Readers in Council,
The Japan Times,
5-4, Shibaura 4-chome,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023
Not one obituary or news story of the recently deceased former U.S. Senator and failed Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern failed to highlight his disastrous 1972 campaign against Republican incumbent President Richard Nixon (“George McGovern, 90, dies,” Japan Times, October 23). McGovern’s 1972 campaign, managed by future Colorado Senator and failed 1988 presidential candidate Gary Hart became a lesson on how not to run a campaign and it seems that the humiliation of it was turned into a taunt that endlessly haunted the man, and now his memory. However, we know that McGovern’s opposition to the Vietnam War was spot on - an illegal, useless and wrong American project cooked up and prosecuted by war criminals acting out a kind of theatre noir. In addition, Richard Nixon himself was a heinous character and a flat-out criminal. Better to have elected McGovern, not least because he was right all along. I wish that is the message that could be highlighted in his obituaries. Sadly, intelligence seems to be one of the least factors in choosing a U.S. president. It is terribly unhappy and unfortunate that the continuous accumulation of historical evidence points to the conclusion that to be conservative is not just plain
stupid but evil. It’s not a surprising combination when you think about it. One might make the case that conservatism, stupidity and evil are all synonyms of each other.