Amid all of the vicious name-calling, fanciful accusations and even threats surrounding Indecision 2000, we might want to remind ourselves of several facts – and consider a potentially deadly outcome:
1. Fact: We will never know the exact presidential vote count. Experts agree that mechanical and human counting errors, inherent in all four basic methods used to record votes, make it impossible to discern the precise intent of all voters. A small percentage of votes are always not recorded, miscounted and lost. Unavoidable error is built into our antiquated voting system.
2. Fact: If the vote totals were reversed, the arguments and legal wrangling of George W. Bush and Al Gore would have reversed too. After two years of hard campaigning that came down to a few hundred disputed votes separating each from victory, neither candidate would have “graciously” conceded defeat. Given the high stakes and narrow vote margin, both will say and do whatever it takes to win in the courtroom as well as the court of public opinion.
3. Danger: Hate-mongering has its costs. After all of the vilification and name-calling done by both sides, the next person who occupies the White House may forever be reviled as the “King of Chad,” rather than respected as the president of the United States. Is our collective, self-righteous, partisan hatred worth this cost?
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