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Even the election of "Rutherfraud" B. Hayes can’t be in contrast with Trump's election try in 2020

By 1876, the (white) leadership of the Hayes Party was fed up with rebuilding. The radical Republican Party of the 1860s quickly faded into the past. The significant, if incomplete, steps towards complete freedom and equality that black Americans had taken since the end of the Civil War, as well as the political power they had gained, had already been pushed back in much of the south and were extremely vulnerable in the rest of the region. Without federal troops on the ground to help enforce black rights amid a hostile and powerful white majority, those rights and power would soon disappear completely in the former Confederate states.

The Democratic candidate was New York Governor Samuel Tilden. Tilden played a leading role in overthrowing William "Boss" Tweed of Tammany Hall and his organization, and in preventing the Erie Canal Ring from fraud and theft. He then set his reputation as a reformer in the democratic nomination. However, Tilden was not progressive. On economic issues, the Democratic Party of its day was dominated by business interests and led by so-called Bourbon Democrats like Tilden and later President Grover Cleveland.

On racist issues, Tilden ran on a party platform in 1876 that called for an end to both reconstruction – condemned as "the rape of carpet bag tyranny" – and the federal enforcement of equality for black southerners. For the most part, these rights only existed in Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida – three states where federal troops remained and where white segregationist Democrats did not yet dominate. In other words, Tilden was directly allied with Jim Crow segregationists. Indeed, the Southern Democrats carried out widespread voter intimidation and violence during the election campaign. The infamous Hamburg massacre, carried out by white supremacist terrorists known as "red shirts", had taken place only a few months earlier on Independence Day in South Carolina.

Back to election day. Late in the evening, it looked like Tilden would become the next president. His lead in the referendum was considerable – he won 51% to 48% and remains the only candidate to win over 50% of the referendum and not become president. Tilden had already blocked 184 votes, one of which was less than a majority, and the leader of the Republican Party decided it was time to empty a bottle of whiskey as his services seemed no longer needed.

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<p>Before Tilden could declare victory, however, three states – Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida (a list that should sound familiar) – were "too close to call". I can't even write these words without Steve Kornacki penetrating my brain with bleary eyes and no jacket.</p>
<p>x</p>
<p>The whole time I was watching calm, cool John King and the Magic Board and not noticing all the wonderful mess I missed with Steve Kornacki. 😂 <br />pic.twitter.com/A7C1eDA92f</p>
<p>– Miranda Nodwell (@MirandaM_Sports) November 6, 2020</p>
<p>Daniel Sickles, a top Republican, stepped into the party center, reckoning his party would be ahead if Hayes could just sweep the remaining three states. You could call him the Nate Silver of his day – or you could just call him a man with a pencil that could add three digits. There are other things that can be called sickles, like the first American to be acquitted of murder on the grounds of temporary madness: he knocked off his wife's mistress, who happened to be the son of the man who wrote our country's national anthem. Talk about historical connections.</p>
<p>In any case, if Sickles got the message out on behalf of his party leader, incapacitated by whiskey, Hayes could still win. And so began the four-month post-election saga.</p>
<p>In these four months there was no electoral integrity on either side. Republicans and Democrats alike tried to bribe and steal their way to victory, with dollars flowing like water and ballot boxes apparently ending up in the water. In that regard, the 1876 election does not look like 2020, when numerous independent election observers have determined that widespread electoral fraud simply did not occur.</p>
<p>Although both sides committed widespread harassment in 1876 – in South Carolina, for example, the turnout was a robust 101% of the electorate – it was the most racist repression of voters that turned out to be the most, according to the Columbia University historian and a widely recognized expert proved most crucial about the era of rebuilding Eric Foner. "That choice was flawed from top to bottom," says Foner. “All over the south there has been violence against African American voters in an attempt to… make it impossible for them to vote. If there had been fair elections in the south, Hayes would undoubtedly have won by a large margin. "</p>
<p>There were actually four states in which electoral votes were available. In addition to the above and controversial three, the nomination of a single Oregon voter was challenged by the Democrats for being a federal employee, which is prohibited by the Constitution. Each of the Democratic and Republican officials of the four states simply nominated their own electoral roll. They did so not on the basis of an objective vote count, but out of a simple desire to win. In Florida, the Democrats “found” that Tilden won by a gossamer 94 votes, but in reality we will never know the actual number of votes. In the end, Congress had to decide which groups of voters were legitimate.</p>
<p>More than two months after the election, a compromise was reached and Congress created an electoral commission – something never mentioned in the constitution – and gave that body the power to decide which candidate would receive the controversial vote of the electoral college.</p>
<p>The Democratic-controlled House appointed five members, as did the Republican-controlled Senate, and each party selected two Supreme Court justices. These four judges selected the final "independent" member from among their remaining colleagues. and after he was elected to the Senate, the judges chose his replacement – a Republican. He voted with the other seven Republicans across the board, and the commission gave all 20 outstanding votes to Hayes, giving him 185 for Tildens' 184, and making him president. Congress signed that ridiculous decision just two days before inauguration, completing the longest-running elections in our history. At every step, partisanship ruled the voting process.</p>
<p>The so-called compromise of 1877 contained another unwritten element. As mentioned earlier, the Democrats wanted demonstrable that the remaining federal troops in the south are withdrawn. It is no coincidence that the only former Confederate states in which Hayes had any chance of winning were those in which federal troops were still used as occupation forces. Democrats – the Klan's party at the time – knew it would be a bargain for Hayes as president to pull those troops out and they would sell Tilden. More importantly, the compromise was the final step towards the complete abandonment of the federal government of around four million African Americans living in the south. Both parties shook hands and together ushered in the Jim Crow era and all of its atrocities.</p>
<p>What happened to the 1876 election – and what most closely resembles Trump, which he has unfortunately tried since election day – was the total partisanization of the process of states that certified which candidate won. The kind of professionalism and oaths we saw from election officials this year was nowhere to be found in the post-election day Hayes-Tilden clash.</p>
<p>The aforementioned Roy Morris wrote that Hayes – who came to be known as "His Fraudulency" or "Rutherfraud B. Hayes" – appeared in the Oval Office as partisan and petty as that, based on a decision by an appointed body whose members acted "all" Shadiest Ward Heeler in New York City or the Least Reconstructed Rebel in South Carolina. "</p>
<p>We are very fortunate that some Republican officials refused to put the party first in 2020. While you've probably heard from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, there are other, lesser-known Republicans like Aaron Van Langevelde, one of four members of the Michigan State Board of Canvassers, who also deserve great credit for soliciting Trump's bald partisan petitions have refused.</p>
<p>A better way of electing presidents would not have the weaknesses ours have. It would have no bottlenecks where partiality and a willingness to steal victory could at least cause chaos and confusion and, with the participation of enough corrupt individuals, actually affect the results. Michael Li of the Brennan Center for Justice notes, "It's easy to laugh at the Trump challenges just because they were so out there. But what's scary is that you step back a little and see how many people were willing to to participate until they were pretty deep in the process. "Too many are still participating at this point.</p>
<p>Top Republicans like Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, and others have made another flawed comparison: the crap the orange Julius Caesar has been pulling since Nov 3rd isn't really any different from the recount and related legal challenges that Al Gore has tracked 2000. However, there is no comparison. Barry Richard, who represented Gore's GOP opponent George W. Bush in 2000, summarized clearly why: “There aren't many similarities. In 2000 there was clearly a problem with the incorrect ballot papers. Nobody alleged fraud or inappropriateness. It was about how we made sure all votes count. "</p>
<p>In a broader sense, Gore didn't bring any of the ridiculous electoral fraud charges that Trump's team brought up this time around – have you heard the one Borat successor Rudy Giuliani spat out on the food trucks that allegedly smuggled votes in Detroit? ? What, did you put a ballot in every coney dog?</p>
<p>What Gore did was simply request that the votes be counted correctly in a single state that really had problems with the counting mechanics – hanging chads, anyone? – and where the gap between him and Bush was less than a hundredth of one percent – 537 votes out of six million votes cast, to be precise. In addition, Gore would have received the presidency if he had won that state's votes. Yes, it took a while, but he never questioned the integrity of the votes, just whether he or Bush got more of it.</p>
<p>The intricate, undemocratic electoral college that allows popular losers like George W. Bush and the Orange Menace to become president is a farce. However, the only thing that is supposed to work without too much controversy is that the voters decide which candidate receives the electoral college votes given by each state. Once the vote count is complete, certification should be relatively undisputed as state officials simply sign the voters' verdict (although Trump will certainly try to complicate things).</p>
<p>However, in the weeks since election day, we've all seen the man who lost the referendum (again) do his damnedest to corrupt that certification process and steal the presidency. Though he failed, if he ever opened a history book and learned what happened after the 1876 elections, he might have hope that he might succeed.</p>
<p>Fortunately, this time history doesn't seem to repeat itself.</p>
<p>Ian Reifowitz is the author of The Tribalization of Politics: How Rush Limbaugh's racial rhetoric about the Obama presidency paved the way for Trump (preface by Markos Moulitsas).</p>
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