LETTERS TO THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER RE THE U.S. ELECTION
Nov 8, 2000 [The day after the election.]
Whatever the outcome of the Florida vote, America faces a long period of political disruption. Partisanship, which is already at a historical high, will become even greater, and lead to political gridlock. Government, or at least the enacting of new laws, will cease. George Bush, if he is elected, will be a lame duck president before he even takes office.
There is a solution to this morass. Bush should yield the presideny to Gore, on the basis of the overall popular vote, and with the request that the first act of the new congress be to do away with the outdated electoral college. Such an honorable action, which would render the highest level of sacrifice and service to the American people, would set a decisive precedent away from the opposition politics which now characterize our political process. It would set a standard which all of our elected leaders would feel compelled to emulate.
[Note: that day, November 8th, the Inquirer sent me an email saying that they were interested in my letter, and would be it okay to add my email address at the end of it. Not expecting such a response - any response - from them, and since I did not check my email account for some days, I missed my chance to have my views made widespread.]
Nov 13, 2000
Since through my own actions I missed getting my first letter in the Inquirer (I failed to respond promptly to your confirming email), I am sending two additional submissions along. Please feel free to use them as you see fit. [Note: neither of these, or the subsequent letters, were printed.]
In a democratic election the goal is to satisfy the will of the people. Therefore, since the presidential election was so close, it is necessary to devise a procedure to ensure the best possible count. Only through doing this can the public be confident that the election has not been subverted one way or the other.
The requirements which derive from this are, prospectively, twofold:
1. Conduct hand counts, without any time limitation, in those Florida counties where a large number of ballots were invalidated in the machine counting process, and where a hand count will clarify enough of the ballots that the machine rejected such that the election result can be known with certainty.
2. And, if this process is itself inconclusive, have a judicial examination of the disputed Palm Beach County ballot, to determine if the degree to which voters were misled reached a standard whereby they were not culpable (i.e., the problem was systemic), their will had not been implemented, and therefore a re-vote for the county is required
The history of democracy is a history of hand counts. Systems have been developed, in all democratic nations, to ensure that the results of such votes are certifiably accurate. Also, it is common practice in democratic nations for recounts and re-votes to be ordered, to ensure the best possible count (that the will of the people has been determined).
The media, through its reporting on election day, once again has had a negative impact on the final outcome. To counter this, a means should be found to prevent them from forecasting results until all polling stations have closed. For example, the publication of the results of exit polls, and of the extrapolations from such results, should be forbidden until this time.
December 13, 2000
Natural law is the domination of the strong over the weak. The rule of human law is meant to counteract this. The action of the U.S. Supreme Court overruling the Florida Supreme Court is an example of natural law. George W. Bush is an usurper.
December 15, 2000
Is the Inquirer censoring letters that do not support its lets kiss and make up editorial conclusion? Having such a position on the election outcome is absurd. Our democracy failed. Our rule of law failed. The country should be fractured for the next four years. You do not correct a wrong by ignoring it. Bush, the usurper, must be fought every step of the way.
© Roland O. Watson 2001-3