DBWI: Carter Beats Ford in 1976

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Amadeus, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    1976 was one of the great political upsets of all time. Despite entering the race with a 33% deficit, President Ford won a full term after a strong performance in the TV debates. But Ford was known to be clumsy, and had he messed up in the debates the election could easily have gone the other way. What would've happened had Carter won in 1976?
     
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  2. Mad Bad Rabbit Well-Known Member

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    He was a Navy guy, so probably a hawk on foreign policy and wants a big arms buildup. Good luck doing that with the Recession on, as Ford learned the hard way. At least he wouldn't have dithered around doing nothing when the Iranian Civil War breaks out.
     
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  3. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

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    1976 was a poisoned chalice. Whoever won that election would’ve gotten screwed, given everything that happened. A buddy of mine predicted that if Carter got elected, Reagan could become President in the 80s and lead a new wave of neo-conservatism beyond Goldwater.

    Here though, Ford won and the GOP just got wiped out after the mess of 1976. It also split the party between the “Rockefeller Republicans” and the so-called “Goldwater Republicans”. The former would come to dominate the GOP, especially after a members of the Green Party joined while the latter would join the Libretarian Party.

    This also led to the Dems to push further left, which led to Mo Udall becoming President in the 1980s and having a supermajority to push universal single-payer healthcare in (known as Americare) among other benefits.

    Udall and the leftier Dems willing to support the “Rockefeller Republicans” over the neo-conservatives got them both bipartisan brownie points and the favor returned when they showed more cooperation with their candidate, Jerry Brown, against Bill Clinton, head of the neo-liberal “New Democrats”, in 1992. Brown’s victory over Clinton solidified the rule of FDR’s influence over Clinton, and the neo-liberals left.

    It did lead to the the Libretarian party becoming a serious contender alongside the Reform Party, the latter of whom won through Ross Perot. though by that point, they would not touch Americare, lest they suffer for it, though their tax policies led to a recession.

    My guess is that if Carter won and the Dems taking the hit in 1976, Clinton’s New Democrats would dominate the weakened party by 1992 after 8-12 years of neoconservatism.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  4. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Who's Clinton?
     
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  5. Minuteman Well-Known Member

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    OOC: Ross Perot a libertarian? The same Ross Perot who ran in 1992 specifically because the other two candidates supported a free trade policy? The same Ross Perot who supported gun control? That Ross Perot?
     
  6. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    I imagine he may have approved Operation Eagle Claw, which Ford wisely decided to can. A military intervention in Iran would've become another Vietnam and would probably destroy Carter's presidency.
     
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  7. Beta.003 An Average Nerd

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    Bill Clinton, he was Governor of Arkansas for a while and I think eventually Senator? Don’t quote me on that, I may be wrong.

    Clinton wasn’t helped by the fact that he had an affair behind Hillary’s back IIRC, causing loads of drama.
     
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  8. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

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    OOC: Well, a fair bit could change in a couple of decades and the Libretarians have become a circus by then given the inclusion of neocons and neolibs.
     
  9. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

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    Yeah, Eagle Claw was a long shot and Carter could’ve done it if numbers were low. Sure, it would’ve been a boon if succeeded, but not in the state it was released.

    Instead, we have Jimmy Carter remembered for being one of the best Secretaries of State we ever had.
     
  10. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    I looked him up, he was a longtime Governor of Arkansas (first from 1979-1983, then again from 1985-1995) and later a Senator from 1997-2003. Clinton seemed to be pretty talented and popular, and he ran for President in 1992. But he lost the Democratic nomination to Jerry Brown after multiple scandals were revealed just prior to the New Hampshire primary. (Clinton actually lost the primary to Tsongas, not Brown, but Clinton's failure opened the door for Brown to take the lead). Brown went on to lose to President Kemp in a landslide. Clinton made a comeback when he won a Senate seat in the Democratic wave year of 1996, but he was unseated by popular Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee after one term. I wonder, how would Clinton have done against Kemp in 1992?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  11. VoidTemplar Travelling through Dimensions

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    Damn straight. Who can forget him managing to smooth over a lot of tensions in the Middle East, such as those between Jordan, Egypt and Israel? Or getting an agreement on Kashmir in place?
     
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  12. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Carter winning the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize certainly helped Udall win a second term in 1984. Carter was touted by the media as a presidential candidate in 1988, but he declined to run. Ultimately, Vice-President Sam Nunn narrowly lost to New York Governor Jack Kemp. Would Carter, a fellow Georgian, have done any better against Kemp in 1988?
     
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  13. unclepatrick Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that Carter could have won unless Ford has done something stupid, like pardoning Nixon.
    But Ford is not that Stupid.
    There was a Timeline that had Ford Losing because he was filmed Tripping as he got off Air Force One.
    But that Timeline always seem ASB to me
     
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  14. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Seeing their new President as the White Knight who put Nixon behind bars definitely helped Ford on election day. He actually considered pardoning Nixon, but backed off after a meeting with Congressional leaders. Had he pardoned Nixon, Ford would probably have lost.
     
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  15. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

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    Mike Huckabee winning governor I think was the first time a Libertarian won a senator seat. Clinton was a very talented and popular person, but he did not leave much influence after the "New Democrat" movement basically lost the fight for the soul of the Democrat Party against the more FDR-like types, much like how the neo-conservatives lost against the Rockefeller Republicans for control of the GOP.

    Nixon was eventually pardoned after serving a bit of time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  16. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    OOC: If Kemp takes office in 1989, and Nixon is pardoned only after a "couple" years in prison, that would mean Nixon is convicted in the mid to late 1980's - a decade after Watergate. That doesn't really make much sense. IMO, it's more likely that Nixon serves a few years in prison beginning around 1975 but is released late in Ford's second term.
     
  17. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

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    OOC: Sorry, I'll edit that
     
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  18. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    He wasn't exactly pardoned - Ford knew that if he pardoned Nixon in an election year Dole would surely lose to Mo Udall. Instead Nixon got an early release in 1980 after serving less than five years under home confinement. Whether or not Nixon should've been sent to prison became a campaign issue in 1976, and probably hurt Ford's chances, but the judge did the right thing in this case. Had Nixon been sent to prison he would likely have been killed or severely harmed by inmates looking for fame. And besides, Ford won the election anyway.
     
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  19. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

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    Yeah, definitely. I am wondering how the 80s culture would change. I mean here, the 80s were defined by a modernized (for the time anyway) version of stuff from the 60s due to the implementation of universal single-payer healthcare and other progressive policies by the Udall Administration during his 8 years while members like Carter got a good deal of recognition of work abroad. This was shown in things like the films and television shows.
     
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  20. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    Well, we wouldn't have that scene in "Back to the Future" when Doc Brown is shocked to hear that a 6'5'' Mormon is President in 1985. There's a story that when the movie was screened at the White House, President Udall laughed so hard at that line he nearly fell out of his chair. It was cool to have a President with such a great sense of humor. He even hosted SNL back in 1987, despite all the jokes the writers had made at his expense for seven years.
     
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