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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 07:51 AM
Original message
The Last Temptation Of Al Gore
Edited on Thu May-17-07 08:27 AM by RestoreGore
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1622009,...

"I'm trying to say to you, be a part of the change," he told the crowd. "No one else is going to do it. The politicians are paralyzed. The people have to do it for themselves!" He was getting charged up now. "Our democracy hasn't been working very wellthat's my opinion. We've made a bunch of serious policy mistakes. But it's way too simple and way too partisan to blame the Bush-Cheney Administration. We've got checks and balances, an independent judiciary, a free press, a Congresshave they all failed us? Have we failed ourselves?" "Why do reason, logic and truth seem to play a diminished role in the way America now makes important decisions?," writes Al Gore in his new book

As it happens, these are the themes that animate The Assault on Reason, Gore's new book (an excerpt follows). The crowd seemed to like thempeople were hollering and stomping on the aluminum risersand right on cue, a bright-eyed Buffalo student named Jessica Usborne stood up and asked the Question. "Given the urgency of global warming, shouldn't you not only educate people but also help implement the changes that will be necessaryby running for President?" The place erupted, and Usborne dipped down onto one knee and bowed her head. Her dark hair fell across her eyes and her voice rose. "Please! I'll vote for you!" she cried above the crowd's roar, which sounded like a rocket launcher and lasted almost 30 seconds, all but drowning out Gore's simple, muted, five-word response: "I'm not planning to run."

Sorry, Jessica, there is no stealth campaign. Despite what you may have read, there are no shadowy meetings in which Gore and his operatives plot his path to power. There is no secret plan. There's only a vigorous draft-Gore movement that he has nothing to do with (two independent websitesdraftgore.com and algore.orghave gathered almost 150,000 signatures so far) and, from time to time, social events at which old Gore hands get together and play a few friendly rounds of what-if.

Some people who know Gore assume he's biding his time, waiting to pounce; since he's at 12% in the pollstied with John Edwards, without even being in the racehe would easily get on the primary ballots if he declared before the deadlines. He may not be rich enough to self-finance, but with his Apple and Google stock, Web following and Silicon Valley connections, money wouldn't be a huge problem either. "He just has to say the word," says a wealthy friend. But those who know him well would be very surprised if it happened. He hasn't built a shadow organization. His travel isn't calibrated to the primaries. And he's just not thinking much about politics anymore. "He used to be intensely interested in political gossipwho's up in the latest poll, and did you hear about so-and-so," says Carter Eskew, an old friend and former media adviser. "I haven't had a conversation like that with him since 2002 or 2003 . He's moved on, at least for the time being." In recent months, as Gore moneymen were recruited by other campaigns, they checked in with Gore. "I said, 'If I'm raising money for the wrong person, please tell me,'" says one. "Everyone asked that question, and his answer was always the same: 'Don't keep your money in your pocket waiting for me.'"

End of excerpt.
~~~~~~~
That first paragraph by Mr. Gore is DEAD ON, and I too once had faith that people would respond to it by rising up themselves to take back this Democracy. I don't feel that way anymore, and perhaps that is because 2000 was a hard blow for me as well as many others who trusted so much in a system and a people that have let this country down. So my logic is, if people are that complacent and apathetic to allow the Constitutional abuses this regime committed, and if the people are that content or afraid to truly take on the challenges that lie before us, why should a good man like Al Gore have to take it upon his shoulders? Why is it always HIS duty and not ours?

People talk incessantly about the need to take it back, so why aren't we doing it? Why does it always end with just talk? We do have the mechanisms in place to impeach Bush, Cheney, and the entire lot of traitors who have taken our Democracy from us by using fear and deception. We do have the power to take on a complicit media that gives us not information and education, but propaganda. However, all we do is continue to talk. And that I believe for the most part will be the case again next week as thousands of people stand on lines to just tell Al Gore ro run and save them. Not say, I will do my part.

I can then thoroughly understand his falling out of love with politics and his disdain for the process because it is exactly where I am at, and I am ready for a new plan of action. Not doing it the old way that garners the same results. But a new way that circumvents the corrupted stagnated political precepts that have continued to hold the people down while giving us the illusion we were making a difference. That is what The Assault on Reason says to me. It tells me that I have the power and I have been remiss in using it and unless I stand up now to do it myself nothing will change regardless of who I cheerlead for.

THANK YOU Mr. Gore for your words of truth. I can only hope that people will stop getting on their knees and start standing next to you.
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lakeguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
1. that SUCKS. nt
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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Well, those are his words so tell him that
And the harsh truth is that this country is now chock fulkl of lazy, apathetic, complacent people cowered by fear who have lost touch with what is truly important in this world and would rather rely on "saviors" than actually taking an active role in their Democratic health. His words don't suck, but the attitude in this country sure does.
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Lurking Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. They may have meant that his not running sucked.
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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Well that too goes back to the book n/t
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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:41 AM
Response to Original message
3. His comments about why he wrote The Assault On Reason
From the article linked in the OP, posted here as the paragraphs appear in the article:

"The real reason I wrote the book," he begins, "is that I've tried for years to tell the story of the climate crisis, and it has taken far too long to get through. When the best evidence is compiled and there's no longer room for dragging out a pointless argument, we're raised as Americans to believe our democracy is going to respond. But it hasn't responded. We're still not doing anything. So I started thinking, What's going on here?" While Gore was mulling that, another test of American democracy presented itselfthe walk-up to war in Iraqand American democracy flunked again. "In both cases, our democracy was pushed around by false impressions and wasn't able to hold its focus," he says. "That's the common denominator. Once I'd thought through all of that, I couldn't not write this book."

The Assault on Reason will be hailed and condemned as Gore's return to political combat. But at heart, it is a patient, meticulous examination of how the participatory democracy envisioned by our founders has gone awryhow the American marketplace of ideas has gradually devolved into a home-shopping network of 30-second ads and mall-tested phrases, a huckster's paradise that sells simulated participation to a public that has all but lost the ability to engage. Gore builds his argument from deep drafts of political and social history and trenchant bits of information theory, media criticism, computer science and neurobiology, and reading him is by turns exhausting and exhilarating. One moment he is lecturing you about something you think you know pretty well, and the next moment he's making a connection you had never considered. The associative leaps are dazzling, but what will stoke the Democratic faithful are his successive chapters on the Iraq war, each one strafing the Administration for a different set of misdeeds: exploiting the politics of fear, misusing the politics of faith, misleading the American people, throwing out the checks and balances at the heart of our democracy, undermining the national security and degrading the nation's image in the world. For anyone who stepped into the Oval Office now and tried to end the war, he says, "it would be like grabbing the wheel of a car that's in mid-skid. You're just trying to work the wheel to see what pulls you out of it." But the mess we're in can't be blamed solely on the President or the Vice President or the post-9/11 distortion field that muzzled the media, immobilized Congress and magnified Executive power. "I think this started before 9/11, and I think it's continued long after the penumbra of 9/11 became less dominant," he says. "I think it is part of a larger shift driven by powerful forces"print giving way to television as our dominant medium for examining ideas, television acting on our brains in ways that scientists are just beginning to unlock. As such, it's not the sort of problem that legislation is going to fix. Gore hopes that the Internet, which is so good at inviting people back into the conversation, will be the key to restoring American democracy. "It's going to take time," he says. "After all, we've been veering off course for a while."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I simply cannot wait to read this book. It sounds as though he gives the political process the lashing it deserves and places the responsibility for it going awry where it most certainly belongs. Question is, what sort of response will it bring? We already know how the usual suspects will take it in, and we know that on cable TV we will hear the same rhetoric and others just tying to tie it to a selfish political run without discussing the substance of it in order to demean the importance of his words. However, hopefully there will be a broad swath of Americans who will understand from where he is coming from and that it wasn't just meant to be a Bush bashing book, but one of higher ideals regardless of who they may support for whatever office, and they will demand that his words be used as a primer for change regardless of party.
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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
4. His words on where he can better serve
Edited on Thu May-17-07 08:52 AM by RestoreGore
Last excerpt from article linked in the OP, posted just as it is printed:

Gore often compares the climate crisis to the gathering storm of fascism in the 1930s, and he quotes Winston Churchill's warning that "the era of procrastination" is giving way to "a period of consequences." To his followers, Gore is Churchillthe leader who sounds the alarm. And if no declared candidate steps up to lead on this issue, many of them believe he will have a "moral obligation"you hear the phrase over and overto jump in. "I understand that position and I respect it, but I'm not convinced things will evolve that way," says Gore. "If I do my job right, all the candidates will be talking about the climate crisis. And I'm not convinced the presidency is the highest and best role I could play. The path I see is a path that builds a consensusto the point where it doesn't matter as much who's running. It would take a lot to disabuse me of the notion that my highest and best use is to keep building that consensus."

What it would take, specifically?

"I can't say because I'm not looking for it. But I guess I would know it if I saw it. I haven't ruled it out. But I don't think it's likely to happen."

His wife is more blunt. "He's got access to every leader in every country, the business community, people of every political stripe," says Tipper. "He can do this his way, all over the world, for as long as he wants. That's freedom. Why would anyone give that up?"

Gore knows it's in his interest to keep the door ajar. It builds curiosity. Before he could get serious about running, however, he would have to come to terms with the scars of 2000 and accept the possibility that he could lose again in 2008. That prospect may be too much to bear. "If he ran, there's no question in my mind that he would be elected," says Steve Jobs. "But I think there's a question in his mind, perhaps because the pain of the last election runs a lot deeper than he lets most of us see." There's an even deeper issue here, and with Gore, it's always the deepest issue that counts. What's at stake is not just Gore losing another election. It's Gore losing himselfreturning to politics and, in the process, losing touch with the man he has become.

End of excerpt
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
He does see the moral implications of this and that what he is now doing goes so beyond politics. He is already fulfilling a moral obligation to this planet, and I couldn't agree more with the words of Tipper Gore here. The freedom to do it his way unrestrained by moral dilemma. What more could anyone with his influence in this world ask for?
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Missy Vixen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. To be truthful, now I understand
>What more could anyone with his influence in this world ask for?<

Why should Al Gore put himself through it again?

Why are we not fielding a slate of candidates so outstanding it wouldn't be necessary for him to run? Whomever wins the Oval Office in the next election will need a cast-iron stomach, the backbone to make VERY unpopular choices (they will have to raise taxes to pay off the massive debt incurred by the Bush administration, someone's going to have to clean up the Department of Justice, and oh, yeah, what shall we do about the clusterf*ck that is Iraq?) and the courage to stand by those choices. It's not about them. It's about the good of the country. Is there a Democratic candidate that will put the good of the country over their own ambitions?

I'm very much looking forward to reading this book as well.

Julie
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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. To answer your first question
I believe that goes back to the people and their disassociation with the political process and caring about the health of this Democracy. Perhaps we would have that if the people once again took an active interest in this as they once did long ago. I do know that Mr. Gore will be instrumental in making this climate crisis an integral part of the debate, but again, as your last question asked, will any candidate or better asked, can any candidate put their own ambitions aide for the better good? And if they do not, will they be held accountbale for it? The answers to thsoe questions are up to us.
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Californian Dreamer Donating Member (61 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. That's about right
It's not that he won't run, he just REALLY doesn't want to. He's pushing the need for change, and if the candidates, the media and everyone else don't start taking it seriously he is willing to step in and do what needs to be done. Given that this calls for standing strongly against the oil industry and corporate forces in general, it seems he will have to. Only way I see that changing is if a front runner suddenly grew a spine (and brain) on these issues, or if Kucinich started leading the polls.

Maybe things will turn around so much that we won't really need him... but I can't shake the feeling that even in the best of circumstances we won't fare as well with anyone else as President.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:26 AM
Response to Original message
8. Al can't POSSIBLY believe this country has a free press.
.
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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. We can have it if people would take it upon themselves to make it so
Edited on Thu May-17-07 09:41 AM by RestoreGore
And according to the Constitution we do have a free press. Why do you think he started CURRENT? The only reason the press may not be as free as it once was is because the people have lost sight of the importance of it by being distracted. Again, as simple as it may sound, it does all come down to us.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 10:35 AM
Response to Original message
12. Starting to tear up, losing hope.
:cry:
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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Actually, he gives me hope
Edited on Thu May-17-07 11:13 AM by RestoreGore
I think in essence his book is saying that once we realize we are the source of the power in this Democracy for change and take responsibility for letting it fall away that we can charter the course our Founding Fathers began, and that regardless of any other decisions he may make personally he is not going gentle into that good night. We still have him here on our side and frankly, that inspires me.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. Yeah, that's a good message that
people should take to heart! :hi:
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Lurking Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. I'm not tearing up.
He is putting the future of the planet ahead of political calculations and thinks he can be more effective doing what he is doing. I just hope he is right about that.

Whoever wins the Presidency would be stupid not to make him head of the EPA or Interior, though.
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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. I agree.
As he has stated many times, this is not about him.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
15. He will come in if it looks like he's needed. And, he WILL be needed.
I've always said that...and I stick by it. Busies have so screwed up this country it would take his vision and experience both inside and now outside politics to make the changes needed to move us forward. I don't think there's anyone in the current group who could serve this country better in this terrible time of need. And, he could bring the best minds into his government. We would have much to gain and nothing to lose...because we are almost at the iceberg.
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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. But it is US he is trying to move to make that change
I fear that has been lost on many here and I think that is what he is waiting to see which he has not seen.
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. yes but he must prove himself an international leader & have a peace plan
Edited on Fri May-18-07 10:54 PM by wordpix
for Iraq/Afghanistan. We will grab the reins and help him any way we can but I'll tell you one thing: I can't run as president now and he can.
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 10:51 PM
Response to Original message
19. this is interesting &Gore has the makings of a great president but---will he
seize the opportunity?
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