October 16, 2007
Gore's Not the Only One Who Won
By Mary Lyon
Pardon my cackling. I'm savoring my win.
The man from whom the highest American honor imaginable was stolen at the end of 2000 has now been awarded the highest honor the world community has to offer. And. I. Am. Loving. It.
Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize is richly-deserved. By all rights he should be accepting it in Oslo at the end of this year as a magnificent bookend near the conclusion of his second term as the forty-third President of the United States , at the opposite end of his triumph over George W. Bush seven years ago. Perhaps he wouldn't have had the time to develop public awareness about the crisis of global warming if he'd had the kind of load on his shoulders that any competent president has to carry. Or maybe, with the clout, luster, and bully-pulpit of the White House at his command, he could have put that much more "oomph" into this cause. We would at least have been much farther along toward solving this crisis after almost seven years. Who can say? Nevertheless, this latest and most magnificent accolade is all the sweeter because it's OUR win, as well.
Invariably during the coverage of the Nobel Peace Prize announcement, print and broadcast reporters, anchors, and pundits described it as a vindication of the stolen election that allowed Bush to slither into Gore's rightful seat behind the Resolute Desk. It's long past time the media widely acknowledged that particular "inconvenient truth." Broad-based public verification of it SHOULD be commonplace by now. Yes, you can indeed say Gore has been vindicated. So have those of us in the majority of voters who marked our ballots for him originally. We were correct all along about him. We knew back then that he was by far the better man. That he's been named the newest Nobel Laureate now signals that everybody else across the globe knows it, too.
"One can generate a lot of heartburn thinking about all of the things that would be better about this country and the world if the Supreme Court had done the right thing and ruled for Al Gore instead of George W. Bush in 2000."
Heartburn indeed. I wake up with it every morning, thinking about what might have been if we had a Gore presidency instead of the nightmare under which we've shuddered for most of this decade. Paul Krugman correctly points out that the wrong-wing has knee-jerk apoplexy over Al Gore - mainly because, unlike him, they and theirs have been wrong about everything that counts.
"The worst thing about Mr. Gore, from the conservative point of view, is that he keeps being right. In 1992, George H. W. Bush mocked him as the 'ozone man,' but three years later the scientists who discovered the threat to the ozone layer won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In 2002 he warned that if we invaded Iraq , 'the resulting chaos could easily pose a far greater danger to the United States than we presently face from Saddam.' And so it has proved." http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/15/opinion/15krugman.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
The OTHER worst thing about Gore from the CONservative point of view, I think, is how he always seems to be on the side of good - the common good. You can't say that about their standard-bearer.
Stack 'em up side-by-side, all you "you're-with-us-or-you're-ag'in'-us folks: Al Gore, WHO REALLY WON IN 2000, now has a Nobel Peace Prize and the admiration of the ENTIRE WORLD. The highly-coveted medallion will go up on Gore's family room mantle next to the testimonials for his OSCAR-winning documentary, his EMMY, and his citations as best-selling author (and not merely for bulk-buys, either). George W. Bush is nothing more than an overgrown schoolyard bully who doesn't (and can't) EVER do anything else but go around lying, cheating, flouting the law, menacing everyone, wrecking everything he touches, and picking fights with people all over the world. Gore is about life, survival, peace, hope, truth, selflessness, courage, knowledge, and nobility. Junior on the other hand is about death, destruction, greed, misery, lies, cowardice, willful ignorance, terror, and torture.
Gore was about going to Vietnam . Bush enjoyed strings being pulled so he could hide within the safety of a questionable stint with the Texas Air National Guard. They were both sons of privilege and connections, certainly, but Gore went about earning his own way through his own hard work. Bush only mouths the term "hard work" - while coasting on the coattails of his father's accomplishments and connections, with scheming minions both inside and outside his "government" who do his hardest dirty work for him. Gore has taken a personal blow and built something utterly magnificent and quite literally planet-saving in the past seven years. There is no way in Hell that you can make the same claim about Young George. Is there any question (aside those from the lost souls who choose to remain blind, deafened, and fooled) which of these is the better man?
The behavior pattern of the bad guys is very predictable. They typically try, and try VERY hard, to rain on our parade however they can, sometimes with malice aforethought. http://mediamatters.org/items/200710160001?src=item200710160001
If they think it's our strength, they'll go for its throat to try to rip it apart and turn it into garbage. Sometimes they score points, and sometimes they draw blood. And sometimes they just wind up looking like the poor sports and petty spoiled brats they are. Krugman also points out that, while editorial boards like that of the New York Times were justifiably thrilled by Gore's achievement, the editorialists with the Wall Street Journal wasted more ink and column inches whining about who should have won instead.
There have been some snark-remarks about Yasser Arafat's having won the Nobel Peace Prize. Well, Arafat shared that honor with two (count 'em - TWO) prominent Israeli statesmen - Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin - for joint efforts, at the time, that attempted to establish Israeli-Palestinian accords that might stick.
Frankly, I've had more than enough of this "Sore Loserman" backwash. It makes me want to hit back: "SO WHAT'S IT TO YA?" Mother Teresa's on the list of Nobel Peace Prize winners, too. You gonna smear her? Go ahead. Let's see you attack that sweet saint. Why don't you put your harpies of horror Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin on it? C'mon. Let's go. I mean, you seem to be okay with calling the 9/11 widows names, and beating up on 12-year-old accident victim Graeme Frost and his family, for daring to support the SCHIP program. Your adorable Rush Limbaugh says our troops who now question the war are "phony soldiers." Lech Walesa is on the winners' list. So are Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel, Andrei Sakharov, Linus Pauling, Dag Hammarskjöld, Amnesty International, and the 14th Dalai Lama. All of them much-admired giants of the last century. Care to slam them as well? You're the ones who always talk so tough. C'mon, let's see whatcha got. These are people and organizations who are globally renowned for being about peace and fighting poverty and standing against oppression - ideas YOUR precious bozo will NEVER even BEGIN to understand. Jimmy CARTER'S on the list. DEAL WITH IT.
Here again, let's compare, shall we? These people sneer at Carter but still have to face the fact that he's a far better president, out of office, than any of theirs in the previous decades has EVER been, especially that last one. Bush-41's "humanitarian campaigns" on the heels of the tsunami and Hurricane Katrina quite likely wouldn't have gone anywhere if he hadn't been teamed with Bill Clinton. Indeed, there wouldn't even be such a thing if we'd waited for George Senior to initiate anything meaningful to benefit anyone beyond his high-rolling investor pals or the Saudi royals. And as for the GOP ex-presidents before him, Gerry Ford was all about golfing and sitting on various A-list corporate boards. All Ronald Reagan could think of was how much money he was going to make on the "mashed potato circuit," that is - before Alzheimers Disease robbed him of whatever thinking capability remained to him at the time. And then, of course, there was Richard Nixon, who never found his way out of the Land-of-Permanent-Disgrace.
The Nobel Peace Prize announcement invites all those glaring compare/contrast exercises and more - which affords those of us who kept the faith with Al Gore all the more satisfaction. How much stronger an illustration could there be to underscore which mindset, which public policy, which world view is better and more beneficial to more people with whom we share this planet and a common future? It is an exquisite pleasure to declare "Gore WON!" It's equally delicious to do so from the position of having stood with him from the start. Let's see the bad guys try to rob him - or us - of this one.