George McGovern Has Conservative Heads Exploding

George McGovern has an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal warning that “Under the guise of protecting us from ourselves, the right and the left are becoming ever more aggressive in regulating behavior. Much paternalist scrutiny has recently centered on personal economics, including calls to regulate subprime mortgages.”

McGovern sounds rather conservative on economic issues, making the heads of quite a few conservative bloggers explode today. McGovern’s ideas on mortgages sure make more sense than Hillary Clinton’s proposals.

George McGovern was branded as being on the far left because of his opposition to the Vietnam war, but I wonder if he was ever as economically liberal as his reputation. This many years later I primarily remember his views on the war and don’t really recall much of his economic platform. He didn’t have much of a chance, going up against a candidate with the greatest slogan of all time: “Don’t Change Dicks in the Middle of a Screw, Reelect Nixon in ’72.” Okay, that might not have been the official slogan, but it should have been.

Ed Morrissey may very well be right that this is a natural progression from being in office to running a business in the private sector. Regardless of where McGovern stood in 1972, he became more conservative on economic issues over the years and today’s op-ed is not a sudden change in philosophy. Back 1992 he had an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal condemning the government regulations which led to his inn going out of business. Incidentally, McGovern also voted for Gerald Ford over Jimmy Carter in 1976, but did vote for Carter against Reagan in 1980.

If McGovern has moved away from the left on economic issues, there are certainly parallels to Barry Goldwater, who moved away from the right on social issues and considered himself a liberal in his later years. It says something about the foolishness of our current hyper-partisanship when over time the views of George McGovern and Barry Goldwater moved towards the other’s.


  1. 1
    Christopher says:

    Ron, Check this:

    “By saying that only she and John McCain are qualified to lead the country, particularly in times of crisis, Hillary Clinton has broken that rule, severely damaged the Democratic candidate who may well be the party’s nominee, and, perhaps most ominously, revealed the unlimited lengths to which she will go to achieve power. She has essentially said that the Democratic party deserves to lose unless it nominates her.” – former Sen. Gary Hart


  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Yes, I read that yesterday. For others interested, Gary Hart’s statement is posted here.

  3. 3
    Brighton says:

    “Incidentally, McGovern also voted for Gerald Ford over Jimmy Carter in 1976, but did vote for Carter against Reagan in 2000.”

    I think you mean 1980.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:


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