Mr. Surratt deserves for both sides of his story to be told and he needs for people to know he is, as he has always been, an honest and caring and dependable businessman. Thank you.
What if MLK had lived to run for president?
What if Martin Luther King Jr. had not been assassinated? What if he had lived? One particularly intriguing scenario raises the possibility of his going into politics, perhaps even running for president.
Let us come up with one particularly tantalizing possibility:
In 1976, Dr. King decides to run for president as an independent. He does not trust former Gov. Jimmy Carter of Georgia, one of the leading Democratic contenders. And Carter plays into Dr. King's hands with his incautious (not bigoted) statement about "ethnic purity" in promising not to use federal power to break up neighborhoods inhabited by any one religious, racial, ethnic or nationality group. After that, the King candidacy takes off among Southern blacks, many of them only recently enfranchised, and Carter's popularity grows among Southern whites.
For much of the summer and fall of 1976, the Gallup polls consistently showed Carter running far better against the incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford than he actually did on Election Day, Nov. 2, 1976. This was true both nationally and in the South.
With the black vote already securely in Carter's corner, that can only mean that Carter would have had to receive a majority of the white vote in more Southern states than he actually did. As we all know, Carter won a majority of whites in his home state of Georgia, plus Tennessee and Arkansas. (We consider Kentucky a border state.) Ford carried a majority of white voters in all other Southern states.
Now here is where we begin to ask the questions. In what other Southern states did Carter have a chance of winning a majority of white voters against Ford? (I would say North Carolina for sure.)
If Dr. King is in the picture and his strength among Southern blacks holds, does Carter come across as the "Southern white" candidate in opposition to Dr. King, the "black" candidate, and President Ford the "Yankee-Lincoln" candidate? How does the 1976 electoral map look in the South then?
William R. Brown