While the Left is acting as if it is unthinkable – absolutely inconceivable! – that a presidential election can be stolen, and that to suspect otherwise is to venture deep into tinfoil-hat territory, in reality, this kind of thing has happened before, and it’s high time it all came out and safeguards were implemented. In Stephen King’s novel 11/22/63 (spoiler alert!), the main character, Jake, travels back in time to try to stop Lee Harvey Oswald from shooting John F. Kennedy. Even though King drops Jake off in 1958, giving him five years in the Good Old Days, the great novelist never thinks to offer him the easiest way to ensure that Kennedy survives: rather than stopping Oswald, he could have had Jake stop JFK from stealing the 1960 presidential election from Richard Nixon.
As Rating America’s Presidents notes, the 1960 campaign is famous not for voter fraud, but for the televised debates between Nixon and Kennedy, the first debates between the presidential candidates of each major party. The effect of television may have decided the election. A majority of those who listened to the first debate on the radio thought Nixon had won, but on television, he had unwisely eschewed makeup and sweated profusely under the hot lights, making him look nervous and shifty. Most TV viewers thought Kennedy had won.
Nevertheless, the election itself was extremely close, with Kennedy winning only 112,000 more popular votes than Nixon, out of over 68 million cast; in the Congressional Quarterly’s count, Nixon won the popular vote.
Illinois and Texas decided the contest. Both were quite close themselves: if Nixon had won forty-seven thousand more votes in Texas (the home state of Democratic vice-presidential candidate Lyndon B. Johnson) and ten thousand in Illinois (where Democratic machine boss Richard Daley, the mayor of Chicago, held sway), he would have become president.
There was significant evidence that the Kennedy machine had committed voter fraud in both states. In Illinois, Daley’s Chicago machine made it easy: five days before the election, a Chicago group called the Committee on Honest Elections issued a report documenting its contention that fully ten percent of the people on Chicago voter rolls were listed as living in bars, barbershops, vacant lots and the like. Many had moved; many others were dead. The Committee also found unregistered voters having cast votes, including some who were apparently altogether fictional.
This report didn’t stop the fraud in Chicago. In the election, several Chicago districts recorded many more votes than they had registered voters, and Kennedy won big.
In Texas, meanwhile, Republicans charged that Democratic vice presidential candidate Lyndon Johnson, whose past recourse to voter fraud was legendary, had been up to his old tricks. In his 1948 Senate race, voters helpfully voted in alphabetical order to put Johnson over the top. Twelve years later, the Republicans contended, Johnson had made sure that tens of thousands of fraudulent votes were cast for Kennedy, while tens of thousands of other ballots, marked for Nixon, were invalidated, generally on the thinnest of pretexts.
Texas and Illinois would have given Nixon 270 electoral votes and the presidency. Despite massive evidence that he had been the victim of a grand theft, however, the Republican candidate declined to contest the election, saying that he did not wish to plunge the country into a crisis with the Cold War raging.
That was a noble sacrifice for Richard Nixon to make in 1960, and belies his post-Watergate reputation as a cynical, self-serving, crooked trickster. However, it is long past time for the victims of voter fraud, particularly in the presidential arena, to stop being noble. The problem with Kennedy’s successful theft of the 1960 election was that it paved the way for what we are seeing today, emboldening those forces who believed that they could carry out this larceny in public view of everyone without suffering any significant consequences.
If it was noble of Nixon to bow out in 1960 and not contest the theft, it is far more noble of President Trump in 2020 to contest this election, to gather all the available evidence and take it to the Supreme Court for judgment. Anything short of that will only embolden and enable the fraudsters all the more, to the degree that it may be impossible in the United States after this to have a free and fair presidential election.
As a result, it is not hyperbole to say that our future as a free republic hangs in the balance. The immense pressure on Trump to concede is only testimony to how deeply he has shaken the political and media elites. If they succeed in destroying him, they will be able to impose their will without fear of serious opposition. It’s time to break their hegemony now.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.