It's after 5am on the East coast and things couldn't be more insane.
At 2:20am, they declared Bush the winner. Gore called Bush and conceded.
One hour later, all hell broke lose. Suddenly, Bush's 50,000 vote lead in Florida had dropped to 500! Gore, getting ready to take the stage in Nashville to tell his supporters he had lost, looked at the new numbers and called Bush to take his concession back!
At 3:45am, they took Florida out of the Bush column. Bush's lead had dropped to just 224 votes -- with thousands of ballots still uncounted! The Florida Attorney General acknowledged on NBC that ballots in the Palm Beach area were suspiciously structured in such a way that people who thought they were voting for Gore ended up having their votes being counted for Pat Buchanan!
Now, an hour later, Gore has pulled out significantly ahead of Bush in the nationwide popular vote -- at last count, Gore leads Bush by over 260,000 votes? -- and it continues to climb. Ten percent of California -- a state which Gore is winning big -- has yet to be counted. This will only add to his popular vote as the morning goes on.
One thing is certain now: According to all the networks, Gore is going to win the popular vote.
But they are also saying that, no matter if he has won the most votes, he may be denied the Presidency -- because of the Electoral College!
My fellow Americans -- we have to set aside our differences regarding Gore and Nader and demand, IMMEDIATELY DEMAND, that Bush step aside and not claim the Presidency based on this insane ancient Electoral College. The Electoral College was designed by the founding fathers who wrote it into the Constitution along with this rule: only white men who owned property and paid taxes would be allowed to vote.
The United States is no longer that country. This is a democracy. One person, one vote. We should have done away with this antique long before now. I guess no one ever thought it would come to a night like this.
Well, it did.
Even though I did not vote for Al Gore, for all the reasons I have previously stated (from his support of the death penalty to his promise to expand our militrary), the majority of those who voted yesterday DID vote for him -- and, therefore the will of the people must be honored. He must take his seat in the Oval Office.
Already, the pundits and professional political hacks are harumphing about how the Constitution must be followed. They are saying both candidates knew the rules and now must abide by them.
It's also against "The Law" to wear a hat on Sunday in Helena, Montana, and it is written into LAW that a woman in Tucson must not spit on the sidewalk. Those and thousand of laws like it are still on the books. But common sense dictates that we ignore these laws.
We must ask that common sense and decency prevail here with this election. Al Gore is the choice of the people. To go against that single, explicit fact would do more damage to an already cynical electorate than I want to imagine. Once again we had the same sad situation yesterday when half the country didn't even vote! Can we afford to have more citizens lose even more faith in our democracy?
There will be ample time to analyze and discuss the other issues regarding this election. One thing is clear -- most of the Nader voters decided at the last minute to change their vote to Al Gore. Nader's 5% in the polls for the past month ended up being less than 3% in the voting booth. In Florida, Nader went from an expected 6% of the vote to only 1.7% of the votes cast! Exit polls showed that Fear of Bush lead to nearly all of Nader's support there to switch over to Gore. Nader's votes came from those who said they were registered Republicans or who were initially planning on not voting for either candidate. In Oregon, half of Nader's voters went for Gore, with the same happening in Wisconsin. In the end, Ralph achieved neither his 5% goal, nor did his supporters help to elect Bush.
For me, what truly put Gore in jeopardy through most of the night was losing his home state to Bush. Those 11 electoral votes could have made all the difference. And to lose Clinton's Arkansas was a serious blow to wrapping up the election early.
But a dead guy won, defeating a Republican incumbent Senator in Missouri. At least two or three women have been added to the ranks of the Senate. Hillary won, causing right-wing nuts everywhere to go into convulsions. The governor of Vermont, who many thought might lose because of his support of Vermont's new gay marriage law, won. The state of Colorado, in the wake of Columbine, passed a gun control law by a vote of 70 to 30 percent. Michigan slammed Bush hard, as I predicted.
But, as I said, we can discuss all this later. Right now, all good citizens must speak out today, in the next few hours, loudly and clearly, that George W. Bush has lost the vote of the people and we will NEVER trust all the shenanigans that took place with the vote in Florida tonight -- a vote presided over by none other than Little Brother Governor Jeb Bush!! Send e-mails, call talk shows, contact your congressmen and women -- RAISE HOLY BLOODY HELL!!
Click here to contact your officials.
I guess I'm not going to bed. My support for Nader will have no integrity if I am not willing to do everything in my limited power to support the main belief of the Nader campaign -- demand that the will of the people be heeded and heard. I ask all of Ralph's supporters -- those who voted for him, and those who voted for Gore -- to join with me this morning to stop this potential theft of our majority democratic rule.
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