Wednesday, October 26, 2016

2016 Crisis Part 2: The Rule of Law

There have been few things that have angered me more than the new, very scary perception of what the corporate media complex seems to believe makes our democracy work. They seem to believe that one presidential candidate conceding defeat after the election is "the bedrock" of our political system. This would be laughable if not for the fact that the tantrums appear to resonate with a large segment of the American populace. So let me state in no uncertain terms that this belief is a danger to democracy.

The bedrock of any free society's democracy is the rule of law. Not, some gentlemen's agreement between the elite ruling class or party big wigs to go along blindly with the reported results of an election no matter the circumstances. The American voters deserve, scratch that, have a right to have the rule of law maintained throughout the election process. This is the true bedrock of our political system.

Mr. Trump never even hinted about an insurrection, violence, or doing anything he didn't have a legal right to do. I don't know what the media thinks they heard, but I heard nothing threatening to our political system. In fact, what they seem to romantically hold up of "how it is supposed to work" is this anecdote about Nixon knowing he probably really won Illinois but the corruption within Cook County, and supposedly boxes of missing votes showing up on the side of the road somewhere, and that he still chose not to challenge and conceded. It is said by the media today that this is an example of Nixon putting the country ahead of his own personal pursuit of power, something they know Trump would never do.

It is hard to find more bolderdash than what is present in that perception. Since when is disenfranchising American voters in the best interest of the country? If you think the voters of Illinois actually voted for Nixon, and that it is okay that the candidate who actually should have lost was sworn in as President, than you are a threat to democracy. In fact, I would argue that this was an early foreshadowing of Nixon's flexible moral compass rather than a sign of his patriotism.

So if I understand the media exactly...we know the election of Kennedy was rigged by Cook County corruption, but stating that elections can be rigged, is dangerous. What is dangerous is a media that doesn't seem to believe in the rule of law.

A testament to what IS the bedrock of our political system is what happened in 2000. There was an election. The entire outcome hung in the balance. Florida was either going to put Bush or Gore in the White House. The margin of victory was less than 600 votes. Gore, upon realizing he had options, pushed the system to apply the rule of law.

According to Florida law, he had the right to ask for recounts in counties. He had to file those contestations within a certain period of time and the counties had to have margins of victory less than certain parameters.  He chose not to call for recounts in all counties that met those requirements because he thought he had a better chance of winning by calling for recounts in more populated counties in which he actually won. After all, he only had to find just just under 600 new votes. When those recounts were finished, he still was short more than 500 votes. Then, a plane load of lawyers descended upon the state and tried to call for recounts in counties in which the time period to file had expired. When the governments of those counties agreed to recount, the Bush campaign cried foul and tried to legally block them in the courts. The question went to the Supreme Court of Florida. They ruled, although there was no law to support that ruling, that the entire state should be recounted. In their words that would be "more fair."

"Fair" is a little subjective. The Bush people immediately went to the United States Supreme Court which cited a federal law that stated that it was illegal for any state to change laws or rules of a federal level election AFTER voting during that election had begun. In other words, one state can't change the rules mid stream in an election that might impact another state. And since Gore had run out of proscriptions that were present in Florida law, the election was over.

On the date mandated by law, Bush was sworn in. For some, this marks a low-point in American politics. For me, IT is the essence of what separates us from other nations. The results were legally challenged and resolved peacefully in the courts. And after done, without a single shot fired, we resolved the issue. That's the way a nation governed by the rule of law resolves an election that the margin of victory requires a closer inspection.

So while some were embarrassed watching those good Floridians looking at chads with magnifying glasses and the message it sent to the world. What I saw was Americans trying diligently to get to the truth. And to me, I'd rather rely on that then the leaders of our political parties arbitrarily deciding what level of fraud or corruption the American voter should accept.

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