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013 SERVER A Journal of Free Voices 250 A Window to the South E.0 Aug. 4, 1972 George McGovern an editorial What really confuses us is that all these people went to some other convention. We were in Miami Beach, Fla., from July 9 through July 15. We spent most of our time at the Democratic National Convention in the Miami Beach Convention Center. We ran around and talked to the people there and listened to them and watched them and took notes on them. We will not pretend to be dumb. In journalism, one grows quite accustomed to one reliable witness who insists that the bucket is half-full, while another reliable witness swears the thing is half-empty. Despite the differences of interpretation, it is almost always possible to recognize that journalists of different stripes are talking about the same event when they’re talking about the same event. But not in this case. James Kilpatrick was one of those who went to some other convention. “One tries,” he said, “to be charitable. Honestly, one tries. But it strains charity to the outer limit to find a kind word for the Democratic convention of 1972. . . . Sen. George McGovern’s acceptance speech has to go down in history far down in history as the most insipid address ever delivered on such an occasion. . . . The delegates had no heroes even Ted Kennedy, when at last he appeared, drew something short of wild applause.” Kilpatrick found fault with the McGovern delegates because, at what he described as the high point of the convention, the one possible moment of pure confrontation, when George Wallace appeared before the convention, the McGovern supporters did not boo. William F. Buckley, Jr., said, “But there is something else in the McGovern spirit and it is quite countable here in Miami. It is the sense of absolute, total self-righteousness. It is manifestly intolerant of different opinions, and disposed, toward those who hold them, to dismiss them as cretins. . . . McGovernism is something of a religion. . . .” You think we should be wiser, more inured, more cynical about Buckley, who is so often at other events? One counts on the Buckleys of this world to find the one person or two or five or a hundred who are on your side and who you wish weren’t. You see them being interviewed by an Unfriendly, as they say in Nam, and you moan to yourself, “Oi, how do they always manage to spot the one real jerk who’ll make us look bad?” But the accounts of the convention in Texas papers went far beyond the one-jerk syndrome. Sam Kindrick in the San Antonio Express wrote, “I’ve been to two county fairs, three goat ropings and a few chicken fights, and I’ve never seen a more profound aggregation of the great unwashed. … If those bearded, bedraggled hootenannies who let it all hang out at the national Democratic convention are representative of the United States of America, then it’s time for the conservative working man to catch the first train smoking and then get on a boat.” One counts, of course, on the Dallas Morning News. The News said McGovern had said he was prepared to go to Hanoi on his knees. The Dallas Times Herald staff is attempting to challenge the News for its championship in Texas humor writing. “Even his friends say George McGovern is an egomaniac,” remarked the Times-Herald in an editorial. Felix McKnight, editor of the Times-Herald, did the paper’s heavy work. “McGovern’s phalanx of assorted voices .. . the new splinter conglomerate, coalesced into a strange political array that ranges from homosexuals to Congressional liberals . .. the radical new breed . . . the whole new sound, heard before in fragmented form, now in strange unison . strident, deftly organized . . young Turks … brash neophytes.” And our special congratulations to Felix for managing to misspell Sissy Farenthold’s name after all this time. The Austin American, bless its little heart, carried the old question trick to new heights in its post-convention editorial. “Can George McGovern,” inquired the AA in the guise of a sober scholar, “idol of the young, of the free spirits, of the self. styled poor, the self-labelled [sic] minority groups, of those who have preached revolution and reform, carry Texas in November against Republican Nixon, the standard bearer of conservatism, but a form of conservatism that would have been branded liberal two decades past by Texas Democrat [sic] conservatives?” A mind-boggling question. Even worse, what is a self-labelled minority? As free-spirits and self-labeled poor, we herewith reply, “Blllleah!” Some people downgrade the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. They think it isn’t in the big league with the DMN and the AA. But we read the Startlegram every day. We know that behind those five-column front-page pictures of little doggies playing in the sprinkler water beats an editorial heart of such Texian trueness as would gladden even Jimmy Banks. \(This really is an editorial about George McGovern and the Democratic convention just keep Star-Telegram did, in fact, on July 17, successfully link McGovern and Hanoi. “The Asian communist leaders are heartened by the candidacy of Senator McGovern because he for many years has been a strong voice in the ‘Get out now’ chorus. It is only natural for the Hanoi bosses to see in his candidacy fresh hope that their armed invasion of