George McGovern’s Sept. 30 Outlook commentary, “That losing feeling,” touched the right note by taking the long view.

My family supported Richard Nixon in 1972, my senior year of high school. The fall of the Nixon presidency started changing my political outlook, a change that accelerated when I met a young man who had worked for Mr. McGovern’s campaign. My aunt and uncle, who had been fervent supporters of Mr. McGovern, were thrilled when I married that young man.

Some years later, my aunt and uncle gave my husband and me a framed poster from the ’72 McGovern campaign autographed by the artist, in tribute to shared ideals. By coincidence, I ran across that poster again a few days ago. It had been in a box for many years, and I was struck by the similarity of its central image to the Obama “O.” I decided it was time that the poster went back on the wall.

The last sentence of Mr. McGovern’s commentary (“But I am optimistic about the country, and I am convinced that McGovern for President 1972 helped put those ideals within sight and completion today.”) reflected and validated his message on that poster from 40 years ago: “We may not be able to change the past, but we can help to shape the future.” He did, and we will.

Marilyn Pifer, Falls Church