Al Gore for President

As these words are written the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize has been chosen but not yet announced and for purposes of the future of America the great and inconvenient truth is that this does not matter.

America does not need another prize, we need another president.

Americans deserve a president who aspires not merely to wield power but to use the office of the presidency as the center of action to lift our land to the greatness that was bestowed to us by Americans who came before us.

My hope is that Al Gore is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He deserves it, and it would be a great moment for America and a great statement about the future of the earth.

But America does not need another prize, we need another president. "An Inconvenient Truth" was a brilliant, noble and historic undertaking, but if saving the planet from the ravages that threaten it is our purpose, in a journey of a hundred steps, the film took us one step, not 99.

The Assault on Reason will be viewed by historians as possibly the most sweeping and profound analysis of the troubles of our times, and the most brilliant manifesto of where an American president in the tradition of Roosevelt and Kennedy would lead this land we love.

But America does not need another brilliant book with a compelling program; America needs another president to make it happen.

The concert for the earth was a wonderful and important moment that brought to the attention of the planet the latent idealism and dreams of young people who want to inherit the wind of a better world, not merely the winds for another war, and a statement of generosity and conviction of stars who joined with kids on every continent of the earth.

But now, America does not need another concert, we need a new courage, a new conviction, and a new president to bring out the best of all of us, and make America a force that brings light to the world.

Is it unfair to ask: If the earth God gave us, that past generations endowed to us, that we hold in trust for future generations not yet born, is truly in danger and depends on decisions taken during the term of the next American president, are we not all obligated to bear any burden, share any sacrifice, endure any hardship, so our great-grandchildren will inherit a safe earth?

Is it unfair to ask: In a world where the last of the great generation that saved freedom from fascism are leaving us by the hour, in a nation where our best young are making all the sacrifice and giving all in a war far away from us, should not every political leader, at all levels, put aside personal and political convenience and ask what they can do for our country — and do it?

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was right: the presidency is the center of action, and God's work on earth must truly be our own.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was right: We have nothing to fear but fear itself, and for the great matters of life and death for our country, we are all in this together.

The Democratic Party has the opportunity not to win an election to wield power, but to win a landslide that would bring a president and a Congress who stand for a politics of courage and idealism, who call again for
our country to dare to dream, and dare again to reach for greatness.

Is it unfair to ask, as previous generations of Americans have asked, and future generations of Americans depend on us to ask today, for a leader worthy of the office once held by Washington and Jefferson, by Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, by FDR and JFK?

Imagine a president who leads the world in the battle of ideas, who knew from the start that we are a nation of idealism and hope, not a nation of torture memos and spying on each other in secret.

Imagine a president who was wise enough to know from the start that an unwise war was wrong, and who spoke with clarity and conviction when it mattered the most, and when others fell short.

Imagine a president who has believed from childhood that our Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights comprise the sacred trust of the world's greatest nation, and has stood for this truth in good times and bad, in hard times and moments of triumph, from the House of Representatives, from the Senate, and from the vice presidency of the United States.

Imagine an America that is once again seen throughout the world as a beacon of hope and light, as an inspiration for human rights and freedom, and as a liberator of the world from poisoned energy that imprisons men and women everywhere, and ultimately endangers the very existence of the world itself.

Imagine an American democracy that is greater than an exercise in poll-taking, fundraising and the character assassination of fellow Americans and becomes again a democracy in which politics is viewed as a noble profession and Americanism is viewed as a call to share both the sacrifice and the triumph, and young people are inspired to reach for the stars in every endeavor in their personal and civic lives.

Imagine an America without the scandals of wounded troops and the mistreatment of disabled veterans and rising numbers of homeless heroes because our president will avoid war when we can, win war when we must, and fight for our troops and our veterans every hour, every day, in war and peace, in deed as well as word, no
matter how hard it may be, because in our country it is right, and in our country, right makes might.

I know it is fanciful, unrealistic and probably naive to believe in the greatest aspiration that America should choose its best possible president. But America has always had the Frank Capra quality of daring to dream, of looking at the stars and viewing the better angels of our nation.

Our nation began with the impossible dream of a world ruled by kings, that could be forever transformed by a brave and generous people who put their hearts, their souls, their spirit, their lives, behind what they called their sacred honor and believed was their sacred trust.

Many tears have fallen, much blood has been shed, many dreams have been crushed on the road from there to here, but for every Valley Forge there has been a Yorktown, for every Gettysburg there has been an Appomattox, for every Pearl Harbor there has been that moment in Times Square where the sailor kissed the lady, and the lady in that harbor lifted that torch higher than ever before.

Personally I will support any of the Democrats over any of the Republicans, but does anybody believe that the campaign of 2008 has given any hint of a renewal of American greatness?

In my view, never before in memory have the man, the moment and the magic come together as they come together for Al Gore in 2008.

My hope is that he is awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, but whether or not that comes to pass does not ultimately matter.

There is a far higher stake than another honor, another prize and another award, and that is the future of a great country that deserves a remembrance of our past, a renewal of our better angels, a reform of our shortcomings, a revival of our national spirit and unity, and a restoration of our role as the true leader of the free world.