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A Stereotypical Plainsman

Dec 7, 2011

By Bernie Hunhoff

"George McGovern is not your typical South Dakotan since he's a Democrat deep in the red zone," writes Mark Bittman in the New York Times this week. "But he's got the combination of humanitarianism, compassion, idealism and utilitarianism that seems common to people born of the prairie."

Bittman is a food writer for the Times, and his essay (titled "The Wisdom of George McGovern")  focuses largely on McGovern's life-long effort to curb hunger in the world. McGovern was a bomber pilot in WWII, and he volunteered to keep on flying after the war so he could drop food to the very people that we were dropping bombs on days earlier.

The old senator is now 89, and took a nasty fall last week that resulted in hospitalization in Sioux Falls. Word is that he's back on his feet and ready to resume writing, traveling and speaking. He wants to stay alive and active, he says, because he knows that he can use his stature as a senior statesman to help feed the world's poorest people.

Not many South Dakotans have ever received such friendly attention in the New York Times. Bittman's essay will make you proud regardless of your politics.

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