Friday, June 6, 2008

Bobby, Barack and Hillary

Bobby Kennedy has often been dubbed 'the best president America never had'. He was JFK's brother, an excellent public speaker, a charismatic leader, and well-connected.

Furthermore, on this the 40th anniversary of his assassination we can learn so much about the nature of US politics and the Democrats' role in it.

We can also infer so much from Bobby's lifestyle and the manner in which he died.

Being an incredible person is not enough to get you the party's nomination - of course not. You have to be very well connected and heavily funded. You also have to keep your skeletons firmly in your closet.

It is still only now emerging in what circles the Kennedy brothers moved - there have always been allegations about the mob, the union leaders, high society ... it has even become an urban myth that it was they who last saw Marylin Monroe alive in her apartment that night and - after she was later found dead from an apparent suicide - that the room had been 'cleaned up' before police arrived, to erase all traces of their having visited.

But, most of all, Bobby in particular is remembered as a speaker par excellence.

He had embraced the civil rights agenda which gathered him a huge following and, of course, many enemies:

- his traditional backers [the Kennedy Family, the Irish-American community, the 'teamsters' and god-knows-who else] must have been a bit put out to find their all-american boy rowing in behind the Black cause

- the Republican right-wingers

- the radical element within the Black Power lobby who doubtlessly detested having a white rich man speaking for them

- every disturbed person in America who might be willing to kill for fame

It's difficult to say for sure but it seems Bobby's assassin belonged to the last two categories

Many many Americans of all backgrounds and persuasions who lived through those turbulent days have claimed that that particular night marks the exact moment the US lost its way and gradually turned into what we see now.


Whereas Bobby spun the media of his day and knew how to compose the right speech for precisely the right occasion, all today's politicians have gaggles of backroom boys and girls helping them to do the same and much more. Nowadays, spin is taken as given and a good speech can often cover up the fact that someone has in fact nothing new to say.

But - and here's the dangerous contemplation - would Barack or Hillary ever be so charismatic as to warrant being assassinated?
Would either of them ever move someone sufficiently to actually try to get rid of them?

Today's party politics is all so Blaaahhhhh !

It's impossible to tell them apart - one party morphs into another and all the faces, colours and hairstyles have become so beige.

That said, there must still be hoards of would-be assassins lining up to kill politicians such as Obama and Clinton.

Imagine if they joined forces as presidential and vice -presidential candidates on the same 'dream' ticket for the Democrats -
now imagine if they won [assuming they hadn't already murdered eachother beforehand]... what enemies they would have created !
And that is to say nothing of the caveman cowboys who are simply longing to murder either one of them just for being black or a woman!

The mind boggles... it is not beyond the realms of conspiracy theory to posit a world in which Vice President Hillary's supporters could have President Barack killed just so she could be president afterall - even just for a short time.

But alas and alack... we must come back down to earth here and stop crying over milk that probably will never be spilt.

Chances are that Republican McCain, war veteran extraordinaire and otherwise all-round nobody from nowhere, will be the next president.
He will probably not stoop so low as to implore America not to elect a black president - but he surely will assert that Obama is in fact Arabic not black - and we can't very well elect the sworn enemy of Uncle Sam as its next president and commander in chief now can we?

No, McCain will win the day - the McCains of this world usually do, otherwise what was the point in going to Viet Nam and being tortured and everything.

No, while there is still a single cave unsearched and Bin Laden walks free... while there are surely Weapons of Mass Distraction around every corner east of New York... while the US economy is low and the Reds are still under our beds... the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave must elect McCain
The majority [if one is necessary] will be slim and the population overall will spend his entire reign complaining and disowning him.

But he will not be assassinated, remember... too beige... and anything is better than Bush.

Things will go from bad to worse and the world's wannabe assassins and unhinged snipers will just have to go back to shooting cans off-a granpaw's fence - which he undoubtedly built with his own hands and his dying breath to keep out his arch enemies, the twin demons Difference and Change.

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