Wednesday, June 4, 2008

R.I.P. R.F.K.

I'm imagining a world in which Bobby Kennedy was not murdered 40 years ago today. He would have almost certainly defeated Richard Nixon in 1968. How that would have changed the course of our nation's history!

How much devastation and tragedy might have been avoided? How many fewer lives would have been lost in Vietnam? The riots at the '68 convention would not have happened. The civil rights movement would no doubt have moved along much more quickly; perhaps we would have already had women and people of color in the White House. No Watergate, no Ronald Reagan, no Iran-Contra, no Gulf Wars...

Same old story: some wacko easily acquires a gun and singlehandedly sets the political agenda for decades to come.

For me, the hope engendered by the Obama campaign brings with it a sobering fear.