Al Gore on the Jesse Jackson Show

January 11, 1999

Lots of rhetoric and hyperbole has surrounded the impeachment proceedings, but one of the most disturbing comments came from the Vice President. On a recent Jesse Jackson Show, Vice President Al Gore explained that Republican support for impeachment was not due to a desire to uphold the Constitution. It was due, he said, to racism. While Jesse Jackson loved the comments, I think the American people should be appalled.

The Vice President said this: "President Clinton and I have been trying to bridge the historic divide that has come about because of race and ethnicity in this country, and bring about other changes--lifting the poor--that have caused many to feel a little unsettled as old patterns begin to give way." He went on to add that the economic advances of some poor people were "leading many to feel a little unsettled, especially those who have supported different policies."

Well, I think you get the idea. The Vice President was putting the blame on those who feel "unsettled" about the advances of the poor and minorities. Criticizing the President isn't really about a difference in policy, and the impeachment hearings really aren't about presidential character. It's really about those who are fearful of attempts to heal racial and ethnic differences.

Frankly, I hope the Vice President doesn't really believe this. I hope he was just caught up in the moment and said something disingenuous. But I fear he really believes that the criticism of the President's policies and the impeachment proceedings are really about racism and bigotry. If that's true, then the only antidote may be for J.C. Watts to meet with Al Gore and tell him why as an African-American he voted to impeach the President of the United States.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.

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