A Perfect Democracy: The World That Huey Made
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A perfect democracy can come close to looking like a dictatorship, a democracy in which the people are so satisfied they have no complaint.
A Perfect Democracy: The World That Huey Made is a visual timeline on AlternateHistory.com by MasterSanders that posits what would happen had the (in)famous Huey Long escaped his untimely demise, running as an independent candidate in the 1936 US elections. From there, the history of America and the wider world changes, both for better and worse.
The timeline can be found here.
- Alternate History
- Allohistorical Allusion:
- Huey Long's policies are a combination of his actual Share the Wealth agenda and elements of Roosevelt's New Deal, largely taken to their logical conclusion. He also takes FDR's place becomes the longest-serving President in US history, with three consecutive terms from 1941 to 1953.
- The fall of Nazi Germany mirrors Operation Valkyrie. Except here, with Hitler himself having already died, the conspirators among the Wehrmacht assassinate Göring and Goebbels instead. And unlike the actual coup, this one succeeds, leading to the return of the Kaiser.
- The split between Mussolini and Hitler is referred to as the Italo-German Split, reminiscent of the split between Maoist China and the Soviet Union in OTL. Coincidentally, Fascist Italy winds up evolving down a similar path to the People’s Republic of China.
- Mirroring The Korean War, China is split between North and South, albeit with Manchukuo still separate as a more integrated section of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
- The Long Memorial, erected in Washington DC after Huey's death, is a grander version of the statue and tombstone that exist in real life just outside the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge.
- Namibia, in addition to being The Remnant of Nazi Germany, could described as a more stable yet no less deranged version of North Korea.
- Celeste van Zyl, the present Prime Minister of South Africa, is mentioned as calling for the creation of black states independent from the country. Intended to help mend race relations, this winds up being an Ironic Echo of the Bantustans set up under Apartheid in OTL.
- Balkanize Me: China and India remain divided well after the 1940s, while the former Soviet Union's still partitioned into different Russian successor states (the largest being a Japanese puppet). The demoralization and subsequent end of the British monarchy, meanwhile, contributes to Canada splintering apart by the 1950s.
- Church of Happyology: Vulcanism, which is essentially a combination of Scientology, Star Trek and the Charles Manson cult. This is due to being founded by Gene Roddenberry.
- Day of the Jackboot: Deconstructed. American isolationism under Long and a rather lucky streak contributes to the Nazis succeeding in securing their Thousand Year Reich by 1940...if only temporarily. A combination of growing tensions with former allies like Mussolini, insurgencies in the Reichskommissariats, economic troubles in converting to peacetime and rising power plays among the upper echelons, to name a few, bring Germany to the brink. Hitler's death in 1955 would spark a brief civil war, which saw the Wehrmacht leadership usurping power and an aging Erwin Rommel laying the groundwork for the restoration of Hohenzollern rule.
- Different World, Different Movies:
- In addition to Ronald Reagan never pursuing politics as in OTL, he becomes renowned as a comedy actor.
- Huey Long's old Louisiana Progress newspaper survives and eventually becomes an online news site known as The American Progress.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Thanks in part to Huey Long’s policies, the collapse of the USSR and the lingering legacies of Nazism and Fascism to name a few, there’s no real notion of a Cold War. This also means that, especially without the anti-colonialist power plays encouraged by both Americans and Soviets in OTL, decolonization plays out much more gradually and differently.
- Fascist Italy: Compared to the Nazis, the Italian Fascists managed to outlast Mussolini, overseeing a regime that lasts until the end of the 20th Century.
- For Want of a Nail: Huey Long escaping death by assassination in 1936 leads to a significantly changed world, with "Longism" shaping American politics for generations to come.
- Imperial Japan: The Empire of Japan and Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere are still very much alive in the present.
- In Spite of a Nail: Even decades down the line, some events and personalities remain relatively constant. PBS, for instance, is still founded in the 1950s, though at Huey Long's behest.
- Istanbul (Not Constantinople): As neither Robert Mugabe nor the ZANU-PF seize power, Zimbabwe is still known as Rhodesia. On the other hand, a combination of greater immigration from Britain and gradual reforms have allowed white-minority rule to transition into a much more stable and prosperous arrangement.
- A Lighter Shade of Black: South Africa's National Party still endorses Apartheid, but is closer to the Jim Crow-era South in terms of policies compared to OTL. Still, they're seen as somewhat better compared to the Nazis right next door.
- Red Scare: Averted. The Soviet Union's collapse to the Axis Powers and the subsequent triumph of the Nazis results in Communism, though still dismissed by Americans, being seen as less of an existential threat than in the OTL Cold War.
- The Remnant: Namibia is the last holdout of the Third Reich, founded by SS forces under Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich in 1955. Although it has all but thoroughly remoulded what had been South West Africa in their image, the Nazis still claim all of their old territory.
- Richard Nixon the Used Car Salesman:
- Ronald Reagan becomes the host and star of a popular TV show that's reminiscent of Bob Hope's comedy career.
- John F. Kennedy, though his father Joseph Kennedy Sr. becomes President after Long, never enters politics. Instead, he finds success as a professional historian, dying quietly in 1999.
- Billy Graham becomes President in the late 1960s as a Democrat and committed Longist, overseeing the expansion of the American welfare state and greater racial equality.
- By the present day, a man heavily implied to be Richard Dawkins is slated to be a leading candidate for becoming the next Prime Minister of Rhodesia.
- Gene Roddenberry’s career doesn’t wind up successful as in reality. Unfortunately this helps in leading down the path of creating a cult known as Vulcanism.
- The former King Edward VIII (as Edward Windsor) becomes the first President of a republican Britain.
- Rightful King Returns:
- Prince Louis Ferdinand of the House of Hohenzollern is welcomed back by Rommel and the Wehrmacht leadership, leading to the restoration of Imperial Germany.
- Subverted with the United Kingdom. A demoralized Britain transitions to republican rule following King George VI's abdication in 1952. His brother, Edward Windsor, however, manages to becoming a popular figure in the new Commonwealth as its first President, but never seeks to regain the Crown.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Subverted. One paradox amidst the changes brought by Longism is that social and gender dynamics in America are more conservative than OTL. But while the housewife is still seen as the cultural peak of "womanhood" in the US, there's no discrimination against women pursuing various careers, nor a stigma against female politicians.
- Zeppelins from Another World: Subverted. The Hindenberg incident doesn't happen like OTL...but a combination of cheaper airlines and a series of high profile disasters in the 1940s leads to a later discrediting of airships.