Kamioner: Will The 2024 Presidential Election Be Like 1968?

There's a shot.

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No, I don’t mean Richard Milhous Nixon will be elected president in 2024. Pity. What I do mean is that a divided nation maybe will not be as divided as we think in 2024 and the time will be ripe for a solid conservative majority of voters to take part in the presidential election.

For if we take Nixon, a middle of the road conservative, and Wallace, a hard Right candidate, and combine their 1968 totals against Democrat Hubert Humphrey we get a 347-191 electoral college win for the Right. A blowout. Popular vote? The Right won 57.9 percent. A landslide against the Democrats. Between them the Right carried 37 states.

Just as in 2020, it didn’t look like that would happen in 1964. Former veep Democrat Lyndon Johnson beat the tar out of Republican Barry Goldwater in a walkover. Mostly an homage to the slain JFK. But after the political ravages of Vietnam and growing unrest in the streets LBJ decided not to run again. His veep, former Senator Hubert Humphrey, got the Democrat nomination and lost to Nixon.

So, fast forward to 2020. A former veep wins the White House. His veep is a former Senator. But after a first year, probably more, of the political ravages of Afghanistan, the border, inflation, bare shelves, Ukraine, gas prices, food prices, a national crime wave, and God knows what else coming up, would former veep Biden decide not to run? Would then his veep, Harris, like Humphrey to Johnson, run and get beaten by the Right? Déjà vu?

Even if Biden does run in 2024? What are his chances? Better than LBJ in 1968? Johnson drew Gene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy as primary challengers. Would Biden draw Tulsi Gabbard or Manchin, or Sinema as his primary challengers? If Biden runs unopposed and gets the nomination, what then? If his last 3 years are as bad or worse than his first year, a likely scenario, will voters magically forget his record against a strong challenger like Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis? Not gonna happen.

If Harris is the nominee will she fare better? Remember, this is a woman who recently called “democracy” the greatest threat to America. Now, as a Burkean I tend to agree with what she inadvertently said. But methinks Kamala was not intoning Enlightenment conservative thought. She was just being Kamala. Can you imagine her on a debate stage against DeSantis? Can you imagine Biden versus DeSantis? The image that comes to mind would be a DeSantis steamroller slowly squashing a rabid rodent of some sort. Maybe a slow-witted squirrel.

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Granted, 2024 is a long way off and much water will pass under the bridge between now and then. But as Joe Biden sinks deeper and deeper into political quicksand, the 1968 parallels keep growing and growing.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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