Forty years on, McGovern's vision that America might come home to the ideals that had nourished it from the beginning is less a matter of hope than necessity.
The United States can no longer afford the madness of the defense and security spending that, according to the National Priorities Project, have cost this country $7.6 trillion since September 11, 2001.
Our priorities are out of sync with our challenges and our needs. And those priorities need to change.
America would not be defenseless with smaller Pentagon budgets. Conservatives like Coburn recognize that. Even with deep spending cuts, this country will maintain the most sophisticated and effective military in the world.
Downsizing the Pentagon would not be an abandonment of America ideals. It would be a return to the founding promise of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and John Quincy Adams, all of who warned against entangling alliances and spoke of the threat that military adventurism posed to domestic tranquility.
That is the promise the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. affirmed when he called Americans to "love peace and sacrifice for it." It is the promise George McGovern refreshed when he uttered the wise words "Come Home, America!"
For more on the U.S.'s out-of-control military spending, check out "America's Warfare Welfare State.
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