The NYT Sunday Mag had an article by Matt Bai, taken from his forthcoming book, about Gary Hart. It describes the series of converging, unlikely events that led to the destruction of his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988, Bai concludes that, without these events, there would have been no President Bush (whom Hart led by double digits in the polls), no second President Bush, no invasion of Iraq, no where-we-are-now. There is, of course, no knowing where-else-we-might-be, but still…
I have been engaged in a recently revived, on-again, off-again debate for years, maybe decades, with friends, the most ardent of whom believe that the murders of both Kennedys, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Malcolm X, as well as the events of 9/11, were carried out and covered up by a vast governemental/military/industrial/national security conspiracy. I have been faulted by these friends for saying that I do not believe in this conspiracy, in part, because it would make me uncomfortable to believe I lived in such a world and that i prefer to believe in a world of randomness, chaos, chance, and odd, crazed madmen with rifles. But when I tell my friends that I believe they hold to their view, in part, because they are uncomfortable iin a world of chance, chaos and madmen and prefer the order brought by vast conspiracies, as some prefer to live in a world ordered by religion, they think this further evidence of my being naive and, well, off my rocker.
The destruction of Gary Hart could, of course, have been the work of a vast governmental/military/industrial/ national security conspiracy. But if it was, how much easier it would have been to, in similar fashion, destroy the careers of, if not Malcolm, King and both the Kennedys than to have killed and then covered-up their killings.
Then again, even if Hart was undone by chance, it doesn’t mean that the Kennedys and King and Malcolm were not assasinated and their assasins covered up. or that some were and some were not.
Uncertainty rules. At least in my world when I wake up each morning.