Friday, June 6, 2008

RFK Assassination @ 40

Robert F. Kennedy died 40 years ago today. He succumbed to injuries sustained after being shot the previous day by Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian. Kennedy had just won the California Primary for the Democratic Party nomination race.

Many believed that had RFK not been assassinated he would have ascended to the White House. Perhaps. Perhaps not. It is, of course, a question that can never be answered. But assuming RFK had left the Ambassador Hotel alive and well there is no guarantee he would have won the Presidency. First, there was no guarantee he would have overcome Hubert Humphrey and the Democratic Party establishment in Chicago. But then again maybe he could have overcome Humphrey and won the nomination. If RFK became the Democratic Party standard bearer there is no guarantee he would have defeated Richard Nixon. Perhaps George Wallace would have taken more votes from RFK than he did from Humphrey. But then again maybe he could have overcome Nixon and Wallace and become the 37th President of the United States. But if RFK had become President who can say if the War in Vietnam would have ended any sooner? Who knows how he would have dealt with the Soviets? Who knows if he could have implemented all his domestic reforms? How would have RFK dealt with inflation? Most of all, who can say that Sirhan Sirhan or someone else would not have tried to take his life while he was in office?

All we do know is that Robert F. Kennedy was a good man who died too young. But Dick Holler wrote it best and Dion sung it well:

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