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Eisenhower-Stevenson 1952

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  • Eisenhower-Stevenson 1952

    There was a considerable effort to draft Eisenhower by the Democrats, and I believe he was a favorite of FDR and New Dealers in general, and there is a curious observation in Wikipedia:
    Not long after his return in 1952, a "Draft Eisenhower" movement in the Republican party persuaded him to declare his candidacy in the 1952 presidential election to counter the candidacy of non-interventionist Senator Robert Taft. (Eisenhower had been courted by both parties in 1948 and had declined to run then.)
    This quote could be interpreted to mean Eisenhower chose to run on the Republic Party ticket to stop Taft's international politics view from prevailing (which would make Eisenhower anathema to current wings of the Republic Party like The Club For Growth).

    Anyhoo, Eisenhower winning election as leader of the Democratic Party could lead to interesting, and long-term, changes in history.

    1) What happens to Nixon. Yes, he was a bit paranoid, but also an ambitious and smart politician. You could see a contest for leadership of the Republic Party between Nixon and Goldwater wings.

    2) In 1960 would there be a Stevenson-Kennedy or Stevenson-Johnson ticket? Would a nation bored with '50s Eisenhower Peace and Prosperity elect Nixon-Goldwater? Nixon the pragmatist adopts a Kennedy-like embargo policy to stop Russian missile installation in Cuba but then negotiates a trade pact with Castro (to the political advantage of both) [aside-this prevents Cuba conservative emogrants leaving for Florida and helps Democrats there long-term].

    3) Nixon and his SoS Henry Kissenger realize that they could play off traditional Vietnamese-Chinese hostility against each other and thereby secure Southern Asia as a U.S. sphere of influence, makes a surprise flight to Hanoi in 1962 and negotiates a peace (pressuring South Vietnam to accept regional autonomy similar to Croatia in Tito's Yugoslavia).
    His subsequent 1966 visit and treaty signing with mainland China causes Goldwater to resign as vice president and, following a disastrous Republican 1968 Miami Convention, with riots by Goldwaterites when Jerry Ford is nominated, leads to the Democrats Johnson-Kennedy ticket winning.

    Well, that's one scenario.
    Comments? Or other scenarios based on Democrats: We Like Ike!
    Last edited by Tuor; 21 Oct 09, 09:56.

  • #2
    If Eisenhower were elected President in this scenario, I don't think Nixon ever stands for national office. He would be too muddied up from associating with McCarthy. I also don't think Johnson or Kennedy ever stand for National office. There would have been 28 years of Democratic Presidents by this point and people would be looking for a change. Kennedy was too young and too much a creation of his father, and his health issues would probably have kept him off the scene later. Johnson was too much of an inside player, and would not have had much appeal nationally.

    I would assume Eisenhower's national security policies would not change much from what they were in fact. Maybe marginally less interference in the Western Hemisphere. He would have to deal with the substantial wing of the Republican Party which supported MacArthur's views, but they now could take the gloves off. They would have people taking the high road and people taking the low road (Nixon, McCarthy, etc.)

    I think Eisenhower's domestic policies would shift somewhat more if he were a democratic president. I think there would be some civil rights legislation, but it would not accomplish much, as it would be watered down to get the support of the Southerners.

    I assume also Eisenhower would be re-elected in 1956. Nixon would not be a candidate. The republicans would nominate a ticket built around their mid-west base, and make every effort in key Eastern and Western states, especially California. I think whoever gets nominated here gets nominated in 1960. I see maybe Rockefeller as the VP nominee in 1960.

    I think by 1960 there would be a big fight for control of the democratic party. There would be a liberal wing, led by Humphrey or someone like him, and a Centrist wing, led by someone from the south or a border state, someone like John Connolly, although he was probably too young. I would assume that the liberal democrats would win the nomination, and that maybe there would be a Humphrey/Connolly ticket.

    I think that the Republican wins in 1960 by a large margin. I think the Republicans control the Senate and the Democrats the house. I think foreign policy events would have developed much as they did in the early 60's, including Cuba and Berlin, these or similar confrontations were inevitable.

    What happens domestically is to me the big question. I see the gradual improvement of civil rights continuing, but not at a pace to make minorities happy. The Republicans and Northern Democrats like Humphrey pass Civil rights legislation, but it is watered down by Southerners.

    To me, the big question is what happens in 1964?

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    • #3
      The quote could also suggest that Ike could see how the Democrats were handling the international scene...ie Korea, Eastern Europe... and thought that to follow would lead the US deeper into a possible shooting war with USSR. Keep in mind that he did indirectly let the ChiComs know that he, as president, was willing to use ANY measure to bring the Korean war to an end.
      As to the question I see little difference in what happen with Ike a democrat but perhaps a big difference in the years after 1960...on the world scene...and a big difference at home as the conservative branch of the Democratic party takes control. IMO

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