Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023 |
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I watched some juvenile pundits on CNN’s spin.com show the other night who were attempting to bully a Palm Beach, Fla. man by saying why should the whole country’s election be hung up by one county demanding a revote.
Well, it’s called democracy. One person, one vote. That vote counts. Or it should.
It is easy to condemn other people, to call them stupid and ignorant, as they have been in the escalating war of words. And these people casting the first stone invariably call themselves Christians. Amazing.
The reality is when any of us is deprived of the vote in a systematic way, as appears to have happened in Florida, the election is not fair for any of us.
According to Dan McCrory in the London Times, the FBI is being asked to investigate how thousands of mainly black supporters of Al Gore were given ballot papers that had allegedly already been marked for rival candidates. Democrat officials were examining claims that up to 17,000 ballot papers in the Miami area had been tampered with in what they described as “organized corruption.” Lawyers from across the United States descended on Miami and were busy taking statements from those complaining that they had been cheated or intimidated out of voting for Gore.
The NAACP hearings on CSPAN documented many horrifying stories of abuse and intimidation of black voters at the hands of poll workers and state policemen in Florida. Would-be voters who were denied the right to vote cited names and places. Many were black professionals.
Jesse Jackson was booed off the stage at his own rally in Florida by pro-white, extremist Bush supporters yelling racial slurs. Ninety-nine percent of the black vote in the U.S. reportedly went for Gore. Sounds like the blacks are not buying “compassionate conservatism.” The Republican dirty tricks and misinformation squad is out in full force, spreading lies and confusion and attempting to have its way by turning off decent voters who can’t believe what they read in the corporate-controlled media but have no other source of news.
To those people, I say look inside. Your internal b——t meter will usually tell you when someone is lying to you.
Now are the times when we have to trust our insides and not believe the media when they tell us with phony poll figures that Americans are tired of the election and just want it over, regardless of the fact that many blacks and Jews were denied their vote in Florida. Most Americans realize that democracy is the highest value in our political process and worth the wait.
There are, at the moment, several sources not completely controlled by the Republican spin machine. This could change at any moment as people are threatened into carrying the company line.
They are Dan Rather, www.americanpolitics.com and a few of the TV pundits like Eleanor Clift on the McLaughlin hour and Greta Van Susteren (CNN). Even Mark Shields of PBS has shown some backbone lately in the face of the latest Republican coup attempt.
For the most part, NBC and MSNBC have shown their willingness to parrot even the most outrageous far-right charges and lies without questioning them. Sometimes it seems like TV and even the newspapers have gone mad. No wonder so many people are turning both off, to the detriment of our democracy.
Many people know by now that Republicans can’t win a national election without spreading lies and slander abou their opponents, so they accuse the Democrats of dirty tricks. These distortions and lies serve their purpose, confusing most people to the point where politics seems dirty and they don’t want to participate.
Third-world politicians are looking at this election and pointing fingers at us for these reasons: We have an election where the self-declared winner is the son of a previous leader who was formerly the head of the CIA. His brother is the governor of the state whose votes the election turns on. Widespread voter irregularities and outright ballot fraud are alleged in this state. Blacks and Jews, members of minority groups, were discriminated against in this election.
People around the world are watching to see if we are really a democracy that practices what we preach, or if we are hypocrites who will tolerate an undemocratic coup in our country.
What is happening is an outrage to our democratic process. At the very least, there should be a revote with a readable ballot in Palm Beach County, with supervision by federal marshals. And a serious congressional investigation into what went wrong with the electoral process in Florida under Jeb Bush.
Liz Randol, a freelance writer, lives in the North Shore area.
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