Friday, October 19, 2012

McGovern: challanged Vietnam War, elitist politics

Democracy Now!:

In a Democracy Now! special, we look at the life and legacy of Sen. George McGovern, best known for running on an anti-war platform as the Democratic challenger to President Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential election. A family spokesperson confirms the 90-year-old McGovern is no longer responsive and is "at the end stages of his life." He has been in hospice care in South Dakota since Monday, suffering from a combination of age-related medical conditions that have worsened in recent months. McGovern ran against Nixon in 1972 on a platform of withdrawing U.S. troops from Vietnam, reducing defense spending, and providing amnesty to those who evaded the draft. Although he ultimately lost his election bid by a landslide, McGovern shattered the consensus in Capitol Hill around the Vietnam War as one of the first senators to speak out against the war. As a decorated World War II pilot who flew B-24 bombers over Nazi Germany, McGovern did not fit the stereotype of antiwar leaders in the 1960s and 1970s. He is also known for transforming how the Democratic Party chooses its presidential nominee, and for his efforts to end world hunger. We air an excerpt of a 2005 documentary about McGovern, "One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern," narrated by Amy Goodman. Exploring McGovern’s 1972 grassroots campaign for the presidency, the film features interviews with the candidate himself; supporters and activists like Gore Vidal, Gloria Steinem, Warren Beatty, Howard Zinn; and music from Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson, Donovan and Elvis Costello.

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