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Master of deceit

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Al Gore scares me. His agenda scares me. His dead-on Frankenstein's monster take at the last debate scares me. But what scares me most is his willingness to say or do anything for a vote. In this, he is just like Bill Clinton.

Gore has fibbed about all sorts of things. The Buddhist temple fundraiser. His mother-in-law's medicine. Love Canal. Love Story. Inventing the Internet.

But Gore doesn't just change the facts. He changes positions like some people change wardrobes.

Now on the pro-abortion fringe, Gore once was pro-life, writing in 1984 that "innocent human life must be protected."

Now a nut for gun control, Gore in 1986 said it wasn't "an effective solution to the [problem] of violent crime."

Now an anti-smoking zealot, Gore touted his tobacco-farming roots in 1988: "I've hoed it, I've dug in it, I've sprayed it, I've chopped it, I've shredded it, spiked it, put it in the barn and stripped it and sold it."

Now a gay-rights booster, Gore told a 1981 audience homosexuality "is wrong" and "not just another normal optional lifestyle."

Now opposed to George W. Bush's plan to let workers invest a portion of their Social Security taxes in the stock market, Gore advocated the same approach just last year.

While all politicians try to put their efforts in the best light possible, Clinton has been all spin all the time. His protégé promises more of the same.

Gore may have been true to his wife, but he hasn't been true to his word or any guiding principle beyond pandering. "I keep my word," Gore boomed in the final debate, but he doesn't.

A victory for Gore would be a mandate for Clintonism, for four more years of falsehoods and pandering, of words trumping deeds and spin flattening truth. And that scares me.

Why? Because, despite the contrary consensus of media and academic elites, we need a president we can trust. He leads America, after all, not just the government. And, like it or not, he sets a moral tone for the nation.

When a president has no core of conviction, no center of integrity, citizens become more cynical, jaded, hardened. And they lose sight of America's enduring promise.

All the warning signs were there with Clinton, yet a plurality of voters twice ignored them. Surely, after eight years, we have had our fill of Clintonism. I know I have.

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