Exactly 25 years ago George Bush, Sr., was running for re-election as president of the
For historians let me set the record straight. Yes Teddy was elected vice president in 1900 and became president when President William McKinley was shot September 6 and died September 14 of 1901, his first year in office. Teddy was then elected by a landslide in 1904.
In 1908 he supported his secretary of war, William Howard Taft for president and Taft won. By the end of Taft's first term Roosevelt felt Taft no longer served the people and when he failed to beat Taft at the GOP convention he started a third party, the Bull Moose (progressive) party to oppose the president.
This is where the parallels between Ross Perot and Teddy Roosevelt become intertwined as if history was simply repeating itself about 100 years later.
In the election of 1912 Republican President Taft got 23% of the vote, Independent Roosevelt got 27% of the vote, and Democrat Woodrow Wilson became president with just 42% of the vote. Thus
Roosevelt blocked Taft from being re-elected and made Wilson President.
After his first term in office in 1992 President Bush was running for re-election riding the popularity of Desert Storm when Ross Perot, a former Republican like Teddy Roosevelt, came out of nowhere with his Independent campaign.
In the election of 1992 Republican President Bush got 38% of the vote, Independent Ross Perot got 19% of the vote, and Democrat Bill Clinton became president with just 43% of the vote. Thus Perot blocked Bush from being re-elected and made Clinton President.
's first term Ross Perot sought to influence the national agenda focusing on three issues, the NAFTA economic treaty, Health Care Reform and rebuilding our educational system. Clinton
He opposed NAFTA, an issue
co-opted from the GOP because he was in danger of losing his re-election campaign. Perot warned passage of NAFTA would lead to the destruction of our manufacturing industries and we would lose millions of jobs to Clinton and other countries. Mexico Clinton got it passed and the final nail was driven into the coffin of 's once dominate manufacturing base. America
On health care Perot warned the lack of cost controls would bankrupt
, and any government entitlement programs regarding health care like Medicare and Medicaid would drive the American deficit beyond our capacity to pay. In 1996 the America US national debt was $107.4 billion under and by 1998 would become a surplus through Bush in 2001. Clinton
Today the National debt stands at a record $17 trillion, thanks in large part to runaway entitlement costs as predicted by Perot. In fact
spends more per capita than any other nation on health care yet ranks just 37th in the world in terms of quality of health care. America
Finally, Perot was so disgusted with the deficiencies in our education system that he started his own high school in
and was to set records for educational achievement and college attendance by urban youth. Today our educational system continues to spend more per pupil than any other nation and we still are failing in terms of the quality of educational care. Dallas
Sooo, Ross Perot, the caricature from
Texas who dared challenge the American two-party system was a figment of historical déjà vu showing up 100 years after Teddy Roosevelt played the same role for . America
More on the Prairie Prophet from Texas later as the story of Ross Perot and his unbending care for the nation, commitment to veterans, exceptional patriotism and whose incredible rescue of his employees from the prison of Iran after the failure of President Carter to protect our own embassy in the fall of Iran to the Ayatollah is one of the greatest stories of courage to ever take place in our nation.
|US hostages in Iran 1979|