1968 Redux: Can ‘Fringe’ Candidates Repeat History?

The White House from Washington, DC, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
American Liberty News

– The League for Sportsmen, & Defense unequivocallycondemns the recent attempted assassination of in Butler, Pennsylvania, yesterday. This heinous act represents a direct assault not only on an individual but also on the very principles that underpin our democratic society.

Former President Donald Trump was injured in an at a campaign rally yesterday in Butler, Pennsylvania. One attendee at the rally was declared dead at the scene, killed by a stray bullet. Two attendees remain in critical condition after they were admitted to the hospital.

In 1967, progressive Democrats begged to challenge Lyndon Johnson in the Democratic primaries as discontent with the Vietnam War grew. Kennedy declined believing challenging an incumbent, even one as unpopular as Johnson would be mission impossible. He believed even an embattled incumbent like Johnson could not be deprived of reelection. Finally, they found Minnesota Senator to challenge Johnson.  McCarthy was seen as a fringe candidate by the media. Some even suggested that Johnson had drawn McCarthy to the race so Johnson could demolish him to demonstrate his electoral prowess. While McCarthy fell short in the New Hampshire primary, he polled well enough to force the media to declare him the real winner. Kennedy swiftly entered the race and Johnson withdrew.

Now in 2022, Democrats have another unpopular president – . Polling shows most Americans do not want Biden to seek reelection. Large numbers of Democrats do not want a Biden candidacy. Yet no major Democrat will step up to challenge Biden directly.

is the only major name that has dared to challenge Biden. Kennedy, the namesake son of Bobby Kennedy, has never held elected office and is best known as an anti-vaccine crusader. Yet his record is more detailed than that. The Biden White House lined up endorsements from the Kennedy family right after his announcement labeling him as dangerous and extreme. The mainstream media has picked up this mantra very much like the 1968 media portrayed Eugene McCarthy.

Yet despite this all of this and very little campaigning, Kennedy is already polling at 19% of the vote nationally. New Hampshire could pose a major challenge for Biden. Biden led the push to strip the Granite State of its first-in-the-nation primary status among Democrats.  The Granite State is ignoring this and moved up its primary. Biden may even have difficulty getting on the ballot.

But his troubles are even worse than that. No largely unknown candidate has ever polled more than a few percent against an incumbent. Kennedy could change that. Nationally as mentioned, he is polling at about 19%. In New Hampshire some polling has shown he is at 30%. This indicates the deep Democratic dissatisfaction with Biden. If Kennedy continues to poll 30% or more and scores that much when the primary is held, it will expose Biden for all his weaknesses. There will be no explaining away the Kennedy vote, although the mainstream media will attempt to do just that.

Yet just as Eugene McCarthy never enjoyed the fruits of his quixotic candidacy in 1968, neither will Kennedy.  He will be shunted aside just as McCarthy was for a seemingly more electable candidate such as Gavin Newsom.  The Kennedy candidacy is not about him; it is all about exposing Joe Biden and forcing him out.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of American Liberty News.

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