|Source: NBC News- NBC News Anchor John Chancellor-|
George Wallace running for President for what was called the Independence Party back in 1968. Which I believe should come back and would be a force in American politics. The American Independence Party (as it was called in 1968) was somewhat of a forerunner of the Reform Party and the Ross Perot movement of the 1990s. Fiscally conservative Americans from the South and Midwest. Who believed there was too much power in Washington and that the Federal Government was too powerful. Right-wing nationalistic Dixiecrats and ex-Democrats who were looking for something else. And not quite sold on the country club Republican Party. But thats the topic for another piece.
Governor Wallace blew a golden opportunity of having a say or a shot even at winning the presidential election when he selected General Curtis Lemay who of course made that crazy statement at that press conference about nuclear weapons. Without that maybe Governor Wallace wins 25-30% of the electoral vote. Sweeps the South or a least becomes a big enough factor there to prevent Vice President Hubert Humphrey or Richard Nixon from winning the Electoral College and forcing the presidential election into the House of Representatives. Where George Wallace believed he could've picked off enough Southern Democrats to perhaps win the election or force either Humphrey or Nixon to adopt a lot of his platform.
This was Wallace's strategy to win the 1968 presidential election and to be a factor in Southern House races and elect enough Conservative Republicans down there. To win the presidential election in the House. It was a long shot but the House GOP did pick up seats in the House, thanks to the South, making them a major player there in the next Congress.
But what you have to know about 1968 is how divided America was. Not just politically, but culturally as well, because the country was progressing so fast and changing so much culturally. Which is how we got the Culture War and the Christian-Right later on, as a response to the 1960s and the Cultural Revolution. So someone like a George Wallace who represented the old America without the new Americans and where non-male Anglo-Protestants were not powerful in America, his strategy to win the presidency was not far-fetched.