[ I originally posted this on an earlier thread of today, in response to a comment on what I've been saying about Al Gore as --I suspect-- the best candidate for providing America the leadership it now needs.
We are at a historical moment that is not just one of the usual. One of the consequences of this is that one should have a whole lot of humility about the adequacy of one's maps of how the world can and cannot work. Sometimes, amazing things happen that people did not imagine could. Like the way the Berlin Wall came down, and the way the Cold War ended.
I spent 1983-1984 being paid to interview the best minds in the country about how they saw the pursuit of national security in an age of U.S. Soviet rivalry and an increable mass of nuclear weapons on the two sides.
People did not envision any possibility of anything like what happened. And we're talking here about the best minds in the country on the various international, political, technological, strategic issues involved.
If those people could be surprised by how history decided to move, so also can the rest of us be surprised by what's possible at an exceptionally fraught moment in American history.
One thing is certain: the extraordinary does not get done by people who only envision the ordinary and only aim at it.
So long as the pursuit of the extraordinary does not preclude achieving well the ordinary, why not envision the ideal scenario and imagine it to be possible.
If Gore does not pick up the mantle, or having picked it up shows no sign of being the leader I am saying I see as possible, we can turn around and look elsewhere.
In the meanwhile, I continue to maintain: of all the candidates presently around, Al Gore is the one who seems to me best positioned (within himself, and with his standing in the world) to provide the leadership we now need.
Look what he's done. Look what he's said. Look how he's managed this spectacular comeback
He's already shown some real leadership, in speaking out against the war when it was politically dangerous to do so, in condemning the Bushites a year-plus ago, and in teaching the world about an inconvenient truth that simply MUST be faced.
Let's see what else he's got, and is willing to do.
Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)