Democratic Underground

2004 - It's Not About Gore, It's About Us
June 16, 2001
by Desiree Lindsay

I listen to Senators on TV or radio, as well as Democrats in general, discussing who should be the next Prez, jockeying for position now, because they think Bush is beatable and it's alarming to me. I don't fault the Senators for their ambitions, they have a right to them, but I feel very clear about what we as citizens must do in 2004.

If this was an ordinary election, where the man that the majority of people voted for on November 7th won the White House, then yes, I believe the next term would be fair game for any Democrat that sought the office. But this situation isn't ordinary by any means. This office was stolen by the loser and his very influential and scrupulous, partisans, friends and family.

This is not the first time it's happened. John Quincy Adams was "selected" and beat Andrew Jackson - the popular vote winner. Rutherford Hayes was "selected" and beat Samuel Tilden - the popular vote winner. Benjamin Harrison was "selected" and beat Grover Cleveland - the popular vote winner. The pattern here is pretty clear - in every instance you have a Democratic candidate that won the popular vote, being beaten by a Republican that weaseled his way into the White House. In addition, the cases of John Quincy Adams and Benjamin Harrison ended with the usurper only getting one term and the American People electing the wronged man.

If we follow the same pattern, then of course, I am talking about Al Gore. In past generations, the American people sent the Republican Party a very strong message: "You may have won this battle, but we won't forget and we'll make you pay for thwarting our will," and what better way to do that, than to restore the very person the party used every trick in the book to immorally defeat. And that's exactly what they did.

There were decades, generations, and centuries between incidents, but the American response stayed the same throughout. I believe this is because Americans try very hard to be fair and don't like someone that plays dirty pool - especially when the dirt winds up being smeared all over them. For example, when history portrays us as an electorate that didn't care about the honor and integrity of our political system.

Believe it or not, WE are the ones that are supposed to keep our politicians honest. It start with us, then spreads to the government in general. There is no stronger way to accomplish this than through the electoral process. You go TOO far, we'll kick you out. It sends a strong message to people all over the planet that we will chastise those who we trust to govern competently, who then takes that trust and misuse it. In so doing, we are living up to the standards our founders hoped to inspire in us.

That's why I strongly feel there can be no other choice in 2004 but Al Gore. The seat was rightly his, he needs it returned to him before he could think about giving it away. If we vote for anyone else but him, we lose our integrity as a Democracy and will not be holding our politicians to a higher standard. Future generations will ask "Why'd they sell out like that? Especially when they saw just how much that sellout cost them - AND us!"

And what will we tell them? This goes further than Republicans and Democrats, it speaks to our pride and duty in being good stewards of the legacy left to us by previous American Electorates. They did the right thing then, without any of the resources that we have today, yet I still fear that we won't. Every election for the next four years will be crucial because of one thing: the entire planet watched GWB steal our democracy - AND GET AWAY WITH IT.

And like minds will think alike. Corrupted candidates will say to themselves "Hey, this guy's not all there, not really engaged in politics (despite being President), and illegally trampled all over minorities, the poor, and the disabled, in full view of everyone, and he hasn't gotten caught at all. Why can't I do that?"

THEN, they will try it - no matter the party. We will be looking at corrupt elections every 4 years, while this country's civil rights community goes extinct. Previous generations understood this fact, and acted accordingly, giving us a legacy that's worth holding on to. This is, I think, the reason why the last time someone tried this kind of corruption was an entire century ago and not just a decade, or even several decades. They did not want to risk the "wrath' of the American People.

The American People that, 100 years ago , watched a man make a mockery of the system some fought and died for, by "buying" himself the Presidency - even going so far as to select a slate of electors dedicated to him (sound familiar yet?), then winning the contest by bribery of course, by one electoral vote. After 4 years what did the American people do? They promptly welcomed back the previous candidate, and voted him into office.

Was it embarrassing, not to mention humiliating, for the man that spent a great deal of time and money to maneuver the office for himself, to run against the SAME opponent four years later, and LOSE by a landslide? You're damn right it was. That's exactly why the American Electorate did it in the first place. To send the message, "We'll let you get away with much, but thwarting our will... that's when you've gone too far."

And not another Republican tried it again for over a century. No politician wants that to be their legacy. But it's the legacy George W. Bush deserves.

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