There is a certain sadness about aging. There comes a point where the mental acuity inevitably deteriorates. It doesn't have to be Alzheimer's or dementia, it can be nothing more than unfamiliarity with changing situations or an over-estimation of the relevance of experiences more than fifty years ago to the current situation.
It is even sadder when the individual is someone with the reputation of being an insightful politician and commentor on the political environment who commands a voice in prestigious publications such as the Wall Street Journal.
Read this from George McGovern, former B-24 pilot of WW II, former US Senator and statesman, and former presidential candidate of the Democratic Party:
Advice Not to Take Seriously
The world has changed since Sen. McGovern's brave service and his studious application of the GI Bill educational benefit. There was a huge tax base and after World War II expenditure, there was a vast excess of government funding available as well as a pent-up demand for individuals with advanced degrees. Today there is neither the funding nor the demand for the output of the universities. Jobs don't equate with graduates any more.
After WW II tax rates could be slashed and still provide opportunity for infrastructure and societal development. Today the ratio of worker to drone is shifted in favor of the honey-suckers rather than the pollen-gatherers. There is little to gain in terms of "peace dividend" from a withdrawal of our defense forces from the war against the jihadists and the proportion of federal spending on the military is miniscule in relation to the government hand-out and bail-out programs.
The Senator is correct that the terrorists don't have battleships (we don't either)and tanks or artillery or even uniformed forces. But, he seems blissfully unaware that N. Korea does, as does Iran and Venezuela and who knows who else. Pakistan and India are serious players and all of those listed are either firmly or in the immediate future members of the nuclear club. None of them like us very much.
He further doesn't get the need to block terrorists, even those with lowly box-cutters, from ever again unleashing attacks like 9/11 while at the same time protecting the freedoms of American citizens. It is a difficult path when the weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical and biological agents are small and easily infiltrated. I don't think ACORN is the agency to handle that security question.
Finally, his dream of American pre-eminence in a modern fast rail system seems a longing for the days of Taggart Transcontinental and a wilful disregard for the extant technology of France, Germany, Spain, Japan and a number of other nations who have left us far behind in rapid rail and bullet trains.
He means well, but his decline is sad to observe.