New Deal Coalition Retained III: A New World

The 1992 Primaries I
The 1992 Primaries


Following VR Day, President Donald Rumsfeld was riding high. Approval rating shooting up to nearly 95%, many in the nation were comparing him to Abraham Lincoln and FDR as one of America’s greatest Presidents. And it wasn’t hard to see why. The nation was riding high. Three World Wars and three massive, overwhelming victories with little damage to the homeland. Not one war a defeat and having taken the lead to destroy two malignant, tyrannical ideologies in Nazism and Communism, the national mood in the Summer of 1991 couldn’t be more hyped or jingoistic. America could conquer anything, could surmount any obstacle – could single-handedly pull the world to everlasting peace. While the jingoism and patriotic zeal of victory would not go away, it was tempered with the harsh realities of the post-war era. Worldwide war had greatly disrupted the global economy and trade routes, wartime production orders suddenly halted as the market corrected for a primacy on civilian goods. America (despite some bomb damage) had been spared the devastation that haunted the world, joining China and India (and to a lesser extent South Africa, Australia, and the Asian Tigers) as the primary manufacturing hub as it had following WWII. This helped greatly, but the peacetime shock to a war economy was joined by mass apprehension over the Marburg Virus Epidemic to deal a major blow to the national mood. Unemployment, which had been at a record low of 1.3% in the beginning of 1990, shot up to 6.3% by December 1991 – not a depression by any extent but one that put a damper on the era of good feelings victory had brought. As 1992 began, Rumsfeld’s approval ratings had fallen to 42%.


Donald Rumsfeld would end his presidency with an average approval of 60%, rated by public opinion and presidential scholars as one of the top leaders of the United States. Domestic policy plaudits were mixed, general lack of major change from the Reagan era (his predecessor considered one of the greatest domestic agenda Presidents by the same metrics), the George Ryan Scandal, and the entitlement reform flop contrasting with the focus on funding scientific advancement. He would be primarily known for fighting and winning WWIII, and cementing America’s superpower status in the following peace. Retiring to their home in Winnetka, Illinois, Donald and Joyce Rumsfeld would continue to be active in public life to this day as one of the most distinguished elder statesmen in the country. After 16 years in the political wilderness, the Democratic Party smelled their chance to finally reclaim 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Rumsfeld had rebounded to about 60% approval, but much of that was largely victory goodwill and relief that the Marburg Virus hadn’t reached the United States. Economic uncertainty and concerns over the post-Warsaw state of the world dominated the national mood and the Democrats saw this as their main opening. Nearly two dozen candidates immediately threw their hats into the wing, but by the start of voting in 1992 only five were left. Representative William J. Clinton – fresh off his 1988 run by putting his extramarital affairs issues behind him – looked to consolidate the crucial southern bloc behind him. New York Senator and former Mayor of NYC Hugh Carey ran as a northern communonationalist, while Governor Dick Durbin of Illinois leveraged his executive experience as a populist liberal. Rounding out the field was Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, the great liberal hope. However, it was the fifth candidate in the race that took all the late buzz.


One of the most recognized names in the country, Lee Iacocca certainly had a charmed life. Having overseen the transformation of the Chrysler corporation into one of the top world automakers, he joined his friend and more partisan colleague Donald Trump in managing the Wartime Business Council, a roundtable dedicated to assisting the US Military in war production for WWIII. Often seen on the Chrysler manufacturing floors where the tanks were built, Iacocca was a popular figure by 1991. Long having been bitten by the political bug, he made feelers to both the Republicans and Democrats, but ultimately threw his hat with the latter after determining a Democrat was more likely to win the 1992 general. At first, most of the field ignored Iacocca as too conservative and too anomalous to win, but many pundits and politicos were shocked as he slowly but surely rose in the polls with universal name recognition and a simple but winning message – namely a robust “Second New Deal” that would boost business, growth, and the social safety net. Hence Iacocca’s slogan: “Get America Working Again.” Polls vaunted him to the lead after a leaked RNC memo cited Iacocca as the “candidate we should be afraid of.” In two primary debates his rivals would attack him considerably over cozy relationships to big business, overly moderate positions, and past support for Republicans. Iacocca would brush it off. “If you’re a businessman in America, you have to get along with everybody. You lose money if you make enemies, and last time I checked I have a lot of money,” he said at a debate to roaring laughter.

At the Minnesota primary he would come into a close second to Ron Wyden, quickly knocking out Carey and Durbin in New Hampshire while coming in a narrow first above Clinton in Virginia. While Clinton would carry the Deep South and Wyden the West and upper Northeast, by Spring Iacocca would clean up the rest of the nation to clinch the Democratic nomination. To shore up his liberal support – given Iacocca’s moderate views and past conservatism made him mistrusted by the base of the party – he selected Pennsylvania congresswoman Lynn Yeakel, both a noted liberal and the first woman selected for a major party ticket. The Iacocca/Yeakel team would take the convention in Madison Square Garden by storm, exuberant Democrats simply tasting their first national victory since 1972.




Summary
"After 16 years of Republican regime, this year will be our Democratic Revolution!" -Lee Iaccoca-

Credit: The Congressman
 
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The 1992 Primaries


Following VR Day, President Donald Rumsfeld was riding high. Approval rating shooting up to nearly 95%, many in the nation were comparing him to Abraham Lincoln and FDR as one of America’s greatest Presidents. And it wasn’t hard to see why. The nation was riding high. Three World Wars and three massive, overwhelming victories with little damage to the homeland. Not one war a defeat and having taken the lead to destroy two malignant, tyrannical ideologies in Nazism and Communism, the national mood in the Summer of 1991 couldn’t be more hyped or jingoistic. America could conquer anything, could surmount any obstacle – could single-handedly pull the world to everlasting peace. While the jingoism and patriotic zeal of victory would not go away, it was tempered with the harsh realities of the post-war era. Worldwide war had greatly disrupted the global economy and trade routes, wartime production orders suddenly halted as the market corrected for a primacy on civilian goods. America (despite some bomb damage) had been spared the devastation that haunted the world, joining China and India (and to a lesser extent South Africa, Australia, and the Asian Tigers) as the primary manufacturing hub as it had following WWII. This helped greatly, but the peacetime shock to a war economy was joined by mass apprehension over the Marburg Virus Epidemic to deal a major blow to the national mood. Unemployment, which had been at a record low of 1.3% in the beginning of 1990, shot up to 6.3% by December 1991 – not a depression by any extent but one that put a damper on the era of good feelings victory had brought. As 1992 began, Rumsfeld’s approval ratings had fallen to 42%.


Donald Rumsfeld would end his presidency with an average approval of 60%, rated by public opinion and presidential scholars as one of the top leaders of the United States. Domestic policy plaudits were mixed, general lack of major change from the Reagan era (his predecessor considered one of the greatest domestic agenda Presidents by the same metrics), the George Ryan Scandal, and the entitlement reform flop contrasting with the focus on funding scientific advancement. He would be primarily known for fighting and winning WWIII, and cementing America’s superpower status in the following peace. Retiring to their home in Winnetka, Illinois, Donald and Joyce Rumsfeld would continue to be active in public life to this day as one of the most distinguished elder statesmen in the country. After 16 years in the political wilderness, the Democratic Party smelled their chance to finally reclaim 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Rumsfeld had rebounded to about 60% approval, but much of that was largely victory goodwill and relief that the Marburg Virus hadn’t reached the United States. Economic uncertainty and concerns over the post-Warsaw state of the world dominated the national mood and the Democrats saw this as their main opening. Nearly two dozen candidates immediately threw their hats into the wing, but by the start of voting in 1992 only five were left. Representative William J. Clinton – fresh off his 1988 run by putting his extramarital affairs issues behind him – looked to consolidate the crucial southern bloc behind him. New York Senator and former Mayor of NYC Hugh Carey ran as a northern communonationalist, while Governor Dick Durbin of Illinois leveraged his executive experience as a populist liberal. Rounding out the field was Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, the great liberal hope. However, it was the fifth candidate in the race that took all the late buzz.


One of the most recognized names in the country, Lee Iacocca certainly had a charmed life. Having overseen the transformation of the Chrysler corporation into one of the top world automakers, he joined his friend and more partisan colleague Donald Trump in managing the Wartime Business Council, a roundtable dedicated to assisting the US Military in war production for WWIII. Often seen on the Chrysler manufacturing floors where the tanks were built, Iacocca was a popular figure by 1991. Long having been bitten by the political bug, he made feelers to both the Republicans and Democrats, but ultimately threw his hat with the latter after determining a Democrat was more likely to win the 1992 general. At first, most of the field ignored Iacocca as too conservative and too anomalous to win, but many pundits and politicos were shocked as he slowly but surely rose in the polls with universal name recognition and a simple but winning message – namely a robust “Second New Deal” that would boost business, growth, and the social safety net. Hence Iacocca’s slogan: “Get America Working Again.” Polls vaunted him to the lead after a leaked RNC memo cited Iacocca as the “candidate we should be afraid of.” In two primary debates his rivals would attack him considerably over cozy relationships to big business, overly moderate positions, and past support for Republicans. Iacocca would brush it off. “If you’re a businessman in America, you have to get along with everybody. You lose money if you make enemies, and last time I checked I have a lot of money,” he said at a debate to roaring laughter.




At the Minnesota primary he would come into a close second to Ron Wyden, quickly knocking out Carey and Durbin in New Hampshire while coming in a narrow first above Clinton in Virginia. While Clinton would carry the Deep South and Wyden the West and upper Northeast, by Spring Iacocca would clean up the rest of the nation to clinch the Democratic nomination. To shore up his liberal support – given Iacocca’s moderate views and past conservatism made him mistrusted by the base of the party – he selected Pennsylvania congresswoman Lynn Yeakel, both a noted liberal and the first woman selected for a major party ticket. The Iacocca/Yeakel team would take the convention in Madison Square Garden by storm, exuberant Democrats simply tasting their first national victory since 1972.



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Summary


Credit: The Congressman
I’m not with my computer right now, but I’ll have a box posted for the Democratic primaries by tonight. Whoever is doing the election itself, can you please PM me with details so I can have it done by the time the update goes out?
 
I’m not with my computer right now, but I’ll have a box posted for the Democratic primaries by tonight. Whoever is doing the election itself, can you please PM me with details so I can have it done by the time the update goes out?
Yeah, I was hoping for that too.

How are the Progressives doing by the way? Are they running anybody?

I am predicting the post-war years might see a return of social liberalism, so Progressive success in a year where they are expected to do poorly could indicate where the political compass is turning.
 
Blessing in Budapest, Blasphemy in Bucharest I
The Treaty of Warsaw fundamentally redefined the contours of Europe. A continent, having gone through ultimate devastation thrice, was now in a state of perpetual somber. Factories blown to bits, communities ripped in shreds, families blown asunder. Destroyed Opera houses that once sung stories of glory now stand as monuments of sorrow, and individual soils from the Rhine to the Volga begged God, implored the Lord to reveal how such a catastrophe could possibly occur. Europe, still strong even after two devastating wars, was finally at its limit.


However, the distribution of sorrow across Europe was far from equal. Hungary, for generations bitter over the 1920 Treaty of Trianon, rejoiced as the Southern part of Slovakia rejoined the Hungarian nation post-Warsaw. "Our Polish brothers have blessed us" was common speak from the bustling streets of Budapest to the small, quiet rural villages around Bekes county.

Many men took claim for the growth of Hungary's borders. Gyula Horn, a veteran in Hungarian foreign relations, claimed that his work was what sealed Hungary's gains. Viktor Orban, a student at Oxford at the time, claimed that his work with the Soros (led by his mentor and patron) foundation strengthening Hungary's global relations was the key to success. However, as the released portion of the Powell report states:

"The most important Hungarian political leader in terms of leading the transition of the Southern portion of then the Slovak Socialist Republic to now the Third Republic of Hungary was then Slovak politician Pal Csaky. An ethnic Hungary community organizer, Csaky provided the most precise and astute lobbying for the ethnic Hungarians, a minority increasingly oppressed in the final days of the Slovak Socialist Republic. His efforts were paramount in the specific changes mentioned in the seventh article of the treatise in Warsaw mentioned earlier above."

With Powell's indirect endorsement, Csaky's popularity shot across the rest of Hungary. Already well known in now the Northern part of Hungary, Csaky already had a strong political base. His only real challengers were József Antall, the nationalist leader from Budapest, and Gyula Horn, the influential former Communist (now Socialist) politician. Antall was fanatically popular in his home city, and was seen by social (especially religious) conservatives across the country as their candidate, while Horn was generally respected for his diplomatic career before and during the war and has a voting bloc in the supporters of the old socialist ways (while of course including reform; majority of his supporters were still anti-communist). Viktor Orban however, while predicted by most as having a bright political future, was still very much a youth leader. His support from financier George Soros and also Orban's commitment to cultural nationalism along with fighting for democratic and liberal values cemented his lead over the youth voter, popular across the spectrum. However, the average middle-aged and elder Hungarian voter did not think much of him, preferring the older, more established candidates. In the end, the Powell Report sealed Csaky's victory, not only garnering votes from zealous constituents across the nation but even dominating the Slovak vote. Unlike Horn (and definitely Antall), Csaky called for ethnic grace. He pledged to protect the Slovak minority, calling them "cultural brothers of the Magyar nation". To top it off, Csaky was the only main face familiar to the ethnic Slovak in the former Slovakia provinces. "Better he who we know and partially trust then the others who don't speak our language and whose hearts may be blackened with rage" was the mood in words for most ethnic Slovak voters. In the end, from both Slovaks and liberals who desired ethnic peace and healthy relations to businesses who feared that hot headed nationalism would destroy the already broken business environment permanently eagerly backed the Sahy (now Ipolysag).

Csaky (for the newly created Hungarian National Party) won with 41.02% of the vote, Antall garnered 30.4%, Horn 11.74% & Orban 8.95%. On the eve of his inauguration, the U.S. State Department's offical response was that "we commend the Hungarian people for conducting free and fair elections, and congrugratulate Prime Minister Csaky for his elecotoral victory. We look forward to building bridges with Budapest for the many years to come. In his inauguration, Csaky promised his commitment to "stability, faith and nation". Even in the physical ruins there was a mass spiritual feeling of jubilancy and a general sense of faith in the return of good times.


(Pal Csaky, Prime Minister of Hungary. While blessed with immense adoration and general national unity, he faced the monumental task of rebuilding the highly battered Eastern European nation from the depths of permanent infrastructural and economic destruction.)


The social atmosphere, however, was far less euphoric in nearby Romania.
 
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@Laxault2020, can you threadmark my update please? Thanks.


@Roberto El Rey, can you make a wikibox for the ITTL 1991 Hungarian elections please? Thanks.


Hey guys just fyi that was my original write up, not something @The Congressman wrote. If he did, I would have given him credit.

@Blebea Cezar-Iulian, Part 2 will address Romania (also Czechoslovakia, Transylvania and Moldova, though there will be a Part III to go over Transylvania and Moldova more in detail).
 
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One minor thing, if a new TL is ongoing can we just fix apart of the story that (all other issues aside) irked me?

Namely the whole "Use central asian units as fodder" aspect leading to dissent. Historically, the Soviets bypassed a fair amount of the nationalistic army unit issues by making sure that in a unit about 2-3 people spoke the same language if that, while the officers were usually Russian and the men were forced to use Russian to communicate as it was one of the few languages they all knew.

Using minority troops as canon fodder isn't that workable a dissent causer, unlike say a famine which has amplified impact due to bombed infrastructure or a backbreaking collapse on a front which can't be hidden.

The whole "Tudeh party gasses kurds" thing is another issue where I think the impact is oversimplified. While it isn't out of possibility (though somewhat unlikely given kurdish rebels tendencies towards left-leaning ideologies would make them more sympathetic to the Tudeh), their immediate flocking to arab nationalist saddam is... well somewhat doubtful.
 

Zharques

Donor
One minor thing, if a new TL is ongoing can we just fix apart of the story that (all other issues aside) irked me?
We aren't going to retcon anything The Congressman has posted, however we might skim over some of the more controversial or inaccurate aspects, or change up what we're to do with them compared to what The Congressman might have planned.

The bottom line is this: for all of us, this is just a hobby. And none of us are geniuses when it comes to politics or world history. We all have specialist areas, and can do rudimentary research, but fundamentally it's hard as we have to try to stay true to The Congressman's vision and world, basic OTL guidelines, the world we want to create, and a compelling storyline. On top of this, we all have competing visions of what we'd like to see, and what makes sense.


Using minority troops as canon fodder isn't that workable a dissent causer
I know it isn't all that satisfactory, but I'm not retconning anything The Congressman has posted, so maybe say that due to it being such a large war, the Soviet's don't have time to micromanage units and are just getting them together as fast as possible (and thus, more ethnic groups are in the same unit, etc.)


Hmm, since you guys are doing post-war stuff now, should I still work on the spy series?
For sure dude. Maybe try globetrotting, maybe post it from a memoirs perspective so it still fits but doesn't interrupt the flow. All we're doing is just posting our ideas based on The Congressman's world
 
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