White text on greyscale background to the right of an image of George McGovern in suit and tie.
Copyrighted 1972 Votes unlimited Corp Ferndale, N.Y. 12734
Produced in support of George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign, this button captures the optimism and energy that was the essence of the McGovern campaign.
An American historian and author, McGovern was elected to the Senate in 1962 after a previous failed bid in 1960. As one of the first politicians to speak out publicly against America's growing involvement in Vietnam, McGovern would become most known in the Senate for his outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War. McGovern's platform during his 1972 presidential campaign included a comprehensive plan to end the war in Vietnam, a substantial cut in federal defense spending, and a "demogrant" program—which sought to replace inflated welfare bureaucracies with a pledge to give every American citizen $1,000. McGovern's "demogrant" program was dropped from his platform in August of that year after it was severely criticized as a "liberal giveaway." Although McGovern captured the votes of activists and reform liberals, his opponent, Republican incumbent Richard Nixon, managed to defeat McGovern in one of the biggest landslides in American history.