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H. Ross Perot passes, an icon in American politics

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H. Ross Perot passes, an icon in American politics

Old 07-10-19, 05:35 AM
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Post H. Ross Perot passes, an icon in American politics

He represented a hinge point in our electoral process; running as an Independent, he literally handed the Presidency to Bill Clinton while absorbing 19% of the (conservative) vote, denying the erstwhile front-runner, Republican George W. Bush a second term in office. Perot, was a Texas billionaire who led Electronic Data Systems Corp., a service company that helped move hundreds of major businesses into the computer age. He was outspoken, to say the least, a voice of discontent who stood for more than the status quo - even from the Republican side of the aisle.

In the style of Eddie Chiles, a Texan and long-time President of the Western Company of North America, whose syndicated radio inserts were insanely popular with his signature, "I'm Eddie Chiles, and I'm mad as hell!!", Perot found resonance with the common man who was thoroughly disgusted with Washington politics. Perot's "independent" style trashed Washington, but rather than a popular radio show (and ubiquitous bright red bumper stickers "I'm mad too, Eddie"), spoke to generations of voters who had had enough of "politics". Perot offered what should have been common sense.

Perot's most notable achievement in 1979 was financing a successful private commando raid on Iran to free two of his EDS employees who were being held hostage in that country. That "take charge" attitude WAS Ross Perot, and voters responded by the thousands to his campaign. Although politically inexperienced, Perot "just made sense" to hundreds of thousands of voters. Here was a little guy who grew up in Arkansas throwing newspapers from the back of his pony. With 19% of the vote in the 1992 presidential election, he demonstrated that a huge segment of the American public was unhappy with politics as usual. You might say that Ross Perot was the Donald Trump of his day - self-made billionaire, egomaniac, determined to overhaul Washington with an entirely new agenda. Sometimes you just need feisty . . . .

America will miss Ross Perot, if not for his politics, for his ability to fly in the face of the establishment, to garner more public support than any third-party candidate since Theodore Roosevelt's "Bull Moose Party" of 1912. Had either of these candidates won their respective elections, America would have been a different place than it is today. Roosevelt, Perot, Trump . . . sometimes you just have to shake up the political establishment to change the course of the nation. We need such men as Ross Perot. We are the lesser for his passing.

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Old 07-10-19, 09:58 AM
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he was a really talented guy, and of course, a maverick. i believe ibm fired him because he blew away every sales quota he had and was making 'too much' money, so he left and started EDS to process government claims and made a billion. the american dream.

i enjoyed his running for president immensely although at one point he appeared to quit the race, then came back in (he claimed it was because of death threats and cia investigations i think, which sounded a bit paranoid but was probably true). that hesitation in the race probably cost him the election and handed it to a young bill clinton.
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Old 07-10-19, 06:31 PM
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Perot's Reform Party and George Wallace's (1968) American Party were the only two serious Third-Party candidacies I can remember in my lifetime. Wallace got a slightly lower percentage of the vote than Perot, but managed to carry five or six Deep South states in the Electoral College. Perot got more votes, but did not win any states. Still, I agree with Bob and bitkahuna that he handed the election to Clinton twice....once in 1992 by denying it to Bush, and (to a lesser extent) in 1996 by denying it to Dole.
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Old 07-17-19, 05:42 AM
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It's interesting to note that Donald Trump, although an East Coast billionaire, shares some of Perot's and Eddie Chiles' blustery style. Odd that a graduate of the Wharton School of Finance would share so much of his personality with a couple of Texas (and Arkansas) kids who came from far lesser financial circumstances. There is a certain amount of classism here. If you think of John Kennedy, or even George Bush Sr. who were products of a patrician Eastern upbringing, Trump is the odd example of family wealth gone to seed. Maybe it was the business he was in that made Trump a rather crude, ham-fisted street fighter, rather than the smooth, well-bred scion of his predecessors. Having to deal with the endemic corruption of NYC, seems to leave its mark. You roll around with pigs, you're bound to get a little dirty.

Of course, Kennedy came from a generation of bootleggers (Dad was what might otherwise be called an Irish mobster during Prohibition - he just kept the "dirty" business at arm's length). If you look at Joseph Kennedy's manipulation of men and money, he wasn't much different from the mobsters of his day . . . The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys just stayed out of the headlines. Trump seems to relish playing the bad boy, throwing his financial and verbal weight around as though he were actually a street tough rather than a child of privilege.

Teddy Roosevelt probably played the role best. Born a patrician New Yorker, he made his bones in the Wild West . . . the miracle being that he survived, being a pugilistic loudmouth. Aside from his bluster, he made an outstanding national leader just when we needed one. Sometimes a man comes along to fill a critical role. Trump is a two-legged embarrassment most of the time, but he's hitting all the right notes when played against the counterpoint of the far left. His real service thus far is to drive the left even farther left - to the point of absurdity. You know when Nancy Pelosi almost sounds like the voice of reason, elements of the far left have gone too far.

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich, Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass, have made fools of themselves attempting to drag the Democrat party to the far left into inelectability. Look at the fragmentation of the Party today - trying to appease "The Squad" as they have become known, even a few old-line Democrats are embarrassing themselves trying to look like youthful liberals. Stay relevant, guys . . . There may be a good deal of truth to the old saying, "You can dress 'em up, but you can't take 'em out."

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Old 07-17-19, 11:07 AM
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Bob, I know you were out for a bit and likely missed that we closed the debate forum and now prohibit political content.

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