Sunday, October 14, 2007

Al Gore on politics

The quote from Al Gore in The New York Times Op-Ed by Bob Herbert entitled "The Trivial Pursuit" tells us everything we need to know about why Mr. Gore failed to win the presidency in 2000 and is unlikely to stage a comeback any time soon (and is unlikely to lead to substantial, real, measurable progress on global warming and climate change):

Al Gore is a serious man confronted by a political system that is not open to a serious exploration of important, complex issues. He knows it.

"What politics has become," he said, with a laugh and a tinge of regret, "requires a level of tolerance for triviality and artifice and nonsense that I have found in short supply."

Sorry Mr. former-VP, but that is what politics always was and always will be.

Personally, I would really like to hear what advice his father (also elected U.S. Senator from Tennessee) gave him on politics.

And if Al wants my advice, I'd recommend that he seek a position as a professor and stick to that podium and stay away from politics. There is nothing wrong with seeking to be "a voice of reason", but it isn't consistent with the role of politics in public life. In general, politics is more about tuning in to emotion and passion rather than reason. Gore tried to blend the two into "passionate reason", but that is more appropriate for the pulpit than the political arena. Politicians exploit existing fears, while Gore sought to instill a whole new level of fear for a "planetary emergency." The thing is that real fears ebb and wane, but Gore is not prepared to cope with adapting to the actual levels of fear that may actually exist in the general populace.

-- Jack Krupansky


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