When life gives you lemons…
During Al Gore’s run for President, I was fortunate to meet him a few times. One particular event I was placed at his table. I had gone with one of my best friends who was as excited about this race as I was. We were raising money for Gore.
On a side note, this particular event took place at an apartment of a very powerful NY’er who lives across the street from the Met. We couldn’t get a cab up there because of Gore being in town so we took the bus up Madison. Little did I know, my friend, who grew up in the elite world of NY had never taken a bus. I was looking to him for guidance on where the apartment was. As we drove past the stop, he looked at me and said that was where we were supposed to get off. I asked him why he didn’t ring the bell? Of course his reply was “what bell”? I dinged the bell and off we went. When we got to the event it was apparent to me that we were the youngest people there. Granted this was about 8 years ago and my friend is 10 years younger than me. It was quite the crowd. So the entire night as I would walk by my friend, I’d whisper in his ear, I bet we are the only people here who took the bus. It kept us laughing all night.
Anyway, sitting at Gore’s table was incredibly insightful. My friend, who happens to be a serious brainiac and reads 500 page books to understand the meaning of life could have been Gore’s best friend. They read all the same books. They could have sat there for hours discussing and analyzing science, psychology, space, environment, etc. As impressed as I was by Gore’s intelligence, I was worried about his leadership ability. Would he be a micromanager reading endless books and spending so much time analyzing things that nothing would ever get done?
In the end, it didn’t matter, because we ended up with a buffoon instead of an intellect as our President. Gore faded into the woodwork but something interesting happened along the way. First of all, Gore is a doer. He is seriously smart. He needs to use his brain. He wasn’t going to kick back and sit on the beach. Here is a guy that has been in politics his entire life and all of a sudden he has lost the ultimate game in a public forum. He now retreats to private life, something he never had, and finds himself. Along the way, he discovers he has a knack for leading in private life. He doesn’t need to play politics. He follows his passions. He rises to the top of a game that he was never in before.
Gore has been given the ultimate honor this week, the Nobel Prize. Damn. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
David Brooks wrote an interesting editorial on Saturday about Gore. Gore’s comments in regards to his frustrations about what politics has become was right on the money. The system is broken. It has become something that makes it impossible to get things done. It is us vs them. Did our forefathers realize that politicians, once holding an office, would spend 80% of their time raising money in order to get voted in again? Did they realize that our country would be populated to the point that perhaps the electoral college would not be needed anymore? Did they realize how power would create the need for more power regardless of the laws and the people they serve. People would in power would actually try to manipulate the electoral college to stay in power instead of letting the people be heard. Thank god they had the foresight to have a new election for President every four years.
At the end of the day, the system must change. I am not sure I am so disenchanted with the candidates as I am with the system. I’d be shocked if Gore would step back into the arena. Although who is our savior to help us from ourselves and our system. We need someone who is literally going to restructure Government as if is today. Is something just terrible, underhanded and illegal, worse than Watergate going to have happen in order for our Government to change the way they do business? After all, all the politicians in power now got elected through this antiquated system.
But, until the system changes, we will have less and less intellects like Gore getting into the game. We will have more buffoons who have a desire for power not for change like the biggest buffoon of all that we have all had to live with as a leader of our country the last 7 years, George Bush.