Given my age, it would be understandable if I imprinted on that and thought it was the normal way for elections to be, just as I consider it normal for the Yankees to win the World Series every year. I didn't, but a lot of the media did.
One way in which things were different back then was that the losers didn't hold their breath and turn blue and refuse to let the winners do anything unless they got a supermajority. By now, the parties are too different for the 1952 model.
And The New York Times can't face that. So they tried to find a reasonable Republican; as Lenny Bruce would say, one who doesn't wet the bed. Unfortunately for them, they chose Chris Christie. At this point, he is probably beyond rehabilitation, so they now have to find another Republican who is not as obviously crazy as the Republican base wants. Lotsa luck, guys.
ETA: Come to think of it, in the 50s there was a group that held its breath and turned blue and refused to let the winners do anything, but that included members of both parties and was only about segregation. Now it's just the Republicans, and it's about everything.