Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Grit and Grace of George McGovern - Tom Daschle

I would like to be able to say that I appreciated and supported George McGovern the way he deserved back in 1972 when he ran for President.  I took the semester off for the fall campaign - but I was a volunteer for Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda's Indochina Peace Campaign.  I went door to door - with a peace petition - but not a McGovern button.  I styled myself a radical then - as I had since I spent a year studying with Howard Zinn who warned us about getting "co-opted" by the system.  An odd fear - that reform would buy off radical change.  But former Senator Tom Daschle appreciated him - and remembers Senator McGovern (1922-2012) with appropriate respect - as did Pete Hamill who knew better than me back in 1972. GWC

The Grit and Grace of George McGovern
by Tom Daschle
"Throughout his sixty years in public life, a great deal was written about George McGovern. One of my favorite descriptions of him is by Pete Hamill. Back in the 1972 presidential campaign, he wrote: “George McGovern comes at you like one of those big Irish heavyweights in the 1930s—a little slow, but with the chin shut hard against the chest, the jaw breaching out, coming on, daring you to do your best. ... He might be beaten, but you will know he was there. He will not fold up on you ... he will surrender no dignity ... and you will come away speaking about him with respect.”As we consider George’s contributions to our country, one thing is clear: Americans of all stripes have come away speaking about him with a deep, profound, and enduring respect. Someone once asked St. Francis of Assisi what it took to live a good life. He replied: “Preach the Gospel every day. If necessary, use words.” There are many ways to preach the Gospel. George McGovern practiced more of them that anyone I’ve ever known. He’s been a minister. Teacher. Peacemaker. Humanitarian. Champion of hungry children. "

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