One of my early posts went,
My fascination with Al may have been rooted in his potential to create a vastly different, vastly better world than the one we live in now, and it may have been driven by the shocking events that split our history off into this world of torture, death and government surveillance, but it took the form of a frustrated need to understand how he was defeated and how he has coped.
...how did the Republicans convince Americans that Al Gore, who had a sterling reputation as a conscientious, hard-working, all-around straight arrow, was in fact a self-aggrandizing delusional liar?
...Then there's his coping. This guy was so buttoned up that there were jokes that he made FBI agents look like hippies. After his defeat he went through a brief phase in which he gained weight, always seemed to appear with a drink in his hand, and affected a devil-may-care attitude. My collection of Al photos from 2001 includes one of him shirtless and barefoot, sitting in a back yard in what appears to be a trailer park, leaning way back in a lawn chair and brandishing a bottle of beer.
What went on? What lessons does this teach us about how to overcome being crushed, humiliated, and cheated? Did his transformation help him get past it, or is he a broken man?
Later I wrote,
I don’t usually get too worked up about politicians losing elections, even when I’ve busted my butt helping their campaign. As good as they are, as unfortunate as it is that they didn’t make public office, they always have pretty good fallback positions.
Al Gore, as of this writing, is the president of a television station, the chair of an investment company and a board member of Apple Inc. Some call him the “conscience of the Democratic Party” and he makes a lot of high profile speeches.
Al’s no Gregg Allman, coming home from tours where thousands scream his name to a rented house and long dusty walks down country roads lugging beer and wonder bread because money he could have spent on a car has gone to drugs and alimony.
So then... Why did Al act like that for six months?
So now I find myself in an eerie period of deja vu, feeling that the candidate I supported, Hillary Clinton, was demonized in a way that was breathtakingly unfair: that "coventional wisdom" is perpetuating complete lies and misinterpretations of things she, her husband and her campaign did and said; that the attacks on her were rooted in a prejudice against powerful women that is so entrenched that there is widespread denial (despite overwhelming evidence such as that provided on this site) that it occurred; and that all this was done not by Karl Rove but by her own party - by my party!
Commenters on this site have accused me of being overly partisan to Clinton. I support her, for sure, but my passionate reaction to this campaign is due to the blatant, ghastly displays of sexism and to my living through, for a second time, the fictionalization of a great person. I have been transfixed by this horror story ever since it really started rolling, sometime late last year. The crazy demonization seemed to peak around February 5, just long enough for Obama to sweep Super Tuesday. Then there was a backlash as Clinton supporters started to rally, but even millions of passionate Clinton supporters couldn't make a dent in the "conventional wisdom" that she is a nasty, hypocritical, power-mad bitch.
Now that she's lost it's easy to pick out all the mistakes she and her campaign made, but I think Hillary Clinton's failure really comes down to one main factor: people are uncomfortable with the idea of a female president. A president is a paternalistic figure: he wears a suit and tie, he rolls up his shirt sleeves, he projects a certain authority that we simply don't connect with women. As the pundit famously put it, "When Hillary Clinton speaks men hear, Take out the garbage!" But this isn't a problem of men versus women. Many men have acted admirably, and many women have been sexist. This is a matter of a systemic problem in our society.
As with Al, I have no fears about Hillary Clinton's future. She may end up as VP, a member of the supreme court, governor of New York, a powerful senator or, really, whatever she wants. There's no reason to feel sorry for her.
But I feel great remorse at the idiocy and malice of the mainstream media, the so-called new media like the Huffington Post, and mostly the moronic US (and Canadian) public who bought and perpetuated the lies.