Sunday, July 15, 2007
Here's a confession that loyal Right Coast readers might not expect: I was a volunteer for the McGovern campaign in 1972. (It would please me to believe that some of you are thinking that I'm too young to have been around in 1972, but alas, time is marching by rather quickly these days. At least I can say that I was only 14 years old when I first pounded the pavement for the illustrious man from South Dakota.)
I was happy to read that former campaign staff members held a special birthday celebration reunion for Sen. McGovern on Saturday. And I'm genuinely sad that I missed it (and not just because it would be an interesting political anthropology lesson). If there was any part of the festivities that would have been open to a lowly precinct worker who wasn't herself old enough to vote, I would have enjoyed attending. I am in DC this month, so it would have been easy (although I might have had to leave early, since I had to go to the annual ... uh ... Federalist Society Barbecue in the late afternoon.)
I think I've always had conservative/libertarian instincts. But in 1972, it would have never have occurred to me that's what they were. And it certainly never would have occurred to me to vote for (or rather volunteer for) a Republican candidate. But why should it have? Richard Nixon wasn't a conservative in any sense of the word that I understand. Even putting Watergate aside for a moment, there's not much to love there. Nixon's answer to the Cold War was detente. His answer to our economic woes was wage and price controls. And his answer to the underrepresentation of blacks in building trades was affirmative action preferences. Why should he have any appeal to a conservative? I honestly can't say for whom I would vote if my 2007 self could somehow be transported back to 1972.
Oh well. Happy BIrthday, Senator McGovern. And may you have many more. I suspect that I'm not your only campaign worker to have changed her mind about a lot of things. In one way or another, we all have. And we're all just the same. Thanks for the memories.