Craziest Elections Part II: 1860

The 1800s were turbulent time in America, with the nation discovering what it was. It was growing exponentially, assimilating tens of millions of new immigrants. America had captured the imagination of the entire world.

It was also a time of confronting the evil of slavery. The Founders had laid the groundwork, stopping the importation of slaves. But ending the practice of slavery itself would require the right leader, at the right time to see the country safely through to the other side. The election of 1860 was critically important to achieve this worthy goal, with Abraham Lincoln rising to capture the attention of the nation and secure his place in history.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

GLENN: In this series, we're talking about crazy elections. And one of the more crazy elections happened in the 1800s. They were turbulent. It was an amazing century for the United States. The nation was discovering who it was, what it was. It was growing exponentially. It was assimilating tens of millions of new immigrants, and it was expanding. It was discovering, flexing its muscle. It had captured the imagination of the entire world.

But it was also the time when it was finally forced to confront the evil that it didn't end on its inception. The Founders had laid the groundwork. They stopped the importation of slaves, but the ending of slavery itself had to wait for the right leader at the right time in order to see the country safely through to the other side.

That is why the election of 1860 was so critically important. The two-party system at the time was just comprised of the Democrats and the Whigs. And the sitting Democratic president James Buchanan was so unpopular, that he wasn't even brought up by his party to be nominated to run for reelection.

They made the frontrunner, Democratic Illinois senator Stephen A. Douglas. John Breckenridge, the vice president from Kentucky, he was representing the Southern Democratic Party. John Bell from Tennessee was the constitutional Union Whig Party candidate. And then representing a new 4-year-old Republican Party was an awkward, lanky Abraham Lincoln.

Here's the question I ask: Where there Americans in 1860 that were saying, you know, if you vote for Abraham Lincoln, you're just wasting your vote? Or that a vote for Lincoln is actually a vote for Breckenridge? Because Lincoln was the third party candidate in 1860.

And the country was a mess. Many Southern states were already threatening to secede in the lead-up to the election. And one of the things that was well-known in the South about Lincoln was that he hated slavery. And many in the South, especially the deep South, hated him for it.

At the time, Lincoln had no intention of going to war with the South, if elected. Which in part, won him the Republican nomination. But those in the South, they didn't believe him. Lincoln had an interesting strategy for the campaign which was very different from the plan that Douglas had.

VOICE: Photographs played a vital role in the election of Abraham Lincoln as the 16th US president.

In the final weeks of the campaign, instead of giving speeches, Lincoln took every available opportunity to pose for photographers and sculptors. Simultaneously, his old rival Stephen Douglas made the critical mistake of hitting the campaign trail.

In the 1800s, a presidential nominee who actively campaigned was ridiculed for seeming so desperate. And this is exactly how the public reacted to the Douglas whirlwind tour. Lincoln was campaigning just as hard, but not by making visits and giving speeches. Instead, by having his photograph show up everywhere in his place.

GLENN: Actively campaigning was seen as desperate in the 1800s. Oh, if we could only get that desperate part of our country back.

A lot of secession talk from the South. Rumors were swirling and scare tactic rhetoric was abundant, that if Lincoln won, there would be secession in war.

But Lincoln and his team ignored that. He carried the North and did well enough elsewhere to win the presidency by a significant margin, taking the popular vote 39.8 percent to 29.5 percent for Douglas and the electoral vote 180 to 72 over Breckenridge.

But by the time Lincoln was inaugurated, six states had already seceded from the Union. Nine more would follow, as well as the bloodiest war in American history.

Abraham Lincoln was perhaps the man born to see America through its most perilous period. In 1875, Ulysses S. Grant, the two-term president of the United States, about to attempt to become America's first three-term president ignoring the tradition set by George Washington to self-limit to two, Grant himself, despite the terrible economy -- in fact, a three-year depression that had left 3 million Americans unemployed and being bogged down in corruption and scandals, Grant was ready to go for the presidency again, as were his advisers.

But then Congress passed a resolution by a vote of 233 to 18 stating that Washington started the two-term tradition to avoid a dictatorship. And apparently, that helped sway the American public as it turned the tide in the thinking and the plans of Ulysses S. Grant.

In the end, he finally decided against running for a third term. That left the election to the eventual Republican nominee, Ohio governor Rutherford B. Hayes and the Democratic nominee Samuel Tilden, the governor of New York.

After winning the Republican nomination on the seventh ballot, political writer Roy Morris Jr. explained that Hayes...

VOICE: In his acceptance letter to the Republican convention -- nominees didn't appear at the convention in those days -- he promised a return to good honest government, a reform of the civil service system, and an elimination of bribery and corruption in Washington. Compared to the other Republican candidates such as Blaine and Conklin, he was squeaky clean. So was his wife, a tireless temperance crusader known as Lemonade Lucy, for her refusal to serve alcoholic beverages at official state functions.

GLENN: Tilden, on the other hand, presented by newspapermen at the time in a rather unusual way.

VOICE: He was a lifelong bachelor. And during the ensuing campaign, there were several cartoons ran showing him wearing a dress. Which was a not so subtle suggestion that he was gay.

GLENN: Even with the insinuation of Tilden being gay -- keeping in mind this is 1876 and a very different mindset -- still Samuel Tilden won the popular vote for presidency 51-48. Oh, we were such haters. He also won the electoral college vote, 184-165, with 20 electoral votes unresolved. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Yeah, you heard me right. I did just say that: Sam Tilden won both the popular and electoral vote. But we don't have President Sam Tilden anywhere. What happened?

Well, two days before inauguration day, March 2nd, 1877, facing a constitutional crisis the likes of which the nation had never experienced, Congress created a temporary group called the Electoral Commission, which superseded the electoral college. You want to talk about an election being stolen: They wanted to determine what to do with the 20 unresolved, uncommitted electoral votes.

The Democrats threatened to filibuster through Inauguration Day, in order just to get their nominee the necessary votes. But instead, a deal was struck with the Democrats. By the electoral commission, they would accept Republican Rutherford Hayes as president. And in exchange, they would withdraw the northern occupation troops from the South.

This turned out to be a really bad thing because it ended reconstruction, enabled the South to reenact all the laws that were discriminatory against the blacks. So, yes, once again, the Democrats and all the weasely politicians in Washington made a deal that somehow worked out for them, but not so much for the American people.

The 20 unresolved votes all went to Hayes, giving him the closest margin of victory in American history, 185 to 184 electoral votes. It was also the election with the highest percentage of voter turnout in American history. 82 percent. It was also the only time in American history where a candidate received more than 50 percent of the popular vote, but was denied the presidency.

It kind of puts the whole election mess of 2000 into perspective, doesn't it? The elections of 1912, progressive versus progressive. For the first time in American history. And the election of 1948 in the next episode.

Everything comes down to the two Senate runoffs in Georgia. If we lose both races, we lose the country. Democrats know this and are pouring in millions to usher in a Marxist agenda.

As the Left tries to hide how radical the two candidates really are, Glenn takes us inside the Democrat war room to expose the wolf in pastor's clothing, Raphael Warnock, and America's Justin Trudeau, Jon Ossoff. Socialism, the Green New Deal, and "defund the police" are all on the table. And Glenn warns of what's to come if conservatives don't activate: Chuck Schumer will weaponize the Senate, and the radical Left will launch an all-out assault to ravage the Constitution.

Watch the full special below:

The election and its aftermath are the most important stories in America. That's why we're offering our most timely discount ever: $30 off a one-year subscription to BlazeTV with code "GLENN." With BlazeTV, you get the unvarnished truth from the most pro-America network in the country, free from Big Tech and MSM censors.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" to explain how mail-in ballots are typically disqualified during recounts at a far higher rate than in-person, Election Day ballots, and why this is "good news" for President Donald Trump's legal battle over the election.

"One of the things that gives the greatest cause for optimism is, this election ... there's a pretty marked disparity in terms of how the votes were distributed. On Election Day, with in-person voting, Donald Trump won a significant majority of the votes cast on in-person voting on Election Day. Of mail-in voting, Joe Biden won a significant majority of the votes cast early on mail-in voting," Cruz explained.

"Now, here's the good news: If you look historically to recounts, if you look historically to election litigation, the votes cast in person on Election Day tend to stand. It's sort of hard to screw that up. Those votes are generally legal, and they're not set aside. Mail-in votes historically have a much higher rate of rejection … when they're examined, there are a whole series of legal requirements that vary state by state, but mail-in votes consistently have a higher rate of rejection, which suggests that as these votes begin being examined and subjected to scrutiny, that you're going to see Joe Biden's vote tallies go down. That's a good thing," he added. "The challenge is, for President Trump to prevail, he's got to run the table. He's got to win, not just in one state but in several states. That makes it a lot harder to prevail in the litigation. I hope that he does so, but it is a real challenge and we shouldn't try to convince ourselves otherwise."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation:

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Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean is perhaps even more disgusted with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) for his coronavirus response than BlazeTV's Stu Burguiere (read what Stu has to say on the subject here), and for a good reason.

She lost both of her in-laws to COVID-19 in New York's nursing homes after Gov. Cuomo's infamous nursing home mandate, which Cuomo has since had scrubbed from the state's website and blamed everyone from the New York Post to nursing care workers to (every leftist's favorite scapegoat) President Donald Trump.

Janice joined Glenn and Stu on the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Tuesday to ask why mainstream media is not holding Gov. Cuomo — who recently published a book about his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic — accountable?

"I'm vocal because I have not seen the mainstream media ask these questions or demand accountability of their leaders. [Cuomo] really has been ruling with an iron fist, and every time he does get asked a question, he blames everybody else except the person that signed that order," Janice said.

"In my mind, he's profiting off the over 30 thousand New Yorkers, including my in-laws, that died by publishing a book on 'leadership' of New York," she added. "His order has helped kill thousands of relatives of New York state. And this is not political, Glenn. This is not about Republican or Democrat. My in-laws were registered Democrats. This is not about politics. This is about accountability for something that went wrong, and it's because of your [Cuomo's] leadership that we're put into this situation."

Watch the video excerpt from the show below:

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As America grows divided and afraid to disagree with the Democrats' woke plan for America, Megyn Kelly is ready to fight back for the truth. For nearly two decades, she navigated the volatile and broken world of the media. But as America leans on independent voices more than ever, she's breaking new ground with "The Megyn Kelly Show."

She joined the latest Glenn Beck Podcast to break down what's coming next after the election: Black Lives Matter is mainstream, leftists are making lists of Trump supporters, and the Hunter Biden scandal is on the back burner.

Megyn and Glenn reminisce about their cable news days (including her infamous run-in with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump) and to look into the chaotic and shady world of journalism and the growing entitlement it's bred. For example, many conservatives have been shocked by how Fox News handled the election.

Megyn defended Fox News, saying she believes Fox News' mission "is a good one," but also didn't hold back on hosts like Neil Cavuto, who cut off a White House briefing to fact check it — something she never would have done, even while covering President Obama.

Megyn also shared this insightful takeaway from her time at NBC: "Jane Fonda was an ass."

Watch the full podcast here:

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