Whatever happens, 2016 won’t be like 1968 – or 1800
As I write this, it is becoming increasingly likely that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will become the respective Republican and Democratic Presidential nominees in 2016. At the same time, there are predictions that people opposed to these candidates will wreak havoc at the national conventions, and that the Republican Party and possibly the Democratic Party will end up in disarray as a result.
Not so fast.
If you want to see disarray, go back to 1968 in Chicago, when the Democrats gathered. Nominating processes were very different than they are today. While some Democrats worry about the number of “superdelegates” that will be at their convention, there were certainly superdelegates in 1968. There weren’t that many, but you knew who they were. And Richard Daley was the chief superdelegate at that convention.
Outside of the Chicago convention, things were chaotic. And while things weren’t that chaotic inside the convention itself, there was certainly tension.
Inside the Amphitheater, many delegates learn of the violence outside when Senator Abraham Ribicoff, in a speech nominating George McGovern, denounces the “Gestapo tactics on the streets of Chicago.” During the roll call, Wisconsin delegate Donald Peterson announces that people are being beaten on the streets of Chicago….
Peterson asked that the convention be adjourned and moved to another city, but he was ruled out of order. (More on Donald Peterson here.)
To see some of the happenings during that week, view this film. Peterson appears at about 6:35.
And although it didn’t have network television coverage, the 1800 election makes Trump and Cruz look like bosom buddies.