Texas Liberal

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Many Presidents Have Died Early In Their Terms—President Palin

When a President has died in office, it has often been quite early in his term. This has often made a big difference in American history.

This is the Texas Liberal Election Fact of the Day.

The first President to die in office, William Henry Harrison, expired just a month into his term. Harrison died in 1841. President Harrison, at 68 the oldest President to that point, was a Whig. His Vice President, John Tyler, was a representative of the Southern planter class picked to help balance the ticket and not in full agreement with the Whig mainstream. As President, Tyler pursued policies, such a veto of a national bank, that greatly distressed Whig leaders such as Henry Clay.

President Zachary Taylor passed on in 1850 after serving just 17 months of his term. He was succeeded by Millard Filmore

Abe Lincoln’s (above)1865 assassination occurred just a month into his second term. His Vice President, Andrew Johnson (below), who had not been Lincoln’s first term VP, had very different views than Lincoln on Reconstruction, and how the South and Southerners should be handled after the Civil War.

Here is a stark difference between the person elected President and the person elected Vice President. The United States got one month of a great President and just under four years of a terrible President. And black folks got a century of Jim Crow.  

James Garfield was shot in the first year of his term in 1881. He died a few months later. Garfield’s successor, Chester Arthur, might well have been an improvement. President Arthur sought Civil Service reform and was surprisingly independeant despite a reputation as a machine politician.

William McKinley was shot and killed in the first year of his second term in 1901. McKinley’s Vice President, Theodore Roosevelt, who like Andrew Johnson had not been the first term VP, was a very different man than McKinley.

Franklin Roosevelt was shot at in 1933 in the time between his election and inauguration. Roosevelt’s Vice President-elect, John Nance Garner was far more conservative than F.D.R. You might never of had a New Deal if Garner had become President instead of Roosevelt.

Roosevelt would later die in the first weeks of his fourth term. Vice President Harry Truman who had not been VP in the first three F.D.R terms, took the White House and did a pretty good job.  

Also, Ronald Reagan was shot and seriously wounded in his first year as President in 1981.

Let’s say you are less than a hardcore Republican, yet are still considering voting for 72 year old John McCain. American history shows us that you may feel you’re voting for Mr. McCain, but that what you really may get is President Sarah Palin.

October 2, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Election Fact Of The Day, History, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

We All Merit A Bailout Of Some Kind In Life

I think everybody merits a bailout of some kind. People merit a bailout by the mere fact of existence in a tough world.

I don’t mean a financial bailout like we are seeing on Wall Street right now–though if you want to lend somebody in need a few dollars that would be fine—but just as a general matter. Everybody in life needs a break.  

A bailout need not imply anybody has done something wrong. It might simply suggest that for whatever reason, things are not going as well as they could and somebody needs help.

I’m not saying that bad behavior should go unpunished. Or even unremarked. I’m not calling for an amnesty. ( Though if you are in a forgiving mood, you might want to consider an amnesty for somebody in your life you feel has done you wrong.) 

A bailout could be emotional in the sense of reaching out to a person having a hard time. It could be about money. It could be helping a stranger in distress. It might involve forgiving somebody. It’s up to you to define. The kind of bailout I am talking about does not require an act of Congress.

The Wall Street Bailout is lousy. I think people both for and against the bailout feel it is regrettable we have come to this point.

But this does not mean that the larger concept of a bailout is bad. Use the idea of a bailout that we hear about in the news today as a starting point to a good act in your own life and in the lives of others.

We all need a bailout of some kind.

October 2, 2008 Posted by | Relationships | , , , | 3 Comments