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Posted by on Oct 12, 2007

Gore, the Nobel and personal apathy

Al Gore has won the Nobel Prize for his work on the environment. While I applaud everything he has done and I see him as an effective and efficient political agent, I still have lukewarm feelings towards the man.

This, in and of itself, is not groundbreaking. The country at large seems to feel the same way about Al. However, the larger issue at hand is what this says about a relatively informed citizenry in a democracy. I would love to blame it all on the media, liberal, conservative, or otherwise, but I simply cannot. We are driven as humans by our emotions, our perception.

Al Gore is unlikable; Bill Clinton is.

This saddens me on some level, because I think it raises the case that perhaps democracy is not the best form of government. It demands an informed populace and we are choosing to base ascension to public office, the highest office in the land if not the world, on a “gut feeling”?

I love the criteria people use to establish their public leaders. It is slightly different everywhere you go.

I often hear Americans mention something that this candidate is someone I could have a beer with, someone who understands me, someone who fought it out to get to the top, as if the school of hard knocks was the only education of any merit. However, on the same breath, they will turn and vote for someone like George Bush, someone who appears to be like them, but couldn’t be further from the flight of the middle and lower classes if he tried. I am not forsaking privilege nor am I admonishing it. A good education is a good education no matter how it came to you.

Al Gore has one; George Bush has his by default. Bill Clinton struggled to get his, but Georgetown is as good as any university one can speak of.

But Al Gore is unlikeable, the biggest sin in a surface-level, low-context society.

So, with all of that, I leave you with quotes exposing some of the fundamental (and erroneous?) philosophical cornerstones on which democracy is hinged. I urge you to see where your opinion rests on each individually.

Democracy arose from men’s thinking that if they are equal in any respect, they are equal absolutely.

Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) Greek philosopher.

It has been said that Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British politician.

Nor is the people’s judgment always true: the most may err as grossly as the few.

John Dryden (1631-1700) British poet, dramatist and critic.

Democracy means the opportunity to be everyone’s slave.

Karl Kraus (1874-1936) Austrian satirist.

The more I see of democracy the more I dislike it. It just brings everything down to the mere vulgar level of wages and prices, electric light and water closets, and nothing else.

D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930) English writer.

No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) Politician. President of the United States.

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