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Cary Brunswick

October 30, 2012

My two votes for McGovern weren't nearly enough


It was cold with wet snow falling as our van pulled up in front of the town hall in a hamlet about 15 miles northwest of Concord. Only two cars were in the lot and no other voters appeared to be coming or going.

We entered the building, and a woman, a polling place worker, asked if she could help us.

“We work at Sawyer’s Orchards and were wondering if we could vote even though we’re not registered,’’ our spokesman said.

Given the prevalence of long hair and beards in our group, it had to be clear to the woman where our candidate sympathies resided.

“Sure, you can vote. Come this way,’’ she stated without hesitation. She calmly led us, one-by-one, through the voting procedure, and before long we all had cast our ballots.

But my two votes for George McGovern, one in New York and one in New Hampshire, did not help his cause. In the landslide result, he won only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

As a first-time voter, I was shocked and disillusioned by the result. After all, McGovern was against the war. In a commentary written in 2009, he recalled that in 1972, “speaking across the nation, I told audiences that the only upside of the tragedy in Vietnam was that its enormous cost in lives and dollars would keep any future administration from going down that road again.

“I was wrong,’’ he added.

McGovern supported economic justice. He called for an economy that supported jobs rather than a system “in which labor is depressed but prices and corporate profits run sky high.’’

He also favored national health insurance and “a fair and just tax system.’’

Unfortunately, the full ramifications of the Watergate break-in during the summer before the election had not come to light, so voters had no way of knowing that a disgraced Nixon would be forced out of office less than two years after the election.

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Cary Brunswick

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