The Assault on Reason
by Al Gore
Wednesday 16 May 2007
Not long before our nation launched the invasion of Iraq, our longest-serving Senator, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, stood on the Senate floor and said: "This chamber is, for the most part, silent - ominously, dreadfully silent. There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war. There is nothing. We stand passively mute in the United States Senate."
Why was the Senate silent?
In describing the empty chamber the way he did, Byrd invited a specific version of the same general question millions of us have been asking: "Why do reason, logic and truth seem to play a sharply diminished role in the way America now makes important decisions?" The persistent and sustained reliance on falsehoods as the basis of policy, even in the face of massive and well-understood evidence to the contrary, seems to many Americans to have reached levels that were previously unimaginable.
A large and growing number of Americans are asking out loud: "What has happened to our country?" People are trying to figure out what has gone wrong in our democracy, and how we can fix it.
To take another example, for the first time in American history, the Executive Branch of our government has not only condoned but actively promoted the treatment of captives in wartime that clearly involves torture, thus overturning a prohibition established by General George Washington during the Revolutionary War.
On the same page--a piece about Gore and the possibilities of his running for President. So far, he is inclined not to--but there is still time to get in the race if he feels he is needed.
"The Assault on Reason" appears to be a good starting point.