George McGovern's been suffering from several health problems over the past couple of years, but he's also been busy working on two books: his own memoirs and a book he released last November about the state of politics. Through his own words, in interviews KELOLAND News has conducted since the book's release, we learn it's a far different political climate than when McGovern served.
"We only live once," McGovern said.
For a 90 year old, McGovern's been quite busy for the past year, promoting his book, "What It Means To Be A Democrat." And the work is an indictment on what he believes is a divided country.
"I got tired of listening to all the bombastic stuff that was thrown at Democrats and Republicans," McGovern said.
At a book signing this May in Sioux Falls, McGovern spoke about the central thesis of his work: that Democrats should be compassionate and care about the well-being of others, especially when it comes to one of the central issues of this election, health care reform.
"A lot of people who can't afford adequate health care are not getting a fair chance at life," McGovern said.
But McGovern's thoughts don't preclude him from criticizing his own party. With an almost universally-panned debate performance a few weeks ago, President Barack Obama is expected to come out with more fire for the second debate. That passion is something McGovern touched on at his book signing.
"I think he's leaned over a little too far maybe in being conservative abut his views, cautious about his views," McGovern said.
With a lifetime of accomplishments anyone would be proud of, McGovern's not shy about using his experience to leave a lasting impact on the political process.
"I never say anything that I don't think is the truth and that isn't right. Now that doesn't mean I'm right, but saying what I think is right," McGovern said.
McGovern also spoke about Medicare during a visit to Sioux Falls back in March, saying he personally benefits from the program and that the health care law known as Obamacare reflects the United States as an industrialized and prosperous country.