Sins of the father

Like Roger L. Simon

,  I had to suppress some schadenfreude at the news of Albert A. Gore III's arrest.  I also share Simon's sympathy for the son's need to self medicate, though I expect there is more to his problem than parents who are merely fatuous. 

Gore spent the first half of 1992 crisscrossing America promoting The Earth In Balance. On this book tour he used his son's near fatal 1989 automobile accident to explain how he had come to learn about the truly important things in life, such as saving the planet. 

When he accepted his party's nomination as candidate for vice president in the Summer of 1992, Gore's waxed on in some detail about seeing his son's broken and battered body in the hospital.  When the TV cameras cut to his family, Tipper and his daughters were beaming. Nine year old Albert A. Gore III looked like he wanted to crawl into a hole and die rather than have the world hear of his ordeal. 

I felt for the child because I had also spent a long tine either in a hospital or at home in bed when I was in the second grade.  Listening to Gore that night,  I remember thinking that to make a child relive the most painful moment in his life for the father's political gain was evil.  I could think of no other word for a parent who acted in such an insensitive and self-serving manner.  

Mixing Valium, Xanax, Vicodin, Adderall and Soma with driving is a prescription to an early grave.  On the eve of the 2008 presidential race, fate may be giving Al Gore a second shot at learning what is truly important.