV work didn’t like him.

          • Incontinentia Buttocks

            It’s worth remembering that, until FDR changed the party’s rules in the 1930s, the Democrats required a 2/3 supermajority of delegates for nomination (this tended to effectively give the South veto power over the nominee).

      • Colin Day

        And Davis wasn’t a total waste of time? 28.8%

  • partisan

    Unless you have a regional base which can potentially play spoiler in the electoral college (Thurmond 1948 Wallace 1968), third party candidacies make little sense because they are likely to favor the party the third party is most ideologically opposed to. But it can be argued that the LaFollette candidacy actually did serve a useful purpose, since it showed there was little point in being indistinguishable or more conservative than the Republicans. Davis does not appear to have made any major appeal to any major liberal voting block or program, so this appears to have been a partially useful lesson.

  • Srsly Dad Y

    Greater than making McMegan, Failed Busyness Person, the economics editor?

  • Drexciya

    From The Atlantic, in that endorsement:

    Our endorsement of Clinton, and rejection of Trump, is not a blanket dismissal of the many Trump supporters who are motivated by legitimate anxieties about their future and their place in the American economy. But Trump has seized on these anxieties and inflamed and racialized them, without proposing realistic policies to address them.

    From The Atlantic, today:

    “We’re a working-class neighborhood—nobody’s well off, nobody is in poverty,” she said. “But once I hit my teenage years … our neighborhoods went to crap.” She blames the change on an influx of residents from Chicago, who are mostly black, and is considering moving farther north.

    “I don’t want to be offensive, but… I feel as though Democrats have kept the poverty, especially in my area, it’s mostly the black community. They like having them there. The black community has been voting for them for, gosh, 50-something years? And there’s more people on welfare. And those are the areas that are bad, I’ve seen it firsthand,” she said.

    David, 72, has similar concerns about his hometown of Dubuque, Iowa. “You go down the street, you look at these homes—they were nice-looking homes, and they ain’t worth a rat’s ass now,” he said. “We had a mayor that welcomed 500 families of blacks from Chicago and Detroit. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some good ones, but mainly all we got is them turning up in the paper, stealing something, shooting somebody. Gangs are fighting.”

    • bender

      For, though during its term of office the government be practically as independent of the popular will as that of Russia, yet every fourth year the people are called upon to pronounce upon the conduct of their affairs.

      Writers used the subjunctive mood a lot more in 1860.

  • daves09

    Cox/Roosevelt 1920. A year of giants.

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