22 October 2012
George McGovern: Leader against hunger and malnutrition
He was described as "disastrously attached to principle" by the Economist (he was trounced by a Watergate fuelled Nixon in the 72 Election) and as a "Prairie Liberal, Trounced but Never Silenced" by the New York Times.
I ran across his work early on in my career, when I was writing my Master's Thesis on Women Infant and Children Nutrition Centres in the poorer neighbourhoods of Massachusetts. This is because Senator McGovern was a champion of nutrition--at home and abroad--when it was terribly unfashionable to be one, and he was a great advocate of political solutions to hunger.
A World War Two bomber pilot, he was no pacifist, but was staunchly against the Vietnam war and proud of his stance.
It is hard to think of politicians of this age in the US or the UK who were as willing to stand up for things they believe in but which have little immediate political payoff.