• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

ONE WEEK TO DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!

A generous CounterPuncher has offered a $25,000 matching grant. So for this week only, whatever you can donate will be doubled up to $25,000! If you have the means, please donate! If you already have done so, thank you for your support. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Mourning George McGovern

It is eerily fitting that George McGoverns passing has occurred in the final heat of a furious election campaign, precariously balanced between the Republocrats and the Democlicans, a tweedle dum/ tweedle dee choice between two corporately owned political parties. No matter how much the corporate media tries to fan the public pulse with staged debates and constant reporting on polls and money raised in this manufactured horse race, it’s apparent that on issues of corporate welfare, empowering the rich, labor rights, immigration, terrorism, the vast military-industry complex, war and peace, energy policy , poverty, and the rape of the earth, there’s merely, at best, a dime’s worth of difference between the two.  Indeed, there are third party candidates, from the Green Party, Libertarian Party, Justice Party and others who have radically different ideas from those we are hearing from Obamney/Rombama, but the corporate dominated media is having none of that and refuses to carry these other views .

The significance of George McGovern’s failed campaign for the Presidency in 1972 is that it was born on the wings of a vast grassroots conspiracy, assiduously phoning, canvassing, going door to door, running slates of delegates to the Democratic convention, before there was an internet.  It was the last gasp of a democratic political process in the US.   The campaign to take over the Democratic Party by women, youth, gays, blacks, liberals, and other progressive Americans, started in 1968 with Eugene McCarthy’s candidacy to end the war in Vietnam.  That effort ended in the furious assault on our young people at Mayor Daley’s Chicago Democratic convention.  Here we witnessed on television the ugly police brutality against students and youth protesting the war in Vietnam and the fixed rules of the convention that favored those in power and ignored the results of that year’s grassroots primary campaign for Gene McCarthy, and later, Bobby Kennedy, cruelly assassinated while campaigning in LA, having entered the race after Johnson announced he wouldn’t run for a second term.

With renewed determination, across the country we formed the New Democratic Coalition in 1968 and vowed change the rules of the party and to capture the nomination in 1972 for a peace candidate that would finally end the war in Vietnam and address issues of civil rights, poverty, human rights, true national security—the liberal progressive agenda.  George McGovern announced as our candidate, supporting the reform of the Convention rules and all of our issues.  I went up and down my block in Massapequa, Long Island, with an army of suburban housewives, students, commuting husbands, canvassing my neighbors and making sure those who supported our platform came out to vote in the Democratic primary.   In 1970 we had primaries for local candidates and actually sent Allard Lowenstein, the brilliant progressive leader who enrolled Eugene McCarthy to challenge Lyndon Johnson in the 1968 Democratic primaries, to Congress from Long Island.  These efforts took place all over America and when I moved to Maryland in 1970, I continued my door to door work for McGovern in Potomac.  The establishment media rarely reported on our work.   They kept predicting that Edmund Muskie would be the nominee and gave virtually no press coverage to McGovern or our campaign.  What a great surprise when our elected delegates showed up at the Miami Convention in 1972—the sixties manifest in all its glory, with youth, women, blacks, Hispanics, gays, a broad swath of progressive America—and we nominated George McGovern!   The energy was electric as movie stars mingled with peace activists, civil rights workers, women’s libbers, the gay community, and every other shade and stripe of 1960s protesters.   And we proved the political process worked!   We actually captured the nomination!!   What an awful letdown to see how the establishment fought back.   They never wrote about McGovern’s forward looking platform for peace and prosperity.   They hounded him daily for having appointed Missouri Senator Thomas Eagleton to run as his Vice President who was later discovered to have been hospitalized for manic-depression many years earlier.   McGovern replaced him on the ticket with Sargent Shriver, Kennedy’s brother-in-law, but the press was relentlessly opposed to his platform and instead of talking about his WWII fighter pilot record, his outstanding values and creative ideas for ending poverty in America and ending the Vietnam War, they tarred him as a “hippie” with all the rest of his supporters and he won only Massachusetts and Washington, DC in the election.

The establishment has closed ranks ever since.    There has never been such an open, democratically conducted nomination process as we enjoyed from 1968 to 1972, and which resulted in a true people’s choice when George McGovern was nominated.   Today we have carefully staged-managed events, designed not to upset any of the corporate sponsors, filtered through the corporate media, leaving Americans in the dark.   George McGovern’s nomination was a shining moment for a democratic political process and also, sadly, a signal to the enemies of democracy to close ranks and do everything in their power to never allow it to happen again.

Alice Slater is a founder of Abolition 2000, working for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

 

 

 

More articles by:

Alice Slater is a founder of Abolition 2000, which works for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. 

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
October 17, 2019
Steve Early
The Irishman Cometh: Teamster History Hits the Big Screen (Again)
Jonathan Cook
Israel Prepares to Turn Bedouin Citizens into Refugees in Their Own Country
Stan Cox
Healing the Rift Between Political Reality and Ecological Reality
Jeff Klein
Syria, the Kurds, Turkey and the U.S.: Why Progressives Should Not Support a New Imperial Partition in the Middle East
George Ochenski
The Governor, the Mining Company and the Future of a Montana Wilderness
Charles Pierson
Bret Stephens’ American Fantasy
Ted Rall
The First Thing We Do, Let’s Fire All the Cops
Jon Rynn
Saving the Green New Deal
Ajamu Baraka
Syria: Exposing Western Radical Collaboration with Imperialism
Binoy Kampmark
A Coalition of Support: Parliamentarians for Julian Assange
Thomas Knapp
The Down Side of Impeachment
Harvey Wasserman
What Really Happened to American Socialism?
Tom Engelhardt
American Brexit
October 16, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
How Turkey’s Invasion of Syria Backfired on Erdogan
Chitrangada Choudhury – Aniket Aga
How Cotton Became a Headache in the Age of Climate Chaos
Jack Rasmus
US-China Mini-Trade Deal: Trump Takes the Money and Runs
Michael Welton
Communist Dictatorship in Our Midst
Robert Hunziker
Extinction Rebellion Sweeps the World
Peter A. Coclanis
Donald Trump as Artist
Chris Floyd
Byzantium Now: Time-Warping From Justinian to Trump
Steve Klinger
In For a Dime, in For a Dollar
Gary Leupp
The Maria Ramirez Story
Kim C. Domenico
It Serves Us Right To Suffer: Breaking Down Neoliberal Complacency
Kiley Blackman
Wildlife Killing Contests are Unethical
Colin Todhunter
Bayer Shareholders: Put Health and Nature First and Stop Funding This Company!
Andrés Castro
Looking Normal in Kew Gardens
October 15, 2019
Victor Grossman
The Berlin Wall, Thirty Years Later
Raouf Halaby
Kurdish Massacres: One of Britain’s Many Original Sins
Robert Fisk
Trump and Erdogan have Much in Common – and the Kurds will be the Tragic Victims of Their Idiocy
Ron Jacobs
Betrayal in the Levant
Wilma Salgado
Ecuador: Lenin Moreno’s Government Sacrifices the Poor to Satisfy the IMF
Ralph Nader
The Congress Has to Draw the Line
William A. Cohn
The Don Fought the Law…
John W. Whitehead
One Man Against the Monster: John Lennon vs. the Deep State
Lara Merling – Leo Baunach
Sovereign Debt Restructuring: Not Falling Prey to Vultures
Norman Solomon
The More Joe Biden Stumbles, the More Corporate Democrats Freak Out
Jim Britell
The Problem With Partnerships and Roundtables
Howard Lisnoff
More Incitement to Violence by Trump’s Fellow Travelers
Binoy Kampmark
University Woes: the Managerial Class Gets Uppity
Joe Emersberger
Media Smears, Political Persecution Set the Stage for Austerity and the Backlash Against It in Ecuador
Thomas Mountain
Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed Wins Nobel Peace Prize, But It Takes Two to Make Peace
Wim Laven
Citizens Must Remove Trump From Office
October 14, 2019
Ann Robertson - Bill Leumer
Class Struggle is Still the Issue
Mike Miller
Global Climate Strike: From Protest To Power?
Patrick Cockburn
As Turkey Prepares to Slice Through Syria, the US has Cleared a New Breeding Ground for Isis
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail