The Election 2000 - Gore vs. Bush




by Stew Albert


I never really liked cocaine and the scrambled mind of George W. Bush tells me I was right. He is criticized for having no profound thoughts but his real draw back is that he lacks the capacity to think. And he might be the next president of these United States. Being a long time supporter of disability rights I ought to be attracted to this possibility, but I am even longer time supporter of the American dream and I feel about this a lot like I did when, the day after indulging, I woke with sore nostrils and a terrible hang over.

How could Bush be ahead in the polls? The most obvious answer is Al Gore. Unlike Bush, Gore comes from a respectable political lineage, and his brain is capable of going from point A to point B and even giving a hint of C. But Al Gore is boring. Not just narcotically dull, but painfully so. Boring like a dentist drill bores into your teeth. Gore hurts. He has about him no sense of surprise and it is the latent capacity to produce the unexpected that makes a politician interesting. For a generation of Americans raised as an off shoot of the entertainment industry, of television, movies, video games and the all-embracing cyber -web, the mark of winners, is the hint they give off, like a pleasing aroma, of transcendence that this time something different may happen. With Gore you know what you can expect. He puts out a limited cautious Dudley Do-Right program of making everything five percent better and the only surprise might be that he falls short by one percent.

George W. is quite another matter. His mindless soul invites us to fill in exciting scenarios of spectacular disaster. And his vaguely told biography awaits the most breath taking exposes. As president will Bush stumble into a war with North Korea or maybe even Russia? Will he officially declare America to be Pat Robertson's "Christian Nation" or install an electric chair in the White House? Can anyone say with genuine assurance that none or all of these events won't occur? And what of his fabulous life? How much coke did he know? And when did he know it? Would you fall off your chair if you found out that one night just for laughs he and a snorting companion, rented a light plane and flew over the Mexican border, strafing peasants with machine guns? And then would you be shocked if his spin preachers successfully sold this terrifying escapade as a youthful indiscretionary prank? Now that's entertainment.

How far have we fallen that Bush and Gore are choices for national leadership? Were we that contemptuous of democratic values so as to bring democracy down beneath the bargain basement level where a Bush and Gore could meet? Was it the cold war and the security state? That business of handing all major policy decisions over to those shadowy elites. And then there's the matter of giving control of our economy to the Chairperson of the Federal Reserve and his banking buddies. Or is it just our love of shinny objects and new and better toy products consumed in the privacy of our own day dreams? Somewhere along the way we lost interest in having real elections and "they" lost interest in holding them.

And so Bush v. Gore has an inevitability about it. The exploding mind field takes on the guy who is afraid to walk on the risky road. But we can rebel. We Americans like to do that from time to time. We get bored with someone else writing our script. The performance sucks and we can do it better. Hey, we can run a pig for president or an outlaw for sheriff, or throw money at stock brokers or dirt at polluting capitalists. We can sing, parade or just hang out around the White House and someday even find candidates like ourselves. Americans sometimes like to create their own entertainment industry. We can't possibly do a worse job than Bush. He is more exciting than Gore but does anyone think that there are some good surprises up his sleeve? I mean good as defined as something more demanding than executing hundreds of people and then granting one stay. Compassion ought to be a bit more demanding than this record of slaughter. Bush may excitingly explode but the debris will fall on us.

Agreed Gore is an inaction toy. But he'll make the country five percent better. And with luck he'll find his own private Lewinsky and strive for six. Having him in the oval office is the best the short run has to offer. And we deserve it. We shouldn't have been caught napping at the wheel of power.

The long run is our hope. Our patience is running out. There are scripts to be written and parts to be cast. The play has been named 'Democracy'. Let's do the producing for the hell of it. Everybody having a really good time is the American dream.



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