Gore: Invalid Ballots are votes for Me!
By Stephanie Therriault
December 15, 2000
The "intent" of every county canvassing board was to count all ballots cast using the (out-moded, yet non-partisan) voting machines. Ballots incorrectly cast were not valid to be counted. Gore's proclamation that a certain number of votes were ignored is preposterous and is one lie of many he's spoken in the name of "democracy". One person, one vote. A person can only vote for ONE candidate and is responsible to punch completely through. The directions are clear. Anyone who didn't follow those directions ran the risk of having their ballot rejected and thus their "vote" not counted. That's a responsibility borne solely by the voter. To ask the county canvassing boards to imbibe non-existent psychic powers to divine an irresponsible voter's "intent" is comical.
On the other hand, absentee military ballots were summarily targeted by Gore first, his attorneys second, for rejection on any means possible. Gore pretends to be concerned that every vote should count. If he truly meant it, he should NOT have authorized his lawyers to instruct counties on how to reject military votes and he should have immediately joined Bush's lawsuit to have them counted in accordance with federal law (which overrules state law in this case). Where was Gore's concern for the military's right to vote? He, himself, never once has come forward in defense of the military he so longs to command. Vice Presidential Candidate Lieberman comments as a matter of Public Relations control to count military votes. Attorney General Butterworth suggested that counties re-look at them. Neither man offered a mandate to do so. Even so, where was Al? Military ballots had all sorts of valuable information to clarify their "intent" without using the psychic friends network. These ballots had names and addresses. However, it really wasn't about their choice for President was it, Mr. Gore?
Yet, it's okay to bend over backward to harvest votes for Gore using invalid and under voted ballots? In Gore's dream it is. A ballot without a clear punch and dislodge of the "chad" is not a VALID vote or it may actually be a non vote. Yes, Mr. Gore, there are people out their that dislike Bush as much as you and chose NOT to vote for president at all. A vote with two punches for president is not a valid ballot either. No matter how much Gore wishes it were otherwise in all these cases. These "questionable" ballots cannot and MUST NOT be counted. And to say that someone didn't have the strength to punch through, as Bob Kerry has asserted, is absurd! And even if this was true, there were poll workers available for assistance. There is no excuse for irresponsible voters. To attempt to give invalid ballots equal measure as valid ones is nonsense.
So every time I watch Gore speak to values of democracy and to the great ideal that every vote count, I have to laugh. Yet, what he's attempting to do is no laughing matter. Bush has been certified through a legitimate count of all valid ballots. He IS the President Elect. Gore seeks to overturn a valid, legitimate, certified count of the votes in Florida in the courts to (in effect) declare himself the President Elect. He's not truly acknowledging the voters of Florida who, by a slim margin, voted for Bush. Gore is under this delusion that he won, yet there is not factual, legitimate basis for that assumption. In every count that was done, Bush remained in the lead: NEVER once did Gore overtake him. The manual counts focused on three heavily democratic counties run by democratic officials yet they failed to produce enough "votes" for Gore. Because of that, Gore is infuriated and has targeted these same democratic counties with lawsuits. In essence, he's attacking his own. Where's the justification in that?
Gore's five minute public appeal to the American people last night was nothing but more of the same. Gore's use of rosy, symbolic rhetoric to house his hollow reasoning for contesting the election was overshadowed by his divisive language and outright lies. Right off the bat, he does not refer to the voting population as a united American public, but rather as rich vs. poor, weak vs. strong, etc. Even though he speaks about these polarized groups in the context of all their votes being equal (and valid votes are) under the law, he chose to categorize people in opposition of each other. This is something he's been known to do for some time now. This view of the American public flies in the face of his comment of "bringing the country together" (if he won. Which he DIDN'T.). How can he be believed when he's a consistent proponent of class, racial, and gender warfare?
Gore and his cronies (which includes Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson) have orchestrated this legal mess that we, as a country, are embroiled in. They are engaging in a battle against our democratic system and it's legitimacy and more importantly against the valid votes cast by the people of Florida.
Gore professes that he seeks to uphold the "right to vote" as granted by the Constitution. However, Gore adds his own amendment to this important document. He adds that not only do we have a right to vote, but a "right for our vote to be counted". In an ideal society that makes no mistakes and has totally responsible voters, then yes - then all votes can be counted. Our system allows the right to vote but not necessarily that a vote be counted. Fraudulent and invalid votes are NOT ELIGIBLE to be counted, so not every vote can be counted. I assert that Gore does not respect the Constitution because he distorts and amends it to his purpose.
We should be weary of anyone who uses our founding documents in this manner. We should be weary of anyone who lies constantly. We should be leery of anyone who subverts the law while touting adherence to the "rule of law." We should be leery of anyone who uses the courts in countless lawsuits to question the democratic process and overturn the decision of the people. We should be weary of Al Gore for he has done all these.
Gore's attitude and behaviors defy the reality of the situation. It's as if he's living in a fantasy and inviting us to come along and follow him. He seems incapable of accepting the reality of the situation. He is like a quarterback of a losing team standing alone in the field after the conclusion of the fourth quarter. The bleachers are emptying and his teammates are retreating one by one to the locker room and he's still yelling that "The game isn't over!" His running mate, holding the pom poms cheers him on.
One needs to begin to wonder, in all seriousness, if Gore's mental state is becoming unstable (or is it already?). This is a man that has been cultivated to seek the Presidency of the U.S. He's been brought up to exhibit tunnel vision in this regard. This is a man whose only private sector job was as a journalist many, many years ago. He has lost the concept of what living in the real world is like. He cannot envision a loss in his bid for the Presidency because that is the ultimate failure and he has nothing to go back to. He's an out-going vice president. He does not have a Senate seat, House seat, or Governorship waiting for him. That prospect frightens him and so he resorts to dragging our electoral process through the mud, regardless of the consequences for purely selfish reasons. Given this revealing history and ambition of Gore's, what does failure like that do to him? He may actually have a few marbles loose.
Whoa! I know some of you are saying, isn't that a little harsh, Steph? My answer: you think America is immune from common sense challenged leaders? There are questionable leaders all over the world; many of whom America condemns. I think many of us are lulled into a false sense of security that our process filters out the mentally unstable. Take the rose-colored glasses off. Ill-mannered leaders masquerading as "champions" of the people will always attempt to attack our electoral process in the name of some rosy ideal. Beware. Beware. Beware.
One final note to all those who claim George W. Bush is stalling the process with lawsuits. The litigation that the Bush team has initiated and pursued has been in the name of fairness and justice. Hand counts with shifting standards and the arbitrary tossing out of military votes are inherently unfair and unjust. Bush litigation is strictly defensive. Gore's countless lawsuits are aggressive and offensive: driven by his ambition and the ego of his lead attorney, David Bois. George W. Bush has never wanted to prolong his victory in this election. The reason he never requested any recounts in Florida was because he didn't need to. He had already won the count and automatic recount. So, Gore's proposal to count the whole state of Florida was facetious. Gore didn't need Bush's permission to recount the whole state. If indeed, every vote counted to Gore, he would have requested a statewide recount from day one. He did not. Therefore he's not being honest about his intentions (surprise!).
Having stated all of this, it is clear that Gore is not fit to be president of the local book club, never mind the President of these United States. He has already lost. What we are seeing now is the first hissy-fit of a defeated candidate in a failed bid for the office of the Presidency. Gore won't be remembered more for his years as VP to Clinton or even as a public servant in Congress. Rather, Gore's legacy will be "the man who tried to steal the presidency and failed."
Copyright 2000 by Stephanie Therriault. Not to be reproduced in any fashion, in whole or in part, without written consent from the author. All rights reserved.