Sunday, October 21, 2012
Two things that immediately popped into my head when I heard the sad news this morning about George McGovern's death.
First, he was the first Presidential candidate I ever voted for -- at a time when this country seemed even more divided and yet, strangely enough, at the same time, somewhat more civil than it is now.
Second: It has been impossible for me to read or hear McGovern's name ever since seeing All the President's Men without thinking of Hal Holbrook in that dimly lit parking garage telling Robert Redford, in the condescending tone of someone explaining the obvious to a none-too-bright child, that McGovern was the liberal Democrat that Richard Nixon and his flunkies wanted to run against in 1972, because he'd be so much easier to beat than Ed Muskie.
I have never ceased to agree with those who've praised George McGovern was a good and honorable man. But I still shudder when I consider how easily and ruthlessly he, and we, were manipulated by his opponent.