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Hedges writes: "McGovern, even before he ran for president, held heroic stature for us."

Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges. (photo: Truthdig)
Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges. (photo: Truthdig)

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+28 # fredboy 2012-10-22 11:51
McGovern was a remarkable individual and profound statesman. It is unfortunate that he and his campaign organization badly splintered the Democratic Party and its future attempts to field viable, dynamic candidates.

My father rose from dire poverty in Central Virginia to lead the party there. It and our nation meant the world to him. His courage during the Civil Rights years--a white man helping black candidates because he believed in every Americans' right to participate in governance--sho wed my brother, sister and I his innate goodness. When the McGovern people came in they kicked him out of leadership, told him he was "old school" and that they knew better. It broke his heart. Two weeks later they realized they knew nothing about fund raising and called him for help. After disgracing him in public in an insulting power grab. That was the night I heard him tell them to kiss his ass. The fracture grew nationally, and has never healed.

McGovern's hesitant, almost sheepish campaign style also infected future Democratic candidates. He rarely if ever shared his heroics as a bomber pilot, thus his experience with war. Instead, he allowed himself to be painted as weak and naive, which was not true. He never mastered advocacy or storytelling. Now, think about John Kerry's failing response to the Swift Boat lies. And Obama's first debate with Romney.

Fellow Democrats, fix the fracture. Break the mold. Become a party of inclusion and creative possibilities.
+10 # btraven 2012-10-22 13:10
fredboy.. Thank you for a fantastic peek into a moment of history. Why do you think the McGovern group did what they did. Was it just that they didn't take the time to understand your father and assumed that anyone in his position in VA. must be bigoted? In my opinion the Democratic Party is beyond the point of being "fixed". Clinton pulled the moral underpinings of the party apart and substituted " anything to stay in power" as their moral goal.We now have a bunch of seat warmers in the party with only a handful of exceptions. B. Taraven
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-22 16:35
Everythig can be fixed or changed but people have to get their heads out of their....sand boxes and do something. I don't remember anyone saying oh yea sit on your butts and do nothing, we will do it for you.
Clinton or Monica was off base. However at least he wasn't scraping subway bathrooms as soo many republicans seem to do. So where are these Morals when the Republicans want to drill or frack on school property? Or now Gov of Pa gave an ok near a Nuke Plant. Killing and Poisoning people is okay but getting some head isn't?

Sorry but until we can see people actually doing things for themselves, going to Government Meetings, Protesting, Boycotting...yo u are going to Hell in a Hand Basket. Enjoy
+24 # CAMUS1111 2012-10-22 13:11
Sorry, but I'll take a party of real liberals like McGovern over a party of Carters and Clintons, and yes, even Obamas, anyday.
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-22 16:38
Tell me Monica did Carter also? Wow you rethugs really stoop to low levels.

I loved McG but I do not talk poorly of others, A mistake is just that. Monica was as much to blame. Want to call Carter out in the same breath as a sex scandal, you are absurd. I see you are a rethug.
If you want someone or such high caliber start looking cause the GOP/TP do not have such persons
+11 # Cassandra2012 2012-10-22 14:27
Yes, McGovern was that rare commodity in politics today -- a STATESMAN with vision. Those who voted for the crook, got what they deserved, the crook, Nixon.
Unfortunately, the rest of us had to suffer with Nixon's crimes as well.
Those who vote for showmanship rather than morality, honesty and facts, for the likes of Nixon, the shrub, or Romney are no better than the Germans who fell for Goebbels' Big Lies in the 1930s.
-9 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-22 16:40
Nixon....I believe part of what happened was a set up. Saw too many tapes and times he was a perplexed as we were.
Nixon did some very good things while he was in office.
Trouble with people they love to rant, gossip and cloud over the good people do, if that person makes a mistake. Must be wonderful being perfect. However, McGovern didn't get the chance to prove he too was another Human Being...or else you would all be bad mouthing him also.
+1 # bingers 2012-10-23 09:00
He did a number of good things, but his attempted destruction of democracy overwhelms them all.
+30 # Corvette-Bob 2012-10-22 12:01
He was a man of integrity and he was intelligent and well educated. Too bad we do not have Senators like him anymore.
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-22 16:42
When the People of the USA have no morals or integrity it is hard to find others amongst us.
Hope we can say more of the future generation but then look at their role models.
If you all want good people running for Office, try running yourselves. Start at Local Level and climb upwards. Never will know who amongst the Clowns are the good ones until you go to meetings, get involved. Oh but this is the I do not get involved generation.
+12 # giraffee2012 2012-10-22 12:48
I was old enough and voted for McGovern - much to the chagrin of my parents and spouse! History would have been different had he been elected instead of the GOP/creep, Nixon.

A few of us in So CA will go door to door (with 5 month old grandson in stroller), pin up fliers and spend as much time as possible to get as many "closet Dems" to feel they have the right to vote --- straight DEM- I just moved here from No CA and the # of TP/GOP is sickening. These are not rich people so what do they think will happen to them if R/R win? It won't be pretty but their denial is the same I heard after "W" was appointed in 2000 and after he was thrashed in "swiftly" in 2004.

YOU, America, please VOTE and vote straight DEM -- go Obama/Biden. Tonight I'll be watching you, Pres Obama, and I KNOW I won't be disappointed. Mitt makes Nixon look tame! (Thought I'd never say that)
+11 # kelly 2012-10-22 15:17
I am just 51 so many people don't believe me. But my parents were activists and the first political campaign I worked in was 1972. I was 11. George McGovern was running for president, Sissy Farenthold for governor of Texas and Billy Hobby as Lieutenant Governor. It changed my life. I have interested in the process ever since. My father and I watched the Watergate Hearings and I have always tried to pass on the interest I gained in voting to people I meet. Recently some friends of mine became legal citizens and I asked them about voting. They told me they had not been told anything about it. I helped them get Voter cards. They will help you become citizens but not give any information about your most important right! Preposterous. Check with everyone you know see if they are in he same boat. Don't worry about the affiliation. Get them registered, it's their right as citizens.
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-22 16:46
Excellent. I wish you well in future endeavors. All that you meet should get involved also. Go to town meetings, school meetings. If people would have done this since ReaGuns we would be in a much better position today.
Thank you for giving your time for the rest of us.
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-22 16:44
Thank you for doing something to get people aware. If half the people here and other blogs actually did something, we wouldn't be in the place we are.
+16 # btraven 2012-10-22 13:02
Like Hedge's father I am an unreconstructed veteran of WWII.I had my company design and print "Elect McGovern" posters all over town. It was hard to understand how all thoughtful Americans could not vote for such a stalwart of democracy. Well, they didn't and we got tricky Dicky Nixon, and the evil devil Kissinger. Today we have a Democratic Party morally destroyed by Clinton and a false leader in Obama. My vote did not go to Obama but to a third party in protest. Americans! we are facing harsh times. B.Traven
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-22 16:53
Sadly he was unknown like Nixon. The same people who voted for Ike, voted for Nixon and then again ReaGuns and Bush's They leave a trail reeking in self denial.

I will not tell people we are in hard times and not ask them what they did to help us not get in them. After McG didn't get in, you gave up?

OB is not a false leader. The alternatives are a lot worse. Morales please let me know when the stones stop flailing because I have read a lot about Republicans and their Morals esp the subway transients.

Then too I see no diff in Dems or Rethugs they are both evil. But I will vote for someone who tries to do his best against a Racially bigoted crowd of morons. I will wonder why when the Rethugs have poisoned this Earth, cause Global Warming, now fracking, trans canada not to mention uranium mines near major water sources. Who is moral anymore.
Killing thousands of people with Scam Industry will be okay but getting some nooky isn't. Clinton got caught. I am sure the Oval Office has seen its share of dirty deeds, we just never heard tell. Sorry Clinton did a lot for the USA that he shamed his marriage is on him. What he uses his time on, if it is not related to Governing the USA it is not my business or Yours.
+20 # ronaldbosch 2012-10-22 13:20
McGovern , even today, is my source of inspiration and understanding the decrepit nature of american politix. What a noble guy he was, what a loss for this country..
+15 # MainStreetMentor 2012-10-22 13:26
Another pillar supporting our Democracy is gone. God bless him.
+2 # dick 2012-10-22 14:04
Fredboy is right. The Party people who move in after a candidate does well are often IDIOTS. McGovern was a wonderful Senator; in over his head as Presidential candidate. I loved the guy. "This land is your land, this land is my land." Dems almost NEVER seem to want to WIN as much as GOPers do. Labor & Party people value their perks over Winning by taking risks. Draft dodging, tax dodging, truth dodging Mitt should have been Swift Boated into oblivion by now. Dems just not tough enough.
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-22 16:56
I think it the lazy Americans who do not want change or want to support their Democratic Leadership that is to blame.

Most of you vote and go back to life as you know it. None of you are involved in anything. Then something goes wrong, do you get involved to change it, nope you go sniveling to whomever. I know I polled, went out to get you know how many Democrats aren't even going to vote this year...
+2 # brux 2012-10-22 14:12
Anyone else missing the article here or just me?
-2 # Phlippinout 2012-10-22 17:15
Just you.
0 # brux 2012-10-25 01:41
It was back by the time you decided to add that little nitpick, but thanks.
+11 # drshafer 2012-10-22 14:16
A personal reaction: George McGovern was the reason I finally filled out all the forms and paid the fee to apply for US citizenship. I wanted to be able to vote for this exemplary man, this decent, honorable human being, one of my heroes, both because of his anti-Vietnam war and pro-Equal Rights positions and because he had been a pilot who dropped bombs over my native Austria toward the end of WWII. At the time we lived between Linz and Wels, and I might actually have seen his plane in the sky.
By 1972 I had been in the States for over ten years. I was a college professor, an American in all ways, except officially. George McGovern's candidacy, his integrity and courage, gave me the necessary push to become a citizen. Voting for him was the first time in my life I voted. I had left Austria the year I would turn twenty-one. I only wish he had won the election and Richard Nixon would not have had a chance to discredit the American presidency.
-2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-22 16:59
More so I wish Nixon would not have left the GOP discredit the Presidency and him.
They have never stopped since assassination of Kennedy.
Now everyone here thinks they are Free but fights not one bit to be Free. No meetings attended. Most sit at home or at a bar. No running for local office. Americans are lazy...Republic ans know how to juice theirs up...Democrats just sleaze in and out. OB was not supported by the Party or Citizens no less Congress or Senate. Shame on Americans.
+7 # orwell, by george 2012-10-22 15:20
compare mcgovern to obama...
i am morally and legally constrained from voting for the murderer of little girls and boys, indeed anyone, in afghan etc.
sadly, for so many, party loyalty trumps law and morality and the golden rule.
we are a pack of killers. and thieves. wake up, please.
-3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-22 17:01
Grow up...when do you think this crap started in 2008

You never wanted to Vote so do not make excuses

Sorry cannot compare one to the other McGovern didn't get elected so you all cannot bad mouth him too. I am glad Sir you didn't get elected .... People would have found things or like the rethugs most are, invented them
+7 # Linwood 2012-10-22 15:43
No, politicians such as McGovern could not be elected today, which says a lot about the country and the system as it is now. Where is the idealism? Sad.
+6 # Susan W 2012-10-22 15:47
I was so frustrated back in '68 when the voting age was still 21 and I missed it by one year. So when '72 came along and McGovern was the nominee I so proudly and with such hopeful enthusiasm spread out my paper ballot on the gym floor at my local polling place and marked a very exact "X" in the box next to his name. I was totally shocked and filled with disbelief when he lost by such a margin. That should have given me a hint of things to come in this country.

I would vote for him again today. I have not voted FOR someone ever since.
-3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-22 17:04
Wow I do not think I would brag about that.
I do not think George McGovern would even be proud that.

He knew what he was up against. Everyone knew Nixon. He was Ike's VP.
+10 # mebemo 2012-10-22 16:40
In 2005, George McGovern was one of the speakers at the memorial service for playwright Arthur Miller I was lucky enough to attend. At 83 he stood as tall and moved as gracefully as a man half his age. He told the story of how he and Miller became lifelong friends:

McGovern hadn't yet broken from the pack of would-be nominees (1972) when he attended a performance of "The Crucible" in Milwaukee. Near the end of the play (about the Salem witch trials) the Governor learns that, though half the men accused of trafficking with Satan have already been executed, it's now clear that the charges are bogus and the remaining prisoners should be released. The Governor decrees that to admit the mistake would damage the authority of the state and goes ahead with the executions.

McGovern thought this moment was so analogous to the continued war in Vietnam, he began to include it in his stump speech, and shortly thereafter won the primary. He called Miller to thank him and they became lifelong friends.

Truth is a great thing. May we continue to protect and affirm it, as he did.
+8 # elewhale 2012-10-22 16:40
God, I miss him. Thanks for the reminder, Chris. Amazing such a man actually was allowed to run! Hey! A bunch of us had our heads on straight in those days, didn't we!
-8 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-22 17:12
I cannot imagine what George McGovern is thinking right now after reading or hearing such trash out of mouths of people I wouldn't have guessed were out of diapers no less born.

He was a highly regarded person. He knew full well what he was up against. The generation that voted for Ike was not going to vote against Nixon. Nor did they vote against ReaGun, Bushified or Jr. These people may have been idiots but they were true to their Voting. They believed in these People and supported their Presidents.
Unlike most I have seen who are supposedly Democrats or whatever. I see no one doing anything in over 25 years. Fat and Lazy. I see no one at local meetings, no less County or State. Let everyone do everything for us. You are all Republicans.

I am glad someone like George McGovern didn't get elected now because had he, you would have ranted, raved and insulted him too. Your Phonies.

Three people on here do things, get people to vote, help them get id's What have any of you done? I remember last year you were all going out to be with OWS, guess that didn't happen either.
Do any Marches this year? There is one daily in DC and many cities in USA. Heck we have Walmart Workers and Warehouse Workers marching but no here you sit on computer branding people like you are perfect.

I hope you all get what you deserve, you won;t have a spot to yell and scream because your rights will be gone! Good for you, bad for the real people
+6 # MHAS 2012-10-23 10:09
K--Hawk. You have no personal knowledge of the people you are addressing. None. You have no idea what actions we take or do not. All the better to project your rage...sheer projection...No t constructive.
+2 # songtale 2012-10-22 17:28
Our current situation may be summed up in three words:

Malice in Blunderland
+1 # Aunt Tom 2012-10-23 01:06
It always makes me uneasy when anyone quotes that unfortunate Guthrie lyric: "This land is your land, this land is my land" etc. Coming from the mouths of all those people who came or whose parents came and "settled" or now populate this land which was originally inhabited by a great many indigenous peoples, of whom a very large number were exterminated and the remaining were relegated to "reservations" on the least desirable possible lands for the various Indian Nations. This land was their land. Not "ours"! It is too hard for me to generously believe that when singing it these immigrants have in mind the indigenous peoples on whose lands they are standing to sing those words. Sorry, but I just can't get around the unsolved apartheid problem of us here in the good ol' USofA.
+2 # bingers 2012-10-23 09:09
Not actually replying to the previous. For some reason this the only way I could post.

Don't forget that we did actually elect one person of unquestioned integrity, but stupidly didn't reelect Carter, a man very much like McGovern.

Partly my fault, I was still a Republican then to my eternal shame.
0 # Dave45 2012-10-26 00:01
George McGovern is the only presidential candidate I have ever truly admired, with the single exception of Barry Commoner. He incarnated simple integrity to an extent rarely seen since I began voting many years ago. The post-McGovern Democratic Party eventually went the way of big money, jettisoning any serious interest in social morality and the common people. After several years, I could stand it no longer and finally left the party. I had seen what it might have been and the cesspool of moral and political mediocrity that it had become. It was too much to endure.
0 # KarenMT 2012-10-27 22:32
I knocked on doors and helped get out the vote for George McGovern, a decent man who would have made a good president, once he learned the ropes . . . after my fellow Americans RE-elected the unspeakable Nixon, I gave up on presidential politics. American voters deserve the bad leaders they normally elect.

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