I’ve never said anywhere that a short term focus on government is “a bad thing.” What I’ve said is that changed minds are needed everywhere, including in the government.

Al Gore is the closest we’ve ever come to putting someone with a changed mind in the White House. Every vote for Ralph Nader was a gestural vote–one that didn’t count for anything, since Nader’s chance of being elected was zero. If the votes cast for Nader had been cast for Gore instead, they would have been real votes–votes that counted–and we might well now have the most environmentally friendly president in history instead of the most environmentally hostile president in history. The fact that we must think about long term results doesn’t preclude thinking about short term results.

NOTE: Since the election this answer describes, the U.S. has had a more environmentally friendly president in Barack Obama, but currently (2019) has one who must be considered the all-time winner of the “most environmentally hostile president in history” title. However, the message is as valid today as it was for the Gore-Bush election.–RMQ

ID: 592
updated: 27 Dec 2002

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