Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I Don't Wanna Go To Vietnam

Someone I know is taking an intro level American Government class and occasionally asks me for some help with her papers. I really don't mind helping her because I miss the days of those type of papers...the kind that you can enjoy without working too hard. Last week she stopped by and showed me the prompts for her next paper and one of them really caught my eye:

Regarding the 25th amendment, write an alternative history--what might have happened had any of the presidents who died in office continued or pick a president, suppose he died in office and his vice president took over, how would this change history?

These sorts of questions keep me entertained for days on end. Over the last several days I have thought about this question over and over again and the more I examine the vice presidents over the last fifty or so years, the more and more I think my answer to that second question would be Dwight David Eisenhower. Had Ike died in office and Richard Milhous Nixon become president, how would the course of history been altered? Interesting question, isn't it? Would we have had the 1960 Kennedy/Nixon race? Would we have had Kennedy at all? And more importantly would Johnson ever have been president and would Vietnam ever have happened?I keep thinking about how if Nixon would have come earlier how we may have still flubbed with French in Indochina, yet we have seen the crisis before it arose.

The first portion of that question I have answered in great length with two presidents: John Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln. I've thought long and often about these two men and what there death did to this nation and what their continued lives may have brought to a shattered nation. With Lincoln more so than Kennedy. Yet, since I saw the prompt for the paper, I have been thinking a great deal about William McKinley. No TR? What would the world be like today without Teddy Roosevelt? Wow. Can you see what I have so much trouble sleeping?

I guess I can't entirely blame the Presidents of the United States for that...I have recently fallen in love with John Lee Hooker. It is almost obsessive. Every night of the week I find myself listening to him. He's simply amazing. He's no TR, but hey, not everything has to be political.

1 comment :

Nick Speth said...

I love John Lee Hooker! Great choice.