End of life is near for a truly fine man

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Bfgrn, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    I am really sad to hear George McGovern's life is near its end. He is the epitome of a public servant, a humanitarian and leader.

    George has done more to end hunger in this world than any other person.

    A lifelong leader in the battle against world hunger, McGovern was appointed the first director of the Food for Peace Program by President John F. Kennedy in 1960, and was instrumental in the foundation of WFP in 1963.

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    McGovern as Food for Peace director in 1961, with President John F. Kennedy.


    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- As former Democratic presidential candidate and Sen. George McGovern moved into what may be his final days in a Sioux Falls hospice Tuesday, friends and colleagues praised McGovern as a political and humanitarian giant.

    "He has inspired not just one generation, but multiple generations of individuals to get involved in public service," said Donald Simmons, director of the George McGovern Center at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, McGovern's home town.

    The news of McGovern's health decline came as a shock to many people who had seen him recently, including just over a week ago at a South Dakota Symphony Orchestra performance.

    "I spoke with him at the symphony this weekend," said Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D. "He was frail, but he looked good as ever."

    Johnson is one of many people who said McGovern helped change their lives.

    "I dreamed of someday following George McGovern," Johnson said of his time in college in the 1960s and '70s. "I didn't think it would occur, but he was a good person to model myself after."

    McGovern represented eastern South Dakota in the House of Representatives from 1957 to 1961.

    After an unsuccessful challenge to Sen. Karl Mundt in 1960, McGovern was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to lead the Food for Peace Program. He then returned to South Dakota and narrowly won a Senate seat in 1962.

    Fighting hunger would be a lifelong passion for McGovern, helping to create the United Nations' World Food Programme and then decades later serving as its U.N. Global Ambassador on World Hunger.

    One beneficiary of McGovern's battle against hunger is Ahrar Ahmad, a professor of political science at Black Hills State University. Growing up in what is now Bangladesh, Ahmad said food was always very scarce and Food for Peace saved many lives.

    "That was one of those projects that has so much meaning for so many people in the world," Ahmad said.

    "It indicates that Americans care, that Americans are generous, that Americans are willing to do something for the education and nutrition of hungry and poor people in the world. It was a remarkable program, and one that I personally benefited from."

    Years later, after coming to the United States to pursue a doctorate degree, Ahmad had a chance to meet McGovern and tell him his story.

    "He was almost brought to tears," Ahmad said. "Both Senator McGovern and his, wife, Eleanor, they have been very kind to me. I cannot tell you how moved I was that a person of this stature, of this international reputation, would be so warm and so unassuming when it came to me. They were so loving and so caring."

    McGovern's wife of 63 years, Eleanor, died in 2007 in Mitchell.
     
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  2. JoeB131
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    JoeB131 Gold Member

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    Hopefully, they will emphasize all his good works...
     
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  3. TakeAStepBack
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    TakeAStepBack Gold Member

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    Sounds like a good dude. Even if his answer to hunger was theft.
     
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  4. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    "A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing."
    Oscar Wilde

    "There are people in the world so hungry that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread."
    Mahatma Gandhi
     
  5. tinydancer
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    tinydancer Gold Member

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    This hurts. He's a good man. Cripes I'm starting to cry my eyes out again over liberals dying.
    It must be the NyQuil. I couldn't give you more rep (I'm getting the spreading around message again)

    I'm glad you brought this to our attention. I always considered him a true ambassador of good will but more importantly a true statesman and a man of honor.

    Rare breed these days. To be missed.
     
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  6. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    A fascinating story behind McGovern's appointment as the first director of the Food for Peace Program.

    George McGovern: JFK thought he 'cost me that election'

    In October of 1960 Vice President Richard Nixon and Senator John Kennedy were invited to speak at the National Corn Picking contest near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The two presidential candidates, Nixon for the Republicans and Kennedy for the Democrats — each knew this was not an invitation a Presidential candidate did not reject.

    An audience of 10,000 farmers from 9 or 10 farm states was anticipated. I had decided in that the year to give up my seat in the US House of Representatives to seek election to the U.S. Senate. My opponent was long time Republican US Senator Karl Mundt.

    The sponsors of the Corn Picking event had arranged for Mr. Nixon to be introduced by Senator Mundt. I was to introduce Senator Kennedy.

    Both Nixon and Mundt were familiar with agricultural issues. Both did well in meeting head on the central concerns of farmers.

    Later in the day when it was Kennedy's time to speak the South Dakota weather had worsened. It was raining, the temperature had dropped and the wind was blowing hard.

    I knew that Kennedy had little experience with agriculture except for the cranberries of Massachusetts. Someone had written a speech for him that bombed out. He struggled with the rain, the cold and the wind.

    After we got on his plane at the Sioux Falls airport to fly to my hometown at Mitchell, where he was to address another large audience at the Corn Palace, he said "George, I just bombed out. What do you think I should do at the Corn Palace?"

    "I think, Jack that you should get rid of that speech. It's no good anyway. Just walk out on stage and say: I disagree with Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson who tells us that farm surpluses are the basic problem of agriculture. I believe the abundant production of our farmers is a great national treasure. I believe you farmers can do more than any other Americans to strengthen our position in the world if we recognize that food is health, food is strength, food is peace.

    If I'm elected president I'm going to appoint a new Food for Peace Director, put his office in the White House, and order him to use our farm surpluses to reduce hunger in the world. "

    On Election Day, I lost South Dakota by one percent in my Senate race with Karl Mundt. President Kennedy was overwhelmed in South Dakota but he was elected nationally by the incredibly narrow margin of 120,000 votes.

    On Friday evening after the election, I was of course cheered by President Kennedy's victory but saddened by my own defeat. Eleanor and I were having dinner with some South Dakota friends when the phone rang. "George, this is Jack Kennedy. I'm sorry I cost you that election."

    "Jack, you didn't cost me that election. The voters did." "No, Bobby told me what happened. Before you make any plans, please come to see me." He said.

    Within a short time he named me the nation's first White House Food for Peace Director.

    We tripled the amount of farm surpluses going abroad to hungry nations. India alone received 4 million tons of grain annually. We set up school lunch programs abroad — in scores of poor nations. We set up food for wages programs to build roads, schools, clinics in which workers received half of their wages in kind and the remainder in cash.

    Eleanor always thought this was the best job I ever had. If so, I think it began in October 1960, in a conversation at the National Corn Picking contest and the world's only Corn Palace.

    George McGovern


    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
    President John F. Kennedy
     
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  7. Oldguy
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    Oldguy Senior Member

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    McGovern is a man of principles who did not shirk his duty to America when called to action. He flew 35 missions over Nazi-occupied Europe in a B-24 and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for landing his crippled aircraft and saving his crew.

    Where are politician's like that today? Where are leaders who will actually risk their lives for what they believe in, rather than sit in safety on the sidelines and preach patriotism to the gullible?
     
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  8. tinydancer
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    tinydancer Gold Member

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    He doesn't fit that category. He really was a good man.

    My answer to hunger somewhere on the planet is this.

    Ship me in. Drop me into any said country. Give me seeds (Johnny's if I could have my druthers best germination rates) and give me water.

    Why do we still have "world hunger"? Because it has become a business. A multi million dollar business.

    I'm just a gardener not a rocket scientist but it is a no brainer that if you give seeds and water you can produce food.

    But you have too many "help the poor people and feed them" organizations around making quizzillions off this scam of feed the poor.

    But quickly back to McGovern, he didn't fit that bill. Good man.
     
  9. tinydancer
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    tinydancer Gold Member

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    Where do we get another generation like this?

    This is what worries me.
     
  10. LilOlLady
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    LilOlLady Gold Member

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    Not end of live, but life anew. A new begining of life.
     

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