This may not be popular here, but I believe it is right for our planet now. Therefore, I will not be made to feel guilty nor restrained by expressing my opinion on this. I also hope Mr. Gore reads this letter as well, and understands from where in my heart it comes from.
Dear Mr. Gore,
Though I was a bit critical of your speech in Jeddah because I believe you should have elaborated regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the nuclear threat to this world in general because you are a man whose words are respected, I stood by your comments there and see the thought process behind them. I have defended your words and will continue to do so because I not only see you as a man who cares about our planet, but a man who also cares for its inhabitants. Which is why I am writing this to you openly and honestly, because I wish to plead with you to not run for President in 2008. Not in this current system. In all honesty, you're too good for it, and I think it would take you away from your true destiny.
I believe you are a man destined for world recognition on a grander scale, and it is and will be recognition well deserved for all of your work on the topic of global warming. But it will also encompass more than that. For you see, in this world of sound bites, polls, quick fixes, and people obsessed with the rhetoric of political campaigns and seeing you only as a symbol instead of a man, you rise above it. You have far surpassed the pedantic rhetoric of some in having to look a certain way, think a certain way, say something a certain way, and be a certain person in order to please everyone else who has preconceived notions. For I truly do believe that 2000 was the event in your life that shook your soul and let your glory out, and frankly, this is what I personally have been waiting to see happen.
I first heard of you in 1988 when you made a run for President. I didn't know much about you then, but made a point of finding out because I knew then that the environment was an issue close to your heart as it was and is to mine, and I had been waiting for a candidate like you for a long time. However, I also knew the make up of this political process and how it is bought and sold. I knew the environment would also never truly be an issue front and center with any Party, and that frustrated me, and still does today. Then you were selected by Bill Clinton as his running mate in 1992 after Earth In The Balance was released, and I was ecstatic. You are the reason I voted for Clinton twice btw, because I was voting for you. And in your eight years as Vice President you made good strides regarding the environment, but nothing near what could have been accomplished if once again, this topic was really taken seriously by the political machine.
Then you ran in 2000, and even though the environment was mentioned, I don't believe you were allowed to talk about it as you wished to. And I know that you also know how this system really stifles the freedom to campaign on what you think is important or what should really be getting the attention because of having to play the game. And it is that game that has now led us onto this road to ruin. And neither has that system changed, nor will it ever change without another American Revolution, or our Democracy being so thoroughly massacred that our options will be limited for survival as a Republic. I truly believe that now. And since I do not see that change happening anytime soon, I ask you to stay out here as a vocal advocate for our planet and the people. I ask you to continue being the force for good you are in this world, because the influence and inspiration you have now is so greatly needed out here. In simple terms Mr. Gore, we need you on our side.
The beltway as you know can also be a very cold, lonely, and indifferent place to be. It is out of touch with the people and as we have seen, a place where conscience and principle are rare. And that is a shame considering that our Founders saw it as the epitome of all that is good about America. In the 18 years since I first heard of you, I have studied your service to this country, your life, and your dedication to what is morally right. I believe even if you had never run for political office you would have been a great man and a great leader. And still are.
You are one of my "political mentors" so to speak, (besides FDR and Jefferson) and someone I have grown to respect deeply... and that respect has grown so much more since 2000 because you have shown that you are a man whose caring goes beyond words and beyond using your deeds for political gain. You are a man of conscience doing what he does because he sees this Earth at a critical crossroads and truly wishes for it to be saved and believes that it can be saved. That is why we need you out here on our side, Mr. Gore, because let's face it, the status quo system doesn't see anything as important unless it benefits them.
No more polls. No more political rhetoric. No more political expectations and being put under the microscope. No more being used as a symbol just to prop others up. No more bickering over trivial matters like shirt colors and weight gain (and believe me that is still being discussed on the Internet communities that for all of their talk never seem to get beyond the shallow end of the political pool.) Just you, speaking truth to power, inspiring others to join you in this greatest fight of all. That is the mark of a true leader and a legacy worth leaving.
And just as a side note, I had the chance to watch the movie Walk The Line the other night, about the life of Johnny Cash. I grew up loving his music (and that is something to say because I really have never been a big fan of country music.) But there was always something to his music. Something that drew me in... the authenticity that shone through it...the pain...the love...the originality... the human aspect he gave to the realities and hardships of life. His music inspired me, and he was also a great man for all of his faults, and for all of the pain and heartache he went through. As a matter of fact, it was that pain and heartache that made him the man he was... a legend. I see that same originality in you, and I then ask you once again as I asked you after 2000 to follow your heart. Over all of these years sir, I have come to think of you as a member of my own family, and I can tell you honestly in this letter that I love you and your family, and frankly, I believe you are truly a great man without having to go back.
You can of course, choose the polls, the rigged electronic voting machines, the people telling you what to do, and the rhetoric, but I do not believe it would be a reflection of the man you are now and the man you were meant to be. And right now, I do believe this world is in dire need of so many more people who are willing to throw off the pretentions of political status quo stagnation in order to say and do what must be said and done. You are a clear example of that Mr. Gore, and no title could ever change that.
And believe me, that doesn't really come easy for me to state, because I didn't want to let go in 2004 and continued up to the end because I thought it was what was right... But I've seen the light now, and know the only way the election theft of 2000 can be dealt with, and it isn't by drafting you (which after my last experience I really want no part of in a system indifferent to what is really important, and one unwilling to change.) It is by direct action... It is then time to work around it and above it.
Of course, whatever road you ultimately choose should be of your choosing, and as always I will respect that and stand with you, but at this juncture in the road I hope you decide to stay on the less traveled path you are on. For that path in my view is the one to real success and change now (and the one I wish to now travel,) as the path all too frequently travelled is now littered with the remains of a once thriving Democracy. It is then time to make our own path now to bring it back.
Al Gore, my environmental ambassador, at the Cannes Flim Festival for the showing of An Inconvenient Truth.
AFP Photo: Valerie Hache/Producer Laurie David, Mr. Gore, Mrs. Gore, And Producer Lawrence Bender.
" Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."
I know it still can make all the difference.
Thank you for having the guts to venture onto it.
Please know you will not be alone travelling it.
With much love and respect,
Patriots for Al Gore