Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Douglas MacArthur is handling his job as president?

  • Approve

    Votes: 145 76.3%
  • Disapprove

    Votes: 45 23.7%

  • Total voters
    190
>The additional $5 billion going to the military, MacArthur decided, would go primarily to the Air Force, with a smaller sum dedicated to the Army. If war came, it would be most likely against either Red China or the Soviet Union, and neither had much ability to project power past their own coastlines.
>MacArthur said that the Chinese, not the Soviets, represented a greater threat (“Malenkov’s Red Army is deployed for defensive action, while Mao’s sabre is constantly rattling in the Pacific”), and the European powers needed to take greater responsibility for their own defence. Besides, “If we find ourselves engaged in war with either communist power, mass mobilisation will be required regardless of the presence of a couple of divisions at the starting line.”

The Soviet Union are far less scared, and thus United Germany.

>“Sixty years from now, I hope both our peoples will continue to say that.”

Peaceful coexistence seems to be a stable view.

This means reduced military expenditure and fewer Fraternal troops in Poland and Hungary and correspondingly more locally embedded soviet troops.

Correspondingly this means that the result of the 1953 recession is Light Industry for Everybody. Which means Rakosi sidelined for Nagy, and which means Bierut sidelined for Gomułka. This means that Nagy isn't going to be shanked in 55 by Rakosi/Gero, because that would be a denial of Malenkov's consumer goods line. Which means that Julia Rajk doesn't get out her party contacts, and it means that the Petofi Circle, DISZ youth dissidents, and "Stay Behind" communists from WWII aren't as active in mobilising the countryside or making contacts with Social Democratic revolutionaries in the united party. So you get Posznan '56, and a number of soccer riots in Hungary, due to the economic recession. But in both cases the reformist factions of the Communist Party are in power, and will try to shut down worker unrest. Officially more attention will be paid to the legitimate and unattended demands of workers. After fifty people or so are shot. These unrests will be blaimed on insufficient vigor in following the consumer goods line, and set up a good excuse for a purge of heavy industry liners, non-rocket defensists (ie: big army, costly army), and people with a dangerous reliance on administrative methods when judicial methods and proper socialist criticism should be used.

In both the Polish and Hungarian cases, local elites manage the repression locally without it getting out of hand: the withdrawal of excessive soviet troops, the reduced recession because of light industry focus, the allowance of dissidents into leadership, the increased use of judicial rather than administrative methods, and reformers make the best repressors mean that neither situation will "go off."

Petofi & DISZ supplied a crack in elite unity which allowed Social Democratic revolutionary workers, Communist revolutionary workers, and just plain Revolutionary workers to hammer a wedge in over levels of consumption, national esteem, and too many "administrative" methods being used. Without that crack, like Poland, in five years time Nagy is just as nasty as Gomułka was historically. Less bad than most, but still a controller of capital in a society without rights enforceable by workers under rule of law.

I hope this assists your speculation. Basically the Soviet Union is dumping A LOT of the Red Army's expenses into consumer goods production, softening their recession, improving their legitimacy, removing excessive administrative techniques. Of course this means they're about to be utterly reliant on strategic nuclear warfare and threatened MAD for their survival. One hopes the General Secretary does not love suprises.

yours,
Sam R.
 
Any chance of President MacArthur visiting Down Under now that he's President? IOTL we had to wait until LBJ to be the first American President to officially visit Australia. Mac has been to Australia before during WW2 so no reason he wouldn't visit again as President especially to shore up how important Asia and the Pacific are to the United States in the Cold War
 
>The additional $5 billion going to the military, MacArthur decided, would go primarily to the Air Force, with a smaller sum dedicated to the Army. If war came, it would be most likely against either Red China or the Soviet Union, and neither had much ability to project power past their own coastlines.
>MacArthur said that the Chinese, not the Soviets, represented a greater threat (“Malenkov’s Red Army is deployed for defensive action, while Mao’s sabre is constantly rattling in the Pacific”), and the European powers needed to take greater responsibility for their own defence. Besides, “If we find ourselves engaged in war with either communist power, mass mobilisation will be required regardless of the presence of a couple of divisions at the starting line.”

The Soviet Union are far less scared, and thus United Germany.

>“Sixty years from now, I hope both our peoples will continue to say that.”

Peaceful coexistence seems to be a stable view.

This means reduced military expenditure and fewer Fraternal troops in Poland and Hungary and correspondingly more locally embedded soviet troops.

Correspondingly this means that the result of the 1953 recession is Light Industry for Everybody. Which means Rakosi sidelined for Nagy, and which means Bierut sidelined for Gomułka. This means that Nagy isn't going to be shanked in 55 by Rakosi/Gero, because that would be a denial of Malenkov's consumer goods line. Which means that Julia Rajk doesn't get out her party contacts, and it means that the Petofi Circle, DISZ youth dissidents, and "Stay Behind" communists from WWII aren't as active in mobilising the countryside or making contacts with Social Democratic revolutionaries in the united party. So you get Posznan '56, and a number of soccer riots in Hungary, due to the economic recession. But in both cases the reformist factions of the Communist Party are in power, and will try to shut down worker unrest. Officially more attention will be paid to the legitimate and unattended demands of workers. After fifty people or so are shot. These unrests will be blaimed on insufficient vigor in following the consumer goods line, and set up a good excuse for a purge of heavy industry liners, non-rocket defensists (ie: big army, costly army), and people with a dangerous reliance on administrative methods when judicial methods and proper socialist criticism should be used.

In both the Polish and Hungarian cases, local elites manage the repression locally without it getting out of hand: the withdrawal of excessive soviet troops, the reduced recession because of light industry focus, the allowance of dissidents into leadership, the increased use of judicial rather than administrative methods, and reformers make the best repressors mean that neither situation will "go off."

Petofi & DISZ supplied a crack in elite unity which allowed Social Democratic revolutionary workers, Communist revolutionary workers, and just plain Revolutionary workers to hammer a wedge in over levels of consumption, national esteem, and too many "administrative" methods being used. Without that crack, like Poland, in five years time Nagy is just as nasty as Gomułka was historically. Less bad than most, but still a controller of capital in a society without rights enforceable by workers under rule of law.

I hope this assists your speculation. Basically the Soviet Union is dumping A LOT of the Red Army's expenses into consumer goods production, softening their recession, improving their legitimacy, removing excessive administrative techniques. Of course this means they're about to be utterly reliant on strategic nuclear warfare and threatened MAD for their survival. One hopes the General Secretary does not love suprises.

yours,
Sam R.
Great post! Thanks a bunch :)
Gave me this funny idea that instead of OTL's jokes about Khrushchev being obsessed with corn, TTL has jokes about Malenkov being obsessed with toasters (or another one, where 'the Soviet people have more toasters than slices of bread') :p

Any chance of President MacArthur visiting Down Under now that he's President? IOTL we had to wait until LBJ to be the first American President to officially visit Australia. Mac has been to Australia before during WW2 so no reason he wouldn't visit again as President especially to shore up how important Asia and the Pacific are to the United States in the Cold War
Yeah, I can see him visiting. I originally conceived his trip to Thailand and Cambodia as being part of a broader tour of the region (a replay of his 1905 tour if you will), though that didn't fit in the story quite as well so I cut it. But we can say it still happens behind the scenes!

As MacArthur any kind of opinion about Francoist Spain?
I discussed Spain in Chapter 36. Mac AFAIK didn't have much of an opinion about them, but Willoughby thought that Franco was the second greatest person alive (only after Mac!), and gets Franco into Mac's good books as a result.
Mac floated the idea of Spain joining NATO when he was in Europe in 1953, I haven't ever said whether they do or not (some people mentioned the possibility of NATO falling apart after Mac's ramming through the Germany deal and semi-abandonment of Europe, and if this happens it obviously doesn't make sense to have Franco join at the eleventh hour!)

- BNC
 
Thanks for answering. BTW I know it's still way off and that this TL os focused on MacArthur's Presidency but have you given any thoughts to what Knowland as President would be? His cabinet for example or what his approach to the Cold War would be? Just curious
 
I love Vice Presidents. I find it really fascinating how much the role has changed from being quote "most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived" to now being a pretty powerful position (look at Dick Cheney). Also I find the VP's are pretty interesting characters in their own right. As for who Knowland would pick I'd go with Prescott Bush or how about Rockefeller?
Surely Rockefeller didn't run for office until 1958.
 
Surely Rockefeller didn't run for office until 1958.
True. I won't be picking Rockefeller.

Thanks for answering. BTW I know it's still way off and that this TL os focused on MacArthur's Presidency but have you given any thoughts to what Knowland as President would be? His cabinet for example or what his approach to the Cold War would be? Just curious
I haven't given a lot of thought to a Knowland term, mostly because the TL will end before he would take office (indeed, I'm not even sure I'll cover the '56 election results at all) so it's not really a priority.
That said, I'm not sure it would be a very successful term:
- Sputnik is likely still going to be an embarrassment. While I don't think Mac would gut rocket funding entirely, it's not really something I see him putting much funding into... either OTL or slightly slower progress. Although I'm not sure how Malenkov would differ from Khrushchev on this front, especially with lower tensions between east and west? That could have an impact too.
- There would probably still be a recession (OTL was in 1958). Joe Dodge is in charge of the Budget both OTL and TTL and seeing as Mac and Ike both pursued balanced budgets (though they went about it slightly differently - Mac didn't spend, Ike raised taxes so he could spend), I don't see any particular reason that some TTL policy would avert the underlying causes. Plus the last recession was in 1951/2... one is probably "due".
- If Castro still takes power (and I see no particular reason why he wouldn't), the overwhelming victory in Korea might be used as a reason to intervene in Cuba (while the "avoid a land war in Asia" argument doesn't apply the way it did in Vietnam/Cambodia)
- As a positive, Knowland almost definitely doesn't keep Mac's cronies around - Almond and Willoughby were idiots (and are only there because they worship Mac), and Nixon hated him. Dewey probably stays on for a while longer, partly to avert any lingering doubts about his appointment as a power grab by Mac and to ensure he has a capable successor that also won't just restart Hoover's bad behaviour. Though Dewey did want to retire, so he'd probably leave by 1960.

Past those, @bguy is probably better equipped to answer questions on Knowland than I am :)

- BNC
 

bguy

Donor
Past those, @bguy is probably better equipped to answer questions on Knowland than I am :)

In terms of administration personnel, Knowland was very good friends with Earl Warren (despite Warren being much more liberal than Knowland was.) I don't know if Warren would be willing to give up being Governor of California for a Cabinet slot, but if so then he likely ends up as Attorney General.

On domestic policy there's probably a lot of continuity with the MacArthur Administration. The biggest difference will be that Knowland is much more hostile to organized labor than MacArthur is. IOTL when Knowland ran for Governor of California in 1958 he proposed a "Bill of Rights for California employees" that involved:

-electing union leaders by secret ballot
-giving union members the right to recall leaders
-preventing conspiracies between management and union officials
-protecting welfare and pension funds
-requiring union representation of all employees who desire membership (i.e. preventing unions for discriminating against racial minorities)
-providing union members with a voice in the conditions, terms, and duration of strikes
-preventing abitrary control over local unions by trustees appointed by national or international unions; and
-protecting union members from excessive union fees, assessments, and arbitrary actions

(The above list was taken from "One Step from the White House: The Rise and Fall of Senator William F. Knowland by Gayle Montgomery and James Johnson).

I would expect Knowland to pursue a similar "Worker's Bill of Rights" on the national level which will doubtlessly engender a major fight with organized labor.

(Knowland was also open to the idea of extending the anti-trust laws to include big unions, so we might see a push for that as well.)

Knowland is also likely to support civil rights legislation, and if Everett Dirksen becomes the Republican Senate Leader once Knowland is elected then he will have a capable legislative tactician to push for civil rights in the Senate. Still even with Dirksen as the Republican senate leader I don't know if the Republicans would be able to overcome the inevitable southern filibuster. IOTL Knowland was willing to kill the filibuster to get a meaningful civil rights bill passed but was outmaneuvered by LBJ. Dirksen is certainly a better legislative field general than Knowland was, but LBJ is one of the all time great legislative tacticians and Johnson's presidential ambitions mean he really can't afford to let the filibuster die (lest he lose all support in the south), so I doubt Knowland achieves much more than Eisenhower did IOTL on getting a civil rights bill with teeth passed.

Otherwise Knowland was a big believer in balanced budgets (early in his senate career he went against Robert Taft himself to kill a tax cut Taft wanted because Knowland felt it was more important to pay down the debt.) Thus I would expect him to be very parsimonious on federal spending. That's not much of a difference from OTL, but it does mean the economy is likely to be similarly sluggish to how it was IOTL which will make reelection in 1960 difficult.

On foreign policy, Knowland would continue MacArthur's focus on Asia. He didn't have much use for NATO. (IOTL he worked to kill Mutual Security Administration funding for Western Europe), and he considered the British to be "an unreliable ally." (He really didn't appreciate the British recognizing the communist Chinese government.) He Expect US-British relations to be fairly tense.

Knowland was extremely pro-Taiwan (he was known as the Senator for Formosa), so the US will have very cozy relations with the Republic of China during his presidency. (Indeed given the precedent MacArthur has already established with the US helping France develop nuclear weapons, it would not surprise me at all if Knowland helped Taiwan get nuclear weapons.) He will also likely be much more hawkish in defending Taiwan than Eisenhower was IOTL or even MacArthur was ITTL. (IOTL Knowland wanted to bomb China when they shelled Quemoy and Matsu. If there is a second Taiwan Straights crisis during his presidency, it is very likely the US ends up bombing the Chinese mainland.)

Knowland will probably be hostile to the communist government in Vietnam, though he did not like the idea of committing US ground troops to the region. (If there is any anti-communist rebels to Ho's government I would expect to see the US support them.) I would also expect a lot of US aid to Thailand as a bulwark against the Chinese and Vietnamese.

In the Middle East while Knowland disapproved of the British and French attack on Egypt, he also greatly disliked Nasser and made sure the Senate would not support funding the Aswan Dam. Knowland was also strongly pro-Israel. During the Suez Crisis when the Eisenhower Administration wanted the UN to sanction Israel to induce them to withdraw from Egyptian territory Knowland insisted that sanctions on Israel should only be passed if they were accompanied by sanctions on the Soviet Union over Hungary (which was clearly impossible.) Thus if something like the Suez Crisis still happens, Israel is likely to come under far less pressure from the US to withdraw from the Sinai then they did IOTL and might stay there much longer. (Which is likely to cause long term damage to US relations with the Arab world.)

Overall I agree with BNC's assessment that Knowland is likely to have a difficult presidency and while it's not impossible that he could win reelection in 1960, I think it's more likely than not that the Democratic candidate wins that year.
 
While Malenkov is willing to pursue more sensible economic strategies (light industry for instance) vs Stalin, he is still something of a Stalinist 'lite', and I really can't see him doing something like the Secret Speech
Malenkov at the end of his life went through a religious conversion, wrote a treatise on anti-gravity, and advocated for radical market reforms. Apparently, he was not a hardliner. not even a Communist, ideologically. What everyone seems to overlook is that the 1957 Party Plenum was not about "Stalinists" vs "Liberals". it was collective leadership vs Khrushchev's one-man rule. Also, everyone gives Khrushchev too much credit for being "the liberal", though he was not. Anyone else in his place (maybe, except Kaganovich) would have done roughly the same things.
 
In terms of administration personnel, Knowland was very good friends with Earl Warren (despite Warren being much more liberal than Knowland was.) I don't know if Warren would be willing to give up being Governor of California for a Cabinet slot, but if so then he likely ends up as Attorney General.

On domestic policy there's probably a lot of continuity with the MacArthur Administration. The biggest difference will be that Knowland is much more hostile to organized labor than MacArthur is. IOTL when Knowland ran for Governor of California in 1958 he proposed a "Bill of Rights for California employees" that involved:

-electing union leaders by secret ballot
-giving union members the right to recall leaders
-preventing conspiracies between management and union officials
-protecting welfare and pension funds
-requiring union representation of all employees who desire membership (i.e. preventing unions for discriminating against racial minorities)
-providing union members with a voice in the conditions, terms, and duration of strikes
-preventing abitrary control over local unions by trustees appointed by national or international unions; and
-protecting union members from excessive union fees, assessments, and arbitrary actions

(The above list was taken from "One Step from the White House: The Rise and Fall of Senator William F. Knowland by Gayle Montgomery and James Johnson).

I would expect Knowland to pursue a similar "Worker's Bill of Rights" on the national level which will doubtlessly engender a major fight with organized labor.

(Knowland was also open to the idea of extending the anti-trust laws to include big unions, so we might see a push for that as well.)

Knowland is also likely to support civil rights legislation, and if Everett Dirksen becomes the Republican Senate Leader once Knowland is elected then he will have a capable legislative tactician to push for civil rights in the Senate. Still even with Dirksen as the Republican senate leader I don't know if the Republicans would be able to overcome the inevitable southern filibuster. IOTL Knowland was willing to kill the filibuster to get a meaningful civil rights bill passed but was outmaneuvered by LBJ. Dirksen is certainly a better legislative field general than Knowland was, but LBJ is one of the all time great legislative tacticians and Johnson's presidential ambitions mean he really can't afford to let the filibuster die (lest he lose all support in the south), so I doubt Knowland achieves much more than Eisenhower did IOTL on getting a civil rights bill with teeth passed.

Otherwise Knowland was a big believer in balanced budgets (early in his senate career he went against Robert Taft himself to kill a tax cut Taft wanted because Knowland felt it was more important to pay down the debt.) Thus I would expect him to be very parsimonious on federal spending. That's not much of a difference from OTL, but it does mean the economy is likely to be similarly sluggish to how it was IOTL which will make reelection in 1960 difficult.

On foreign policy, Knowland would continue MacArthur's focus on Asia. He didn't have much use for NATO. (IOTL he worked to kill Mutual Security Administration funding for Western Europe), and he considered the British to be "an unreliable ally." (He really didn't appreciate the British recognizing the communist Chinese government.) He Expect US-British relations to be fairly tense.

Knowland was extremely pro-Taiwan (he was known as the Senator for Formosa), so the US will have very cozy relations with the Republic of China during his presidency. (Indeed given the precedent MacArthur has already established with the US helping France develop nuclear weapons, it would not surprise me at all if Knowland helped Taiwan get nuclear weapons.) He will also likely be much more hawkish in defending Taiwan than Eisenhower was IOTL or even MacArthur was ITTL. (IOTL Knowland wanted to bomb China when they shelled Quemoy and Matsu. If there is a second Taiwan Straights crisis during his presidency, it is very likely the US ends up bombing the Chinese mainland.)

Knowland will probably be hostile to the communist government in Vietnam, though he did not like the idea of committing US ground troops to the region. (If there is any anti-communist rebels to Ho's government I would expect to see the US support them.) I would also expect a lot of US aid to Thailand as a bulwark against the Chinese and Vietnamese.

In the Middle East while Knowland disapproved of the British and French attack on Egypt, he also greatly disliked Nasser and made sure the Senate would not support funding the Aswan Dam. Knowland was also strongly pro-Israel. During the Suez Crisis when the Eisenhower Administration wanted the UN to sanction Israel to induce them to withdraw from Egyptian territory Knowland insisted that sanctions on Israel should only be passed if they were accompanied by sanctions on the Soviet Union over Hungary (which was clearly impossible.) Thus if something like the Suez Crisis still happens, Israel is likely to come under far less pressure from the US to withdraw from the Sinai then they did IOTL and might stay there much longer. (Which is likely to cause long term damage to US relations with the Arab world.)

Overall I agree with BNC's assessment that Knowland is likely to have a difficult presidency and while it's not impossible that he could win reelection in 1960, I think it's more likely than not that the Democratic candidate wins that year.
What's so unreasonable about Knowland's labour policies? I'd add a federal Right to work law.
 
In terms of administration personnel, Knowland was very good friends with Earl Warren (despite Warren being much more liberal than Knowland was.) I don't know if Warren would be willing to give up being Governor of California for a Cabinet slot, but if so then he likely ends up as Attorney General.

On domestic policy there's probably a lot of continuity with the MacArthur Administration. The biggest difference will be that Knowland is much more hostile to organized labor than MacArthur is. IOTL when Knowland ran for Governor of California in 1958 he proposed a "Bill of Rights for California employees" that involved:

-electing union leaders by secret ballot
-giving union members the right to recall leaders
-preventing conspiracies between management and union officials
-protecting welfare and pension funds
-requiring union representation of all employees who desire membership (i.e. preventing unions for discriminating against racial minorities)
-providing union members with a voice in the conditions, terms, and duration of strikes
-preventing abitrary control over local unions by trustees appointed by national or international unions; and
-protecting union members from excessive union fees, assessments, and arbitrary actions

(The above list was taken from "One Step from the White House: The Rise and Fall of Senator William F. Knowland by Gayle Montgomery and James Johnson).

I would expect Knowland to pursue a similar "Worker's Bill of Rights" on the national level which will doubtlessly engender a major fight with organized labor.

(Knowland was also open to the idea of extending the anti-trust laws to include big unions, so we might see a push for that as well.)

Knowland is also likely to support civil rights legislation, and if Everett Dirksen becomes the Republican Senate Leader once Knowland is elected then he will have a capable legislative tactician to push for civil rights in the Senate. Still even with Dirksen as the Republican senate leader I don't know if the Republicans would be able to overcome the inevitable southern filibuster. IOTL Knowland was willing to kill the filibuster to get a meaningful civil rights bill passed but was outmaneuvered by LBJ. Dirksen is certainly a better legislative field general than Knowland was, but LBJ is one of the all time great legislative tacticians and Johnson's presidential ambitions mean he really can't afford to let the filibuster die (lest he lose all support in the south), so I doubt Knowland achieves much more than Eisenhower did IOTL on getting a civil rights bill with teeth passed.

Otherwise Knowland was a big believer in balanced budgets (early in his senate career he went against Robert Taft himself to kill a tax cut Taft wanted because Knowland felt it was more important to pay down the debt.) Thus I would expect him to be very parsimonious on federal spending. That's not much of a difference from OTL, but it does mean the economy is likely to be similarly sluggish to how it was IOTL which will make reelection in 1960 difficult.

On foreign policy, Knowland would continue MacArthur's focus on Asia. He didn't have much use for NATO. (IOTL he worked to kill Mutual Security Administration funding for Western Europe), and he considered the British to be "an unreliable ally." (He really didn't appreciate the British recognizing the communist Chinese government.) He Expect US-British relations to be fairly tense.

Knowland was extremely pro-Taiwan (he was known as the Senator for Formosa), so the US will have very cozy relations with the Republic of China during his presidency. (Indeed given the precedent MacArthur has already established with the US helping France develop nuclear weapons, it would not surprise me at all if Knowland helped Taiwan get nuclear weapons.) He will also likely be much more hawkish in defending Taiwan than Eisenhower was IOTL or even MacArthur was ITTL. (IOTL Knowland wanted to bomb China when they shelled Quemoy and Matsu. If there is a second Taiwan Straights crisis during his presidency, it is very likely the US ends up bombing the Chinese mainland.)

Knowland will probably be hostile to the communist government in Vietnam, though he did not like the idea of committing US ground troops to the region. (If there is any anti-communist rebels to Ho's government I would expect to see the US support them.) I would also expect a lot of US aid to Thailand as a bulwark against the Chinese and Vietnamese.

In the Middle East while Knowland disapproved of the British and French attack on Egypt, he also greatly disliked Nasser and made sure the Senate would not support funding the Aswan Dam. Knowland was also strongly pro-Israel. During the Suez Crisis when the Eisenhower Administration wanted the UN to sanction Israel to induce them to withdraw from Egyptian territory Knowland insisted that sanctions on Israel should only be passed if they were accompanied by sanctions on the Soviet Union over Hungary (which was clearly impossible.) Thus if something like the Suez Crisis still happens, Israel is likely to come under far less pressure from the US to withdraw from the Sinai then they did IOTL and might stay there much longer. (Which is likely to cause long term damage to US relations with the Arab world.)

Overall I agree with BNC's assessment that Knowland is likely to have a difficult presidency and while it's not impossible that he could win reelection in 1960, I think it's more likely than not that the Democratic candidate wins that year.
Thanks for all that. Wow so interesting imaging a Kownland Presidency
 
How MacArthur will react to the Dutch-Indonesia dispute due to the Netherlands New Guinea? Or that the problem for the next president?
I'm of two minds here. On one side, he did speak highly of the newly independent Asian nations, of which Indonesia is one, while being critical of colonisers such as the Netherlands. On the other side, the Papuans weren't a part of the Indonesian revolution and Indonesia taking over, at this point, means military action. Plus siding with the Indonesians means alienating Europe even more than he already has when he was pushing for German unification and Vietnam's independence... while he didn't like what the Europeans were doing in Asia I doubt he wanted to abandon them as allies completely.
My guess here is that he tells Sukarno 'don't invade', and then once Sukarno takes it to the UN, Mac dumps the problem on Ike - who OTL abstained in all votes on the matter.

In terms of administration personnel, Knowland was very good friends with Earl Warren (despite Warren being much more liberal than Knowland was.) I don't know if Warren would be willing to give up being Governor of California for a Cabinet slot, but if so then he likely ends up as Attorney General.

On domestic policy there's probably a lot of continuity with the MacArthur Administration. The biggest difference will be that Knowland is much more hostile to organized labor than MacArthur is. IOTL when Knowland ran for Governor of California in 1958 he proposed a "Bill of Rights for California employees" that involved:

-electing union leaders by secret ballot
-giving union members the right to recall leaders
-preventing conspiracies between management and union officials
-protecting welfare and pension funds
-requiring union representation of all employees who desire membership (i.e. preventing unions for discriminating against racial minorities)
-providing union members with a voice in the conditions, terms, and duration of strikes
-preventing abitrary control over local unions by trustees appointed by national or international unions; and
-protecting union members from excessive union fees, assessments, and arbitrary actions

(The above list was taken from "One Step from the White House: The Rise and Fall of Senator William F. Knowland by Gayle Montgomery and James Johnson).

I would expect Knowland to pursue a similar "Worker's Bill of Rights" on the national level which will doubtlessly engender a major fight with organized labor.

(Knowland was also open to the idea of extending the anti-trust laws to include big unions, so we might see a push for that as well.)

Knowland is also likely to support civil rights legislation, and if Everett Dirksen becomes the Republican Senate Leader once Knowland is elected then he will have a capable legislative tactician to push for civil rights in the Senate. Still even with Dirksen as the Republican senate leader I don't know if the Republicans would be able to overcome the inevitable southern filibuster. IOTL Knowland was willing to kill the filibuster to get a meaningful civil rights bill passed but was outmaneuvered by LBJ. Dirksen is certainly a better legislative field general than Knowland was, but LBJ is one of the all time great legislative tacticians and Johnson's presidential ambitions mean he really can't afford to let the filibuster die (lest he lose all support in the south), so I doubt Knowland achieves much more than Eisenhower did IOTL on getting a civil rights bill with teeth passed.

Otherwise Knowland was a big believer in balanced budgets (early in his senate career he went against Robert Taft himself to kill a tax cut Taft wanted because Knowland felt it was more important to pay down the debt.) Thus I would expect him to be very parsimonious on federal spending. That's not much of a difference from OTL, but it does mean the economy is likely to be similarly sluggish to how it was IOTL which will make reelection in 1960 difficult.

On foreign policy, Knowland would continue MacArthur's focus on Asia. He didn't have much use for NATO. (IOTL he worked to kill Mutual Security Administration funding for Western Europe), and he considered the British to be "an unreliable ally." (He really didn't appreciate the British recognizing the communist Chinese government.) He Expect US-British relations to be fairly tense.

Knowland was extremely pro-Taiwan (he was known as the Senator for Formosa), so the US will have very cozy relations with the Republic of China during his presidency. (Indeed given the precedent MacArthur has already established with the US helping France develop nuclear weapons, it would not surprise me at all if Knowland helped Taiwan get nuclear weapons.) He will also likely be much more hawkish in defending Taiwan than Eisenhower was IOTL or even MacArthur was ITTL. (IOTL Knowland wanted to bomb China when they shelled Quemoy and Matsu. If there is a second Taiwan Straights crisis during his presidency, it is very likely the US ends up bombing the Chinese mainland.)

Knowland will probably be hostile to the communist government in Vietnam, though he did not like the idea of committing US ground troops to the region. (If there is any anti-communist rebels to Ho's government I would expect to see the US support them.) I would also expect a lot of US aid to Thailand as a bulwark against the Chinese and Vietnamese.

In the Middle East while Knowland disapproved of the British and French attack on Egypt, he also greatly disliked Nasser and made sure the Senate would not support funding the Aswan Dam. Knowland was also strongly pro-Israel. During the Suez Crisis when the Eisenhower Administration wanted the UN to sanction Israel to induce them to withdraw from Egyptian territory Knowland insisted that sanctions on Israel should only be passed if they were accompanied by sanctions on the Soviet Union over Hungary (which was clearly impossible.) Thus if something like the Suez Crisis still happens, Israel is likely to come under far less pressure from the US to withdraw from the Sinai then they did IOTL and might stay there much longer. (Which is likely to cause long term damage to US relations with the Arab world.)

Overall I agree with BNC's assessment that Knowland is likely to have a difficult presidency and while it's not impossible that he could win reelection in 1960, I think it's more likely than not that the Democratic candidate wins that year.
Great post!

What's so unreasonable about Knowland's labour policies? I'd add a federal Right to work law.
Think it is fair to say that labour will NOT like any proposal of a federal right-to-work law. So you might have answered your own question :)

Malenkov at the end of his life went through a religious conversion, wrote a treatise on anti-gravity, and advocated for radical market reforms. Apparently, he was not a hardliner. not even a Communist, ideologically. What everyone seems to overlook is that the 1957 Party Plenum was not about "Stalinists" vs "Liberals". it was collective leadership vs Khrushchev's one-man rule. Also, everyone gives Khrushchev too much credit for being "the liberal", though he was not. Anyone else in his place (maybe, except Kaganovich) would have done roughly the same things.
I find it extremely hard to believe that someone who at one point was leader of the Communist Party was "not even a Communist", makes me wonder if maybe Malenkov's later views had changed significantly from his earlier ones. I mean, George W Bush could barely hold down a job, lived off his father's money and was drunk all the time before his religious 'experience' (I don't know if conversion is really the right word), and after it he cleaned up his act (pretty much overnight if you believe his memoirs) well enough to become President. It's exactly the sort of thing that does radically change people's views.
Besides, even if Malenkov himself wasn't as hardline as I suggested earlier (fair to say you've likely studied him far more than I have), he's got two known hardliners as his number 2 and 3. I don't think that it is unreasonable to say that they will have some influence that may lead to a somewhat more hardline stance?

- BNC
 
Part VI, Chapter 43
CHAPTER 43

September 5, 1955


“This is Walter Cronkite, reporting from the Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ in Chicago, where the open-casket funeral and viewing of the body of fourteen year-old Emmett Till is now in its third day. As you can see from the crowds, Till’s murder last week has inspired thousands to come and pay their respects, recent counts estimating that more than fifty thousand have passed through these doors and there are no signs that the procession is slowing down. Till’s body was found last Wednesday having been beaten and shot before being dumped in the Tallahatchie River in Mississippi, and the brutality of this murder has sparked calls far and wide for change to racial laws in the South. President MacArthur campaigned on the issue of civil rights, but as yet there has been no word from either the President or any senior members of his administration...”

The Morning Show hadn’t long cut back to host Dave Garroway when the mood inside the church suddenly shifted. A rumour was spreading through the crowd that the President had arrived to pay his respects personally. If it was true, it would certainly have been a surprise: MacArthur’s usual approach to the press was to announce, with as much fanfare as possible, anything he planned to do long before he did it. The entire country had known that he was flying to Indonesia or to Bangkok long in advance of either conference. The same had been true in the 1954 midterms. If MacArthur wanted to go somewhere, he made sure you knew about it. Cronkite had covered several of the President’s speeches, including the 1952 Conventions, and he had not heard so much as one word about MacArthur coming to Chicago.
A moment later, he had no doubt that the rumours were true. At the back of the crowd, he could just see a faded ham-and-eggs cap that could only belong to one man. The people nearby were moving out of the way to let him pass. MacArthur had arrived.
One of the filming crew had noticed him as well, and was now on the phone to the studio. “Mac’s here at the funeral, nobody’s got any idea what he’s doing but whatever it is it’ll be the biggest story of the year.” Less than a minute later, the red light on the camera was on again.

“This is Walter Cronkite, still reporting from the Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ, where President MacArthur has just arrived to personally pay his respects to the late Emmett Till. His arrival here was completely unannounced, but it appears that the President has arrived here with the intention of making a statement on the topic of civil rights, as this is the first time since the campaigns in ‘52 where he has been seen wearing a military uniform in public.”
The guy behind the camera was making a signal to stop talking - MacArthur had made it to the front of the crowd, and whatever he did next, the show wanted it on air. MacArthur’s speeches always drew in huge ratings, and right now CBS was the only TV network with a camera in the church.
Then the President - or as he clearly wanted to be referred to in this moment, the General - stood silently in front of the casket, and saluted.

***

Since the defeat of his civil rights bill in 1953, MacArthur had been looking for another chance to make good on his election promise and deliver some real progress for the cause. The lobbyists had called on him to install a liberal justice to replace Vinson in 1953, and when he did not they accused him of missing an opportunity. Drew Pearson, always the most vocal of his critics, slammed his decision to nominate Chief Justice Phillips even after the unanimous verdict on Brown v Board, declaring the ruling’s statement too weak at protecting civil rights. Although MacArthur despised Pearson, the annoying journalist had been at least partly correct in his claim: more than a year after the court ruled segregated schools unconstitutional, less than a dozen black children were attending white schools in the South.
Brown, no matter what the lobbyists claimed, was not what MacArthur had been looking for. Intervening there would have meant politicising the courts, and any decision he forced upon it was one that would just by rolled back the next time the opposition was elected into office. So instead, he waited for the right time to come. While he waited, he allowed the Southerners to think that they had prevented desegregation for at least another four years, and concentrated on his other domestic priorities. Richard Russell might have voted ‘nay’ for the Labour Unions Act of 1954, but he hadn’t exactly stood in its way either. By the end of the 1955 Congressional session, everything that MacArthur wanted passed, and that Nixon said could be passed, had been passed. In all of his complaining, Drew Pearson never noticed MacArthur steadily weakening the South’s power: they had no more bills to hold hostage, no more elections where MacArthur could be thwarted. The only tool they had left was the filibuster. Defeating the filibuster meant getting sixty-five senators on his side, a tall order but a possible one. To get those senators, his best hope was a show of overwhelming public support, to light a fire in the country’s spirit and create a call for change.
Emmett Till provided the spark. The announcement of his death, the pictures of his mutilated body, the open-casket funeral had shocked the country and created the movement that MacArthur had been hoping for, but that was just the beginning. He wanted not just a movement, but an irresistible call to arms that only a personal statement could provide. To accomplish this, he decided not to appear as the President, who received approval ratings in the mid-seventies percent, but as the General whose approval, had it been calculated, would have been nearly unanimous. He told virtually no-one his plan, outside of the men who would accompany him to Chicago, Ned Almond who would handle Washington while he was gone, and Pat Echols who would ensure someone from the press would be at the funeral. His appearance was kept secret until the last moment to catch the country off guard. He took no speech with him. He didn’t need to. The mere act said it all.

***

When he returned to Washington that afternoon, he saw that the media storm he had touched off in Chicago had, in the words of one creative reporter, become a “media hurricane”. His salute was talked about on every radio station, printed in every paper fortunate enough to have a reporter in Chicago that morning, and had been played no fewer than six times on CBS’ news programs. Those papers and TV stations that could not show the salute directly made up for it with their commentary. Journalists rushed to greet the President when the Bataan III landed in the city, asking everything from what civil rights bill he planned to put to Congress next year to whether he knew he was dividing the country. At the impromptu press conference, he urged everyone who “believes in righting the wrongs of history, to write to your Senators and let them know how you feel”. When Richard Nixon met him in the White House, he remarked “Sir, you’ve just declared war on the South.”

Nixon soon found himself tasked with preventing the ‘war’ that he thought MacArthur was starting. While the President began campaigning on TV (and, less frequently, in person as well) for progress on civil rights as a way to further drum up support, it would fall to his Attorney General to draft the bill that would turn that public support into a law. The 1953 bill would serve as a starting point, for while the Southerners had filibustered it in the Senate, the House had passed it. It contained guarantees of voting rights including an end to literacy tests, banned segregation in public places and included an anti-lynching provision.
Even as he oversaw the writing of the bill, Nixon knew it had no hope of passing in its present state. MacArthur could fill every newspaper in the country with his speeches for the whole of the next year, but they weren’t just against the South. The conservatives of the Midwest, opposed to almost any increases in the federal government’s power, would fight it as well. Yet MacArthur remained insistent: the bill was not to be weakened while it remained on Nixon’s desk.

***

February 7, 1956

When Ned Almond informed Senator Richard Russell that the President was ready to see him, he was still surprised that he had received the invitation at all. Russell knew that he and MacArthur scarcely agreed on anything, and that the only people he ever welcomed into the Oval Office these days were the idiotic sycophants that made up the highest ranks of his government. The last person Russell could think of that had been invited to meet the President without their concerns going through Almond or Nixon or someone first was J Edgar Hoover, and that had ended in not just Hoover, but a good part of the FBI’s upper ranks, being thrown out of office. MacArthur couldn’t fire Russell - only the people of Georgia could do that - but he wasn’t sure this meeting was an honour he wanted.
Like it or not, only he could meet the President in this way. He was the leader of the Southern bloc in the Senate, he was the representative of the Southern way of life. Lyndon Johnson had been adamant: only he could put an end to MacArthur’s ceaseless attacks on the people of the South. MacArthur’s rhetoric was threatening to destroy the relationships that had been carefully built up between whites and blacks over the past decades, and if those were destroyed the only thing that could follow would be chaos. There had been violent incidents already even despite MacArthur’s insistence on achieving civil rights using peaceful methods - though thankfully none had grown out of control - but enough was enough.

“It is good to see you again, Mr President.” Russell said as MacArthur welcomed him into the Oval Office.
“Sit down.” MacArthur said, waving to one of the chairs in front of the Resolute Desk. “I do hope today’s meeting will resolve our disagreements on the civil rights issue.”
“So do I.” Russell said, as he unfolded a four page manifesto that had been prepared for this meeting. “Which is why I feel it would be best if I made the position of my constituents and that of a group of Congressmen clear from the very beginning. The ‘separate but equal’ philosophy, established by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Plessy v Ferguson in 1896, has allowed the black and white populations both to exist in harmony throughout the South. It has allowed for peace and prosperity, where there was once violence and tragedy, but it is built on a careful balance of interests. This balance has in recent months been endangered by the calls of liberals in the North. I ask you, Mr President, to please not endanger this balance any further.”
“Might I ask, Senator, what the South finds so uniquely important about Plessy that cannot then be applied to Brown?” MacArthur asked. Russell had no answer, and could only sit mute while MacArthur let the question hang. Finally, judging the Senator to have sat there uncomfortably long enough, he continued. “Never mind that. I should tell you, Senator, that I have heard all of your arguments before. That the people you represent would never accept particular laws. When I was in Japan, there were many times when a minister or official would come to me urging me to reconsider the stance that the occupation was taking on a matter. The people would never accept women being granted the right to vote, or that the great zaibatsu monopolies could not be broken up, or that the Emperor could not be stripped of his godhood without catastrophic backlash. Every one of them has been proven wrong, Senator. People can be much more accepting of change than you give them credit for.”
“That may have been true in Japan, Mr President, but society is very different in Georgia, or in Virginia, or in Texas, than it is in Japan.” Russell replied. “Japan has no Negroes. The South has millions. Besides, the South is just as much a part of this country as New York or Wisconsin,” he made sure to mention MacArthur’s home state to drive the point home. “You must realise that laws cannot be imposed on my state or the states of my fellow Senators the way you could impose changes on Japan.”
“I am well aware of the situation, Senator, and let me be very clear that I do not hope to impose anything on the South.” MacArthur said.
“I am sure a compromise could be worked out.” Russell offered.
“I seek nothing more.” MacArthur said, raising Russell’s hopes that the famously stubborn President might finally back down. “Indeed, the greatest laws to be made have been the result of compromises. However, it remains the unfortunate truth that the South has a history of negotiating compromises in bad faith when it comes to matters of civil rights. I do not say that it will happen in the future, only that it has happened in the past. I will be more than happy to come to the table if a Southern proposal, with real protections, is put forward. But,” he held up a hand that now held his famous pipe, “those protections must be real, and they must be enforced. The open defiance of the laws of this republic, what Senator Byrd has called ‘massive resistance’, must end, or I will have no choice but to take action.”
Russell was stunned. Would the President really order the Army into the South because some schools didn’t teach black kids? Then he looked at the picture on the President’s desk, of a man who had ordered the Army into the South. FDR’s description of the President, ‘the most dangerous man in America’, ran through his mind. “I believe you would,” he stammered.
“Then we have nothing more to discuss.” MacArthur said. “Good day, Senator. Do find a compromise.”

- BNC
 

bguy

Donor
What's so unreasonable about Knowland's labour policies? I'd add a federal Right to work law.

Knowland's workers bill of rights legislation is certainly passable. (A lot of what he proposed was included in OTL's 1959 Landrum-Griffin Act.)

The unions would fight tooth and nail though any attempt to subject them to anti-trust laws as that would pretty much cripple them.

And a federal right to work law is probably impossible to pass in the 1950s. Indeed by 1956 even getting more states to adopt such measures was proving exceeding difficult. (Something like 15 states became right to work from 1947 through 1955 but after that initial flurry from 1956 to 1975 the only additional state to become right to work was Wyoming.) And 1958 in particular was a really bad year for right to work laws and for the candidates that supported them as right to work measures went down to massive defeat that year in both California and Ohio and took Knowland and John Bricker (both of whom were strong supporters of the measures) down with them.

So while Knowland might very well push for a federal right to work law, I can't see him being able to get it passed.
 
A point I think is obvious and yet I never see made in discussions of the subject: Separate but equal. You got the selarate, where is the equal?

Can someone explain? It just seems like a flawless counter point. Sure it's not perfect but compared to complete segregation it's a step up. And more importantly, Dixie can't fight back. Just force the south to take on the equal part. Instead of ending literacy tests for votinf make it so whites need to take them too. Make it so segregated black-only schools need to have the same funding per student as white schools. The best part of this is that it locks the Dixie political establishment into complying. If they refuse then they are violating their sacred supreme court ruling.

By Mac's time that is a bit too late, but I am fascinated why it was never tried.
 
A point I think is obvious and yet I never see made in discussions of the subject: Separate but equal. You got the selarate, where is the equal?

Can someone explain? It just seems like a flawless counter point. Sure it's not perfect but compared to complete segregation it's a step up. And more importantly, Dixie can't fight back. Just force the south to take on the equal part. Instead of ending literacy tests for votinf make it so whites need to take them too. Make it so segregated black-only schools need to have the same funding per student as white schools. The best part of this is that it locks the Dixie political establishment into complying. If they refuse then they are violating their sacred supreme court ruling.

By Mac's time that is a bit too late, but I am fascinated why it was never tried.
The issue is that separate but equal enforces the idea that African Americans were “less than” the standard southerner. By continuing e but equal even when making it actually equal you’re continuing the status quo of racism. By keeping populations from basic communication and interaction-especially at the youth stage-you’re not going to be helping the situation at all.
 
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