WHY I WOULDN'T VOTE FOR AL GORE
by Credoabsurdum, Thu Mar 22, 2007 at 04:56:01 PM EDT
Don't get me wrong. I like Al Gore. I've seen his movie, An Inconvenient Truth and mine is one of the 500,000+ names on the message he brought to Congress demanding immediate action to solve the climate crisis. I think he's been one of the most effective advocates for a response to global warming that we've ever had but, if he ever throws his hat in the ring for the Democratic presidential primaries, I won't vote for him.
Why not? Well, it's a problem I have that apparently I don't share with a large portion of the American electorate. I have a functioning memory. I remember the 2000 election campaign. Many argue that the election was stolen from Gore. It may even be true but, why did the future of the entire country come down to a few hundred screwed-up ballots in Florida in the first place? It should have been a Democratic landslide.
I think Gore dropped the ball and dropped it badly. I think his eye was too firmly fixed on Bill Clinton's zipper instead of on the real accomplishments of the Clinton administration: a budget surplus, a strong economy, eight years of relative peace and a booming stock market. He should have been embracing Clinton and his legacy, not distancing himself from it.
Instead, Al Gore chose to play a game of who's the more moral candidate, me or that other guy? And this played into Republican strengths since they had a lock on the Moral Majority crowd (Hey, after 6 years of deficit spending, nearly non-stop scandals and 4+ years of the Iraq debacle, these folks are STILL mostly loyal Republicans!) while it did nothing to drum up enthusiasm among the Democratic base. Worse than that, by playing down his association with the Clinton administration, it left him with very little to differentiate himself from his opponent other than party affiliation.
Remember those three 90-minute television debates Gore had with GW? They spent more time agreeing on issues than disagreeing (in the second debate, according to one source, they agreed with each other on thirty-seven different issues!). And how could anyone debate George W Bush, a genial former party animal who knew practically nothing about foreign affairs, dodged the draft by getting (through papa's influence) a cushy National Guard gig (and went AWOL in time of war even from that), ran almost every business venture papa's friends backed him in, into the ground and not mop the floor with him?
I think Gore lost the election less because it was stolen from him then because of his own poor judgment calls. So, while I think he's a wonderful advocate for environmental causes, even, probably, the best EX-vice president we've ever had; when I ask myself, would this guy be my first choice to go head to head across a negotiating table with tough customers like Russia's president Putin or Iran's president Ahmadinejad? The answer is: NO.