Craziest Elections Part IV: 1948

In the presidential election of 1948, the incumbent president Harry S. Truman was facing off against his Republican challenger, Thomas Dewey. Truman had succeeded to the presidency in 1945 following the death of President Franklin Roosevelt. The election, considered to be the greatest upset in American election history, had virtually every single indicator predicting Dewey as the victor. There may have only been one person in the United States who firmly believed Harry Truman would win the election: Harry Truman himself.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

GLENN: Listening to the media follow the 2016 presidential election, you might actually be led to believe that the polls and the media had never before gotten an election wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the presidential election of 1948, the incumbent president Harry S Truman who was the Democratic nominee and who had succeeded to the presidency after the death of president Franklin Roosevelt in 1945 was running against Thomas Dewey, the Republican nominee who had also been the Republican presidential nominee in 1944. The election is considered to be the greatest election upset in American history. Virtually every single prediction indicated that Truman would be defeated by Dewey.

In fact, there may have only been one person in the United States of America who actually firmly believed that Harry Truman would win the election.

VOICE: The next four years will be a Democrat in the White House, and you're looking at him.

GLENN: That person was Harry Truman. Somehow through it all, Truman held onto the belief that he was going to pull off this amazing upset.

VOICE: The New York Times was predicting Dewey would run away with the election. The poll was so certain of the outcome, it stopped polling before the end of October.

GLENN: Then came election night. His early returns started to come in. The staff of the Chicago tribute and one of America's largest newspapers at the time were still confident enough in a Dewey victory to go to print with their first edition headline reading Dewey defeats Truman. The story accompanying the headline was even more wrong. In addition to declaring Dewey the president, it also declared a Republican sweep of the election, claiming Republican control of the House of Representatives and the senate, indicating that the GOP would have an easy time pushing through an agenda with control of congress and the White House. But that didn't happen. Instead, Truman did win the presidency with a electoral vote of 303, over Dewey but Democrats regained the control of the house and the senate that they had lost in 1946. The new media of the day were amazed at what they had witnessed.

VOICE: I think we can all agree on one thing. That not politically but looking at it from a news standpoint, this is a marvelous news story. One of the great news stories of all time.

VOICE: Right.

VOICE: What a lucky thing three fellas like this on this new and tremendously growing thing like television had a chance to play a part of.

GLENN: Dewey was gracious in his concession speech.

VOICE: I've sent the following wire to President Truman. My heartiest congratulations to you. I urge all Americans to unite behind you in support of every effort to keep our nation strong and free and to establish peace in the world.

GLENN: So the Democrats had set the all-time record for the party winning their fifth consecutive presidential election in 1952. Dwight Eisenhower final reverse this trend. Ike was now limited to two terms, which was quickly passed and added to the constitution after FDR's four terms. As a result in 1960, Eisenhower's vice president Richard Nixon ran against a young, upstart senator John F Kennedy. It was Kennedy's catchy presidential ad jingle that seemed to be.

VOICE: Do you want a man who is seasoned, a man who is old enough to know. And young enough to do. Well, it's up to you, up to you, it's strictly up to you. It's Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy.

GLENN: Nixon's campaign was a little more low-key.

VOICE: What is the most important issue confronting the American people in this election campaign? There's no question about the answer that I have found in traveling all over this nation. Above everything else, the American people want leaders who will keep the peace without surrender for America and the world. Henry and I have had the opportunity for serving with president Eisenhower in this cause for the last seven and a half years. We both know Mr. Crusha. We have sat opposite of the conference table with him. We will keep America the strongest nation in the world, and we will couple that strength with firm diplomacy. No apologies. No regrets.

GLENN: Plus Nixon made multiple mistakes during the campaign that cost him dearly. Including an incredibly poor performance in the nation's first televised presidential debate, and he wound up losing to JFK by 112,000 votes nationwide. A .17% different. But there is no doubt that one of, if not the craziest elections in American history took place in 2000. It happened between Texas governor George W. Bush and vice president Al Gore.

The nation had been through scandal after scandal after scandal during the 1990s. The presidency of Bill Clinton and as a result, Clinton and Gore never complained together. Everyone knew that it would be a close election but few would have predicted that it would turn out as razor thin as it did. The day before the election, Matt allower asked what he thought Americans should be watching for on Election Day.

VOICE: What's the key element we should be watching throughout the day tomorrow?

VOICE: Florida, Florida, Florida. I honestly believe, Matt, as goes Florida, as goes the nation.

GLENN: His words turned out to be prophetic. It did indeed come down to Florida. Election night turned out to be an absolute nightmare. For who? Well, for the media. And because it was a nightmare for them, it was a nightmare for us.

VOICE: We're going to report a win of 25 electoral votes in the state of Florida. Turns out President Bush was not his family's keeper. The family was joking that seriously it could be a cold Thanksgiving. Tim has great news in Nashville tonight.

GLENN: NBC wasn't alone.

VOICE: CNN announces that we call Florida in the Al Gore column. This is the state both campaigns desperately wanted to win. The state of Florida fought over very hard. The state with a Republican governor named Bush. The brother of the Republican nominee, Jeff Greenfield, this is something that is not making the Bush campaign happy.

VOICE: This is a roadblock the size of a boulder to George W. Bush's path to the White House.

GLENN: A short time later, CNN had to change their call.

VOICE: Stand by. CNN right now is moving our earlier declaration of Florida back to the too close to call column. 25 very big electoral votes in the home state of the brother Jeb Bush are hanging in the balance. This no sleeping victory for vice president Gore. We're moving it back.

VOICE: Oh, waiter, one order, please.

GLENN: Early the next morning, the networks began to declare that but she was now the winner of Florida and a few hours later, they were forced to withdrawal that prediction as well. By 4:30 a.m., the day after the election, the media had decided that Florida was too close to call for either candidate. So they just gave up trying. America would have to wait for days even weeks before the presidential race would be finally decided. While Al Gore actually won the national popular vote by just over 500,000 votes, in Florida, out of the six million votes cast, George W. Bush won the state by the now famous number of 537 votes. That's what triggered a recount and a massive battle in the court system which ended up eventually in the United States Supreme Court. And we all learned new terms like hanging Chad, dimpled Chad, and pregnant Chad.

VOICE: First you have to know that the punch hole is called a Chad. It is attached to the ballot by four threads. In the morning, the commissioners had decided that if it had been detached by only one thread, it would not be counted as a vote. Two detachments, maybe. Three, definitely counted as a vote. At some point in the process, that was changed and the commissioners decided that any Chad that was detached to any degree would be counted as a vote.

GLENN: Dozens of lawyers from both campaigns descended on Florida to weigh in on the process.

VOICE: There are two other strange-sounding categories that were not counted as votes. The first one is called the dimpled Chad. That is that there's an indentation in the Chad, the voter put some pressure on it but didn't detach it at all from the ballot. Not counted. The final category is the pregnant Chad. That is the Chad was Pierce with a hole but not detached actually. Those were not counted. Now, the Republicans said, see? We told you. This is a deeply flawed process. It must stop. But as we know the county commissions here have decided not to stop. They will go for a full recount beginning tomorrow.

GLENN: Litigation in select counties started additional recounts and this litigation ultimately reached the United States Supreme Court. The court's contentious 5-4 decision in Bush V Gore finally ended all of the recounts stating that the already certified recount would stand. Since the safe harbor for counting the electoral votes was at hand. Since Bush had won the previous certified recount, he also won Florida's 25 electoral votes and with it the presidency of the United States. By the slimmest of margins, 271 electoral votes to 266. One of the closest races in all of American history. The outcome gave rise to the phrase that Bush had been selected and not elected. The Democrats were quick to point out that he wasn't a legitimate candidate. Something now many Democrats fail to remember. And even though the Supreme Court had not selected a winner but simply put a stop to the process of recounting the votes over and over again, it didn't stop the claims. Through it all, Americans can take an enormous amount of pride. Pride in the fact that no matter how close, no matter how fought or contentious U.S. elections have been over all of the years, they have always been decided through the constitutionally-mandated process peacefully. What makes America great? Well, this is one of them. We have peaceful transfers of power without violence and tanks rolling through our streets.

Acclaimed environmentalist and author of "Apocalypse Never" Michael Shellenberger joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Wednesday to warn us about the true goals and effects of climate alarmism: It's become a "secular religion" that lowers standards of living in developed countries, holds developing countries back, and has environmental progress "exactly wrong."

Michael is a Time "Hero of the Environment," Green Book Award winner, and the founder and president of Environmental Progress. He has been called a "environmental guru," "climate guru," "North America's leading public intellectual on clean energy," and "high priest" of the environmental humanist movement for his writings and TED talks, which have been viewed more than 5 million times. But when Michael penned a stunning article in Forbes saying, "On Behalf of Environmentalists, I Apologize for the Climate Scare", the article was pulled just a few hours later. (Read more here.)

On the show, Micheal talked about how environmental alarmism has overtaken scientific fact, leading to a number of unfortunate consequences. He said one of the problems is that rich nations are blocking poor nations from being able to industrialize. Instead, they are seeking to make poverty sustainable, rather than to make poverty history.

"As a cultural anthropologist, I've been traveling to poorer countries and interviewing small farmers for over 30 years. And, obviously there are a lot of causes why countries are poor, but there's no reason we should be helping them to stay poor," Michael said. "A few years ago, there was a movement to make poverty history ... [but] it got taken over by the climate alarmist movement, which has been focused on depriving poor countries, not just of fossil fuels they need to develop, but also the large hydroelectric dams."

He offered the example of the Congo, one of the poorest countries in the world. The Congo has been denied the resources needed to build large hydroelectric dams, which are absolutely essential to pull people out of poverty. And one of the main groups preventing poor countries from the gaining financing they need to to build dams is based in Berkeley, California — a city that gets its electricity from hydroelectric dams.

"It's just unconscionable ... there are major groups, including the Sierra Club, that support efforts to deprive poor countries of energy. And, honestly, they've taken over the World Bank [which] used to fund the basics of development: roads, electricity, sewage systems, flood control, dams," Micheal said.

"Environmentalism, apocalyptic environmentalism in particular, has become the dominant religion of supposedly secular people in the West. So, you know, it's people at the United Nations. It's people that are in very powerful positions who are trying to impose 'nature's order' on societies," he continued. "And, of course, the problem is that nobody can figure out what nature is, and what it's not. That's not a particular good basis for organizing your economy."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Dr. Voddie Baucham, Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia, joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to explain why he agrees with Vice President Mike Pence's refusal to say the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

Baucham, who recently drew national attention when his sermon titled "Ethnic Gnosticism" resurfaced online, said the phrase has been trademarked by a dangerous, violent, Marxist movement that doesn't care about black lives except to use them as political pawns.

"We have to separate this movement from the issues," Baucham warned. "I know that [Black Lives Matter] is a phrase that is part of an organization. It is a trademark phrase. And it's a phrase designed to use black people.

"That phrase dehumanizes black people, because it makes them pawns in a game that has nothing whatsoever to do with black people and their dignity. And has everything to do with a divisive agenda that is bigger than black people. That's why I'm not going to use that phrase, because I love black people. I love being black."

Baucham warned that Black Lives Matter -- a radical Marxist movement -- is using black people and communities to push a dangerous and divisive narrative. He encouraged Americans to educate themselves on the organization's agenda and belief statement.

"This movement is dangerous. This movement is vicious. And this movement uses black people," he emphasized. "And so if I'm really concerned about issues in the black community -- and I am -- then I have to refuse, and I have to repudiate that organization. Because they stand against that for which I am advocating."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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We're going to be doing an amazing broadcast on Thursday, July 2nd, and we will be broadcasting a really important moment. It is restoring truth. It is restoring our history. It is asking to you make a covenant with God. The covenant that was made by the Pilgrims. And it's giving you a road map of things that we can do, to be able to come back home, together.

All of us.

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RESTORING HOPE: Join Glenn live from Standing Rock Ranch to restore the American covenant youtu.be

On last week's Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck revealed where the Black Lives Matter organization really gets its funding, and the dark money trail leading to a cast of familiar characters. Shortly after the program aired, one of BLM's fiscal sponsors, Thousand Currents, took down its board of directors page, which featured one of these shady characters:

Ex-Marxist professor and author of "Beyond Woke," Michael Rectenwald, joined Glenn Beck on the TV show to fill us in on the suspicious change he discovered on the Thousand Currents webpage and the Communist terrorists who is now helping run the organization. (Fortunately, the internet is forever, so it is still possible to view the board of directors page by looking at a web archive from the WayBack Machine.)

Rectenwald revealed the shocking life history of Thousand Currents' vice chair of the board, Susan Rosenberg, who spent 16 years in federal prison for her part in a series of increasingly violent acts of terrorism, including bombing the U.S. Capitol building, bombing an FBI building, and targeting police for assassination.

"Their whole campaign was one of unbelievably vicious, murderous cop killings, assassinations, and bombings," explained Rectenwald of Rosenberg's terror group known as the May 19th Communist Organization or M19.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


Glenn's full investigation into the dark origins of the funding behind Black Lives Matter is available for BlazeTV subscribers. Not a subscriber? Use promo code GLENN to get $10 off your BlazeTV subscription or start your 30-day free trial today.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.