As we remember George McGovern, I am struck by a quote from his book What It Means To Be a Democrat.
As quoted in the Times, McGovern says:
“We are the party that believes we can’t let the strong kick aside the weak,” Mr. McGovern wrote. “Our party believes that poor children should be as well educated as those from wealthy families. We believe that everyone should pay their fair share of taxes and that everyone should have access to health care.”With the country burdened economically, he added, there has “never been a more critical time in our nation’s history” to rely on those principles.“We are at a crossroads,” he wrote, “over how the federal government in Washington and state legislatures and city councils across the land allocate their financial resources. Which fork we take will say a lot about Americans and our values.”
There is no question among the writers and readers here that the Democratic Party does not always live up to its ideals. There are some who seem to take particular pleasure in pointing out our shortcomings, while ignoring those of the Republicans. Nevertheless, the reason the Democratic Party can be challenged for failing to live up to its ideals is that the Democratic Party has ideals. When our party disappoints us it is because we know it's capable of more than it sometimes achieves.
When we work here for more and better Democrats George McGovern is the kind of Democrat I, for one, am thinking about.