If you watched any network TV today you probably noticed the George McGovern died yesterday. I wish I had some terribly profound thing to write about this man. He deserves praise for a lifetime of hard work. McGovern was a partisan, but petty partisanship was not what made him a Prairie Statesman. He thought about what needed to be done and then did his best to get it done and to give "politics" a good name..
George McGovern was one of the first political candidates I ever seriously worked for. In 1962 I and several other student friends at SDSM&T spent a few nights pounding the pavement and sidewalks in a district of Rapid City that had never gone Democratic before. McGovern's good campaign and also probably a bunch of missile workers helped get that Senate election win in that district and in South Dakota..
Of course, McGovern won by such a narrow margin that year that practically anybody who did anything for his campaign could legitimately say it was their work that made his first election to the US Senate possible. We were probably only a few of the thousands who firmly believed they alone did it. That election also convinced many people that their own work in the future could make a real difference. McGovern had been in the US House of representatives previously. Wikipedia has more historical information. I am sure that many better comments on George McGovern will be seen in the next days and weeks. SDPB-TV today had 15 or 30 minute tribute to McGovern I only saw part of that.
George McGovern was a sensible, practical liberal. His life and campaigns are worth re-considering in these days of retrograde Republican obstructionists. Principles beyond simple-minded election partisanship were probably key to his life of service. They also cost him dearly. He and his inspiring combination of common sense, raw intelligence, and vision will be missed.
Some negative comments concerning McGovern have reminded me that much of the anger against McGovern was that he was right and proven right and they were wrong and proven wrong. McGovern also did not let partisanhip overwhelm his sense of obligation to truth. More on this perspective at Truth Dig.
Yesterday (Octorber 22, 2012), the Mitchell Daily Republic published an obituary which I assume was provided by the McGovern family. I copied it to my Notebook blog Obituary Page.
*** Stay tuned...maybe if I get over this dreadful cold, I will improve my posting. There is always an excuse however.--- Doug Wiken