Thursday, August 28, 2008

DNC Update, Hobnobbing With George McGovern

Yesterday evening, my wife and I were invited to a very private (50 people) cocktail and dinner reception given at the Denver Country Club for George McGovern. It had been over five years (see my blog 4/19) since we last saw McGovern in person, and when he gave his speech, I was reminded once again how honestly decent and intelligent he is. It’s downright disheartening to imagine how different the United States would look today if he had been elected president in 1972. For one thing, there would be 25,000 fewer names on the black wall of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington.

George McGovern was one of the few candidates for the nation’s highest office who held a Ph.D. degree, and his lopsided loss in the 1972 election was a clear demonstration of the fact that voters hold intellect and decency in very low esteem when choosing their president. For those who’ve forgotten their history, McGovern was trounced by Nixon, and we all know how that eventually turned out. Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton are exceptions to what I’m about to say, but for the most part, when a candidate possessing intellect and vision runs against a candidate possessing belligerence and truculent aggressiveness, the candidate of intellect and vision will lose the election. Americans are not great thinkers. They’re not even good thinkers. That’s why, when it comes time to pick a fight with some foreign country in the name of “peacekeeping,” Americans can’t wait to wade into battle. If you ask the average American to describe the role of the President, the majority of Americans will say, “Commander in Chief,” and voter selection for the role of President most often follows that guideline. The low public opinion of Bush at this time is not based on the fact that he took us to war. It’s based on the fact that he lost that war.

I write about this now, because 2008 is shaping up to be 1972 all over again. A man who might think first before acting is in a contest with a man who loves to pick a fight. Based on history, the thinker will probably lose to the fighter. It’s the American way.

Also see: Iraq- How It Will End

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