Calling all statesmen

By Daryl Lindsey

By Letters to the Editor

Published November 21, 2000 8:06AM (EST)

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Daryl Lindsey's advancement of some sort of election commission to be headed jointly by former Presidents Carter and Ford is not completely thought out. Such a commission would have no standing in Florida or U.S. law. It is not provided for in either the state or the national Constitutions, nor has any legislature created such a bizarre method of electing presidents.

Even if such a commission were created today, I cannot think of two worse characters to put at its head than Carter and Ford. Jimmy Carter made the U.S. the laughingstock of the world during his term, which included double-digit inflation, American hostages in Iran and usurious interest rates. His presidency is best known for Billy beer and the forced coinage of the term "stagflation," which, thankfully, has not been needed since his term ended. He was the worst president we've had in my 54 years as an American. And whose idea is it to make America's only unelected president the head of a presidential election commission?

Gov. Bush won the election in Florida. When a recount was declared in Florida, he won the recount, subject to the overseas absentee ballots, which he also won. The election is over! Vice President Gore is much more than a sore loser. He demands that the nation lose with him.

-- Michael W. Taylor

I do not agree with Daryl Lindsey's notion that "we need a new approach to solve the crisis." Since he admits that we do not have a constitutional crisis, we should let our constitutional processes continue without the additional impediment of well-intentioned, ad hoc tinkering. The only crisis, if there is one, is the crisis in confidence caused by acrimonious accusations from all sides that both the process and the participants are corrupt. If we abandon standard legal means at the first whiff of controversy, we will only undermine public confidence in the robustness of our legal system and the Constitution itself.

-- Frank Bowden

How about this for an idea: Everybody votes once on Nov. 7. If the margins are deemed too narrow to be decisive, the votes are recounted by machine. The recount is official pending the outcome of the absentee ballots. The loser concedes, and the winner assumes office. Voters too feeble to punch a ballot all the way through or too inept to fill it out don't get their vote counted, like the rest of us across the country who are too feeble or inept. Sounds fair to me -- but then I don't understand the meaning of the word "is," either.

-- Bill Whited

I'm only British, but I assume the correct American way for Bush and Gore to sort things out would be either with fists or with guns. Couldn't this be arranged?

-- John Fletcher

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