Today marks eight years since our beloved son Jos passed into the great silence. It is hard not to think about what might have been. The career path he would have chosen, the woman he would have married, the children he would have had and above all the joy we all would have had.
However, beyond that, I believe that Jos would have changed history. One of Jos' very good friends was Jano Cabrera . Jano had been assistant press secretary to vice-president Gore and he had been involved in his presidential campaign. It is highly likely that Jano might have invited Jos to join the team. Jos was an excellent writer and could have easily worked on campaign speeches. He had previously worked on a congressional campaign in Alaska. It was during that campaign that Jos became aware of the importance of religion in a campaign. When he returned to college Jos took many courses in political science and also religion. He memorized much of the common biblical verses and could put them into context. He would have been an invaluable asset to Gore's election campaign and with Gore in the White House, history would have been rewritten.
[There you have it. A completely logical and unbiased opinion from Jos' mother.]
She's right. His father retells the story that
Jos Claerbout could have changed world history -- and would have.
The 2000 presidential election was the closest in history. George W. Bush defeated Al Gore by the slimmest, most doubtful margin. Disputes ran for weeks in both the Florida Supreme Court and the US Supreme Court. Religion had returned to American politics as a powerful force.
Back in 1994 Jos organized a campaign for a US congressional candidate in Alaska. Jos and his candidate learned the hard way that religion is not to be discounted in US politics. Jos returned to college to take a road seldom traveled, a major in religion and economics. He memorized biblical verses on both sides of all the hot button topics, abortion, homosexuality, religion in schools, etc. He could disarm the opposition by showing that he understood their point of view -- because he did. Unfortunately Jos was four years ahead of his time. Religion played little role in the 1996 elections. Jos left politics to find his challenges in the dot com boom.
Meanwhile, Jos's closest college friend, Jano Cabrera, then only 24, became assistant press secretary to vice-president Gore. Later Jano worked on Gore's presidential campaign. Had Jos not died in 1999 most likely Jano would have urged him to join the team. Jos was well prepared, an excellent writer, and could have prepared the campaign speeches that made Al Gore admirable in the eyes of many religious people. There's little doubt Jos would have tipped the balance of the presidential campaign of year 2000 boosting Al Gore clearly over George W. Bush. Just think how different the world would be today!
There you have it -- a cogent historical analysis by Jos' mother. She's right! Jos would have changed world history.
Jano speaks"Oddly enough, Jos and I did talk about him joining the political world a few times over -- though not as a staffer."
"I specifically told Jos he should run."
The dot com bust had already begun at the time of his passing. I note the election was 15 months after his passing, so there was plenty of time for him to find reason for a transition -- with being a staffer the first step. Richard Nixon said minds were made up not in the week before the election but in the day before. A single key speech written by Jos would have tipped it the other way.