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DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » 1972 McGovern campaign, w... » Reply #65

Response to eridani (Reply #41)

Sat Oct 26, 2013, 04:10 PM

65. There's a degree of self-fulfilling prophecy in their actions.

They declare that a more liberal candidate won't win. Then they refuse to lift a finger to help such a candidate win or, worse, work against that candidate, thus ensuring that they're proven right.

If McGovern had made a real race, thanks to the dedicated help of the old machine politicians like Daley or union bosses like Meany, it would have proven that precisely what they said wasn't true. It would have demonstrated that a candidate from the left of the party could at least compete on the national level, creating a paradox where the establishment used its power to dilute its power.

It benefited those old poobahs to sit on their hands and watch McGovern go down, not just in defeat but in a huge defeat. It enabled them to turn around after the election and say, "See? I told you he couldn't win." What none of them seemed to understand was that McGovern's nomination was proof that their power was already fading.

Why do lefties line up behind a primary winner who isn't very liberal? I think years and years of being told that a moderate, and only a moderate, can win is a pretty significant factor. 1972 played a big role in fostering that perception.

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LineLineLineReply There's a degree of self-fulfilling prophecy in their actions.
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