In my hometown of Philadelphia an aged Paul Simon’s uninspired rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water brings memories of 1972. I listened to Simon and Garfunkel a lot in the early 70s, and sang their songs when bicycling through New England and in Europe. In 1972 McGovern presented such hope, such a marked alternative to a criminal Nixon. I wrote lines from Peace Like a River in magic marker on my bedroom ceiling:
You can beat us with wires
You can beat us with chains
You can run out your rules
But you know you can’t outrun the history train
To me these words were a promise of life after Nixon, beyond Vietnam, the invasions of Cambodia, Laos. McGovern promised sanity, decency after the sordid thuggishness of Nixon, Agnew, Kissinger, Thiệu. Now in 2016 to succeed Obama’s drone and JSOC assassinations I am presented with the alternatives of Trump’s loud-mouthed authoritarian nightmare or Clinton’s hawkish neocon capital servitude. Darkness comes.