We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I think it must have been painful for him to accept that many of the Liberal policies he had stood for during his career were plain destructive and exasperating to the ordinary citizen who just wanted to make an honest living.
It is always difficult for anyone to accept that they have erred on a matter that is important to them.
The chief defense people erect against this is the notion that they cannot be wrong unless they are 100% wrong. Then it takes them only a moment to check that they are not 100% wrong, and therefore not wrong at all.
I am sure that many of the notions in McGovern's head were good ideas. The problem is that some of the other ideas were manifestly bonkers.
"I think it must have been painful for him to accept that many of the Liberal policies he had stood for during his career were plain destructive and exasperating to the ordinary citizen who just wanted to make an honest living."
No doubt. However, the fact that he was able to say so, in a venue as public as the Wall Street Journal, speaks volumes about the strength of his character.
McGovern co-authored The Great Coalfield War, about the largest civil uprising in US history. The coalminers in southern Colorado went on strike in 1913, and the National Guard was called in. Things became violent and there were a number of brutal deaths.
My Grandmother was a teenager on a farm a few miles away at that time, and helped her parents sell produce in the mine camps. She and people she knew had first hand knowledge of those events. My family were not fans of McGovern's politics, but all agreed that his book was the most complete and even handed account ever published.