Do you remember where you were the late night that Robert F. Kennedy was shot and killed? Today (6.5.2018) is the 50th anniversary of his incredible California Primary win for the 1968 Presidential election and the night where he was shot and killed after giving his speech to his supporters. Not to be too bellicose and get all maudlin, but I still tear up when I think about that night and the feelings a 13-year old boy had when I woke the next morning to hear the horrible news on my clock radio. I’ve been thinking about what-if and what could have been.
I think Bobby Kennedy would have been a great President, a great leader with his strong voice for freedom, peace, and his positive egalitarian view of America. America had experienced the brutal assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King a few short weeks earlier and the country had erupted in anger and violence because its powerful voice of peace, compassion, and leadership for the Nation’s Black community had been abruptly silenced in Memphis. Bobby Kennedy’s assassination left the country reeling.
What would America have been like if Bobby had lived and gone on to the November presidency election against Richard Nixon?
- I believe Bobby would have gotten us out of the Vietnam War much sooner than Nixon, saving how many untold thousands of lives on both sides, saving how much of our nation’s wealth instead of the expenditures on the War Machine by Nixon and his pro-Pentagon cronies.
- I think Bobby would have pushed for racial equality and social justice issues across America as opposed to Nixon and his empty rhetoric and false promises.
- I believe that Bobby would have supported the burgeoning Women’s Rights movement and would have later been a big supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) which was squashed time and again by Republican insiders in later years.
- I also think that Bobby would have been a much stronger voice and advocate for the Environmental movement. Yes, Nixon helped to create the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but his oil industry buddies and his pro-business stance pushed back against the swelling pro-environment movement.
- Bobby came from a strong Catholic family and I don’t know what he would have done about the gay rights movement that was becoming stronger and more vocal. Nixon was certainly old school and this supposedly authentic piece of White House taped recording of Nixon talking about the TV show, “All in The Family” with Archie Bunker and his liberal son-in-law, Mike with the subject of homosexuality taking center stage.
I don’t know that the future would have been that much different from the Netflix mini-series 11.22.63 and the John F. Kennedy assassination, but Bobby Kennedy certainly seemed to stand up for Liberal causes, a firm believer in social justice, a strong advocate for racial equality and justice; In general Bobby was a much stronger Progressive leader than his late brother, John.
I still mourn the loss of Robert F. Kennedy’s authentic presence and his voice in our American political system, I mourn the absence of the equally powerful voice of Barack Obama. We had eight wonderful years of Barack Obama: Maybe a day will come when another charismatic and social justice-focused individual will appear on the scene to help lead America back to its true core values of liberty and justice for all citizens, not just some. Let us hope we have other leaders like Bobby Kennedy and Barack Obama as soon as possible.