My cousin Gerry wrote a response to this in which he reflected that my impressions of Al Gore seemed to be primarily influenced by the media, which has been bought out by the radical Republican party. Well, there may be some truth to that claim. My primary source of national news is NPR which has become only nominally better than tv network news. NPR now, thanks to the "Republican Revolution" is beholden to ADM "food for the world", et al, well-known bastions of progressive thought.
Must be noted that my essay was in response to an article Cousin Kathi sent titled "How To Take Back America" by Thom Hartman. I agree with much of what Mr. Hartman has to say. Part of the problem, according to Mr. Hartman, is the current two-party system. He argues in favor of becoming involved in the Democratic Party with the goal of moving it toward a more traditional (i.e., "progressive") position.
The problem is, if the monied people really do control the media, then they are going to portray any viable progressive candidate as a kook. So if this semi-paranoid view is accurate - and there are hints that it may be - there really is no way to win. It's possible we've already lost.
I remember a lesson I learned in "Senior World History" in High School: freedom of choice is all well and good, but the really power lies with those who determine what the possible choices are. So long as the election process involves money, the choices are going to be driven by the ones who donate money.
If progressives can put as much money into the media and the election as the monied interests have, there might be a choice. True campaign reform couldn't hurt. My personal opinion is that the public airways are a public trust rather than a commodity, and broadcasters should be required to allow equal ad time for all candidates regardless of "viabililty." If you were able to get enough signatures to get on a ballot, then you deserve to be heard.
I recognize, of course, that at this point this is a wildly starry-eyed notion. But who knows? Anything can happen.