They Proved Me Wrong

The one newspaper headline I wrote that I don’t have a copy of (but wish I did) hit the streets of Boston in midsummer of 1972, just after the Democratic National Convention. It read:

“Why McGovern Can’t Lose.”

[For those not of a certain age, Senator George McGovern had just been nominated for president. He would go on to lose 49 states in the 1972 election, winning only Massachusetts (and the District of Columbia).]

If I still had it, that headline would be in a frame, placed in a spot where I would see it often. But just the memory is still a useful reminder, of something I repeated here on June 12:

I don’t know the future.

Specifically, I didn‘t know if Congress would pass the proposed gun reform package.

But I was doubtful; very doubtful. To quote:

I’m also a Quaker, and we aren’t supposed to gamble. But if I was going to break that rule, I wouldn’t bet the ranch on any of that “outline/framework/unbaked loaf.”

For that matter, I wouldn’t even bet the ranch dressing.
Go ahead, Congress, prove me wrong.
“I’m keeping it.”

Today, June 24, Congress passed it. They proved me wrong.

It feels good to be wrong about that.

I still don’t think the package amounts to much. But luckily I didn’t bet, so I’m keeping the ranch dressing.

And I still wish I had a copy of that 1972 headline.

One thought on “They Proved Me Wrong”

  1. I knew McGovern would lose, because I poll-watched in Nashville, TN for the dems in ’68.

    The dems were sending in voters from this “transitional” (poor white) neighborhood with a slip of paper on which were written:


    Gore, of course, was the (Democratic) US Senator and father of Al Gore. Nixon was … well, Nixon.

    That was when I realized there was a divide that no one in Massachusetts (I lived in Western MA, home and college, until my degree-getting brought me to Nashville) had any idea of the depth of the divide in our country.

    Pres. Johnson did: when he made the decision to sign the Civil Rights Act he said to those present that the South would end up lost for the Democrats. If anything he was an astute politician.

    Now, I never had a problem fitting in while in Nashville, including with my duplex neighbor, who had done his Vietnam time as a Marine grunt. I grew up with all working class neighbors, so it was like being at home. I asked my duplex neighbor to borrow a jack to change my VW’s brake pads and he offered, and did, put them on for me. Just as would have happened at home in Chicopee Falls. We had a good time chatting while he did it.

    Dukakis lost because he couldn’t talk to the working class. Clinton won because he could . Al Gore lost because he couldn’t (and because: Supreme Court). HRC lost because she couldn’t. Biden won because he had a good rep with the working class and wasn’t offensive to the middle-ground suburban Republicans. It really is that simple.

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