In the year 2,000, with all of the nonsense that was floating around that all computers would crash, airplanes would drop from the sky, and for all intents and purposes, an end to the world as we knew it, there were national elections between Al Gore representing the Democratic party and George W Bush of the Republican party.
Al Gore was the former Vice President who has just served eight years in the Bill Clinton administration, he was hoping to be elected president as a consequence of all of the great things that occurred on their watch.
The internet came on stream for many Americans, Silicone valley had created tens of millions of jobs, with that came more millionaires than at any other time in the nation’s history.
Additionally, the country was not entangled in any major wars overseas. In a sense, the Clinton Presidency, (though many will disagree on certain specifics), was a period of peace and prosperity for the country. If of course, you are able to set aside the disgusting chapter of Republican presidential harassment that continued unabated for the eight years of Bill Clinton’s Presidency.
That is not to say that Clinton did nothing wrong insofar as Monica Lewinsky was concerned, but all of that pales in comparison to what is happening in the white house today.
George W Bush was a Texas Governor, the son of former Republican one-term president, & Ronald Reagan’s Vice President Herbert Walker Bush.
It was an election tailor-made for Al Gore to easily win, the country was experiencing a period of prosperity and there were no major overseas wars.
Sure, Republicans in the congress under Newt Gingrich’s leadership had made life hell for Bill Clinton, but none of that could have rubbed off on Al Gore who had conducted himself with precision-like decorum and statesmanship.
So why did it come down to Florida on election night of 2,000? Al Gore had done more than enough to distance himself from Bill Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky scandal, he had even gone so far as to proclaim,*“I am my own man”*, in an effort to establish himself as an independent entity, free from whatever negative that could be attached to Bill Clinton his former boss.
At the time, I personally thought Gore’s strategy was the exact opposite of what he needed to do. I believed he needed to hug Bill Clinton as tightly as possible and talk about the great things they had accomplished together for the country.
I also thought that Gore should have gone after the Republicans with a scorched earth attack for their use of Kenneth Star, in what was an unprecedented abuse of the *independent counsel *process.
The new Democratic party never seem to be able to use the gifts that Republicans give to them to win elections. So in 2,000, it came down to Florida, a state which had a Republican Governor, Jeb Bush who was the younger brother of George Bush, the man he was up against for the presidency of the United States.
Al Gore went the other direction, in the process, creating as much space as he thought was needed to put distance between himself, and the still wildly popular Democratic President Bill Clinton.….…..until it became clear that his strategy was not working. By the time Al Gore began embracing Bill Clinton and Clinton was asked to appear at campaign events, the horse was already through the gate.
According to Gallup Clinton’s approval ratings soared to 76% after the Senate rejected articles of impeachment against the president. By the time Clinton left office, he was still at an admirable 62% approval rating and was the first president to demit office with such high approval since Harry Truman.
The Atlantic’s Ena Alvarado-Esteller, David A. Graham, and Amy Weiss-Meyer wrote: By the end of the night, Gore held a lead over Bush in the national popular vote, which he would never lose, but the contest in the Electoral College was tight, and it all came down to Florida. The election, both campaigns understood, was far from over.
Leading up to the election, polls had indicated that the race between Bush and Gore would be close, with an especially slim margin in several key states. Potentially affecting the outcome were two other candidates: Ralph Nader, of the left-wing Green Party, and Pat Buchanan, of the right-wing Reform Party On Election Day, a number of counties in Florida reported problems. A confusing ballot — the so-called butterfly ballot — in Palm Beach County prompted thousands of voters to cast their ballot unwittingly for Buchanan. Ballots in Duval County also caused confusion; some 22,000 votes there were disqualified because voters chose more than one candidate. The punch-card apparatus used elsewhere in the state sometimes failed to punch out a hole completely, meaning that the machine would not record a ballot choice. (The Atlantic)
David Boies (Gore lawyer): I was in a sports bar across the street from the Governor’s Inn, in Tallahassee. I had been in the office and had spoken to Vice President Gore. We were all very happy. The votes were being counted. He was steadily gaining on Governor Bush. My work was essentially done, and I was going home. They had all these television screens, and a crawler came across that said the Supreme Court had issued an order stopping the vote count. My initial reaction was that this had to be a mistake. There had not been an opportunity to brief or argue the case. There were substantial issues as to whether there was really a federal question involved. The Supreme Court had never intervened in a presidential election to affect the counting of the votes in a state. (The Atlantic).
Oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court took place on Monday, December 11. The hastily written opinions, which added up to a 5 – 4 reversal of the Florida court, were made public at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, December 12.
Even supporters of the outcome acknowledged that the decision did not reflect the Court at its best. In a dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens famously wrote: “Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.” On Wednesday, December 13, Al Gore conceded defeat.
Oh, how prophetic have John Paul Steven’s words turned out to be since then, in the many jaw-dropping decision the supreme court has made since them, including Citizens United & Shelby County Alabama vs Holder.
This essence of this article nevertheless is not to highlight the damage that the supreme court continue to do to American democracy. Though George Bush was elevated to the presidency under the darkest cloud of suspicion, by 2004 after the events of September 11th, 2001 all of the anger was gone.
George Bush had gained the presidency under questionable circumstances, aided by Republican operatives in the Florida machinery and Republican tools on the nation’s highest court.
Despite that and Bush’s ensuing incompetence at the job, the events of September 11th were enough for George Bush to be re-elected as a wartime president.
By the time Bush left office in 2,000, he had the dubious distinction of being one of the worst presidents ever. He had the nation engaged in two major wars.
An arguable legal incursion into Afghanistan, where the American military is still stuck today almost twenty years later and an illegal war waged in Iraq, that should subject the American Government to war crimes in the International Court of Justice in the Hague.
Of course, the United States is not subject to the jurisdiction of the International world court it was instrumental in creating and using to justifying the trial and incarceration of supposed German war criminals.
The United States set itself up above International laws. Today the US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo wants to use his powers to level sanctions against officials of the world court, for supposedly trying to bring America under the jurisdiction of the international tribunal.
It is a disgraceful case of hypocrisy and abuse of power by the United States under Donald Trump.
Fast forward to 2016 and Donald Trump was the Republican standard-bearer having vanquished all of his party’s other candidates.
Hillary Clinton won that election by over three million votes(3,000,000.00+), yet because of the convoluted process known as the Electoral College, and arguable, significant help from the Russian Government, as confirmed by the United States Intelligence Agencies, Donald Trump, a colossally ignorant showman, was given the presidency.
From day one of the announcement that Trump would be the 45th president of the United States there were protests and demonstrations against it. People had legitimate reasons to conclude that Trump was a Putin stooge.
We are in 2020, and there is a presidential election due come November.
Donald Trump’s failings and disregard for American laws are far too many to mention. Yet Joe Biden is merely a few percentage points ahead of Trump in the so-called battleground states.
What does it say about the voting public’s intellect, or does party trump country?
If this was an electorate with Christian values as they proclaim to be, there is no way that a tax-cheat, who failed at every business, who divorced his first wife because she wasn’t young anymore, who had unprotected sex with a hooker after his present wife had just given birth to their son.
This is a man who ran a false charity that bilked people so that he could purchase overpriced portraits of himself. A man who dismisses women as thrash and talks about *grabbing them by the pussy*[sic].
His list of failings is compounded by the damage done to America’s alliances abroad, and his trampling on the nation’s laws.
In addition to that, he sat by and declared that COVID-19 would simply disappear. Today we are close to 200, 000 Americans-dead from the pandemic, and almost five million testings positive.
A man who denounces Muslim as evil but declares murderous white supremacists,*fine people*.
Because of the high rate of infection and the continuing spread of COVID-19, Donald Trump has done everything in his power to slow down testing for the virus.
Children of people seeking refuge are still warehoused in mammoth Federal facilities where they are locked in cages, away from their parents.
He has all but destroyed the burning hot economy President Barack Obama gave to him in January of 2017. This seems to fit the recurring theme for Republicans. Their policies of giving tax cuts to their rich contributors, while burdening the poor with paying for it, has basically destroyed the American middle-class and created an ever-increasing gap between rich and poor.
Democrats get voted in to fix the mess, then the voters turn right around and put the destructive Republicans back into office.
What does this say about the electorate?
Mike Beckles is a former police Detective corporal, businessman, freelance writer, he is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog mikebeckles.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
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