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Sun Jan 10, 2021, 11:35 PM

It's never too late to appreciate the majesty of George McGovern

Thomas Knock’s bio (volume 1; 2nd is forthcoming) is a great book:

https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691142999/the-rise-of-a-prairie-statesman

Drawing extensively on McGovern’s private papers and scores of in-depth interviews, Knock shows how McGovern’s importance to the Democratic Party and American liberalism extended far beyond his 1972 presidential campaign, and how the story of postwar American politics is about more than just the rise of the New Right. He vividly describes McGovern’s harrowing missions over Nazi Germany as a B-24 bomber pilot, and reveals how McGovern’s combat experiences motivated him to earn a PhD in history and stoked his ambition to run for Congress. When President Kennedy appointed him director of Food for Peace in 1961, McGovern engineered a vast expansion of the program’s school lunch initiative that soon was feeding tens of millions of hungry children around the world. As a senator, he delivered his courageous and unrelenting critique of Lyndon Johnson’s escalation in Vietnam—a conflict that brought their party to disaster and caused a new generation of Democrats to turn to McGovern for leadership.

https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691142999/the-rise-of-a-prairie-statesman


McGovern worshipped JFK. And yet, as a rookie Senator in 1963, he sounded the first alarm about Vietnam on the floor of the Senate. Widely considered to be among the most highly-skilled fighter pilots of WWII, he was forever haunted by the realization that he may have annihilated a family at lunchtime by accidentally discharging a bomb into their farmhouse. He flew the obligatory 35 B-24 combat missions and witnessed a 50 percent casualty rate among crews at his base in Italy. Upon returning home, he was appalled by what he considered to be the postwar rush to conflict with the Soviets.

He was so right about Vietnam, not just as a disastrous war but as a drain on LBJ’s Great Society thanks to the right’s weaponization of the term “liberalism” to mean unconstrained spending. At its peak, LBJ was spending 6X more on the war than on Great Society programs.

Volume 1 runs until 1968. I’m looking forward to Volume 2.

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Reply It's never too late to appreciate the majesty of George McGovern (Original post)
BeyondGeography Jan 2021 OP
dflprincess Jan 2021 #1
dweller Jan 2021 #2
dflprincess Jan 2021 #3
The Wizard Jan 2021 #6
NoRoadUntravelled Jan 2021 #4
Bradshaw3 Jan 2021 #10
halfulglas Jan 2021 #5
The Wizard Jan 2021 #7
Hangingon Jan 2021 #9
lastlib Jan 2021 #8
Bradshaw3 Jan 2021 #11

Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Sun Jan 10, 2021, 11:39 PM

1. The first vote I cast was for George McGovern

I will always be proud of that.

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Response to dflprincess (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 10, 2021, 11:41 PM

2. Same here

and voted Democratic every election since ...

we are professing our ages here 😐

✌🏻

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Response to dweller (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 10, 2021, 11:44 PM

3. I have voted Democratic in every election since as well

And, yes, we are admitting our age. But what the heck. (Though I would not have been able to vote in '72 if the age had not been lowered - that buys me a couple years!)

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Response to dweller (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 11, 2021, 12:29 AM

6. same here

I met him at the 04 Democratic convention and told him he was the reason I cast my first vote.

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Response to dflprincess (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 10, 2021, 11:59 PM

4. George McGovern was my first vote, too. nt

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Response to dflprincess (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 11, 2021, 01:44 AM

10. Me too and I still have my McGovern '72 button

Also the first presidential campaign I worked for as a volunteer. A truly underappreciated senator and person.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Mon Jan 11, 2021, 12:09 AM

5. First presidential vote in 1964 for Lyndon Johnson.

Who maybe would have been the greatest president of the 20th century if he had not escalated Vietnam. I've voted Republican for a few local offices and a representative but never ever for President.

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Response to halfulglas (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 11, 2021, 12:32 AM

7. agreed

Johnson got hoodwinked by the Rostow and Dulles brothers and the ghost of Joseph McCarthy.

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Response to The Wizard (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 11, 2021, 01:43 AM

9. you have to include McNamara

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Mon Jan 11, 2021, 12:34 AM

8. The McGovern-Fraser Commission was a key in making the Democratic Party.....

...the *democratic* party that it is today.

My freshman year, I got to write a paper about the reforms in delegate selection that it brought about. It was a revolutionary event in our party's history.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Mon Jan 11, 2021, 01:47 AM

11. I will always love McGovern

One of my favorite stories about him was late in the '72 campaign when they knew it was hopeless he was descending from a stage and a young rethuglican was haranguing him as he walked down the steps. McGovern got right up next to him, leaned in, and said, "Kiss my ass."

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