I read with amusement the open letter to Al Gore. The last thing Al "Earth's Only Friend" Gore needs is another "supporter" offering up advice. It is Al Gore's seemingly endless reliance on advisors and political polling that has put him in the position he is in today -- possibly losing the presidency that was handed to him by a booming economy and low turnout.
Expediency is the sword by which both candidates' campaigns will have lived or died this season and to believe that either candidate will choose a different weapon next time in 2004 is to deny reality. Al Gore can and should transform into the person that his supporters so desperately want: a real-life tree hugger oblivious to life outside the Beltway. Then, when and if the Democrats foolishly put their faith in him in 2004, there will be no mistaking the outcome of Republican victory.
-- Mark Wiberg
When did Branfman become a psychologist? Gore's psychological makeup is not the issue and is certainly not the purview of this reporter. What is at stake is democracy and the stealing of an election, not to mention the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and other federal courts.
-- Mary Varnell
Fred Branfman has written a fine letter, and I like the idea that Al Gore could return in four years to run a campaign based on his convictions and sweep the country. Gore could become, in a way, the Democrats' Ronald Reagan -- a candidate with strong views, which are thought to be too extreme, and who is personally vilified by the certain members of the media. (Note: I am not a big Reagan fan, but he was very successful and had a clear vision.) A George W. Bush presidency could prove to be a good parallel to Jimmy Carter's, in terms of his political competence in the face of adverse economic conditions. Bush's own policies and actions could provide a much better base for an environmentally friendly candidate. Whatever happens, I suspect that Gore will emerge from this prolonged campaign a changed man and that he will serve his county well in some capacity.
On a final note, I wish to express my appreciation to Fred Branfman for expressing so clearly a sentiment that I share about Gore and the political landscape in America.
-- D'Arcy Mackenzie
Earth in the balance indeed, indeed! Why do you insist that Gore squandered the election, and that swing voters identified more with Bush? Gore got more votes, plain and simple. That means he didn't squander anything, and that, in fact, more voters identified with him.
-- D. Garber
I appreciate Branfman's plea for moving the environmental agenda forward, but why not stop beating the dead Gore horse? The thousands of articles already written about his "wooden, unfeeling, artificial, insincere, cloying public personality" haven't changed a thing. Either he's not listening or he's not capable. Let's stop trying to plead and coax Gore into the leader we want and move on.
-- Rula Razek