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(25,924 posts)
Tue Aug 25, 2020, 03:39 PM Aug 2020

You can be a cult leader and lose...

My parents, all their friends, everyone we knew were absolute devotees of Adlai Stevenson. He was everything a postwar progressive intellectual could ask for: brilliant, wonderfully spoken with a gigantic vocabulary, able to think on his feet and make sense of anything, fully understood the powers that be in the world following World War II, previously successful politically, well read, and aristocratic in his own right.

I’m not kidding when I say that my parents and everyone I grew up with such shiva for 30 years following his losses in the presidential elections. Every time somebody would stick up their head they would be compared with Stevenson in one regard or another, favorably or unfavorably, the phrase in my household “well he still no Adlai Stevenson” was as common as “please take out the garbage”. Yes, he’s lost resoundingly to a war hero but it didn’t matter to them. They felt that Eisenhower was dwarfed in every way by Stevenson, and the rubes of America elected Ike Because they just didn’t know any better. The term “egghead” was coined in order that that Stevenson’s intellect would be denigrated.

Of course I’m not comparing Stevenson to Trump, but this notion of inevitability of Trump winning because he has a loyal base is fallacious.

He is going to lose, and lose badly.

5 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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You can be a cult leader and lose... (Original Post) PCIntern Aug 2020 OP
THANKS for 'He is going to lose, and lose badly.' elleng Aug 2020 #1
Excellent point cyclonefence Aug 2020 #2
Great point, PCIntern. K&R for the post and the discussion. crickets Aug 2020 #3
Well, that was the case in my family too frazzled Aug 2020 #4
Jim Jones didn't drink his own kool-aid. He died of a gunshot wound to the head, perhaps abqtommy Aug 2020 #5


(133,128 posts)
1. THANKS for 'He is going to lose, and lose badly.'
Tue Aug 25, 2020, 03:49 PM
Aug 2020

INTERESTING, MAY be my first memory of political matters, I recall hearing discussion @ home, as a kid, of my family's disappointment with that loss.


(4,547 posts)
2. Excellent point
Tue Aug 25, 2020, 03:49 PM
Aug 2020

And like Trump AES refused to soften or modify his message or his way of speaking to appeal to more voters, no matter how the people running his campaign begged him.

AES was giving a speech in Charleston WV where my father was a newspaper editor. Politicians routinely gave newspapers advance copies of their speeches, and editors routinely asked them if they had planned any changes. Dad asked AES if he was going to change his speech, and AES said "Are you accusing me of being some kind of textual deviant?"

That kind of wit just wouldn't fly with Joe Sixpack.


(18,402 posts)
4. Well, that was the case in my family too
Tue Aug 25, 2020, 04:27 PM
Aug 2020

I was just a child, but my mother especially was totally enamored of Stevenson. I can remember watching the convention in 1956 with my parents. They loved him, intellectual or not. And his name was spoken with reverence for many many years after.

But let's not compare our current situation to the Eisenhower election: Ike was a war hero in that new postwar era, and not batshit crazy and mean like someone we know. And remember, he was running as a Democrat after 5 terms of Democratic presidencies, after FDR and Truman. People always look for change.

Trump, by contrast, is one hot mess: lying and creating chaos in an era that is chaotic enough with the pandemic and its medical and economic problems.

History never repeats itself. Though in this age of insanity, I reserve the right to be very very worried nonetheless. I am never complacent in an election. Vote!!


(14,118 posts)
5. Jim Jones didn't drink his own kool-aid. He died of a gunshot wound to the head, perhaps
Tue Aug 25, 2020, 04:50 PM
Aug 2020

self-inflicted, perhaps not... But he died with his followers. Don't expect tRUMP to follow his example.

see link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones

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