Gore Made the Right Decision, After All
December 18, 2002
By Jackson Thoreau
I think I may remember more of what I was doing the day
Al Gore conceded to that liar/hypocrite occupying the White
House on Dec. 13, 2000, than I do of Sept. 11, 2001. The impact
of Goreís concession not to fight further hit me almost as
hard as the terrible terrorism tragedy. I remember looking
forward to another battle in 2004, when Gore would show Bush
who really won.
But after Gore backed down again this week, Iím thinking
maybe he did make the right decision. Maybe Gore doesnít really
have the stomach to do everything it takes to win a race against
a scumbag cheater like Bush. And thatís fine Ė we all arenít
street fighters, thank God. We need a few decent politicians
who wonít stoop to the level of the win-at-any-cost mentality.
We just donít need them taking on Bush.
To take on Bush, you may need someone who has seen war combat
in the trenches, such as Sen. John Kerry, or at least been
a tough competitor in sports. Bush is not smart book-wise,
but he is as competitive and cunning-to-the-point-of-cheating
as any politician out there. He grew up playing baseball and
other sports in the competitive leagues of West Texas. Itís
no coincidence he was a part-time owner of a major league
baseball team. Itís no coincidence that he continues to work
out hard every day and play computer video games to sharpen
his competitive edge [as Texas governor, Bush would spend
a few hours a day playing such games Ė that shows how little
governors do in this state]. Itís no coincidence that the
first thing Bush said to me when I met him on the campaign
trail in 1999 was, "How are the Texas Rangers [baseball team]
To take Bush on, you must understand this cut-throat mentality
and sports-and-war-worshipping that surround many boys growing
up in Texas. You must be prepared for anything, such as underhanded
dealings in the state where your brother is governor, vicious
smears in the Republican-controlled mainstream media, and
rumors spread about your private life. You must be prepared
to fight fire with fire. You must have that kind of stomach.
Clinton had it Ė I think he could beat Bush in 2004, even
with all the war on terrorism patriotism in this country.
Kerry might have it Ė of the present Democratic challengers,
I think the Massachusetts senator might have the best chance
against Bush in 2004. Kerry is intelligent in ways Bush is
not and sounds like he does his homework when he answers questions
during press conferences, unlike Bush. Kerry also has the
war background and experience and credibility, and he seems
like someone who understands the balance between the high
road and dirty road that needs to be trod in such a campaign
against Bush. I donít know that Gore ever really understood
what he was up against and thus didnít know how to effectively
Another disadvantage, of course, involved money Ė Bush had
twice as much money to spend as Gore in 2000 and has tons
of it again for 2004. Gore was finding it hard to raise money
among the Democratic Party insiders. That likely factored
into his decision.
While part of me wanted Gore to cream Bush in 2004, another
part didnít see that happening, not in the current environment,
particularly after the Democratsí poor showing in the 2002
elections. Perhaps Gore understood that Ė heís so much more
intelligent than Bush on many matters. He knew that Bush relished
the chance to beat him in 2004. Bush privately burns that
he didnít win the 2000 popular vote Ė or electoral vote, for
that matter - and how so many people question his legitimacy.
Bush wants to show people he did win and try to erase the
2000 loss from the history books, even if a victory in 2004
would be done after stirring up largely unthinking, Rush-Limbaugh-and-Jerry-Springer-brainwashed
voters into war-fever patriotism.
Gore had little chance in such an environment. By pulling
out, Gore effectively landed a punch to Bushís groin. Gore
wasnít going to give Bush a chance at the satisfaction of
beating him. Bush will take to his grave that he didnít really
win in 2000, and that burns him up more than the fact that
Clinton beat his daddy in 1992.
All in all, Iím thinking Gore did make the right decision.
I doubt any Democrat will beat Bush in 2004, and the door
will be wide open for Gore to win the White House he legitimately
won in 2000 against a Republican candidate who takes a higher
road in 2008.
So all we have to do is find ways to tolerate and protest
and combat Bush for six more years. Remember that what doesnít
kill you makes you stronger.
Jackson Thoreau is co-author of We Will Not Get Over It:
Restoring a Legitimate White House. The entire updated, 120,000-word
electronic book can now be downloaded on his Fight
the Right Internet site. Citizens for Legitimate Government
has the earlier version here.
Thoreau can be emailed at email@example.com.