by Bill O’Grady | PDF
Last week, we outlined the history of the presidential election of 1876. This election was disputed and required a special commission to resolve. This week, we will begin with a discussion of our current procedure for electing presidents and the impact of partisanship on the existing environment. We will use last week’s historical foundation to compare and contrast the 1876 election to the current turmoil and offer insights on how the 2020 election might unfold. We will also examine the international implications of an uncertain election; in other words, what could happen if the world’s hegemon doesn’t have a clear commander in chief? As always, we will conclude with market ramifications.
The Current Procedure
One of the strengths of democracies is their ability to adapt. Authoritarian regimes tend to ossify over time, which often undermines them and eventually leads to their downfall. At the same time, while democracies do show they can change, it doesn’t mean it’s pleasant to watch.