A Vote for Gore is a Vote for
(And I Can Prove It!)
Written by: Alex Sandell
Last night's third, and final, debate between George W. Bush and Al Gore was nearly, word-for-word, the same as the first two debates. This was to be the debate where your average American citizen would be given the chance to ask the candidates some TOUGH questions, rather than the air-kisses moderator Jim Lehrer had been trying to pass off as hard-hitting inquiries during the first couple of Gore/Bush love fests. Nevertheless, what was promised was not to be.
Instead of the average American citizen being given the chance to ask the candidates some TOUGH questions, we got a bunch of hand-picked people, with questions that were hand-picked by the aforementioned air-kisser, Jim Lehrer (who was hand-picked by the two candidates), asking the same things Jim Lehrer had already asked each candidate numerous times. There were no questions about the homeless, the war on drugs, corporate financing of the debates (this one was sponsored 100% by a big beer company, which I choose to leave nameless), corporate welfare, welfare in general, medical marijuana, the candidates own trouble with drug abuse, overcrowded prisons, or the wrongful exclusion of third-party candidates from all three rambling "debates."
What we did hear talked about was Social Security (for the millionth time), the Projected Surplus (for the millionth time), Tax Cuts (for the millionth time), Gun Control (for the millionth time), Affirmative Action (for the millionth time), the Military (for the millionth time), and education (for the billionth time, and counting). Although it was primarily your "corporate debate as usual," Al Gore found time to do something he hadn't done in the first three debates: clearly define just how far he wants to go to stop "dirty" and "violent" movies, music, video games and websites. Gore stretched the truth (surprise, surprise) to get/keep parents angry with the entertainment industry. I'll explain, in detail, how he did this, and why I think Al Gore would be the WORST President America has ever had; but first, I'll let those of you who missed it read the "morality" question asked, and Vice President Gore's terrifying answer:
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'm very concerned about the morality of our country now -- TV, movies, the music that our children are, you know, barraged with every day, and I want to know if there is anything that can be worked out with the -- Hollywood or whoever -- (chuckles) -- to help get rid of some of this bad language and the whatever, you know. It's just bringing the country down, and our children are very important to us, and we're concerned about their education at school, we should be concerned about their education at home, also.
VICE PRESIDENT GORE: I care a lot about this. It's not just movies -- television, video games, music, the Internet. Parents now feel like you have to compete with the mass culture in order to raise your kids with the values that you want them to have. Tipper and I have four children. And God bless them; every one of them decided on their own to come here this evening. I don't want to embarrass our oldest daughter -- she and her husband made us grandparents almost a year and a half ago -- and yet, if she'll forgive me, when she was little, she brought a record home that had some awful lyrics in it. And Tipper hit the ceiling and that launched a campaign to try to get the record companies to put ratings that -- warning labels for parents. And I'm so proud of what she accomplished in getting them on there. I've been involved myself in negotiating and helping to move along the negotiations with the Internet Service Providers to get a parents' protection page every time 95 percent of the pages come up, and a feature that allows parents to automatically check, with one click, what sites your kids have visited lately. You know, some parents are worried about those filters -- (laughing) -- that you'll have to ask your kids how to put them on there. (Subdued laughter.) But if you can check up on them, then you -- that's real power. And recently the Federal Trade Commission pointed out that some of these entertainment companies have warned parents that the material is inappropriate for children, and then they've turned around, behind the backs of the parents, and advertised that same adult material directly to children. That is an outrage. Joe Lieberman and I gave them six months to clean up their act. And if they don't do it, we're going to ask for tougher authority on -- in the hands of the FTC on the false and deceptive advertising. I'll tell you this: I want to do something...to help you raise your kids without that garbage.
First of all, notice that Gore does NOT bring up books in his little tirade. This is because he knows that would cause a public outcry from the very parents he claims to be helping. You can talk about censoring/monitoring just about anything, without much of a reaction, as long as "anything" doesn't include literature. People are still sort of creeped out over that whole burning books things the Nazis did a few decades back. Conveniently for Gore, the majority of voters don't seem to equate novels with other forms of artistic expression, even though some of the most pornographic and violent imagery is on the printed page. Does this mean I think Gore should include books in his "things to censor" list? HELL NO! It simply shows that deep down Gore KNOWS BETTER, and just DOESN'T CARE.
Secondly, the whole "Tipper hit the ceiling and that launched a campaign" thing is totally freaky. What if we all reacted this way to anything that our narrow worldview didn't allow us to understand or approve of? Instead of abandoning her children to run the PMRC, Tipper should have calmly explained to them why that music isn't appropriate, in her mind, to be listening to at that age, and played mom to her offspring, rather than crusader for our world.
Thirdly, Gore brings up letting parents see every site their children have been to with "one click." He says, "if you can check up on them -- that's real power." Yes, Mr. Gore, it is, but doesn't it also sound an awful lot like Big Brother? More and more the Internet is taking over things such as a diary, or a trip to the Library; especially for teenagers and twenty-somethings. I can't imagine that Al Gore, as a teenager, would have liked his parents to be able to "check up on" EVERYTHING he chose to read, what he wanted to write, and where he decided to go, even if it was "real power." There's parenting, there's privacy, and there's invasion of privacy. What Gore is proposing is the latter, and it doesn't sit well with me.
Fourthly, Gore talks about the "entertainment companies" warning parents that material is "inappropriate" for "children", and then turning around and marketing it to them, "behind the backs of the parents." This is ABSOLUTE bullshit. ALL ratings on movies and video games are VOLUNTARY. An "R" rated movie does NOT say that it is "inappropriate" for ALL "children," it merely says that it may not be appropriate for SOME viewers under 17, and that parents may want to learn more about it before letting their children view the film in question.
There is NO law against someone under 17 going to an R rated film. There never has been. Therefore, the studios are doing NOTHING illegal, OR deceptive, by showing an ad for an R rated movie on a network that a large number of teenagers watch, such as MTV. The studios are doing NOTHING wrong by allowing a 14-year-old to view an advanced screening of an R rated movie with his/her parents. The video game industry is doing NOTHING wrong by putting ads for an "adult" rated video game into a VIDEO GAME MAGAZINE because a fraction of the readers are teenagers and "children." These incidences are what Al Gore, and the dreaded FTC, are basing their entire "marketing violent material to children" campaign on.
With Gore in office, it is obvious there will be new laws put into effect, that make what is currently, and rightfully, legal, illegal. The Government will control what you can and can't see. If Gore is in office, I'm sure The Juicy Cerebellum will be considered "adult" and, consequentially, will be thrown into every Government filter available, and those of you under 18 won't even be able to read it. And, who's to say it will stop there? If Gore's willing to go this far today, how far will he take it tomorrow?
I don't think any of us want any of this to happen. That's why I don't think any of us will be voting for Gore. I'm NOT advocating a vote for Bush; he has been a horrible Governor, and would make an awful President, but at least he had the sense to respond to the "morality" question asked of him by saying, "I'm going to remind moms and dads, the best weapon is the off/on button and paying attention to your children."
So, Bush sucks, Gore sucks even harder; where should America turn on November 7th? There are a lot of very good third-party candidates out there. I personally like David McReynolds and Ralph Nader. There are plenty of others, too -- I suggest looking into all of them, before making a choice.
Lastly, I will leave you with this thought, thought up by me during last night's debate: "A vote for Al Gore or George W. Bush is one less vote for Democracy. Keep America alive! Vote . . . just not for one of them."
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All text (with exception to Al Gore's response, and the question he responded to) ©2000 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. If you copy this, without my permission, I'll vote for Gore, and bring us one step closer to a dictatorship! BWAH-HA-HA!