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MillennialModerate
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« on: June 10, 2019, 04:39:29 am »

Im obviously very Pro-JFK.

So maybe Im bias but Ive always believed that his death had one of the biggest butterfly effects weve ever seen (meaning it triggered so many things that would have gone the other way).

If he lives: He is re-elected. Vietnam doesnt turn into the disaster it was. The hippie culture and silent majorities dont come to fruition. Watergate never happens because Nixon isnt elected. Jimmy Carter never happens because there isnt a thirst for truthful government. The energy crisis and Iran hostage saga never happens. Maybe Reagan is elected but the landslides and Reagan revolution dont take place, you dont see the Reagan Democrats happen and while the South was trending Republican due to the Democrats pro-civil tights stances - you likely see the Dems be at least competitive in the South consistently.

(I also believe that the deaths of RFK doesnt happen and the death of JFK Jr never happens, but this post is more about American than the family)

Can anyone give a fair perspective on this? Did it really have the butterfly effect or would many of those things have likely stayed the same?
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True Federalist
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2019, 07:16:22 am »

First off, the hippies still happen. They were basically the 60s version of the beatniks of the 50s and they weren't just a U.S. phenomenon. There's no reason to think JFK living would have any major effect on the hippies as they weren't a response to the Vietnam War, tho of course they were affected by it.

Second, I don't see Kennedy ending all involvement in Vietnam, tho he likely wouldn't have made the major commitment that LBJ did.

Third, without LBJ as president, there is no CRA in 1964, tho maybe in JFK's second term. The Great Society programs such as Medicare either don't happen or happen in a reduced form.
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Jolly Slugg
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2019, 08:52:57 pm »

LBJ knew to how to work with Congress, how to get things through Congress. JFK was increasingly being stonewalled by Congress. His murder was the best thing that happened to the causes he cherished and cared about.
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dw93
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2019, 09:29:42 pm »

First off, the hippies still happen. They were basically the 60s version of the beatniks of the 50s and they weren't just a U.S. phenomenon. There's no reason to think JFK living would have any major effect on the hippies as they weren't a response to the Vietnam War, tho of course they were affected by it.

Second, I don't see Kennedy ending all involvement in Vietnam, tho he likely wouldn't have made the major commitment that LBJ did.

Third, without LBJ as president, there is no CRA in 1964, tho maybe in JFK's second term. The Great Society programs such as Medicare either don't happen or happen in a reduced form.

This. I also think a Republican still gets elected in 1968. Whether that Republican is still Nixon or not is debatable, but a Republican still wins 68 none the less.
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MillennialModerate
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2019, 04:15:38 am »

LBJ knew to how to work with Congress, how to get things through Congress. JFK was increasingly being stonewalled by Congress. His murder was the best thing that happened to the causes he cherished and cared about.

Ive heard that so much but look, LBJ was still part of the administration.

He probably had 68 ambitions so to be a part of a most successful administration would be quite the feather in his cap. So I think not all but most of those bills would have been forced through with LBJs help and JFKs public persuasion.

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MillennialModerate
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2019, 04:19:20 am »

First off, the hippies still happen. They were basically the 60s version of the beatniks of the 50s and they weren't just a U.S. phenomenon. There's no reason to think JFK living would have any major effect on the hippies as they weren't a response to the Vietnam War, tho of course they were affected by it.

Second, I don't see Kennedy ending all involvement in Vietnam, tho he likely wouldn't have made the major commitment that LBJ did.

Third, without LBJ as president, there is no CRA in 1964, tho maybe in JFK's second term. The Great Society programs such as Medicare either don't happen or happen in a reduced form.

This. I also think a Republican still gets elected in 1968. Whether that Republican is still Nixon or not is debatable, but a Republican still wins 68 none the less.

I dont know how it would be Nixon, at that point hes twice been a loser (Pres, CA) and theres no silent majority thirst for law and order in this scenario. So it would be an uphill climb for him.

I also think the Democrats won a third term in 68 because the popularity of JFKs administration was astronomical. Reaching 70% most of the time in polls. As long as the Dems didnt nominate someone like McGovern.

As far as the Kennedys go, RFK probably runs for something in 68, wins. And then runs for President in 76, Because I think the GOP would likely win in 72
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2019, 03:57:07 am »

As has been noted there would probably still be a great deal of violence and a hunger for law and order. This was also not just a product of Vietnam and the presence of the hippies would still alarm the older generations.

Perhaps things are not as heated and Vietnam is not as bad, but the fact remains that there would be similar tensions since a good bit of that was already baked into the pie.
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Sir Mohamed
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2019, 09:09:15 am »

Doubtful, if you ask me. I don't believe JFK would have completely withdrawn from Vietnam, though he may have changed course sooner and avoided having 550,000 troops on the ground which was a grave mistake. On domestic policy, he would have been far less successful than Johnson, who benefited from his political skills and the momentum after the tragic assassination. A weaker civil rights bill would have been passed in 1965 and probably no Medicare. No way civil rights law gets enacted in 1964. Kennedy might not even have tried in an election year.

There is no question Kennedy would have won a second term in 1964 by a sweeping margins (but nowhere near Johnson's 61% PV / 486 EVs landslide). 1968 would have been a pure tossup. I don't see why Nixon should not have been a serious candidate assuming he didn't challenge JFK in 1964. I'm skeptical Rockefeller or Reagan would have been nominated, because they faced much opposition at the time within the GOP. So if Nixon still becomes prez in 1969, Watergate would have happend regardless of JFK living.

Btw, I'm not even sure Kennedy would have survived a second term. He was chronically ill and might have been dead by 1967 or so.
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Cory Booker
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2019, 03:42:56 am »

Mitt Romney SR probably gets elected prez after two terms of JFK, there is no Watergate, but Vietnam happens and is unsuccessful at it. Teddy Kennedy gets elected in 1976 and is reelected. The rest, is history without Reagan or Nixon and Bush Sr and Jerry Brown or Mario Cuomo and McCain follows.
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brucejoel99
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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2019, 03:44:22 am »

1964: Goldwater would still be the nominee, though, regardless of whether or not the country's political atmosphere would be much less toxic without a president having just been assassinated, there'd still be no self-respecting moderate with an ounce of political sanity who'd team up with him. JFK & Goldwater embark on a traveling series of joint town-hall debates, which they'd already agreed to do before the assassination as, on personal terms, they were quite cordial. The election is a JFK landslide, only slightly smaller than LBJ's, both for the White House & congressionally.

JFK: Reshuffles the Cabinet, with RFK going to Defense, McNamara to State, Katzenbach to Justice, & Rusk to the UN. He also retires Hoover in 1965, publicly because he was past the mandatory retirement age & privately under threat of exposing him as a homosexual, & replaces him with William C. Sullivan. Both the CRA & VRA would've passed, especially considering enough Senators of both parties had privately pledged their support (for the former, at least) before the assassination, but with 2-1 Democratic supermajorities in both the House & Senate (most being liberal Northerners), the GOP would be irrelevant. The New Frontier legislative package would've passed, but there'd be no Great Society; consequently, there'd be more of an emphasis on the middle class than the poor, compared to LBJ. Some GS measures would pass, mostly those that concern consumer & environmental protection, but it wouldn't be the New Deal 2.0 that LBJ envisioned. And either Medicare or Medicaid would've passed, but not both, as neither Kennedy brother had the legislative acumen to get both passed. Medicaid would've been easier, because the GOP wasn't gonna vote against basic healthcare for the poor (otherwise, that would've been the easiest attack ad to ever make).

Vietnam: If he continues pursuing what was his Vietnam policy at the time of the assassination, then we basically just see an early Vietnamization under a different name. However, had the circumstances led to it, he could've very will still escalated in Vietnam too, considering any evidence stating he was committed to de-escalation & withdrawal is mostly anecdotal.

Hippies: Without escalating the war in Vietnam, you won't really see an anti-war movement; even without Vietnam, though, the New Left would've still came & went; the counter culture wouldn't have been stifled, as it was already set in motion. It would've just been less radically violent/militant, i.e. less Hoffman & more Lowenstein & Scheer. There's also the interesting prospect of American youth going into ventures like the Peace Corps & other civil service areas (perhaps an earlier AmeriCorps, too) in greater numbers, so you could probably take a good number of people who became hippies & keep them from getting disillusioned had they been put into those areas of constructive activism instead. I'd still expect there to be hippies though, just more Flower Power & Summer of Love, & less blowing up a federal building.

Silent Majority: I'd still expect the disillusionment that many white southerners felt in response to civil rights legislation to show itself.

1968: Nixon vs. either RFK (if he runs) or Humphrey (if he doesn't). I think the Republican nominee would've had to have been Nixon, even if he'd need a different tag line & may have a harder time; regardless, Reagan might not have even been elected Governor, Rocky was too liberal for the base, & Romney wasn't presidential material (he had the same problems his son had in 2008: Mormonism, gaffes, & flip-flopping). The Democratic running mate is Carl Sanders, or maybe Terry Sanford. Nixon would likely still beat Humphrey, but any contest between RFK & Nixon is 50-50.

RFK: He definitely resigns early from the Cabinet in 1968 to run... for something. Now, the nomination is his if he wants it, but he could've very well declined re: dynastic appearances. If he runs for President & loses, then he runs for the Senate in 1970 against Keating & wins; if he doesn't run for President, then he runs for the Senate instead against Javits & wins. Either way, he likely goes on to succeed a two-term Nixon in 1976, after having allowed a non-entity to be kamikazed against Nixon in 1972.

Watergate: There's a good chance there'd be no Watergate, in which case the relationship between politicians & the media would remain as it was before 1974 up until the mass media of the 1980s kicks in.

Carter: If there was no Watergate, then he'd be butterflied. Ditto for the energy & Iran crises.

Reagan: Might be butterflied, resulting in the emergence of the GOP's right-wing being delayed by up to a decade.

JFK Jr: He'd be alive & well today. He'd still have the potential to have been President, but if both his father & uncle had already been President, then voters could've very well eventually tired of the Kennedy dynasty.
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Cory Booker
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« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2019, 05:28:50 am »

Bottom line, George Romney whom seem reasonable, and an alternative to Nixon probably gets elected and Reagan doesnt either.

I think if RFK would have been elected rather than his brother John, who would have been more forceful to Hoover would have staved off the Oswald assassination,  by putting more troops in Cuba, and stopped Fidel Castro from coming to power. Vietnam still goes badly but Nixon doesn't come to power.
As a result, timeline changes with more of a kindler, McCain GOP party
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True Federalist
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« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2019, 06:59:42 am »

Carter: If there was no Watergate, then he'd be butterflied. Ditto for the energy & Iran crises.

I never knew Carter was responsible for the 1973 oil crisis before now. Also, the Iranian Revolution would still have happened, tho the result may have been different. (But maybe not. One only need look to our policy in Afghanistan under Reagan/Bush to realize naivety concerning the Middle East was not exclusive to just Carter.)
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brucejoel99
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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2019, 01:40:14 pm »

Carter: If there was no Watergate, then he'd be butterflied. Ditto for the energy & Iran crises.

I never knew Carter was responsible for the 1973 oil crisis before now. Also, the Iranian Revolution would still have happened, tho the result may have been different. (But maybe not. One only need look to our policy in Afghanistan under Reagan/Bush to realize naivety concerning the Middle East was not exclusive to just Carter.)

Oh, I thought the energy crisis being referred to was the 1979 oil crisis, considering it was mentioned alongside the Iran hostage crisis, though maybe I just misunderstood which energy crisis OP was going for lol Tongue
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True Federalist
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« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2019, 07:04:59 pm »

I suspect the OP might not have been aware there were multiple oil shocks.
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136or142
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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2019, 07:13:15 pm »

You might be interested in this, the British science fiction satire show Red Dwarf did an episode in which JFK survived.  His survival was about to lead to a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, so they all went back in time and JFK shot himself as he was the second shooter on the grassy knoll.
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Cory Booker
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« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2019, 07:47:17 pm »

Conservative revolution still happens without Nixon or Reagan, but with Dole, H Bush and Romney GOPers
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mjwatts1983
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« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2019, 02:51:09 am »

Kennedy was in Dallas that fateful day in 1963 as part of a swing through Texas to shore up support for his re-election bid. He only won the state by less than 47000 votes for a 51-49 win.

I do agree with how a living JFK would shape domestic politics at the end of a possible first term. A Civil Rights Bill was making its way through Congress at the time of his murder but was being stonewalled by the Dixiecrats. I can imagine LBJ cajoling senators to break the filibuster and vote for the bill even going as far as using his role as Senate President to get it passed (see House of Cards US Season 2 in how Frank Underwood broke a senate impasse)

As for the 1964 campaign, LBJ went scorched earth on Goldwater (see the Daisy Ad). I cannot see JFK approving such an ad. He would certainly get a boost on foreign policy when it came to handling the Cuban Missile Crisis and being calm wouldve led to a different outcome over the Gulf of Tonkin

The Black community - led by King - would be pushing for more issues to address their needs. Blacks were hesitant about supporting LBJ because he was a Southern D who played the if you can convince the lowest white man... card from time to time. Kennedy signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 certainly would have locked in their support for the re-election with a but as in, you need to come through on addressing voting rights & employment

JFK does win a second term - not like LBJ - but somewhere in the middle between his 1960 close win and LBJ curbstomp... EVs 320s, PV 53-42.
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mjwatts1983
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« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2019, 04:20:58 am »

So having won re-election in 1964, JFK has some political capitol to work with

Civil Rights
Voting rights are addressed. Its passage goes about differently than how LBJ did it, but something gets passed. Same thing with Immigration Reform in abolishing the National Origins Formula that was used in a 1924 Immigration Act. I could see it come with emphasis of seeking political asylum given this is the Cold War

Health Care
Kennedy takes a huge gamble on passing health care reform. If you have a chance, go to the LBJ museum in Austin and look at the display on Medicare. Rs called it the same thing as what they called ObamaCare nearly 50 years later. I could see JFK incorporating it as part of a call to service. Again, I agree with that we see it as part of New Frontier packages with investments in education specifically STEM given the Space Race

Confronting The Soviet Union
This is the Cold War after all. JFK engages the Soviets with a series of discussions on how to avoid a repeat of Cuba

Vietnam
This is interesting because JFK in his inaugural said we will confront any foe and pay any price. The question is: at what point is the price too high.

Warfare is not about how many people you kill on the other side but when your opponent reaches a breaking point. The Brits reached theirs in the Revolution because what was the point of sending an army 3000 miles across the ocean as well as France and Spain getting involved.

The North won the Civil War in part due to a Naval blockade and Sherman going total war through Georgia

World War I was a stalemate until we provided more bodies to the pile as well as Germany succumbing to revolution that led to the Kaiser abdicating and the new government pushing for armistice

World War II in Europe ended because we and the Soviets were closing in on Berlin. Germany was conscripting the very young and too old to fight. In the Pacific, we dropped a couple of nuclear bombs on Japan as we were making plans to invade the home islands as well as the Soviets.

Kennedy was a student of history and of the moment and would have taken from the lessons of Korea as well as Cuba. In Korea, we pushed all the way north to China and then we were pushed almost off the Peninsula. After 3 years, it made sense at the time to just divide at 38N, be done with it, and not escalate any further.

In Cuba, it was about not letting the situation spiral out. The Bay of Pigs was a disaster. We almost had a nuclear war that certainly would have killed millions upon millions of people over a Caribbean island. Thank God cooler heads persevered in that situation.

Why we lost in Vietnam? We reached our political breaking point. We made it known that we were tired of hearing casualty reports on the news. It is believed that when Walter Cronkite delivered his report on Vietnam in 1968 that LBJ said if I lost him, Ive lost the country.

Hippies and Counterculture
I see it continuing but taking a different direction. More like continuing the beat-nicks from the 1950s. The Vietnam War as well as Civil Rights for Blacks, Hispanics, women, and gays played a role in ramping it up into being very confrontational by the end of the decade and into the 1970s. Civil Rights - whatever it was addressing - was being acknowledged in part due to that we fought a war against one group who was grossly violating peoples basic freedoms but at the same time we had our own caste system that at times excluded people. It was hypocritical. We had segregated units in the military that was trying to free Europe. That also brings me to this

The Wild Cards
Do we still have the other political assassinations of the 1960s (Malcolm X, King, RFK)? How much a role JFKs health play in his second term? Does he become a tragic figure like how Woodrow Wilson was incapacitated by a stroke for the back half of his second term? Would JFK face criticisms over the space program not getting close to the moon at the end of the decade especially after the Apollo 1 disaster? The Six-Year Curse: How bad are the 1966 midterms for Ds and what does it mean for a successor? Does LBJ run in 1968 (remember he wasnt exactly in great health and would die at the start of Nixons second term)?
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PR
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« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2019, 04:50:04 pm »

Had JFK not been assassinated the financial and sexual corruption of both him and LBJ (and much of Congress) would have been revealed.
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Cory Booker
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« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2019, 06:13:22 am »

Obviously, as I previously said, a reasonable Republican other than Nixon, which lead to Watergate would have been elected; George Romney Sr. As a result, Vietnam would have been cleared from, Romney Sr would have signed the War Powers Resolution and gotton US out of waste land. Teddy Kenndy would have ran for Prez afterward, and scandal-free presidencies would of resulted.

The assassination of JFK, Dr King and RFK only empowered Nixon and Hoover, not the country
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The Chad Ralph Northam
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« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2019, 05:27:16 pm »

I know this isn't really related but I'd like to plug an excellent "JFK survives" TL on AH.com. I will fully admit it's a bit on the utopian side, but it's a great timeline nonetheless.

You can find it here: https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/blue-skies-in-camelot-an-alternate-60s-and-beyond.431559/
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« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2019, 02:02:13 pm »

JFK wins easily in 1964, but probably with 55% instead of 60%.  Everything LBJ is famous for still happens, but more slowly and gradually.  Vietnam is still going on, but less of a mess, allowing a Dem to win narrowly in 1968 (either LBJ or RFK), but they pretty clearly lose in 1972 as inflation picks up.  Beyond 1972, having no Watergate scandal and a persistent left-leaning SCOTUS (less left-leaning than the actual mid-late 60's Warren court, but more left-leaning than everything that came after) scrambles everything.     
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