Monday, October 22, 2012

A great loss … then and now !

George McGovern is one of the few politicians to earn my total respect and admiration. He was a mild mannered Senator who advocated tirelessly for peace and an end to the Vietnam war.

In 1972 he was the Democratic Party nominee to run for President against the incumbent Richard Nixon. As part of his acceptance speech he uttered these words: "Let us resolve that never again will we send the precious young blood of this country to die trying to prop up a corrupt military dictatorship abroad."

His message was met with great applause but when it came to actually voting for President the “silent majority” of the American public, in their great wisdom, overwhelmingly voted for Richard M. Nixon. I will leave it up to you to determine what this says about our ability to choose wisely.

Now this gentle man has died at the age of 90. I can’t help but think how things might be different if we had only listened to him. In an interview a few years ago he was asked about this time in his life and he sadly stated: "As a U.S. senator during the 1960s, I agonized over the badly mistaken war in Vietnam. I finally took my case to the public in my presidential campaign in 1972. Speaking across the nation, I told audiences that the only upside of the tragedy in Vietnam was that its enormous cost in lives and dollars would keep any future administration from going down that road again.

I was wrong."


Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

A great loss indeed. He was a wonderful man.

12:22 PM  
Blogger possum said...

Sadly I was under Dan's influence and young enough to not to be paying attention to the candidates, just to those with whom I lived. I still wanted to believe what the older folks in my life believed, but, thank god I eventually grew up! I am sorry I "missed" McGovern... I barely remember him... but from what I have learned more recently, he sounds like a Great man. However, I now wonder if the truly Great men even have a chance. Would "they" have found a way to keep him from winning, or keep him from governing?

2:26 PM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I think we need a revival of the social gospel within Christianity. McGovern was only one of many children of social gospel ministers or ministers themselves that contributed so much toward progressive legislation in both Canada and the US. Canada's most beloved Canadian was Tommy Douglas, a Babtist minister who was the father of our Universal Health Care.

It is interesting to see how McGovern's social gospel Christianity shaped his moral self and directed his life toward serving others.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

A poignant quote: particularly the final sentence.

5:54 AM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

A war hero and a great man. I'm proud to say as a very young voter I overcame the foolishness and voted for him. Shorty before my older cousin a civil engineer had returned home for Christmas from Saigon and told me about the corruption of the South Vietnamese government and the growing dislike of the people for the American intervention..

9:25 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Wow, I had no idea Ginnie. I was pretty young then and didn't really pay attention to such matters at that time. He sounded like a very smart and straight forward man.
Love Di ♥

2:07 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

I really wish he had won instead of Nixon. The world might be a different place.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous schmidleysscribblins, said...

I was in my uber liberal phase and voted for GM. So did my Dad, who was a Midwestern Republican. Neither of us liked poor old Dick too much although good things happened during his presidency, (opening up China to trade being one and the Panda deal another).

Bad things happened too (like Kent State), but he did end the war in Vietnam. Such is the nature of any man or woman, we don't always get everything right every time. Dianne

6:44 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

It seems we continue to ignore the peacemakers in favor of making war that is sheer folly. Very sad.

7:44 AM  

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