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Lucky Lindy by Eric Lipps

Author says: what if Charles Lindbergh ran as a Republican Candidate? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

On May 20th, 1927:

Charles A. Lindbergh set out on the first solo nonstop trans-Atlantic airplane flight, from New York to Paris.

Part OneUpon his successful landing the next day, Lindbergh became an instant world hero. His celebrity would be compounded by the tragic kidnapping of his son and by his collaboration with physician-inventor Alexis Carrel in developing a perfusion pump which could keep organs alive outside the body.

In the late 1930s, Lindbergh became convinced that Nazi Germany possessed unbeatable air superiority and began speaking out in favor of U.S. isolationism in the face of the threat of another war in Europe. By 1939, however, he had begun distancing himself from groups such as the America First Committee, which had sought to recruit him as a spokesman and even a third-party presidential candidate. Instead, Lindbergh explored a presidential run as either a Democrat or a Republican. When it became clear that President Franklin Roosevelt planned to run for an unprecedented third term, Lindbergh chose the Republicans - who were more than happy to have him, given the colorlessness of such leading GOP contenders as Thomas E. Dewey and Wendell Willkie. Lindbergh easily captured the GOP presidential nomination, choosing Willkie as his running mate in a ticket-balancing effort.

The fall campaign was brutal. FDR's partisans did not shy away from hinting that Lindbergh, who in addition to his vocal isolationism had paid a high-profile visit to Germany in 1938 and received the Commander Cross of the Order of the German Eagle from Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering. Lindbergh's partisans retaliated with stories of alleged marital infidelity on the part of the President, insinuations that his health was deteriorating and bitter attacks on his political program. Lindbergh himself made several speeches suggesting that FDR wanted to involve America in what, by then, had gone from a mere threat of war to an actual conflict in which the famed aviator's concerns about German air power seemed to have been borne out.

On November 5th, 1940:

Americans went to the polls bitterly divided. Roosevelt had the support of liberals and many moderates, but Lindbergh was far more popular with conservatives, especially in the South, where he had made a point of campaigning on assurances that he would not meddle with white supremacy or listen to "advisers whose background is alien to our Christian American traditions", a thinly veiled reference to Jews.

Part TwoLindbergh also had the backing of powerful industrialists, among them the aging Henry Ford, who had been feted in Germany shortly after the candidate, and Thomas B. Watson of International Business Machines, whose company had established a booming business providing the third Reich's bureaucracy with tabulating machines. Lindbergh's slogan, "Real Jobs for a Strong America", was both a slam at the make-wok character of many of the jobs provided by such New Deal agencies as the Civilian Conservation Corps and an advertisement for his "America Invincible" program, a massive military buildup aimed at making the U.S. too strong militarily for any foreign power to dare attack, and this free to remain isolated from the growing storm abroad.

That this program was likely to cost as least as much as the New Deal and result in even greater expansion of governmental power counted less with many on the right than getting "That Man," as they called FDR, out of the Oval Office. Lindbergh also shrewdly appealed to those, mainly but not exclusively on the right, who were troubled by Roosevelt's decision to break the two-term tradition George Washington had begun, stoking fear and anger by asking repeatedly whether FDR ever intended to leave office at all. FDR's refusal to take the bait by promising that this would be his last race only seemed to make the aviator-hero's point for him.

It would be six A.M. the following morning before the results were in: Lindbergh had eked out a narrow victory, and would become the thirty-third President of the United States of America. In the euphoria of the moment, "Lucky Lindy" had no idea that his cherished dream of an invulnerable America standing aloof from the world was already under siege, on an island named Peenemunde and in the work of German physicists exploring the frightening implications of a discovery made in late December of 1938.

Author says this story was originally posted on Zach's Blog. To view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site for American Guerillas.

Other Stories by Eric Lipps

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Hanoi Horror City Found on Mars Assassination Attempt Backfires

Eric Lipps, Guest Historian of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

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.


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