A New Deal for America: An Alternate History of the Late 1970s & Beyond

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Pericles, May 24, 2016.

  1. Pericles Well-Known Member

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    "It is time for a New Deal for America. It is time for a new approach to foreign policy, it is time to stand up to the Soviet Union and regain America's status in the world. America needs to be great again, we need to stand up and fight for our values. We need to fix our economy, we need to reverse the tides of decline. The inflation, the unemployment, the recession, we have to defeat them. America's best days are not behind it but still ahead of it. The decline will end, and it will be morning in America again. It will be a day where we can be proud of our country again, trust our government, be a nation respected and strong across the world and with an economy that is prosperous and will deliver for all. That is what I intend to do as your President."-The President-Elect makes his inaugural address, January 20, 1977

    HUBERT HUMPHREY ANNOUNCES "I WILL NOT RUN, I WILL NOT SERVE"-JANUARY 30, 1975 [1]

    REAGAN ATTACKS FORD, CALLS FOR CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP, HAWKISH FOREIGN POLICY-FEBRUARY 3, 1975

    Henry Martin 'Scoop' Jackson announced in February 1975 that he was running for President. Jackson attracted strong support from the Jewish community and labor, and the party establishment moved towards him, though it held out for a Ted Kennedy run. Jackson was a frontrunner in the race, with a strong early position in the race. He ran on social issues, running a law and order campaign and opposing busing. Jackson saw a path to victory for himself based off Nixon's 'Silent Majority'. Jackson's support for Vietnam hurt him with the party base, and speculation was that he was out of place in the change environment of 1976. He thought differently. Gerald Ford was failing, and Ronald Reagan was a flawed candidate too. He could craft a path to victory in 1976. A Jackson constituency did exist, he just had to seize it. And so the presidential campaign of Scoop Jackson began.
    [​IMG]
    The Democratic race was muddled for most of 1975. Polls showed Jackson in the lead, but then George Wallace was in the lead, and Ted Kennedy led those he was included in. When Humphrey was included he led the polls. Notably, many of the people leading the polls were not actual candidates. However of the actual candidates, most would have wanted to be in Jackson's shoes. He had a strong constituency and support in the party. As 1975 continued Jackson railed against the Ford administration's START treaty, and Saigon fell, ending the Vietnam War with a national humiliation. Influential in the Senate, he was taking a stand against the Soviets, against Gerald Ford and for his agenda and campaign. Angering the left with his hawkish rhetoric, Jackson showed no intention of catering to them for his bid. He would win as Scoop Jackson, or lose as Scoop Jackson, that much was clear.

    [​IMG]
    _____________________________________________

    [1]This is the first PoD. Without Humphrey running labor shifts its full support to Jackson, rather than giving only lukewarm support to him in the futile hope Humphrey will run.

    This is my new TL, detailing an alternate 1976 US election and after-effects of a different President in the late 1970s and the flow-on effects from there. I'll detail the Republican race in the next update. Hope you like it!

     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  2. greenbay2014 Well-Known Member

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    Hop onto the Henry M. Jackson train! Lloyd Bentsen for VP? Radical energy independence bill for this second New Deal? American ownership of Panama Canal forever and ever?! Grabs excessive amounts of popcorn - Subscribed!

    Even if this goes a different direction, I'm intrigued with Jackson's name in the hat for once!
     
  3. Indicus Raianus Indicorum

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    Eww. Scoop Jackson. Let's see how he deals with the New Left.
     
  4. Gog (♀) Swamp Witch

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    Interesting to see how an über hawk handles the late 70s
     
  5. Mr.E Stranger in a Strange Land

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    It would be interesting to have someone to the left of Carter domestically in late 70's. Especially a Great Society liberal.
     
  6. Archibald space jockey ! Kicked Banned

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    Cool, another U.S political TL. Two things amaze me since I joined this forum in 2008 a) the sheer creativity and imagination of members and b) the number of TLs centered on american politics in the 60's - 70's - 80's. The fact is there are tons of possible candidates.
    It would be nice if the wiki could had a list of TLs according to the presidential candidate involved.
     
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  7. Pericles Well-Known Member

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    Apr 20, 2013
    Thanks. Glad you like this TL so far. I'll get more updates in soon.
     
  8. Indicus Raianus Indicorum

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    Will Scoop face off Reagan? And will Scoop carry the South?
     
  9. Pericles Well-Known Member

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    Apr 20, 2013
    Perhaps. He might carry a few Southern states but will probably do at least a bit worse than Carter there.
     
  10. theev Suede-Denim Secret Police

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    This looks awesome, can't wait to see what comes next!

    Subbed!
     
  11. dw93 Can't Afford to be a Donor

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    This has my attention. Could the "New Deal Coalition" live beyond the 1970s with a New Dealer getting elected in 1976?
     
  12. Pericles Well-Known Member

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    Great! Hopefully I'll update soon, stay tuned.

    I was inspired to make this TL when I read a book about the carter presidency, The Presidency of James Earl carter Jr by Burton Kaufman and Scott Kaufman. The New Deal coalition may still fail, it was already in deep decline, but this will have important ramifications no matter what. :)
     
  13. Indicus Raianus Indicorum

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    I think it already died in 1968. He could make something similar except w/o the South, of course.
     
  14. Pericles Well-Known Member

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    Apr 20, 2013
    [​IMG]
    The Democratic primary's first contests were Iowa and New Hampshire. Jackson ignored the Iowa caucus, it was a bad fit for him, with a dovish, liberal electorate. Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter did not make that decision, and 'Jimmy Who?' poured everything into Iowa. Carter, the Georgia peanut farmer, ran as an outsider, a new type of leader who would move on from Watergate and a government that lost the people's trust. Carter's tireless hard work and organisation swung Iowa to him, though he still lost to Uncommited. carter had a burst of momentum, suddenly becoming a serious candidate. His brand was introduced to the national electorate, and New Hampshire, a haven of independents and a restless electorate, could prove receptive to his brand.
    [​IMG]
    Jackson was determined not to let that happen. His campaign saw New Hampshire as winnable, and recognized anyway that Muskie's poor showing there in 1972(despite winning there, he fell behind expectations) had crippled his campaign. [1]He was determined not to befall the same fate. Jackson put a concerted effort into the state, and he appealed to the electorate with his liberal vision for domestic policy. Carter was wish-washy on issues, he never took a firm position on anything. Jackson declared "It's important that we know, Governor Carter talks about trust, but he doesn't take a firm position on any issue. You can't trust Jimmy Carter." Doubts about Carter sprung up and Carter's momentum began to stall. Liberal Arizona Congressman Mo Udall was also mounting a surprisingly vigorous campaign. Jackson struggled to overcome opposition to his hawkishness, and was attacked for supporting Vietnam. He fired back, saying "My opponents think America should be weaker in the world, and withdraw from the world and make communism stronger. I think America should be stronger in the world, stay in the world and make communism weaker."

    New Hampshire primary results-Democratic
    Scoop Jackson-20.00%
    Jimmy Carter-18.32%
    Mo Udall-17.71%
    Birch Bayh-13.19%
    Fred Harris-9.86%
    Sargent Shriver-7.49%

    Jackson had triumphed, halting Carter's momentum. He remained the frontrunner and heading into the coming contests he would have the chance to secure, or lose, that position.

    [​IMG]
    On the Republican side, it was a close race between Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. Reagan was challenging Ford and it seemed an incumbent President could fall to the conservative movement. But Ford won Iowa, and gained momentum. New Hampshire was next. This was pivotal to Reagan's strategy. He planned to win in the early states and knock Ford out of the race. If he lost New Hampshire and Iowa he might be knocked out instead. Reagan led in New Hampshire polls, but Ford was gaining on him. In the final days it looked as if he might actually lose New Hampshire. He headed back swiftly and barnstormed the state in the final days, attacking Ford and making the case for President Reagan. Ford's momentum stalled, and Reagan was leading in New Hampshire. Ford kept up hope that he could pry the state from Reagan, but it was clear New Hampshire wouldn't make the final decision. The real battle was still to come, in Florida, Illinois, North Carolina and the multitude of other states coming up. But a Reagan win would be a big event, boosting his position.

    That's what happened.

    New Hampshire primary results-Republican[2]
    Ronald Reagan-48.97%
    Gerald Ford-48.43%
    [​IMG]
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    [1]Another PoD is that Jackson competes in New Hampshire.
    [2]Reagan wins New Hampshire as butterflies alter the GOP race.
     
  15. Indicus Raianus Indicorum

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    I think if Reagan is the nominee, he'd horribly misinterpret the national mood. He'd talk about "solutions, not trust", and he'd be too conservative for 1976 America, IMO. Hell, in 1980, he barely won a majority of all the votes cast and without Anderson he'd probably win a 1988 style victory IMO, and that was with a perfect storm.
     
  16. Pericles Well-Known Member

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    Apr 20, 2013
    Maybe. But in 1980 Reagan did win a legitimate landslide, an exit poll shows 47% of of Anderson voters would've gone to Carter and 38% to Reagan. That would've meant if Anderson hadn't run Reagan would probably have gotten about 55% and beaten Carter by around 10% anyway, especially as the congressional results were also a big win for Republicans. But if he's the nominee in 1976 he'd do worse of course. How much worse depends on how good of a candidate Jackson is. You'll have to wait and see.
     
  17. Cuāuhtemōc Instagram Fiend

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    Go Scoop!
     
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  18. Indicus Raianus Indicorum

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    Well, I am of the view that exit polls aren't really an accurate way to demonstrate who gets the votes in a significantly different election, and 1988 (which this alt-1980 election would look like) was a legitimate landslide IMO. It is very telling that Anderson endorsed Mondale in 1984.

    As for 1976, it'll be interesting to see how Jackson deals with the New Left. I'd expect Eugene McCarthy's third-party campaign to gain a significant amount of votes.
     
  19. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    Jun 9, 2014
    It's all well and good that Scoop Jackson preaches being strong. Are we going to be able to recognize an above average deal with the Soviet Union?

    Will we intervene effectively in the Cambodian genocide?

    Will we say to our ally Indonesia in circumstances where they believe we mean it, that they have to stop committing genocide in East Timor?

    And will we pretty rapidly move away from our practice of propping up dictators? And there definitely is a tension between our interests, perhaps too narrowly defined, and the values we advocate and we really do mean them when we advocate them.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2016
  20. Mr_Falcon Blarite

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    Beautiful, will follow!