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George McGovern, R.I.P.

George McGovern, R.I.P.

George McGovern died overnight.

Those of us of a certain generation remember him well.  Back in 1972, though not old enough to vote, I was a McGovern supporter.

My how times have changed.

Whatever his politics then and since then, I remember him fondly.

Here is one of his advertisements from 1972. Close your eyes and just listen.

My how times have not changed.


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legacyrepublican | October 21, 2012 at 8:30 am

I was in Junior High when he was running for president. His politics aside, he seemed like a nice pleasant man. R.I.P.

The Drill SGT | October 21, 2012 at 8:39 am

My first vote was for George. literally. The top of the ticket in ’72. A couple of things to appreciate about George:

1. He flew 35 missions over Europe piloting the Dakota Queen, earning a DFC.

2. PhD from Northwestern

3. After the Senate, he tried to run a hotel and famously said: “I … wish that during the years I was in public office I had had this firsthand experience about the difficulties business people face every day. That knowledge would have made me a better U.S. senator and a more understanding presidential contender”.

At the time of that election, I was serving in a picturesque place called Vietnam. I did have some intellectual respect for him. He was not a chicken-dove, having flown real B-24 combat missions, few of which were milk runs. However, his cluelessness on the larger issues, combined with his serene sense of moral superiority, were not the stuff of a statesman.

Getting your service ballot counted then was difficult, as mail transit times were often a month or more, each way. Nevertheless, I went to the effort. I did not vote for him, and have no regrets after 40 years.

My condolence to his family, and those who knew him.

    The Drill SGT in reply to Tregonsee. | October 21, 2012 at 9:11 am

    I had already returned from Nam by then and had even less respect for Nixon and his secret plan…

    To each his own. George likely would not have made a good President, but he was honest, and had a lot more experience than our current POTUS.

He was mistaken, but he had honor. “According to his virtue let us use him.” RIP.

I was too young to vote for him but I went to one of his campaign rallies. He was my first election night disappointment.

I would not suggest Romney annoy electorate with an ad that repeats “this is about” 22 times.

IMO he started the downhill Dem Party slide into uber-lib land. However regardless of how one feels about McGovern’s politics he was basically a man of honor.

Does anyone expect Obama to call for civility from his supporters ? And to do it with a Biblical reference?

I was in 1st grade in 1972; we had a mock election and that was the first and last time I ever voted for a Democrat for President.

    Pasturized in reply to perdogg. | October 21, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Ah, I remember elementary school politics of that era well.

    “McGovern, McGovern, he’s our man. Nixon lives in a garbage can.”

    Now, that’s the level of discourse the top of the ticket engages in.

    “I mean, he’s changing up so much, back tracking, side stepping. We’ve got to name this condition that he’s going through. I think it’s called Romnesia.”

George began (for me) the first iteration of the idea that Government should provide everything for the people.

My favorite (and showing how clueless I was) was his idea of a minimum national income for everyone. A basic financial starting point for everyone that they could build on. Being very young and angry about working for peanuts while others seemed to attain wealth so easily, it was an attractive proposition.

Of course I never gave it a thought to where the money would come from or how it would be disbursed or who would make decisions on how it would be spent.

That’s why, I understood Obama instantly after his first speeches. I knew where he came from, what he had in mind and that it wouldn’t work but that the effort would destroy the US.

Seems he’s almost managed to do the destroying and with almost the same method I foresaw; giving the folks “free” stuff and promising more.

McGovern began dreaming it, let it end here, now and forever.


He was the only Democrat ever I really wanted to win. And the only time I ever was guided by self interest. Pretty much every college student back then just wanted the war to end and the entire draft proceedure to simply go away.

After all these years since his run at the presidency, I still recall the entire movement against the war and McGovern’s “nice guy” persona.
Certainly the man had a long and productive life and his passing marks a milestone for many of us.
He was around when we became “politically aware”.

My best to his entire family.

I voted for him as well. I lived in Utah at the time, knew that it was a throw away vote and that Nixon was a crook. Made perfect sense then and now.

Nice man, a war hero, and the best thing is that he retired from public life when his time was over.


The number of us here “of a certain age” who voted for McGovern (I was a “college liberal” at the time) illustrates how important it is to get our institutions of higher learning back on a more even keel, not leaning so far to the left.

It took me until Reagan’s second term to right myself, some never recover.

I grew up in So. Dak ,I remember him running for Senate. I was to young to vote but at the time ,I was POed at Karl Mundt & Francis Case , both repubs , for working to give Dodd the Elder a pass for some corruption in the Senate. Honor of the Institution you know. In 72 I voted for Gene McCarthy. I felt McGovern was a me too ,to Gene ,by then I was a Libertarian tho they didnt exist yet. Nixon was Nixon. Later as noted by others , George M became less a dem & displayed decency & honor.

I heard George McGovern when he gave a commencement speech at my cousin’s graduation (She earned her degree in Public Administration at USF). He was an intelligent, thoughful man, whom I considered a bit naive when it came to understanding human nature. Although I completely disagree with his politics, I will continue to have the utmost respect for him, because he still loved America. He, Joe Lieberman, Walter Mondale and others of that caliber are the true “Loyal Opposition”. He was a good man who was well intentioned. It’s unfortunate that his policies were of the type that would have led “hell”, as the scripture says “The Road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Wow. Somehow we’ve managed to collect all the people who voted for McGovern in one comment thread!

Wow, I’m amazed at the number of “recovering” liberals here. I was old enough to vote, and I voted for Nixon. My husband was a Vietnam vet who had eggs thrown at him in Los Angeles when he worked at the E & E station. Nothing has changed since then. I can’t say I am sorry McGovern is gone, but my condolences to his family.

@Henry – lol – I was typing while you were commenting. GMTA.

On a much lighter, and yet even more serious note, How many think George will still be voting on November 6th? Did he vote Absentee? (Note: This is not an insinuation of George McGovern, but it is one of his political party.)

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | October 21, 2012 at 12:23 pm

My first political memories were the ’68 Democrat Convention riots when I was 6 years old. We had a rule in the house that there was no talking while my dad watched the nightly news. When those riots were shown on TV, I remember my dad broke the rule and said something to the effect, “those god damned hippies are going to ruin the country”. Then my mom scolded my dad about cursing in front of us kids. Which prompted him to lose his temper and rattled off something about how leaders were being assassinated (I later had to ask my older sister what the word assassinated meant. She explained it and told me about MLK and RFK’s assassinations earlier that year).

Then in ’72 when McGovern and the Democrat Party basically embraced the hippy movement, my dad swore he’d never vote Democrat again. I’m pretty sure the ’68 and ’72 election seasons is when the foundation for my embrace of conservatism was subconsciously laid. Then, years later, I remember watching Milton Friedman’s PBS program “Free to Choose”, William F. Buckley’s “Firing Line”, and Ronald Reagan so eloquently make the case for freedom and individual responsibility, and I was absolutely convinced liberalism/socialism was the wrong way to go – even before I’d even taken an economics course in college.

Many conservatives come to it later in life after they realize their fantasies about how an ideal society should be structured don’t work in the real world. I never went through that, again, probably because my ideas were formed in an era in which I was lucky enough to be exposed to intellectual giants like Milton Friedman, William Buckley, Thomas Sowell, George Gilder, and Reagan who very persuasively made the case for conservative ideas. I’ve voted in every election but one since I turned 18 in 1980, and I’ve never voted for a Democrat in my life.

So, I’ll give McGovern the respect he deserves for serving the country honorably in WWII. I do hope God is looking after his soul because I think his ideas were rooted in good intentions. But they were wrong. Just as wrong today as they were 40 years ago when he ran for President.

Let me think back….

I was a junior in high school in 1972….

I was pulling for George Wallace since one of my grandfathers was a former member of the KKK and George Wallace was his man. Yes, George Wallace was a Democrat too and he was shot in an attempted assassination earlier that year.

I was so stupid I voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976 when I was able to vote.

But, I was never such a pacifist that I wanted George McGovern to be a president.

Democrats have an ugly, disgusting history. I’m glad that I wised up.

I hope today’s Democrats wise up too.

theduchessofkitty | October 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm

I’m sorry, guys, I cannot relate.

I wasn’t even born yet in 1972!

RIP George McGovern, anyway.

From the UK Independent:

And Mr McGovern never shied from the word “liberal,” even as other Democrats blanched at the label and Republicans used it as an epithet.

“I am a liberal and always have been,” Mr McGovern said in 2001. “Just not the wild-eyed character the Republicans made me out to be.”

He was wrong about that also. As I recall, he was scary as hell! Later he made a big deal out of the fact that neither he nor Tom Eagleton were ever accused of illegal acts, while Nixon and Agnew both had to resign. That argument sits well with the ring-nosed followers but the sophistry that Dem politicians back then were “cleaner than clean” denies the existence of LBJ.

    Oops, getting old is bad for the memory. Tom Eagleton turned out to be gay, so the McGovernites substituted Sargent Schriver, of the Kennedy clan as Veep.

Actually, Eagleton was married, with children. The actual reason he left was he had been hospitalized multiple times for depression, including reportedly electroshock treatments.

I am proud to say I voted against McGovern in the 1972 election and for an extended number of reasons, not the least of which was his encouragement of those spreading hatred toward members of the US Military.

I do not mourn his passing and if I live to see it, neither will I mourn Obama’s passing when eventually comes.

Well, I was 18 months old so I don’t count, but my sister on the playground in first grade remembers the chant: “UP with Nixon, DOWN with McGovern!” This was near Corning, NY. 🙂

I always thought it was a funny story.

Didn’t McGovern come up with the food pyramid that’s caused so much diabetes?

TeaPartyPatriot4ever | October 22, 2012 at 12:06 am

I remember George McGovern as well, as 1972 was my most memorable year in my youth as a 13 yr old in Jr High School.

Anyone who stand for, and fights for peace is a fine man. But in doing so, they must never lead that peace effort from the position of weakness, but from the position of strength. McGovern lost because he was for unconditional surrender, withdrawal, and appeasement to communism, thus seen as a weak leader.

Richard Nixon did not start the Vietnam war, although he had to see it to it’s conclusion, which was trying to win the war once started, was essential in having a good outcome where Democracy and Freedom, let alone peace, were supposed to be the objectives and achievement in Vietnam.. for which Gerald Ford had to finish after Nixon resigned from Watergate.

Sen. McGovern was part of the Democratic political problem that stemmed from LBJ’s hypocrisy of fighting a war in Vietnam, which the Democrats were supposed to be against in the first place. Had JFK not been assassinated and lived to have a second term, the Vietnam war might never have been, as JFK was going to pull out his advisers as indicated.

To add, Sen. George McGovern’s misguided liberal big govt. ideology, mentality, thus politics, was even questioned by his own self, which is ironically what’s now destroying the country currently in the form of Pres Obama, who has taken up Sen. McGovern’s and LBJ’s mantle of big govt., that’s too big to fail, ie; too big period, not to mention ironically fighting another war from the position of weakness, not strength.. Amazing..