August 17, 2000. Doesn’t seem that long ago, in retrospect. But what happened in the intervening years probably changed the world a few times over.
On August 17th, 2000, vice-President and Presidential candidate Al Gore addressed the delegates at the Staples Center, and the rest of the world listening in and watching.
Al Gore: “Tonight, I ask for your support on the basis of the better, fairer, more prosperous America we can build together.
Together, let’s make sure that our prosperity enriches not just the few, but all working families. Let’s invest in health care, education, a secure retirement, and middle class tax cuts.
I’m happy that the stock market has boomed and so many businesses and new enterprises have done well. This country is richer and stronger.
But my focus is on working families – people trying to make house payments and car payments, working overtime to save for college and do right by their kids… Whether you’re in a suburb, or an inner-city… Whether you raise crops or drive hogs and cattle on a farm, drive a big rig on the Interstate, or drive e-commerce on the Internet… Whether you’re starting out to raise your own family, or getting ready to retire after a lifetime of hard work.
So often, powerful forces and powerful interests stand in your way, and the odds seemed stacked against you — even as you do what’s right for you and your family.
How and what we do for all of you – the people who pay the taxes, bear the burdens, and live the American dream — that is the standard by which we should be judged.
And for all of our good times, I am not satisfied.
To all the families in America who have to struggle to afford the right education and the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs –
I want you to know this: I’ve taken on the powerful forces. And as President, I’ll stand up to them, and I’ll stand up for you.
To all the families who are struggling with things that money can’t measure – like trying to find a little more time to spend with your children, or protecting your children from entertainment that you think glorifies violence and indecency –
I want you to know: I believe we must challenge a culture with too much meanness, and not enough meaning. And as President, I will stand with you for a goal that we share: to give more power back to the parents, to choose what your own children are exposed to, so you can pass on your family’s basic lessons of responsibility and decency.
The power should be in your hands. The future should belong to everyone in this land.”
And three months later it was about hanging chads and recounts and SCOTUS jumping into the act.
How times have not-much changed.
Here is the complete acceptance speech by vice-President Al Gore, as delivered at Staples Center in L.A. on August 17, 2000.