Garblog's Pages

Sunday, October 21, 2012

George McGovern: Touchstone of Liberalism | John Nichols, The Nation

George McGovern: My vote for him in 1972 was my first vote for a U.S. president and perhaps my proudest vote. I continued to respect his wisdom through all the years since. And as one of my bumper stickers said after Nixon corrupted the office: "Don't blame me, I voted for McGovern."

Nichols writes in this article:
McGovern, who has died at the age of 90, was an uncommonly human and humane national figure. It was that aspect of the man that made his 1972 presidential campaign as the most progressive nominee ever selected by the Democratic Party less of a political endeavor than a popular crusade.
As with all crusades, the measure of defeat or victory comes not in the moment but on the arc of history that assesses the value of the vision and determines whether it will remain vibrant for generations to come. ...
Today, of course, America has accepted -- or is in the process of rapidly accepting -- basic tenets of McGovernism, from the principle that it is smarter to feed the world and treat diseases than wage wars to the premise that a broad civil rights commitment must promote the progress of women, racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and lesbians and gays. ...
To the last, McGovern remained engaged, still mixing politics, history, literature and humanity in ways that only a handful of American presidential contenders -- Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, Eugene Victor Debs (about whom McGovern the historian wrote), Henry Wallace (whose advocacy for international cooperation inspired McGovern the young World War II), Adlai Stevenson (with whom McGovern campaigned) and his dear friend John Kennedy -- dared attempt. ...
George McGovern wrote in 2011:
A bleeding-heart liberal, by definition, is someone who shows enormous sympathy towards others, especially the least fortunate. ... Well, we ought to be stirred, even to tears, by society’s ills. And sympathy is the first step toward action. Empathy is born out of the old biblical injunction "Love the neighbor as thyself."
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...