As we approach the election there are a few more questions I wish you would answer for us, Mr. Gore.
You dispute Gov. Bush's charge that you are a big-government guy and point to your notorious "reinventing government" initiative as Exhibit A. Do you really think the raw size of the government bureaucracy is as accurate a measure of government largesse and intrusiveness as government spending and regulations? Or do you believe the average swing voter is too dense to grasp the difference?
While we're on the subject of your government reinvention, will you concede that more than 70 percent of the government jobs you cut were defense department positions? Does that fact undermine your claim to be a friend of the military?
Do you truly believe that it is improper for George Bush to have alerted the public to the disturbing problems with our military readiness? Or do you think it's more responsible to conceal the facts so as to reduce the likelihood that corrective action can be taken to shore up our national defenses?
Do you agree with President Clinton's 1999 State of the Union proposal to invest 15 percent of Social Security funds in the stock market? Or do you believe your campaign rhetoric that such plans as Clinton's and Gov. Bush's are risky schemes? Do you suppose Bill Clinton really didn't mean what he said about this either, but thought it would make a great applause line like his promise to make abortions safe, legal and rare?
Speaking of Social Security, do you have any plan whatsoever to restore its long-term solvency, other than to permanently subsidize it out of general revenue? Don't you think it's high time that you followed George Bush's lead in mustering the political courage to tackle this entitlement head-on, rather than demagoging the issue by scaring the elderly?
Since world history teaches that appeasement doesn't promote peace why have you and Bill Clinton pressured Israel to give up so much real estate to a people committed to its destruction?
Why won't you level with the American people about your actual position on partial-birth abortion? Why do you pretend to oppose it except to protect the mother's health when you know the mother's health is rarely, if ever, an issue with these abortions? Can you honestly tell us that you are not in favor of this specious exception swallowing the rule?
If you are so committed to education how can you in good conscience keep minority children trapped in inner city schools by opposing school choice? Does your bondage to teachers' unions compel you to prevent competition in education with the goal of making literacy, science and math safe, legal and rare?
If elected, which economic plan would you implement: the extravagant one laid out in your campaign or the even more ambitious Global Marshall Plan detailed in your scary book? The spending in your campaign plan would bust the budget by some $700 billion dollars, but it pales in comparison to the spending that would be required by your Marshall plan.
Even more importantly, no matter which irresponsible economic plan you ultimately decide upon, how would either scheme allow you to fulfill your promise to continue our prosperity? Since you and Bill Clinton subscribe to the discredited economic theory that lower deficits lead to lower interest rates, which lead to economic growth, how do you plan on sustaining prosperity when either of your grandiose plans would obliterate the deficits and thus thwart your prosperity designs?
Do you believe that a hate-crimes law would have prevented the death of James Byrd or that more gun laws would have prevented the Columbine murders?
Do you believe in capitalism? Or does it rank down there with school vouchers: you'll try it only if nothing else works?
Would you continue to circumvent the Senate's constitutional role of advice and consent by using obscure and inapplicable statutes to appoint people to serve in important government positions, such as Bill Lann Lee to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division?
Would you reappoint Janet Reno as attorney general or someone else whose primary responsibility would be to serve your political interests rather than the interests of justice and the rule of law?
In the interests of good sportsmanship, I'm not even going to ask you about the iced tea defense or controlling legal authorities.