United States presidential election, 1972
“McGovern made some stupid mistakes, but in context they seem almost frivolous compared to the things Richard Nixon does every day of his life, on purpose.”
“The Jews are irreligious, atheistic, immoral bunch of bastards. You can't trust the bastards. They turn on you.”
The United States presidential election of 1972 was waged on the issues of radicalism and the Vietnam War. The Democratic nomination was eventually won by George McGovern, who ran an anti-war crusade against incumbent President and notable dick Richard "Dick" Nixon, but was handicapped by his outsider status, the scandal and subsequent firing of vice presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton, and the fact that Americans generally are idiots.
Nixon, proclaiming that peace was at hand in Vietnam because of his policies of bombing all of Southeast Asia to smithereens, ridiculed McGovern as the radical candidate because he did not want to offend his racist base. Despite his formidable lead, Nixon still thought it necessary to sabotage McGovern's headquarters at the Watergate Hotel, setting in motion a chain of events that would eventually bring his downfall. The election took place on November 7, 1972. Nixon won the election, with a 23.2 percentage point margin of victory in the popular vote, the 4th largest such margin in Presidential election history, along with the second largest electorial vote count in history (Beaten in 1984 by Ronald Reagan
Senate Majority Whip Ted Kennedy had been the favorite to win the 1972 nomination, but his hopes were derailed by the fact that he did not drive a volkswagen; he was not a candidate. Senator Bobby Kennedy may also have been a contender had he not died in 1968.
The establishment favorite for the Democratic nomination was Ed Muskie, a completely unlikable unscrupled power-thirsty scab who had been deemed the "front-runner" by the media and thus was seen as the inevitable candidate, much like Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani. However, many also saw him as viable because his personality and demeanor were similar to those of Nixon, who had been elected four years prior because the Democrats had chosen the even more abhorrent Hubert Humphrey. Muskie did worse than expected in the New Hampshire primary, while McGovern of South Dakota came in a surprisingly-close second, primarily because he was not a crook. McGovern now had the momentum, which was well orchestrated by his campaign manager and successor in the failed only-decent-man-on-the-ballot-who-nonetheless-loses category, Gary Hart.
Alabama governor George Wallace, with his
racist "outsider" image, did well in the South (he won every single county in the Florida primary) and in the north among racists. What might have become a forceful campaign was cut short when Wallace was shot while campaigning, and left paralyzed in an assassination attempt by Arthur Bremer. The day after the assassination attempt Wallace won the Michigan and Maryland primaries, but the shooting, which left him paralyzed, effectively ended his campaign. A collective sigh of relief was then uttered by Black America.
In the end, McGovern succeeded in winning the nomination by winning primaries through grass-roots support in spite of establishment opposition. McGovern had led a commission to redesign the Democratic nomination system after the messy and confused nomination struggle and convention of 1968. Apparently, none of the other candidates realized this has happened, and let McGovern win all the primaries not full of racists. However, many of the establishment Democrats refused to give him money, and without public funding, McGovern had nowhere near as much money as Nixon, as many of America's crooks and idiots are rich.