Another one from Michael Moore that I thought some may like to read.
I'd like to say a few words on the passing of Senator George McGovern. I cast my first vote in a presidential general election for George McGovern. The Vietnam War had been going on for years. Our country was engaged in the mass murder of a foreign people who never threatened or attacked the United States (or anybody else). Our military slaughtered TWO MILLION Vietnamese. For the privilege of doing that, the Pentagon gave up the lives of 58,000 American soldiers -- many, if not most, of them forced into conscription against their will to carry out this premeditated killing. As you can probably discern from the tone of this post, I, and millions of others in my generation, were beside ourselves with anger and fury against this immoral act carried out in our name - and still are. Nine boys from my high school came home in box. Two of them had lived on my street. The war was put into high gear by a Democrat (Lyndon Johnson) and expanded by a Republican (Richard Nixon). Yay bi-partitianship! To those of you younger than me who are reading this, maybe this will help you understand better why most baby boomers (your parents) ultimately don't trust either of these parties or most of these politicians.
In 1972, George McGovern became our one hope in putting an end to this madness. He ran as a peace candidate from the Democratic Party. Nixon was so worried and threatened by this, he sent burglars to break in to the Democratic Party's offices and bug their phones. He sent them also in to a doctors office to steal the records of the man who gave secret documents revealing the lies of the Vietnam War from the Pentagon to the New York Times (this man, Daniel Ellsberg, is considered a hero to this day; he, unlike Bradley Manning, did not spend 500 days in solitary confinement and then put on trial for being a traitor).
But it wasn't just Nixon who was at fault. The majority of Americans loved him and loved the war. In fact, the majority of Americans throughout my lifetime have always - at least initially - LOVED going to war (especially if they didn't have to do the fighting and dying). We are the Masters of War, and nobody does it as often as the USA. "The Americans are killers!" D.H. Lawrence said a hundred years ago, and we haven't let him down.
McGovern was willing to stand in the middle of the road and stop the hordes of war-loving Americans. And for that he got run over. The biggest landslide in American history. Nixon received 530 electoral votes. McGovern got 17.
George McGovern was a courageous fighter for peace. I remember the night of his defeat. My friends and I had run the McGovern grassroots campaign for the eastern half of Genesee County (Flint), MI. It was an uphill struggle. We were mostly told by people when we knocked on their doors to leave America. We didn't.
I got to meet George McGovern at the Democratic convention in 2004. I was so thrilled to be able to tell him what he had meant to me, how he had inspired me, and how I believe history has already shown him to have been right. I thanked him for being one of those rare individuals who are willing to put themselves on the line - even if it means they are (mostly) standing there all alone.
Thank you, again, George McGovern. You will never be forgotten.
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