To say that McGovern, not Nixon, was right on the Vietnam War is not terribly controversial today. But unlike many subsequent “antiwar” candidates, McGovern did not argue that the war was a terribly mistake that we would have to work our way out of in a year or three. Recognizing that real people would die while politicians tried to come up with some more “politically acceptable” solution, he called for immediate withdrawal. And the McGovern challenge went far deeper, proposing a 37 percent military-spending cut over three years. His acceptance speech called for national health insurance and a full employment program, with the government as employer of last resort. In short, he ran a campaign that proposed solutions of a magnitude equal to the problems facing the country. It didn’t nibble at the edges.
George McGovern recently passed away at the age of 90