Thursday, June 14

Is Gore our Stevenson?

During one of [Adlai] Stevenson's presidential campaigns, allegedly, a supporter told him that he was sure to "get the vote of every thinking man" in the USA, to which Stevenson is said to have replied, "Thank you, but I need a majority to win."

I thought I was going to write something original about the photo above and the accompanying Time Magazine article but DeRosaWorld did a clear and better job than I could have of asking the question: Who does Al Gore think he is, Adlai Stevenson?

To which I would add that ya know us blogospherians are the intellectuals/eggheads of this culture and that's why we don't get no respect and we may never win an election and it makes us tear our hair out and shake our laptops how people care so much about STUPID SHIT and we openly question that you know, Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451 didn't name a show "American Idol" because nobody would have fucking believed him and to put people talking about that show after church would have been too pathetic, real life just doesn't measure up to fiction, and vice-versa oh rant off.

Oh just found this wonderful article Bradbury points out the enemy in Fahrenheit is not the is is us. This guy Gore said the same thing in 2005. Heh.

Okay this post has too many links and you're too busy for all that but do click the egghead link it's informative and germane. Yeah, I use words like germane. That's why we're both here. Point made.


  1. Anonymous9:40 AM

    Great post -- that's all I have to say!


  2. Anonymous9:45 AM

    Stevenson gave a speech about how America was forged by people going into the wilderness with no more than a Bible and an ax. If you read it it's a remarkable piece of thinking but if you listening to it, it becomes Sominex.

    He was a remarkable mind but he did not have the power to giggle guts and gut giggling gets you much further in politics than cool analytics. He and Gore share the inability to make anybody pump their fist in the air.

    And I know because I've seen Al Gore in person on three separate occasions.

  3. There are several illuminating anecdotes about Stevenson in David Halberstam's terrific and oft-overlooked book, The Fifties. In one, conservative columnist Stewart Alsop remarked to his brother, a high-ranking Republican operative, that Stevenson was popular among all his acquaintances. "Sure," his brother replied. "All the eggheads are for Stevenson, but how many eggheads are there?"
    Later in the campaign, when a reporter asked Stevenson about the role of America's newspaper publishers, most of whom were endorsing Ike, Stevenson answered, "Their job is to separate the wheat from the chaff and print the chaff." As Halberstam notes, "if Stevenson was the candidate of the readers of The New Yorker, Harper's and the Atlantic, then Ike was the candidate of the Saturday Evening Post and Reader's Digest.

    I'd say things have gotten even worse since then. What wouldn't we do for a president like Eisenhower today? And even Gore, in comparison to Stevenson, leaves a bit to be desired.

  4. Anonymous10:12 AM

    that picture of Gore speaks to a guy who works his ass off... good on him, too...

  5. Anonymous10:31 AM

    Hi. Thanks for the link. I am hoping with fingers and toes crossed that Big Al joins the race in September.

    Hillary can lead the Senate in 2008 and we can get the 21st century back on track.

    Great blog!

  6. Pete that picture of Gore makes me feel so much better about my desk, my bedside, and my bookshelf. I envy his wall frog, though.

    It's not enough to read books. You have to HAVE books. Just have them. I know you guys get that.

  7. I've always felt that to win a modern election, you had to appeal to the American Idol, McDonald's lovin', NASCAR demographic.

    Reagan and Clinton could do it with charisma. Dubya just scared the hell out of them with terrorism and gay marriage to get them to vote Republican in 2004.

    I can't believe the DNC can't figure out the formula. I was so pissed that Kerry was our candidate in 2004. Sure, I liked the guy, but there was no way "soccer moms" were going to vote for him. He was too high brow for America, almost to the point of being condenscending.

    It should be a slam dunk in 2008, but the best candidate to win in my opinion is Edwards. He has the look, charisma, and doesn't come off as an elitist to me. My ideal candidate is Kucinich because he reflects my values the most (and has the cutest wife), but I'd rather take baby steps forward and win an election, rather than taking giant steps back and letting the Rethuglicans steal 2008 from us.

  8. Thanks for the link to the Bradbury story. His flame burns at my personal altar (and that of my son, glory be, who accessed him through his poetry).

  9. Apologize for too many links? Never! Good stuff, all!

    The Bradbury piece was especially interesting. Fahrenheit 451 certainly focuses on a society that dumbs everyone down.

    (He lives out here and occasionally speaks at one of the local libraries, although his health is awfully bad these days. He still has a kid's enthusiasm, though. He also produces plays based on his short stories once or twice a year.)

    I think the central shell game by the right, starting probably with Buckley back in the 50s and 60s, was to convince much of the public and the media that the "elite" who were oppressing them were an intellectual, artistic, cultural "elite" versus the rich and powerful.

    Anyway, thanks for the background, and thanks too to Big Daddy Malcontent for the same about Halberstam on Stevenson.

  10. Big Daddy Malcontent wrote, "Stevenson answered, 'Their job is to separate the wheat from the chaff and print the chaff.'"

    Ha! What a great quote! Now, what organization could we apply that to in modern day.... Hmm...

    When I first read that Bradbury link, it was over at Samuari Frog's. I have seen it on at least 3 other blogs since. It is very heartening that the words and message of such great author still holds the attention of so many of us.

    Evil Spock, Kerry did win the election. I say Barak Obama in '08. Or he can be Vice-President if Gore runs. but that is only if Speaker Pelosi doesn't make president in '07! I actually like just about all of the Democratic candidates for one reason or another. I don't trust anything to be a slam dunk ever again though, at least not while Diebold still counts our vote.

    I am at least partially germane. I am about one fourth English, I have a little French and Irish in me, and I am about one fourth germane.

  11. Anonymous6:51 PM

    I've moved cross country a couple of times. We had to pay a premium due to the "dead weight" of our book collection.

    Living with a novelist requires One Click on Amazon and buyers cards from all the book sellers.


  12. When the Rapture comes, I get dibs on Al's computer.

    'Cept I think he'll still be here.

  13. qd, all the best people will still be here. ; )


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