Al Gore steps aside
Like a lot of people I am of two minds about Al Gore’s decision to not run in 2004.
On the one hand I feel that America was denied a President with the potential to be one of the truly great ones. Few candidates have ever run for the office with the background, knowledge, and, yes, even the humanity of Al Gore. Alone among many in Washington DC, Al Gore is one of the few with an eye towards the future and what the world demands of it’s citizens. Too many of our decision makers are locked into the philosophies of the 50’s and 60’s, and, unfortunately, the Reagan 80’s. Gore’s grasp of our environmental needs as well as his interest in technology and its applications could have had an enduring effect on the world. The fact that he was denied the office that he rightfully won, is one of our country’s darkest moments.
Having said that, I am glad that he has chosen not to run. Gore sustained too much damage during the 2000 campaign from the Republican attack squad aided and abetted by a press that treated the campaign less as a contest of philosophy, than as a horserace. We now can see what happens when we have a press more concerned with personality than with policy; the country suffers. Those of us who are political junkies are at the mercy of those who base their poltical decisions on soundbites, Leno jokes, corporate financed bald-faced lying hit pieces, and people who preface their opinion with the phrase “Well, Rush said….”. All of these, combined with mainstream “journalists” who fail to do their homework before making on-air pronouncements, applied a coating of failure, dishonesty, and insincerity to the wrong candidate simply because they didn’t like him on a personal level. Al Gore got smeared and nothing will ever make these highly paid, ego-driven talking heads admit that they failed to do their jobs. Another run by Gore would just be a rehash of all the lies again because, hey, its easier than actually doing a little footwork or research. They destroyed a good man.
Going forward we start to look at darkhorse Howard Dean, absolutely can’t win Dick Gephardt, front-runner John Kerry, not ready for primetime John Edwards, charisma-free Tom Daschle, and the worst of all possibilities: Joe Lieberman. Since I have been old enough to vote (starting in 1972) I have voted in every Presidential election for the Democratic nominee. If Lieberman is the candidate, I’ll sit the next one out, thank you very much. It’s going to be interesting to see how this next one plays itself out.