How would America and the world be different had RFK not been assassinated? by Tony Garcia
Answer by Tony Garcia:
Let me explain how I feel about hypothetical questions, especially concerning noted individuals.
In many instances people have an opinion, perhaps a stereotypical one, about a famous person—an actor, businessperson or, in this instance, a politico. Assuming one isn’t working for said politician, one’s opinion of him or her is generally lodged somewhere in the back of one’s mind.
For example, one may believe all conservative politicians are wealthy, bigoted, ethically-challenged zealots. Generally, this belief is buried deep in one’s mind, deeper than one’s more pressing, everyday concerns. Thus the thought does not influence one’s immediate behavior.
But upon hearing a pollster’s hypothetical question challenging the egalitarianism of a conservative politician whose admitted source of news is solely the alt-right media, then one’s opinion of conservatives now moves to the forefront of one’s consciousness, making one even less likely to consider voting for a conservative than before.
Hypothetical questions can be insidious; they can influence one’s thinking and thus one’s behavior, causing one to accept unproven allegations and outright lies over contrary facts and opinions.
You may have your own beliefs about Robert F. Kennedy—a very charismatic figure, borne from an idealistic generation whose veneration of the senator came as much from the death of his brother John as from his own pronouncements on racial inequity and the futility of further participation in the Vietnam Conflict. His denouement was to be felled before reality could intervene.
Washington’s Beltway is notoriously fraught with special and competing interest groups seeking the ear of the president. Those pushing a contrary agenda can miscast the noblest of White House intentions as idiosyncratic zephyrs, ultimately inimical to the public welfare.
In my view, one simply cannot presume that Robert Kennedy could have avoided the lessons proffered by Washington’s power elite, and perhaps the whispers of those forces who foresaw an intractable, 24-year Kennedy-family dynasty as wholly unacceptable.