on the Selection
August 25, 2001
I was born in the middle 30s in the deep South. The worst
of the Depression was over, but it was still pretty bad. Those
were the days when if you had a job it was 12 hours a day
- six days a week; seven often. If you were lucky you made
a dollar a day. Most of the time there was no work in the
summer time. I was a baby when my parents came to Florida
to work in the citrus industry. They had lost their farm.
At least back then you could fish for free, pick oranges,
grow a little garden if you could afford seed.
Many times all we had to eat was grapefruit from the groves.
Somehow the fish just wouldn't bite, I suppose saying "They
can eat grapefruit! Give us a break!" Sometime the fish did
bite and oftentimes they were cooked in water. The water had
to be coaxed out of the ground by a hand pump. There were
no lights, no indoor bathroom, no washing machines, you name
it - no nothing. Many houses had dirt floors and very leaky
roofs. Transportation was by foot.
My father had one pair of shoes - wired together. Once when
he had worked all day in the sun they fell apart as he was
walking home. He had no underwear. My mother sewed panties
by hand for me made out of flour sacks. We did have a milk
cow that was unfortunately bitten by a rattle snake.
My people had a strong work ethic. They loved to work. FDR
was their hero. They were excited when he was able to get
Social Security passed. In those days my grandmothers who
were widows of farmers had no income, no choice of where to
live. They lived wherever they could.
These are just a few of my memories.
Growing up my father was an influence on my interest in politics.
He was a staunch Democrat who called Eisenhower Eisenhoover.
The Presidential elections are my emotional connection to
him. This last pre-election I had watched the "news". I was
constantly told that nobody liked Al Gore - he just wasn't
likeable. I liked him; I knew others that liked him. But day
after day reporters who had a reputation as liberals, such
as Cokie Roberts and her husband, told me that Al Gore just
These same "liberal" reporters also told me that Bush was
so charming, so likeable, so warm. Sorry, I just didn't see
it. Today, I certainly don't see it.
I watched however. I had watched Fox for several months till
I just couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't handle the overbearing
Hannity, the slick Ollie North, the Judith Regan wondering
what to tell her daughter about Clinton, and O'Reilly - oh
well. Then there is Chris Mathews - oh well again. It's like
listening to Rush on the radio - enough is enough.
I watched the election mostly on CNN. What a farce, but less
so than the other networks. When they called the election
for Bush, I was talking with my friend and we as Christians
said we would have to pray for him since that is in the Bible.
However, when the call for Florida became unsure and all the
shenanigans that Bush and his consorts pulled, I stand with
Dick Gregory who said, "My Mama said don't pray for a thief
till he gets caught." I take that to mean apprehended and
I watched everything I could including the farcical trial
before the last Florida Supreme Court hearing. You know, Judge
Sauls, that had the ballots sent to Tallahassee. I was so
happy when the State Supreme Court said to count the ballots.
They were being counted, and it wouldn't have taken much longer.
Then the kick in the stomach. The United States Supreme Court
said to stop counting.
It still hurts. I, and others I know, could have accepted
a count even if it had gone for Bush. But this was The Selection,
and still many don't care if many voters were misled, outcast,
locked out of voting, much less the ones that weren't counted.
I am grateful to the NAACP for their hearing about voters
problems here in voting - not just Blacks. It was a well-ordered
hearing with attorneys, teachers, ministers, etc. who had
problems. One voter went to a voting place that had been torn
down. Others had no places to park.
I am grateful to the Black Caucus in Congress for their elegant
protestations to declaring Bush the winner. I am grateful
to them for their continuing support of the common people.
I am grateful to the Equal Employment Commission for their
investigation of voters rights violations. Now, I am grateful
to Alan Dershowitz and to Vincent Bugliosa for expressing
and explaining their views on the Selection in book form.
Florida Democrats aren't necessarilly liberal. Remember Bob
Crawford our Democratic Secretary of Agriculture was a supporter
of Bush. He appeared on many shows, including Larry King,
to inform the public that it was settled. It was over - Bush
was President. Soon Bob Crawford resigned from public office
and went to work in Lakeland.
Many Democrats down here have changed to the Republican party,
and many are on the verge of changing. When John F. Kennedy
was running for President none of our Southern Democrats would
support him, nor would they want to be caught in the same
room with him, just because he was Roman Catholic. Many relatives
and friends of mine voted for Nixon rather than voting that
Roman Catholic in. When Kennedy came out for civil rights,
that reinforced their belief that they should not support
When Kennedy was assassinated, a high-school teacher in tears
announced the death to his students. To his horror they stood
up and applauded. This was told by the teacher to my father.
Before the election I had feelings that Cheney was probably
an evil person, and remember Christians are supposed to be
known by the fruit they bear. Bush can say he is a Christian,
but is he? And Florida's Governor, well that's another story.
He does what he wants and gets bills passed that are subtly
changing our way of life down here. As he says, "Get their
asses out of here".