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Author Topic: 1968: Bobby Kennedy alive  (Read 6266 times)
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« on: September 06, 2005, 02:13:05 pm »
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Bobby Kennedy managed to survive and to win the Democratic nomination.

Who won ?

And in 1972, did a ever-losing Nixon manage to beat a corrupt, authoritarian and ineffective Bobby ?
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2005, 02:38:19 pm »
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RFK defeats Nixon barely.  Nixon retires from politics, finally, forever, cross-his-heart and hope to die.

RFK pulls out of Vietnam: a move that angers conservatives but is highly popular with everyone else.  His policies legitimize the liberal social agenda.  The United States goes the way of Europe, with socialized medicine and an expanded central government.  This becomes mainstream politics. 

RFK easily defeats Ronald Reagan in 1972, in what is seen as a national referendum on the "New Society" programs of the Kennedy Administration.  Reagan retires from politics, never to be heard from again.

1976 sees a realignment, with Republicans somewhat accepting the social-democratic policies of the Democrats, but setting themselves apart on moral issues such as abortion and the sexual revolution.  Bob Dole defeats Gene McCarthy, but his poor handling of the sagging economy and the Iran hostage crisis sweeps Jimmy Carter into office in 1980!

Today, the Democrats and GOP are more like the Labour and Conservative parties in the U.K. in policy position and relative strength.
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2005, 04:04:59 pm »
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In 1968:

RFK - 249
Nixon - 244
Wallace - 45

In 1972:

RFK - 81
Nixon - 456
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2005, 09:25:31 pm »
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In 1968, I believe, Robert Kennedy would have been one of the only Democrats who could have defeated Richard Nixon.  RFK was far enough removed from Lyndon Johnson so as not to have been tarnished with the Johnson administration.  As well, Robert Kennedy would still have benefitted in 1968 from the legacy, or the perceived legacy, of his brother, JFK, who had died only five years previously.

In 1972, had Kennedy turned out to be as described in your scenario, corrupt, authoritarian, and ineffective, yes, Nixon would have defeated him.  However, by 1972, with Nixon losing twice arleady for the Presidency, I would hope the Republicans would have moved on to a better candidate.   

 
« Last Edit: September 06, 2005, 10:20:21 pm by Winfield »Logged



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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2005, 09:30:38 pm »
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RFK defeats Nixon barely.  Nixon retires from politics, finally, forever, cross-his-heart and hope to die.

RFK pulls out of Vietnam: a move that angers conservatives but is highly popular with everyone else.  His policies legitimize the liberal social agenda.  The United States goes the way of Europe, with socialized medicine and an expanded central government.  This becomes mainstream politics. 

RFK easily defeats Ronald Reagan in 1972, in what is seen as a national referendum on the "New Society" programs of the Kennedy Administration.  Reagan retires from politics, never to be heard from again.

1976 sees a realignment, with Republicans somewhat accepting the social-democratic policies of the Democrats, but setting themselves apart on moral issues such as abortion and the sexual revolution.  Bob Dole defeats Gene McCarthy, but his poor handling of the sagging economy and the Iran hostage crisis sweeps Jimmy Carter into office in 1980!

Today, the Democrats and GOP are more like the Labour and Conservative parties in the U.K. in policy position and relative strength.

Scary.....
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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2005, 08:34:40 am »
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In 1972, had Kennedy turned out to be as described in your scenario, corrupt, authoritarian, and ineffective, yes, Nixon would have defeated him.  However, by 1972, with Nixon losing twice arleady for the Presidency, I would hope the Republicans would have moved on to a better candidate.   
 

Seems to me that Ronald Reagan would be the obvious choice - the anti-government, anti-counterculture California governor.
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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2005, 03:06:47 pm »
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How I wish it had happened. Kennedy would have got us out of Vietnam and made sure that racial equality wasn't flawed as it is today. He would have made a good president.
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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2005, 04:12:51 pm »
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How I wish it had happened. Kennedy would have got us out of Vietnam and made sure that racial equality wasn't flawed as it is today. He would have made a good president.
A bit optimistic, don't you think?
Maybe true for racial relations, but very unsure for Vietnam. And I think his governing behaviour would have been very disappointing: he would have been lonely and on his own, unable to delegate or simply discuss with aides, secretaries or Congress.

Reality would have been back quite quickly...

And maybe a new inquiry on the assassination of JFK which would have revealed as flawed as the previous one.

RFK was fascinating and is still fascinating just because he was never president.
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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2005, 01:23:38 pm »
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In 1972, had Kennedy turned out to be as described in your scenario, corrupt, authoritarian, and ineffective, yes, Nixon would have defeated him.  However, by 1972, with Nixon losing twice arleady for the Presidency, I would hope the Republicans would have moved on to a better candidate.   
 

Seems to me that Ronald Reagan would be the obvious choice - the anti-government, anti-counterculture California governor.

Not yet, I don't think the Republican base would be ready for Reagan in 72.  I think they might try out Rocky or Dole first.
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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2005, 09:23:26 pm »
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Kennedy/McGovern: 299EV
Nixon/Agnew: 175EV
Wallace/LeMay: 64EV

Some notes: Kennedy runs weaker in the south thus Wallace gaining Tennessee and South Carolina from Nixon. Nixon picks up Texas. Of course with Daly in Chicago, there was no way a Kennedy was going to lose Illinois. Kennedy also picks up Missouri, Wisconsin, New Jersey and California from Nixon.

Nixon, heartbroken from a second loss to a Kennedy, becomes very depressed and ill and dies of a heart attack in August 1970.

By 1972, after 12 years of Democratic control, America wants a change. Kennedy is still stuck in Vietnam and unable to to deal with inflation and race riots at home. Wallace, upset over Kennedy's social and economic policies, becomes a Republican in early 1971 and announces he will run for the Republican nomination. There are several challengers for the nomination.

1. Wallace
2. Nelson Rockefeller
3. Bob Dole
4. Ronald Reagan
5. Spiro Agnew

The race comes down to Wallace and Rockefeller. At the convention in July '72, it is deadlock with neither side budging. The delagtes begin to think of 1964 and Barry Goldwater and know his message was right but it came eight years too early. Now his message was perfect for America.  Reagan, Dole and Agnew pressure Wallace and Rocky to compromise on Goldwater. Wallace, knowing that Goldwater's and his own views are somewhat alike, agrees on Goldwater. Rocky agrees only after Goldwater makes him his running mate. Goldwater, knowing how the party was divided in '64, now sees a Goldwater/Rocky ticket as a chance to unite the party in '72. Goldwater, agrees on Rocky. Therfore  the '72 race is between Goldwater and Kennedy.

Wallace campaigns like a work horse for Goldwater and with Rocky on the ticket, the Republican party is more united than ever. After four years, Kennedy is worn and tired, looking like Jimmy Carter in 1980. Southern Dems begin to flock toward Goldwater. Finally, the people speak on November 7, 1972.


Goldwater/ Rockefeller: 55.6% 488EV
Kennedy/McGovern: 44.2% 50EV

I'm begining to have too much fun with this, I'll try to do '76 and '80 in a bit!
« Last Edit: September 10, 2005, 09:27:30 pm by mikeymike »Logged



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« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2005, 09:54:29 pm »
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By 1980 the US would be all red, as in Communist.  He would have pulled out of Vietnam and gutted US military spending and turn it into handouts to the poor.  By 1976 the US military would be a paper tiger.  When faced with a Soviet invasion of Europe in 1978, he would choose to surrender instead of launch a world ending nuclear war.

In 1984 the Soviets would invade China, which would respond with nuclear weapons.  The USSR and China would be devastated in the war; neither could be considered a nation state.

This would shortly be followed by a general insurrection in the US, which has seen a large amount of partisan style resistance thanks to the right to bear arms, which was suspended shortly after the surrender.  Without a mother country, the occupying Soviet soldiers would be heavily outnumbered and without a lot of armor/air support, which was shipped home before being lost in the Sino-Soviet War.  They would surrender and Premier Kennedy, allowed to keep his positioning the surrender, would be overthrown and democracy restored. 

Laissez-faire economics would be the word of the day, with an income tax used primarily to support a large and capable military.  The new Constitution would clearly limit the powers of the government with an exact and exhausting list of powers they can exercise.   Today's Republican Party would represent the political left of the political spectrum in the United States.

Without as many weapons available to the population, Europe would take longer to get out from under the grip of communism.  After they do, fascism would rise again for a while, before it too falls and a European Union is established with a general weakening of national power.

Asia, having seen a nuclear war, would be royally screwed.

Africa would still be a screwed up mess.

Israel would actually be a bit better off.  Without the US supporting it, the Soviets would not back the Arab states against it.  Why arm your next conquest?  Iraq never gets nuclear technology from the French. 

South America is in better shape thanks to US refugees bringing money and knowledge.

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« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2005, 10:11:12 pm »
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During his inaugual address, Goldwater makes clear that he would use any means, including force, "to resolve any conflict, anywhere, anyplace and at any time." Clearly referring to North Vietnam. Goldwater, send several nuclear warships to be placed on the coast of North Vietnam in order to force North Vietnam to the bargining table. By May 1973, North and South Vietnam agree to a ceasefire and establish a demilitarilzed zone, like Korea. American are angry at Goldwater when he ignores the Democratic congrees pleas to withdraw troops but keeping soliders in Sotun Vietnam. Vietnam turns into the 70's version of Korea.

At home, Goldwater reduces the capital gains tax by 35% and reduces Social Security taxes by 25%. Most Americans are angry to begin with but by mid-1975, Inflation has slowed down to 4% and unemployment, which was around 8% under Kennedy, is down to 5%.

Goldwater also used military force to resolve race riots in Detriot and Chicago that have been a constant issue since 1967. Using the national guard, and ordering marhsall law in any city that intends to riot, riots slow down by the end of 1973.

By the 1976 election, things look god for Goldwater. However, many moderate to liberal Americans do not like his brut force with the race riot and his hard nose approach to Vietnam dispite the cease fire. The Democrats look to Goldwater's biggest critic, Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy as their man. After being unopposed in the primaries, the Democrats select Teddy with Walter Mondale as his running mate.

At the Republican convention, Rockefeller, who feels that Goldwater has not treated him like a partner, gracefully bows out. Goldwater, now selects his so called student, Ronald Reagan to be his running mate. Polls show a very tight race.

The race is a tight one through September and into early October. The debates between Kennedy and Goldwater do movement in the polls.  On October 19th, CBS News posted thier electoral maps. Too many close to call states.



Undecided: 396EV
Kennedy: 65EV
Goldwater: 104EV

On October 20th, a story leaks out in the New York Post about Senator Kennedy driving, under the influence, an Oldsmobile off a bridge in Martha's Vinyard in July 1969, killing an aide from former President Bobby Kennedy's administration. Never before was this information released as evidence from the case was hidden from the press under President Kennedy's orders.  Both Senator Kennedy and former President Kennedy refuse comment while Goldwater questions Kennedy's ethics and his abilty to be president. With Chappaquiddick now all over the headlines for the last few weeks of the election, polls show a surge for Goldwater as scandle ruins another Kennedy. November 2, 1976 shows the end for the Kennedy political era.



Goldwater/Reagan: 62.2% 531EV
Kennedy/Mondale: 37.5% 7EV

To make matters worse, Kennedy loses his senate seat to former Massachusetts Governor John Volpe.
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« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2005, 10:14:08 pm »
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By 1980 the US would be all red, as in Communist.  He would have pulled out of Vietnam and gutted US military spending and turn it into handouts to the poor.  By 1976 the US military would be a paper tiger.  When faced with a Soviet invasion of Europe in 1978, he would choose to surrender instead of launch a world ending nuclear war.

In 1984 the Soviets would invade China, which would respond with nuclear weapons.  The USSR and China would be devastated in the war; neither could be considered a nation state.

This would shortly be followed by a general insurrection in the US, which has seen a large amount of partisan style resistance thanks to the right to bear arms, which was suspended shortly after the surrender.  Without a mother country, the occupying Soviet soldiers would be heavily outnumbered and without a lot of armor/air support, which was shipped home before being lost in the Sino-Soviet War.  They would surrender and Premier Kennedy, allowed to keep his positioning the surrender, would be overthrown and democracy restored. 

Laissez-faire economics would be the word of the day, with an income tax used primarily to support a large and capable military.  The new Constitution would clearly limit the powers of the government with an exact and exhausting list of powers they can exercise.   Today's Republican Party would represent the political left of the political spectrum in the United States.

Without as many weapons available to the population, Europe would take longer to get out from under the grip of communism.  After they do, fascism would rise again for a while, before it too falls and a European Union is established with a general weakening of national power.

Asia, having seen a nuclear war, would be royally screwed.

Africa would still be a screwed up mess.

Israel would actually be a bit better off.  Without the US supporting it, the Soviets would not back the Arab states against it.  Why arm your next conquest?  Iraq never gets nuclear technology from the French. 

South America is in better shape thanks to US refugees bringing money and knowledge.



I think that trend would have happened only if Goldwater didn't win in '72! Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2005, 02:57:52 pm »
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In 1972, had Kennedy turned out to be as described in your scenario, corrupt, authoritarian, and ineffective, yes, Nixon would have defeated him.  However, by 1972, with Nixon losing twice arleady for the Presidency, I would hope the Republicans would have moved on to a better candidate.   
 

Seems to me that Ronald Reagan would be the obvious choice - the anti-government, anti-counterculture California governor.

I doubt that. The GOP would have tried to beat RFK at his own game and chosen a centrist like Rockefeller.

In any case, Rockefeller probably would have lost, causing an internal party conflict between liberal and conservative Republicans (aka Rockefeller Republicans vs Goldwater Republicans). Reagan would then have won the nomination for 1976, coming up against someone like Henry M. Jackson or Morris Udall, possibly losing. 1980 sees liberal Republican John Anderson winning the Presidency. In other words...

1968: RFK/Sanford bt Nixon/Agnew
1972: RFK/Sanford bt Rockefeller/Ford
1976: Jackson/Vanik bt Reagan/Schweiker
1980: Anderson/Dole bt Jackson/Vanik
1984: Anderson/Dole bt Hart/Mondale
1988: Bentsen/Gore bt Dole/Bush
1992: Bentsen/Gore bt Bush/Kemp
1996: Gore/Gephardt bt Quayle/Alexander
2000: McCain/Lieberman bt Gore/Gephardt
2004: McCain/Lieberman bt Edwards/Richardson

Presidents since 1969
1969 - 1977 Robert F. Kennedy
1977 - 1981 Henry M. Jackson
1981 - 1989 John Anderson
1989 - 1997 Lloyd Bentsen
1997 - 2001 Al Gore
2001 - Now  John McCain

Something like this? Btw, Lieberman would have been too conservative for the Dems in this scenario (since the political centre would have gravitated more towards the left), thus running alongside McCain in the 2000- and 2004 GOP tickets. As for the USSR, it probably would have collapsed at some point during the Bentsen Presidency as it was already starting to self-destruct in the early 1970s anyway.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2005, 07:16:39 pm by Michael Z »Logged
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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2010, 06:25:11 pm »
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If RFK had not been shot and killed,  He would not have captured the nomination in August, 1968.  After winning the California Primary over Eugene McCarthy the night of June 4, He proclaimed "Now, it's on to Chicago, and let's win there".  Yes, He had momentum, after California, but Vice President Humphrey, although not entered in the primaries, had received a large number of delegates.  As of the early morning hours of June 5, Senator Kennedy knew it was going to be a fight to win the nomination. Also, you can rest assured that McCarthy, also with delegates and support, would have been in Chicago, as well, for the convention.  Also, President Johnson, choosing not to run again on March 31, opened the door for Humphrey to run and gained alot of support. Humphrey would be hurt politically, by being a part of the Johnson administration, with its protests at home, stemming from its involvement in the Vietnam war.
I stated that RFK would not have captured the nomination.  That is a bold statement from me, because who knows what would have happened if Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, and Robert Kennedy, were all on the floor of that convention, seeking support and delegate votes.  If that did occur, there is one thing that I can see happening,  President Johnson getting personally involved in the proceedings.  As President, he most likely would have done anything to deny the nomination to Senator Kennedy. Both men hated each other since 1960, and I feel President Johnson would keep Kennedy from getting the nomination.
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« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2010, 06:52:51 pm »
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This was an interesting thread, but it's more than five years old. How'd you find it and why'd you bump it?
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« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2010, 07:35:16 pm »
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I found it on page 60 of 61.   I was just checking out some of the "what ifs", and this one struck me.  Asking how Robert Kennedy, by winning the 1968 Democratic Nomination, would have fared against Richard Nixon in November's election, made me think that it would haved never happened.
That is sad to say that.  I am just certain President Johnson would have kept the nomination from going to RFK.
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« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2010, 04:40:20 pm »
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If RFK had not been shot and killed,  He would not have captured the nomination in August, 1968.  After winning the California Primary over Eugene McCarthy the night of June 4, He proclaimed "Now, it's on to Chicago, and let's win there".  Yes, He had momentum, after California, but Vice President Humphrey, although not entered in the primaries, had received a large number of delegates.  As of the early morning hours of June 5, Senator Kennedy knew it was going to be a fight to win the nomination. Also, you can rest assured that McCarthy, also with delegates and support, would have been in Chicago, as well, for the convention.  Also, President Johnson, choosing not to run again on March 31, opened the door for Humphrey to run and gained alot of support. Humphrey would be hurt politically, by being a part of the Johnson administration, with its protests at home, stemming from its involvement in the Vietnam war.
I stated that RFK would not have captured the nomination.  That is a bold statement from me, because who knows what would have happened if Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, and Robert Kennedy, were all on the floor of that convention, seeking support and delegate votes.  If that did occur, there is one thing that I can see happening,  President Johnson getting personally involved in the proceedings.  As President, he most likely would have done anything to deny the nomination to Senator Kennedy. Both men hated each other since 1960, and I feel President Johnson would keep Kennedy from getting the nomination.
Kennedy and Humphrey split the support, with mccarthy being the kingmaker if he dropped. I think McCarthy would have been forced by his supporters, who liked Kennedy to endorse Kennedy after a few ballots.
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« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2011, 01:31:46 am »
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Just saw this topic.  I am amazed at the number of people who believe that, had RFK lived, he would have won the 1968 Democratic Party Presidential Nomination and the subsequent election.  This almost seems like a forgone conclusion to alternative history buffs.

The Presidential nominating process was much different in 1968.  There were few primaries, and many were just beauty contests, not binding the delegates to vote for the winner.  Most states' delegations were handpicked by the party leaders or by party-controlled caucuses.  RFK was not liked or accepted by the Democratic Party rank and file, further diminishing what small chance he might have to gain a majority of the delegates' votes.  In addition, outgoing President Lyndon Johnson hated Kennedy and put all his resources and influence to make certain that his Vice President, Hubert Humphrey, was nominated.  Humphrey had a majority of the delegates commited to him through LBJ's machinations even before he announced his candidacy.  It was an uphill battle for RFK and McCarthy's to convince delegates pledged to Humphrey to switch to them.

America was a very different place in 1968.  The rise in crime, race riots in many major cities, and the youth counterculture had set many Americans on edge.  Nixon's  appeal to the "Silent Majority" hit America where it lived.  The student antiwar protesters (most of whom couldn't vote anyway in 1968)  made a lot of noise but were heavily outnumbered by the older, family-oriented Americans of 1968 who were repulsed by what they saw on TV or read in the newspapers.  In the final analysis, 57% of the voters of that year picked either Nixon and Wallace, two right-of-center candidates who supported continuing the war in Vietnam.
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« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2011, 07:43:47 am »
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RFK defeats Nixon barely.  Nixon retires from politics, finally, forever, cross-his-heart and hope to die.

RFK pulls out of Vietnam: a move that angers conservatives but is highly popular with everyone else.  His policies legitimize the liberal social agenda.  The United States goes the way of Europe, with socialized medicine and an expanded central government.  This becomes mainstream politics. 

RFK easily defeats Ronald Reagan in 1972, in what is seen as a national referendum on the "New Society" programs of the Kennedy Administration.  Reagan retires from politics, never to be heard from again.

1976 sees a realignment, with Republicans somewhat accepting the social-democratic policies of the Democrats, but setting themselves apart on moral issues such as abortion and the sexual revolution.  Bob Dole defeats Gene McCarthy, but his poor handling of the sagging economy and the Iran hostage crisis sweeps Jimmy Carter into office in 1980!

Today, the Democrats and GOP are more like the Labour and Conservative parties in the U.K. in policy position and relative strength.
That sounds amazing. I wish that happened.
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« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2011, 08:50:22 pm »
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Amazing, but not what would have happened. Bobby was no socialist, and was a social conservative. Pretty similar ideologically to Bill Clinton.
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« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2011, 02:42:17 am »
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I don't understand why you feel that RFK was a social conservative.  Both RFK and Eugene McCarthy's support by a young, vocal (and mostly under 21 and unable to vote) minority is preciesly what made them unappetizing to the majority of Americans in 1968.  Opposition to the Vietnam War in 1968 was still seen as unpatriotic by the majority of  over-21 Americans in 1968.  The average American perceived RFK and McCarthy as aligned with the "hippies" and the Black Nationalists.  Richard Nixon was the perfect candidate for 1968.  Being a man of the 1950's, he represented a return to a more stable, staus-quo era.

In 1968, RFK and McCarthy had the difficult task of prying away delegates that were already pledged to Humphrey.  If somehow RFK would have won the nomination, he would have led a badly fractured party with LBJ doing everything possible to undermine his candidacy.  Nixon adds TX to his electoral vote total and increases his winning margins in the Southern and Border States.
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« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2011, 01:20:05 pm »
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Would like to know more about why LBJ hated RFK, and why LBJ would've done these things if RFK won the nomination. Was it because of LBJ's personality? An inferiority complex? A fear of failure?
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« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2011, 09:10:06 pm »
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I don't understand why you feel that RFK was a social conservative.  Both RFK and Eugene McCarthy's support by a young, vocal (and mostly under 21 and unable to vote) minority is preciesly what made them unappetizing to the majority of Americans in 1968.  Opposition to the Vietnam War in 1968 was still seen as unpatriotic by the majority of  over-21 Americans in 1968.  The average American perceived RFK and McCarthy as aligned with the "hippies" and the Black Nationalists.  Richard Nixon was the perfect candidate for 1968.  Being a man of the 1950's, he represented a return to a more stable, staus-quo era.

In 1968, RFK and McCarthy had the difficult task of prying away delegates that were already pledged to Humphrey.  If somehow RFK would have won the nomination, he would have led a badly fractured party with LBJ doing everything possible to undermine his candidacy.  Nixon adds TX to his electoral vote total and increases his winning margins in the Southern and Border States.

RFK was a social conservative, not a social reactionary. He was a devout Catholic who, if elected, would have ranked as one of the most religious men to occupy the White House. But he was an avid reader of Camus and other existentialists. Obviously we don't know his views on Roe vs. Wade, but it's likely that he would have opposed it (as did his wife and all of his siblings at the time). Also, Bobby derided the welfare state as unable to actually lift people out of poverty. It's inaccurate to label him a "social democrat", but he's definitely just as motivated to fight poverty. He was a Jeffersonian in the sense he supported decentralization of government programs, but he was a full on believer in a (not the) War on Poverty.

Would like to know more about why LBJ hated RFK, and why LBJ would've done these things if RFK won the nomination. Was it because of LBJ's personality? An inferiority complex? A fear of failure?

It was entirely a personality clash. Many instances of culture clash, as well as LBJ knowing full well that RFK never wanted LBJ on the ticket in 1960. Around 1967 you start to see real policy disputes over Vietnam and the War on Poverty.
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« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2011, 11:16:09 pm »
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So, would RFK be like HRC or Barbara Boxer, or Durbin if he won in 68?
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