As many have heard on the news, it’s been 50 years since Bobby Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan.
I was thinking today about the differences between Kennedy and our current President, one Donald John Drumpf. Consider:
- Both are white men born of extreme privilege;
- Both had fathers who were real assholes;
- Both got an early start in what was essentially the family business.
And yet, they could not have turned out more differently.
What was the reason. Certainly, Bobby had some thing in spades that Drumpf does not: compassion. For his part, Drumpf is almost completely lacking in compassion. So much so, that one could argue that he is a sociopath.
I’m not a Kennedy apologist, and I’m well aware of the family shortcomings. But it is interesting to contemplate how history might be different if Bobby K had not been assassinated and had actually won the Presidency. There surely would have been a different course for the conflict in Vietnam.
 For those of you who don’t remember, Sirhan was essentially an early model for what has now become the “Arab terrorist.” A Jordanian-born Palestinian, Sirhan assassinated Kennedy almost exactly one year after the beginning of the 1967 six-day war, in which the Arabs were just stunned by the efficient Israeli army. Bobby had promised to send 50 fighter jets to Israel if elected president. Sirhan had obsessed about this possibility, and it became the focus of his anger.
 I have yet to meet someone who went to Vietnam as part of the American military who didn’t get their brain scrambled there. It was the defining issue for my generation, and the country was at least as divided then as it is now.