United States Presidential Election (1968)
Chicago Police disperse protesters at the Democratic Convention
In 1968 the United States was busy with external and internal affairs. The foreign affairs included mainly Vietnam, a war that was inhaling American tax dollars. While this was happening outside of the country many more events had been occurring in America. Anti-War protests were happening in almost every American college campus, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated, and during all this chaos a presidential election was set to occur. The election, of course occurred between the two nominations of the Democratic and Republican parties. Hubert Humphry represented the Democratic party, while former vice president Nixon represented the republican party. Humphry was a widely disputed choice for the Democratic Party due to his less then favorable views on the Vietnam war. The Democratic Convention of 1968 showed the views of the young American’s concerning the Vietnam War. Thousands of young activists rallied outside the convention expressing their opinions while the Chicago police struggled to keep them under control. The methods the police used to subdue the crowd have since been widely disputed. While the Democratic Party had a difficult time picking a nomination the Republicans decided on President Nixon in a rather timely matter. Nixon used a strategy known as the “southern strategy” to assure the vote of the white southerners. The southerners who had typically voted Democratic were angered over Humphry’s decision to support the civil rights movement. Humphry countered saying that Nixon’s campaign was a subtly tainted with white prejudice. According to the polls that were taken during the extant of the presidential race Humphry trailed Nixon by double digits in most polls. However in October Humphry received a badly needed boost when current Democratic President Johnson announced a bombing halt. Due to this boost Humphry position in the polls quickly increased however Nixon was still ahead of him. In the end Nixon won the election, which unexpectedly turned out to be very close indeed. This win for the Republican Party was very important since the Democratic Party had been in office since 1930.