liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

hearsay, sour grapes and red herrings

The problem with David Corn's new piece on 2004 election voting fraud is that he is too comfortable with business as usual.

By the end of the piece, casting about for a conclusion that won't entirely disaffect his leftist readers, he calls for paper trails and bipartisanship in voting and vote counting.

Big deal!

What does the Secretary of State of Ohio tell a first time voter who stood in line to cast their ballot for 4 hours and then hears the winner announced before the ballots are even counted? This business of announcing a "winner" and creating a public perception of victory before the votes are counted, as if nothing could possibly go wrong, must stop now.

First of all, voting is far too important a safeguard for all our other rights as citizens to be "touched up" casually if a cursory glance at a major election leaves citizens jittery. Alarms should be going off: loud ones.

There can not be a valid election if the electorate perceives the process as being questionable. Why? Because the consent of the governed does not equal the indifference of the governed. The process is more important than the product. U.S. Presidential elections in the 21st century are more about validating our rights than electing a warm body. Whoever wins an election's outcome, the perception of democracy working effectively is essential for the election's success.

The perception of success is critical in trusting our elected officials.

The perception of success is critical in unified and cooperative self-governance and participation by the people.

The perception of success is critical in including all classes and minorities in the society and system of government.

The perception of success is critical in legitimizing the society and government, not only with their own citizens, but internationally.

Finally, the perception of success is critical in maintaining and propounding our values as a free society. If winning is the most important thing, then everyone loses something valuable enough to be worth keeping: the belief that reasonable people can fairly and honestly govern themselves.

That's something worth passing on to our children.

People have been talking about transparency, paper trails and bipartisanship for years, David, but why hasn't it been done? Because what we really care about is winning. The time is up for business as usual.


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