Alternate History

Twenty Years On

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But please stick to the POD, and the Themes

Point of Divergence:

In our timeline, at a televised press conference in 1960, reporter Charles Mohr of Time Magazine asked President Dwight Eisenhower if he could give an example of a major idea Richard Nixon contributed to the Eisenhower administration. Eisenhower responded with: "If you give me a week, I might think of one." This backslap from the popular incumbent hurt the Vice President and Republican presidential candidate. In an election that came down to a margin of roughly 100,000 votes (much less in a plethora of very close states, including Texas and Illinois), Kennedy needed every advantage working in his favor to win, including this.

What if Mohr never asks the question, and Eisenhower never makes any public remarks about Nixon during the election?

P.O.D. in Context and Themes

  • Richard Nixon wins the 1960 presidential election, especially carrying the states of Hawaii, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, New Jersey, Minnesota, Delaware, Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina, all by a razor-thin margin.
  • Nixon retains the center-left, generally Keynesian policies of the Eisenhower administration. America's experience with the 1960s is generally similar to OTL, however, while the welfare state is expanded and the United States engages in military actions against North Vietnam, it is not nearly to the scale of OTL's Great Society and Vietnam War under Lyndon Johnson.
  • The US dollar never inflates beyond the amount of gold reserves in Fort Knox, and because the gold standard doesn't end in 1971, the United States does not leave the Bretton Woods system until 1991
  • The Republican Party champions civil rights reforms and urban renewal. The liberal generation to come of age in the 1960s and 1970s follow's in the lead of Nixon, Rockefeller, and Romney. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party fractures into populist, progressive, and conservative factions. With them, the Conservative faction ultimately wins out by the mid-1970s as the South and parts of the Midwest become it's only stronghold and it's only political potential is in mobilizing a reactionary movement against an emboldened, liberal GOP.
  • Nixon diminishes US military support to Israel after the 1967 Six-Day War instead of expanding it. Because of this, Israel returns the Sinai to Egypt in 1969, averting the Yom Kippur War, but also OPEC does not embargo the United States in 1973 and 1979.
  • With significantly less inflation and no oil price shocks, the economy of the 1970s remains relatively robust.

Presidents of the United States

Republican Nominee Year Democratic Nominee
Richard M. Nixon 1960 John F. Kennedy
Richard M. Nixon 1964 Lyndon B. Johnson
George Romney 1968 George Wallace
George Romney 1972 George McGovern
Nelson Rockefeller 1976 Robert Byrd
George H.W. Bush 1980 Ronald Reagan
Jerry Brown 1984 Ronald Reagan
Michael Dukakis 1988 Al Gore
Jesse Jackson 1992 Al Gore
Bill Clinton 1996 Al Gore
Gary Hart 2000 Dan Quayle
Howard Dean 2004 Dan Quayle
Barack Obama 2008 John McCain
Barack Obama 2012 Rick Santorum

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