When you read this it might be easy to forget that in the past few years Al Gore has gotten much of what he asked for. Gore endorsed Barack Obama for President. He won. Gore rallied Democrats in 2008 to take over full control of Congress and the White House, which they did. Gore urged Congress to pass the stimulus because it would be an important step in addressing climate change. Check. Gore spoke out on the importance of passing the health care reform law. It passed. The list goes on.
On the surface you wouldn’t think the mega millionaire has much to complain about, but as long as there’s money in the world that isn’t yet under the purview of Goracle Inc., he will have issues:
In a wide-ranging talk about the Internet and government, Al Gore urged the techie crowd at South By Southwest to use digital tools to improve government.
The former vice president sat for a conversation with Napster co-founder and Web entrepreneur Sean Parker on Monday at SXSW in a flashy tete-a-tete that drew an audience of thousands at the Austin Convention Center and more viewers via a live stream.
“Our democracy has been hacked,” said Gore, framing Washington gridlock and the effects of special interest money in digital terms.
To fix what he called a no-longer functional U.S. government, Gore urged the audience to begin a new “Occupy Democracy” movement. He pushed for the creation and implementation of digital tools and social media to “change the democratic conversation.”
Gore talked of a “Wiki-democracy” of “digital flash mobs calling out the truth” and “a government square that holds people accountable.”
I assume that when he claims the democracy has been “hacked,” Al’s referring to the 2010 election, which brought remaining Democrat plans (such as Cap & Trade) to an unscheduled stop like a Fisker Karma on a test track. Those democratic elections can be a real threat to democracy if they don’t go your way.
“In the print era, when this country was founded, reason and truth and facts played a bigger role,” Gore said. Now, television and money have overtaken the American political system and lowered the level of discourse, both he and Parker said in an interview that was added to the schedule of the Austin-based interactive conference over the weekend.