so totally hope that Al Gore decides to fight like a junkyard dog
for Florida's 25 electoral votes.
the polite blathering about respecting the process. This is Florida,
where they don't have sidewalks and where alligators crawl or slither
or whatever they do out of swamps and eat small dogs.
of all, Florida is a state where you go in and point fingers and
yell and scream and make a lot of noise to be heard.
he does just that, Al Gore can, finally, become a hero.
a straight-on, old-fashioned popular vote election, the vice president
would already have won the presidency. That's a position no one
thought he would be in at this point. The whole line of analysis
went that Bush was the popular guy, while Gore was the boring technocrat
who might piece it all together with electoral votes.
out the analysis was wrong. Gore's the popular guy -- well, OK,
not really popular, but more so than Bush.
problem is that popular guy doesn't get to go to the White House
without getting his ticket punched in Florida. So he needs to make
it's a good case.
show that Gore won the popular vote because his candidacy was overwhelmingly
favored by women, people of color, gays and lesbians, trade unionists
and others who don't hold a lot of power in this country. The people
who need a president most have placed their faith in Al Gore.
fact leaves Gore without a choice.
vice president needs to put aside his own fears, his own ego, his
own sense of self-image. He needs to become the tribune of the people
who rode the bus and walked in the rain and stood in those long
lines to vote for him. He needs to say, ``Look, Florida has a long
history of political shenanigans, vote fraud and disenfranchisement.
But it stops here. It stops when Jeb Bush and his minions seek to
deny the office of the presidency to the elected president of the
should announce that he believes he has won the presidency -- a
fair statement for a winner of the popular vote and the current
leader in the electoral vote count. And he should say, bluntly,
that he believes that his election is threatened by local officials
who have too long a history of turning the wheels of government
to aid their interests.
should not back down until the last ballot is counted. He should
not ease up until he is certain that every fundamental question
about the process in Florida has been answered.
fine if Gore does this for himself.
it is necessary that he fight for Florida as the voice of those
who have no voice otherwise -- the millions of voters who chose
to believe in the promise of a Gore presidency.
some presidential terms, the chief executive proves himself in his
final days. In others, he shows quiet strength throughout his tenure.
In this one, if Al Gore is to be the president, he must make his
stand at the start. He must fight for his presidency. And if he
fails to do so, Gore must recognize that he is letting down not
just himself but millions of Americans who dared to put their trust
in a man who has done so little to earn that trust.
Copyright 2000 The Capital Times