King Memorial

Martin Luther King Jr. At 84: What Might Have Been?

45 years ago on this day, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, ending his brief but eventful life at the age of 39.

Since his death, the vicious attacks on his nonviolent disobedience tactic in the civil rights movement has been rejected, except by the extreme right wing, which still contends that King and his followers were “communists”, the automatic accusation used whenever anyone challenges the establishment in any form.

King is now memorialized by the national holiday, and the King Memorial in Washington DC makes him also a national figure of massive proportions, as he was in life.

One has to wonder what King would have been like, had he survived until today at the age of 84.

Would his contributions have been greater, and would civil rights have advanced further than it has since his death?

Would he have become a factor in future elections in a way that might have changed the course of history?

What would have been his effect on the prosecution of the Vietnam War under Richard Nixon?

How would he have reacted to Jimmy Carter as the first Southern President since Zachary Taylor in 1848?

How would the Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II Presidencies have interacted with him, assuming everything politically would have been the same?

And finally, how would King have reacted to Barack Obama and his leadership in the Presidency?

Would American foreign policy and domestic policy have been influenced much by a live Martin Luther King, Jr?

All of this is speculative, but it is clear the nation lost a great deal with King’s untimely death in 1968!