Robert F. Kennedy, whose appeal was so galvanizing that even the bumblefucks of the late ’60s (i.e., voters who later flocked to George Wallace in ’72) were supporting him, was shot to death in Los Angeles almost exactly 50 years ago. The anniversary happens on Monday, 6.4.18.** As with so many things, I doubt if many Millennials have paid attention to the RFK thing or will care all that much about this somber occasion. Certainly not Generation Z. They have enough aggravation.
This country was rocked hard for just over two months (precisely 64 days) in the spring or ’68. First came the elation among the antiwar left — call it euphoria — that followed Lyndon Johnson‘s decision not to run for president, which he announced on 3.31.68. Then the horror of Martin Luther King‘s assassination four days later, on 4.4.68. And then RFK’s murder exactly 60 days after that.
The tone of things turned bitter when Kennedy finally died in the wee hours of 6.6. Everyone deflated. People couldn’t stop shaking their heads. That funeral service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the people standing by the tracks as the funeral train (NYC to Washington, D.C.) rode by, etc. All of it. Everything was dark and forlorn.
And then Richard Nixon beat the spineless, wishy-washy, LBJ-fellating Hubert Humphrey, and the dog-whistle Southern Strategy become the Republican playbook, etc.
** RFK was actually shot just after midnight on 6.5.68.