For many years Al Gore has been an influential figure in national politics. He may soon become even more significant to the United States and the world.
We've gotten to know him via thousands of sound bites and images. For the first time, a cohesive and substantive representation of this man is available. In The World According to Al Gore, the vice president's opinions and statements on a broad spectrum of important topics are assembled in one volume.
Here is Al Gore in his own words. This easily accessible, user-friendly volume is presented in an A-to-Z format and contains excerpts from hundreds of speeches, debates, and interviews. These passages span his national political career and give the reader an understanding of Gore's ideas, motivations, and priorities, and the way they have evolved over the last two decades. Read Gore on the environment, family values, drugs, campaign finance, education, parenting, foreign policy, the Internet, and much more.
The World According to Al Gore provides insight into Gore the man, the father, the activist, and the politician.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
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About the Author
Joseph Kaufmann is a professional researcher and writer. He resides in Tarzana, California.
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The World According to Al Gore
An A-to-Z Compilation of His Opinions, Positions, and Public Statements
By Joseph Kaufmann
Renaissance BooksCopyright © 1999 Joseph Kaufmann
All rights reserved.
We are all well aware that views about abortion are as diverse among nations as among individuals. I want to be clear about the U.S. position on abortion so that there is no misunderstanding. We believe that making available the highest quality family planning and healthcare services will simultaneously respect women's own desires to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce population growth, and the rate of abortion.
The United States Constitution guarantees every woman within our borders a right to choose an abortion, subject to limited and specific exceptions. We are committed to that principle. But let us take a false issue off the table: The United States does not seek to establish a new international right to abortion, and we do not believe that abortion should be encouraged as a method of family planning.
We also believe that policymaking in these matters should be the province of each government, within the context of its own laws and national circumstances, and consistent with previously agreed human rights standards. In this context, we abhor and condemn coercion related to abortion or any other matters of reproduction.
We believe that where abortion is permitted, it should be medically safe and that unsafe abortion is a matter of women's health that must be addressed. But as we acknowledge the few areas where full agreement among us is more difficult, let us strengthen our resolve to respect our differences and reach past them to create what the world might remember as the "spirit of Cairo" — a shared and unshakable determination to lay the foundation for a future of hope and promise.
International Conference on Population Development
September 5, 1994
It is my deep personal conviction that abortion is wrong. I hope that some day we will see the current outrageously large number of abortions drop sharply.
Letter to a constituent, September 15, 1983
President Clinton has made it clear that he will sign legislation outlawing procedures such as this if there is an exception to protect the health of the mother where serious health consequences, such as the inability to have any further children, are involved and her doctor advises her so.
What is really at stake here is whether or not women will have the right to choose. The platform on which Mr. Kemp and Senator Dole are running pledges a constitutional amendment to take away a woman's right to choose, and to have the government come in and order that woman to do what the government says, no matter what the circumstances.
Mr. Kemp has voted forty-seven out of forty-seven times to have such an amendment and to restrict this completely, no matter what the circumstances, even where rape and incest is involved. We will never allow a woman's right to choose to be taken away.
The 1996 Vice-Presidential Debate
St. Petersburg, Florida
October 9, 1996
As you know, I have strongly opposed federal funding of abortions. In my opinion, it is wrong to spend federal funds for what is arguably the taking of a human life. I have been encouraged by recent action in the Congress, particularly in the House, that has indicated greater acceptance of our position with respect to federal funding of abortions.
It is my deep personal conviction that abortion is wrong.
Let me assure you that I share your belief that innocent human life must be protected and I have an open mind on how to further this goal.
Letter to a constituent July 18, 1984
I've heard the critics of affirmative action. I've heard those who say we have a color-blind society. They use their color blind the way duck hunters use a duck blind — they hide behind it and hope the ducks won't notice. And consider this: they're in favor of affirmative action if you can dunk the basketball or sink a three-point shot. But they're not in favor of it if you merely have the potential to be a leader of your community and bring people together, to teach people who are hungry for knowledge, to heal families who need medical care. Don't tell me we have a color-blind society. I have a different view: I believe that America still needs affirmative action.
NAACP Annual Convention
July 16, 1998
If you look at today's products, it's no wonder that, of all the private R&D in America, three-quarters is done by the manufacturing sector. Using 3-D models and computers, U.S. automakers have shortened production cycles from six years to thirty months. Through a massive "Extranet" computer network, linking thousands of suppliers and manufacturers, automakers are ordering parts, designing new products, saving enormous amounts of time and money. Raw materials are lighter, stronger, better-engineered to get less out of more [sic]. It's been estimated that while the physical weight of America's economic output has barely changed in a half century, its value has more than tripled.
Let me be clear: I believe very strongly that American manufacturing — and Michigan's auto, truck, and high-tech industries — must be at the center of any successful economic strategy for the twenty-first century. That doesn't mean all of us in this room will always see eye to eye, or that we won't have disagreements in the future. But I've learned a lot from the people in this room — and on so many issues. I hope we will continue to listen to each other, work with each other, to keep an open door and an open mind. I know that today's American auto industry is committed to building not only the best and most competitive cars, but also the safest and cleanest cars in the world.
Economic Club of Detroit
May 8, 1998
I've told some of you before that I remember vividly how, as a youngster, the phrase "Made in Japan" meant to me something that was low quality and would wear out pretty quickly. But now, it means to many consumers a level of — a high level of quality and craftsmanship. Luckily, America's businesses have responded to that challenge and are now the best in quality in the world.
The National Performance Review
National Partnership Awards
February 14, 1996
First, we must maintain our newfound commitment to fiscal discipline. Our economic power comes from a vote of confidence in America, a vote cast in markets around the world that evaluate every government's policies every day, through billions of transactions. Forget the gold standard — today's economy operates on the information standard.
I believe in sound fiscal policy. Barring an economic reversal, a national emergency, or a foreign crisis, we should balance the budget this year, next year, and every year. Not through a Constitutional Amendment that would clog up the courts, but through the resolve of our national leaders and strong pressure from the American people. Our economy will be stronger in the twenty-first century if our grandchildren never even learn the words "federal budget deficit."
But to make that dream a reality will take discipline. Already we see some in Congress trying to turn a much-needed highway and transit bill into a vehicle for more wasteful spending, larding it up until it's bursting with pork and far over budget. Let me be clear: America needs a highway bill. But we do not need a road back to the reckless spending of the past.
Second, we must use these good economic times to tackle tough, long-term economic problems — and that means saving Social Security and Medicare while we have both the means and the will to do it. We've closed the budget deficit — now we must tackle the generational deficit. I don't believe in waiting for the rain to start fixing the roof. Let's do it now, while the sun is shining. Let's reform Medicare and Social Security in the next few years, long before my generation of baby boomers reaches retirement.
For those who doubted that American industry could lead the world again, come to Detroit: the city where hope has defeated fear. Come to Detroit and see why opening markets is good for growth, and good for our workers. Come to Wayne County and see how we are competing and beating the whole world with a unionized workforce. Come to Southeast Michigan and see how business is lighting up our central cities and surrounding communities. Come to this Great Lakes region and see how we can lead the world in commerce, and have sparkling rivers and lakes at the same time.
Economic Club of Detroit
May 8, 1998
I believe people have an inner drive to excel, to make the fullest use of all their talents. When you give them that opportunity, it's like firing a rocket — the energy released is almost explosive. To tap the full potential of the workforce, we should start by getting more power to the frontlines — by asking people what authority they need to do their jobs, and what decisions they should be able to make themselves that are now being made for them by others. Then we need to give them that authority.
Senior Executive Service
May 5, 1998
America's principal mission in human history has always been to advance the cause of liberty and to prove that religious, political, and economic freedom unlock a higher fraction of the human potential than any other way of organizing human society.
We should now acknowledge that America also has a second mission: to prove to the world that people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, of all faiths and creeds, can not only work and live together, but can enrich and ennoble both themselves and our common purpose. Our ability to lead the world toward peace — whether in Northern Ireland, the Balkans, or the Indian subcontinent — will be enhanced by the healing of our own divisions at home.
New York University Commencement Address
May 14, 1998
ASIAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER AMERICANS
As we stand on the threshold of the twenty-first century, it is important to recognize the contributions of those who have helped to assure that America will enter the new millennium as a leader. The unique talents and abilities of Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander ancestry have enriched every sector of American life, including education, the arts, health care, business, and science and technology. Asian and Pacific Islanders provide our country with key leadership and vision in the areas of civil rights, community service, and public policy.
This community has made our nation stronger, more diverse, and more inclusive. Our administration has strived to empower the Asian and Pacific Islander community and will continue working on its behalf.
Statement on Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month
May 24, 1999
ASIAN ECONOMIC CRISIS
The Asian financial crisis that has spread to Russia and now threatens Latin America gives us serious cause for concern. Ninety-five percent of the world's customers live beyond our borders, and no business or nation can live unaffected by the economic fortunes of its customers. As Chairman Greenspan has said, we can't remain "an oasis of prosperity" in such a turbulent world.
Most important of all will be the contribution of Japan. Japan is now in a serious economic recession, the most protracted in its postwar history — and that has had dramatic worldwide impact. Even in the midst of recession, Japan generates nearly three-fourths of Asia's combined GDP (Gross Domestic Product). By achieving strong growth, driven by domestic demand, Japan can provide the spark to restart every economic engine in the region.
The United States welcomes the Diet's decision to make available a significant amount of public funds to strengthen Japan's banks — provided that these funds are used forcefully and with appropriate conditions. But in light of the depth of its recession, we believe it would also be appropriate and beneficial if Japan were to make greater use of the tools of tax cuts and new spending to inject a still stronger fiscal stimulus into the economy
A bold, pro-growth strategy by the leading nations of the world is simply essential if we are to steer the world safely beyond the stormy seas of this global crisis and into the swift and sure current of global economic growth. There is no higher priority for the United States, and I believe we must seize this moment and make it happen.
Transatlantic Business Dialogue, Charlotte Conference
Charlotte, North Carolina
November 6, 1998
Cars have freed the American spirit, and given us the chance to chase our dreams. To quote E. B. White, "Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car."
Economic Club of Detroit
May 8, 1998
Sometimes truth is even stranger than fiction. One of the most bizarre and disturbing consequences of this considerable shipment of waste is the appearance of a new environmental threat called back-hauling. Truckers take loads of chemical waste and garbage in one direction, and food and bulk liquids (like fruit juice) in the opposite direction — in the same containers. In a lengthy report, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer found hundreds of examples of food being carried in containers that had been filled with hazardous waste on the first leg of the journey. Although the trucks were typically washed between loads, the drivers (at some threat to their jobs) described lax inspections, totally inadequate washouts, and the use of liquid deodorizers, themselves dangerous, to mask leftover chemical smells. In 1990, Senators Jim Exon, Slade Gorton, and I joined with Congressman Bill Clinger to pass legislation prohibiting this practice.
But no legislation, by itself, can stop the underlying problem. When one means of disposal is prohibited, the practice continues underground or a new method is found. And what used to be considered unthinkable becomes commonplace because of the incredible pressure from the mounting volumes of waste.
Earth in the Balance
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992
Here are some of the steps we are taking to fulfill our vision, and build a twenty-first century government. Balancing the budget is the first step — not because it's a totem to worship, but because after decades of sheer fiscal recklessness, we Americans need to reaffirm our capacity for self-discipline, our competence in the art of self-government, our ability to control our own destiny and redeem the promise of representative democracy.
You think that's not an important signal to send?
Forget the gold standard — the new economy operates on the information standard. Financial markets around the world make decisions about a government's fiscal policies every day through millions of transactions. If investors think you're playing games with the budget, interest rates climb almost instantly. The future implications of policy changes are judged and acted upon in the present, so reducing the deficit is the most potent way of keeping interest rates in check and freeing capital for new enterprises. Every year the budget is out of balance, our national debt increases. Every dollar we waste through the budget deficit is a dollar that could have been spent preparing this country for the twenty-first century. We can simply no longer afford policies based on secondhand smoke and rearview mirrors.
Excerpted from The World According to Al Gore by Joseph Kaufmann. Copyright © 1999 Joseph Kaufmann. Excerpted by permission of Renaissance Books.
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