xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' The Font of Noelage: DonaldTrump and the game of History's "What ifs?"

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

DonaldTrump and the game of History's "What ifs?"

I am sure a lot of people have played history’s game of “What if”.  We ask ourselves, "What if Germany won the war? What if Hitler was hit by a bus in 1933? What if the Japanese did not bomb Pearl Harbour? What if Kim Beazley, who won most of the votes, had actually won the 2002 Federal election?  What if we had won Lotto when we were 21?"

At present a lot of very worried people are asking themselves, “What if Donald Trump becomes the next President of the United States?” For many it is a fate far too terrible to contemplate. Will he fire nuclear missiles at countries he does not like? Will he start incarcerating all the Hispanic people in the USA? No doubt Marco Rubio will be the first to go to prison. Will he start arresting all of the people who hold contrary views to his, whatever view it is that he happens to hold that day. His views change quite frequently.

It may be noted that Trump said publicly he would like to bash objectors in their faces and praised those who did. He even offered to pay their legal costs. Now he says it is the objectors who are starting all the rough stuff. This is counter of the TV images we see off his rallies.

Someone should also tell Trump, if he listens to anybody but himself, that his call for his supporters to raise their right hands at his rallies is starting to make them look a little bit like nazi/fascist rallies of the 1930s.

Donald Trump claims to be a very astute business man who will successfully manage the US economy. Trump has been declared bankrupt several times. He inherited 2 billion dollars from his daddy about thirty years ago. If he had invested his inheritance in standard stocks and shares, that initial 2 billion would now be worth 8 billion. In fact, Donald Trump is now worth about 2.8 billion, which is about as much as he inherited all those years ago. Obviously, he is not as clever at financial affairs as he thinks he is, or as he claims to be.

So far Trump has won most primaries, but he has not won more than 50% of the votes in any state primary election. It will be interesting to see what happens as the Republican field of presidential wannabes shrinks. Bush and Rubio have already pulled out. It will not be surprising if all of the primary votes/convention delegates, already won by the Anti-Trump candidates, go to his Republican opponent when the crunch finally comes.

Actually, the bottom runner, Razik, a state governor who talks the talk more presidentially that Trump shouts the shout, may very well get nominated from the floor at the Republican convention. If the convention voting goes to a second ballot, all state delegates are then at liberty to disregard the primary election results and cast votes for whomever they wish. This may sound a bit crazy, after all of the almost yearlong ballyhoo of the primary contests in the 50 states, but that is what can happen at US Presidential Conventions. So Donald Trump, may continue to win the primaries but eventually lose the nomination for President of the United States by a vote from the floor of the convention. It has happened before!

In fact, in the tumultuous Democratic Convention in 1968, that is exactly what did happen. Senators Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern, who had contested the primaries on strong anti-Vietnam war campaigns, were muscled out by Hubert Humphrey, who did not contest any primaries at all. Humphrey supported the Vietnam War policies of President Lyndon Johnson.

1968 was a bloody year in the US. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated. During that 1968 Democratic Convention there were vicious riots in the streets of Chicago (and many other cities) between antiwar protestors and Mayor Richard Dayley's Chicago police force. Outgoing president, Lyndon Johnson, and Mayor Daley, a Democratic strong man, used all of their Machiavalian  skills and political chicanery to get Humphrey the successful nomination.

As we all know, Hubert Horatio Humphrey lost the 1968 election to Richard Nixon. Those of us who like to play the historians' “What if “game may now only ponder on how world history could have played out so very differently had Eugene McCarthy or George McGovern won that presidential election. Or if Anti-Vietnam War campaigner, Bobby Kennedy, had not been assassinated and  went on to defeat Nixon in 1968 presidential election.

These “What ifs” of history reminds me that in 1968 I was studying Politics at The University of Western Australia. My politics lecturer was Paddy O’Brien. He was a burly ex Carlton footballer who started on the left side of Labor, drifted into the Democratic Labor Party and finished up, if not exactly right wing, about as far right as you can go without being called a dyed in the wool conservative.

In the hot days of February/March and October/November, Paddy used to conduct his afternoon tutorials in the beer garden at Steve’s Pub on the Nedlands foreshore. Paddy always bought the first jug.
Anyhow, one day Paddy fronted up at a lecture and asked us to contemplate how the world would have been different if JFK had not been assassinated. “What if,” he said, “it was Khrushchev who had been assassinated instead of President John Kennedy?”

We all thought about this for a while but nobody seemed keen to pontificate on how subsequent world events would have been different. Eventually, one brave fellow raised his hand and said, “Well, I am pretty sure that if Khrushchev had been assassinated instead of JFK, that Aristotle Onassis would definitely NOT have married Mrs Khrushchev.” Nobody could beat that so Paddy got on with the lecture.

Right now a lot of male readers are thinking how nice it would be to marry Donald Trump’s very sexy looking widow. Perhaps some others are still contemplating what their life would have been like if they had won Lotto at age 21.

Ah yes, “What if?”

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love to hear your opinion! If for some technical reason it won't let you leave a comment, please email me at bourke@iinet.net.au