It exults over the dismantling of the federal welfare program and vows to continue waging war on the poor by cracking down on "food stamp fraud". It offers new funding to the military and law enforcement. Last year's aerial bombardment of Serbia is offered as a template for Gore's own brand of cruise missile diplomacy. It promises to pump $60 billion-plus into Star Wars.
The platform unwaveringly supports the federal death penalty and boasts that Clinton and Gore have "expanded the death penalty for 60 crimes". It brags about the passage of a federal "three-strikes-you're-out law", and Gore's role in securing legislation that "places limits on appeals". It offers $14 billion in grants to states for expanding their prisons, already overflowing with victims of the "war on drugs".
It wages war on schoolteachers who fail new standardized testing, offering quick termination, apparently with little recourse to appeal. Schools that fail similar tests will be closed. And it endorses "private religious expression in the classroom".
The environment fares no better. (Surprised?) It offers an energy plan giving huge tax breaks to natural gas producers. It promises to find a way of "protecting the environment without trapping business in a tangle of red tape" (such as the Endangered Species Act?) that inconveniences corporate pillagers.
You think Gore's platform is bad?
Gore's Record in Office
He's pushed for mandatory sentencing, "sufficiency language" to destroy the northwest forests, denial of cheap generic drugs to fight AIDS in South Africa, continuing sanctions against Iraq, and the bombing of Serbia.
After Occidental Petroleum Corporation contributed $470,000 in soft money to Clinton/Gore, he helped to pass the Defense Appropriations Bill in 1996 which approved the sale of the military's largest strategic fuel reserve to Occidental, of which he owns $500,000 in stock - the largest act of corporatization in US history.
He has helped to pry open (for oil drilling) the largest expanse of undeveloped terrain on the Arctic plain. In the 1970's, he supported every dam project of the TVA, including the Tellico Dam.
In 1996, he urged Clinton to sign the Welfare Reform Bill over the opposition of virtually the whole Cabinet. The consequence: 2.6 million people (nearly half of them children) were thrown into direct poverty, and 14 million people on welfare were put on a three-year limit.
For most of his Congressional career, he earned an 84% rating from the Right To Life movement. He supported the Hyde Amendment which banned federal funding for abortions for poor women. He has referred to homosexuals as "abnormal", opposes full rights for gays in military service, and opposes civil unions. In 1980, he voted to prohibit the Legal Services Corporation from assisting homosexuals whose rights were denied because of their sexual orientation.
In August, 100 of the most respected American grassroots environmental leaders from 25 states formed the ad-hoc Environmentalists Against Gore to urge all environmentalists to vote for Nader. The group issued the following statement:
"If a candidate wins the Presidency by pretending to care deeply about an issue, when he and the whole world know that he doesn't really care, then that issue stops being important in American politics. For Americans who care about the quality of our environment, the one thing we cannot afford to do in this election is give our votes to Al Gore, a man who has betrayed his own vision and our only Earth."
Signers included: David Brower, Randy Hayes, Ronnie Cummins, Tracy Katelman, Don Kegley, Gar Smith, Meca Wawona, and dozens of others.
Gore's Veep choice - Joe Lieberman - is even scarier! In the words of Bush's campaign staff: "From Social Security reform to missile defense, tort reform to parental notification (regarding abortion), and from school choice to affirmative action, Gore has chosen a man whose positions are more similar to Bush's than to his own."
Copyright Mendocino Environmental Center 2000
Permission granted to excerpt or use this article if source is cited