May 19, 2007
Al Gore's New Book Assault on Reason: Two ViewsBy Christopher Alleva and Michael Geer
An Aptly Title Tome, by Christopher J. Alleva
Al Gore has most assuredly secured his place in the pantheon of modern media deities, right along side Paris Hilton and Sean Penn. His legacy as a senator and later vice president may be lackluster, but he has transcended those shortcomings by pulling off one of the most successful propaganda campaigns of all time. Public relations professionals will study his global warming campaign for decades on.
In between knocking down big paydays from investment bankers and six figure speaking fees, Gore has been the front man of this truly amazing campaign. Until he stumbled into this global warming gig, he was the Frank Burns of American Politics. The butt of all the jokes with the classic whiny demeanor. Bill Clinton was always Hawkeye Pierce to Gore's Frank Burns. Who can forget his greatest line ever? After pulling back his concession to then Governor Bush, he chortled: "you don't have to get snippy about it" But all that's behind him.
As he was making his finale on Capital Hill back in March, wowing the media once again, Penguin Books announced plans for an encore performance.
Yet, another book tour featuring a new book written under his name aptly titled Assault on Reason. When I first heard about it I said to myself, now there's a topic this man knows all about. Arguably, his expertise is so great he scarcely needs a ghostwriter. His last book, An Inconvenient Truth, is perhaps the biggest assault on reason since the Pope went after Galileo in the 17th Century.
The mendacity of this work was stunning. Numerous errors, misstatements and outright lies have been detailed in many rebuttals, especially by Chris Horner and Marlo Lewis from the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Mendacious as it may be, that has not stopped a gullible media from swallowing it hook line and sinker as the metaphor goes, and foisting it on the American public. Their implacable lack of skepticism has been truly remarkable.
Audacious must be Al Gore's middle name. How else can you describe someone that would publish a book that calls for a complete reordering of the world and then follows it up with a book with the premise that if you don't buy it you're assaulting basic reason.
The self-important catalog description of the book reveals Gore's inherent conceit.
My father used to say if you point your finger at someone there are four pointed back at you. Other than Bill and Hillary Clinton, I can hardly think of anyone that has shown a greater mastery of the politics of fear. Secrecy and cronyism are literally a way of life for him.
The timing of Gore's book release is obviously designed to undercut those that disagree with his cabal. Its safe to predict that the media will all roll over again. What else would you expect, Al is a media god. Time Magazine is dutifully first out of the gate publishing a short excerpt teaser in their latest issue. To no avail, I did some research to discover who Al's ghostwriter is. So far its still a secret (at least to me). Al is kind of like the Milli Vanilli of the literary and political world, lip synching his way all the way to the top. Unlike Rob and Fab, I don't think Al will be served with any class action lawuits for deceptive sales practices on "his" book. I may be wrong, but don't think we'll be unearthing anything like Reagan's "In his Own Hand" collection of personal writings from Al after he retires. Uncashed royalty checks perhaps, thoughtful prose, probably not.
Since this essay is nominally about Al Gore's new book, I guess I'll comment on the actual excerpt if I have to. The prose is downright turgid and the writing style is akin to congressional testimony. In other words, bring the No Doze. Unintended irony oozes from every paragraph. The writer vainly attempts to be profound but comes off looking trite instead. The editors at Penguin must have been pulling out their hair out; consoled only in the knowledge that no one will actually read the book. The television interviews will be carefully scripted no ad libing. Just follow the teleprompter baby.
The media may think Al Gore is a god but I think history will judge him more harshly. The sheer audacity of his global warming campaign is stunning to behold. The blind faith of the media is far more disturbing. Hopefully, this will be his last book.
Contact Michael Geer
Flabbergasting in both Chutzpah and Misdirection, by Michael Geer
Al Gore gives us 320 pages on his fears about the demise of American democracy. Relentlessly, Mr. Gore uses the word "democracy" to identify our polity, the term democracy cropping up again and again. A small sampler, if you will :
What's gone wrong in our American democracy? The central premise of our American democracy. American democracy is now in danger. I had a sense of foreboding about our democracy. A new reality for the functioning of our democracy. Our democracy is in danger of being hollowed out. They feel disconnected from our democracy. Young Americans seem to feel that the jury is out on whether American democracy actually works or not ... a conversation of Democracy ... a decentralized process to reinvigorate democracy ... etc etc.
Mr. Gore seems unsure that we understand America is a democracy. He goes to great lengths to pound the term democracy into as many sentences as he can as if we're unfamiliar with the word. He is right to be so agitated.
Because we are not a democracy. We are a republic. We need only one fundamental diction to be clear in this distinction. " ... and to the republic for which it stands ... " Quoting Jessica Nappi in Capitalism Magazine (Jan 2001)
Incessantly hammering away at this term democracy, as if he were Pavlov and we but dogs, Al Gore reveals both his heart and his mind. He is not American. His every utterance and every persuasion is European socialist with considerable training in propaganda. Particularly the technique of the Big Lie. But his pointed lament about democracy also telegraphs that winds of change are upon us which must be the most fragile of zephyrs. He apparently knows something we do not yet see, as animals moan before an earthquake humans cannot detect in advance. Mr. Gore's ululations on the demise of democracy would have no value if it were not actually so. If European socialism be robust inside the halls of our government and fashionable among national power brokers, what would be the point to his complaint? The answer must be that the way Mr. Gore was raised to rule is vanishing. Else why complain?
And as to the rest of it, all we need know is the technique of Turnspeak propaganda. Accuse your enemies of what you yourself are guilty of. When Mr. Gore accuses others of the politics of fear, it is clear what he is allied to is the root source of fear mongering. When he accuses others of damaging reason, we have all the evidence we need that reason has abandoned Mr. Gore. When Mr. Gore accuses in any direction, we are correct in knowing it is Mr. Gore and his kind who are guilty. In short, he and his kind are terrified that their way of rule is fading.
We are not a democracy, Mr. Gore. We are a republic. You've told us everything in your willful ignorance of this simple fact.