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Alternate History

Robert Kennedy Survives

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Timeline

  • 1968: Robert Kennedy is not assassinated. He goes on to win the Democratic nomination for the presidency and win the election in November against Richard Nixon. Nixon later retires from politics for good and becomes chairman of the Chrysler Corporation in 1972.
  • 1969 - 1973: Robert Kennedy takes office in January 1969. The government orders the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam - the last are withdrawn mid-1970; the extra funds are diverted among federal programs; most notably NASA which is able to continue their Apollo Applications Program with full funding. This gives Apollo additional funding to complete Apollo 20 as well as beginning construction of the Space Shuttle fleet and the Manned Orbital Laboratory, later re-named Skylab. More is done on issues such as racial equality and social improvement in American society. In early 1971 Ethel gives birth to the Kennedy's twelfth child a girl named Ann. He is well-liked and is easily re-elected in 1972.
  • 1973 - 1977: In early 1973, Robert Kennedy signs the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty or SALT 1, after extensive negotiations with the Soviets. It places a much greater cap on the number of missiles and bombers both countries can possess than it did in OTL. In September 1974 Apollo 20 makes the last landing on the moon for the Apollo Program on the lunar South Pole, staying for two weeks. The Space Shuttle is developed more quickly, with the Enterprise built by 1975 and the Columbia to be ready by mid-1977. Skylab is launched in 1973 in three stages and is much larger and more advanced than OTL. The First Lunar In 1976, Republican candidate Ronald Reagan wins the presidential election as an economic reformer and anti-communist.
  • 1977 - 1985: "Reaganomics" are adopted by the United States fiscally. President Reagan makes a very controversial decision and recognizes Red China, opening up talks with the Chinese for the first time in decades, paying a visit to China in 1978. The space shuttle Columbia is completed in early 1976 and launches the following year, taking Skylab into a higher and more stable orbit. The Iran hostage crisis begins in 1979; during campaigning for the 1980 presidential election, Democratic candidate Ted Kennedy (who has a spotless driving record) attacks Reagan's inability to handle this as a major point in his campaign, but the hostages are released in October 1980 - in time for Reagan to manage a victory over Kennedy and be reelected for a second term. At the end of his second term Reagan's vice-president Bob Dole is elected President.
  • 1985 - 1989: At first, President Dole runs the country much as Reagan did. In 1986 the Iran-Contra scandal occurs; Dole is unable to escape attacks from all sides and is impeached in 1987. Although he is not removed from office his name is mud in politics afterwards, in 1988 Ted Kennedy makes a political comeback and wins the Presidency in landslide.
  • 1989 - 1993: The end of the Cold War. President Kennedy makes plans for the human colonization of the moon, a program called Selene (titan goddess of the moon). The Gulf War happens much as it did OTL. In 1992 many of Kennedy's supporters are drawn to independent candidate Ross Perot, but Kennedy is still re-elected with a respectable majority and is able to just scrape getting the popular vote.
  • 1993 - 1997: The Selene program begins. Subterranean construction of a "lunar town" begins in 1994 in the crater Clavius. The country's national debt is substantially reduced from the Reagan-Dole years but not eliminated. In 1996, Kennedy's vice-president Bill Clinton is elected President. In the Middle East, Israel signs the Oslo Accords, creating the Confederation of Israel and Palestine. The confederation allows for a high degree of Palestinian autonomy, while Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza remain under the direct administration of Israel.
  • 1997 - 1999: The Monica Lewinsky scandal reaches the press - in this timeline, Clinton met Lewinsky while he was Vice-President. Clinton manages to avoid impeachment, but he is nonetheless tarred by the scandal.
  • 2000: Clinton decides to run for a second term despite public opinion shifting back towards the Republicans. Senator John McCain, who has substantial cross-floor appeal, wins the nomination to be the Republican candidate - in order to keep the Republican base satisfied, conservative Jeb Bush (son of former vice-president George Bush) is selected as McCain's running mate. McCain wins the 2000 election fair and square.
  • 2001 - 2002: Robert Kennedy dies in early 2001 at age 75 from natural causes; the USA mourns the passing of a modern-day legend and liberal icon. Later that year, following the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001, the USA invades Afghanistan and brings down the Taliban government in that nation: the first movement in what is termed the "War on Terrorism". Troops from the USA and its allies are sent in to lock down the country's borders and hunt down Al-Qaeda within. Terrorist suspects are arrested, charged and remanded in maximum-security American prisons; while there are movements within the Republican party for "extreme measures" to be taken, President McCain vetos any changes to civil rights or the criminal justice system.
  • 2002 - 2003: Having received intelligence that terrorist organisations were being funded by Middle Eastern governments, the USA decides not to invade them - resolving to have its troops remain in Afghanistan - but instead have all its allies (including those in Europe) place an embargo on these nations. Other nations are traded with for oil (such as those in South America) and alternative fuel sources are also utilised much more, reducing the demand. This "turning off the tap" effectively drains the terrorist organisations of their resources and results in several coups and revolutions in the Middle Eastern region; this includes the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq.
  • 2003 - 2004: Saudi Arabia becomes the Islamic Republic of Central Arabia - not too different except women have suffrage and the government is less rich. Syria absorbs most of the Sunni Iraq territory, while the Shi'ites seize power in the smaller now-Islamic Republic of Iraq. Meanwhile, the Kurdish areas in Iraq and Syria declare their independence as the Republic of Kurdistan - for protection, Kurdistan quickly allies with Israel. Meanwhile, a weakened Al-Qaeda is systematically hunted down in Afghanistan and finally Osama bin Laden is captured in August 2004. The Americans re-elect McCain and Bush in the 2004 election.
  • 2005: The "War on Terrorism" continues, but in the same sense as the "War on Drugs" as it is not perceived as an actual war. The UN sends peacekeeping troops to the borders of the new Middle Eastern nations in order to prevent conflicts between nations such as Syria vs. Iraq, Iraq vs. Central Arabia, and Kurdistan vs. everyone else; American troops participate. A new program is begun by NASA in addition to the ongoing construction at Clavius Base and the base at Columbia Plateau on Mars. A Europa landing is scheduled for 2009, with the foundations for a permanent base to be made there too. In the 2006 midterm elections, the Democrats gain majority in the House of Representatives but not the Senate. by 2007, the U.S. gets slightly more than 50% of its energy from Renewable Sources.
  • 2008: Democrats nominate Governor Howard Dean of Vermont. At their respective conventions Republicans nominate Vice President Bush and congressman John Kaisch, while Democrats nominate Dean and Senator Barack Obama. Leading up to election day Dean has a 3% lead in the polls. On election day unexpectedly high black & young turnout allows Dean to pull of a win with 288 electoral votes and 52.2% of the popular vote to Bush's 250 electoral votes.

Cultural Effects

  • Bruce Springsteen doesn't write the song "Born in the USA", due to Vietnam veterans receiving better treatment on their return.
  • The suffix "-gate" is not added to every scandal by the press, due to there being no Watergate scandal.
  • Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford are not household names. Richard Nixon is only remembered for losing the presidential election twice, each time to a Kennedy brother.
  • The Selene space program in 1990 triggers a renewed interest in science fiction. Movies made at this period include "Alien III" (directed by Renny Harlin) and a movie versions of "2061" and " 3001" (the final novels in Arthur C Clarke's "Space Odyssey" series). This boost, while ebbing at the time, is what prompts the Sci-Fi Channel to buy the rights to the TV show "Babylon 5" from PTEN - Sci-Fi goes on to screen several telemovies as well as a spinoff series, "Crusade", from 1999 until 2003.
  • The wash of new sci-fi has adverse effects for "Star Trek" - the fifth movie, "The Final Frontier," was never made, the Enterprise-E lost her saucer section in the end of "Star Trek: First Contact," the series "Voyager" is cancelled in 1999 after four seasons. "Enterprise" does slightly better, however, lasting five seasons before being cancelled in 2006.
  • The television show "Boston Legal" doesn't have the character Alan Shore becoming such a champion of liberal politics, due to there being less need for a statement to be made on such matters.
  • The television show "The West Wing" is not quite as popular (due to it having less of an escapist appeal) but remains mostly unchanged. The television show "Commander-in-Chief" never makes it past the pilot stage.
  • The movie "V For Vendetta" is considered much less controversial.
  • Emilio Estevez doesn't make the movie "Bobby," but rather Oliver Stone makes a movie of the same name following RFKs Presidency.
  • Emo music is nowhere near as popular, and never makes it into mainstream, whereas Alicia Keys becomes a singing sensation, even becoming on par with Elvis Presley. Keys eyes the Democratic nomination for president, potentially becoming the first president elected and inaugurated at minimum age (inaugurated just five days before her 36th birthday), as well as becoming the first woman and African American president.
  • With out there father death the Kennedy's boy's never get into drugs and David Kennedy never dies of a drug overdose.
  • The Democrats never become the party of wimps, and are far more aggressive at pushing liberal policies.

List of US Presidents

# Name Took Office Left Office Party Vice President(s)
1 George Washington 1789 1797 No party John Adams
2 John Adams 1797 1801 Federalist Thomas Jefferson
3 Thomas Jefferson 1801 1809 Democrat-Republican George Clinton1
4 James Madison 1809 1817 Democrat-Republican Elbridge Gerry1
5 James Monroe 1817 1825 Democrat-Republican Daniel D. Tompkins
6 John Quincy Adams 1825 1829 Democrat-Republican John C. Calhoun
7 Andrew Jackson 1829 1837 Democrat John C. Calhoun2 and Martin Van Buren
8 Martin Van Buren 1837 1841 Democrat Richard Mentor Johnson
9 William Henry Harrison3 1841 1841 Whig John Tyler
10 John Tyler 1841 1845 Whig4 none
11 James Knox Polk 1845 1849 Democrat George M. Dallas
12 Zachary Taylor3 18499 1850 Whig Millard Fillmore
13 Millard Fillmore 1850 1853 Whig none
14 Franklin Pierce 1853 1857 Democrat William R. King5
15 James Buchanan 1857 1861 Democrat John C. Breckinridge
16 Abraham Lincoln6 1861 1865 Republican Hannibal Hamlin and Andrew Johnson
17 Andrew Johnson 1865 1869 Democrat7 none
18 Ulysses Simpson Grant 1869 1877 Republican Schuyler Colfax and Henry Wilson5
19 Rutherford Birchard Hayes 1877 1881 Republican William A. Wheeler
20 James Abram Garfield6 1881 1881 Republican Chester A. Arthur
21 Chester Alan Arthur 1881 1885 Republican none
22 Stephen Grover Cleveland 1885 1889 Democrat Thomas A. Hendricks5
23 Benjamin Harrison 1889 1893 Republican Levi P. Morton
24 Stephen Grover Cleveland 1893 1897 Democrat Adlai E. Stevenson
25 William McKinley6 1897 1901 Republican Garret A. Hobart5 then Theodore Roosevelt
26 Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. 1901 1909 Republican None then Charles W. Fairbanks
27 William Howard Taft 1909 1913 Republican James S. Sherman5
28 Thomas Woodrow Wilson 1913 1921 Democrat Thomas R. Marshall
29 Warren Gamaliel Harding3 1921 1923 Republican Calvin Coolidge
30 John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. 1923 1929 Republican None then Charles G. Dawes
31 Herbert Clark Hoover 1929 1933 Republican Charles Curtis
32 Franklin Delano Roosevelt3 1933 1945 Democrat John Nance Garner and Henry A. Wallace and Harry S. Truman
33 Harry S. Truman 1945 1953 Democrat None then Alben W. Barkley
34 Dwight David Eisenhower 1953 1961 Republican Richard M. Nixon
35 John Fitzgerald Kennedy6 1961 1963 Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson
36 Lyndon Baines Johnson 1963 1969 Democrat None then Hubert H. Humphrey
37 Robert Francis Kennedy 1969 1977 Democrat George Smathers
38 Ronald Wilson Reagan 1977 1985 Republican Bob Dole
39 Robert Joseph Dole 1985 1989 Republican George H.W. Bush
40 Edward Moore Kennedy 1989 1997 Democrat Bill Clinton
41 Bill Clinton 1997 2001 Democrat Al Gore
42 John McCain 2001 2009 Republican Jeb Bush
43 Howard Dean 2009 present Democrat Barack Obama

1 Died while Vice President.
2 Resigned as Vice President.
3 Died of natural causes.
4 Democrat on Whig ticket.
5 Died while Vice President, not replaced.
6 Assassinated.
7 Democrat who ran on Union ticket with Republican Lincoln.

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