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How Chicago Democrats Saved the World (1 Viewer)


I am not sure if this is truly non fiction. I do use a lot of historical information to propose a possible path of events. If I have posted incorrectly, please forgive me.

How Chicago Democrats Saved the World

There are many points in history that can be seen as pivotal. The Treaty of Versailles, Washington’s crossing of the Delaware, and Rosa Park’s refusing to give up her seat are clear points in history where events changed the course of history in fundamental ways.
There are times when the link between the cause and effect are much harder to see. Chance and circumstances that lead not to great change, but pass like a large storm on the horizon giving just the slightest of clues of how bad it could have been had the storm moved over us. The events leading up to and just after the 1960 presidential election between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon were just such events.

The presidential election of 1960 between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon was one of the closest elections in US history. Nixon won more states, but lost in the Electoral College. When the votes were tallied in November, Kennedy earned 49.7% of the popular vote to Nixon's 49.5%. Kennedy polled only about 100,000 more votes than Nixon out of over 68 million votes cast. As with any extremely close election, there were reports of voting irregularities in several key precincts. One of the most disputed results came from Illinois or more specifically Chicago. In Chicago, Mayor Daley ran the political machine with what can best be described as dubious practices. Mayor Daley withheld the results until the next morning delivering a large margin for Kennedy in Cook county of 450,000 votes. This gave Kennedy the state of Illinois by a margin of 9,000 votes and all of its 27 electoral votes. Many on the Republican side wanted Nixon to challenge the election, but he refused to do so stating that he wanted to avoid putting the country in a constitutional crisis.

Nixon was the vice president during the Eisenhower administration. He made a name for himself as being a staunch anti-communist. The pinnacle of which was the prosecution of Alger Hiss for being a communist spy. This was the time of McCarthy and the anti-communist sentiments were running very high in the country. Nixon himself had the famous kitchen debate with Khrushchev. Also during this time Allen Dulles is the head of the CIA. Starting in the 1950’s the CIA was riding a wave of successful operations targeting the removal of leaders who were considered hostile to the US and the placing of more US favored leaders in there place. Dulles was successful with the CIA's attempts at removing foreign leaders by covert means. Notably, the elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran was deposed in 1953 (via Operation Ajax), and President Arbenz of Guatemala was removed in 1954. The Guatemalan coup was called Operation PBSUCCESS. Dulles saw these operations as essential in the fight against communism.

It was on the momentum of these successes that Dulles began drafting a plan for the removal of Fidel Castro from Cuba. Then vice president Nixon worked closely with Dulles on the planning of the operation believing as Dulles did that it was a necessary step to stem communism in America’s hemisphere. The CIA began to recruit and train anti-Castro forces in the Sierra Madre Mountains on the Pacific coast of Guatemala

The plan was not completed before the 1960 election. Little did JFK know that in the first weeks of his presidency that an operation fully formed would be dropped on his desk for approval. Kennedy gave his tacit approval to the operations, but would not let any American military assets such as air craft or navy vessels be used to support or lend any aid to the Cuban rebels who were to be the actual force. The rebels had little chance of success without overt US help and the plan failed miserably. This would come to be known as the Bay of Pigs operation and would prompt the new president to take full responsibility for the failure. It would also be the beginning of the end of the Cuban and US relationship which finally failed completely during the Cuban missile crisis a year later.

It is with this back drop of events that we can try to look at the passing storm and what very well may have happened should a few votes moved Nixon into the white house and not JFK.

Lets begin by examining what would have happened with the Cuban operation had Nixon been the commander and chief at the time. Nixon’s views on the threat of communism to the free world and his work with Dulles on the Cuba operation would mean that he would be much more supportive of the operation. Nixon would not only have supported the operation as a covert CIA operation, but if necessary provided overt US support in the form of military assets if needed. It is easy today to forget how truly fearful many in the US both politicians and citizens were of the growing communist threat. This was a time when duck and cover was still being taught in classrooms around the country. It was a time when committees ran by Joe McCarthy were seeing communist spies in every corner of society. Nixon would have seen eliminating a threat such as a communist regime off the coast of the US as a top priority.

We now have to ask what the Soviet Union would do with a cold war that if not becoming hot would be getting a lot warmer. Khrushchev would have been all to aware of Nixon’s strong anti-communist beliefs and would have seen the operation in Cuba as the first of many confrontations with the Nixon administration. We can use the Cuban missile crisis as a way to gage the commitment of the Soviets to their allies in Cuba. It is a well accepted assertion that the Cuban missile crisis was the closest the US and the USSR came to a full exchange that may have included a nuclear conflict. Khrushchev and the politburo would have felt that to do nothing to help support their allies in Cuba would have caused the USSR to lose face in the world. However, how could they support Cuba. Cuba’s location so close to the US made Cuba a key ally to the Soviet Union but it made it almost impossible for them to provide direct military support to the island itself.

The most likely area that the Soviets could apply pressure to the US and disrupt the plans to remove the communist in Cuba would have been in Germany. The division of Germany was a continued point of concern for both east and west during the cold war. One of the most likely scenarios drawn up by the US (NATO) was a Soviet invasion of west Germany through the Falda Gap. The Soviets could try to force a preferred settlement in Cuba by trading back control of Berlin and Western parts of Germany. It would be in there best interest to force a settlement of both issues in the UN where they could draw the parallels between the actions of America and their actions in Europe.

It was the fear of Soviet expansion in Europe and the knowledge that the Soviet (Warsaw Pact) forces greatly outnumbered the NATO forces in conventional weapons that created the nuclear first strike alternative in the event of an invasion. This first strike alternative was put into NATO doctrine as a way to deter an invasion of Europe by Soviet forces.

Khrushchev would have thought that the new MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) theory would hold the west from using nuclear weapons without first exhausting all diplomatic and political options. This would give him the wiggle room to force a positive Soviet settlement and allow the USSR to save face around the world.

How would a Nixon administration deal with such events? First what we do know is that Nixon thought that communism was the greatest threat to world peace in existence at that time. We also know from what happened during the Nixon presidency in the 1970’s that he also was prone to paranoia which lead him to reckless actions. One can only expect that such unfolding events would have fed not only his preconceived notions of the communist expansion threat but also fed his paranoia that this was a direct attack against the US and meant a shift in the balance of power in the world for the rest of the century.

Given that the military knew that they could not hold Germany through conventional warfare, the only option they could give the Commander and Chief for a military solution would be a tactical nuclear strike over the advancing Soviet military forces. Nixon understood how the uncheck expansion and military aggression of the Nazis led to a world war. He also felt that the unfolding events in places such as Korea, Cuba, and other South American countries were part of a plan to spread communism around the world. He would have also understood that under the NATO treaty such a strike was already sanctioned by our allies.

Now what would be the response of the Soviet Union to a tactical US/NATO strike against its military? The lock holding the nuclear genie in its bottle was the Mutually Assured Destruction or MAD paradigm. The foundation of which is that no leader was crazy enough to get into a nuclear exchange with another nuclear power. Khrushchev would have just seen that foundation shaken and by a leader he does not trust. Khrushchev’s military leaders would have demanded retaliation. The big decision would be to what extent. Would it be a counter tactical nuke over the NATO forces or would it be a more strategic strike against America itself. No doubt the key fear was that they had already lost the initiative in the exchange and feared a strike against Russia itself.

The fog of war would have been very real now. Each side having raised the alert status to the highest levels would be on hair triggers to any changing event. Dealing with two men, Khrushchev and Nixon, who by their very natures could not back down would be the final ingredient for this recipe of disaster. We can not be sure which side launched the ICBM but in the end it would not matter.

In the end we are glad to see this storm pass us by. It just is very interesting how something as simple as a crooked Chicago democrat could have saved the whole world.