In and amongst the various sources of information Uncle Abe accesses to write his weekly column is a site called Quorum. Quorum is where one can pose even obscure questions to be answered by other people who either read or subscribe to the site.
It is sort of a think-share. I read it regularly and recommend it to all of you.
So, President Trump is facing the prospect of being fired in the coming election in November. I keep going back and forth as to whether his being re-elected is or isn’t likely.
There are days where I would almost swear he has doomed himself to the unemployment rolls. Other days, it feels like he has infinitely more lives than a cat.
The recent uprisings in cities across the country, and his vitriolic Tweets exhorting Governors to raise their pimp-hands and smack down these protestors seem to have weakened his position somewhat. That aside, anything can happen between November and now. Americans have extremely short memories and attention spans.
So the question was raised on Quorum whether any president has before lost the election for his second term. Rodney Miller, a class of 2021, Political Science major from Mississippi College, gave the following response. After checking into what he responded, I decided he was right.
In 1800, John Adams lost re-election. The victor in that election was the red-headed Virginian, Thomas Jefferson.
In 1828, John Quincy Adams, the other John Adams’ son, lost re-election. The winner was the slave/plantation master from Tennessee, and former General known across America as “Old Hickory,” Andrew Jackson. That would prove to be unfortunate for Native Americans.
In 1840, Martin Van Buren lost his re-election bid. He would lose to William Henry Harrison.
In 1888, Grover Cleveland lost his bid to remain in office to Benjamin Harrison (William Henry Harrison’s Grandson). In a rematch in 1892, Cleveland won his job back from young Harrison. Grover Cleveland is the only US President in history to have served non-consecutive terms, though he did serve two.
In 1912, William Howard Taft, lost his re-election bid to Woodrow Wilson. Taft had been this country’s 27th President. In 1921, Taft, who was an Ohioan, became the US Supreme Court’s 10th Chief Justice. Taft is the only man to have ever served the country in both capacities.
Taft was upended by Woodrow Wilson in his bid to gain re-election in 1912. Wilson, like Taft, was also a lawyer among the many other vocations in which Wilson had formerly plied his wares professionally.
In 1932, Herbert Hoover lost re-election to Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt would gain election 4-times, scaring us into adopting an amendment (22nd) limiting presidents to two terms in office.
Though Gerald Ford was never elected to the country’s highest office, as he was appointed VP by Nixon when Agnew resigned and then succeeded to president when Nixon followed suit in 1974. Ford lost his only election to remain president to a young peanut-farmer and one-term congressman from Georgia in 1976, named James “Jimmy” Carter. Ford is the only former president in American history to have never actually been elected.
Carter, in 1980 lost re-election to Ronald Reagan. Reagan's VP was George H.W. Bush who had formerly headed the CIA. Reagan would serve two terms and then get his VP elected in 1988.
In 1992, George HW Bush ran for re-election against a governor of Arkansas riddled with sexual scandals hither, tither, and yon. His name was Bill Clinton. Bush would lose soundly after having promised, when first elected, that we could read his lips, there would be no new taxes. After having said this, Bush passed the largest tax increase in the country’s history, up to that point. It would cost him.
In those days, men were accountable for the words they said and the actions they took. That was long ago. There doesn’t appear to be any accountability these days.
As we launch into November, there is precedence for a one-termer in the Oval Office. Of course, America isn’t the America we once knew. There are days it hardly seems like America at all.
This is your old Uncle Abe Yokem and I am still up here SHOUTING FROM THIS MOUNTAIN-TOP!