Eugene McCarthy talks about DFL, politics and current events

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Former Minnesota Democratic U.S. senator and former Presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy in the MPR studios with Gary Eichten to talk about politics and current events. McCarthy discusses the state of the DFL, polarization of the parties, war, his 1968 campaign, and also answers listener questions.

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(00:00:04) And good morning. Welcome to midday on Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Gary eichten glad you could join us. Minnesota dfl party is paying tribute this weekend to some of the people who helped build the dfl from new kid on the Block to what four years became Minnesota's dominant political party on Saturday dfl heirs will dedicate a hall of distinguished service at the dfl is new headquarters in st. Paul among those being honored former vice president Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale and former Minnesota. Senator, Eugene McCarthy who in 1968 turned the political world upside down and raise more than a few dfl hackles when he challenged his party sitting President Lyndon Johnson and then fellow Minnesotan Hubert Humphrey for the party's presidential nomination, Senator McCarthy left the senate in 1971, but he certainly didn't retire he ran for president several more times both as a Democrat and an independent and he's written more than 20 books since then including Son public policy poetry books of essays and Memoirs. Well, Senator McCarthy is back in Minnesota this week from his home in Washington. He will appear be appearing at seven o'clock tonight at Borders Books in the Midway Shopping Center in st. Paul and he's joined us here in the studio this morning to take your questions. So if you have a question or a comment for former, Minnesota senator Eugene McCarthy, give us a call or Twin City area number is 6512276 thousand 6512276 thousand toll-free outside the Twin Cities 1-800 to for 228286512276 thousand or 1-800 to for 22828 Center. Welcome back appreciate your coming by again. And again now you as understand it won't be attending the dedication on Saturday. You've got other plans, right? (00:01:50) Well, I would go I kind of conflict I'm speaking out at st. John's on to the lawyers on. And this is the first invitation I've had from the regular Democratic party at 40 years. So I should respond if I could but I can't do it (00:02:11) I've got to say is all forgiven now because there was some there were some hard feelings for anybody civils. It was like Civil (00:02:17) War. Yeah, and they weren't ready to forgive me. I was kind of surprised at the at the intensity of Party Loyalty especially since it was an issue which was not traditionally a party issue. I feel like 90% of parity and the war was different but this is as I said about the only living Democratic office holder, I guess they could call up. (00:02:53) Well what I know you haven't lived in Minnesota for some several years now, but I would imagine Kind of keep your ear to the ground and I'm wondering what do you suppose happened to your dfl party in Minnesota as I noted. It used to be the dominant party but latest Pew research survey indicates are more Republicans now than Democrats in the state Republicans control two of the three top Statewide offices that control the Minnesota house. They almost control the state senate what happened? (00:03:28) Well, I think a lot of it came out of 68 because the about 50% of the party was rejected by the party in 68 and they never let him come back. It was sort of like, well he way they treated me and it was a rift. I think hop over into something like the Civil War you don't don't get forgiveness very easily. And (00:03:55) they just never rebounded from that. (00:03:57) No, I think Ventura got a lot more democratic votes that he did Republican and he never quite clear yellow never is when you're signing Walter Cronkite in the county, you know water can tell you who I would have voted if they voted differently and it's true. I get off on Walter. I need water. I decided the other day that I was thinking about is what your people really liked him because he always gave him good medicine on the advertisements. (00:04:36) The most trusted man in America at the time. Yeah. Well, he's going to (00:04:40) charge all Tums and Porcelain polygroup and and Excellent, excellent. They're all kind of non-controversial and rather tame on you give you preparation Asian and intrusive stuff. (00:05:02) So the you might have tribute the demise of the network news programs to the kind of commercials (00:05:07) there. Right? Well, you can judge them, you know, that's right and sort of determine what they're doing. No. Especially I think it's like judging their what they put on during the weeks when they're counting like saying we're not going to put Ronald Reagan and they said we were going they were going along with the Republicans are no you are. And I think we can all get along right if we miss two hours around with Nancy (00:05:37) farmer Minnesota. Senator, Eugene McCarthy is our guest this hour here to talk really about whatever you'd like to talk with the senator about give us a call six five. One two, two seven six thousand 6512276 thousand toll free number is 1-800-218-4243 caller is timpani former, Minnesota Congressman dfl congressman who ran for governor as an independent in the independence party label. I must Penny. Good morning Gary. Good morning hygiene. First of all, it's good to have you back in Minnesota always good to have you back here. My question has to do with the apparent polarization of the electorate. We've come through a decade where the independent Spirit of the voters seem to be at played first with parole and here in Minnesota has been turret cetera now a lot of Pundits and even some experts like brother are saying that we're moving to a more polarized electorate in which people are trending back to one party or the other. I'm curious to know what your analysis is. (00:06:47) Well, I think the parties feel threatened and so they are moves even consolidate what's left of them it so that the two party system will be preserved in Tim the I don't know who did it, but they have a Fraser Notions of two party system as so fixed in America that the Supreme Court even recognizes it as superior to the Constitution. In the Supreme Court proceedings in 76 on in which we were charging the at the 1976 campaign reform legislation interfered with freedom of speech and freedom of assembly the Supreme Court Justices said, we're not going to do anything to disturb the two party system. We should clear rejection of responsibility, but seven out of eight of the justices voted for the federal election law in which the whole trust was freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. So when you when you take the cart, which is given a unique power no one is superior to and they they take cover in something like the two-party system, which is pretty well treated a book that has been published the University of Minnesota Professor. Lisa dish called the tyranny of the to party. It's an excellent analysis of what's happened was this concept? And so I she's in Good Company. John Adams said the worst thing you could have under our constitution in politics was a two-party political operation. And now we've got it and the Very things that are wrong with it were anticipated by John Adams 1780 and it's kind of awful when you have to judge contemporary politics by some of you have 780 years ago, maybe two hundred years and was a university Professor has put out this book, which I think is the best thing in political science has come out of any University or foundation in 50 years (00:09:11) given what a congressman Penny was revving. Rinsing the fact that the two parties seem to be kind of consolidating their bases as it were where does that leave the person who is neither Democrat nor Republican are they just being forgotten here? (00:09:28) Well, they try, but the first problem they have is getting on the ballot and the second is getting coverage from especially television and I was going over your what's really happened in the last 50 years and the two parties have been wrong on all the major issues the when they were fighting these supposed communist threat to America they vied with each other to see who could be most at. Hi. No, there's no Division and I had campaign against me in 1972 was handled by Warren Berger who later became chief justice accusing me. Treason on a simple proposition of due process. So it was it was it was there everywhere and Warren was very active here and he became Chief Justice of the United States and and the Republicans Or democrats 4442. I you say you could tell the Democrats. The Communists said it Democratic rally. They always invokes Robert's Rules of Order but forgotten about the Communist Manifesto, but when he said, this is Robert's Rules of Order you say he's a subversive look out for him and they were both for the for the Vietnam War. They took turns taking responsibility, but they have (00:11:02) surely you're not saying Senator that need the Democrats and Republicans have not admitted done some good things in the last 50 years have they (00:11:09) not? Well, this is pretty hard to be a total failure as a Democrat. But the bad record Vietnam invasion was planned by Eisenhower and exercise by Kennedy the anti-communist stuff. As I said, the Cuban invasion was all there two parties for all the critical issues for some good things happen like Education and Social Security and Medicare and these were all peripheral on the really divisive issues are what should have been divisive issues. They took turns being wrong and you could see it coming at its most of us entered in foreign policy and military policy so that we find ourselves in a position where decisions in politics are pretty much determined on the basis of military (00:12:11) policy pretty sharp division. At least on the surface between Democrats and Republicans on the current major foreign policy issue that the Iraq War. Do you do you think (00:12:23) this (00:12:25) this trend is changing now that the the parties are differentiating (00:12:29) themselves. Well, not really there if Vietnam controversy is the worst people were those who said well I'm for the war but I like the way it's being conducted it's so now I think any War you have you're going to have to raise questions about the methods that are used the old decision tree of just and unjust War have no relevance anymore because what you have to do in a war was nuclear war or the things they were involved in now are contrary to the exception conditions for a just War. So you're condemned before you start and then begins to hinge on what happens because of the war sort of unexpected good things or bad things and Tocqueville says it's very hard for a Democratic Society to handle war that seizes you're tempted to do and do do are almost at here in the war and their unacceptable and feeds back on the society itself. It's like Patriot law or what the proposed to do in the name of the fence now and so you have Your whole society is corrupted by military action and this and both parties are involved in this and he and not it's not that there aren't things that should have been observed even. You can see the development of the intrusive power of the military. I think the planning for it begin probably in 1947 when the Appropriations came out. They were called the defense appropriation Act. The previous Appropriations had been for the War World War II was fought under the direction of the war department. But in the 47 appropriation, it was suddenly called it Department of Defense. And we're Department. You can say is they're coming from I said, where's the war we will have a war. Well, you probably for one. We're not apply for one when you come up and say defense say there's no limit. You say well, we can hear a whispering sound the dangers. We better improve our defensive. So we don't declare war anymore. We declare National Defense and other countries are doing the same thing. The Russians have had to call their Department the department defense everybody. So you don't have any language with which to draw the line anymore the defense department? I guess it's public knowledge in 1967. the Army hired, I guess they hired the paid him Douglas aircraft faked a to work out. What would have to be done to impose an American peace on the world everything he had. And I don't know what they proposed but it's supposedly going to be made public and Douglas. I think doctors had a contingency plan. Where's McNamara involved rack Tamara said we can have two Wars like Vietnam and still have butter. We were prepared for three kinds of Wars nuclear war conventional Lord and you real Warfare? And they had plans and once you get de tocqueville says you have a military establishment, which is greater than anyone as you need it develops into a separate Republic within the Republic and it affects the whole whole civilian government and that's what we've got. Now (00:16:41) Mike is on the line joins us from Hawaii Mike your question, please yes, Gary. Thank you and Senator McCarthy if it be agreed that the US military is necessary what principles ought to guide us military involvement in the world? (00:16:59) Well, we've got we've got principles which we don't follow. and moisturize invoke them but they're not the principles we accepted. It isn't just principles. It's a practical consideration and de tocqueville point of this Audi says very difficult for democracy to conduct a sustained War he or Machiavelli said that to run a war or have a popular support in a democracy. You have to have almost 100 percent support from the population when you get it out of dealing with 25% or 40% or 50% He said it can't be sustained and you then begin to invoke and ask other democracies to come in saying it since it's an attack on Democracy. It's an attack on Democracy everywhere and they all should be involved in the defense which is the arguments that wishes making and Sorry fathers debated these things genres on Quincy Adams. Said we have an obligation to be marginally involved in international conflicts, but we can't adopt them as our principal principal responsibility. He said if you do you corrupted democracy itself, and these are standards that have to be applied at least with some substantial consequences, which were not doing it. (00:18:35) Back to the phones of Peter your question, please. Peter (00:18:42) because he hello. Yes, (00:18:44) and I wonder how old you are. If you don't mind saying are you going to wait wait wait, and are you going to run for president again? Would love to have you (00:18:54) kind of mind be reporter say how old are you and I asked them I said how old are you? So once we've established the time frame in which they lived in the time of my we can we can argue about it or try to reconcile. I'm 80 old and a 7. Yeah 7 my father lived to be 98. So I said I could really make it (00:19:20) you can threaten people for some long while yet (00:19:22) three more times at least, you know, he had an hour and and de Gaulle pretty good record once they got to be over 90. I'm old enough. (00:19:37) You meet the constitutional (00:19:38) qualifications (00:19:42) what you know, I've always wondered about this. What was it back when you you know, the major campaign that you launched in actually starting 67 for the 68 campaign. It was a big deal to take on a sitting president. What pushed you over the edge? Why did you finally decide that? You know, I've got to run for president. I can I can give all the speeches I want I can do all this that and the other thing but what I really need to do here is run for (00:20:12) president. Well, that's about right. I don't want to sound as though I was the only one thinking this way but one of the Constitutional responsibilities is for United States. Senator is war. Well, you're going to be in war out of or what are you going to do about peace? And I took that rather seriously and I supported the various minor moves were made. It was like write we write letters to the president. He wouldn't answer them and and people did talk to him like dick Russell Mike Mansfield. We knew that was happening and he wasn't responding that in 67. We had a volts kinda to repeal the Tonkin Gulf resolution and Leadership tried to keep it from coming to a vote. But when it did there were only five votes in favor of of reviewing Vietnam and I concluded that the standard was going to do anything about it. They were going to avoid responsibility. And the only thing you could do was left to do was run against him and that's what we did in in in 68 lat you wouldn't recall what I said. Look I'm not Challenging Lyndon Johnson. I think he's been a pretty good president. But when he began to talk about not being the first president to lose a war. I was going to do anything anything to ask you for 250 300 500,000 troops. And Casualty rates were coming in and we knew they were not telling us the truth that some the only way you could challenge was to do it by entering the primaries against Johnson and some of them my friends are all here. Just do a third party, but I said well there. The Democrats are more responsible for our involvement in Vietnam than the Republicans and we ought to take responsibility for it within the party first. And so we sort of that came together and and we had to challenge Linden (00:22:28) Lyndon Johnson was not a shy reserved person. Did he ever pick up the phone after you announced that you were running for president going to challenge him to ever pick up the phone and say McCarthy. What in the world are you doing? (00:22:42) Well, you know, I read these tapes of Linden's and he mentions me once in a while, but there's never a challenge. And that was true in sushi. I think I think he was a lot sicker than we thought and he was distressed about the war. He was distressed about the fact. I didn't know White House. He had to question the Loyalty of practically all of the Kennedy holdovers. So he was caught in a terrible position and the water just kept getting worse. And until he said like this is too much (00:23:18) for her Minnesota senator and former presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy is our guest this hour if you have a question for Eugene McCarthy, give us a call or Twin City area number is 6512276 thousand 6512276 thousand toll-free number outside. The Twin Cities is one eight hundred two, four two 2828 and we'll get to more of your questions here in a couple of minutes. (00:23:45) This week on A Prairie Home Companion. We want to bring you some highlights from our fall shows going back a few years that you may have missed when your station was busy fundraising the news from Lake Wobegon. The American duct tape Council. Ketchup Advisory Board Bebop re Bop rhubarb pie much more this week. (00:24:08) Listen to our Prairie Home Companion this Saturday afternoon at 5:00 and Sunday at 11:00 on Minnesota public radio's news and information stations time. Now for some headlines. Here's got a Cunningham brother. Thanks Gary. Good morning. This just crossed the wire a Judicial panel has ordered that suspended Alabama chief justice, Roy Moore be removed from his position for defying a federal court order to remove his Ten Commandments Monument from a courthouse British foreign. Secretary. Jack straw says there is a new level of terrorist threat in Iraq and that until the nation is secure. It will be hard to move closer toward a self-sustaining. Markussi strong made the comments to the BBC while in Washington for meetings with bush officials British Prime Minister. Tony Blair says the United Kingdom isn't changing its exit strategy and still plans on pulling troops from Iraq when the job is done to Terror suspects are closer to being extradited to the United States. Germany Supreme Court has approved the extradition of the to yemeni born men to the US where they're wanted on charges of supporting Osama. Bin Laden's Al-Qaeda Network. The two were arrested in a Frankfort hotel in January in a sting operation a prosecutor has told jurors in Virginia that John Muhammad and Lee Malvo formed a sniper spotting killing team. He says the goal was to create Terror and extort millions of dollars closing arguments are underway at mohamed's trial even as trial of fellow suspect Lee Malvo begins with opening statements the judge in the Muhammad case made it clear Muhammad can be convicted even if he wasn't the one that pulled the trigger in Regional news to Minnesota National Guard units are preparing for possible mobilization to Iraq. 80 members from an oak has battery e of the 150 first artillery and 11 troops from Appleton's 151st artillery support team may be sent to Iraq to replace soldiers ending one your tours. These units are not currently ordered to active duty. If given a mobilization order the units would serve one year in Iraq and could be on active duty for 18 months to two years the forecast for Minnesota today calls for partly to mostly sunny skies highs today ranging from 35 in the Northeast 247 in the southwest right now in Moorhead. It's fair and 28 some sunshine and Rochester and 27 sunny skies in Duluth and 24 and in the Twin Cities Sunshine with a temperature of 30 degrees Gary. That's a look at the latest news. All right. Thanks Greta. It's about 27 minutes now before 12 o'clock. Midday coming to you in Minnesota Public Radio over the noon hour. We're going to hear from journalist author and media critic Danny Schechter who was in town earlier this week talking about what he sees is the shortcomings of the news. Media in America specifically concerned about media concentration in the rest will have that over the noon hour this hour we're talking with former Minnesota. Senator former presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy. And again, if you have a question for the senator, give us a call here at 6512276 Thousand or 1-800 to for two two eight two eight and your question, please hi Senator. (00:27:04) My question is this when President Clinton was in office, it seems like the conservative conservative just put him through hell with the impeachment and everything else. They kind of picked on everything that he did and and now that bushes in office and there's a rack and there's the outing of the CIA agent. It doesn't seem like the Democrats are just demanding that he provide answers and why is that? Well, I think I think you're right. I don't know about the Clinton criticism, but The Democrats have been so kind of melted down especially on on international issues of war that they don't really know what to say and you hear what nine candidates and about five of them before the war and five of them were not for the war and or they're fighting it but not the way it's being fought it is because there hadn't been A build-up with the two-party system of any real opposition, you know. Lexi Bush a governor. I think the worst thing to do is let Governors who because they were military experience has usually been with the National Guard shooting students and that's not a very good preparation for the any kind of war and it is like if the British prime minister was Sheriff of Nottingham. They said that the sheriff's a good man. Let's make him prime minister. We say the governor was a good man or not a good man. Let's make him president because you had experienced when I was running. They said well, you haven't had any experience with Administration and I said, well, there are 53 toilets in the white house. That's like saying we ought to have a plumber for president just to keep things going, you know, and The whole emphasis has been negative and in defense of military action, or it's no wonder that some of the foreign countries are worried about us because of the things we said like, well you got these generals talking now they are our God is bigger than your God. You know, what does that mean or Admiral more saying? I know what he said but rice eaters can't fight or Barbara Bush said after the end of of Desert Storm. Saddam hey, Dad's name should be hanged or bombing back to the Stone Age. We've had all of these things said over the last 20 years and we kept building up. We we have a history of terrorism in this country. We terrorize the blacks for 300 years in the colonial period And in the after we were a national government we continue to do it up until 45. We actually were terrorizing people trying to buy our nuclear build up. You know, we're going to have enough bombs to kill all of your three of two three or four times. I said at the Taiwan, why do you need to kill him three times and four times or three and a half? They generally would say it builds up say four and a half weeks. You can kill us four and a half times we can kill you eight times and and it the people who are making these judgments always left us half alive. You'll be five and a half. There was an even number. But what it what what do people say when we had a nuclear build up there was greater than anything we needed for National Defense. We not only had numbers that were extreme but we had types of bombs that would have special capacities that were more threatening. We at least that's what we said that this bomb will make people more afraid of us because it was a clean bomb that didn't all I did was kill living things. It didn't destroy property. And therefore there be more afraid of us because we don't want it. We don't have won't have to rebuild their countries and it's just kind of madness has Saturday not 74c naughty monthly other piece about 2 issues ago about how we ought to use the Army for all of these International problems because they're so efficient and I could see the re we've been 50 years doing something to Cuba with no success in the Army's been in control. We had handled programs in Vietnam. The Army was running out of the CIA. It didn't work. We've actually lost about four wars in the last 50 years and don't acknowledge it. We lost Cuba. We lost Vietnam. We lost Cambodia. We lost half of Korea and they give it to the military. They know how to operate and we're going we're going to rebuild Iraq and 30 days 60 days 90 days or next year. There's no reason to expect that. We'd be successful in rebuilding a country. We can't even run the elections in America. (00:33:08) What should what should President Bush do now, just pull up and leave (00:33:12) Iraq. Well, you know, it's sort of what they said about Vietnam. I said find a yellow that's all we can do. The Johnson people used to say America will not tolerate a unilateral withdrawal. What else could you have in Vietnam? Could you hold? Where were the Vietnamese going to go if they were through? So you had you had a position that could never be challenged say well that's unilaterally in the measles going to be to unilateral withdrawal. Where do you go? I don't know Saigon iPhone just go and I don't I don't think the time has come to now. I think that's what we ought to be looking for a very fast and a lot of be accepted when it happens. (00:34:05) Do any of the current people challenging the president impress you as (00:34:10) candidates. I don't think so. I was kind of hopeful that the degree of might come on he's had more solid approach. I thought and it was consistent, but I I don't see anyone developing as a person other than Graham who could make it a real challenge. It's kind of pathetic the way the Democrats especially part of a these terrible primary should get you can't have primaries with nine people in them. I think you can probably have a primary with two or three and one or two good issues. But when you've got nine candidates and 45 positions on every every International issue, I hear you're bound to have the kind of chaos we have now and and his party promoted by television. The primary in 68 there were only two people involved most of the time and there was only one issue really so you could have a primary that was meaningful. But when you're down to what the questions are asking now on television, what books are you reading and was your favorite movie star and things like that are are distracting (00:35:37) Mike your question, please yeah, first of all Senator McCarthy, thank you for being a breath of fresh air. I've from the from the 60s and and what you have said is a correct observation our foreign policy the mess and thank you for representing Minnesota and in the United States Europe pleasure. And one of the few statesman's left, I guess my question goes back to is is all of our foreign policy based around oil that seems to be what I talk to people the reflection of what's really happening and you've said a lot of things and what's your feeling in that area? Is this our real problem? (00:36:19) Well, it is is an important factor. It's understandable you we have such a dependency on oil. That it does affect our foreign policy. I think what you deal with relation that has only one major source of income or production like the Middle East you got very serious problems Iraq, Iran, I think we could be getting along better with Iran the Kuwait in the case of Cuba. We had another one crop country, which was sugar the sugar trust controlled sugar production and distribution cute. We were paying sugar with selling for two and a half cents a pound and we were paying three and a half cents a pound. So the Cubans they were soaked supplying us with 50% of our foreign sugar and We were paying our own sugar farmers. 10 or 15 cents a pound and then consolidating that With the three and a half percent sugar, which we were beat was being produced in Cuba, and we could sell it for about 10 cents and but we were explaining sugar production for producers in Cuba. In the case of oil and uranium told me that they had offered the Johnson Administration. An agreement on oil at two cents to dollars a barrel. In 1967 or 68 or 63 or 64 rather and we turned it down said it would disturb the oil Market survey them to dollars a barrel and they said they'd agree to do it until the year 2000. And he said of course we know now wouldn't when the sit up but that's what our offer was and we made the same offer to the Nixon Administration when they came in two dollars a barrel. They turned it down said it would disturb the oil market. So I'll has a tremendous impact is found to have it because we're so dependent on and we're not going to do anything about unless just have wars (00:38:45) my shift gears here just for a moment Senator. What do you make of the 30-hour talketh on underway in the US Senate the Republicans set this up so that they could basically showcase the fact that the Democrats are blocking judicial nominations. The Democrats are using their allotted time to talk about unemployment. And the rest is this go back to the best days of the US Senate the the stock with I (00:39:12) don't know the filibuster was the last stand. You shouldn't use it for kind of irrelevant cause you should keep it for plumbing like civil rights for this as a used to do the old log onto rules. This is just it's like using the Supreme Court who poised upon you use institutions like this filibuster is a defensible device, but you shouldn't use it very often the cause ought to be important as it was for the southerners on civil rights. (00:39:55) You think the Democrats have used or overuse the filibuster (00:39:59) Welsh lesions, they change the filibuster so that it was pretty hard to get a filibuster started before they made the changes in the rules darling and one man can run a filibuster. The old filibuster rule was like trial by ordeal said well, that's the only way we can settle this and then and they said something like the to turn limitation you just sit excusable to turn limitation on the presidency. Make some for makes for your responsibility either say well. I'll not do it in my first term. I'll do it in my second term or I'll do it only in my first turn. My second term will be a lame duck anyway, and like I couldn't left her kind of State of the Union message. These presidents are. A lot of things that can be done and one for years her or two four-year terms and a lot of he left open but the to turn limitation 20th Amendment. So y'all ridiculous. This is 20th Amendment change the date of the inauguration of the president. From March the 4th to January the 20th the one to get him sworn in so you wouldn't have a lame duck president from war. So can you say they put in a two term limitation which gives you a lame duck president for eight years and and this confusion as a result of I couldn't doesn't know he's not an officer anymore. So you have this moment of my life. I propose we all have some kind of post residential work for presidents of some of the things that they didn't get done (00:41:55) kind of an official job. Maybe. (00:41:56) Well you set them up with an office and so he's not a big issue but some side issues like, you know, Jimmy Carter proposed shortly before his decision was over a rebate program on postage you paid on letters that she wrote to your mother. Or you wrote Close relative he was going to encourage family life and unity and one of the things he thought would do it was say you could if you sent the letter you can take the postage and turn it in to get a rebate on the postage. He ever got that. He had a big projects are getting rid of the pigeons in Washington. There's a flocked in Washington called a federal farc and they occupy the treasure ability in the and the archives I think and commerce there that three favorite buildings. It was sort of like we had here in st. Paul man named Louis night was a good pigeon sister and he operated on the First National Bank the cathedral and the capital and he had worked out so it every year he had one vacancy. And he tried very said thing about tensions, which is certified here. Lori said be careful when you chase pigeons shoes. You better leave them where they are unless there's a good reason to move them and they said we did with the federal government. We took the pigeons out of the post office department or pull politics and moved it into the justice department. He didn't do any harm in the post office Department did a lot of harm in the in the in the Justice Department (00:43:50) Terry at your question for Senator McCarthy Place. Hi, I'm a 41 year old suburban hockey mom that graduated near the top of my class from Rochester High School have a Bachelor of Science degree, but I would say that I'm lacking in my world geography and history knowledge. I learned a lot listening to you and I my question is how can we ignite our children's interest in history and (00:44:13) geography? There is a residential as well. I suppose it's part of television and you get pictures from all over the over the world and you begin to want to know something about it. We had geography when I was in I think it took it in junior high school. They called a commercial geography and you sort of studied it but at least you knew where the oil was when you got done (00:44:41) now Senator, I noticed as a matter of fact in the new social study standards that are being written for Minnesota schools. One of the requirements at least. The last time I checked was that Minnesota school students by the time they're in eighth grade need to know what your role was or is in Minnesota History. What would you like them to know about? Yes, I didn't know they were doing that. Yes. (00:45:06) Well, that would be banned from from the books is citrusy. What should they know about you? Well, I don't know, you know. I think what we did. What we tried to do significant That You Oughta look at the political system because we should have been able to end that war without what happened. We couldn't do it to look to the to party party to system two-party system 130. the other look too the winner-take-all procedures now they were adopted just to get some small states to join the union in 1789. Now they're a nuisance, you know, and they all do something about the Electoral College. These are these are structure and procedural things that they ought to learn about and I'd like to take credit for having raised the issue on him, even though I didn't get much response and then you begin to look at the particular things which these three things at least the procedure and they should be above partisanship, but they aren't and you've had the Democrats and Republicans have had three years to say we're going to do something about what happened to us in Florida. But every place we'd have it any time reading far as I know. There's not a candidate who's talking about reforming the process just left out there. And and this is something that is it should be non controversial and should be taught in the school. But it but it isn't I you know here you had an election which was determined by the votes from one state exercising the winner. Take all so only half the votes counted and more than half. The didn't have some sort of didn't count and And the votes are carried were those votes have recently well refugees from Cuba. Determining our whole foreign policy and refugees from the New York income tax. So you had one of the worst procedures ready State of the Union was it was Florida and it determined how the election came out and the founding fathers were sensitive to all these things and we just go along and say well so dick daily is a big joke, you know, so he steals votes and we dealt with try to deal with dick bit daily in the Chicago Convention of 68 and It's such as the two parties both benefit from Bad. Rules. (00:48:08) What if you had to pick one thing out? What is what would you be most proud of in your public life? (00:48:16) Oh II don't know. I mean, I think I did what I should have done in the case of Vietnam. I was I guess primarily responsible for the extension of of Medicare Medicaid to mental illness, which was be left out until we took it up and I received the generalized was I I was pretty consistent and in trying to make application of constitutional rules to every procedure in the Senate and the house was especially in the Senate and the Vietnam challenge stands out but we did other things it was a pretty good record. I didn't get good coverage from st. Paul paper was what I said, I was lazy and Linden says I didn't one of these tapes. He said I they say you lazy said I don't know that's when you started about the vice presidency and I I am sort of adopted a rule to deal with what were the central proposals and things of Senate belong to for example, I wouldn't go over to vote when they had a roll call vote on what to do with the ashes of Smokey the Bear. He died in Washington and the argument was with they put his ashes at the zoo or with the ship and back to Arizona. And we have roll call vote on where what do the ashes of Smokey the Bear and I don't know what I was doing with it. I said look, I'm not going to roll over and vote on the ashes and A lot of an unnecessary roll cause they had to do they have Margaret Smith was the first person to get a thousand without missing. They had a big deal. Kind of observation on the floor of the Senate and I've commanded her for faithfulness of that and I was growing up today to give a speech ready musti who didn't have a perfect record. So when they asked me well Margaret record, I says the terrible record the noise should have a perfect attendance record in in the United States, if you do it means you've been wasting a lot of time answering roll calls and making this kind of showing and Margaret to didn't like me can't imagine why this roll call 65% you know in grade school. I think you should have a perfect attendance record. I said maybe in high school, but when you get to graduate school, you can skip a few (00:51:26) lectures any we don't have a lot of time left here. But any any real regrets that you have things that you really wish you had done differently or just didn't get done and you really would have (00:51:38) liked. Well these these free procedure reforms we failed on, you know, we went to the Supreme Court and the federal election law. We lost that. I think they're going to have to come and do something about it because it is so disorder. We went to the Supreme Court to To get a shower of Television time which was denied to us and you have a strange thing television has worked itself into a tremendous political force by deciding who goes on who doesn't go on who the candidate should be who they position be almost everything that the church says try to give up recently in the Vatican councils have been picked up by television and by the New York Times he infallibility. The New York Times seeks from the editors are Grace of office. Censorship don't let this be printed the New York Times as we print can be prejudiced. I could infer moderate. Maybe maybe press it may be pregnant. It's even worse than that. Then I don't let the clergy violate the law without some record but the New York Times printed a story about how someone know Jimmy Carter's Administration went to a pot party and they didn't say it was included to New York Times reporters and they said we didn't want to disturb the trust that the people might have in the New York Times They well ago (00:53:34) Center. We have to let it go right there. But thank you so much for coming in today. Really appreciate it. Go always good to talk with you former Minnesota. Senator former presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy joining us this first our midday, Senator McCarthy will be at the Borders bookstore in the Midway and st. Paul and University Avenue seven o'clock tonight if you would like to meet with him, that's at 7:00 tonight. We're going to break for news and then we'll be back here from media critic Danny Schechter.


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