Green Room

The Dream they Dreamed, Gone By

posted at 10:29 pm on June 1, 2010 by

This picture was taken on May 19, 1970 and it depicts a moment that these two had anticipated for some time. In the years previous, these two had met, dated, fallen in love and courted. Eventually, on a day unknown to us, a young Albert Gore nervously held a ring in his hand while asking the woman he loved to marry him. This is no small thing. One of the most nerve-wracking moments of my life is the moment I dropped to my knee, took a ring out of my pocket and proposed to my now-wife. To this day, I can recall exactly where I was, what the weather was like, the look on my now-wife’s face at the time and how the gravel against my knee felt while I knelt. I’ve been married over a decade now but, to indulge in a cliche, I can remember that moment now as though it was yesterday.

I suspect Al and Mary Elizabeth Gore have reminisced, separately, about the early days of their relationship in recent weeks or months. I have no idea what the Gore marriage was like behind closed doors, but the fact that it lasted 40 years is enough to convince me of their affection and commitment to one another. That it didn’t last surprisingly saddens me. Like Jim Geraghty, I am surprised that a marriage that survived so much is ending at such a seemingly odd time.

Forty years is a long time. I am only slightly younger than the Gore marriage. Despite what I feel about Al Gore politically, I was always impressed by the fact that he and his wife seemed to have a stable, loving relationship. When Gore lip-locked Tipper at the 2000 convention, I thought it was a bit much, but at the same time I could relate. The man had just secured his party’s nomination for president of the United States. He was standing on the stage with the woman he had shared his life with for decades. A little celebration was in order – if there was ever a moment to indulge in affection, that would be it.

When Al Gore lost the presidential election, I rejoiced. His decision to contest the election results was one of the worst and most divisive political moves I have ever seen. Gore put his own disappointment and ambition above the country’s best interest and in doing so, planted the seeds that would eventually blossom into Bush Derangement Syndrome. In 2008, that blossom came to fruition when an unqualified, charismatic senator was elected to the presidency. I believe Al Gore’s petulance helped Barack Obama ascend to the highest office in the land. For that reason alone, Gore’s decision to fight was, and is, highly regrettable.

Despite all of that, I can find no malicious glee in Gore’s marriage troubles, and am disturbed in those who can. As a conservative, I believe in the sanctity of marriage. The ring on my finger attests to that. I believe marriage is sacred, and for that reason, find it inappropriate to feel a strong sense of schadenfreude about the Gore divorce. Frankly, I’ve been a bit disappointed in conservatives who seem to take this divorce too lightly. Divorce is not always the worst choice in a relationship; there are circumstances where it might be the best. However, no matter how much I disagree with Al Gore on almost every issue, I am pro-marriage enough to mourn the death of a 40-year-old relationship.

If marriage is truly sacred, we should be saddened by the end of any that ends when two people grow apart, regardless of who is ending their relationship. I may not agree with Al Gore’s ideology, but I do sympathize with the pain he must feel in ending a marriage that started like any other – with a nervous man on his knee asking a woman to spend the rest of his life with him. A marriage proposal is a moment of pure, undiluted, hope. We should not be callous when that spark of hope goes out, even if we disagree with those who are ending their relationship.

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Comments

Very well said. I’d like to think none of us on the right side of politics would relish in the end of any marriage. Except Lisa Marie and Michael, but, that is for another discussion.

sybilll on June 1, 2010 at 10:57 PM

I married my wife 17 days before the Gores had their wedding. We’re still married despite all the ups and downs we’ve been through. Marriage isn’t easy, especially for the long haul, but the longer you go, the more rewarding it can become. I don’t know what happened to the Gores, but it’s sad.

NNtrancer on June 1, 2010 at 11:00 PM

Maybe Tipper stopped believing in global warming.

Disturb the Universe on June 2, 2010 at 8:59 AM

I have no sympathy for Al Gore or Tipper Gore.

Maybe they stayed married 35 years too long? Everyone wants to give this evil, evil man the benefit of the doubt.

I for one, say good. Let him taste some real pain here on Earth before he’s sentenced to an eternity of it.

This article is exactly what is wrong with conservatism today. Let’s all hold hands and sing songs of peace and love. Screw that. I have no room in my heart for the pathetic couple known as Al and Tipper Gore.

They have simply received their just rewards for living a life as a con-man.

Something tells me that nobody would have this amount of tolerance and compassion for Bernie Madoff’s wife leaving him…

The only difference between Madoff and Gore is prison bars.

This entire episode makes me sick. And not because of a marriage breaking up, but because every conservative in the country wants us to feel sorry for this man.

Not. Going. To. Happen.

uknowmorethanme on June 2, 2010 at 9:57 AM

I have no glee for the end of their marriage.

A “drifting apart” after 40 years is easily fixable and it is sad if they’ve let that destroy their marriage.

But would this piece have been written for the Clintons? What if it turns out one of them is having an affair? Or has had serial affairs for years.
We don’t know them, we don’t know their story. I’m not emotionally invested in their marriage, because I’ve no idea what they did with it while they had it.

MayBee on June 2, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Well, I find it hilarious, and civically salutary. But I have prejudices. It hardly matters that my brother was a classmate of Gore’s — I otherwise grew up immersed in the world of privileged, princely, vain and foolish elites. The faster, harder and more spectacularly they fall –and especially their deranged narcissistic vanguard like the Gores fall — the better for America. For all the damage he’s done, I celebrate his undoing.

His greatest legacy to America may be his personal collapse, and the lessons therein. One wonders how America will recover from the destructiveness of the elite political class over the past few decades. But maybe this is the way — through their public humiliations and setbacks. But call me “disturbed.”

rrpjr on June 2, 2010 at 10:17 AM

I for one, say good. Let him taste some real pain here on Earth before he’s sentenced to an eternity of it.

This article is exactly what is wrong with conservatism today.

uknowmorethanme on June 2, 2010 at 9:57 AM

That seems slightly extreme. Perhaps this is what’s wrong with politics today, people who have far too much emotional (and apparently religious, given your statement) zeal invested in it to think clearly.

I don’t view conservatives (perhaps I’m biased, being one) as heartless, callous, and completely unforgiving individuals, nor do I think that’s what they should strive to be. I guess that’s where you and I differ.

Heralder on June 2, 2010 at 11:53 AM

I forgot the blockquotes at the beginning of my post, sorry.

Heralder on June 2, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Thief of billions in wealth from the world. It should be cheered that he does not have his wife to back up his crimes.

PrezHussein on June 3, 2010 at 3:22 AM