Too Bad for Democracy: The Elections of 1912 and 2016
104 years later America has not learned its lesson.
In political history, there are events that change the course of a nation for good or for the worst and these are events both Democrats and Republicans should learn from. The election of 1912 between Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, William Taft and Eugene Debs is one that Democrats should have studied and learned from, this election illustrated to the people and our political system a multi-party system works.
Sidebar: the election of 1912, America was robbed of a great leader — Theodore Roosevelt; he represented the need for change during that era and the interest of the people.
What took place in 1912, the divide of the Republican party-progressives versus conservative, is what happened to the Democrats in 2016.
Sidebar: is it weird Republicans had a progressive faction of their party in 1912?
The 2016 elections were abysmal, especially for the Democrats, their actions of shoving an unwanted candidate representing the status quo and not being relatable caused their loss. Additionally, to disregard millions of voters supporting Bernie illustrated the voices of the people who opinions differ from the establishment does not matter. In the 1912 elections, the status quo Republicans did the same thing to Theodore Roosevelt, ignoring the supporters and the issues Theodore Roosevelt was campaigning on. A minimum wage for women, an eight-hour work day, child labor laws, a social security system and a national health system, these issues of 1912 are the same as the issues Bernie campaigned on in 2016.
Sidebar: it is sad that our nation 104 years later is still fighting for the social needs of the people in the wealthiest country in the world.
Both Bernie and Theodore represented the voices of the people campaigning on similar issues, resonating with millions of people who understood that the same old same old does not work. America was robbed of great men who understood the future and had a vision, whereas the establishment Republicans of 1912 and the establishment Democrats of 2016 do not have vision nor understand the future. What is striking about the 1912 elections is Theodore Roosevelt running as a third party candidate and coming in second place.
Sidebar: a third party candidate beating the incumbent president is a clear example America needs a multi-party system and if Bernie ran as a third party candidate, I am sure he would have won.
Having a vision and understanding of the future is what Theodore Roosevelt and Bernie Sanders knew would have been able to get the job done. The establishment of 1912 and 2016 deprived America and the people of having a vision understanding the future by manipulating the elections in favor of status quo candidates. In 1912 and 2016 the nation was close to having a different future, a future where we would not have to debate the same issues 104 years later. It is too bad for our democracy that a handful of people with a groupthink mentality who does not have a vision nor understand the future have taken away the opportunity for a better nation. Furthermore, besides the 1912 elections demonstrating having a multi-party system works where every candidate has a voice, it also demonstrates that 104 years later we have not made any progress because we are debating the same issues.