"The Making of a President: Harry Truman's Third Term" by Eric Lipps
Author says: what if Harry Truman ran for re-election in 1952, and won muses Eric Lipps?. Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
November 5th, 1952: at 3:15
A.M., incumbent Harry S. Truman is declared the winner of the U.S. presidential
election, embarrassing, among others, the Chicago Tribune newspaper, which
incredibly had repeated its humiliating blunder of 1948 by once again
prematurely calling the race for Truman's opponent in print.
Republican nominee Dwight D. Eisenhower, like Thomas E. Dewey four years earlier, is gracious in defeat, although the popular World War II general's running mate, Sen. Richard M. Nixon of California, is less so, hinting darkly of fraud to reporters.
Truman's victory is, if anything, an even more stunning surprise this time
around than it had been in 1948. The President's popularity had improved
somewhat since then, especially in the South, where his hints four years
earlier that he favored desegregation of the armed forces had led to threats
by Southerners to mount a third-party challenge. The President's decision to
heed military advisers who had warned that desegregation would undermine "unit
cohesion" at a time when it appeared the U.S. might, despite its nuclear
monopoly, have to intervene militarily in several overseas trouble spots, had
defused that threat, but his refusal to take a strong stand with
segregationists against such civil-rights liberals as Minnesota Sen. Hubert H.
Humphrey had left lingering suspicions among Southern whites. On the other
hand, his apparent unwillingness to take on the Dixiecrats had undermined
black support for the Democratic Party. And the rise of Sen. Joseph R.
McCarthy, whose charge of "twenty years of treason" on the part of the
Democrats, worked against him as well: McCarthy blamed Truman for the Soviets'
development of their own atomic bomb in 1949 and the "loss" of mainland China
to the Communists that same year. To stem the slide, the President had
resorted to steadily harsher anti-Communist rhetoric and had supported
hard-line measures such as the National Security Act of 1950, which had
declared the Communist Party an illegal foreign conspiracy and authorized the
reactivation of six of the internment camps used to hold Japanese-Americans
during World War II, this time to hold "Communists and Communist sympathizers"
should the order for a roundup be given during a national emergency.
it was the Republicans themselves who rescued Truman. Backbiting within the
GOP between isolationists led by Sen. Robert A. Taft and interventionists, who
favored Eisenhower, weakened partisan unity when Eisenhower received the
party's nomination in exchange for agreeing to take the Taft faction's man,
Nixon, as his VP. The uncomfortable relationship between the two men was
worsened when, following the Republican convention, Sen. McCarthy expressed
the view that Nixon himself--a vigorous McCarthy backer--would have been a
better pick for the top spot.
In the end, it had come down to turnout, with Southern whites going
narrowly for Truman, a Missouri native, over Eisenhower despite their
reservations about the Democrat, while many Republicans dissatisfied with Ike,
Nixon or both simply stayed home.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.