tv Democracy Now WHUT October 19, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
10/19/12 10/19/12 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from california, this is "democracy now!" [cheers] >> having received the majority vote, hereby declared the 1972 democratic nominee for president of the united states. >> today in a "democracy now!" special, we look at the life and legacy of senator george mcgovern, best known for running against president richard nixon and an anti-4 platform. >> as one whose heart has eight for the past 10 years of the
agony of vietnam, i will hold the senseless bombing on and our role day. >> as a family spokesperson confirms senator mcgovern is in hospice care, unresponsive and there in the end of his life, we will play extended excerpts of the documentary "one bright shining moment: the forgotten summer of george mcgovern." it traces his historic campaigne presidency. >> that is the highlight of my life, i guess, winning the democratic nomination of the oldest political party in american history. i remember excited faces, people laughing and talking, some weeping. there was a lot of emotion and passion in that campaign. and i will take those memories with me the rest of my life. >> all of that and more coming
up. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we're on the road in sacramento, california a. dozens of people were killed thursday when syrian warplanes bombed the rebel-held town of maaret al-numan. rescue workers interviewed at the scene reported a toll of at least 44 people, including 29 children dead. the bombs apparently destroyed two residential buildings and a mosque, where many of the victims had sought shelter. syria's violence continuing to flare, the when top human-rights official warned the current bloodshed could descend to the levels of bosnia's sectarian war. >> the memories of what happened in bosnia should be sufficiently fresh to warn us all of the danger of allowing syria to descend into all that
sectarian conflict. thousands and thousands of men, women, and children have already been killed, injured, tortured, displaced. it should not take something as drastic [indiscernible] to shake the world into taking serious action to stop this kind of conflict. by remaining divided, the international committee is enabling continuation of the suffering and helping create the circumstances for a wider regional conflict. >> the ca is urging to back a major expansion of armed drones used for attacks overseas. the washington bus reports the cia has asked for permission to expand its fleet by as many as 10 drones on top of the roughly 35 in its possession. the move would continue the agency's shift from intelligence activities to operating as a fall on paramilitary wing of the u.s. government. if approved, the proposal would
expand the ca's capability to wage drone attacks in pakistan and yemen while also allowing it to shift focus to north africa and other areas. despite concerns of the ca's involvement in military operations, the pentagon reportedly has yet to raise any formal objections. president obama hit the campaign trail thursday in the northeast with a continued effort to drum up support among women voters. speaking in hampshire, obama touted his record on fair pay in the workplace and access to abortion services. >> you know where i stand. the lilly ledbetter fair pay act, this was the first bill i signed into law. [applause] and i know you want the same thing for your daughters or sisters or moms or grandma's as i do. as i said in the debate, this is not just a women's issue, but a family issue, an economic issue.
i also believe women should make their own health care decisions. >> president obama and romney were questioned about the lilly ledbetter fair pay act in their debate tuesday night. on thursday, the romney campaign attempted to walk back a statement from top romney advisor ed gillespie that romney had opposed the bill in 2009. elsewhere on the campaign trail, former president bill clinton rallied democrats in ohio, playing the role of warm-up act to the famed musician bruce springsteen. >> i had 20 something jobs before i got elected president, but this is the first, my life i ever got to be it the warm-up act for springsteen. >> i believe we are in the midst of those long days right now. i'm here because i believe president obama feels those days in his bones, for all 100% of us. >> and you wrote federal bills court has become the sixth nationwide to strike down the
1996 defense of marriage act, which bars federal recognition of same-sex couples. on thursday, the second u.s. circuit court of appeals said doma violates the constitution's equal protection laws but the case was brought by prominent lesbian activist edith windsor of new york, who was forced to pay more than $350,000 in estate taxes because her marriage wasn't recognized under federal law. five other federal appeals courts have previously deemed the law unconstitutional. despite also opposing the law, the obama administration has continued enforcing it pending a final ruling that it has requested from the supreme court. texas is threatening to shut down a state health program for low-income women and the group planned parenthood continues to be involved. the texas program offers cancer and health screenings as well as birth control services to some 130,000 low-income women, about 40% of whom are served through planned parenthood. but texas has sought to and planned parenthood from participating because they also
provide abortions. a federal kills court is currently reviewing plan. it's a challenge to the band. on thursday, the texas health and human services executive commissioner said -- a recent george washington university study has warned texas will be unlikely to adequately provide care to the patients currently served by planned. should the ban be upheld. new jersey has become the latest date to call for constitutional amendment that would overturn citizens united, the landmark u.s. supreme court decision that paved the way for massive corporate spending to influence elections. the state assembly approved the resolution on thursday following a campaign by several activist groups, part of a wave of local efforts that's seen similar measures pass in eight other states. the oil giant transcanada has temporarily shut down its keystone pipeline due to apparent safety issues. transcanada told federal officials thursday it has halted the massive pipeline which
carries crude oil from the alberta tar sands to illinois and oklahoma. the shutdown will last at least three days. at the news comes as activists in texas are nearly a month into a blockade against the construction of keystones southern leg. both obama and mitt romney appeared together in new york thursday night for the annual al smith memorial charity dinner. a group of protesters, including physicians and medical students, rallied to call for single payer health care insurance program. >> we're here because but president obama and governor romney -- what they want to do is a threat to medicare. with romney it is much more of a threat because he wants to do a program that will really destroy medicare as we know it. but president obama also wants to raise the age of eligibility for medicare, and we think that is not right. >> as a medical student, i am
afraid of practicing in the current system. it is going to prevent me from practicing care in the way i want to, which is to help people with their needs and not be concerned about the endless paperwork of a multi-payer system. >> boston police are being accused of routinely spying on local peace groups at their meetings and protests. the american civil liberties union says police have filed regular reports to boston's regional intelligence center detailing the activities of groups including veterans for peace, united for justice with ps and codepink. one event at a church featuring the late historian howard zinn was filed under the category of "criminal act: groups extremist." officers also monitored protesters' out-of-state plans, including attended a rally in washington, d.c. police have held on to the surveillance files for several years despite federal rules that call for them to be expunged if no criminal or terrorist activity is involved.
in a statement, the aclu of massachusetts said -- the u.s. military has imposed a curfew on all u.s. forces in japan following the rest of to american troops for allegedly raping a japanese woman on the island of okinawa. the top u.s. commander in japan announced the curfew earlier today. >> i want to personally apologize for the grief and trauma the victim has endured and the anger it has caused among the people in okinawa. i am immediately issuing a curfew to all military personnel in japan, but temporary and assigned. in addition, core value training, retraining for military and civilians will be conducted by subordinate commanders and a review of the
u.s. debris policy will be executed over the coming days and weeks. >> those are some of the headlines. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. sacramento, road in california, as we continue our 100-city silenced majority to wear. today, "democracy now!" special. we look at the life and legacy of the presidential candidate, the anti-war leader senator george mcgovern. a family spokesperson says the 90-year-old mcgovern is no longer responsive and is "at the end stages of life." he has been in hospice care since monday, suffering from a combination of age related medical conditions that have worsened in recent months. senator mcgovern is best known for running against richard nixon in the 1972 presidential election on a platform of withdrawing u.s. troops from vietnam, reducing defense spending, and providing amnesty
to those who evaded the draft. as a decorated world war ii pilot, mcgovern did not fit the stereotype of anti-war leaders in the 1960's and 1970's. although he ultimately lost his election bid by a landslide, he shattered the consensus in capitol hill around the vietnam war as a first senator to speak out against the war. senator mcgovern is also known for transforming how the democratic party chooses its presidential nominee. for years prior to his 1972 run for the white house, he chaired the commission on party structure and delegate selection. in 1982, the democratic national committee approved a new series of reforms, including the establishment of superdelegates to give the party more direct control or the selection of presidential candidates. speaking on "democracy now!" in 2008, senator mcgovern described the impact of the reforms. >> the 1972 convention, the first one to come under the new reforms, was pretty evenly
balanced between men and women. you looked out over the convention floor it also said there should be some consideration given to age groups. some of the biggest delegations to the 1968 convention did not have a single person 30 years of age or under. even though the transition was the war in vietnam where everybody was under 30. so we corrected some serious imbalances in the way the delegations were put together. >> in 2000, president bill clinton awarded senator mcgovern the presidential medal of freedom, america's highest civilian honor. senator mcgovern is the author of a number of books including an autobiography and the story of his daughter's struggle with all oralism. he also wrote "what it means to be a democrats when we turn to a documentary about george mcgovern that i narrated called, "one bright shining moment: the
forgotten summer of george mcgovern." is written, directed, and produced by stephen vittoria, and traces the 1972 grassroots campaign by senator mcgovern for presidency. it features interviews with mcgovern supporters and activists. this clip begins with a 1972 campaign film for presidential candidate mcgovern. >> i cannot afford to buy groceries and i cannot afford to get sick. believe me, i cannot afford to die. there are 25 million americans over 65. they are mothers and wives, there are people who once belonged to somebody. and now they belonged to nobody. not even the nation their husbands and sons died for. >> it is hard to find -- >> after warned beatty.
>> has engendered as much affection as george mcgovern has engendered. >> i was waiting at the airport for somebody that had been described to me as a senator from south dakota and he would give me a ride. >> gloria steinem. >> i was looking for someone who looked like a senator, and did not release the anybody. there was this uncertain and within a bulging briefcase -- with an old, bulging briefcase. >> george had his aspects, too, not to mention myself. >> i was surprised because, i don't know, i was a young journalist and had not meant that many to list it i expected him to look like a senator. i discovered he not only sound like a senator, he sounded like a great mind of history. >> i remember standing on the floor of the convention as mcgovern was being nominated and looking over the colorado
delegation. they're young people and black people and all kinds of different folks in that delegation. it really was diverse. everyone was crying. >> all of this talk about a softy, that he did not have a spine to be president -- that was preposterous. he was an american hero. >> mcgovern had that in 1972, he would have led this nation to compassion. >> even though he tried to take everything he said internet into a table pounding pronouncement, he was not a firebrand. he was calm. he was very articulate. >> after watergate, i drove around with a sticker that said "don't blame me, i voted for mcgovern. >> kenyan imagine if -- can you
imagine if mcgovern had become president? can you imagine a world without watergate? without yellow ribbons? without madison avenue induced patriotism? can you imagine a world that was not hungry? >> he took darkness and lit one match, from miles away you could see that little match. that is what he was able to do. his light was too bright. that is what it was. his light was too bright because he did not understand compromise. >> mcgovern is in this tradition. what he did is as important now as it was then, because american history is not something in the past. it is continuing. we are a part of it. the tape is rolling.
the tape is rolling on american history. >> there is great difficulty in fighting a guerrilla war. especially entering as difficult a south vietnam. we do not see the end of the tunnel, but i must say i do not think it is as dark as it was a year ago. >> there's a light at the end of the tunnel. we can soon bring our troops home. victory is near. >> we still see -- >> in 1962 i participated in such a prediction myself. but for 20 years, we have been wrong. >> i speak out against this war because i am disappointed with america. there can be no great disappointment where there is no great love. >> with the vietnam war drilling a hole through lyndon johnson's presidency as well as everyday american lives, new york political lowenstein through the halls of capitol hill, [indiscernible]
he knew that someone had to raise the moral flag against the war and his first thought was bobby kennedy's office. the first term new york senator understood the rightness of the cause, but knew that throwing his hat in the ring would surely wreck the democratic party and possibly his own career. kennedy suggested south dakota senator george mcgovern, probably the most ardent critic of the war. in recommending his friend, bobby said -- georgia is the most decent man in the senate. as a matter of fact, he's probably the only one. >> nobody dreamed johnson would resign and decide not to run again. i thought since i was up for reelection for the senate, it would be better to get a senator who did not have to forfeit his seat in the senate, so suggested to mccarthy. >> the one thing he was
concerned about was the establishment was one to pursue this war, nobody was quick to be there to make a case against the war the democratic convention. >> finally, i decided i would do it. i was right in the middle of a campaign for reelection to the senate. i was simply try to hold its kennedy delegates in the kennedy standard at the convention. i have always been glad i did that. >> i share with countless other americans a profound sense that the untimely deaths of john and robert kennedy and as well of martin luther king and medgar evers have left a painful void, unfulfilled dreams, that all of us must try to restore. it is for these purposes i declare myself a candidate for the presidential nomination. [applause] >> i think some of us really enraged eugene mccarthy with buttons that said "mcgovern is
the real eugene mccarthy" but as yet had the record on the war that mccarthy had not. -- he had the real record on the war that mccarthy had not request the democratic party has blood on its hands. a struggle between young people and those old menopausal men who run this country and the struggle about what the future of this country is about. >> i think would be totally unrealistic. >> chicago, 1968. definitely not the summer of love. a moment when the better angels of our nature or so unmistakably missing. it was also in the 1972 candidacy of george mcgovern began to mount. >> in 1968, chicago convention.
the police rioted and we saw american democracy in action. american democracy was then called mayor daley. >> if you're against the war, you got your head cracked. >> i remember being outside the hilton hotel in chicago the night hubert humphrey had won the nomination, and being gassed. >> we were seen as a police riot. the police were completely out of control. >> it was a sickening scene. use of two groups of young people -- you saw two groups of young people facing each other, youngsters protesting the war and these young policeman. frankly, i had a tinge of sympathy for both sides because it was the war that tore the city apart.
i remember being in one of the rooms with a paraplegic. the tv was on. i remember the chance to attack the whole world is watching." >> the mayor played it perfectly to get everybody angry at mcgovern. >> as the party was being challenged, and his mind, by people who had no right to challenge. >> it was ugly as hell. >> daley had incredible control over his police. these were scenes run out of nazi germany after hitler took power, cracking down. >> i remember saying to myself, almost in a whisper, "what they're doing is wrong." i think that is the first, began to get scared about the possibility of the government becoming my enemy.
>> all of the veterans were cheering on the beating of the protesters, but i did not cheer that night. i remember feeling and empathy for those protesters who were being beat. so things were changing inside of me. >> i laid on the floor and laughed so hard said, "what is wrong?" i said, "the white folks around the world have never seen their white children get beat up." white folks always looked at the cops, come get my cat out of the tree in the suburbs. always there to keep them away from me. going into that 1968 convention the chant was, "support your local police." coming out of that convention, something happened. >> covering the most famous line -- >> george mcgovern for president, we would not have to
have [indiscernible] in the streets of chicago. [applause] with george mcgovern and we would not have a national guard critic of richard daley saw this as a personal attack. in a way, it was. famous --d the same a >> what do you think he said? >> i cannot remember what it was. >> i am sorry, i don't -- >> that's ok. >> he calls him a [bleep]
he says something, he uses the word "jew." there are better people than me to do that, really. [laughter] >> how hard it is to accept the truth. >> we will continue with stephen vittoria's documentary, "one bright shining moment: the forgotten summer of george mcgovern." back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
>> this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we continue with the award winning documentary, "one bright shining moment: the forgotten summer of george mcgovern." directed by stephen vittoria. a family spokesperson has confirmed the 90-year-old former presidential candidate and anti- war leader george mcgovern is at the end stages of his life in hospice care. he is now unresponsive. we return to the documentary. >> the sign reads "kill one person, call it murder. kill a million, called for policies." >> there are many americans were not offended that we are at war and killing a lot of natives. a lot of people thought, a pretty good thing, get those gooks. >> there has been and continues
to be opposition to the war in vietnam on the campuses and in the nation. as far as this kind of activity is concerned, we expect it. however, under no circumstances will i be affected what ever by ed. >> the president of the nine states said nothing young kids would do would have any affect on him. well, i suggest to the president of the united states if you want to know how much affect youngsters can have on the president, he should make one long distance phone call to the lbj ranch and ask that was how much effect you can have. >> you went to vietnam to see the battlefields firsthand, the jungle there were climbing some lives. his first trip was in 1975. >> i went to a hospital of american soldiers in saigon. the very first person i talked to was a captain.
and the nurse who is taking me around said the captain at the silver star and the purple heart. i said, well, congratulations, capt. but as i did so, his lips started to quiver. i look down and his feet were gone. he had stepped on a mine and blown off his feet about 6 inches above the ankles. i visited with him for a while and said, well, congratulations again, capt., on the purple heart. he said, that is easy to get in this damn place. i went to a civilian hospital or the vietnamese were being cared for they were the victims of shrapnel from american gunfire. one woman had a baby she was holding. the baby's head was completely wrapped in bandages this except for the eyes. i asked her if she would mind if i took a picture of her and that baby. she picked up an old rag to what
some of the blood off the bandages on the baby's face. and then tried to smile. i took that picture, which i still have. >> douglas macarthur told a senate armed services committee after the bitter experience in korea from any american commander in chief who ever again commit young americans to warfare on the asian mainland ought to have his head examined. >> by mid 1970, with nixon in office a year-and-a-half, the secret plan to end the war obviously nothing more than campaign rhetoric, he and kissinger rollout another fairy tale. >> the idea was to reduce the number of american troops in vietnam at the same time you increased the size of the army of south vietnam. the catch, however, was to vietnamize the vietnam war, he
still had a sustained bombing. under richard nixon, we dropped yet another equivalent of world war ii and vietnam, and of course, nixon expanded the war in cambodia in 1970. [explosions] >> i thought it was terrible the way the nixon people handled vietnam. we could have gotten out and said 25,000 young american lives, probably a least a million vietnamese lives. we kill 2 million people, that most of those people were the casualties of american bombers, tanks, flame throwers, automatic weapons, chemical warfare, defoliation of the trees and that sort of thing. nixon was responsible for a great part of that by not ending that war when he came to power. there is no excuse for the war going on one month afterwards.
the country was ready for some kind of a settlement at that point. i think that is a tragedy. >> never again will we send the pressures young blood of this country to die trying to prop up the corrupt military dictatorship abroad. >> a volunteer. >> i grew up with this little graphic and the corner of the front page and there's a silhouette of a soldier and a bayonet on arrival. and that stood for how many killed in action in vietnam. and if that did not scare the hell out of you as you're coming up to draft date, i don't know what did. the fact that could simplify human death to a little graphic on the front page of a newspaper, first, scared you, then made you sick. >> to destroy the village and
its inhabitants. >> did you think the people in the village were vietcong? >> some of the people in the village were not old enough to walk yet. take there going to canvas of america, and there are stains on the campus, and hear someone prophetically and courageous the first and meeting where the stains are rather than lying about them. we've got to confess sins, but it is never enough to confess sins, that is cheap. -- that is cheap grace. yet to change the direction. repentance means changing direction. >> george mcgovern wanted out bridge he wanted my friends, relatives to come home and not in a body bag. >> literally hours before nixon
and kissinger invade cambodia, mcgovern and republican senator mark hatfield of oregon introduce an amendment to the military procurement authorization bill that if passed, would prohibit the use of funds to finance american military operations in southeast asia after 31 december, 1970, the end of the year. the amendment was the first serious attempt by either the house or the senate to reclaim from the executive branch the war making and war funding powers clearly granted to them by the united states constitution. >> the invasion of cambodia to us at the american political landscape on fire. a revitalized the anti-were movement, and set the motion, demonstrations all across the united states on college campuses, and culminated in the tragic shootings at kent state university on may 4, 1970.
>> the four who died here, the nine who were wounded here, the many who faced a grand jury -- they did more for their countries than all the nixons and the agnews and the reagans to possibly do. >> remember, this was sheer tragedy and lessons. the national guardsmen who were sent to maintain order in kent state, roughly the same age, in fact, a number of them from kent state. one could forecast when nixon extended the war into cambodia that this would happen. >> this tells me that this is part of an old story. >> howard zinn. >> it is really not a surprise that the united states government would turn on its own people. the history of the labor movement is a history of a
government forces -- policeman, sheriff, army -- clothing, killing, disabling people who are on strike. the same group that went to orangeburg, south carolina, to the university of south carolina and killed students the went to jackson state and mississippi and killed students and nobody gave a damn. we tried to tell white folks, what they do to me today they duty on next week. they don't understand that. >> under thompson, they did not see them as protesters, but criminals. you deal with criminals and a strong arm waivered if you can work of a good reason to do so, at issue. it was awful. >> when kent state hit, we were glad because now y'all had messed up.
the sadness was there, but the outrage that was going to come out of a is incredible. >> there is no longer a political cost to shut down the war, but we felt it was imported shut down the government, shut down the country into a people saw how people were being ripped apart. >> i setup console and the father of one of the girls who was killed. she was not in the protest, was just walking to learn aher next class but she took a fatal shot her father, was a pittsburgh steel worker, came to my senate office and just wept. what kind of a government is this? the washington. i don't think it is an exaggeration to say that this country was never more divided
over a war with the exception of the civil war. our losses were not as heavy in vietnam, but the numbers of people killed by our side was vastly greater. none of those people wanted a quarrel with the united states. and a great tragedy is, we stumbled into that war on the wrong side. >> in the summer 1970, thousands of young people descended on washington to lobby for the mcgovern hatfield amendment, capitol hill was inundated by more mail it received in american history. it was the amendment to end the war. in september 1970, the amendment finally came to a vote on the floor. 94 senators were in their seats in the gallery was filled overflowing. eleanor was there, the children were there, it was a highly
dramatic moment. >> every senator in this chamber is partly responsible for sending 50,000 americans to an early grave. this chamber reeks of blood. every senator here is partly responsible for the human wreckage at walter reed and bethesda naval and all across this land, young boys without legs or arms or genitals or faces or hopes. don't talk to them about bugging out our national honor or courage. it doesn't take any courage at all for a congressman or senator or president to wrap himself in the flag and say, "we are staying in vietnam" because it is not our blood being shed. so before we vote, let us ponder the admonition of the great
parliamentarians and learn burke of an earlier day, a conscientious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood. >> it is a paraphrase of john bright, the greatest radical or tear-- orator. he said i hear in this chamber as we speak, the wings of the angels deaths. >> we will continue with stephen vittoria's documentary, "one bright shining moment: the forgotten summer of george mcgovern." george mcgovern is in hospice care, nearing the end of his life. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
>> this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a family spokesperson says senator george mcgovern is now in the end stages of his life, in hospice care, and responsive since wednesday. he is surrounded by family. we continue with the award winning the contrary, "one bright shining moment: the forgotten summer of george mcgovern." it was written, directed, and produced by stephen vittoria. >> no other metaphor than that
of a guerrilla army on the move can describe the of people that was to shake and change the entire democratic party in the next 10 weeks. for the march of george mcgovern and as 10 weeks would go down as a classic and american political history. masterpiece of partisan warfare. troops living off the land, tapping into frustration everywhere, all of them recruiting, persuading, stirring action hurts hitherto undisturbed by politics. the door wide, the making of the president, 1972. >> mcgovern there is a reason to stand up and say -- wait a minute, is this worth believing in? is this worth doing? i'm going to do it no matter what the cost. and mcgovern was doing that a lot of political amateurs a lot of people getting into politics for the first time, people feeling they needed people to step in and have a say and start
to get involved in the actual gears of politics work. >> we had no money and, therefore cannot buy media. we had to rely on grass-roots volunteers. we knew that from the start. therefore, we made appeals on campuses indian people and to volunteers. >> you had housewives and x baseball players and regular folks who had always watched these things on tv. >> if you were professor now politician, or almost disqualified good >> live free or die. the army went to work with a passion rarely seen. in the candidates started pounding away. it town after town, living room after living room. mcgovern top jobs, unfair taxation, wasteful military spending, the big business havens of the nixon plan. of course, he talked about ending the bloodshed in vietnam.
immediately. >> even if we stay there and bond for the next five years and americans continue to die and we spend another $100 billion, five years from now we're going to be right where we are now, so let's recognize we made a mistake and these young men have given their lives, and let's quit killing other young man. let's bring this war to an end. >> the so-called experts of conventional wisdom said the young street fighters in the mcgovern army could not organize california. in fact, they said nobody could. as gary hart recalls, we marched in the lotus land with the prairie states and at the front of a ragtag army of guerrilla warriors. >> in a way, this was as good as it was going to get. the tide was with us for it it was a triumph of american politics. the dark course, unknown, could begin to leave one of the two major parties and possibly challenge the power structure
>> traveling with the ghost of robert kennedy, mcgovern embarks on a classic was a stopped train track to the san joaquin valley. the same track kennedy made in 1968. >> he was back campaigning against anyone but he was campaigning for something, for america's heart and soul. he was seeking to lead america home again. the only upon it was richard nixon. -- the only upon it was richard nixon. this was the people's phallic, the people stayed, and soon would be the people's country. gary hart, right from the start. >> if you have been in the dark for so long, the light hurts your eyes. that is normal. i mean, do you remember dracula? didn't he have to get back before the sun came out? people of the same way. people get comfortable. >> i have never obstructed
justice. i think i can also say that in my years of public life, that i welcome this kind of examination because people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. well, i am not a crook. across the democrats put on a bizarre fashion show. if they're having credits for the democratic convention, they would have read "leading man george mcgovern, stage manager larry o'brien, fashions by levi strauss. the new young democrats were their t-shirts and blue jeans and afros as badges. >> the challenge to mcgovern's winner take all california victory was a knockdown, drag out fight, a fight the mcgovern braintrust would eventually went, but a fight that left a great deal of damage in its wake. for the moment, a bright and shining moment, the 1972 democratic convention was george mcgovern's, a contention that looked like no other in american history. a convention that represented
the joy of protests betrayed democracy in the hands of average people, a victory over smoke-filled rooms, populated by professional agreed. for once in american politics, sunshine and light beat shadows and fog. >> but the president of united states can make a difference. he can set the moral and political tone of this country. he can speak out against injustice. he can use the power and influence of that office to lead us in a more constructive and humane direction. >> four votes for congresswoman shirley 119 votes -- [cheers and applause] >> senator george mcgovern had
been received the majority votes of this convention is hereby declared the 1972 democratic nominee for president of the united states. [cheers and applause] >> from sea to sea and deception in high places, come home, america. >> this was the most open political convention in american political history. >> i have been to a lot of democratic conventions and witnessed republican ones from afar. it is the only time i saw convention and actually looked like the country. >> is seen to indicate a new dawn, that now politics was not only the preserve of older, white men. >> probably the last and
scripted convention in american political history. i don't think anyone wanted to take a chance to get at something so organic and natural and spontaneous. >> many of the opponents called it the convention of hippies, dippies, and jane fonda. joining together of some many causes, if you will, and the democratic party's platform was incredible. we had planks in that platform never seen before. gay-rights, broadbased, real civil rights enforcement, abortion, a strong platform for women's rights. these things were unheard of prior to 1972. >> guess what, democracy in action, this was -- the peak was sing that emotion pouring out on the floor. they felt mcgovern was going to
treat them fairly and do his best, which is not something we of come to expect from politicians. >> that is the highlight of my life, i guess, winning the democratic nomination of the oldest political party in american history. i remember the hands reaching up, the eager, excited faces, people laughing and talking, some weeping. there was a lot of emotion and passion in that campaign. and i will take those memories with me the rest of my life. >> one had to be partial to a man whose delegates had the fair never to unopened cases of army citizenry over to an army of pols. obliged to be boring. there was insufficient evil in the room re. >> from military spending so wasteful that it weakens our
nation, come home, america. >> it was a very good speech because george was there with substance. he was there with content. >> from the infringement of special privilege and tax favoritism, from the waist of idle hands to the joy of useful labor. >> and probably the most beautifully delivered speech of mcgovern's entire career. he looked powerful, sounded powerful. >> from the president, based on race and sex, from the loneliness of the aging pour and the despair of the neglected sick, come home, america. >> his magnificent speech at the democratic national convention would have gone a long way in putting him in a viable position for the general election, except nobody saw it. >> come home to the affirmation that we have a dream.
in 1968, many americans thought they were voting to bring our son's home from vietnam in peace. and since then, 20,000 of our sons have come home in coffins. i have no secret plan for peace. i have a public plan. and as one whose heart has eight to -- ached for the past 10 years over the agony of vietnam, i will hold the senseless bombing of indochina on inaugural day. >> i said in my own hand written lines, this country has made too many decisions in recent years behind closed doors. and it was those decisions that took us in to vietnam under the leadership of both parties. if i should become president of
this country, i want those doors open and i want that were closed -- war closed. that line came satisfaction. >> that we can seek a newer world. >> come home that we could seek a newer world. we will seek that new world. it will never allow what happened to my generation to ever happen again. we will never forget the words on that late night in miami of 1972. those were precious words, important words for it >> there were a lot of people who are threatened by george mcgovern. these are the democrats who supported the war and cold war liberals. they wanted him stopped. the or five of the social movement the students were in default -- they were horrified of the social movement the students were involved in. >> republicans are very good at
getting people to vote against their own interest. why would anyone with an income of $25,000 a year vote republican? i have no idea. george mcgovern and the same problem. >> i was brought up in the ruling class. >> the bush people, if you gave them a sodium pentothal and asked -- what you think about the american people? you'll hear such profanity you have never heard before. the american people are an obstacle. >> i think we threaten the leadership of the democratic party and a visceral way. i think they felt that stopping mcgovern might be best for the democratic party. >> they were in fear of their political lives, and they were in fear of what might happen if mcgovern won. >> if he was defeated, maybe the reforms that he brought about would be defeated also. >> the only way i made sense of this after the fact is it was a
struggle for power. not much to do the issues, but a lot about who was one run the democratic party. >> he gives to the bird in says, "try to win without this." >> it shook the foundation of the united states. he had the anti-war movement, gay and lesbian rights movement, the women's movement. they're all making demands on american asking for a new kind of rearrangement for power and privilege and fairness and a seat at the table, but some people were completely horrified, especially about the lifestyle issue. it was bad enough that women wanted to be on top, they wanted to get on top of each other. clearly, america was falling apart. >> it is a wonder anyone voted for him. >> the one thing that keeps coming up was the word "no." we said, look, man, we don't want to kill you.
[indiscernible] he said "no." >> we did not take the ball and run with it. mcgovern had the ball. he did not drop it, i think he threw it up there, tried to pass long and the class of '72 fumbled. >> as filthy as america is today, it is a better place because of that light. once the light hits you, you cannot turn it off. >> he appeals to the hope and us sprint i suppose that is his strength and weakness at the same time. hope is an unruly emotion. >> one day people have to write history. >> he deposits a possibility and
leaves us without an idea, without imagination of change, you cannot have changed. it is the imagination that comes first. >> his contribution is the enormous and prophetic conscience, also a pragmatic political way. in other words, we need far more mcgoverns. >> i can only imagine what this country might have evolved into if mcgovern had won that election. we probably would not be sitting here and a hot august afternoon talking aboutwha talkingt if's" >> exurbs from the documentary i narrated, "one bright shining moment: the forgotten summer of george mcgovern." written, directed, and produced by stephen vittoria. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. a family spokesperson has