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"One Bright Shining Moment"

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From Wallwritings


George McGovern
(Image by 1972 campaign photo)
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Christmas Day comes and goes. You take a walk, or you sit in your easy chair, and think, who could I call to discuss the political miasma of the closing days of 2018?

Has it been this dark and poisonous before? Of course it has; still, the present Trumpian moment is existentially crying out for wisdom from the past.

Searching for a kindred spirit, I turned to a November 22, 2009, Wall Writings posting I wrote, Talking With McGovern in a Time of Palin and Israel's Settlements. It began:

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"I was fed up with the ugliness of American political dialogue. I knew it was time to call George McGovern. I found him on St. Thomas Island, where he was attending the funeral of an old friend, Henry Kimmelman."

I played a state-level role in McGovern's 1972 campaign, my first entry into presidential politics. I came to know and admire George McGovern, a liberal U.S. Senator from South Dakota, while I served as chair of his Illinois primary campaign and was an Illinois delegate to his nomination convention.

If newspapers and, nowadays blogs, are the "first rough draft of history," I propose a revisit to my 2009 "rough draft," as a reminder that history might well consider it was McGovern's 1972 loss and Nixon's victory, that shoved this nation into our current 2018 darkness.

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I would like to talk to McGovern in this time of Trumpism. I would make the call, but McGovern died, at age 90, October 21, 2012, two weeks before John McCain, and his choice for Vice President, Sarah Palin, were defeated and President Barack Obama was reelected to a second term.

George McGovern knew that the branch of the Republican party from which Sarah Palin had emerged, was still strong. What he did not know was that Donald J. Trump would one day emerge from that branch as our 45th President.

The 2019 posting below includes links to significant events in McGovern's career. Clicks on those links will offer interaction with McGovern's wisdom and depth.

Talking With McGovern in a Time of Palin and Israel's Settlements

November 22, 2009

by James M. Wall

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George McGovern
(Image by Keith Robert Wessel at the 2005 dedication of the George and Eleanor McGovern Library in Mitchell, South Dakota.)
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I was fed up with the ugliness of American political dialogue. I knew it was time to call George McGovern.

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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)
 

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David Watts

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Robert Kennedy was once asked to name the most decent man in the Senate. "George McGovern," he replied. "He's the only decent man in the Senate." South Dakota's junior Senator felt much the same way about Kennedy. The two were close friends for years, from the time that McGovern took over John F. Kennedy's Food for Peace program in 1961.

I traveled to Oregon in 1972 to campaign for George McGovern in the Democratic Primary. He was the real deal. I don't believe I have seen -- at least in politics -- anyone as real as he was, ever since.

James, I too was at the Democratic Convention in 1972 in Miami when McGovern was nominated. Edward Kennedy gave the nominating speech. It was a great speech. By the time McGovern gave his nomination speech it was nearly 3AM. Just about everybody at home watching tv had gone to bed.


A thank you to Massachusetts for the only electoral votes McGovern received.

Submitted on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2018 at 6:10:59 PM

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Stephen Fox

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Thank you for a beautiful reminiscence, James Wall!


You have perfectly encapsulated his magnanimous personality, mind, and spirit, and gone on to describe what he means in THIS era.


I knew George well; he was one of my own personal major inspirations, after time spent with him first in Los Angeles during his second campaign (I interviewed him for the UCLA Daily Bruin, at which point the Bruin Editor told me it was the longest article he remembered ever appearing in that paper).


Then again, I talked with him many times in Washington and at the UN in New York City, and finally during his visits to my gallery in New Mexico, because of his owning a condo in Taos, NM.


In his Senate office, the first thing you would notice was a Bronze depiction of Eleanor Roosevelt over the receptionist's desk, as he had been given one year the Eleanor Roosevelt Peace Prize, and wanted that to be the first thing you saw when you entered into his front office.


I would like to comment on this fine article with my own memory of him, which was published by the Albuquerque Journal shortly after his passing. Here it is:


A Life Well Spent, Fighting for Lasting Peace

click here


Remembering McGovern, WWII Hero, Politician A longtime Democratic legislator from South Dakota and a three-time presidential candidate, George McGovern was a proud liberal well-known for his vehement ...
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Submitted on Thursday, Dec 27, 2018 at 2:58:56 AM

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This brought tears to my eyes, sorrow over the thought of what could have been...a reminder of the question "why do the good guys have to die" and the realization that America has long strayed from the principles it was founded on.

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 27, 2018 at 12:27:46 PM

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Leslie, nice to know you thought so very well of George McGovern. This article brought tears to your eyes. It would have brought tears to my eyes too but as you know, I do not tear up; at least I don't think I do. :')

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 27, 2018 at 6:54:42 PM

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A few days after the election my wife and I were in Acupulco feeling a

need for something to eat, We walked up the hill from the marina and

soon sat down to table in a touristy restaurant. Within moments

George, his wife and daughter walked in and sat at the table next to us.

They were each relieved to have lost the election, though McGovern

made clear that he was convinced that it had been his duty to try.

An amazing, quite admirable man.

There was no question where our vote had gone.

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 27, 2018 at 4:06:12 PM

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Nels, I think so too. He was both amazing and admirable.

Neat that you had the chance to meet him. Were you able to chat with him a little?

In Portland Oregon, George came to the Democratic headquarters to thank the volunteers who worked for him in the primary. Not sure if it was before or after the vote that he won easily. He gave a short talk and I was standing right behind him.

If George McGovern had won the presidential election I really don't think things would be much, if any, different today. He would have been able to change some things for the better at the time but as we know, in the end, the politicians including the president are not in control of very much, e.g., JFK. They can do things about the 'minor' issues but they do not control the 'important' things. Those things are controlled by the 'controllers,' a.k.a., the Deep State -- the elite, the bankers, the MIC, the secret societies, etc. -- behind the scenes. And they are in control more now than they would have been almost 50 years ago. So I don't think things would really be any different today if we had had a President McGovern.

Nels, what do you think? If McGovern had been elected, would things be much, if any, different today?

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 27, 2018 at 6:46:23 PM

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Sc---, I 'd like to think they would have been different, but the wife and I both tend to agree with you.

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 27, 2018 at 8:54:44 PM

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The responses to my posting on my dear friend George

McGovern are most gratifying. They remind us that

there endures in this nation a core of people who not only

remember him fondly, but who continue to hold to the values

he embodied as a candidate. Each new generation

has the opportunity to find and elect leaders with his

competence and his dedication to what is best within the

American people. Jim Wall

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 27, 2018 at 4:32:59 PM

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