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McGovern Political Impact



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When he lost the 1972 presidential election it was by a landslide. But, Senator George McGovern's campaign and the platform he ran on 40 years ago still impacts today's elected leaders. Bob Burns professor emeritus (pictured) at SDSU says McGovern is identified with his own label.

“McGovernite was a label used to identify the left wing of the Democratic party. Senator McGovern never backed away from the label liberal, and never backed away from McGovernite,” said Burns

Burns met McGovern in the early 1960's but got to know him better after burns joined the political science faculty at SDSU. For a person who studies politics McGovern was an anomaly, someone who didn't always tell people what they wanted to hear.

“We can only hope we have men of courage from both the Republican ranks and the Democratic ranks that will step forward in legislative initiatives, action that will indeed improve the overall lot of Americans and improve our standing in the world,” said Burns.

Burns says it's what McGovern accomplished after politics that revealed his true character.

“But then to do all that he did after the 1981, after he left the senate. I think was really a testimony to how deeply he felt about those beliefs that he wanted to so much share with the rest of us,” said Burns.

People today may also underestimate McGovern's impact on ending the Vietnam War. Burns says McGovern was a leader among leaders when it came to opposition to the war.
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