following article was written on November 30, 2000. Its first
publication was here on this web site in 2003.
I can tell youÖ it is very vanilla and somewhat focused. And by
saying vanilla and focused, I mean that several of the tangents
and explorations that have become a part of my wandering essays
at times are missing here.
saw Mr. Gore on televisionÖ I was insulted about how he presented
his election loss responses as being patriotic in nature and only
driven by his desire to benefit all Americans by realizing their
intentions and right to vote, and in no way did he acknowledge
any of the self-serving reasons so obviously involved (for instance,
that his moving into the Oval Office was part of the deal wasnít
part of itÖ no, his speech offered that he was doing this for
you and me and not at all for himself)Ö I wrote an essay.
not sure itís fair when considering the incident and people involved,
though my opinions havenít changed. Instead, I find it interesting
when considering politics in general. The landscape has changed,
dramatically, and the election noted here might just be where
the turn was fully made.
~ ~ ~ ~
I hadnít seen it all, I really thought the past twenty days had
shown me most of it. A tight election, mistakes by the networks,
a governor related to one of the candidates, and partisan politics
and commentary. Then at approximately 8:50p.m. (EST) on November
29, 2000, Al Gore hit a new level, and it is one that I found
insulting. At least for me, it may ultimately be one of no return.
believe that a strong majority of the nation will agree with one
of the following opinions of mine, and possibly both:
Governor George Bush believes he won the vote in the state of
Florida. But he is fearful of a complete hand recount thinking
that somehow Vice President Al Gore may end up with more votes
in his tally.
Gore believes he won the state of Florida. He needs a new result
in order to win the election, a recounting of votes could provide
such a new result, and he is pursuing such an effort.
believe both of these ideas. I think it is absolutely possible
that both Bush and Gore believe they have won. Despite potential
moments of doubt, that each man feels he has won the state of
Floridaís vote, and subsequently the election.
Monday night though, Gore reminded me of a professional athlete
at a press conference announcing that he had signed for millions
upon millions of dollars while saying it had nothing to do with
said he was pursuing a recount of the votes. His speech indicated
that he was doing it to support the true will of the people. But
there is a problem within that. Do I think he believe he won?
Sure. Do I believe he wants the will of the people addressed?
just say that I would be surprised to learn, though never acknowledged
publicly (of course), that he believes in a fair recount of the
votesÖ right up until he finds himself ten, twenty, thirty or
more votes ahead. At that point, in his view, the will of the
people would have been demonstrated and there would be no need
to continue counting.
not something complex or stunning. Support the results that favor
you. Contest the results that donít. None of us should be surprised.
that athlete not taking the deal because of the moneyÖ that desire
to support the will of the people, but only so far as it provides
the desired personal results.
November 7, 2000, the United States of America held an election
for what is widely considered the most powerful office in the
world. The two men involved, Bush and Gore, have such strong politically
oriented family traditions that the phrase uttered to a ten-year
old childóďsomeday you could be presidentĒówas a realistic career
possibility. In fact, for Gore, this has been a campaign for a
job that he believes his entire life has been destined to obtain.
that much on the line, please donít stand in front of me, pretend
to look me in the eye, and (figuratively) tell me that it isnít
the money. The motivating factor for both of these men is, at
the most basic level, that they want to be president. Which in
turn means that while noble enough to say it out loud, you canít
convince me that either man is truly as interested in the will
and intent of the people as much as they are in occupying the
Oval Office. Iím going to bet that both would do very close to
whatever is necessary to win, even if it means missing a few ballot
boxes along the way.
you want to impress me Mr. Gore, come on television and include
something like this:
November 7, 2000, our country participated in one of its strongest
acts as a democratic society. It takes place only once every
four years, when our citizens join together in voting for our
next president. Throughout my life I have dreamed of serving
the United States as president. I wonít pretend that holding
this position isnít important to me. It is very important to
me personally. And that is part of why I feel that contesting
these election results in Florida is so important. Because I
believe there are still many unanswered questions and inaccuracies.Ē
you can go on and say you want all of us to have our voices heard.
Letís not pretend that isnít part of it. It is. Makes for nice
quotes. But, behind closed doors, I donít believe for a second
it is the top item on your list.
growing tired of daily polls and dry erase boards. Iím tired of
lawyers and protests and lawsuits. And Iím tired of biased individuals
telling me whatís right when they are probably more interested
in future favors being offered to repay their loyalty then they
are in telling me what they actually think or in finding what
is actually right.
Vice President, Iíve listened to them talk about how, having won
the popular vote, you might consider running in 2004 if you eventually
lose this election. But, after Monday night, I know I wouldnít
vote for you even if I thought this election was stolen from you.
I guess every politician can be viewed as willing to stretch any
truth necessary in order to get a vote. In many ways, I expect
politicians to lie to me. (Or at least not tell the full truth.)
But donít tell me the only reason youíre pursuing this is for
me and the rights of every American citizen. Youíre not. Youíre
pursuing this for your dreams. The will of the people is just
a convenient cover.