Sen. George McGovern Dies : The Two-Way : NPR

Former presidential nominee and Sen. George McGovern.

Sen. George McGovern Dies : The Two-Way : NPR.


Gregg Levine, contributing editor and former managing editor of Firedoglake, and contributing writer for Truthout, as well as editor and writer for capitoilette, wrote in the above: “. . . this is not the time to despair over that loss, [McGovern’s loss toNixon], but to recall with warmth and amazement that a candidate like George McGovern was once the presidential nominee of a major national party. The speech I have included here – McGovern’s acceptance speech at the 1972 Democratic National Convention – was considered by those that saw it as one of the greatest of the Senator’s career, and perhaps one of the greatest by any modern presidential candidate.”

In 1968 the legislator and poet Sen. Eugene McCarthy’s candidacy, which I had supported, although short-lived, had influenced a sitting American president, Lyndon B. Johnson, to not seek a second term. On April 4, 1968, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr, was assassinated in Memphis. In my mindheart I conflated my love of his lifelong nonviolent work for civil rights and peace, with Sen. Robert Kennedy’s campaign, which I informally supported until his assassination that  June. Four years later, I volunteered as a door to door canvasser for George McGovern’s campaign. He was not assassinated, but he was more or less silenced in other ways. He was a reasonable, patient, and peaceful individual who would have ended the Vietnam War and work tirelessly for economic equality and human rights. The fact that Martin Luther King Jr, because of his race, could not attain the presidency, has always been, in my opinion, the greatest of all losses to this country I call home. George McGovern’s loss to Nixon in that 1972 election delivered another kind of longterm loss of what would have been strong, kind leadership. We had to wait for President Barack Obama to introduce a sense of fairness, kindness, and civility to American political discourse. ~ Donna Fleischer

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