I don’t typically write overly political posts on my blog. Why cram my political philosophy down your throat in large doses, right. Plus, I’m a firm believer in putting your money where your mouth is, and am happy to let my actions speak for me. As a writer, that concept also works well: show, don’t tell.
But I am moved to comment after reading an opinion piece written this week for The Washington Post by Bob Dole in homage to his colleague and friend, George McGovern: George McGovern, the man who never gave up. It’s based on a decades-old epiphany from Bob Dole … surprisingly, it prompted my own.
These men—who have tangential similarities in their lives (Midwestern upbringing, both soldiers in WWII)—are as different as night and day. Yet at the funeral for former First Lady Pat Nixon in 1993, Dole asked McGovern how he could bring himself to attend and McGovern said simply, “You can’t keep on campaigning forever.”
Dole reflected, in regards to his efforts to defeat McGovern’s run for the White House in 1972, “When the election was over, however, George and I knew that we couldn’t keep on campaigning forever. We also knew that what we had in common was far more important than our different political philosophies.”
Most prominent was a shared desire to eliminate hunger. So they put their money where their mouths were and got to work. Together … across the aisle … for the good of the people in our country and around the world.
“As colleagues in the 1970s on the Senate Hunger and Human Needs Committee, we worked together to reform the Food Stamp Program, expand the domestic school lunch program and establish the Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants and Children. ” Their efforts went on to become the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education Program.
McGovern was appointed as an ambassador to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, and he promptly brought in Dole to help develop programs and policies. They were awarded the World Food Prize in 2008, and walked arm-in-arm when called up to the stage.
It can be done, people: working together for the good of our fellow citizens in these United States and across the world. To our US Senators and Representatives: put on your big girl panties and get to work. Stop bitching and moaning and fighting in the name of your party. We are ALL Americans. And once the elections are over, YOU have to work together for US. You can’t campaign forever.