I love Al Gore. I really, really do. I always have. Since long before it was cool. Reading both his speech from Monday and StealthBadger's excellent report gave me the total happy giggles. But I'm a wonk, an egghead, an intellectual. So is Gore. We grok.
But as I was enjoying the speech for myself the practical side of my brain knew that it wouldn't appeal to the "average American." I mean, I keep the Word of the Day on my blog so that I can scroll down to it and reassure myself that I almost always know it, and he used some words that I had to look up. They were, of course, perfectly accurate in their meaning down to the most precise shading and historical usage. But my joy in such a thing (a leader whose intelligence and accuracy are great enough for me to admire) was probably rare. I was reminded of a famous exchange during Adlai Stevenson's run for President. During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Mr. Stevenson "Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!" Stevenson called back "That's not enough, madam, we need a majority!"
So while appreciating Gore's MLK Day speech for myself I was also reminded that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a communication genius whose "I Have a Dream" speech has echoed in the soul of America for over thirty years. Mr. Gore, wonderful impassioned wonk that he is, has informed us. Now can he make us dream?