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The hypocrite or the hysteric?

American voters will be asked to choose between a hypocrite and a hysteric for president

By Jonathan Rauch   December 1999

Every politician worth voting for harbours something embarrassing in his past, something which raises questions about his suitability for the top job. For Texas Governor George W Bush, that something is the suspected-and not denied-use of cocaine or some other drug, probably more than 20 years ago. For Vice-President Al Gore, the something is Earth in the Balance, his apocalyptic 1992 book on the environment.

Assume, for argument’s sake, that Bush is a former cocaine user. Which is the greater disqualification for the presidency: having snorted cocaine or having written Earth in the Balance? This is a difficult question. Seriously.

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