Tags: Need | Clear | Winner | Nov.

We Need a Clear Winner on Nov. 2

Monday, 25 October 2004 12:00 AM

Ever since the 2000 Florida fiasco, President Bush has been running a nation in which 50 percent of the voters believed he was an illegitimately elected president. And that doubt and cynicism of his right to govern has undercut him for most of the past four years.

True, 9/11 temporarily erased that stigma. In the wake of that awful day, the President saw his approval rating soar to an astounding 89 percent - surpassed only by his father’s 91 percent after the successful 1991 Gulf War. But Mr. Bush then took that newfound sense of national unity and re-divided the nation with the War in Iraq.

The failure to find WMD - the stated premise of the invasion - undercut the President’s credibility to such a degree that he is today struggling to defeat the most liberal of all 100 senators in a nation that has never been more conservative politically.

The country is divided right down the middle, with that same 50 percent again doubting Bush’s legitimacy.

Next Tuesday is our next opportunity to expunge ourselves of this doubt, this wonderment over whether our president is really the choice of the American people.

We - and so does next Tuesday’s winner - desperately need a clear and definitive outcome so that the new President can run the country with a sense of unity and cohesiveness.

And the world needs to know, too, that we are led by a legitimately elected representative of the American people. That way, when the President speaks the world knows he indeed speaks for America.

As Americans we have always come together after elections and supported the President - even if we did not vote for him. But when voters doubt the legitimacy of the outcome, then that bond between the American people and the President is shattered.

Over the weekend, MSNBC ran one of its online polls, asking, “Do you think the votes will be counted honestly or not?”

A shocking 64 percent said “No.” Only 36 percent thought the result would be tabulated honestly.

These numbers - although not a scientific poll - reflect a deep-seated cynicism about our voting mechanics and procedures.

And if there is doubt about the results - especially among two-thirds of the people - then we are rapidly descending into the neighborhood of a banana republic.

That is why we need a clear winner - with no doubt - next Tuesday night.

One other note: Preliminary data from Early Voting in 30 states is beginning to support the Passion Differential theory written about in this space many times this year. The Passion Differential is the difference between the white-hot anti-Bush sentiment and the pro-Bush sentiment.

The Passion Differential posits that if Bush and Kerry are tied going into Election Day, then Kerry will win because of this differential in who votes.

The Democrats - still convinced the Bushes “stole” the 2000 election in Florida - are out for ‘political payback’ this year. And they will stream to the polls.

So far the turnout for Early Voting seems to bear this theory out. In Florida, for example, the Early Voting turnout in Democratic areas is substantially higher than in 2000, while the GOP turnout in their areas is slightly down from four years ago.

Indeed, we have a long eight days to go, but could this be proof of the Passion Differential in play?

Whatever the causes and motivations, we all need - as Americans - a clear winner with no doubt about the outcome next Tuesday night.

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Ever since the 2000 Florida fiasco, President Bush has been running a nation in which 50 percent of the voters believed he was an illegitimately elected president. And that doubt and cynicism of his right to govern has undercut him for most of the past four years. ...
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Monday, 25 October 2004 12:00 AM
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