Was the Presidency
Stolen from Gore?
political chaos surrounding the contest between George W. Bush and Al Gore for the U. S. Presidential office was an example
of a democratic system in bankruptcy.
When the carnival was over, Mr. Bush was declared a winner by default. Amid all
of the "legal" rhetoric spewing from lawyer's mouths and pages of writings by the high court judges in both Florida and Washington,
the basic question . . . who got the most votes . . . was skillfully hidden behind the magic of smoke and mirrors.
before the smoke cleared, however, a team of interested journalists, led by the Miami Herald, still had their eyes on the
target. They, like most thinking Americans, were not thwarted from wanting to know who really won the election. The newspapers
used the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to the stack of disputed ballots left uncounted by the archaic punch card
The Herald hired a professional accounting firm to objectively examine an estimated 60,000 electronically
discarded ballots in all 67 of Florida's counties. While the "unofficial count" remains a long and slow process expected to
continue for weeks, the first counting has turned up enough evidence to show that it may have been Gore, not Bush, who carried
The first votes tallied in Lake and Broward Counties by the end of the year pushed Gore ahead of Bush by
an estimated 140 votes, a UK news report stated. The story said the Gore lead is expected to soar as the counting continues
into the new year and the hotly contested "lost" ballots from the Miami area are included in the unofficial count.
yet a separate experiment, the Miami Herald hired a team of political analysts and pollsters to make a statistical calculation
based on projections of votes by each county. The study determined that Gore may have won the state by some 23,000 votes.
was the very thing the Republican controlled leadership of Florida, and I suspect the conservative judges on the bench of
the U. S. Supreme Court, did not want Americans to hear during those crucial days before the electoral college sat down to
officially select our next president. That George W. Bush's brother, Jeb Bush, serves as governor of Florida, only makes the
sequence of events appear more suspicious. With skilled precision, the Bush legal teams and the state's Republican cronies
outflanked Gore's lawyers and consequently gave Florida's electoral college votes exclusively to Bush. If it stands unchallenged,
that move will decide one of the closest presidential elections in American history.
There was a brief challenge, however.
Alcee Hastings, Corrinne Brown and Carrie Meek, all members of the Congressional Black Caucus, tried at the last moment to
use a little known law to question the legality of Florida's electoral college votes.
If they could have gotten at
least one member of the U. S. Senate to join them, the three could have forced both the House and the Senate to consider the
challenge. The federal code allows a simple majority vote in both houses to uphold such a challenge. The decision would have
been final, and overruled the Supreme Court. They failed to get that one senate vote, however.
That Bush is now our president does not mean he
was the voter's choice. A New York Times story on Dec. 29 said a state-by-state survey by the Associated Press of the final
certified election results showed Gore enjoyed a 539,947 popular vote lead over Bush. In other words, a half million more
voters in the US chose Gore over Bush.
The problem with all of this is that Mr. Bush now assumes the top job of a nation
obviously divided in political ideologies. That both the House and Senate are split almost evenly between party lines promises
four years of political infighting. In spite of his careful selection of an impressive lineup of advisors and cabinet members,
Mr. Bush may find himself an ineffective president. Anything he accomplishes may have to be done by executive order.
asked on the street, many Americans seem indifferent about just which man actually wins the White House. There is an old saying
that it never matters if a Republican or Democrat is in leadership, things seem to continue along just the same. But there
are some basic differences between Mr. Bush and Mr. Gore that I believe could have a deep and lasting impact on the future
of this nation.
Gore, although proclaimed separated from the Clinton Administration, probably would have continued
the party's philosophy of diplomacy rather than using guns and bullets to resolve political and ideological differences. In
spite of his shortcomings, President Clinton tried during every moment of his tenure to bring about world peace. He sought
it in Ireland, the Balkans, Africa, Russia, Korea, China and the Middle East.
There are indications in recent months
that the leaders of many world nations are serious about finding peaceful solutions to these conflicts. A ship recently brought
a delegation of politicians from Taiwan to China to discuss ways of resolving the discord that has separated these two Chinese
nations since the days of World War II. The leaders of both Israel and the Palestinians are desperately attempting to work
out a last-ditch peace package before Clinton leaves office. The leaders of North and South Korea met last year to make peace
gestures for the first time in over 50 years.
Now comes the new Bush Administration. This president will be flanked by such military-minded advisors
as his vice president elect Dick Cheney (former secretary of defense under President George Bush), General Colin Powell who
once headed the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Donald Rumsfeld, former US ambassador to NATO and former secretary of defense to
President Gerald Ford.
Bush is making it clear to the world that he was dead serious when he promised to rebuild the
U.S. military. He also is indicating a willingness and to do battle with any nation that dares to violate our sovereignty
or threaten terrorism. The diplomacy philosophy of the Clinton era seems to be coming to an abrupt end. Whether right or wrong,
this indicates a major shift in the US foreign policy.
Most troubling is the Bush plan to dismantle all of the work
the Clinton-Gore Administration accomplished on behalf of the world's sick environment. Government litigation pending against
the big electric companies that expanded coal burning plants and ignored government clean-air standards could be dropped if
Christine Todd Whitman wins the Bush appointment as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
tenure as governor of New Jersey, she cut the budget for state environmental protection by about 30 percent, relaxed enforcement
of pollution regulations and declared she was keeping her state "open for business."
Gale Norton, the Bush pick for
Secretary of the Interior, has already indicated she supports the Bush plan to open "sensitive areas" for oil and gas drilling.
She said she believes her office would find ways "to develop our natural resources in a balanced an environmentally friendly
Mr. Bush will obviously be pressed by ranchers, lumber companies and other private interest groups angry about
Bill Clinton's use of executive order to set aside billions of acres as protected national wilderness. And he will have the
power to issue new executive orders, reopening these lands to public use once again.
Bush stated during his campaign
that he does not believe there is enough proof that global warming is a real threat. Instead of following the Gore plan to
search for alternative earth-friendly energy sources, Bush advocates opening new oil and gas wells and providing all of the
organic energy fuels Americans want. In other words, it is going to be business as usual.
In contrast, Gore is a well-known
environmentalist. He has been a leading voice in the world movement to press for clean air standards and reduce toxic greenhouse
gas emissions. He was the world's best hope for saving our dying planet.
Our decision in Election 2000 will, indeed,
have a lasting impact on our children and our grandchildren. If we don't change the direction we are moving, these children
may live out their short lives in air purified buildings, wear face masks to walk out of doors, and feed on foods like algae
grown in enclosed tanks within their homes.
I believe the problem is so severe, the next generation may be the last
humans to ever walk on the face of this dying planet.