Now what?

Salon panelists look ahead to the Bush years

By Letters to the Editor
December 16, 2000 1:21AM (UTC)
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Am I missing something? Four of the six experts you consulted in your roundup are right-wing commentators. Of course, they are pushing for us to "move on" -- if the nation stops and really examines what we just went through, we would have to come to the conclusion that something is terribly broken. To simply move on and put this behind us is the behavior exhibited by abused children and dysfunctional families. To really, really learn from this experience, America has to have a full and fair count of all votes in Florida and that must be done as soon as possible. Yes, Bush is president, but that does not mean we have to sweep all that we have just been through under the rug.


-- Alan Bisbort

Although pundits are clamoring to predict Bush's role as a "uniter" (aren't these the same guys who said Bush would win by a landslide?), your analysts underscore why unification may be hard to come by. David Horowitz called for the "African-American community ... to take a look at their absurd voting postures and their absurd attacks on [Bush]" and Ward Connerly asked if "Jackson and other black 'leaders'" would refrain from "inflammatory rhetoric." Clearly, these and other conservatives fail to appreciate the wounds inflicted by this election. We all thought minority harassment at the polls ended with Rehnquist's poll watching in Arizona in the '60s, but unfortunately, the accounts of irregularities were too widespread to discount them as purely "absurd" or "inflammatory rhetoric." Until Republican leadership can acknowledge our societal problems and the role race plays in them, there is no reason for blacks -- or any minorities -- to reach out to a Bush administration or the Republican Party.

-- Rachana Bhowmik


Outside the U.S., we always cringe when U.S. "leaders" brag about free world leadership. The time has come for you guys to start cringing. You have one of the worst voting systems of any representative democracy, if not the worst. And it is constitutionally impregnable to reform to boot. And instead of the rule of law, you've got the rule of lawyers. Highly political ones, too. So show us you can reform your ancient, Tory elitist electoral system before you dare talk of leading the real democracies of the world.

In Canada, for instance, on Nov. 27, 12 million people voted, and the new results were counted within a few hours. Two seats out of 301 required recounts, which were done in a day, and the results finalized, also within a day or two. Most other parliamentary democracies perform similar feats of democratic leadership all the time.

The time has come for the U.S. to join the club. The game is called catch up. Good luck. (You need it.)


-- Vincent di Norcia

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2000 Elections Al Gore George W. Bush