Old news slumbers until awakened by spectacular event. Corrupted elections are old news. Chicago once honored the deceased by allowing them to vote – a practice tolerated until it was found that many of them had the audacity to vote twice in the same elections.
The awakening spectacular event in the presidential and congressional 2000 elections is that “Too Close to Call” exposes the failings of our electoral process and its participants. As in sports, missing the winning goal by yards is a humbling defeat, but short by an inch has the losing players and fans howling for blood, demanding instant replay to make the call, then lobbying for rule changes if they don’t like the ref’s decision.
To gain competitive advantage in the next election game, partisan political players hope to compel review of the rules, conditions and conventions relating to exit polling, voter fraud, the Electoral College, hand versus computer counting, media news pundits and the strange ability of tiny paper fragments (chads) to resist removal from punch ballots.
May we surmise that this election year’s examination of public conscience and political institutions will lead to useful change or more likely become old news tucked into bed and kissed goodnight?