I guess there are different ways to look at it. Some folks have said that if you didn’t vote, then you don’t have an excuse to gripe about government. There was a time when I probably would have been guilty of making that same remark. No more. For this presidential election I openly advocated a “no vote” as a vote for “no confidence” in either of the candidates presented by the two major parties.
While not everyone agrees with my assessment of the disparaged condition of our fading democracy, neither do many view the issues in this election as the stuff of monumental historic making crisis either. My perspective says that both candidates are essentially cast from the same mold, and therefore while we will take one path or the other, we are still headed to the wrong conclusion, regardless of who captures the Oval Office and wields the helm. My perspective also says that there are some monumental historic making crisis issues that ought to have been the substance of this campaign, election 2000, and were not.
All that having been duly noted, I have to wonder how the resurgent Median empire has managed to make such a big episode (it is the year 2000 after all I suppose) out of what really should have been a simple process in the venerable state of Florida to begin with. I was so disinterested in the election that I didn’t even bother to tune in on election night. Just imagine how my surprise the next morning and in the coming days grew into astonishment and genuine disbelief when the routine recount in Florida, mandated by law, ballooned prima facie into an International crisis with the survival of the free world hanging in the balance.
And really, who cares? Except for George and Al, who really is very deeply concerned with which one goes to Washington after the farce is decided? It’s not that the election of a president isn’t important. It is that the process was already so convoluted and out of touch with the will and well being of the people that by the time we got to Election Day, what the hell did it really matter anyway?
I admit, I have my preference. There just isn’t any circumstance where I could see myself voting for Al Gore. If I had been forced to vote, it would have been for George Bush. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t actually go to the booth, step in and pull the lever (or punch the chad as the case might have been) for either one, unless there had been a shower head installed so I could rinse off before I pulled open the curtain and left. My conscience wouldn’t allow it.
So, what’s the answer? The honorable answer is revolting to me. Al Gore won the popular vote. No one disputes whether he will still have won the popular vote once the tallies are complete. As badly as I would hate to see Al Gore as president, the only honorable, and responsible, answer to the equation is for Governor George W. Bush to concede.
If Bush does win by virtue of carrying the Electoral College, then the strength of his platform will be severely diminished. He certainly will have a difficult time convincing me that he has a good idea of what appropriate responsibility and consequences will be under his dynasty. Is it responsible to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to recount the (non) election? Is it responsible to undermine the Electoral College, when in fact it does serve a useful purpose in shifting some weight to less populous states? Is it responsible to tie up the court system in an attempt to win the Oval Office through legal maneuvering? Is it responsible to expose the American democratic system as being weak and confused to the rest of the world?
I have already stated that George W. Bush’s agenda is tantamount to the initiation of communist policy. This is the year 2000. This is the beginning of a new millennium. The importance of the beginning of this new era is punctuated by the end of the Apollo era. Arguably there has never been, nor will there ever be a more important and relevant period in human history. If Bush takes office without the blessing of the popular will of the people, at this singularly rare moment in history, what message will that send to the world, and our future generations about our commitment to democracy and freedom?
George, you might win the battle. Will it be worth losing the war and ushering in the communist responsibility error?
©2000, 2012 – Jim Casey
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