Sunday, October 21, 2012

George McGovern Ahead of His Time

Rest in peace George McGovern. A truly great American hero who had the courage and guts to tell the truth as it was, in plain but understood delivery, fought in second world war, knew the consequences of wars and violence, and stood fast against tyranny and corruption. He had lost election against Nixon in 1972, but "much of what George McGovern campaigned for in 1972 came to pass. Both major political parties have a system of nominating a president that is far more transparent, accountable and democratic than the systems that existed prior to 1972. McGovern was instrumental in rewriting the rules for selecting Democratic convention delegates to include women, minorities and young people. (Women, minorities and gays now have far more rights and protections than they did in 1972.)"

A few memorable quote from CNN's tribute to George McGovern: 
"...he was a man of great vision and grace. He helped to educate a generation about the failures of a rigid and untextured accounting of our allies and our enemies, and about the importance of making smart choices when dealing with dangerous adversaries. Those are lessons as important today as they were in 1970."
For the current sitting president he said, ""a moderate," cautious in his ways, who wouldn't waste money or do "anything reckless.... I think Barack will emerge as one of our great ones......It will be a victory for moderate liberalism."

I have read George McGovern's writings in his life's last decade. He was one of the founders of World Food Program, making his relentless contributions in helping to feed the hungry in US and around the world, and he never shied away to write for peace and against the wars and violence.

On October 21, 2012, the day he died, his family has released a statement, "We are blessed to know that our father lived a long, successful and productive life advocating for the hungry, being a progressive voice for millions and fighting for peace. He continued giving speeches, writing and advising all the way up to and past his 90th birthday, which he celebrated this summer."

As recent as in 2011, George McGovern was critical to his fellow democrats, stating, "If anything, I don't think the Democrats have been strong enough in clinging to their principle...You can say they were too ideological. Well, I don't think you hold political convictions just to be able to spout out a complicated philosophy or ideology. You try to support what you think is in the best interests of the country. My qualms with the Democrats in recent decades is they aren't strong enough in dissenting from policies that they should be able to see are against our best interest."

George McGovern did cling to democratic principles and firm convictions to the end. America and the world have lost a great man today. 

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