The Democratic Party cost themselves the presidential election of 1968 and a chance to win the White House for a third straight time and 8-10 presidential elections, going back to 1932 with FDR. To go along with another Democratic Congress because of how divided they were on the Vietnam War. A lot of that can be blamed on President Johnson’s handling of the Vietnam War, but this can also be blamed on the Far-Left flank of the Democratic Party that’s anti-war period. Even when we are attacked and they can take their anti-war feelings to extreme at times, as we saw with the 1968 riots at the Democratic Convention.
The New-Left in the Democratic Party doesn’t deserve all the blame here. The Chicago Police didn’t do a very good job of handling the situation either. And of course Richard Nixon being the master politician that he was, jumped all over on the Democratic division and moved himself to be a unity candidate. Which of course he wasn’t. By the time President Nixon left office in August of 1974, America if anything was even more divided. 1968 was a crazy year with a lot of bad for the country with some good in it. But all bad for the Democratic Party.
A year where President Johnson announced he wasn’t running for reelection as President because of how unpopular he was. But even had he run for reelection, he would’ve had a very hard time getting renominated by a party that had moved away from him. And had moved into an anti-war socialist direction. That wanted to bring all of our troops home from Vietnam and use that money to build the country.
1968 was also a crazy year for democrats who once they moved away from LBJ, the Far-Left flank of the party went searching for their own candidate to take on the GOP in the fall. First it was Senator Eugene McCarthy until Senator Robert Kennedy declared his candidacy for President, then they threw all of their support behind him up until he was assassinated in June of 68. And then of the party went behind Vice President Hubert Humphrey, the establishment wing of the party.
But some New-Left support went back to Senator McCarthy, as well as Senator George McGovern. Another candidate from the Far-Left flank of the party. As it turned out even though 1968 might have looked like a fluke, it clearly wasn’t. Because in 1972 Democrats had similar issues. They were disorganized, didn’t have a clear leader with more divisive presidential primary’s and once again the Far-Left flank deciding who the Democratic presidential nominee would be. Senator George McGovern taking on an establishment GOP Candidate President Nixon and losing 49 States in a landslide.
When the Democratic Party is united it tends to win and do very well. Because its bigger than the Republican Party and represents more people in the country. But when it’s divided like it was in 68, 72, 80 and 84, it loses very bad. Because a faction of their party doesn’t show up to the polls to vote.