Jan 14, 2006

Another Great One...

I was one of about 800 people who attended a memorial for the Honorable Eugene Joseph McCarthy today at Washington's National Cathedral. A bagpipe procession started the service, and Peter Yarrow of the folk group Peter, Paul and Mary sang "O Beautiful For Spacious Skies" and "This Land Is Your Land."

President Clinton as usual did his "I am the greatest public speaker in the world" routine. I sat two rows behind Ralph Nader, unsafe in any election?



Blogger Oberon said...

.......evil is everywhere....red and blue.......our weapons are truth and love.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...

Another great person gone. How ironic how McCarthy was against the Vietnam War and Murtha is against the Iraq war. Two people in two different world events with the same passion. Regarding Clinton, Bubba will be always Bubba. Clinton has a gift in public speaking. That will never go away.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous calamity jane said...

Is'nt it ironic that he should die in the midst of another Vietnam type conflict? Good for you for attending his memorial. I love you, Fitz.

8:48 PM  
Blogger bluewild said...

Fitz, you truly are the real thing and because of that, well...cool!
Blessed are the Peacemakers. Like Martin Luther King whose immense courage wisdom and passion, adn ability to motivate and give courage to others impacted history and the spiritual evolution of our species unlike any one else. And Eugene McCarthy was also a courageous peacemaker. It is strange to think in these times, one has to be "courageous" and brave, to promote peace, which was the main them of the life of Jesus.

I think humans have evolved in terms of architecture, the physical aspects of our environment, and certainly technology - but we have only devised more efficient and "blind" ways of obliterating other human beings and possibly our planet. Until we spiritually evolve into peaceful and loving beings, I don't really consider that we've evolved at all.

9:56 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Each person in our life forms who we become. We are a part of the people we meet and the good/bad of our life experience. McCarthy did what he could for America and he will join others. As Clinton lets just say he has been given a mission that even he doesn't know. I've learned so much from so many people but always taking the best of them. You have always been a person that others will remember as a man who did as much as you could for the better of mankind, just as Mr. McCarthy did.

10:06 PM  
Anonymous eslye said...

I am sure for you it was a day of reflection on this great human being..
and the great task you find yourself trying to solve..
good week ahead..
take care

10:34 PM  
Anonymous FYI Boy said...


Eugene Joseph McCarthy was a notable war veteran turned politician during the 20th century. Eugene McCarthy was active in many different aspects of the United States government, including the armed forces and Congress.(Digiovanni) Whether he was writing a book, writing poetry, talking business, becoming a U.S. representative, or becoming a U.S. senator, Eugene McCarthy lived the "American Dream" and made a difference. The biggest difference came in 1968 when Eugene McCarthy decided to run against Lyndon B. Johnson in the Presidential election.(Layman, 201)

Early Life

Eugene McCarthy was born in Watkins, Minnesota in 1916. McCarthy was a devout Roman Catholic and attended Saint John's University, MN, and then the University of Minnesota. While McCarthy was in school he studied economics and sociology.(Callahan, 11) After McCarthy graduated, he began to teach at Saint John's University from 1940-1943. McCarthy taught economics and sociology as well at various Catholic high schools and colleges. Then, in 1943, McCarthy enlisted in the army and became an intelligence officer throughout World War II. (Callahan, 11)

U.S. House of Representatives

After serving in the army during World War II, McCarthy decided to get into politics and run for Congress. Eugene McCarthy was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1948. McCarthy became known as having a liberal, pro-labor voting record. He led other Democrats in forming the Democratic Study Group, which advocated its own legislative alternatives to Republican policies. McCarthy served as a Representative for ten years, from 1949 to1959. (Digiovanni)

U.S. Senate

In 1959, McCarthy decided to get out of one house of Congress and into the other, McCarthy wanted to run for the Senate. McCarthy became a member of the U.S. Senate "Class of 1958," one of the thirteen liberal Democrats who defeated the Republicans that year. He continued to vote with the other liberal Democrats but quickly seemed bored with Senate politics and never took on the leadership role he had played in the House. However, McCarthy was successful as an involved member of the Foreign Relations Commitee. McCarthy attracted public attention with his very passionate and memorable nominating speech for Adlai E. Stevenson at the 1960 Democratic National Convention.(Wright, 911) He also became a vigorous campaigner for John F. Kennedy after the Massachusetts senator had won the nomination. McCarthy was the Senator of Minnesota from 1959 through 1971.(Layman, 201)
In August of 1964, McCarthy supported the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, giving President Lyndon B. Johnson the powers that eventually led to the expansion of the Vietnam War. However, McCarthy had become disillusioned with Johnson's policies as of January 1966, and by early 1967 was a very vocal opponent. McCarthy felt the entire war was "unmorally unjustified." In October of 1967, McCarthy published his book, Limits of Powers. His new book criticized American foreign policy.(Sann, 246)

Election of 1968

In 1967 Eugene McCarthy decided to leave Congress and move into the big picture. Agreeing to seek the 1968 Democratic Presidential nomination only after popular antiwar politicians (including Senator Robert F. Kennedy) had declined to run, McCarthy believed he had no hope of winning; however, he announced on November 30, 1967 that he was entering the race to be the voice of the movement for a negotiated settlement to the war. His announcement quickly gathered the hopes and minds of college students. Eugene McCarthy’s watchword became "Clean for Gene" and the students cut their hair off, and shaved their beards and mustaches off. These college students influenced by McCarthy’s principles came to the site of the first primary, New Hampshire. The students campaigned by the hundreds, door-to-door. Then, pollsters announced on March 12, 1968 that McCarthy had won 42% of the vote, an upset to Lyndon B. Johnson’s 49%. McCarthy had won 20 of the 24 delegates.(Wright, 907) This upset stunned Lyndon B. Johnson. McCarthy’s strong showing in the New Hampshire primary demonstrated growing discontent with Johnson’s policies and suggested that the president, who just a couple of months earlier had seemed unbeatable, could be defeated after all. Then, four days later, Robert F. Kennedy announced his candidacy.(From Woodstock to Watergate, 47)

The Race is On...

McCarthy upset party favorites when he beat Kennedy in the Oregon primary on May 28, 1968. Johnson, faced with an almost certain loss to McCarthy in the Wisconsin primary, decided to withdraw from the race on March 31, 1968. McCarthy and Robert Kennedy faced off in a series of primaries, until Kennedy was assassinated just after his victory in the June 4, 1968 California primary. Meanwhile, Vice-president Hubert H. Humphrey had been campaigning for delegates in non-primary states and won the nomination at a combative Democratic National Convention taking place in Chicago on August 26-29, 1968. Some three-thousand anti-war demonstrators stood outside the convention hall. Here, McCarthy was beaten by Humphrey. That same day, the delegates to the Democratic convention voted down a Vietnam peace plan by a 1500-1000 vote.(From Woodstock to Watergate, 47)

The Aftermath

The response to the rejected Vietnam peace plan was horrific. The three-thousand anti-war demonstrators, along with an equal amount of police and Illinois National Guardsmen fought a bloody, free-for-all battle that lasted all night. The police and Guardsmen also lead an assault in downtown Chicago on the headquarters of the Democratic National Convention. There were mass arrests and three-hundred injured as the police clubbed the defenseless demonstrators. Later, on Election Day, Hubert Humphrey lost the Presidential election to Richard Nixon.(From Watergate to Woodstock, 60-64)
Ever since he ran for President in 1968, Eugene McCarthy has not been able to sit down. In 1969, McCarthy surprised many friends and colleagues by resigning from the Foreign Relations Committee. He declined to seek reelection in 1970. He made half-hearted attempts to run for president in 1972 and 1976. In 1982 he ran for his old Senate seat but lost the election. McCarthy has written several books, written poetry, traveled over the world, and has spoken to hundreds of audiences sharing his ideas and knowledge with anyone who wants to listen.(Callahan, 11)

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain;
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood,
From sea to shining sea.

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self control,
Thy liberty in law.

11:37 PM  
Blogger bluewild said...

Either that or This Land Is Your Land, should have been the national anthem.

1:05 AM  
Blogger GrandmaNuk said...

Ralph Nader, eh? The unfortunate thing about American politics is money. If you can't raise enough to buy ads, etc., you just can't make it happen. The reforms in DC ought to include a better system that puts good people on an equal footing with "rich" candidates.

Good for you for going to the Memorial Service. I feel that Mr. McCarthy was badly served and lost his heart after the defeated nomination in Chicago. He was a hero in his time!

7:25 AM  
Anonymous ann colture said...

I'm planning a memorial for Sen. Joe McCarthy. Will you be there too?

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Fitzgerald enjoy your blog. I have great respect for your work and thank you for being willing to serve our country.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous prwilliams said...

Thank you for the link to rawstory.com. This is another good link: http://www.crooksandliars.com/.

6:50 PM  
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10:12 PM  

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