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Monday, October 22, 2012

A Long Ago Takeaway

Which long ago conversation still seems fresh in your memory based on something you learned from it?

I realize "long ago" means different things to us all. In my case, the conversation happened 40 years ago. But over the past day, listening to tributes for the late Senator George McGovern, that 1972 conversation with a college friend seems very fresh indeed.

Following college graduation in 1971, I was predictably liberal. So as the 1972 presidential election took shape, the candidate getting my vote was not in doubt. And my youthful enthusiasm for McGovern exceeded my sense of America's role in the world. So when a liberal friend said that he too would vote for McGovern, even though he felt Nixon better suited to the job, I recall being indignant. Was he right? Even with the benefit of hindsight, I'm still not sure. But that conversation and my friend's more nuanced views stayed with me. No matter how imperfectly I'm recalling this, it was formative - I was learning of my responsibility to be more well informed.

What did you take away from your long ago conversation?

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