20 January, 2006

MLK for President

This is a good one, and apropos for this week. Martin Luther King's birthday on the 16th and Robert E. Lee's on the 19th.

The Truth:
This afternoon as I was waiting for my GSA car to be washed--required once a month, I saw a lady give her car-finisher-dryer person a tip of some bills. I thought that I really couldn't do that as this was not my car and really against policy.

As that person, who I will describe as a negro (as opposed to African-American) as you may decide later, indicated that the car was ready, he gestured me closer and said, (here it comes)--my thoughts raced\\\ ? a tip ? a ride ? how did I get the job, what?--"Let me ask you a question, I don't mean noth'in by this". I said, "OK, you can ask me anything."

"If Martin Luther King had not been shot in 1968, do you think he would have been President?"

Wow, was that out of the blue. He was about 30+ years old and stood by for my answer. I realized that I should answer in less than about two seconds, and he wanted an honest reply. There was quite a lot in his question.

How would you have answered?

My answer should be the first in the comments below. I hope to get a few more of yours. I realize that you will really be stepping out on this one, but this is The Truth.


Blogger Chief RZ said...

I said to him that I have a math background. I thought that he certainly would have received much more of the popular vote that the last two individuals of similar persuasion.

I went on to say that I prefered George Bush over Kerry or Gore as a commander-in-chief and that I was in the military. I also said that I would also much more perfer Martin Luther King as a CINC over Gore or Kerry also.

He thanked me for my answer and we shook hands. I realized right then that these types of questions do not come up very often, and we all should profit by them.

Blogger LinkedInUSAF said...

No, not before the 80s. And no, not until after Ronald Reagan was President. This country needed to be put back on track and given the inner strength sorely needed back in the 80s.

Today, maybe. The entire political landscape, and acceptance of a man of color in the White House, Dr. King, would have been changed by Dr. King's powerful influence, charm, and intelligence. He was a man of worship, a scholar, and a patriot. I believe that he would have accelerated several changes from which we all would be thankful for today.

Yet I think the Dr. King did not have that goal in mind. And, I think that America would have been better served if he were still alive. The collapse of the inner city is due in large part to the forgetfullness, greed, and manipulative crop of "media hungry" boobs that have been using Dr. King's good name for their own "profit".

Dr. King would have kept that in check! Society would truly be better - as well as civic pride!

Great question, and great post, Chief! :)

Anonymous Oyster said...

I think, had the same momentum been continued, he would have a good chance to at least make a good showing. However, great leaders are often more effective when they aren't an actual part of the political scene. Wanting him to be President may not have been in everyone's best interest, including his own. Politics might have ruined him as it has so many others who started out with good intentions.

Blogger Kent said...

No way.

MLK lived in a time when racism still existed institutionally. He was quite successfully branded a radical, the way Jackson, Sharpton and Farrakhan are today.

If he were alive today, King would be considered a political moderate, and most likely a Republican. And I know he would be extremely dismayed at the attitude of the African American community and the patronizing attitude of the Democrats toward blacks.

Could he be President today? Yes. Condi Rice could be too.

Anonymous Laurie said...

I agree with previous commenters, that he could have been now, but most likely not through the 70's and 80's. If he had not been killed, I think that he would have gone on to address many other issues of right and wrong aside from race, and would have been a very moderating voice in the ever growing divisions in this country.

Anonymous Mercuda said...

The answer is... No. The guy was a socialist. Minority support or not, his vision would never have become reality in the good old U.S. of A.
I laughed out loud at the guy who said he would have been a republican.
Listen to some of his later speeches especially... I thought it was plain to see.

Blogger Chief RZ said...

I agree that there is sufficient evidence to connect MLK, or at least his following with socialist-communist ties and leanings. That is not to say that our 'social-democrats' are not the same! Carter, Clinton, Rangle, et al as well as some of our US representatives lean heavily in that direction. The larger question is, "could a socialist be elected a US President"?
He probably would not have been nominated at a republican convention, I agree.

Blogger he who is known as sefton said...

just to let you know, it took me a while to track down where I should post my reply to the "MLK" post you had left on my blog.

Just to happens, I never allotted a slot for a post that specifically concerns Martin Luther King with or without the "jr". Consequently, I was pretty much at a loss as to which post of mine would be most appropriate for reference.

I suppose the best I can can do is refer to the post, where you did leave your comment.

In this case, after one gets to my blog, one should click on the hyperlink for my posts in March of 2006, and then look for "new Republican Battle Banner". Or can could try COPY and PASTE with this u.r.l text:

http://hewhoisknownassefton.blogspot.com/2006/03/new-republican-battle-banner.html .

Don't mean to hurt your feelings, Chief . . . but the question of whether I would've voted for the Doctor Reverent Martin Luther King jr as this country's president is meaningless. First off, he never ran for president, or any other public office for that matter. Second, he was just too damn astute to let himself get tied up with any political party.

Truth be told, during the run-up to the 1960 presidential election, the good reverend, when he was cooling his heels in the Birmingham jail, may have welcomed a commendatory letter from Vice President Richard Milhaus Nixon with greater enthusiasm than the letter he did receive from Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Don't be so shocked . . . do you (?) need to be reminded, "politics ain't bean bag".

True enough, the good reverend strenuously avoided being associated with any political party. Nonetheless, he also had enough horse sense to know that the benefits, which he had hoped to achieve for his constituents, could come only through politics.

ya'gotta remember . . . President Eisenhower was popular with a sizable chunk of African American voters, and Nixon was trying to ride into the White House on the former general's coattails.

And at that time, the best polls for Kennedy had him down a few points.

I think a series of questions like the following would be worthy of far more thought:

Let's suppose Congress replaces Martin Luther King as a national holiday with Constitution Day.

How (?) would such an action be to the benefit of the American people in general. How (?) would such an action be to their detriment. Would (?) the good outweigh the harm. Or (?) would it be the other way around. Or (?) would it be a wash!

For my part, I could easily live with just such a replacement. Truth be told, despite my Italian heritage, I could also live with Congress's replacing Columbus Day with something like Rinascimento Day.

That day could be given over to celebrating the exploits of explorers such as Columbus and Louis and Clark, plus daring scientific and artistic endeavours by the likes of Enrico Fermi and Alan Alda and Henry Fonda.

Now that I think about it, I could also easily live with Presidents' Day being replaced with Risorgimento Day! And that day could be given to celebrating the achievements of such presidents as Abraham Lincoln, the saviour of the Union, and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who fractured the spine of the Soviet Union.

Besides the achievements of presidents, the achievements of other people could be celebrated. For some reason or other, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani comes to mind.

.he who is known as sefton


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