He thought the price was too high.
In November of 1972, I was one of the brand-spanking-new 18-year old voters lining up to exercise my recently ratified right under the 26th amendment to the US Constitution. I was a sophomore in college. I had been too young in the late 60s, really, to have understood fully - much less participated in - the Vietnam War, the work of Students for a Democratic Society, or Woodstock.
My primary concern in the fall of 1972 was whether or not I had a date on a Saturday night.
But, I was fired up about voting.
A new precinct had been added to my college campus. We enthusiastic 18-year old voters were feeling quite santicmonious. After all, we spouted with indignation whenever anyone would listen, "If we're old enough to fight - we should be able to vote."
But there was no 24-hour news cycle or Twitter or online access to the New York Times. These were the days of the Yellow Dog Democrat majority in Texas - which made me slightly wary of any candidate on that ticket.
So here's how I decided who to vote for. I asked my dad. He told me to vote for Nixon or expect the end of the material world I'd come to know and depend upon.
And that's what I did. I voted for Nixon. Along with 61% of America. George McGovern won only one state on November 7, 1972. Massachusettes.
Less than two years later, I sat on a stool in a dark television studio control room, watching the place counter on a two-inch video tape machine. I was looking for a sound bite to air on the 10 o'clock newscast I produced. Richard Nixon was resigning, in shame, from office.
I decided on that night I would never rely on anyone else to tell me who to vote for. Ever.
Are you listening to your own hearts and voices young voters of America?
It's a secret ballot.
Choose your own candidate.
Today - 40 years later - I celebrate the man who really spoke my mind in 1972: George McGovern. May he rest in...