There comes a time in some peoples' lives when leading others no longer holds the great attraction it did when they were rising to such positions. As exhilarating as responsible leadership positions can be, such roles can be exhausting and leave one yearning for a much simpler existence.
Coyote Angry observed the testimony given by Al Gore and the surrounding noise from both sides of the political spectrum. She's got a take on Al Gore that I think is bang on the mark.
Al Gore, past Vice-President of the United States, is no longer a politician. He's done it. It's over.
The rightwing insists his testimony is "politically motivated" because in their narrow little worldview, in which they judge everyone's motives by what their own would be, they assume the only reason he would be as passionate about the issue of global warming would be to win votes. The leftwing believes he is passionate about the issue but that he will run for office so he can implement his plans. They both miss the truth entirely. The truth is he really is passionate about the issue and he has no intention of running for office because he can do more to influence change by doing exactly what he is doing and not being in elected office. He isn't beholden to anyone and he does not need to focus on any other issues. Solve your own Iraq troubles, he's busy saving the planet. He's a man who, whether you love him or hate him, owns his own life. That is something very few people seem to be capable of understanding about certain brighter-than-average people. They have goals and ambitions but very often their goals and ambitions have little or nothing to do with what mainstream American society assumes are the ultimate prizes. Running for public office would be a sacrifice for him and not one he is likely to make unless forced to by circumstance.And, as we accuse the wingnuts and the chickenhawks of standing on the curb, waiting for the great parade and wishing for ponies, we too are guilty of the same thing. While I think Al Gore would have been an outstanding candidate for President of the United States, I have to agree that he is not even entertaining the idea. He has risen above it all.
Gore has found his passion and there is no reason to set it aside for the rigors of high political office. While the ambitious claw and fight to attain the highest office in the US and one of the dominant chairs on the world stage, Gore has a different agenda. In order to maintain that agenda, he cannot step in to a role where the thing that drives him would have to be disconnected and placed on a siding for four to eight years. If he were to focus on correcting the mess created by man who has no vision, he would have to give up his own.
He's not going to do that.
Al Gore has found his niche and his constituency. He has political savvy, name recognition and a demeanour that makes people want to listen. He can and has turned those elements of his resume into something with which he is most comfortable, and that does not involve getting into the gutters of a political campaign.
Al Gore has stopped being a politician. He's now a teacher. He won't be asking for votes. He'll only ask that we all pay attention.