To clarify, Green Party doesn’t exist in this timeline due to the socialists joining the Freedom Party in the early 90s. Freedom has centrist, libertarian, socialist, and even neocon branches, making it a big-tent party unitied in bringing down the “evil” that is the established center-left, center-right rivalry of the Democrats and Republicans. Is it weird that Ralph Nader and Lindsay Graham are senators for the same party? Yes, but perhaps Freedom has shown that the adage of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” has some merit.
I don't know what's crazier, Rockwell running for President or Biff Tanner becoming President.MARTY: Right, so we go back to the future and we stop Biff from stealing the time machine?
DOC BROWN: We can't, because if we travel into the future from this point in time, it'll be the future of this reality, in which Biff is corrupt, and powerful, and married to your mother!
The United States presidential election of 1988 was the 51st quadrennial United States presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 8, 1988. Biff Tannen, the Republican nominee, defeated Democratic Representative James Traficant of Ohio. The 1988 election is the only election since 1820 in which a major party won a sixth straight presidential election.
Incumbent President Richard Nixon decided not to seek a sixth term, citing health reasons. Tannen, C.E.O. of BiffCo Enterprises, entered the 1988 Republican primaries as the immediate front-runner. A long time supporter of President Nixon, he received an immediate endorsement from the president, returning the favor. Tannen selected Secretary of Defense Alexander Haig of Pennslyvania as his running mate, who had also previously sought the nomination. Tannen had been in the national limelight for a long time, the disappearance of his stepson, Martin, was still in the public conscience. The Democratic nominee, James Traficant, had won the 1988 Democratic primaries in a bruising and controversial race. Traficant had been accused by many of being a Republican plant, though such claims remained unsubstantiated. Senator Ted Kennedy was the initial front-runner of the Democratic primaries, however he was gunned down before Super Tuesday on March 7, the circumstances of which remain disputed to this day. Traficant won the nomination and selected Senator Michael Myers of Pennsylvania as his running mate. Joe Biden, another Democratic contender, announced an independent campaign while denouncing Traficant as "the embodiment of corruption". Biden's campaign was soon suspended for unexplained reasons.
One shock upset was the National Party nominee George Lincoln Rockwell surpassing 5% of the vote in the final result, far exceeding expectations. The National Party, which had replaced the fractured American Independent Party, was quickly taken over by white nationalists after Rockwell's return to politics. The National Party had overtaken the Libertarian Party, which too had split into factionalism, as the 'third party'. Rockwell, a former Virginia representative, used the campaign to appeal to disenfranchized white Americans who had felt abandoned by the two main parties. Rockwell claimed he was "standing up for ordinary Americans who are continually terrorized", referring to the 1986 race riots. Rockwell also frequently faced allegations of Neo-Nazism, being a former leader of the American Nazi Party, such suspicions were heightened by his Vice Presidential selection William L. Pierce, another former ANP member. The two campaigned on a platform of halting all non-white immigration and enacting a "tough crackdown on domestic terrorists, such as the communists", a proposal Tannen had expressed was "the obvious thing to do."
Tannen had never held a political office before, however he often defended himself by saying "I'm not only the luckiest man on Earth, but the smartest. Any other butthead would be bankrupt by now." Tannen won the election in a landslide, winning up to 59% of the popular vote. He would continually attack Traficant as a 'member of the corrupt elite', this was despite Tannen being one of the richest known men in the world, a point his opponents would attack him on. Tannen performed consistently well in opinion polls, and would become the first president to be elected without either political or military experience. President Tannen was sworn in on January 20, 1989. He would serve 4 terms as president, the first of which saw an end to American involvement the Vietnam War; the start of the Second Korean War; and the Soviet Civil War. The assassination of Soviet General Secretary Grigory Romanov during Tannen's first term was allegedly plotted by the Tannen administration, according to C.I.A. whistle-blowers, a theory to which Tannen even hinted at.
American-Canadian politician and historian Goldie Wilson Jr. stated of this election: "It signified a turning point for America, one that we could have prevented but failed miserably."
Hail to the Chief!
The American presidential election of 2008 saw, as expected, a shutout victory for the Democratic candidate. Only a handful of times has a second party won any state or gained above 20% of the vote since the coup of 1933.
The United States is unusual among the world’s governments in that one-party rule coexists with truly democratic government – and no, that isn’t a pun on the party name.
By 1933, the 19th century two party system was on the decline, as the main opposition party of the time – the Republican Party – was like its predecessors, the Whigs and Federalists, fading into irrelevance. However, this time, a cabal of party, business, and military leaders were determined to take radical steps to prevent this, leading to the attempted coup of 1933, where paramilitary groups supported by the plotters marched on the White House and were put down by capital police and the loyal Washington military garrison. The investigation which followed implicated almost every major Republican political figure, resulting in the already-diminished party being again decimated in the elections of 1934 and 1936. By the start of the Second World War, the Republican party was functionally extinct.
But even after this, as the old joke goes, the United States was not under the complete control of an organized political party. The immediate postwar period saw chaos and a series of general election defections by unsatisfied factions, but later reforms by party leaders created a system which allowed a more open and democratic selection of the nominee, keeping the party together. A variant of this system survives to this day as the main competitive national election.
For the most part, these selection processes remain individually based, though ideologically-similar candidates continue to share campaign resources and infrastructure in primary campaigns at all levels. Most of this activity is informal or organized through private political action committees, but a rough approximation of ideological breakdown can be seen through constantly-developing congressional caucuses. Ideologically-based caucuses in 2008 included:
Progressive – Socially and economically left, though much younger, more urban, and weaker than in the past. Chaired by Peter DeFazio (D, OR-4), endorsed Obama.
Blue Collar – Labor-oriented left, more socially moderate than the Progressives. Mostly Midwestern and Plains-based. Chaired by Dennis Kucinich (D, OH-10), did not endorse, members split between Obama and Landrieu.
Fair Deal – Moderate liberals, business-friendly but open to increased regulation. Primarily Northeastern and West Coast. Chaired by Joe Crowley (D, NY-14), endorsed Landrieu.
Main Street – Business moderates, socially centrist. Mostly northeastern and upper Midwestern. Chaired by Pat Tiberi (D, OH-12), endorsed Romney.
American Leadership – socially conservative, economically center-right, hawkish. Has roots in the Northern conservative ‘Bourbon’ tradition, now concentrated in the Midwest, Plains, and Mountain West. Chaired by Mike Pence (D, IN-6), did not endorse, members split between McCain and Huckabee.
Yellow Dogs – socially reactionary, economically populist. Descendent of the States Rights faction of the 1950s and 60s, remains largely Southern. Chaired by Tom Price (D, GA-6), endorsed Huckabee.
This unique system has provided an example which has eased the process of democratization in former one-party dictatorships, particularly in the Eastern Bloc. By far the most successful example is the Soviet Union, where the general election structures have remained much as they have been since the Stalinist era, but candidate selection within the Party has become much more democratic. Notably, in 2005, an alliance of moderate and liberal candidates was able to prevent the hardline candidate, Ryzhkov, from gaining control of the party.
This is not to say that the dominant-party republican system ensures stability, even in its home country. The 2016 American election saw a coalition of conservative-leaning candidates successfully nominating Sam Brownback despite having fewer popular votes in the primary than the left-leaning alliance between Amy Klobuchar and Doug Jones, as a result of the bonus delegates rule for first-place finishers.
In response, Jones launched an independent campaign which won five states and 23% of the popular vote, the largest general election defection since 1992.
Time will tell whether Jones’ post-election attempts to create a competing party structure will put any pressure on the Democratic establishment to reform the nomination system, though what is near certain is that there is little chance of him overturning the two-hundred-year dominance of the Democratic Party, no matter how much momentum his movement might seem to have today.
Background: Inspired by the Three Governors controversy in Georgia - in which there was real competition in the Democratic primary despite essential one-party rule. I wanted to explore what such a system would look like on the national level - initially, this was just going to be the one Soviet box, but I liked the idea of the bait-and-switch created by the first box, so I went and made some background for an American case as well.
I don't know what's crazier, Rockwell running for President or Biff Tanner becoming President.
Please don't quote long posts with a single line. Either reply to specific parts of the post or use the @UserName function.I always wondered what a non-Japanese LDP would look like. Well done!