While four years ago the illusion of fundamental change, bearing the label "hope," hovered over the political landscape, today that illusion is painfully naked. The path to change is not a political one. Or is it?
In 2005, I had the good fortune to interview former Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern for Venice Magazine. McGovern was thoughtful, direct, and kind-hearted; a gentleman and a gentle man.
I recall three days traveling the state with McGovern's daughter, (who would later die tragically in the snow), Jon Voight, (times have changed) Candy Bergen, Ben Gazzara and a few others. I have never had so much fun and for all the right reasons.
Presidential election results have led us to think that the American people were a bit more liberal than they really were. In the same way, the mythic tale of George McGovern and the "youth vote" led us to think that the baby-boomers of "the '60s" were a bit more liberal than they really were.
George McGovern, who died Sunday, was prescient about America. When he ran for president 40 years ago, he well-understood what the federal government of the United States had become, among other national dysfunctions.
The notion of debating policy in the public forum of a convention became a quaint relic of the era before television and before the Vince Lombardiazation of American politics, before winning wasn't everything but the only thing.
"I didn't leave the Democratic Party, they left me," disaffected Dems told themselves in 1972. Now how many sensible Republicans are looking at the sudden rise of the Tea Party and thinking exactly the same thing?