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View Poll Results: Most important assassination in US history?
Lincoln 21 84.00%
Garfield 0 0%
McKinnley 0 0%
JFK 3 12.00%
RFK 0 0%
MLK 0 0%
Harvey Milk 0 0%
Other? 1 4.00%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 14th, 2018, 03:12 PM   #1

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What was the most influential assassination in US history?


For my money it has to be Lincoln, reconstruction would have been so much different under him and Joe Crow would never have been allowed. I know some will say JFK or RFK but I believe there is no evidence the former would have withdrawn from Vietnam or the latter would ever have been elected. People will also say MLK but he verged on a spent force by the time of his death.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 03:59 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by SirOrmondeWinter View Post
For my money it has to be Lincoln, reconstruction would have been so much different under him and Joe Crow would never have been allowed. I know some will say JFK or RFK but I believe there is no evidence the former would have withdrawn from Vietnam or the latter would ever have been elected. People will also say MLK but he verged on a spent force by the time of his death.
I agree, Lincoln.

But in secomd place I would put McKinly, since his death allowed Roosevelt to become president. Roosevelt as I understand it was put in as Vice President to get him out of the way (VP doesn't do much), because the Republican bosses did not like his reforming policies. Unexpectedly, and unfortunately for them, Roosevelt became President, and as Republican boss Mark Hanna said - "Roosevelt carried out McKinly's policies, carried them out and buried them"
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Old June 14th, 2018, 06:15 PM   #3

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JFK was a moderate liberal, and reluctant to go into Viet Nam too much.

LBJ was a spendy lefty who put the US permanently in debt to buy votes and poured resources into the hellhole in Southeast Asia, not to win it, but to assuage voters that he wasn't 'soft on communism'. if not killed JFK would never have escalated the war as he did, and never gone on the spending spree called the 'Great Society'. sure, some people benefited, but at what cost?
as I understand it it was LBJ who pioneered raiding the Social Security Trust Fund, heretofore inviolable.
granted LBJ got the Civil Rights Act through, but that was inevitable.

I heard a lot of theorizing that JFK was killed by the mafia, to take heat off, and to get their Cuba business back. well they never got back into Cuba, and eventually Uncle Sam put them out of business (thank you Rudy Guiliani).
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Old June 14th, 2018, 06:40 PM   #4

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There is only supposition that JFK would have acted differently in Vietnam than LBJ. Certainly his involvement in the Diem coup suggested no such thing; JFK, IMO, would likely have followed a pretty similar trajectory to LBJ on Vietnam at least at first; where history might have been better in that regard is that JFK, unlike LBJ, had learned to distrust the advice of the top military men in the administration, and might have broken with them sooner. As he pushed for arms agreements and peace overall with the Soviets near the end of his life though, you might infer that he was less concerned about being labeled soft on communism as he had once been. Still, it's all speculative.




Quote:
granted LBJ got the Civil Rights Act through, but that was inevitable.
Most certainly not. Inevitability is a trap historians should avoid in general, but it is especially nonsensical here, given that just a few years prior to this civil rights acts were consistently being rendered toothless by powerful Southerners in Congress. LBJ's mastery of legislative politics and personal influence were critical to the bill's passage; JFK likely could not have gotten it through. This is a common view among historians of the period.

Last edited by Viperlord; June 14th, 2018 at 07:21 PM.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 07:04 PM   #5

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It's true that speculation about JFK avoiding his successor's mistakes in Vietnam is just that - speculation - but there are some things that can be stated for sure:

- Unlike LBJ, JFK didn't have a crippling sense of insecurity about his personal legitimacy as POTUS, or his credibility as steward of America's national security. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy was confident that he had proven his "tough on Communism" bona-fides, and likely would have been more willing to disregard political pressure from the hawks (assuming he was reelected in 1964, that is).

- Kennedy's handling of policy towards Laos suggests at least some precedent for the supposition that he would have avoided the large-scale infusion of combat troops and bombing into Vietnam that his successor presided over.

My opinion is that while it is extremely unlikely that a JFK who survived Dallas would have peremptorily pulled out of Vietnam - on the contrary he would have strained to keep the South from falling to the Communists - it cannot be easily assumed that he would have approved of the policies that LBJ presided over.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 08:20 PM   #6
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Kennedy said in Berlin "we will bear any burden, pay any price" to support libety. That doesn't sound like a guy who will cut and run in face of communist aggression, The is the guy of the Cuban Missile Crisis who brought us the closest we have ever been to nuclear war.

I think it is wishful thinking to think he would pulled out of Vietnam. Especially after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, he would have pressured to prove himself not soft on communisms.

Kennedy, without his martyr status, would have had difficulty in getting his legislation passed against Republican opposition.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 08:23 PM   #7
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Lincoln for a president. however i would add the assassination of Huey Long in 1935 for a sudden change in the way america was moving.
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Old June 15th, 2018, 01:06 AM   #8

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Lincoln for a president. however i would add the assassination of Huey Long in 1935 for a sudden change in the way america was moving.
Forgive me, who is he?
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Old June 15th, 2018, 05:09 AM   #9

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Originally Posted by SirOrmondeWinter View Post
Forgive me, who is he?
A Democratic party American senator.
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Old June 15th, 2018, 05:20 AM   #10
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A man who almost made himself dictator of a state and eventually President of the United States. He was thinking of Challenging Roosevelt for the Presidency when he died. He is the more...liberal equivalent of a Populist.
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