tv Reel America 1972 Mc Govern for President Campaign Film CSPAN September 21, 2019 8:01am-8:30am EDT
steelworker, senior citizen, wisconsin farmer, unemployed engineer and wheelchair-bound vietnam veteran. mcgovern lost to richard nixon in a landslide that year, winning only the district of columbia and massachusetts. [film begins] >> waves of planes and helicopters, both american and south vietnamese, have made thousands of sorties. senator mcgovern: during the past two years, i have found that campaigning can be a lonely business, a succession of airports, motels, not seeing my family for weeks at a time. but the rewards of staying in touch with this country have been more than worth the cost. [applause] when i announced i would seek
he presidency, some said i would appeal to only a few. but in the past two years, i have touched many different americans. i have traveled countless thousands of miles to look them in the eye, to know their voices, to learn what no man can ever understand from behind his desk in washington. >> we only have 5.5% laid off, actually unemployed. it's really hard. >> how much, how many? and how little time? >> eggs are $.35 a dozen. >> if you don't like the work, you can quit or we will move our plant. >> the thing i want to see the taxes i pay come back to me. i want to see schools and roads and i want to see social security increase. senator mcgovern: the country was disturbed. and people spoke to me openly, not just about frustrations with government, but of their
hopes. >> we are all americans. we are not afro-americans, mexican-americans, if you are an american, you are an american. senator mcgovern: there are some who i talked to whose words remain with me, like david hunter, a young vietnam veteran from long beach, california. and mariel levine, an engineer from massachusetts. and out in sun prairie, wisconsin, a family farmer amed john krebs. >> bigger corporations are taking over everything. >> we do need a doctor in our building. senator mcgovern: and at cleveland clinic, a war widow, sadie. and on a baltimore street corner, a steelworker named arch price, who like the others, spoke to me not only of his concern for this country, but of his belief in its future.
>> that is my freedom out there. that is what that flag stands for. that is a union of individual countries drawn together to become the united states. that is what it means to e. ♪ americans do believe in the country, and their flag. but among some today, it has become popular to deride the symbols of patriotism, to find fault with the many individual ways people celebrate their america. ♪ but perhaps those who ridicule these beliefs have not come from where these have ome. ♪ those who think patriotism is overdone and out of style might
ask -- how did it used to be? >> the united states has gone to war to keep our country free, and kept us free to do what we want. that is what it has given me. ♪ >> i give to my children what i didn't have and i feel like i am giving to my country a fair share and i expect to get my fair share back from the country. senator mcgovern: the truth is that men like arch price have given more than their fair share. in the last four years they have borne the real costs of our economic unfairness. 2 million more are jobless oday than in 1969. 17,000 were dropped from art's plant alone, and he wonders if he is next, or whether it makes ny difference.
>> it seems like every time industry gets a pay increase, clothing, automobiles, everything goes up in price. i would like to buy a new refrigerator but i can't afford it. the one i wanted a year ago was $100 cheaper than this year. it has gone up. it seems like people today are just working to pay for their food and taxes, and not much of anything else. senator mcgovern: art price grew up in a neighborhood built by those who came over in search of a better life, and an opportunity for their children that they had never had for themselves. success meant a good education, hard work, a decent home. a generation later, that pride is still reflected in their neighborhood. art's wife jean was born in this house and she cleans it daily like her mother and grandmother before.
like most americans, art and jean live for their children, their two daughters katie and argie. >> we are going to see if daddy wants to get up and eat lunch. senator mcgovern: art works hard at his job, sometimes putting in two or three extra shifts a week in order to make ends meet. but he thinks it is worth it if his children can get a good education and a better chance at life. like his father before him, he prides himself on being a good father and a good provider. he feels working hard and paying taxes is his duty, but he wonders if his government shares the same obligation. >> were you a good girl today? >> yeah. >> did you play out in the yard?
>> yeah. >> i don't think the people of america are getting back what they are paying in taxes. tax money is being wasted every day. the war. spend it on education and the things that people do need. there are so many loopholes in the tax forms for the millionaires, the poor man is paying for the nation at they are paying the millionaires' taxes for them. a lot of people want to be millionaires and i think they want to be millionaires because they don't have to pay taxes. >> do you have reading every day? senator mcgovern: sometimes the unfairness affects his family in a way that hurts the most, because it touches his children's future. >> the grade school is overcrowded. one thing is that it is very old, and they probably just want to wait and see, and it has been a lot of wait and see with schools in this area. senator mcgovern: the price family's problem is faced by 80% of families in america, that schools aren't better today than four years ago. and though it gets most of
their taxes, washington only pays for 7% of the children's education. they already pay twice the local taxes of the suburbs, and still their schools need money. >> i come from a family of five children. i got left out of a lot of things because my father ouldn't afford it. i can't afford nobody, so i do it myself. i devote my full time to my job and working here at the house, sundays i devote for my family because i want them to have what i didn't have coming up through the world. >> today my husband makes double what my father made, and i just can't make it. there is nothing left at the end of the week. it comes down to the nickel. this august they get a raise. i am looking at a paycheck and i said, did you get a raise? and he said, yes, i did get a raise.
yes, they did get a raise, but the paycheck didn't show it. because the taxes just eat it up. this is 28 in value. senator mcgovern: we have been deceived, all of us, like this family. the truth is that in the last four years, food prices have risen twice as fast as wages. >> if it was going to get better, it would get better when the president had the wage freeze and the price freeze and whatever it was that didn't work, because nothing that i can think of has been controlled. i have been to five stores in one week for specials, and when i come back from food shopping, we never plan anything for that night because i am exhausted. you pay and you pay, and you don't get any place. senator mcgovern: the basic
struggle, just to see things get worse, isn't only unfair. it is the surest sign that somebody, somewhere, has forgotten the real needs of our people. >> the wage and price control program under nixon is a lopsided operation which has been fairly effective of holding down the income of working people and freezing the wages, but the price control part of it has been a disastrous failure. you are reminded of that every time you go to a supermarket. senator mcgovern: if what has happened to the price family is unfair, what has happened to the people like sadie dibello is a tragedy. >> i get $73.30 from the eterans. then i get $89 from social security. if you want to know the truth, i can't afford to buy groceries, and i can't afford to get sick. and believe me, i can't afford to die.
senator mcgovern: there are 25 million americans over 65. they are mothers and wives. they are people who once belonged to somebody. and now they belong to nobody, not even the nation their usbands and sons died for. no country in the world treats its old as cruelly as america, and there has never been a crueler policy toward old people than in the last four years. they are the victims of a policy of official neglect. >> 8:00 in the morning and you don't come home until 5:00 at night. and by the time they come and take you here and take you there, you are ready to blow your top. you get so nervous and so sick, and so hungry. my god.
when you get through there, you know what is wrong with you, but then the thing of going back and waiting and going back and waiting, you can't do this when you are old. >> hello. can i help you? >> yes. i would like my refill. >> it will be just a minute. >> all right. thank you. senator mcgovern: old people are not inclined to complain. sadie has worked hard all her life, and she isn't giving up now. but her struggle has been especially difficult these last four years. even with the social security increases, older americans are fighting a losing battle to survive. they spend $300 a year for medical care not covered by insurance. old people are dying of malnutrition. they are dying for lack of proper medical care.
they have been cast aside by a government that has chosen to protect profits instead of people. >> in case you get up at a reasonable time, unlike those who rush to work at an unearthly hour. >> i have faith in america, but i can see it back sliding. we have been abandoned, most americans, we really have. but we still love our america. we are americans. you better believe it. >> someday, somebody's going to write the history of these times. and i think it is going to be a pretty sad chapter when they write the story on the way we have treated our older people. and there is not anything that we should want more than those later years be years of confidence and security. i'm going to do everything i can to see older people are treated decently.
senator mcgovern: out on the midwestern plains in sun prairie, wisconsin, i found another proud chapter in our history being threatened by this administration's neglect, here on the family farm of john kreb. >> my dad started that farm in 1932. he cleared the farm of brush and trees and i grew up there, worked together, and it was a way of life. the younger generation ain't going to follow the footsteps of their parents. after my generation gets out of here, i don't know who is going to take their place. senator mcgovern: it will be more than just one family's misfortune if john krebs can't pass that way of life along. we will all be losing something precious in america. in the last four years, over one million americans like john krebs have been forced off their land forever. >> my taxes here in the last
four years doubled. there is no way i should pay on the land that i own $8,000 every year, no guarantee on my price, but the taxes are guaranteed every year. every year they go up. that is the only sure thing we got. senator mcgovern: in the last four years small farmers have been forced to pay up to 40% more for labor and equipment. you and i and john krebs have been left by this administration to pick up an ever-increasing tab for everything we need to fashion a decent life. >> figure out what this is going to cost me with my trade-in. >> if you go with the 273 with the thrower and supersweet pickup, suggested list of $3579. $3579 is the suggested list price.
>> this is the chemicals and fertilizer. >> you have the weather to fight, you have the disease of the crops to fight, the only thing keeping us going. senator mcgovern: his real enemy is not as uncertain as disease or drought. it is the relentless power of bigness. in the last four years, giant corporations have been allowed to drive the small farmer to the wall. john krebs and his forebears have fought against hard odds for generations. >> about $90,000 in machinery a loan. the tractor cost me $22,000, just a tractor and plow. 20 years ago, you could buy a tractor then for $800 or $900. senator mcgovern: but the profit from his father's labor has not gone up in jeffrey's lifetime, and he knows it.
producing more food has meant less money in the years since johnny was born. like john krebs, i grew up close to the land and i know what we stand to lose if we don't do something about their future and their stake in the promise of this country. >> we set a goal, and that makes you feel good if you can reach these goals in your life once in a while. there are very few kids staying on the farm. i want always stay on the farm but i don't know who is going to farm, but i don't think i would want him to take it under the conditions we are farming under now. i think there are more opportunities in town, i will give him an education and he can work his 40 hours a week like the rest of the people. and forget about it. senator mcgovern: if you dump everybody into the cities, the cities are already overcrowded, overburdened. you have too many people piled
up in too small a space. so the farm problem is really everybody's problem. >> my dad broke those horses. i am not going to give it up that easy. senator mcgovern: i want to help you stay there. >> i'm calling in reference to the ad in "the boston globe." senator mcgovern: murray levine came up on the streets of new york and has lost his job in the administration's aerospace shuffle. >> yes ma'am, i do. about 15 years. i was a pretty substantial paid engineer, manager, i enjoyed a nice reputation, and finally it happened. the day came and i left. naturally, i contacted a lot of companies in the engineering field. it seemed they all had the same problem, layoffs and no work. i have 15 letters. you have great qualifications,
you are mr. wonderful, but we have no use for you at this time. senator mcgovern: like nearly 2 million others, murray got caught in the whipsaw of our war-based economy. while this administration fails to turn war plans to industries of peace, while it will make no plans to convert his talent from missiles to mass transit, when it exports jobs to japan and germany and imports goods that he could design better, murray is left to his own devices. >> i would love to do something for you quickly, because i understand the problem. things are slow, i know your capabilities, in fact you are precisely the kind of guy my company needs and wishes to continue to grow with. >> what does it look like ownstream? it doesn't look like things will be picking up shortly? > sit down and wait. >> the worst i ever felt was my
lack of fulfilling my role as a provider and a husband and father. and we have a conversation and, don't ask daddy for that. i'm 5'10" and 185 pounds and when i see the kid looking at e that way, i feel like i am nothing and way zilch. i can take anything anybody outside can give, and i can fight it, but how do you fight the fact that kids look at you with such a look in their eyes, so i'm going to put my suit and tie on every morning and go out nd do something. movie theaters, dairy barns, you name it, anytime anybody had an idea to make a buck. >> i don't want to encourage smoking anymore than is going on. >> your boss isn't in? >> not at the moment. senator mcgovern: there is no way of telling how many murrays with advanced degrees are wasting their hard earned talents in america today. there is no way of gauging the
loss this administration has inflicted on our troubled society, by the deliberate squandering of trained minds. and murray alone can know what it is like to look to his wife for the support of their family. >> she started working on a part-time basis when i was still employed. when i was working and my wife left in the morning, that was great -- i thought she was doing something real creative with her time. to see her leave now in the morning, i just get a knot in my stomach, and i get so damn angry. have a good day. >> you too. >> there is so much to do, the hours, days, weeks being lost cleaning up the environment, the medical problems, so many things people could be working on and they are not. that is what hurts. that is what is frustrating. senator mcgovern: this country
can have full employment utilizing people's skills to the fullest of their ability, and we can do it in peacetime. i don't think we have to have a war going in order to provide employment for the people of his country. out in milwaukee, i met two young men who rekindled my sense of hope about this country, and of what can be done to restore the spirit of caring about each other again. david hunter and his friend tom poole. >> he was in the army too. >> why? >> because he went to the government. >> were you there too? >> yeah, he was right by where i was. >> where were you? > i was there. >> i was going to be in vietnam for two years straight, 18
months as a pilot and six months on the ground as a company commander, to see what it was like. to see if i could do it. i wrote a letter home for a kid who lost his arm, i talked to 19-year-olds who didn't have any legs. i watched three people die. i mean it's not a beautiful thing. the people in the united states don't appreciate what life and what death does to people. [explosions] they can't imagine. [explosions] why did they let 50,000 guys die, and god knows how many came back like tom and me, no legs, no arms, no eyes.
why did all this happen? >> ready to go? >> i'm feeling better today. et's get down there. senator mcgovern: the tragedy of this war will not end with the signing of any treaty. it will not end with the return of the last prisoner. >> did pretty well yesterday. maybe you can do better today. i'm going to go five times and back this time. >> all right. let's go. senator mcgovern: i don't suffer with those who were wronged 10 years ago, nor do i suffer with those in power who have been wrong for the last four years. those prophets who made a political game out of human suffering have been in the news, but these are the anonymous victims of that game, tucked away to languish in
ameless hospitals. >> i came back from 13 days of unconsciousness and the first thing i remember a doctor saying to me is, you will never walk again for the rest of your life. and now my big deal is to educate myself so i can educate other guys like me, so that they won't want to die, they will want to live. i wanted to die, and i tried it. now i want to live every second of every minute of every hour f every day. >> i'm going for a doctorate in medicine. >> i want to go up to a guy who is laying in bed and broke his back and lay it on the line, and be able to say, i have been hrough it.
senator mcgovern: in the last four years, over 100,000 of them have been left to find their own way back from the devastation wrought by drugs and shrapnel. that is the great tragedy of a government who will offer them no real help to come all the way home. >> if you don't want to walk, they are not going to give you braces. if you don't show up here when you are supposed to show up down here to walk, why is the government going to waste the money? do you know how many braces right now are just rotting? how many are hanging up back there? >> i want to walk. >> a person can want more. >> a person can want it and wish for it, but you've got to work for it. wishing doesn't get you anywhere. i wish i could get out of the braces. i wish i could get out of them. that doesn't help me walk at all.
>> you have got to want to walk. >> they wanted us to play war. we are broken soldiers. don't throw us away. senator mcgovern: i love the united states, but i love it enough so i want to see some changes made. the american people want to believe in the government. they want to believe in their country. and i'd like to be one of those that provides the kind of leadership that would help restore that kind of faith. i don't say i could do it alone. of course i can't. but the president can help set a new tone in this country. he can help raise the vision and the faith in the hope of the american people, and that is what i would like to try to do. >> i would like a president we can believe in. senator mcgovern: i hope i will be that kind of a president. >> this fall, american history
tv's "reel america" is winding back the clock on campaigns. "ronald reagan: citizen overnor" is a film about the 1968 republican nomination. the film traces ronald reagan as a labor leader, spokesperson for general electric, speeches and his conservative approach to government. ronald reagan lost the 1968 election to the eventual winner of the general election, richard nixon. narrator: the following political program is sponsored by citizens for reagan committee. >> place your left hand on the bible and raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear you will support and defend the constitution of the united states and the constitution of the state of california,