What Could Have Been, If Not for the Assassin’s Bullet [OPINION]
United States Senator and former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy was destroyed by a madman on June 5, 1968. What may have happened if he had lived?
I recently had two separate discussions on air about the assassination of RFK. Attorney Scott W. Lang, the former mayor of New Bedford, reflected on being a high school senior when the senator was cut down after winning the California Democrat Party primary for president. Lang went onto become a staffer in the Senate and an employee of the Democratic National Committee. He was involved in the management of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's run for the presidency against Jimmy Carter.
Investigative journalist Dan Moldea is an expert on the assassination of Senator Kennedy. He has determined that a lone madman, Sirhan Sirhan, was the killer, but he didn't start out there. Moldea, who is the best expert on the murder of Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa and who has spent decades on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, originally believed the Mafia had murdered RFK. After years of investigating and three interrogations of Sirhan Sirhan, the reality is that a drunk guy with a cheap pistol likely changed the course of our country.
What if Kennedy had lived to clinch the nomination in 1968?
It is hard to see how Kennedy would have lost to Richard M. Nixon that year. What would have happened in Vietnam with RFK in charge of foreign policy? Kennedy was a lifelong opponent of communism. He had a particular concern with removing the communist dictatorship in Cuba and so the reign of Fidel Castro may have been cut short.
The domestic policy would have been different, although Nixon was much more progressive than most will acknowledge, so it is hard to say exactly how different.
Had he beaten Nixon we also would have been spared the Watergate scandal and the resignation of the president. The cynicism that plagues us might be a little less today.
One guy changed the world.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.