Guest Essayist: Brion McClanahan


Portions of this essay are from the chapter “Grover Cleveland” in Brion McClanahan, 9 Presidents Who Screwed Up America and Four Who Tried to Save Her (Regnery History, 2016).

Grover Cleveland lost the 1888 election to Benjamin Harrison through voter fraud, and it involved what may be considered the first major lobby group in American history, the Grand Army of the Republic, a Union veteran’s organization that had deep pockets and the ability to swing elections in favor of the Republican Party, the real brawn behind the organization.

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Guest Essayist: Kirk Higgins


When one reflects on the history of the United States, the politics of the Gilded Age are often overlooked. Many find little value in understanding the intricacies of the political wheeling and dealing, often engineered by political machinery in both major parties. Nevertheless, these elections are as a part of the collective American consciousness as any before or since. They are central to understanding the American political character as it dealt with the aftereffects of the great national tragedy that was the American Civil War.

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