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Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

How do you think American and World history would read if Oswald had been found and killed in his sniper’s nest on the sixth floor of the Texas Schoolbook Depository and President Kennedy went on to complete his term and possibly serve a second?

Asked by Espiritus_Corvus (9838 points ) February 23rd, 2013

I just read Stephen King’s 11/22/63 (my first King novel ever) which poses this question and the one’s below:

Would we have had a half-million military personnel in Viet Nam by 1968 resulting in 58,282 KIAs by the end of the war?
Would the Cold War have ended sooner?
Would Johnson’s social programs under The Great Society ever been enacted?
Would we have the drug problems to the extent we do now in this society?
Who would have won the presidential election in 1964? Goldwater? Wallace in 1968? What then?
Would Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy have been assassinated?

What kind of world do you think we would be living in today if this watershed moment in history had never occurred?

What kind of society do you think we would be living in if JFK had survived?

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11 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, the tip of my sister’s finger would still be there, on the tip of her finger, for one. I was 5, she was 2. We had a storm door on a pneumatic hinge…the kind that snaps shut. I came running inside to see JFK’s funeral. My sister followed me and somehow the tip of her pinky was in the hinge side of the door when it snapped. It was a mess. Blood everywhere. We found the tip, stuck to the door jam, about two weeks later.

antimatter's avatar

Good question.
From David Icke’s theories JFK was about to expose the Illuminati and would have reformed the American banking system.
My theory the Viet Nan war would have ended sooner, Marlin Monroe may have been still alive.
The cold war would have been still going on even today.
Martin Luther king could have been a next president.
It’s crazy but it’s just me….

burntbonez's avatar

I don’t think individuals matter all that much in history. Things would be pretty much the same, just with different players playing the parts.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But they DO matter, @burntbonez. Hitler comes to mind.

Jaxk's avatar

The CIA would have still got him from the Grassy Knoll.

burntbonez's avatar

@Dutchess_III I could say the holocaust would have happened with or without Hitler, and you can’t disprove me. So it’s sort of pointless. If we’re going to speculate about alternative history, they you must allow me to say individuals don’t matter. If you are going to insist they do matter, I’m going to have to say that alternative history doesn’t exist, and so history happened the way it happened, together with the people who were part of it.

In other words. if we are going to speculate about alternate history, we can’t argue with each other. We must just accept different versions of the stories. If you’re going to argue, you aren’t playing the game.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Um. Ok. Well, Jesus, then.

mazingerz88's avatar

Enjoyed that book but it broke my heart. Darn King just wouldn’t give me the ending I want! Lol. My 92 year old friend said, it’s possible the civil rights act would not have passed since LBJ would not have been President.

josie's avatar

Good question.
But who knows.
Nothing against you, but I am always interested in how people waste time asking questions about how things would, could or should have been, instead of facing how they are.
Having said that…
I did not live in Kennedy’s time. I have read about him.People who claim to have known him, like Ted Sorrensen, think that he would have gotten out of Vietnam in his second term. This would have spared the US an agonizing foreign policy failure.
He was clearly a hard liner regarding the Soviets or he would not have gotten in their shit about missiles in Cuba. On the other hand, he was a pragmatist. He probably would have embraced a policy of containment/peaceful coexistence regarding the Soviets. It was not until the Carter administration, the Soviet misguided invasion of Afghanistan and Zbigniew Brzezinski’s realization that the Soviets had fucked up that the strategic notion of actually defeating them came to be accepted.
The way I understand it, Kennedy was not morally confused about the virtues of the American civilization, and above all else he apparently believed that self reliance was a virtue. I suspect that the so called “welfare state” as envisioned by Lyndon Johnson would have insulted his sensibilities and would thus have been limited in its expansion. LBJ was insecure and wanted to be loved. His notion of the Great Society was formulated to prop up his own sense of importance, and had little to do with the national interest. Such policies, they say, were something that Kennedy would have found insulting to the human character.
Oswald would be a nobody if he had not killed a president. Martin Luther King might still have been killed, since the passions of the civil rights movement were present with out regard to who the president was.
I figure Kennedy was just another politician. But he was young, handsome, articulate and he died a martyr’s death. As a result his legacy is probably larger than he actually was. Sort of like Jesus, if you think about it.

filmfann's avatar

The day Kennedy was killed seemed like our entry into BizzaroWorld. No one can capture how deeply that single event changed everything. It was much bigger than 9/11.
Guessing what would have happened is difficult, but this is my opinion.
Kennedy would have gotten out of Viet Nam. It never would have been what it was. If that was the only change, it still would have effected the entire 60’s revolution, which was brought on by feelings of social injustice, and mistrust in our government. Drugs, women’s rights, civil rights, and all the other causes from the 60’s would have been muted, or never happened, or not as expeditiously.
The Cold War was worsened by Viet Nam, but it was also an outlet for indirect aggressions on both sides.
Kennedy would have kicked Johnson off the ticket, and made John Glenn his Vice Presidential running mate.
Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy would not have been assassinated. The success of the JFK assassination empowered those extremist factions.
Marilyn Monroe was killed by the Kennedy family prior to JFK’s assassination, so that would not have changed.
With Kennedy surviving, you would have never had Nixon as president. That carries with it a delay in our dealings with China. Kennedy could not have accomplished that. Remember the old Vulcan proverb: Only Nixon could go to China.
Ronald Reagan would have never been president. Reagan was very Anti-Kennedy, and JFK would have worked hard for any candidate running against him.

It’s too bad. Kennedy was a snake, but he didn’t deserve what happened to him. I listen to those bastards who talk about how important it was to off him, and I am just sickened.

KNOWITALL's avatar

That book was pretty good, but the ending sucked.

I’ve grown up hearing such great things about Kennedy from my family, and I was hoping the ending would reflect the hopes and ideals that Americans put in his leadership.

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