Saturday, June 24, 2006

Al Gore Patrol

I am a big Al Gore fan. I explain this to my friends, and they don't understand. The Democrats certainly are vaguely positive towards him, in the pining sense ("imagine if he had become President instead of Bush!"). The Republicans are just bewildered. They can imagine someone supporting Al Gore, but not being a big cheerleader for him. Don't I know that he's boring and uninspired?

My first response is that Al Gore is possibly the only major political figure to have been right on every major issue of the past 15 years. He was right on Gulf War I. He was right on Gulf War II. He was right about Global Warming and hybrid cars way before it was popular. He was a national security wonk in the mid-nineties when it was on nobody's mind, and he was advocating increased airline security years before 9/11 happened. His policy instincts, time and time again, have been proven to be without parallel.

But more than that, I refuse to buy into this notion that I should elect a President based on the same criteria that I'd elect a frat brother. I honestly don't care if Al Gore makes for a better drinking partner than George W. Bush. Hunter summed up my feelings exactly:
Ah, what might have been. Gore was widely derided by the press for the audacity of the lengthy answer or the wonkish explanation, a man too versed in facts, or God forbid with a speaking style that paused, from time to time, to find the right phrase instead of the next phrase. Not a man you would want to have a beer with, was the conventional wisdom shoved down our gullets like we were geese being prepped for our final hours. Knowledge is wooden, education is wooden, intellectualism is wooden, because facts are like trees: there's too damn many of them, and they're hard to tell apart.

Election 2000 was the start of my disenchantment with the democratic system, and not because Gore lost. It was before that, listening to the media coverage, where being smart and concerned and intellectual and yes, a bit wonkish, was seen as a liability, something to be overcome, rather than a boon to our nation, Gore's greatest strength. Well gosh, what was I doing trying to keep my A- GPA if this made me less qualified to lead in the public eye? Seriously, what kind of message do you think that sent to students following the election? I'll tell you: intelligence is for chumps. Frankly, I think we hear that message enough.

Well I've had it. I'm sick of being forced to hide from my own mind, and I'm sick of being forced into the political shadows as part of the evil liberal academic cabal of intelligentsia. I'm sick of a polity where education is seen as a vice, and I'm sick of a community which would rather ban new ideas than address them.

Al Gore is this sort of citizen's worst nightmare. Informed, passionate, educated, and committed. I put myself under his banner, and I hope to God we can remove ourselves from the dark path we set ourselves down in 2000--not by electing Bush, but by electing whoever we thought was the best buddy candidate in the group.


Anonymous said...

Despite occasional parts I dislike, Joe Klein's new book is a good complement to your post.

Anonymous said...

Albert Gore Jr. has not been right on most issues. Rather, he has been searching for an Al Gore vehicle.

The first Gulf War, he whored himself, promising to vote for which ever side gave him the most TV time. Hardly an ethical approach.

Global Warming is the notion that
1. The earth is heating and that is bad.
2. Human driven combustion of fossil fuels is a significant cause.
3. Reduction of human driven combustion of fossile fuel would be a good response.

This approach is wrong.
1. If the earth is heating (and although cities are warming, this is nearly completely compensated by cooling outside the cities) it would probably be a good thing, permitting an increase in the amount of life on the planet.

2. Since Mars and Jupiter temperatures are also heating, any heating is probably caused by the Sun.

3. If it was bad, rather than shutting down the most productive burners of fossile fuel, one would probably benefit by decreasing the burning of fossil fuels by the least productive.

Iraqi Freedom is that very rarest of all things: A successful US operation that shut down a threat before it caused significant loss of life to the US. If FDR had sent a single Marine regiment to push Hitler out of the Rhineland, WWII in its historical form would have been averted. Japan's attack on the US occurred where their Soviet threat was fully occupied with Germany.

FDR was not enough of a Leader to make the right decision then. Later, he tried to take credit for the Munich arrangement to strip Czechoslovakia of its defenses. I hope his soul is forever tormented by the half a million US casualties suffered by the US in the war that his inaction made necessary.

I thank the G-ds that George W. Bush did not wait for the terrorists to place Iraqi produced Sarin gas in the subway tunnels.

Neil Tambe said...

All politics warming has many negative effects. Pretty much all scientists agree that it's for real.

Read about it: here

Also, a simple Google search of "global warming facts" should suffice.

REDUCE, reuse, recycle.

Anonymous said...

Wow... that second anonymous comment is an amazingly worthless response... its not even worth rebutting its so stupid. Congratulations.

Allow me to quote: "2. Since Mars and Jupiter temperatures are also heating, any heating is probably caused by the Sun."


Anonymous said...

Al Gore's wonk problem isn't an indictment against the intelligent running for office - it's about the ability to act decisively. My guess is that an Al Gore presidency would have mirrored the general thrust of the Carter presidency (absent Iran): a lot of initiatives that didn't much go anywhere. He still couldn't have got Kyoto through Congress, and I doubt he would have done much in foreign policy beyond more and more "talks" with rogue nations. The implementation of post-Saddam Iraq has been hit or miss but it will inevitably change the dynamic of the Middle East, I'd wager for the better, putting more pressure on despotic regimes to get their act together. I'd hope Gore would have done something about Iraq besides lobbing a few cruise missiles, but if the Clinton presidency was any guide (and I supported the Balkans intervention), Gore would have never put troops on the ground. More status quo.

Anonymous said..., all i gotta say!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Algore is doing something he is making up all kinds of things about how bad humans are for the Earth. Global warming is the real false flag operation.

There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.