Friday, July 28, 2006

The Most Important Elections of our Time

I think the Democratic primary elections of 1972 were the most important of our time --- and their results are still playing out. After Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was killed in 1968 (by Sirhan Sirhan a Palestinian who didn't like his pro-Israel position) Senator George McGovern entered the fray to h0ld the Kennedy delegates. There were anti-Vietnam riots in the streets of Chicago. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) came out in favor of the rioters, and against the procedures of the oldest political party in the world. Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey won the nomination. As a sop to Humphrey a "McGovern Commission" was formed to create new party rules. These included quotas for women, blacks and other minorities.

McGovern, Humphrey and George Wallace got about equal numbers of popular votes. But McGovern's people (Rick Stearns was one) knew the rules best, and survived some challenges to who the legitimate delegates were.

So "McGovernism" came into play. It included all the "cause movements" --- civil rights, feminism, environmentalism, consumerism etc. Each had merit, and each was carried to excess.

That fight still goes on...


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