H. Stuart Hughes, professor of History and a candidate last fall for the United States Senate, has called it "almost incredible" that he spent eight months on a campaign "whose chances were slim from the start and whose electoral results were both perplexing and disappointing.
"Yet if I ask myself whether it was worth the effort," he added, "the answer is clear--I cannot imagine myself having done otherwise."
Writing in the February issue of Commentary, Hughes admitted that there had been "no realistic possibility" that he would be elected. "I do not think my candidacy either set a precedent or requires repetition," he declared. "I always thought of it as a trial run, a precursor of larger things to come."
"Even in its best days," Hughes wrote, "my campaign had an air of unreality. After mid-September every Massachusetts citizen with a minimum of political savvy knew who was going to win the election."
But the situation in Massachusetts in 1962, Hughes explained, had called for an effort like his. "The great advantage of a political candidacy over mere speaking and writing," he said, "is that one is obliged to put one's person on the line tangibly and visibly."
By lifting the campaign "above the level of a local clan battle" and "redirecting it toward debate on the life-and-death issues of the nuclear age," Hughes wrote, he had shown that the question of human survival "was worth an extraordinary commitment of time and energy."