February 27, 2007

A.C. KLEINHEIDER DEFENDS AL GORE against charges of greenhouse hypocrisy:

Al Gore is not the average American. He comes from power and money and he has achieved power and money in his own right.

Al Gore lives a life different from most folks. I’m not one to defend elitism, not as a matter of practice, but some elitism is inevitable. There must be a leadership class. There always has been and there always will be. Even societies organized around the principle of the equality and preeminence of the proletariat have had an elite class. It is the natural order of things. The key for a society is to create a responsible, responsive and fluid elite.

Could Al Gore do more to be “Green” in his personal life? No doubt. I’m sure we all could. Regardless of your position on global warming, none of the steps greens suggest you take in your personal life are gonna hurt anything. It may be unnecessary but not detrimental.

However, his life and most of ours are not coordinate — nor need they be.

Moralists are especially vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy — ask any backsliding fundamentalist preacher. If Gore were less moralistic in his approach — as he gains weight, he’s even starting to look a bit like a younger Jerry Falwell — the charges of hypocrisy would have less bite. But is this the kind of defense he wants?

UPDATE: More on this story from ABC News. And some related thoughts from Gerard van der Leun.