The sweet smell of vindication. Time will ultimately tell the truth. Al Gore has been awarded the Nobel Prize for his lifetime achievement in bringing the issue of Global Warming to the attention of humanity.
In 1992 Al Gore was a Vice Presidential Candidate, running with Bill Clinton on the Democratic ticket. They were challenging George H. W. Bush, the Republican incumbent President.
One of the silly Republican strategies was to refer to Al Gore as the ‘Ozone Man.’ This was a derogatory term meant to discredit the Democratic ticket. The very idea that the industry fostered by the Republican elite was destroying the atmosphere was just ludicrous – and that meant the Democratic ticket was ludicrous.
I grew up in a Union family. Our image of Democrats was one of commonness, of labor, of hard manual work. Republicans were of management, the elite, the educated – the Noble Class. I think we were somehow intimidated by their perceived intelligence, their elite education, the trappings of wealth and power. But we secretly respected that life. We longed for it. But it scared us. We knew we were not worthy. That life was reserved for the noble class. We were blue collar, they were white collar.
All of my brothers are smart men – but infected by their ingrained culture. My oldest brother works in a Union Shop – that means the employees collectively bargain with their employer. My brother was the Shop Steward – the Union Representative for the employees. My brother was smart – his company offered him a management position – but he was too smart for that – he knew that management was not ‘protected.’ If he were a manager then they could fire him without cause. He did not take the job. Talk about powerful cultural influences on our life decisions!
We accepted the put-downs of the elite class – somehow we deserved it. The attempted humiliation of the ‘Ozone Man’ was a feeble attempt to capitalize on an old notion about who-is-smart and who-is-not-so-smart. There is an elite arrogance in the Republican Party today. The arrogance will defeat them. They are classic third and fourth generation elitists. Their grandparents, the founders of their wealth, understood and valued education and learning. The grandparents valued science and technology. The grandparents valued the liberal arts.
This generation of the elite is shallow and hollow and arrogant. Their arrogance has cost this country – but history has proven that it will ultimately cost them even more.