Al Gore is worried about “alternative facts,” “disinformation campaigns,” and “intentionally falsified information.” At least he says so in a new and updated edition of The Assault on Reason, his decade-old book on how Democrats tell the truth and Republicans don’t. In the paperback version published last week, Gore adds that since President Trump’s election, a “feeling of unease about our democracy has deepened considerably.”
My own feeling of unease also has deepened, but mostly over the former vice president’s ongoing struggles with the truth.
When The Assault on Reason originally came out in 2007, Gore blasted money in politics and quoted Abraham Lincoln:
I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign . . . until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands.
The passage continues: “I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.”
It’s a doozy of a quote from one of America’s great statesmen, foreshadowing concerns about capitalist greed that have animated progressives such as Gore from the early years of the 20th century to Bernie Sanders’ Twitter feed.
It’s also fake — and Gore knows it.