Why this election reminds me of Y2K....

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The fates have been kind. I have been largely away from the mass media during the past two weeks. Out of curiousity, I visited the forum to see how the election was playing out here.

As if we needed another example, the current election situation demonstrates how many people cannot (or will not) transcend preconceived biases. With few exceptions, the analysis breaks down neatly along party lines. I ought to recycle my "Y2K as religion" article and subsitute "political party" for Y2K.

It is almost startling to see the vitriol over the Florida situation... a contested election between two essentially centrist candidates. Even before the bitter fight, I suggested the balance in Congress will forestall any presidential agenda. The acrimony over recent events will only exacerbate the gridlock.

If we listen to partisans (on either side) one might think the known universe was hanging the balance. Nonsense. The Republic will survive whoever wins the election.

Even so, it is disheartening to watch the partisan, lawyers and talking heads fight viciously twisting the rules of logic and law. They take Vince Lombardi seriously. Winning isn't everything, it is the only thing. The real loser (again) is the concept of objectivity.

The donkeys and elephants look more like two large herds of disgruntled cattle.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@att.net), November 27, 2000


Don't be a killjoy Ken, everyone loves a good fight. Except maybe jerks like you that hunt doves with a 10 gauge.

-- Loosen up loser (loose@but.no.looser), November 27, 2000.

Don't acknowledge those partisan junkies, it only encourages them.

-- TDA (hooda@thunk.it), November 27, 2000.

"If we listen to partisans (on either side) one might think the known universe was hanging the balance. Nonsense. The Republic will survive whoever wins the election."

We know this, it's *just* a good debate that's all.


-- Not now, not like this (AgentSmith0110@aol.com), November 27, 2000.

Come now... if I were to hunt doves, a 28 gauge (uncommon but a delight to shoot) would be far more appropriate. I must admit that I have not eaten dove. My experience is more with the upland game birds like grouse and pheasant. I particularly recommend blue grouse in a wild mushroom cream sauce. Oh, sorry if my vulgar references to hunting and preparing wild game have spoiled your appetite. You can warm the McNuggets later.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@att.net), November 27, 2000.

I don't shoot dove anymore after I found out they "mate for life".

There are a few 'partisan partridges' I would like to draw a bead on though...

Ken, you said: "Oh, sorry if my vulgar references to hunting and preparing wild game have spoiled your appetite. You can warm the McNuggets later."


nosin' the dead bird...

The Dog

-- The Dog (Dogdesert@hotmail.com), November 27, 2000.


If you mean that people have reached a conclusion without evaluation of facts and then dredged up arguments or news articles [and I use news in a very liberal fashion] to support their preconceived ideas, then I agree. : ^ )

28 huh; I inherited a 28 single shot which is a nice gun. Can one still buy shells?

-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), November 27, 2000.


Close. I think people decide how the "world" is and then fit the data to fit their personal theory. The few impartial observers during the pre-rollover hysteria saw this over and over. In short, many people have reached a "conclusion" in terms of political party membership. The post-election debacle is interpreted through this distorted lens for partisans on both sides.

As for the 28 gauge, yes, I think shells are available. You may have to search around a bit, but I think you can find them. I'd try a decent gunsmith and ask him to help you out.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@att.net), November 27, 2000.

Hey Ken, welcome back. I was beginning to think that you had forsaken us lesser mortals.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeed@yahoo.com), November 27, 2000.

Hey, either I have been outed or someone stole my name.


Hee, hee; chuckle.

Best Wishes,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), November 27, 2000.


The balance and the gridlock are really our saving graces and truth be told more of a blessing than a curse,as this may be one of the more do nothing administrations in very long memory,which IMO is very good for the population as a whole.

I will fess up to one thing,from my somewhat neutral position in this case,I have gained a different perspective on judgement,of any kind.Case in point,if I would have taken the same stance regarding y2_ my opinions and conclusions may have very well been much different.Not that I deny,regret or second guess any prior decisions(hindsight is 20/ 20 and cheap as hell) but by maintaining a distance between yourself and the situation at hand the subject does become clearer,or so it seems.

I realize there are vast differences in the two events but it has got me to thinkin'.

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), November 28, 2000.


You said,

"In short, many people have reached a "conclusion" in terms of political party membership. The post-election debacle is interpreted through this distorted lens for partisans on both sides."

Ken, there's some truth in what you say. But many people base their positions on principles that transcend party lines. For example, I see many Democrats now abandoning Gore because they see him violating their views on what would be the right thing to do.

And of course, we should all continually introspect, checking our premises for possible distortion. So, when you speak of "distorted lenses" I'm hopeful you've considered, and corrected for, your own possible distortions as well.

-- eve (eve_rebekah@yahoo.com), November 28, 2000.

Cap, agreed.

Eve, I see few democrats "abandoning" Gore. If anything, I see the bitter divide increasing and many democrats retrenching.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@att.net), November 28, 2000.

Ken, even though this looks like Y2K, there is one very fine difference. Y2K had a clear right and wrong. The doomers were wrong. It wasn't subjective at all. This however is subjective. People have strong opinions on how the country should be run. No clear right or wrong here, just opinions. Now, I agree that the way people voice their opinions is similar to Y2K, getting downright nasty.

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), November 28, 2000.


Here's what I mean...

from The New York Times

November 22, 2000

Gore Voters in Chicago Say It's Time for Him to Concede


CHICAGO, Nov. 21 Nelson Ramos, a 42-year-old bricklayer, wishes he did not have to work in the bitter cold. He wishes the Cubs would play championship baseball. And he wishes a Democrat would win the White House.

"But you don't always get what you want in life," he said. "So you accept reality and move on."

Mr. Ramos said it was time for Vice President Al Gore to stand up, and then bow out.

"Gore should get up and say, `We made a good run, but it's over,' " Mr. Ramos said. "And we would all think a lot more of him."

Hours before the Florida Supreme Court decided that hand recounts could proceed in three heavily Democratic South Florida counties, some of Mr. Gore's supporters, interviewed on their way to work here, seemed to be losing faith in his quest for the White House.

Among more than two-dozen Gore supporters, a majority said the vice president was tarnishing his image by continuing to wage a fight for the presidency more than two weeks after Election Day. To be sure, some Democratic voters say the presidency is surely worth a fight.

But for many of the dispirited Gore supporters, the turning point came when the vice president turned to the courts to challenge the Florida vote count, a move some scorned as the ultimate litigious gambit in a lawyer-weary nation.

For others, the wrangling has simply dragged on too long, stalling an election process that, however imperfect, must deliver a quick resolution.

And for some Democrats, it is largely a matter of practical politics. A victory by Mr. Gore, they fear, would by Pyrrhic.

As Lillian Atkins, a 33-year-old accountant and a Democrat, put it, "Gore looks like a loser even if he wins."

Ms. Atkins said that even if court rulings yielded a hand recount, and a hand recount yielded a Gore victory, the American people would view the process as hopelessly tainted.

"I don't see how Gore comes out of this as a winner," she said. "If he gets in the White House this way, the people aren't going to look at him like he's really the president."

Tom McDonald, a 38-year-old worker at Loyola University, said he enthusiastically voted for Mr. Gore, ticking off a long list of issues that drew him to the Democrat, like abortion rights, equal treatment for gays and education policy.

Now Mr. McDonald would welcome a Bush presidency, if it meant ending this marathon.

"This whole thing is an embarrassment for the country," he said. "I've even stopped listening to it on the news."

Mr. McDonald cannot pinpoint the moment he started to lose patience. But impatience turned to indignation as the lawyers entered the picture.

"I had no idea that lawyers and judges were going to have so much influence on this thing," he said. "That's not how our political process is supposed to work."

Mark Copley, a 41-year-old cook, also bristled at the notion of lawyers and judges deciding the outcome of the election.

"Everything in this country now becomes a lawsuit," Mr. Copley said. "People don't trust politicians, and they trust lawyers even less."

Kipton Roderick, a 25-year-old worker for an insurance brokerage, said Mr. Gore could have emerged as a true statesman by conceding to Gov. George W. Bush of Texas.

"If he had done the right thing," Mr. Roderick said, "Gore would have had a powerful voice with the public, and then he could get ready for the next election. Now he just risks alienating everybody, and that's disappointing. Let's be honest. He's lost the election. It should be all over."

Like many other voters here, Mr. Roderick said he had lost interest in the presidential outcome.

"Somebody just call me when we've got a president," he said, throwing his hands in the air to signal his exasperation. "I've gotten to the point where I'm so fed up. I'm disappointed and I'm disgusted. This thing has gone on way too long."

But in the view of Curtis Smith, such talk amounts to whining.

"Just hold on a minute," said Mr. Smith, a 62-year-old doorman who remains fervent in his desire for a Democrat to take the White House. "Why can't anybody be patient? It's not like we've got a war going on or anything. Let's just get the vote right."

Anne Harding, too, said she supported a hand count of votes.

"I get a kick out of the Republicans, who are always saying, `We trust the people,' " said Ms. Harding a 31-year-old student. "Well, I guess this time, they really don't trust the people."

But most said their patience had been exhausted, with Mr. Ramos, the bricklayer, saying people should not be expected to wait forever.

"People can't even watch their programs without interruptions about the latest voting news," he said. "Are we supposed to be watching the election forever?"

Some Republicans, too, say they are frustrated by the stalemate.

Rosemary Blaeser, a 60-year-old Republican, the anxiety over the election delay had finally given her some common ground with her Democratic neighbors.

"We had an election, and it's over," Ms. Blaeser said. "Bush won."

Scott Trunda, a 25-year-old who works for a radio station and voted for Mr. Gore, said he feared that frustrated voters would punish Democrats in future elections.

"The Democratic Party needs to take a step back," Mr. Trunda said, "or end up looking like sore losers in all of this."

He noted that Mr. Gore had not made substantial gains in the hand recounts tallied so far.

"He looks like he's desperately clinging to something that's not even there," Mr. Trunda said. "To most people, it looks like Bush is going to win in the end, anyway."

Lee Jackson, a 26-year-old worker in a benefits department, said she had voted for Mr. Gore because he seemed to act like a leader. Now she is not so sure.

"You've got to be able to be graceful in losing," she said. "He's not looking that way."

Ms. Jackson said she had stopped paying much attention to the election.

"How much of this can you stomach?" she asked. "It's just time for this to be over."

The Rev. Ronald Ferguson, a 67- year-old Roman Catholic priest who pronounced the election battle "one big mess," said he did not believe the next president, whoever it is, would be able to accomplish much in office.

"The next president is going to be very weak," Mr. Ferguson said. "Wouldn't it be smarter to hold off, then just wait for next time?"

To Mr. McDonald of Loyola, there had been so much excitement in the days after the election. But the sense of being part of history, he said, has faded to boredom.

"People in the office don't even want to talk politics anymore," he said. "At first, there was this sense of intrigue. Now it's gotten to be kind of a joke."

-- eve (eve_rebekah@yahoo.com), November 28, 2000.

They, are a joke. From their Mother. We will assume their guilt, but we will not tolerate, any more. They better, shape up. Their choice..... From one who represents one WW2 prisioner, He laid his life to claim how, in his stead, me as his representation, how can I do less? I still carry the Flag., and I do so, until the day I die.Your choice, you decide.

-- My Story and (Iam@sticking.com), December 13, 2000.

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