Column: Better to lose with grace
One guy was among the greatest losers in the history of politics, the other, one of the biggest winners in all of sports. They were men who shared little except recent headlines. But there was, in that juxtaposition, an object lesson for those who cared to see it.
The loser – George McGovern – made headlines by dying at age 90. He is famous for having been on the rump end of one of the most thorough election shellackings in history, cobbling together 17 electoral votes in 1972 to Richard Nixon’s 520. But there was more to him than that epic loss.
Although he took controversial stances and paid for it politically, McGovern is remembered today as a man of uncommon decency and principle. When he died, former GOP Sen. Robert Dole wrote in the Washington Post of how McGovern attended the funeral of Pat Nixon, wife of the man who handed him that bruising defeat. Asked why, McGovern replied, “You can’t keep on campaigning forever.” The remark, wrote Dole, was typical of his former foe, “a true gentleman who was one of the finest public servants I had the privilege to know.” If you’ve got to be a loser, there are worse ways to be remembered.
If you have any technical difficulties, either with your username and password or with the payment options, please contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org