Today is of course the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. We will always ask ourselves how different things would have been if Kennedy had lived.
I am not one who believes things would have been that different. The things that happened in the 1960’s didn’t spontaneously happen because suddenly on November 23, 1963 people decided they didn’t like the way things were going.
The historical currents that created the changes in society during the 1960s and 1970s would have still been in place even if Kennedy lived. Kennedy would probably still have taken the U.S. into Vietnam because the foreign policy and political consensus on containment would have still governed his thinking.
While we should mourn the loss of a President, we should try to keep things in perspective.