American Rhetoric: Donald to Trump Election 2012?

President Trump? (Divide, so that Obama can conquer?)

     Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the land, politicians were stirring; a race was at hand.

     Vote Twenty Twelve was just mere months away, and down at Trump Tower, the Donald did say; “I might run for Prez, when my show ends in May!”

     So down to the Registrar the Donald didst go, to change up his party affiliation, you know.

     He abandoned the ‘Pubs, to maybe run on his own, just how many votes he would get…are still to be shown…(1)

     (What follows here is mostly a history lesson, my Christmas gift to you, my fine young readers!)

     One hundred years ago, the election of 1912 was nothing short of a political pissing contest on a grand scale, at least where the GOP was concerned. Merely four years prior, our 26th President of The United States, Theodore Roosevelt had hand-picked William Howard Taft to be his successor. During Taft’s presidency, a rift grew between him and Roosevelt, due to what TR saw as Taft’s dismantling and / or confounding of programs and arrangements that TR had put in place during his administration, and then entrusted to Taft to carry on.

     As a result, Roosevelt, who had made what some refer to as an ill-fated decision not to run for a second term in 1908, went on the offensive against Taft and attempted to wrest the GOP nomination away from him. It was not to be. When Taft managed to get the GOP nod in the primaries, TR responded by changing his party affiliation, and starting the progressive “Bull Moose” party. Meanwhile in the camp of the Democrats, former Princeton University president and Governor of New Jersey Woodrow Wilson was picked to run.

     Election 1912 was a four-way contest; Woodrow Wilson and Indiana Governor Thomas R. Marshall comprised the Democratic ticket, William H. Taft and Columbia University President Nicholas M. Butler on the Republican ticket,  former U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt and California Governor Hiram Johnson running for the Bull Moose party, and finally, former Indiana state Senator Eugene V. Debs and former patternmaker and mayor of Milwaukee Emil Seidel on the ticket for the Socialist Party of America.

     Once the smoke had cleared and the votes were tallied, Woodrow Wilson came out on top with 41.8% of the vote, followed by Teddy with 27.4% and Taft with 23.2%. Socialist candidate Eugene Debs only garnered a mere six percent. What basically happened was that, by running against Taft and dividing the GOP vote, Roosevelt handed the election to Wilson.

     Flash forward one hundred years. Instead of being a good little Republican and backing whoever gets the nod next year, Donald Trump has changed party affiliations and stated that he may run independently in Election 2012. Methinks that Donald is doing this because none of the GOP candidates is quite to his liking, and most of them turned their backs on his December 27th Iowa debate, which he has ended up backing out of as host. (Feeling snubbed much?) If “The Donald” does run next year, it’s unclear just how his running would impact the GOP vote.

     Might a Trump campaign serve to divide Republican voters, much like Teddy’s running did in 1912? Just how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? The world may never know!

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