Presidential Election: 1960

Who do you vote for as President in 1960?

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    17
Jun 2017
2,512
Connecticut
#21
TBH, Nixon's Southern strategy appears to have been largely rhetorical. I mean, desegregation was primarily in the hands of the courts and Nixon's SCOTUS Justices, with the exception of Rehnquist, weren't exactly social conservatives either. Also, welfare cutting only gained steam later--not under Nixon.
But whether or not it happens is largely dependent on who signs the Civil Rights Act. If a Republican does the southern democrats aren't going to shift to the Republicans in 1968 and even in our timeline that was a quite more gradual process than people want to admit though the Civil Rights Act certainly was the driving force it took a long time before the Democratic Party keeled over in the South.

Don't think SCOTUS is relevant here tbh. Southern strategy was based on capitalizing on white feelings about desegregation not about actually stopping it. That being said, Courts can't just desegregate at the snap of a finger, you need to keep suing over and over again after cases and controversy found to have standing that are successfully appealed from segregationist dominated state and local courts and the court then needs to file specific orders to stop it. Long and difficult process and the Southern state and local officials knew this and successfully held off desegregation for decades and many argue that a state of semi segregation still exists in practice. SCOTUS is a court consisting of nine people and a bunch of law clerks they can't micromanage this, only can interpret the law in the cases that come to their court, they are deferring to the executive branch to enforce the law as they interpret it.
 
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Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,495
SoCal
#22
But whether or not it happens is largely dependent on who signs the Civil Rights Act. If a Republican does the southern democrats aren't going to shift to the Republicans in 1968 and even in our timeline that was a quite more gradual process than people want to admit though the Civil Rights Act certainly was the driving force it took a long time before the Democratic Party keeled over in the South.
Agreed that Southerners might remain in the Democratic Party if a GOP Prez signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
 

Viperlord

Ad Honorem
Aug 2010
8,069
VA
#23
TBH, Nixon's Southern strategy appears to have been largely rhetorical. I mean, desegregation was primarily in the hands of the courts and Nixon's SCOTUS Justices, with the exception of Rehnquist, weren't exactly social conservatives either. Also, welfare cutting only gained steam later--not under Nixon.
I think this is a flat-out terrible read of what actually went on during NIxon's administration. Nixon tried to appoint two Southern segregationists to the court and was stopped by the Senate. He cut back on welfare as much as he possibly could without actually having his party in control of the purse strings, appointing guys like Casper Weinberger to HEW specifically to find things to cut. He won at the 1968 convention by cutting a deal with Strom Thurmond, a deal to slow down desegregation that he largely upheld. Wallace didn't threaten Nixon's reelection as he had his election in part because he was not especially unhappy with how NIxon handled the issue. NIxon escalated the War on Drugs into an explicitly racist assault on the black community and its enfranchisement, as candidly stated by Nixon's own aides who designed the policy such as Haldeman.

grey fox said:
Why do you shudder to think of the Cuban Missile Crisis with Nixon at the helm? What do you think would have likely happened if the Cuban Missile Crisis happened with Nixon at the helm?
Nixon was just as hawkish on Cuba as Kennedy, so the Bay of Pigs and all of that still happens. The Cuban Missile Crisis still happens. Except Nixon, who was not a stable or especially rational man under pressure (see any of his tapes for god's sake) probably does not overrule the bulk of the advice he is getting from his advisors, particularly the military, and escalates the crisis with military action, with potentially cataclysmic consequences.
 
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Jul 2013
9,724
San Antonio, Tx
#24
It may seem odd and hard to believe now, but back then Kennedy's Catholicism was a BIG issue.
Yes, true. It was dumb, but something we had to “get out of the way”, I guess. I watched all of the debates. Kennedy basically destroyed Nixon and yet it was Nixon who everyone thought would have been the better debater. He wasn’t. My parents raced to the polls to vote for Kennedy.
 
Jul 2013
9,724
San Antonio, Tx
#25
In 1960 I would have voted for Nixon. I didn’t vote for him either time he was elected though
Nixon to me was about as genuine and as honest as a three-dollar bill. I voted against him twice, but that didn’t work out too well, although he got his well-served comeuppance later on. He was smart, but he was a rat.
 
#26
I watched this video for some background info on the election, one thing cropped up which caught my attention: Did radio listeners really think Nixon won the debates while TV audiences believed Kennedy won? I'd assume the political views of radio + TV viewers also played a hand, it's still interesting to think how important & normal televised debates are now.

 

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