Trump Invokes 1868 Seymour Presidential Campaign KKK Tactics With “Bloodbath” Threat to America

The threat of a “bloodbath” if Americans don’t vote for a white supremacist is something right out of the history books. This sort of domestic terrorism as a campaign platform sounds like Horatio Seymour in 1868:

In Ohio campaign rally, Trump says there will be a “bloodbath” if he loses November election

Or as the Washington Post put it in modern context…

Notably, Seymour put up campaign ads like this one illustrating how Americans would be lynched if they dared to vote against him.

Source: Encyclopedia of Alabama, 1 Sept 1868 Tuscaloosa Independent Monitor. The KKK threatened that March 4, 1869 — first day of rule by avowed racist Horatio Seymour — would bring lynchings of white Americans (“scalawags” and “carpetbaggers”).

Indeed, in 1869 “First-Class Men” tried to torture and murder a congressman because he had voted against Seymour in the Presidential election.

Colby: On the 29th of October 1869, [the KKK] broke my door open, took me out of bed, took me to the woods and whipped me three hours or more and left me for dead. They said to me, “Do you think you will ever vote another damned Radical ticket?” I said, “If there was an election tomorrow, I would vote the Radical ticket.” They set in and whipped me a thousand licks more, with sticks and straps that had buckles on the ends of them.

It was bad, really really bad, as the author of “Klan War” explained. The “bloodbath” tactic what Trump is invoking again as a shout-out to American history:

“[The organized terror movement after Civil War] stock-in-trade was violence – intimidation and violence. People were beaten, people were flogged, people were lynched, people were shot. People’s homes were raided, they were dragged outdoors and flogged in the streets.” And, he says, the violence often included “truly horrifying sadism”.

What was Seymour’s actual campaign slogan?

After President Grant crushed the KKK political platform, it rebranded itself a Christian nationalist “America First” platform

Another political cartoon, using clever puns, attempts to make light of threats from the KKK and foreshadows its use of prohibition to criminalize Black and Catholic voters (portraying anti-racists as radicals drunk on the “bottle”).

Print by Brown & Barrett, 65 8th Ave. N.Y. [1868]. Source: Library of Congress

Far too few Americans realize that the 2024 racist “America First” campaign is literally a throw-back to the horrible KKK and a Seymour ticket all over again.

If Trump Gets Convicted, Blame Ulysses S. Grant

“America First” since the late 1800s has been a known violent nativist/racist political campaign slogan, yet it persists.

We can thank Grant (easily the best American General and President in history) for creating National Parks, the Department of Justice, Civil Rights and defeating domestic terrorists like the KKK… perhaps yet again.

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