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Andrew Jackson, Grover Cleveland, and Al Gore had strong cases for arguing election unfairness


… Trump actually has no case


The United States’ system for electing presidents is unusual and often unfair, but it has usually been right -- and fair.


Most often, the person with the most number of votes wins the election.


In 2020, Donald Trump lost his bid for re-election both in the popular and electoral college vote, yet he claimed that the election was stolen away from him. He is obviously wrong, and the courts from the states to the U.S. Supreme Court have found not fraud despite his insistence that it occurred.

However, historically, Trump has really no case when looking at some of the candidates who might indeed have had their elections stolen from them.

Take Old Hickory, for example.

Jackson won 1824 popular vote — big time

The difficult part of the electoral process centers around the electoral college that requires that a candidate who wins the states wins all of its electoral votes. The electoral college proved to be problematic for Andrew Jackson in 1824 when he won the popular vote and the electoral college but still lost in a decision in the U.S. House of Representatives,


The election was strange because for the first time, no candidate represented the Federalist Party. All were Democratic-Republicans, and that made it unusual,


The outcome of the very close election surprised political leaders. The winner in the all-important Electoral College was Andrew Jackson, the hero of the War of 1812, with ninety-nine votes. He was followed by JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, the son of the second president and Monroe's secretary of state, who secured eighty-four votes. Meanwhile Crawford trailed well behind with just forty-one votes. Although Jackson seemed to have won a narrow victory, receiving 43 percent of the popular vote versus just 30 percent for Adams, he would not be seated as the country's sixth president. Because nobody had received a majority of votes in the electoral college, the House of Representatives had to choose between the top two candidates.

“The 1824 Election and the ‘Corrupt Bargain’,” History.com


The Corrupt Bargain


Jackson had reason to complain that he was finagled out of a win for the presidency,


We can start with Trump's supposed hero, Andrew Jackson, who won the popular vote by a substantial margin in the 1824 election but was not elected because no candidate had won enough electoral votes. Under the terms of the 12th Amendment, the election was decided in the House of Representatives, where Speaker Henry Clay threw his influence behind Secretary of State John Quincy Adams. As president, Adams in turn appointed Clay as his secretary of state, and Jackson, not without plausibility, accused the two of making a "corrupt bargain."

This was never proved, and since Clay had followed the Constitution, Jackson had no legal claim that he'd been cheated. There's no doubt that the Adams-Clay deal was ethically questionable, and Jackson used his sense of outrage to help form a new political organization — the Democratic Party.

Matthew Rozsa, “Untwist your knickers, Trump fans: History says

the 2020 election was nothing special,” Salon, August 1, 2021


Loser won in 1876, and then Grover Cleveland lost in 1888

In 1876, the loser in the electoral college became president, and in 1888, the winner of the popular vote did not win the election,


Both Democrats and Republicans actively suppressed votes and tampered with results during the 1876 election. Arguably, Rutherford B. Hayes and the Republicans were just a little better at it than Samuel Tilden and the Democrats. A second civil war nearly broke out after that contest, averted because both parties agreed to a racist compromise that allowed Hayes to take the White House while Southern Democrats brought an end to Reconstruction and reduced Black people to second-class citizenship.


After Grover Cleveland lost the 1888 election — despite winning the popular vote, like Jackson and Tilden before him — many of his Democratic supporters accused Republicans of fraud, although Cleveland himself dismissed those


Matthew Rozsa, Salon, August 1, 2021

U.S. Supreme Court elected G. W. Bush in 2000


What is clear is that Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000 by approximately 500,000 votes. What has never been clear is who won the state of Florida — and the electoral college — because the U.S. Supreme Court ended the recount of the election and anointed George W. Bush as president, with disastrous consequences.

Bush failed to protect us against Osama bin Laden, he failed to win wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and he failed to capture bin Laden, who orchestrated 9/11.


To say nothing about the horrific financial collapse under his guidance.

Many Democrats still believe that Gore was cheated out of the presidency,


First, we know that Gore won Florida in 2000. If a full, fair statewide recount had taken place, he would have become president.

Second, Gore lost largely because, unlike Bush, he refused to fight with all the tools available to him.

Jane McAlevey, a longtime union organizer, witnessed the disaster up close as part of the AFL-CIO’s team on the ground in West Palm Beach. In the prologue to her 2012 book, “Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell)” (excerpted with permission below), she describes what she saw in enraging detail, concluding that “the absolute determination with which the labor elite and the Democratic Party leadership crushed their own constituents’ desire to express their political passions cost us the election.”


Today, she is deeply concerned that Democrats have forgotten — or never even knew — what happened 18 years ago. “It’s another national, defining crisis,” McAlevey said Friday. “We need to win it this time. If Democrats have not learned the lessons from 2000, [the GOP] will manipulate the process again and take away the rightful decision of the voters, in Florida, Arizona and Georgia.”


Jon Schwartz, “Democrats should remember Al Gore won Florid in 2000 — but lost the presidency with a pre-emptive surrender,” The Intercept, November 10, 2018

None of them advocated an insurrection

The difference from those elections and 2020 are stark. First, Trump won neither the popular vote nor the electoral college. Second, none of those earlier candidates ever said that his successor was corrupt and it was a sham,

If Trump were correct in his assertions about the 2020 election (which, once again, he absolutely is not), that would of course be an injustice. But it probably wouldn't make the list of the top 10 injustices in American political history.

To state the obvious, Trump fans don't care about political injustice and absolutely don't care about history. Those are just excuses for a blatant attempt to overthrow democracy. If Trump's supporters want to believe they are special, in one sense they are. They remain loyal to the only president in American history to openly flout George Washington's most important precedent — the peaceful transfer of power.


Matthew Rozsa, Salon, August 1, 2021


So, history does not lie. However, while figures do not lie, liars figure, and today there are many liars out there.



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