Sunday, December 16, 2007

Why Al Gore Is Not Running for President

When you address an inconvenient truth,

and when you address the world,
you can't afford
to pander.
Big Al made the right call. He has a larger constituency.


  1. Even without serving as President, Al Gore can restore international respect and prestige for America. Watching his speech of acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway earlier in the week will cost you 21 minutes.

  2. Vigil, Thanks so much for the video of Gore addressing the folks in Bali. He certainly can "Bring It" to an audience. It is refreshing to hear him acknowledge that the US is obstructing what should be a world-wide effort to deal with the problems posed to our planet by global warming.

    The failure of the Bush Administration to address the fact that our country needs to recognize and strategize about how to reduce our national addictions to and our continuing demands for ever more: Middle Eastern oil, "McMansions", Hummers, and SUVs is shameful and distressing.

    Unlike our pathetic Congress, which seems to be intent upon meekly granting Bush his every demand, Gore provides hopeful and achievable actions to be taken by attendees so that they are not mired down in despair and passivity. Come 1.20.09, our country may emerge from the abyss of denial and despair which comprise our life under the Theocracy established by "Busheney", which presently masquerades as the United States of America.

    I say "may emerge" from the devastation caused by "Busheney" because it is not clear to me that our beloved country CAN emerge, given the dysfunctional political climate which now pervades our public discourse. I refer, of course, to the pernicious presence of "Swiftboating" one's opponent, a dastardly practice perfected by Lee Atwater and Karl Rove to the lasting shame of the Republican party.

    "Swiftboating" is the act of creating, often out of wholecloth, negative smears and lies about one's political opponent and then endlessly broadcasting these heinous distortions and foul untruths. Ezra Klein, of The American Prospect, points out in today The Polarizing Express (Los Angeles Times), that even when the vicious lies are unmasked, the damage done to the candidate who was subjected to such attacks, remains. It has been shown that even "...when a smear is disproved, the voter will stop believing the smear but still hold a lower opinion of the candidate than would be true if they'd never been exposed to the lie.". Klein continues: "Given that dispiriting reality, the question becomes whether you can somehow negate the capacity of political professionals to polarize the electorate virtually at will."

    Klein has identified an (Uncomfortable and Disturbing) INCONVENIENT TRUTH. Anybody out there have any suggestions as to what we might do to rid ourselves of this constant manipulation and outright lying which has so poisoned our public dialogues? We desperately need to restore some civility to our national political discourse so that we may debate and converse about honest differences among our candidates for elected office and, together, search for viable resolutions to the many complex issues which so desperately cry out for solutions.

  3. Emily, I find the gist of Klein's statement - Hillary's the safest bet - to be in these lines:

    "All her negatives are out." She's survived the process, is broadly known by voters and still wins most polled matchups against potential Republican challengers. So maybe she's the safest bet. . . . until an answer is found, there will be no such thing as a non-polarizing presidential candidate. There will only be those who aren't polarizing yet.

    That's not too far from Husband Bill's endorsement on Charlie Rose: any choice other than Hillary would be less predictable, like rolling the dice.

    What's facing the Democratic voters in their primary is the question is that all we can hope for? The most predictable? The most continuity? The least change?

    As I said before, I'm willing to be so persuaded. But I'm not yet. I'm still receptive to Oprah-Obama nexus. Then, today, there's also Frank Rich's The Church of Oprah vs. Latter-Day Republicans:

    The inclusiveness preached by Obama-Oprah is practiced by the other Democrats in the presidential race, Mrs. Clinton most certainly included. Is Mr. Obama gaining votes over rivals with often interchangeable views because some white voters feel better about themselves if they vote for an African-American? Or is it because Mrs. Clinton’s shrill campaign continues to cast her as Nixon to Mr. Obama’s Kennedy?

    . . . .But it just may be possible that the single biggest boost to the Obama campaign is not white liberal self-congratulation or the Clinton camp’s self-immolation, but the collective nastiness of the Republican field. Just when you think the tone can’t get any uglier, it does. . . .

    For those Americans looking for the most unambiguous way to repudiate politicians who are trying to divide the country by faith, ethnicity, sexuality and race, Mr. Obama is nothing if not the most direct shot. After hearing someone like Mitt Romney preach his narrow, exclusionist idea of “Faith in America,” some Americans may simply see a vote for Mr. Obama as a vote for faith in America itself.

    That kind of talk gets me 'all fired up and ready to go'!