Tags: Equality | and | Fairness | Issue | Florida | Fiasco

Equality and Fairness at Issue in Florida Fiasco

Wednesday, 15 November 2000 12:00 AM

Suddenly, another high school student says he's confused. The instructions aren't clear. He needs more time to fill out the forms. His letters of recommendation are coming in ... any day now. He asks for more time to submit his application.

While that may be fair to him, it's unfair to you. You followed the rules. He wants them changed for himself. Georgetown has a limited number of spaces in the incoming freshman class. Being nice to the other guy isn't nice to you.

Similarly, if you had a flight at 7 a.m. from New York to Tokyo and showed up at the airport at 7 p.m. saying you were confused, would the airline turn the 747 around to pick you up? No, they would point you to an optometrist and urge you to read your plane ticket more carefully, as did the 96 percent or more of the other passengers, who managed to show up at the right time.

To wit, while the media have focused on the supposedly confused voters of Palm Beach County, the clear-headed voters of other counties have rights as well. They are not being treated equally. In a country based on the principle of one man, one vote, some residents of Palm Beach County have votes that are counted again and again and again, literally. These votes have been counted by machine on Election Night, recounted by machine, counted again by machine, and recounted again by hand.

The Bush-Cheney campaign and Republican officials have failed to educate the media and the American people on this vital point. If Democrats have their victims, the confused little old ladies of Palm Beach, Republicans have theirs, namely voters in Duvall County and other Bush strongholds, who are not receiving equal protection under Florida's laws. Where are these people? Why are they not in front of the cameras?

While not officially a part of the Bush-Cheney campaign or the Republican National Committee, a group called the Committee for Honest Politics yesterday sued ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, FOX News and Voter News Service on behalf of voters in Florida's Panhandle region.

Residents of 10 counties heard media projections that Gore had won Florida, even while precincts were open in the Sunshine State's Central time zone region. Some voters either left the polls or stayed home, thinking that their votes no longer mattered. The suit claims that these voters were disenfranchised by journalistic malpractice.

Meanwhile, the rhetoric surrounding this disaster has plunged deep into the mud. Correspondent Claire Shipman reported on last night's NBC "Nightly News" that Vice President Gore "is still in a fighting mood."

"One of his friends," Shipman said, "told me something interesting.” Apparently one of the people urging the veep to remain combative is none other than the usually restrained Senator Joseph Lieberman. Why? "Lieberman was apparently quite moved by stories that Holocaust victims in Florida may have voted for the wrong man – Pat Buchanan."

So Team Gore has now dragged Adolf Hitler's persecution of European Jewry into the search for votes in Palm Beach, Florida. I can't remember American politics this ugly.

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Suddenly, another high school student says he's confused. The instructions aren't clear. He needs more time to fill out the forms. His letters of recommendation are coming in ... any day now. He asks for more time to submit his application. While that may be fair to...
Equality,and,Fairness,Issue,Florida,Fiasco
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2000-00-15
Wednesday, 15 November 2000 12:00 AM
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