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America Needs McGovern Final

Among the variety of posters on exhibition in Ballyhoo! at the National Portrait Gallery, “America Needs McGovern” responds with a strong connection in context of current politics. The presidential election confronts many Americans about the importance of voting. We all want a better life and country; better education for our children, cleaner environment and fuel, and more responsibility on everyone’s behalf. Voting is our medium for making these changes

The poster shows George McGovern as the democratic candidate running against republican Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential election. McGovern is characterized as the preferred choice with an antiwar attitude. Portrayed with great enthusiasm and a positive facial expression, this poster suggests to viewers that he would have been appropriate for the presidency.

Drawn in light pencil with an X scratched over Nixon’s face, an expression so cold and unwelcoming. A golden arrow shifts the attention from a pencil sketched Nixon around the United States to a photograph of McGovern. The typeface of the poster is rough but clear, the type in the upper right hand corner is multicolored and handwritten. Sketched beneath the red McGovern, which has an etched quality to the application, are the words “He can put it together”. A second golden arrow declares that McGovern’s values are directly associated with the publics need for a better future. The message is left to the viewer through the representation of the candidates.

The political poster represents the supporters of McGovern during the 1972 election and a representation of the hopeful future for Americans. It seems more a popularity contest than an election. Those who supported McGovern were disappointed when he lost the election, but their personal views of him stayed the same.