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"The Unlikely Success of James Garfield in an Age of Division" Topic

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Tango0115 Jan 2024 5:21 p.m. PST

"The candidate, at first glance, seemed to have no business being his party's nominee for the White House. In an era seething with political strife, he had long been viewed by peers in Washington as a pleasant but out-of-touch figure. Partisan warfare was not his strong suit; he cultivated friendships with civil rights opponents and election deniers alike. He enjoyed scrappy political debate but refused to aim any blows below the belt ("I never feel that to slap a man in the face is any real gain to the truth.") What's more, American voters seemed to be in a decisively anti-establishment mood, and this nominee had been a presence in Washington for almost two decades the epitome of a swamp creature.

Yet, somehow, it added up to a winning formula: James Garfield, the nicest man remaining in a polarized Washington, would be elected America's next president in 1880. His rise to power would be framed as a rare triumph of decency in the increasingly bitter political environment of late 19th century America. It has resonance today as our country again navigates similar public conditions…"

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Grattan54 Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2024 5:49 p.m. PST

What did it get him? Shot.

Tango0116 Jan 2024 3:41 p.m. PST



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