Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


What if Al Gore were President?

Both Republicans and Democrats are making important strategic errors in the battle for the White House in 2004. Here's what they SHOULD be saying. (26-Sep-03)
Summary If Al Gore were President, we would almost certainly be where we are today: Fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, and suffering from a worsening economy. George Bush is risking becoming a new Herbert Hoover, and the Democrats are risking looking foolish on foreign policy.

What if Al Gore were President?

Things might or might not be any different after 9/11 if Al Gore, rather than George Bush, were President.

Al Gore
Al Gore

Support for the War against Terror is not the same as support for President George W. Bush. Generational Dynamics predicts that Americans will support the war, but history shows that the people will abandon their support for the President if they begin to feel that he's messing things up.

In fact, there is almost no antiwar movement today whatsoever. However, there is a big anti-Bush movement, especially among Democrats.

So let's take a look at what would have happened if Al Gore had become President, and also draw some conclusions about how Republicans and Democrats should be pursuing the 2004 election.

Question: Would President Al Gore have been as militarily aggressive as George Bush?

Answer: Probably more militarily aggressive. Why?

Because Gore's natural opponents (the Republicans) would be goading him and calling him a weak leader unless he was VERY aggressive militarily, while Bush's natural opponents (the Democrats) are restraining him by goading him and calling him a cowboy (and other things).

George W. Bush with Russian President Vladimir Putin
George W. Bush with Russian President Vladimir Putin

Question: Would President Al Gore have ordered an invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11, as Bush did?

Answer: What other response was possible? Of course Gore would have invaded Afghanistan.

Question: Would President Al Gore have ordered an invasion of Iraq?

Answer: The answer has to be "almost certainly." The Clinton administration had a stated policy goal of removing Saddam Hussein from power, and Al Gore would have inherited that goal.

In fact, Gore would almost certainly have invaded Iraq much sooner than Bush did. In early 2002, Republicans were strongly urging Bush to invade Iraq, and Democrats were urging caution. The Democrats won out in the sense that they forced Bush to delay an invasion for a year.

If Gore were President, then both Republicans and Democrats would have been in favor of an invasion, and any delay by Gore would have been attacked by the Republicans as indicating Gore's weakness in foreign policy. Thus, Gore would have been pressured to invade more quickly than Bush.

Question: Would the economy be as bad today under a Gore administration?

Answer: The economy today results from the huge stock market bubble of the late 1990s. The results of that bubble have not yet played out, and the economy is going to get much worse before it gets better. That would also be true if Gore were President.

Question: How can the Democrats win in 2004?

Answer: By replaying the Hoover administration. After the stock market crash of 1929, President Herbert Hoover kept saying that the economic problems would end of their own accord within a year or two. Roosevelt won by pointing out the truth: That the economy was much worse than Hoover claimed.

Question: How can the Republicans win in 2004?

Answer: Same strategy. Right now, the Republicans are making a potentially fatal error by claiming that the economic problems will end of their own accord within a year or two. The Republicans need to find a way to speak the truth: That the economy is much worse than previously claimed.

Question: What about foreign policy in 2004?

Answer: Here it's the Democrats making a potentially fatal error by being too stridently anti-Bush. If America suffers another terrorist attack in the next few months, then the Democrats' hatred of Bush will seriously backfire. For a Democrat to win, he has to be able to say, "Bush was a good, decent military leader, but I can do better."

Remember that Americans today are terrorized and infuriated by the Muslim extremists. Nothing like this has happened since World War II, when Americans were terrorized and infuriated by the Japanese and Germans.

Question: How will the Mideast situation affect the 2004 election?

Answer: The Mideast has been at war for over a decade, and the war has been continually increasing in intensity, and will be a full-scale regional war within a few years. However, the war is below the radar for most Americans. If a larger war erupts, and Bush responds responsibly and aggressively, then he will almost certainly win in 2004.

Question: How will the Korean situation affect the 2004 election?

Answer: The Korean situation is very volatile, as North Korea continues its program of building nuclear missiles, with potential targets in South Korea, Japan, and California. Generational Dynamics predicts that there will be a major war of Korean reunification during the next few years, and that this war will involve Japan and America. If these hostilities begin prior to the election, then Bush will win the election.

Copyright © 2002-2016 by John J. Xenakis.