NEXT IN LINE
Many of you don’t realize that “Primary” elections were not as serious until 1968. It’s the 1968 Faux Pas that brought America Richard Nixon. (AKA Trick Dick). As a young Democrat wannabe (before I had to pay taxes) I was charmed by a politician named Bobby Kennedy. Bobby was the most likable of the Kennedy brothers. Jack was the Leader, yet covertly flawed, Ted was the black sheep and Bobby was the “good boy”. He was probably the parents’ favorite. He was also America’s favorite in 1968 as America had lost a popular president named Kennedy just 5 years earlier.
America’s favorite in 1968
In 1968 it was not Bobby’s turn. Hubert Humphrey was next in line to run as the Jack Ass candidate. But Bobby ran also. Just as we saw in Trump and Obama, (I threw up a little in the back of my mouth when I added the latter) They hadn’t paid their dues or to put it more precisely: “Kissed the Ring”.
Bobby was young, handsome and charismatic. Even republicans had no problem in 68 conceding the election to another Kennedy. Sadly, as this 12 year old was half awake and half asleep listening to his radio on a hot California June 6th night, I was awakened by the sound of: “Rafer (Johnson) get the gun”. Then someone yelled: “He’s been shot”.
I thought I was having a bad nightmare. My father who was not well versed in parenting skills came home from work and said: “They shot your candidate”. He didn’t know how crushed I was, (as was most of America) especially because my mom had died in June of the previous year. My neighbor was John J. McFall (D) congressman from CA. He got me interested in civics at the age of 12.
FAUX PAS off the Starboard bow.
The DNC who was not supporting Kennedy, continued to run Humphrey (LBJ’s VP) as the DNC candidate. He lost to Richard Nixon. Nixon’s only political capital was that he was VP under Eisenhower. But when a Muslim named Sirhan Sirhan shot and killed Bobby Kennedy, he took down the DNC’s presidential hopes as well. Bobby, like Donald Trump, had a following. He was another wealthy, handsome Kennedy. Not only did Sirhan Sirhan get Nixon elected; he ended the era of the back room deal makers choosing the next presidential candidate. (To a degree). Labor unions controlled the DNC for about 40 years. A majority of union members were pro-George Wallace. In 1968 many registered voting union members stayed home and gave the election to Richard Nixon, who had failed to beat Pat Brown for Governor of California.
THE 1968/2016 VORTEX
Donald Trump took America by storm. He is easily the most controversial candidate we’ve seen since George Wallace in 1968. The RNC establishment was dreaming for a Trump “implosion” since June of last year. Nobody took the Talk show host billionaire seriously. But those who love “The Donald” do so because they’re tired of political correctness and a POTUS that refuses to use the term Islamic Terrorism. Those opposed to the Donald are either in this country illegally or simply afraid of what Trump might do while running the country like one of his businesses. He’s shown how ruthless he can be which (to some) is a refreshing new Doctrine compared to the lead from behind mentality of the previous POTUS. If Bernie Sanders (A registered Ind.) goes 3rd party, millions of millennials and welfare recipients will split the Hillary vote ala George Wallace. If Ted Cruz & Bernie run as a 3rd & 4th party, prepare for a cage match.
I pray nobody is assassinated. I also pray that Hillary gets the indictment she so deserves. It feels like 1968 all over again. But this time more is at stake. We need Trump’s financial knowledge to get us out of Obama’s 21 Trillion of debt. We also need to let the world know that there’s a “NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN”.
Your recollections were vividly described and fascinating to read, but I think the history is more personal than objective. I was 14 in 1968, and I agree there are similarities between then and now in terms of contentiousness, and the potential for violence. But the Trump ascendancy is much closer to 1964, when “outsider” candidate Barry Goldwater got the nomination after “running against Washington”. His base was less-educated, white males in economic distress.
Perhaps I was too young to remember Goldwater. I do have respect for many of his speeches. Especially the line on “Hyphenated” Americans. I also give LBJ credit for his speech on “Aggression not confronted is aggression unleashed”. Whether he said that to continue to feed his profits from Bell Helicopter; I don’t know. But my point was; that before 1968, a bunch of fat cigar chomping establishment boogie men behind closed doors told Republicans or Democrats who the candidate was going to be for that election. The labor unions put an end to that “good ole boy” thought process. I also think the similarities between Trump and RFK are notable to a large degree. I could be wrong. If Bernie runs 3rd party, we could have a Wallace situation (68) or another Ross Perot (92) scenario. What ever happens, it sucks being Reince Priebus.