Al Gore Warns Democracy is Under Attack

Al Gore, at the at the Edinburgh International Television Festival to promote An Inconvenient Truth, warned that “democracy is under attack“:

There’s a feeling in the US on the part of many that the way democracy operates today is very different from the system we learned about in school.”

He said that democracy, which he described as a “conversation”, was now “more controlled and centralised”, and that the most important role of the media was to facilitate democracy.

Gore said American politicians were spending their time raising funds at small gatherings and cocktail parties because, “the only thing that matters in American politics now is having enough money to put 30-second commercials on air to persuade the voters to elect or re-elect you.”

Gore criticized media consolidation and argued that citizens should have more influence over television programing. He said there was a connection between control of the media and lack of political action on global warming:

“Questions of fact that are threatening to wealth and power become questions of power,” he said. “And so the scientific evidence on global warming – an inconvenient truth for the largest polluters – becomes a question of power, and so they try to censor the information.”

Gore was asked if he felt George Bush was stupid and responded, “I don’t think he’s unintelligent at all. He’s incurious … there’s a puzzling lack of curiosity.” He indicated no plans to run for office saying, “I don’t have any plans to be a candidate, I don’t expect to be a candidate. I really do not expect ever to be a candidate again.”

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