Jewish World Review August 9, 2002 / 1 Elul, 5762
Gore goes divisive
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Hypocritically attacking "those who believed they were entitled to govern because of their station in life," Al Gore, the son of former Congressman Al Gore, the son of former Senator Al Gore, and the designee of President Clinton as Vice President, has cast his lot with the left wing of the Democratic Party.
Boycotting the Democratic Leadership Council meeting in New York City while he lunched a few blocks away, Gore has decided to embrace economic populism as his core message. Pitting the rich against the poor and the haves against the have nots, Gore frames the key question in our politics as "how do we make sure that political power is used for the benefit of the many, rather than the few?"
While all of America is hanging signs out of their windows saying "united we stand," Al Gore has identified the enemy: our fellow Americans. Even though 9-11 has made clear to us all that our enemies can strike suddenly, destroying rich and poor alike, Al Gore is basing his political appeal on dividing us along class lines. The issue is not how to protect America against terrorism, asking some for the ultimate sacrifice to assure the safety of the rest, for Gore it is how to divide the pie.
Gore declares that "this struggle between the people and the powerful was at the heart of every major domestic issue of the 2000 campaign and is still the central dynamic of politics in 2002."
Really? Which among the powerful wants more terrorism? Who among their ranks hopes the world's climate changes destroy our ecosystem? Is the Republican belief that a prescription drug benefit for the elderly can best be administered by private companies truly an indication that they don't care? Does the GOP's view that patients should appeal HMO decisions to arbitration while Democrats want the courts to handle the cases reveal an anti-people attitude among Republicans?
Al Gore has, apparently decided to move his candidacy from the kind of commitment to solving problems all Americans have in common which characterized the Clinton Administration to a divide and conquer strategy to make some of us hate others of us and base our political decisions on these conflicts.
This switch in his positioning represents the grossest possible miseading of what Americans think and want in 2002. We have just been through events on 9-11 which united us as nothing else has since 1941. Americans feel endangered and know that only by working together can we again feel safe. We feel that our strongest institutions are in jeopardy from random terror and violence. We know that we must help each other, care for one another, and love other Americans to make it through these tough times.
Leaders like Senator Joseph Lieberman understand that political dialogue only one year after 9-11 must remain within a narrower band than Gore's class warfare rhetoric implies. The public will accept politicians who disagree and even those who fight with one another. But they will draw the line at following political leaders who attack the motivations of their opponents and who accuse them of not having our best interests in their hearts.
Within the Democratic Party has always run a fault line between the left and the center. The left sees Wall Street as an enemy. The center identifies it as a partner in solving America's problems. The left panders to the poor by pointing at the rich as their enemy. The center asks all of us to study ways to improve ourselves and act with greater responsibility. The left rekindles racism by splitting Americans according to their weath and, through affirmative action, by their race and gender. The center treats them as individuals and asks an end to debilitating division.
Al Gore used to be an apostle of the center, working with Bill Clinton to
move America forward. Now, he has joined the ranks of Mondale, Dukakis, and
Jerry Brown as a card carrying liberal. It's a loss for the nation, a
mistake by Gore, and bad news for Democrats everywhere.
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08/01/02: Bush must focus on big picture