Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Wouldn't the World Be Such a Better Place if This Guy Were in the White House? It's Not Too Late. 2008's Just Around the Corner
This is Al Gore. For the last 5 years, he's been our nation's shadow president. When Bush does something terrible, we left-leaning Americans have speculated about what a Gore administration might have done instead. You know, if the Republicans hadn't stolen the 2000 election and the Supreme Court hadn't selected Bush. He's given a lot of speeches during Bush's first term and the first year of his second, (I think I blogged about a fantastic speech he gave late last year regarding growing threats to our freedom of speech). He gave a new and damning speech on Monday about recent revelations regarding Bush's illegal wiretapping that puts everything about the Bush administration into the correct perspective -- essentially that our 43rd president and his Republican-controlled government have an active disdain for the truth, and they demonstrate that disdain time and time again. Of course the Bush administration responds by saying, "If the democrats want Al Gore to be their voice on this issue, we welcome that." Well, Scott McClellan, you shouldn't, because Gore is, right now, the one guy in the political landscape telling it not just how it is, but how it COULD be. He's the voice in the wilderness. For me the voice of the Democrats isn't H. Clinton, it isn't Kerry, it isn't Obama, it's this guy. Most political speeches seem like boneheaded, watered-down policy initiatives that have been focus-grouped, and gutted of all originality by aides with their eyes on the electoral map. Most political speeches placate the party faithful, offend a few on the other side, and inspire absolutely no one. Gore doesn't have an entourage of wonks telling him what he ought to say. (For evidence of that, go to this link. It's about Lawrence Bender's documentary (currently at Sundance) about Gore's one-man crusade against global warming. Can't wait to see it.) He's beholden to no-one. He writes brilliant speeches and then he gives them. I think everyone, if they have some time, ought to read the speech. It's both exhilarating to hear the guy who won the popular vote in 2000 be so unequivocal about civil liberties, and depressing to think who got in instead. Anyway, right now, Gore's my guy for president in 2008. He's still saying he won't run, but I think he could be convinced. I think he's been an important and eloquent voice of reason during the Reign of Bush, and I think Democrats could get really enthusiastic about righting the wrong done in 2000 and putting Gore in the White House.