Legacy: A No Watergate Scandal Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by victhemag, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. Threadmarks: Part 1: 1972-1974

    victhemag Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2017
    This is my first timeline that I'm writing on this website, so please go a bit easy on me :coldsweat:. That being said, this timeline will likely be pretty controversial. Nevertheless, please keep in mind it is just fiction and I would ask that people not take what I am writing as what 100% certainly would have occurred had the Watergate Scandal been averted. Without further ado, here is the timeline. Enjoy!
    Part 1

    Saturday, June 17th, 1972, 1:30 AM
    Security guard Frank Wills was having an easy night patrolling the Watergate Hotel. So safe was this hotel that he didn't even have to carry a gun, only a can of mace. While patrolling, he noticed duct tape on a door in the building. Assuming it was nothing, Wills took the tape off.

    1:40 AM (Point of Divergence)
    Noticing that the tape had been removed, the burglar did not even think about replacing the tape which was once on the door. "Someone had to have removed it," he thought. Knowing that replacing the tape would only increase the suspicion of whatever guard was in the building, the burglar wisely decides to not replace the tape, knowing that this could get the whole Nixon administration in trouble.

    1:50 AM
    Frank Wills patrols the same area, no tape is there. Wills continues his patrolling.

    3:00 AM
    The Watergate burglars successfully escape the hotel, having successfully repaired the wiretapping in the phones.

    November 7th, 1972
    Richard Nixon comfortably watches the election coverage, grinning, knowing that he has annihilated his opponent, George McGovern, in arguably the worst landslide in all of American history. Nixon smiles. He has potentially made history. He has secured another four years as president.

    January 20th, 1973
    Nixon is sworn in again, and gives his inaugural address.

    January 27th, 1973
    The landmark Paris Peace Accords are signed by the United States, North Vietnam, and South Vietnam. The accords see the end of US involvement in the war with ground troops and provides a formal end to the war in Vietnam, though many top government officials see the peace treaty as peace in name only. Nevertheless, the signing of the Paris Peace Accords sees an increase in President Nixon's approval ratings.

    Early 1973
    Baltimore county looks into potential corruption in the city of Baltimore. Evidence about tax evasion is found concerning current Vice President Spiro Agnew. This greatly worries Agnew.

    October 1973
    Large amounts of oil-exporting countries under OPEC embargo the United States, leading to a drastic decrease in the United States oil supply, starting a huge oil crisis. This crisis also leads to inflation.

    November 1973
    Under increasing pressure to resign in order to avoid smearing the Nixon administration, Spiro Agnew is forced to resign, is fined, and placed on probation.

    December 1973
    With Agnew gone, Nixon needs to choose a new Vice President. He is enthralled by John Connally, yet he knows for certain that he won't be able to push him through to Congress. The Democrats will be outraged at a man who left the party so recently in 1973 and will do everything in their power to prevent his nomination. The Republicans in Congress won't be crazy for letting a Vice President in who was oh so recently a Democrat. As much as Nixon likes the man, he understands he can't get him as Vice President. Nixon then settles for a pick which will make it through Congress: Gerald R. Ford.

    Early 1974
    Nixon works to get his healthcare plan, CHIP (Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan), passed through Congress. Nixon emphasizes how important healthcare is in the United States. He also appeals to the Conservatives through guaranteeing that the program will not lead to higher Federal taxes and does not make doctors accountable to the Government; it will make them more accountable to their patients, and help provide quality health care for every American. Nixon revises many parts of the original plan with Senator Ted Kennedy, with the bill receiving large amounts of Democratic support. The only vocal opposition to the plan comes from Conservatives, but only about 60% of them oppose the bill. The others are convinced by Nixon's assurance that the Healthcare plan does not entail another "Great Society" program. With this bipartisan support, CHIP makes it through Congress and is signed into law by President Nixon. Nixon proudly proclaims to the American public that health care has been made more affordable and more reliable than ever before.

    With the midterm elections nearing and the disaster of the First Oil Crisis just recently being over, Nixon decides to start campaigning. Nixon pours out all of his energy into campaigning for the midterms, as these midterms could decide the survival of South Vietnam and how much policy Nixon can push through Congress. Nixon campaigns across the United States in support of various GOP candidates in the election.

    August 10, 1974. Saigon, South Vietnam.
    The bustling commerce and transportation in Saigon was a sight to behold. Nguyen Van Thieu's appreciation of the city was something which had increased in the past couple of months. With the US aid rolling in, the ARVN had firmly held their ground against North Vietnam. Nixon's promise of air support in case of a Northern offensive allowed Thieu to sleep easy at night. It was not as relaxing a time, however, for Cambodian leader Lon Nol. The two leaders had decided to meet in Saigon that humid, muggy day. "You have no idea just how badly the Khmer Rouge is giving me a hard time. If it weren't for your government keeping anti-communism viable, they would have taken over the whole country, and only God knows what plans they could have in store for my country." Thieu sympathized with Nol. Just over six years earlier, guerrilla warfare was a major part of his country too, with the Viet Cong being a major threat. Thankfully, after the Tet Offensive and years more of war, they were no longer a threat to his country. But the Rouge was still alive and well in Nol's Cambodia. New atrocities the Khmer Rouge were committing came in every day, with no seeming humanity to the movement. "We need your help. We can't have the Rouge keep killing. Our army simply isn't getting better fast enough, even with the American aid. We won't be able to decisively defeat the Rouge for many years at this rate. I ask that you please give us some assistance from your strong ARVN. It would be greatly appreciated so that we could finally end the threat they pose." Thieu grimaced. "If I could, I would do that, but you have to understand that my Army, though strong, still needs to constantly defend itself from the NVA every single day. Though the Viet Cong isn't a problem any more, the NVA are, and I'd ask that you'd give me and my country some more time to recover and become functional without US ground troops. If I help you out right now, it could allow the North to attack and wipe out my country, all but ensuring both of our countries to Communist doom." Nol looked down, understanding Thieu's reasoning, but wishing something, anything could be done. "Once your country gets strong enough to stand on its own two feet, you will help me, right?" "Of course I will," Thieu replied. "But as it stands right now, the freedom of both of our countries may be determined by the fate of American democracy in two years. We can only hope and pray that America will elect a leader who will keep funding us. So long as Nixon is in power, the NVA will respect my country. But if we get a leader with different views, it may be game over for both of us." Nol and Thieu both looked out and admired the bustling city of Saigon, imagining the horrors which could occur if this free city was taken by the Communists. "I wish you luck, Thieu." "To you as well, Nol."

    November 5th, 1974
    Nixon had campaigned in many states for the GOP. Nixon did not want a Democrat-dominated Congress for the last years of his presidency. Such an occurrence would be a political nightmare. Agnew's crimes had certainly hurt the credibility of the GOP, though nothing it couldn't recover from. The oil crisis and high inflation had also led to less credibility among Republicans. Nixon had done his best to try and assure voters that Agnew's actions were not the norm for the GOP and tried his best to campaign for the party's candidates. Nixon had done his best. It was now up to the American voters. Nixon watched the election results with angst, looking to see which districts and states had lost senators and representatives. At the end of it all, Nixon breathed a sigh of relief. Though he knew that the Democrats would gain seats in this election, the seats gained were relatively low. Nixon's policy plans were not completely hopeless.

    End Results of Midterm Elections:
    House of Representatives: Democratic: 272 (+20); Republican: 163 (-10)
    Senate: Democratic: Democratic: 58 (+2); Republican: 40 (-2); Conservative: 1; Independent: 1;

    This would be a difficult Congress to navigate for Nixon, but navigating it wouldn't be impossible for Tricky Dick. Nixon went to sleep relieved that night, knowing that the elections hadn't produced something unworkable.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  2. Mark E. Well-Known Member

    Nov 11, 2007
    Forgottonia, USA
    What happens in 1975, when the US abandoned Vietnam?
    Ford is the heir apparent for the 1976 nomination. But as VP, he won't be depicted as clumsy and will likely avoid the big gaffe that killed him in the 1976 debates.
  3. victhemag Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2017
    It's only the first post, I will keep updating the timeline. Keep in mind ITTL without Watergate Nixon is able to keep the money, supplies, and air support flowing into South Vietnam, meaning that they are going to survive. The US only abandoned because of Nixon's resignation and the Democratic Landslide in the '74 midterm elections. Also, Ford isn't going to be the nominee, his dream job was Speaker of the House, not POTUS. I won't spoil too much though.
    trajen777 likes this.
  4. Kaiser Chris Emperor of the United States, Protector of Mexico

    Aug 3, 2016
    Republic of Texas
    I really like how this story started. So far it seems like even with the rise of stagflation and the oil crisis, Nixon will be remembered as one of the all-time greats who implemented many reforms within congress, and got America a "Peace with Honor" in Vietnam while maintaining a strong presence in other areas of the world. The GOP in the future will probably be a greater tent party, so the ideology of the party will change greatly depending on '76 and '80 and how Reagan does. No matter what, Nixonite Republicans will be a viable force for years to come.

    Will keep watching.
  5. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

    Jun 9, 2014
    During the Cambodian genocide from 1975 - ‘78, the really big numbers came from bong-ot, meaning starvation, active verb. The Khmer Rouge believed they could simply will a three-fold increase in rice production, and they exported rice to China based on this fiction. And if local commanders weren’t meeting rice quotas, or saying that they did, it was taken as automatic evidence of sabotage somewhere.

    China also has a lot to answer for, obviously. In ten years, January 2029 will mark the 50th anniversary of the end of the genocide, and might be enough time so that China can start being honest. Or, perhaps more realistically given human nature, it might take more time.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
    victhemag likes this.
  6. Threadmarks: Part 2: 1974-1976

    victhemag Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2017
    Part 2

    December 1974

    The high amount of inflation in the country, along with high unemployment and an overall worsening economy, leads President Nixon to start a campaign known as Whip Inflation Now (WIN). This campaign tries to get Americans to spend less and save their money more in order to combat inflation. Nixon goes on television to make an announcement. "My fellow Americans, today I come before you to announce a personal duty that every American has. The amount of inflation that this country is going through is catastrophic. Every American has a duty to, in this time, responsibly use their money. I urge you, please save your money and restrict your spending. We are going through a difficult time at this moment, and I appeal to every American to use their money responsibly. We will get through this difficult time; America must stand strong and united during these difficult economic times."

    Early 1975
    With the economy going from bad to worse, the recession has made history as the worst in American history since the Great Depression. Under increasing pressure from the economy, Nixon decides to try and enact some tax cuts in order to try and revitalize the economy. Nixon tries to push a moderate tax cut bill through to Congress, named the Revenue Adjustment Act. The bill also includes decent cuts in spending in order to try and curb inflation. Nixon uses his political capital in order to pass the bill through, emphasizing that the cuts in spending and taxes are moderate, not extreme, helping appeal to some of the Democrats. It gets through Congress, cutting both taxes and government spending significantly. Nixon proudly states that the American people can keep more of their own money, and that inflation will be curbed.

    May 1975
    Richard Nixon meets up with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and signs the SALT II agreements. These agreements see the United States and Soviet Union both agree to drastically reduce the number of new warheads produced by both the US and USSR, as well as banning new missile programs. SALT II is ratified by the US Congress, and Nixon's popularity receives a very large boost, which is much needed due to the disastrous state of the economy.

    June 1975
    Due to Nixon's diplomatic pressure and prowess, Israel and Egypt sign the Camp David Accords, with Israel agreeing to peace with Egypt and to withdraw from Sinai within five years. Nixon's approval ratings increase.

    July 1975
    With the situation getting more dire in the former Portuguese colony of Angola, Nixon manages to secure some funding for the anti-Communist forces in the country. Though it faces lots of Congressional opposition, Nixon manages to squeeze the funding through by a very slim margin using his political capital.

    Late 1975

    Unemployment decreases as the economy finally starts recovering from its major recession of the past two years. Inflation, however, remains an issue. Whip Inflation Now (WIN) has, so far, seemed to be a total failure.

    December 1975
    With the retirement of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, Nixon chooses a nominee for the Supreme Court: Paul Roney. Roney is approved by the Senate and becomes an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, replacing Douglas. Some in the United States are a bit worried, as Roney is significantly more conservative than the other potential nominees Nixon could have chosen, such as John Paul Stevens. Some worry this could greatly affect future important Supreme Court cases, as Nixon had quite recently nominated another conservative Justice, William Rehnquist.

    Early 1976
    The economy starts to rebound as the recession of the past two and a half years is finally over. Nixon receives some criticism over how he handled the economic recession. Nevertheless, though the economy is still weak, it is strong enough such that Republican performance in the 1976 elections will not be severely hampered, and Nixon remains popular due to his passing of CHIP, end to the Vietnam War, and signing of the SALT II agreements.

    January-February 1976
    With the presidential election being later that year, both the Democratic and Republican parties begin to hold their primaries. On the Democratic side, the big front runners are: Morris Udall, Henry Jackson, and George Wallace. Ted Kennedy, with Chappaquiddick being relatively recent, announces he will not run for the presidency in 1976. On the Republican side, the big front runners are: Ronald Reagan and John Connally. To many people's surprise, Gerald R. Ford announced that he would not seek the presidency, telling Nixon in private that his dream job was always Speaker of the House, not President. Nixon notices the state of the Republican primaries and really wants John Connally as the nominee. Nixon throws his support behind Connally in the nominations.

    March 1976
    As the Democratic primaries are in full swing, the candidates debate each other in the primaries. Morris Udall, a liberal within the Democratic party, criticizes Henry Jackson for his moderate to conservative viewpoints on certain issues, such as military and defense. Wallace's health is a major issue in the primaries, so much so that he is trailing third behind the two front-runners, Udall and Jackson. It was the battle between a Liberal and Conservative Democrat. Udall and Jackson competed, with Udall sweeping much of the West and Midwest, and Jackson taking a fair amount of the Northeast and South. However, George Wallace's popularity in the South would make it difficult for Jackson to win the South, and as a result, the Democratic nomination. Udall appeared to be in first place for the Democratic nomination, leading over Jackson by about 10%. On the GOP side, it becomes a battle between the hard-line conservative Ronald Reagan and Nixon-like moderate John Connally, who benefited greatly from Nixon's full support. Reagan, however, was able to defeat Connally in a vast majority of the primaries. Reagan's charisma and unfailing optimism was very appealing and reassuring to many, and stood in stark contrast to Connally's... well... lack of charisma. Reagan was ahead of Connally by over 15% in the primaries.

    July 1976
    The Democratic National Convention is held, and the Democratic nominee is selected. In the end, Morris Udall comes out on top, winning the Democratic nomination by over 15%. Udall chooses Jerry E. Brown, Governor of California, as his running mate.

    August 1976
    The Republican National Convention is held, and the Republican nominee is selected. In the end, Ronald Reagan comes out on top, winning the Republican nomination by about 20%. In order to appease the more moderate wing of the Republican party, Reagan nominates John Connally as his Vice President. Richard Nixon fully endorses Reagan and Connally. This helps the campaign, as it receives support from a relatively popular incumbent president.

    September 23, 1976
    The first presidential debate of the 1976 General Election is underway, with presidential candidates Ronald Reagan and Morris Udall debating in the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As the debate starts, the candidates greet each other and go to their podiums, as over 65 million people watch the debate on television. As the debate goes on, a question is posed to Ronald Reagan from Udall. He is asked, "Mr. Reagan, I'm concerned that you are far too conservative to be President, and many view you as a radical extremist. If you are elected, you are going to set our country back by over a century. How could you possibly hope to be elected with your extremist viewpoints?" Reagan smiles, responding, "Well, Mr. Udall, I doubt that the average, hardworking American views my ideas as radical. My ideas which allow more hardworking Americans to keep more of their money, my ideas which ensure support for valuable allies against the global struggle against Communism, and my ideas which scale back the current government welfare spending in order to strengthen the economy, are ideas which I am certain that the majority of Americans wholeheartedly agree with. So, no, Mr. Udall, I am not a radical, I have important ideas which I am certain will be accepted by the majority of hardworking freedom-loving Americans." At the end of the debate, the polls had a 10% increase for Ronald Reagan.

    October 6, 1976
    The second presidential debate is underway, with Reagan and Udall debating in the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, California. As the second debate goes on, the candidates talk back and forth, arguing about the economy, social issues, and domestic policy. The question of what to do in Indochina comes up in the debate. Morris Udall, being strongly opposed to the Vietnam War when it was ongoing, stated, "South Vietnam's funding must go. The corrupt government which we have propped up does nothing but prevent stability from being achieved in the region. When elected president, I would make sure that our new budget would not give a single penny to the corrupt government which we have supported for too long." Reagan was slightly taken aback, and responded, "Mr. Udall, I find your viewpoint very dangerous. South Vietnam is a critical United States ally whose efforts have prevented the fall of all of Indochina to Communism. Defunding the government could lead to terrible instability and terror in the region, not to mention it would also ensure that the thousands of American lives lost in the Vietnam War would all be in vain. When elected president, I would ensure the survival of our crucial allies against the terrible evil of Communism through continued funding, funding of countries such as South Vietnam and South Korea. Mr. Udall, the freedom of the world is at stake here in the fight against global Communism, and if you can not see the danger, then I am sincerely worried for the future of the free world." After the second debate, support for Udall drops tremendously in the American South, which was disgusted by his comments about Vietnam.

    October 15, 1976
    John Connally and Jerry Brown debate in the Vice Presidential debate. Connally and Brown debate over the economy, environmental protections, and foreign policy. The Vice Presidential debate does not have a major impact on the campaigns of either candidate.

    October 22, 1976
    The final US presidential debate between Morris Udall and Ronald Reagan takes place in Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall, in Williamsburg, Virginia. Though the polls were in favor of Reagan by a decent margin, a strong showing in the third debate could make Udall a very competitive candidate. As the debate goes on, economic issues come up frequently. When the candidates are asked what their economic policies would entail, Udall replies with, "Large amounts of government spending in order to try and look into alternative energy is a good place to start. Keeping the government in the economy through higher taxes on the rich, as well as higher government spending will spur economic growth in this country, whilst helping the poor." Reagan replies, stating, "Mr. Udall, taxes need to be slashed, making it more fair for everyone. Hardworking Americans deserve to keep more of the money which they have rightfully earned. Cutting government spending and government intervention in the economy will help prevent deficits and curb the problem of inflation which is the biggest economic issue of our time. The best way to help the poor, Mr. Udall, is to give them jobs, and that will come through less government regulations and interventions in the economy." At the end of the third debate, neither candidate received more support, as many viewed Reagan's economic policies as too extreme, but Udall did not defend the validity of his economic beliefs as well as Reagan did.

    October 30, 1976. Saigon, South Vietnam. Local Time: 9:00 PM.
    Nguyen Van Thieu had been losing sleep. What would occur in the next few days could determine the fate of his country. "Why'd you invite me here, Thieu?" asked Lon Nol. Thieu looked out towards the bustling metropolis of his capital city, which had grown substantially in the past two years despite large problems with inflation, thanks large in part to massive American investment and aid. "I invited you here," replied Thieu, "to see the fate of our countries firsthand." Nol was confused. "What are you saying, Thieu? I'm confused." "The American presidential election is in a couple of days. Who the American people choose to elect could determine whether our countries survive or not," Thieu elaborated. "But your army, they've gotten much better, haven't they, and your economy, hasn't it recovered from the effects of the First Oil Crisis?" Nol probed. "I don't know for sure. But one thing is for sure. If the wrong candidate wins, things will get much more difficult, very quickly, for both of us. My army is still heavily dependent upon American aid. Though it's diminished significantly due to the economy getting somewhat better, it can't be denied that American aid is still very substantial for the ARVN." "But my army, my military, the just side, we're making advancements against the Khmer Rouge! Surely America will see that and understand how important this fight is!" Thieu frowned. "You're very optimistic, Nol. But the reality is that American politics are a very complex and intricate labyrinth. If the wrong candidate gets elected, both of our countries will likely get defunded." "And if the right candidate wins?" "Then we'll keep getting funded. Another four years may be enough for the ARVN to be self-sufficient, though I can't predict the future. A lot of it will depend on just how much my country's economy will grow and if we'll ever be able to get out of this hyperinflation. I'll definitely need to maximize the growth if I want to increase the chances of self-sufficiency. I'll definitely have to talk to Park Chung-Hee a whole lot. If he could turn South Korea from the poor backwater into where it is right now in such a short amount of time, it definitely wouldn't hurt to talk to him." "But your economy has been growing, right?" asked Nol. "It has, yes, and quite significantly in the past two years with relative peace. But the effects from the First Oil Crisis are definitely still felt, and having it grow at an even faster speed would of course be better. I definitely think some advice and guidance from Park could help optimize the growth." "So, are we just going to wait until the American election results arrive?" asked Nol. "Well, you're invited to stay here and get the results at the same time I do," replied Thieu, "and if it comes up that our countries are in for a difficult time ahead, we can plan accordingly. For now let's hope, and let's pray that the election produces favorable results." Thieu and Nol both looked out and admired the city of Saigon. Thieu remembered what the city had looked like over 8 years earlier. The city had grown, developed, and modernized so much in just a few years. The thought of it all being lost-it was almost enough to bring Thieu to tears. After a couple minutes, Nol replied, "I'll stay here for a couple of days, at least until we get the election results. I hope that our countries will have hope for the future."

    November 2, 1976
    Richard Nixon and the American Public were both watching the election results. The final results of the presidential election are:
    Ronald Reagan: 380 Electoral Votes
    Morris Udall: 157 Electoral Votes
    Popular Vote:
    Ronald Reagan: 50.2%
    Morris Udall: 48.3%
    Nixon and Reagan both smiled watching the election coverage. Udall had alienated many of the Southern voters due to his stance on Vietnam, and the price had been paid. The GOP had secured four more years of the presidency. In Congress, the GOP also made large gains, with a net pickup of about 12 seats in the House, and 10 seats in the Senate, giving a Republican Senate.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
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  7. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

    Jun 9, 2014
    The Khmer Rouge was a rag tag bunch. Only the fact that the government of Cambodia was so weak and unpopular were they able to take power.

    Plus, that the hills people were a different ethnic group, and this ethnic group basically became the Khmer Rouge (the ones who didn't slip across the border to Vietnam to escape military service). And plus, it was in a large part a situation of teenagers with moral fervor and guns, the danger and fighting ability of which should not be underestimated one iota.


    PS I welcome the fact that Lon Nol is as good a man, and as active and engaged a man, as your timeline is turning out.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  8. Amadeus Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2017
    One assumes that Reagan is done for in 1980. Even his personal charisma won't be enough to overcome a poor economy and incumbency fatigue.
    creighton and GeographyDude like this.
  9. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

    Jun 9, 2014
    maybe he's able to effect a peaceful transition of power in Iran, and we avoid a doubling of the price of oil in 1979
  10. Seandineen Member

    Oct 20, 2005
    Nol was the smartest of the anti communist rulers in South east asia. the Khmer Rouge, manipulated a lot of underprivileged still loyal to sihanouk. I would love to have seen savatta phouma the laos prime minister as well,.
  11. Justinianus Banned

    Nov 21, 2018
    I don't know... ITTL the economy, while weak, seems to be improving in 1976. If Reagan can continue this and avoid Carter's worst gaffs, I think he could win in '80, but it'll be a very close win.

    Now in '84? That'll likely be the Democrats' year.
    trajen777 likes this.
  12. Seandineen Member

    Oct 20, 2005
    Perhaps survival for Abel muzorewas partnership with Ian Smith.
  13. victhemag Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2017
    I was probably unclear in the timeline, but ITTL the economy is basically the same as IOTL, as there was a recession IOTL 1973-75 which recovered before the 1976 election, same as ITTL.
  14. Electric Monk Does Your Believing For You

    Jun 16, 2005
    Capital Regional District
    Mo Udall would probably pick a New South running mate, if not he’d pick a Northern Catholic—moderate to conservative in both cases. Jerry Brown is only on the ticket if he wins the nomination.

    And the American South won’t be disgusted by some debate performance and remarks about Viet Nam (because they don’t change people’s minds much, for starters)—they won’t vote for Udall because
    a) non-southerner
    b) not racist
    c) liberal
    d) Mormon​
  15. Justinianus Banned

    Nov 21, 2018
    Then what caused the economic problems during the Carter years?
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  16. victhemag Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2017
    1979 Oil Crisis and ever-present inflation made Jimmy Carter's latter years have a worse economy. I probably explained poorly again, but you're correct- the economy was definitely weak throughout the whole 1970s, but it was noticeably worse in 1973-75 and during the end of Jimmy Carter's presidency.
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  17. Justinianus Banned

    Nov 21, 2018
    Wasn't that caused by the Iranian Revolution? If Reagan can help Iran transition into a moderate government friendly to the US, then the Oil Crisis wouldn't happen, plus he wouldn't have the Embassy Crisis as a black stain. With all this combined with the rest of his first term being good, I find it hard that he wouldn't win in '80.
  18. victhemag Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2017
    I won't spoil what will happen in the timeline but Iran will definitely come up in the next timeline post. I'm sorry it's taking long, but the late 1970's are very, very difficult to predict in this TL, so it's taking longer for me to write. :coldsweat:
  19. Justinianus Banned

    Nov 21, 2018
    Let me guess: The Iranian Revolution causes WWIII?!:evilsmile:
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  20. Threadmarks: Part 3: 1976-1978

    victhemag Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2017
    Part 3

    November 3rd, 1976. Hanoi, North Vietnam.
    Le Duan was furious. So mad was he, in fact, that the other members of the North Vietnamese leadership in the meeting with him were quite afraid. "When is the soonest that we can reunify the country? With this idiot in power in America, can it still be done soon?" Duan asked, enraged. The other members of the North Vietnamese leadership who had prior advocated for rebuilding the country before attempting to invade again bowed their heads in silence. "Well? SOMEBODY ANSWER ME!" Duan screamed at the top of his lungs, absolutely furious. The North Vietnamese leadership trembled. A few seconds later, Pham Van Dong replied timidly, "W-well sir, it simply won't be possible. E-e-especially with this new American president. He is more insane than Nixon ever was. If we try to invade the South again, even assuming we succeed, he may just nuclear bomb Hanoi and destroy our entire country. Not to mention, China is getting more reluctant on the funding, and aid from the Soviets is decreasing due to the Chinese excise taxes. We've been getting far less aid from China than previously, and they are nowhere near as fond of us as they used to be. Y-y-you know very well I've advocated for rebuilding the country for several years now and not launching another major offensive. Sir, if we rebuild and allow our country to grow and become stronger through Communism, then we could very well retake the South in ten years after the Communist policies strengthen our country. If we invade now, it could be the death of our whole country. If we rebuild however, we could become far more glorious and powerful than the South will ever be, and unify and liberate the people there in ten years, by which time the American president will almost certainly be less insane. S-sir, I ask that you please consider this. It's our best option right now if we want to survive." Duan heard it all, agreeing with Dong, but hating that the American puppet in the South would be allowed to exist for many more years. Duan angrily screamed and slammed his fist on the meeting table, breathing heavily. "Dong is correct." Duan paused. "From now on, place the focus on internally rebuilding and growing our glorious state. In ten years, the puppet government of Saigon will be wiped off of the map. First, however, we need to get stronger. Draft a second five-year-plan, and I will undertake it by the end of this year."

    January 20th, 1977
    Ronald Reagan is sworn in as president and gives his inaugural address. In his inaugural address, Reagan places a major emphasis on "peace through strength", emphasizing how America must perform its duty of preserving freedom in the world.

    February 1977
    As an early and important campaign in his presidency, Reagan outlines his economic plans in order to stop rampant inflation and the economic malaise. Reagan advocates for: Lowering taxes, cutting government spending (with the exception of defense), deregulation, and a tightened money supply. Reagan has the necessary support in Congress and charisma to pull virtually all of these off, with the last one being the only one potentially problematic, as Arthur Burns (the current Federal Reserve Chairman) has a knack for printing more money, as seen in the Nixon administration. Reagan's major supply-side economic policies are dubbed "Reaganomics." Reagan goes on television, outlining the specific economic plans which he is proposing, with a strong emphasis on tax cuts, emphasizing how much money the average, hard-working American will save with less taxes. More Americans start to sympathize with Reagan's economic viewpoints.

    March 17th, 1977. Saigon, South Vietnam.
    Ronald Reagan meets South Vietnamese president Nguyen Van Thieu in the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon, with the objective of discussing future funding and combat operations in Indochina. Reagan meets Thieu in Independence Palace and shakes his hand. Reagan wastes no time and gets right to the point. "Mr. Thieu, I would like to let you know right away that I will do everything in my power to ensure that your country will receive as much funding from the United States government as possible. If you and I can agree on major military operations to better secure your country's power in the region, I will support your country wholeheartedly, providing air support, and if necessary, ground troops. I would rather see Washington D.C. occupied by the Soviets than Saigon occupied by North Vietnam, Mr. Thieu. Under my watch, you have my word that your country will receive as much unconditional support as possible." Thieu was taken aback. "Wonderful!" exclaimed Thieu, feeling as if what he was hearing was too good to be true. "Now then," continued Reagan, "what is the current state of your country and its surrounding areas, and what do you suggest could be done to improve the situation?" "Well sir, the ARVN is receiving sufficient funding from your government, the absolute most important aspect is that your government continues this funding. If the funds are cut drastically, the results could be disastrous." "What if I increase your funding by about 300 million dollars?" Thieu was again taken aback. "With that much more funding, the ARVN would be able to become almost unstoppable, and almost completely self-sufficient by the end of your first term. I suspect with that much funding over a couple of years, the ARVN would be able to all but eliminate Communist influence, not just in South Vietnam, but also in neighboring Cambodia and Laos." "Well then, Mr. Thieu, I will work to ensure that you receive much more funding than currently. What else is occurring in your country?" "Well," replied Thieu, "I would ask that you devote a sizable chunk of that extra funding money to neighboring Cambodia, they're dealing with a nasty Civil War against the Khmer Rouge, and I can honestly say that they may be even more ruthless than the North Vietnamese." "Very well. It can be done," replied Reagan, "Is there anything else whatsoever?" Thieu had been wanting to go on the offensive against North Vietnam for many months now, but he simply didn't know if the ARVN had the capabilities to do so. With the extra funding and unconditional support from Reagan, Thieu no longer questioned it. "You see," replied Thieu, "ever since the 1972 Easter Offensive, the PAVN has had control of many regions of the country which make us far more vulnerable to a future attack by the PAVN as well as significantly hampering our economic growth potential. I would ask that, with your support, we retake these regions, of course after your funding increases take effect." Reagan contemplated. "I think we should wait one year to do so. You see, I am planning to rapidly expand the United States military capability to make it an absolutely devastating and lethal force which can respond to virtually any threat worldwide. In one year, our military and our air support for you will have grown stronger, though not to its fullest potential. Do you think one year would be a significant time for your army to get stronger?" "Almost certainly, provided that I do have the necessary funding increases from your government in order to make it possible." Reagan smiled. "Well then, Mr. Thieu, I will be contacting you again in 10 months in order to determine how your army's quality is progressing. In the meantime, I would recommend planning out this offensive to perfection in the time we have." Thieu nodded. "Nice talking to you, Mr. President," said Thieu. "To you as well, Mr. Thieu."

    March 26th, 1977. Seoul, South Korea.
    Nguyen Van Thieu shivered as he entered the Blue House. "Welcome, Mr. Thieu. What was it you wanted to discuss with me?" asked Park Chung-Hee. "Thank you for agreeing to listen to me, Park. I need some advice. My country is still dealing with the effects of the First Oil Crisis and very high inflation, and I would like to make it grow as fast as possible and stop the inflation. You've pulled off a miracle with the country that I'm in right now. I'd like to ask you what I can do so that the same happens to my country." Park chuckled. "It's actually quite simple, Thieu. Market reforms. Market reforms all the way. Open up the country, remove protectionism in large parts if it still exists in your country. With a country your size, place a major focus on exports. It'll probably be where most of your growth will come from. Getting closer to Japan will help, so you could have a major export market. With your huge population, you could be a huge outsourcing base for manufacturing. In addition, the funding the US gives you could very easily be used for public works projects, such as highways, schools, and more development projects. Heck, with the amount of money you are getting from America, it's likely that you could develop at over double the speed of my country, that is once you get past the inflation issue." Thieu sighed. "Times are really difficult for my country right now. I worry every day that the American funding will stop and put me in a terribly difficult situation. If I could ever get to the development of your country, Park, I'd be safe." Park sympathized. "I've given you my advice. I suggest that you follow it and undertake market reforms. They will go a very, very long way. Again, the amount of foreign investment will be almost unprecedented. Also, don't forget to make use of the economic advisers the United States is sending you. If you take the right steps, you'll probably pass my country within a decade!" Thieu now had a plan to develop South Vietnam. "Thank you very much, Park." "Anytime, Thieu."

    April 1977
    Ronald Reagan pushes the Economic Recovery Tax Act through Congress. Reagan uses his political capital to get this major tax-cut bill approved by Congress. On April 25, 1977, Reagan signs the Economic Recovery Tax Act, greatly reducing the amount of income tax certain individuals need to pay (the top tax bracket is lowered from 70% to 50%), along with massive corporate tax cuts. Reagan is ecstatic that this major tax bill was able to get through Congress, and will attempt to pass more tax legislation in the future, as well as deregulation and spending cut bills. Meanwhile, in South Vietnam, President Thieu begins to undertake major market reforms.

    May 1977
    Deregulation bills and initiatives start to make their way through Congress with relative ease, thanks in no small part to Reagan's major support of the Bills and the Republican Senate. As easing of regulatory policies in various industries begin to get through Congress and end up getting signed by the President, concerns arise among some Americans that the wealthy will end up getting too powerful and rich. Many also fear that big businesses will be able to take advantage of employees due to deregulation. Nevertheless, with the economy remaining at about the same levels, support for Reagan remains relatively high.

    June 1977
    Reagan, having an utmost priority to stop the rampant inflation, has a meeting with Arthur Burns, the Federal Reserve Chairman. Reagan urges Burns to stick to a contractionary monetary policy, at times often pleading to Burns. Burns acquiesces in large part to Reagan's requests, and agrees to print far less money than previously in order to curb inflation. Reagan begins to push to cut the budgets and funding for many different government agencies, such as the Department of Housing and Department of Transportation, with plans to begin slashing the budget of other government agencies in the next four years. As all four of Reagan's economic policies of "Reaganomics" are beginning to be put into place, America's economy will soon begin to see the effects of a changing economy. At the same time, funding for South Vietnam increases by over $250 million, with Cambodia also getting an extra $50 million. Simultaneously, defense spending begins to increase rapidly, as Reagan pushes for major military reforms and defense spending increases in order to ensure that America will be able to respond decisively to any major problems throughout the world. The US military begins to improve, with Reagan wanting to have a completely devastating and lethal American military by the end of his presidential term.

    August 1977
    Inflation begins to drop rapidly due to Reagan's pressuring of Burns to enact a contractionary monetary policy. However, despite the fact that the major problem of inflation is getting much better, a recession is starting in the United States. Many critics of the President claim that he "got rid of inflation with complete disregard to the other factors of economic health." As unemployment begins to rise and the economy starts to get worse, Reagan's approval ratings begin to decrease.

    October 1977
    The economy goes from bad to worse as unemployment continues to increase, though inflation continues to rapidly decrease. As the recession gets more severe and more and more people find themselves out of work, Reagan's approval ratings plummet. Many criticize the president, claiming that Reaganomics is a colossal blunder and failure, hurting the economy. Reagan attempts to appease the public by assuring that the recession, though painful, is only temporary, and that "America will emerge out of this short, difficult time stronger than ever, with a solid foundation for long-lasting economic growth and prosperity." Reagan's assurances do help quell the sentiment slightly, but as the recession keeps continuing with no seeming end in sight, many brand Reagan as a "dirty liar."

    November 1977
    Under tremendous political pressure by Reagan to keep a tight monetary policy during the recession, Fed Chairman Arthur Burns retires. Reagan quickly appoints a new nominee, Alan Greenspan. Reagan pushes Greenspan towards a contractionary monetary policy almost immediately. Greenspan complies, much more willingly than Burns. Inflation continues to drop as unemployment remains an issue. The United States military has improved tremendously in the amount of time Reagan has been in office so far.

    December 1977
    Unemployment continues to increase as Reagan's approval ratings plummet. Reagan pushes for more tax and public spending cuts as the recession goes deeper. In Cambodia, the Khmer Republic's army makes significant gains against the Khmer Rouge in the countryside, severely weakening the Rouge's power.

    January 1978
    Protests begin to erupt against Reza Shah Pahlavi in Iran after a newspaper article is printed which denounces Ayatollah Khomeini, a popular religious leader. The Shah brutally suppresses the protests by firing upon the unarmed protestors, leading to about 70 deaths. In Nicaragua, large-scale riots erupt after the Somoza dictatorship is suspected to have killed a newspaper editor. The riots severely disrupt a huge amount of businesses in the country. In South Vietnam, Nguyen Van Thieu undertakes a massive public works project, including the development of highways, schools, and better infrastructure, using the funding given by the United States government. South Vietnam's inflation drops and the economy grows faster thanks to Thieu's market reforms and the immense volume of foreign investment, including a select few American corporations who have expanded to the area. Reagan meets Thieu in Saigon and discusses the plans for South Vietnam's planned offensive in two months. Reagan asks how the ARVN has been faring with the increased funding. With a smile, Thieu replies, "it is more dangerous than ever before." Reagan smiles back, responding, "in two months, your country will be more powerful than ever before."

    February 1978
    In response to the brutal suppression of the January protests in Iran, protests begin to arise in various cities across Iran. The Shah again brutally suppresses the protests through firing upon the protestors, leading to about 100 deaths. Unemployment continues to increase in America.

    March 1978
    In a stunning sequence of events, the South Vietnamese armed forces, backed by the full power of American Air Support, break through North Vietnamese occupied territories, beginning to retake the territories lost in swift, American-style offensives. Full American air support, combined with lethal ARVN attacks, annihilates the poorly-equipped PAVN as the ARVN advances through the country and begins to retake Quảng Trị, Thừa Thiên, Quảng Nam, and Quảng Tín, all four of the provinces lost in the 1972 Easter Offensive. The ARVN's lethality and effectiveness is demonstrated as the world sees South Vietnam's major offensives and their successes. Though not much land is taken in the first two weeks due to PAVN defense, reinforcements, and large counterattacks, the ARVN's superiority and strength over the PAVN is clearly seen as the PAVN's counterattacks are quickly demolished by the improved ARVN and American air support. This offensive is dubbed by the media as the "Saint Patrick's Day Offensive", as it began on March 17th.

    April 1978
    The ARVN and South Vietnamese forces take control of much of Quảng Trị, Thừa Thiên, Quảng Nam, and Quảng Tín after destroying much of the PAVN. The PAVN rapidly retreats in disarray as the ARVN and American Air Force keep taking city after city in the offensive.

    May 1978
    South Vietnam gains full control of all territory lost in the 1972 Easter Offensive as the Saint Patrick's Day Offensive comes to an end near the end of May. The resounding success for South Vietnam leads to a very large increase (25%) in Ronald Reagan's approval ratings in America, much needed due to the recession. Thieu begins to expand the public works projects to the newly gained territories in South Vietnam. In Iran, demonstrations against the Shah take place in various cities. One of Ayatollah Kazem Shariatmadari's followers is murdered by forces loyal to the Shah. The influential Ayatollah joins the opposition towards the Shah.

    June 1978
    Infuriated by the resounding success of the Saint Patrick's Day Offensive and almost total annihilation of the PAVN, Le Duan insists that the details of the five-year-plan for rebuilding be done by the next month. Due to worsening protests and unrest in Iran, the head of SAVAK, Nematollah Nasiri, is replaced by Nasser Moghadam. Protests lessen in Iran this month due to Ayatollah Shariatmadari's calls to observe the 40th day anniversary of demonstration deaths in mosques, not in public. Inflation also drops in Iran, helping the protest situation be less severe.

    July 1978
    Le Duan and the North Vietnamese leadership begin to implement the Second Five-Year-Plan, which sets very high expectations for industrial and agricultural growth, with plans for reconstruction and developing agricultural resources. In South Vietnam, the whole country, including the newly taken territories, continues developing due to Thieu's use of large American aid for development, along with Thieu's major market reforms. In Cambodia, Nol's army, with increased American funding, undertakes successful offensives against the Khmer Rouge. In America, the recession continues.

    August 1978
    The Shah of Iran announces that free elections will take place in Iran. The Cinema Rex fire occurs in Abadan, greatly adding fuel to the protests. Jamshid Amouzegar is replaced as Prime Minister by Jafar Sharif-Emami, who undoes some of the policies of the Shah which had prior caused much anger and resentment, such as the imperial calendar. In Nicaragua, the Sandinistas take government leaders hostage, holding them for a ransom of $500,000 and the release of several Sandinistas. The Nicaraguan government acquiesces to the Sandinista demands. Ronald Reagan pushes Congress to fund the Somoza Regime with large amounts of money in order to combat the FSLN. Congress accepts the proposal. In terms of US economy, unemployment continues to increase while inflation decreases as the recession continues.

    September 1978
    The Shah of Iran declares martial law in the country as the military uses force to quell the protests, resulting in "Black Friday" on September 8th, in which the protesters in Jaleh Square are fired upon. The massacre greatly increases revolutionary sentiment in the country. Reagan begins to campaign in key states and districts for the upcoming United States midterm elections.

    October 2nd, 1978. Tehran, Iran.
    Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was quite worried. The unrest in his country was reaching levels which were unprecedented. "Hopefully", he thought, "President Reagan will help me out somehow." The Shah was about to find out. Reagan had arrived in Iran the night before to discuss the situation. "Greetings, Mr. Pahlavi," greeted Reagan. "Greetings, Mr. President," replied the Shah. "The situation in your country is dire," said Reagan. "I would like to ask if there is anything I could possibly do to help you quell the disastrous situation. You are one of our greatest allies in the Middle East and in the world, and we would like to keep you in power. Not to mention, there are Communist elements within your protesters, and I would never allow your country to fall to Communism and give the Soviets a valuable ally. Please let me know what can be done. You know very well that my administration has increased the number of weapons sold to you in the past few years, and we will continue selling lots more to you, but is there anything else that can be done?" The Shah smiled. Exactly what he needed to hear. "What would help, Mr. President, would be some assistance from the American military. Large amounts of American troops on the ground will deter my people from undertaking destructive, violent actions. Every single person on the world fears the United States after the Saint Patrick's Day Offensive. My people would be so fearful of American troops that they probably wouldn't even protest once you sent them." Reagan smirked. "Mr. Pahlavi," Reagan started, "I would be able to send many divisions from the US Army to your country to bring order." Reagan paused, looking down. "However, I would require that you stop opening fire upon your own citizens who are peacefully protesting, as I know you did in the Jaleh Square massacre." Reagan said, glaring at the Shah. The Shah replied timidly, "I will do as you ask, but please send your troops. I need order in my country, and as of right now, you are my last hope." "Thousands of United States Army soldiers will arrive in your country by next month, but you must uphold your end of the deal, Mr. Pahlavi." "So long as your troops arrive, you have my word."

    October 10th, 1978
    A prominent Iranian religious leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, takes up residence in France, garnering attention from journalists all over the world.

    October 16th, 1978
    Strikes in Iran cripple virtually all schools, post offices, government ministries, newspapers, oil installations, and universities.

    November 4th, 1978
    Riots occur in Iran which destroy thousands of banks, shops, restaurants, and other public buildings. Current Iranian Prime Minister Sharif-Emami resigns.

    November 5th, 1978
    The Shah goes on television announcing to Iran promising to not repeat past mistakes and make amends, yet he also explains that criminals who threaten order will be dealt with accordingly by the incoming United States soldiers.

    November 6th, 1978
    General Gholam Reza Pahlavi is appointed as the Prime Minister of Iran.

    November 7th, 1978
    The midterm elections take place in the United States. Due to the recession, Reagan expects a significant Democratic gain, though the resounding success of the Saint Patrick's Day Offensive will surely lessen the Democratic gains. The final results of the elections are:
    House of Representatives: Democratic (+15)
    Senate: Status Quo
    Reagan sighs when seeing the results, relieved. The House gains were kept to a minimum whilst the Senate remained unchanged. Reagan would still be able to push many of his desired policies through Congress. Reagan smiled.

    November 8th, 1978
    The Shah arrests over 10 prominent members in his own regime, attempting to appease the rebellious sentiments in his country. The first of tens of thousands of American Army soldiers arrive in Iran.

    Mid-late November 1978
    More and more American soldiers arrive in Iran, with the total number in the end of the month being about 100,000 American Soldiers.

    December 1978
    Rebellions in Iran greatly subside with the large presence of American troops. Some peaceful demonstrations exist, which the United States allows to take place. However, order has largely been restored, as mobs no longer destroy buildings and make conditions very unstable. Some of the strikes which had previously been affecting banks, shops, restaurants and other public buildings begin to end with the restoration of order and subsiding of violent protests, though most still continue because of the discontent with the Shah. In South Vietnam, inflation finally drops as Thieu continues his economic reforms. In America, support for American intervention in Iran is quite high, as there is no war taking place, merely a "restoration of order". Also in America, the recession reaches its highest level of unemployment yet at around 11%, the highest in American history since the Great Depression.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019