There is lots of history happening around us but we should not lose sight of the history that preceded today’s situations….
Today 06 June 1968…the probable next president was shot and killed…
Senator Robert Kennedy is shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the California presidential primary. Immediately after he announced to his cheering supporters that the country was ready to end its fractious divisions, Kennedy was shot several times by 22-year-old Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan. He was pronounced dead a day later, on June 6, 1968.
The summer of 1968 was a tempestuous time in American history. Both the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement were peaking. Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated in the spring, igniting riots across the country. In the face of this unrest, President Lyndon B. Johnson decided not to seek a second term in the upcoming presidential election. Robert Kennedy, John’s younger brother and former U.S. Attorney General, stepped into this breach and experienced a groundswell of support.
Americans lost their best chance of ending the war when RFK was killed.
Let us look into the possibilities if he had lived and become the president….
Historians have long wondered what would have happened had Robert F. Kennedy lived. What if he had continued his 1968 presidential campaign 50 years ago? Could he have forged a working-class political coalition that might have cauterized the nation’s racial wounds, arrested the slide into polarization and won working-class white support for the Democratic Party? Could RFK have built a multi-racial coalition featuring African-Americans and working-class whites?
These what-ifs have received more than modest attention from historians. In 1968, RFK was “the last liberal who could reach both races as well as both generations,” wrote historian John Morton Blum. At the time of his murder, Kennedy was beginning to construct “coalitions of supporters that cut across race and class lines,” historian James T. Patterson has argued. But beyond animating decades of historical scholarship and political analysis, the questions also emerged from a series of developments in 1968 that had begun to make Kennedy the unlikely face of a black-white lower-income political coalition.
More thoughts of a what if…..
Most of us take history as a given, that things had to turn out as they did. But that assumption ignores the question, “What might have been?”
What might have happened if America had continued its World War II alliance with Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam instead of siding with French colonialists in the postwar world? What if President Eisenhower had embraced the Brown vs. Board of Education decision the day after it was issued and ordered school desegregation to start within a year? And would there have been an invasion of Iraq if Al Gore had been elected president in 2000?
I believe the world would look a lot different if RFK had lived and made it to the presidency.
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”