May George McGovern rest –as he lived — in peace. We have lost a great and decent man.
At 24, I worked for McGovern’s 1972 Presidential effort, managing the campaign in what was then the 52nd Assembly District in Los Angeles County. This was the most conservative Democratic district in California and likely favored both Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace over the nominee. In 2005, I had the opportunity to interview him for an hour with the release of the documentary, One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern.
GEORGE McGOVERN was a decorated World War II bomber pilot (his wartime exploits were at the center of of Steven Ambrose’s The Wild Blue) and professor at Dakota Wesleyan Univeristy. After running the Food for Peace Program under John Kennedy, he represented South Dakota for two terms in the House and three terms in the Senate. His opposition to the Vietnam War fueled a grassroots campaign that won him the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination, only to lose to incumbent Richard Nixon in one of the great landslides in US history. Many members of Nixon’s Committee to Re-Elect the President later served jail time for Watergate-connected crimes.
In 1997, Bill Clinton named him the US Permanent Representative to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, and in 2000 Clinton awarded him the nation’s highest honor, the Medal of Freedom. He has written nine books including Terry: My Daughter’s Life and Death Struggle with Alcoholism (about his daughter — also named Terrence — who died in 1994), The Essential America: Our Founders and the Liberal Tradition, and Ending Hunger Now: A Challenge to Persons of Faith.
Happy New Year.
I was lucky enough to get to know the great journalist Molly Ivins in the final years before her death in 2007. We were both annual panelists at the Conference on World Affairs that takes place for a week each April in Boulder Colorado. I have been there every year since 2001. Molly attended basically every other year for quite a while longer.
From writing Elvis Presley’s New York Times obituary to becoming the most widely-read self-proclaimed “pain in the ass to whatever powers come to be,” Ivins, often described as a modern-day Mark Twain, made rabid fans and enemies alike with her sharp-tongued humor and unabashed political criticism.
I speak with Oscar-and-Tony-nominated actress Kathleen Turner who portrays Ivins in Red Hot Patriot at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood January 3rd thru February 12th — and with Lou Dubose who co-authored three books with Molly.
Wall Street, the super-rich and the big corporations working through both political parties – in different ways — have distorted and diminished our politics, our courts, our economy, and our aspirations. Listen to a conversation about what’s broken at the intersection of our society, our politics, and our economy, how it got broken, and how to fix it.
R J ESKOW
Campaign for America’s Future
Institute for New Economic Thinking
Founder, Planetize the Movement
author, love letter to the milky way
JANINE BENYUS is a natural sciences writer, innovation consultant, and author of six books, including Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. Since the book's 1997 release, Janine has evolved the practice of biomimicry, consulting with sustainable business, academic, and government leaders. Janine has co-founded the Biomimicry Guild, the Biomimicry Institute, and the web portal http://www.asknature.org/ to further this work. Her next book will be Nature's Code.