By the time I had finished this book, Al Gore not only did Live Earth but also got the NOBEL price. Wow! the man surely gets recognition. And it’s no wonder. His last book « The Assault on Reason » is a nice attack on our current administration as well as a reminder that a lot of things are wrong in this country.
I was mostly taken by the chapter on the power of television and its manipulative side. Gore explains things in a very interesting way and backs it with scientific studies. I was happy to note that, finally, somebody takes a stand against this powerful media’s distorting effect. The point Al Gore is making is that television has changed millions of people into passive sheeps who have lost any critical reasoning and will accept any kind of propaganda they are being served. The fact that this nation has become so apathetic to what the Bush administration is doing should be a clue. The fact that they are still Americans who want to connect Saddam Hussein with Osama Bin Laden because they been fed this false information for the last few years, should be another clue.
Another interesting point of the book is his discussion on the « check and balance » of our constitution and trying to understand why this administration is getting away with it. Of course, we have seen above the brainwashing of television on the general population. Next, we have a growing tendency towards theocracy and the loss of separation between church and state the way the Founders wanted it. Gore argues that this administration has blurred the line between the two. And he is right. Never in the history of this country have we seen such a threat of growing Christian right extremism on our nation’s policies. Add that to the powers of multinational corporations, and you have fascism (that is my own personal conclusion). Al Gore quotes John Adams: « The United States is not a Christian nation any more that it is a Jewish or Mohammedan Nation. » He notes that our media is made up of « propagandists pretending to be journalists.[…] call it the Limbaugh-Hannity-Drudge axis. » And he also shows how this extremism filled media and its appointed politicians manage to sink in into people’s private lives (he recalls the Terri Schiavo case and others).
But I think the most powerful statement of the book is that this country is turning into a fascist state (fascism = politics + big corporations) and Mr. Gore does a great job at deconstructing every aspect.