The "WHAT IF" thread

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacDawg, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #1
    These thoughts came to me as a part of another thread, and I suggested it might be fodder for a new thread. Since nobody jumped on that idea, I thought I would throw it out there. :)

    Just thinking about some key "what ifs" to play around with... The thought started with some political 'what ifs', but could be expanded in many ways. There are always some key crossroads, and what if we had gone down the "road not taken" as Robert Frost wrote about?

    Here are some quick political ones... feel free to suggest your own or expand on the ones below.
    List a "what if" and then speculate on how it might have changed the world.

    What if Nixon had not debated Kennedy on TV and won the election instead?
    No Bay of Pigs, and what of the Cuban missile crisis? No grassy knoll and no Warren Commission.

    What if Watergate broke before the election and McGovern had won instead of Nixon?
    No Watergate, no Colson. What of the Viet Nam war then? What of foreign policy, China, communisim?

    What if Reagan and not Ford had run against Carter and beaten him?
    What of the Iran hostage crisis? No Nightline and Ted Koppel? No Carter running around the world today.

    What if for some strange reason Reagan loses twice?
    Where would the cold war be today? No Reaganomics. No talk of SDI "star wars"

    What if the economy hadn't gone south just before the election and Bush the elder had won, we would have no Monica to talk about, no 'the meaning of is', no Hillary. Hmmmm, maybe that would be a good thing. But I digress. Of course it would be argued that we would have had no economy either.

    What if there was no Willie Horton and Dukakis/Ferraro had won?
    Would we have a woman president now? Hillary?

    What if there were no hanging chads, and Gore had won? Wait, Bush would have still won...
    hmmmm, what if for some strange, unexplained, bizarre reason Gore had won?
    Would we be in Afghanistan? Iraq? In hiding?


    Feel free to play along with your own "what ifs" and give the way the world changes. Or expand on those above.

    If you aren't into politics, try it in sports... what if...


    Bill Buckner catches the ground ball?
    The Sox don't sell the Babe?
    Bartman doesn't interfere with the foul ball?
    Bonds doesn't use steroids?​

    Or try it in history... what if...

    Hitler doesn't go after Russia in the snow?
    Japan doesn't bomb Pearl Harbor?
    The US doesn't drop the bomb on Japan?
    The US doesn't go to Viet Nam?
    The planes don't hit the twin towers?
    The fourth plane hits the White House?​

    The possibilities are endless, and you get a chance to rewrite history and speculate on the consequences.

    So list your "what if" and how the world would be different!

    Woof, Woof - Dawg
     
  2. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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  3. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    #3
    What if bill gates had gone into rectal thermometers?

    What if Hillary decided to be a house dad, or Bill a house mom?

    What if France...............?

    What if I could lose 40#?

    What if I had stayed with Chem Eng? or Gotten my MBAJD?

    What if I had married Sarah instead of Rene?

    What if Saddam had open fields of WMD?

    What if we pushed for H power? Never stopped going to the moon?

    What if Apple had become the chev cavalier of computers?

    What if Aliens had really landed in DC, like in the day the earth stood still ?
     
  4. MacDawg thread starter macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #4
    OK Stu... not enough to just say "what if", you need to carry it a little farther and tell us how the world will be different. Lets have some discussion around the "what ifs".

    The M$/Apple "what ifs" in particular are good, but take it further!

    Woof, Woof - Dawg
     
  5. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #5
    Jesus Christ MD! You really do have some time to kill.

    For ***** and giggles, I'll comment in passing (though not definitive) and freely admit that some was before my time (at least as a voter). So here we go.

    KENNEDY/NIXON - Well we wouldn't have gone to the Moon, unless we were all propelled there from the force of all the Nuclear Detonations in the Continental US. There is a chance, however, that if Nixon had the same staff, notably Kissenger as Sec.State, then the debacle that was the Bay of Pigs might not have happened and tensions may have been diffused by alternate methods.

    Without Kennedy's assassination, Johnson may have not become President, and we may not have entered the Vietnam war, instead we might have engaged in "detente". Kennedy might have run in '64, Nixon might not have run, or won in later.

    We would've not opened up relations with China, or stopped Syrian tanks from rumbling further into pro-western Jordan, toppling King Hussein. We would not have as skillfully negotiated the Yom Kippur War to a stalemate and brokered agreements between Isreal and the Arabs. With this we managed to re-open relations with both Isreal and Egypt (cut off since 1967) and also set the stage for the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty of '79 and stabilized relations between Syria and Israel.

    Most of this has to do with Kissinger, however, and not the sitting Presidents he served under. Kissinger in my estimation was a singular genius and perhaps the best modern Secretary of State ever (George Shultz was pretty good too, Dean Acheson even more so). As such, he probably would've made it into many potential Administrations.

    WATERGATE/MCGOVERN - well, as far as Vietnam goes, I take the relatively unpopular view, that Nixon did a good job conducting the first large-scale American troop withdrawl in History, while still improving the US's geopolitical position. Troop levels peaked in early'69 (around 500,000) and withdrawl began a few months later, with troop levels down to around 130,000 by 1971. This acheivement was somewhat obscured by the brutal and nonsensical bombings of N. Vietnam and Cambodia. I doubt McGovern would've done better for American geopolitical standing, though he probably might have saved some GI lives (in the short-run) and not bombed things to hell.

    CARTER/REAGAN - I love Jimmy Carter, but he was a crap President. His unwillingness to deal with "evil" regimes allowed unimpeded Soviet-influence in many regions of the world, often with tragic results, such as Ethiopia. Iran may have also turned out differently, but probably not.

    As for Reagan, I am still not sure if his successes were coincidence or not.


    Whew! that's enough for now. I will comment that Conservative Administrations always seem to have much better Foreign Policy than their Liberal Counterparts (current Administration excepted), but crap Domestic Policy.

    As you may be noticing, I am actually a Conservative in many ways, by traditional definition (also see sig). I do not find the GOP to be Conservatives, however. I am pretty Liberal when it comes to Domestic Issues sometimes, although I like to think there is a consistent logic. That's another thread though...
     
  6. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    #6
    Sorry!

    Then you would have to reboot twice to get a temp, and my the viruses.

    Watergate would have LOOKED different, Monica would have found someone else, is would still be is, Whitewater would still be a rafter term.

    Had stopped the germans twice in the 1900's, wow! Possible overpopulation!? And a thousand other things, fill in the blank.

    Then I would be happy, healthy, and hungry.

    I would be making more money, but would I be happy? Probably would have parlayed it to a business side management thang. Or gone bio-med eng for a masters. The MBAJD would have given me the front runner spot with the latest senior VP position with GE or Fashion.com.

    I would be divorced and bitter, instead of happy and hopeful.

    The EU would be quiet, and Nato would be joining UN troops to take the latest town.burg.city of insurgents.

    Air would be even cleaner, allergies not a multi-billion $ biz, Saudi would still only be known for camel breeding. We would have AFRTS broadcasts to and from the moon. :p

    They would be in the Smithsonian next to WANG comp.

    We would either be breed like cows and pigs, or rocketing around the universe with our head out the window like a lab in a jeep!
     
  7. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #7
    If there were no Willie Horton we probably wouldn't have a woman president since Dukakis' running mate was Lloyd Bentson. It was Mondale/Ferraro against Reagan in '84.
     
  8. MacDawg thread starter macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #8
    Sorry, that's what I get for thinking off the top of my head and not researching before posting. Hard to remember all the losers who become footnotes. :rolleyes: Just kidding!!!

    Woof, Woof - Dawg
     
  9. MacDawg thread starter macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #9
    Now THAT's the kind of response I'm talking about!
    Good job!

    Great point about Kennedy and the space program.

    BTW, I agree with much of what you said

    Woof, Woof - Dawg
     
  10. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #10
    Thanks, but there is just too much to consider. I didn't even touch on Domestic Issues (such as LBJ's "Great Society", Nixon's conservative paranoia and it's possible relationship to the counter-culture development, not to mention Taxes and Deficits and resource problems and resultant societal instability).
    Hell, I can barely keep up with the present. That is why I post here and read the paper. It is good to keep an eye on History, however.
     
  11. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    #11
    MD, sorry for the levity, not poking fun at you or the thread, just need the levity this morning for a varity of reasons. It will be a fine thread to follow today.
     
  12. MacDawg thread starter macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #12
    Not a problem Stu...
    The thread isn't restricted to being serious :p
    Just wanted some "beeef" to go in the "stu" so to speak!

    We all need a little levity at times.

    Just FYI, the only reason I am posting the "nutcase" thread and this one is because I'm probably going to lose my job this week, and I need something to keep my mind off of it (and give me something to do). :rolleyes:

    Woof, Woof - Dawg
     
  13. StarbucksSam macrumors 65816

    StarbucksSam

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    #13
    What if we had a recount in Ohio?
    Would Bush feel stupid when they uncover the fact that the Diebold machines helped him cheat and Kerry actually won?
    Yes.
     
  14. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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  15. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #15
    ahhhh....I love the smell of fresh partisanship in the morning.
     
  16. StarbucksSam macrumors 65816

    StarbucksSam

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    #16
    I'm allowed to be one-sided and closed-minded if I want.

    I considered being a Republican once upon a time. Then I bashed my head against the wall. LOL, just kidding, I never actually considered being a Republican. Another what if...

    What if I had become a Republican?
    Would I be enlightened and accepting of all types of people?
    Would I care about everyone and not just my personal finances?
    Would I give and participate in helping others?
    Hmmmm....

    To Republicans: It's nothing personal - I don't dislike ALL of you, I dislike the STEREOTYPICAL Republican. There are some (maybe even many) good Republicans, I'm just playing around.
     
  17. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #17
    I was, of course, teasing you anyway SS. I am just boycotting the use of smileys due to their abuse by some...
     
  18. MacDawg thread starter macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #18
    I seem to recall there was a lot of irregularities in the Nixon/Kennedy election on the Democrat side, but was never explored or proven. I couldn't vote then, and remember very little of it (remember where I was when Kennedy was shot though). Hmmmm, another thread...

    If voter irregularities were ever proven and they did actually change the election outcome, how would it affect our electoral process? And "no", I don't think that is what actually happened in the 2000 election. I think there have been plenty of threads that have hashed that out.

    I'm sure, as I posted elsewhere, that both sides have their over eager zealots and both sides have those who would resort to such tactics. Perhaps they balance each other out? :) I am not arrogant enough to believe that the Republican machine would be above such things, but I am not naive enough to believe that the Democratic machine is either.

    The question would be, if voter irregularity was proven, the election reveresed, how would the world be different? How would the electoral processes change for '08? what would happen in Iraq? to the economy? That would satisfy the "what if" scenario I am proposing.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg
     
  19. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #19
    Just as a matter of historical accuracy, the Bay of Pigs invasion was planned on Eisenhower's watch. JFK failed to cancel it, as he probably should have, but he didn't invent the idea. If Nixon had won the 1960 election, a lot of things would have been different, but the Bay of Pigs debacle probably wouldn't have been one of them. The more interesting what-if scenarios stemming from a Nixon victory in 1960 are civil rights and the Vietnam War.
     
  20. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #20
    Thanks IJ, frankly it was before my time. The problem with a thread like this is that it is impossible to be throughly comprehensive in your revisionist scope.
     
  21. MacDawg thread starter macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #21
    Especially with your boss looking over your shoulder as you type!

    I have a pretty good memory, but it ain't THAT good!
    I tend to type without researching, realizing that someone will remember better than I do.

    I was a wee tyke back then, and don't remember anything much about the Bay of Pigs. But I DO remember distinctly the tension of the Cuban missle crisis, not that I understood the politics of it. Even as a young boy I can remember the discussions and the tension. I am old enough to remember bomb shelters, drills, and the feelings of imminent nuclear annihilation.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg
     
  22. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    #22
    Do you work for American, Delta, or USELESS? Doesn' t American use macs at their headquarters?
     
  23. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #23
    i like "What ifs" as long as they are long enough in the past

    an interesting one in austrian history is always the "what if crown prince Rudolf taken the throne and Franz Joseph died a few years earlier ?"

    the 20th century might look very different (in europe)...
     
  24. MacDawg thread starter macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #24
    I'm curious as to what ways it would look different.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg
     
  25. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    #25
    What if Carl Marx had died as a child?

    Would Russia and China have owned the world, through sheer numbers?
    Would Hitler have taken the Czar! Would the lack of an Evil Empire slowed economic and technical development within the US, Especially if WWI or WWII had not happened?
     

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