Actually, he is one of 76 relatively unknown presidential hopefuls filing early with the FEC for their run to the White House. They will not officially become candidates until they raise or spend $5,000 on their campaign trail to obscurity. They’ll all join a long list of political wannabes. In the 2008 presidential campaign alone, 366 unfamiliar names shared the filing list with the likes of Obama, McCain, Romney and Clinton. What a great country!
Rutherford said he is running as an Independent. He’s concerned about our national debt and our “standing” in the world around us; but does he have anything in common with our 19th president of the United States?
Rutherford B. Hayes, a Republican, was elected president in 1877. The Civil War had ended 15 years before his election, but the militia from the North still occupied most cities in the South calling it Reconstruction. Today, our military occupies Iraq, Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan teaching the values of a nation under god calling it “nation building.” After years of failed nation building and a futile attempt to teach the defeated rebels how to speak without a Southern accent, the Northerners wanted to concentrate their manpower, money and skills to expand the great industrial revolution that evolved due largely to the War Between the States.
President Hayes was a brave soldier. Leaving his successful law practice in Sandusky, Ohio, he joined the Union army. He was wounded five times and climbed to the rank of major general. He returned to Ohio to resume his destiny as the only Harvard law school graduate to become president of the United States. Evidently, Harvard couldn’t compete with Yale’s Skull and Bones Fraternity that graduated five presidents and 19 Supreme Court justices.
Hayes was involved in one of the most disputed presidential elections in U.S. history when, in 1876, he lost the popular vote to New York Gov. Samuel J. Tilden.
Presumably, Tilden had 184 electoral votes, just one short of a required majority, compared to Hayes’ 165 votes. However, one of the three electors from Oregon supporting Hayes was disqualified, reducing Hayes to 164 electoral votes. And the plot thickens. To make matters worse for Hayes, the 19 electoral votes from Florida, South Carolina and Louisiana were disputed because of voter fraud committed by both political parties. It must have been those hanging chads.
Both Democrats and Republicans claimed victory. Finally, in January 1877, Congress formed a 15-member bipartisan committee comprised of seven Democrats, seven Republicans and one independent to resolve the deadlock. You would think that a committee with five U.S. senators, five U.S. congressmen and five U.S. Supreme Court justices could resolve the situation, but no consensus could be reached.
With inauguration day only a few weeks away it was time for an old-fashioned political “boiler room” meeting at the Wormley Hotel in Washington, D.C. A compromise was hammered out and the first step in building our future, growing our economy and bringing us together as one nation took place on March 4, 1877. Hayes agreed to withdraw all federal troops occupying the South. Free elections would take place in unredeemed sections of the South and Reconstruction by the militant North was finally over.
Our modern day Hayes could have something in common with his namesake. He could raise American standings in the world by supporting our current industrial revolution. If he eliminates unfair trade competition, re-negotiates international trade agreements and adjusts import tariffs unemployment will decrease, taxable revenue will increase and the rich can afford to pay their fair share of the tax burden. But, we know that will never happen.
As an example: If an American-owned automobile manufacturer moves to Mexico to take advantage of cheap labor, their import fees should increase, establishing competitive parity, not a higher profit at taxpayer expense. If the end cost to build an imported car is the same as manufacturing it here in the U.S., there would be no incentive to create higher unemployment and leave America standing high and dry.
Hayes could end our failed attempt to reconstruct the Muslim world. Most Americans are tired of spending billions trying to find a needle in a haystack. Even if they do find it there are a billion more where it came from.
Politically independent, Hayes, a 42-year-old Navy veteran, runs a gutter business. If elected he will at least raise politics out of the gutter. Maybe we should vote to re-elect Rutherford B. Hayes.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist. The polemics of his articles can be discussed at firstname.lastname@example.org. His website is www.thefarsidechronicles.com.