Politics: USA – 1956 – Elections in History – Past Daily Reference Room
Choosing a President. Politics in America has always been, at the very least; interesting, at the very worst; what we have now. We have faced just about every crisis and our political process has survived all of it. The thing about Democracy is that, the tent is big enough to be able to accommodate the widely divergent range of political views, and still manage to bring people together in the end.
Maybe we have never been as divided as we are now – some say we are having the political test of our lifetime, where the very fiber of our nation is being put under the microscope – our founding principles put under scrutiny.
Our Democracy has withstood the gamut of political extremes, survived near-takeovers, recovered from assassinations, weathered endless inquiries, bounced back from resignations – all because Democracy is resilient.
But every time there is a crisis, every downturn and every threat, we wonder if we will still be strong enough to bounce back; to recover and to move on; pick up the pieces and press forward, because that is the nature of Democracy.
So as a reminder of the historic aspect of our political process, here is a radio documentary, produced in 1956 as part of Americas Town Meeting series on ABC Radio, called Politics U.S.A. – narrated by Will Rogers jr. it traces, by way of historic recordings. our political process; the extremes and the pitfalls – the elections and the campaigns our country went through from roughly the 1908 election to the then-upcoming 1956 Presidential campaign.
Included are many names which may no longer sound familiar, over issues long forgotten about – but this is to give you some idea that history is a series of repeats; maybe not in exactly the same way, but similar enough to know we’ve faced familiar situations and have survived, despite our fears at the time.
Here is Politics U.S.A. – as broadcast on January 20, 1956 over the ABC Radio Network.
Happy 4th of July – in all due likelihood, there will be another one next year.