America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. Abraham Lincoln
On Friday I stopped at a local pizza parlor to grab a quick, late lunch and as I waited I saw a full-page newspaper story on the 2000 election. In the article it said that “Al Gore accepted the outcome of the election and stepped aside for the good of the Nation.” The first thought that came to my mind was, is this an episode of “Fractured Fairy Tales?” “Fractured Fairy Tales” was a segment on the cartoon show “Rocky and Bullwinkle” where well-known fairy tales were re-written in order to change the moral of the story. It occurred to me that the 2000 election is being rewritten to change the actual sequence of events and the real consequences of “accepting the outcome” of a rigged election.
Accepting the outcome
The Florida coup d’état was well-planned by Governor Jeb Bush, the brother of the GOP candidate, his secretary of State Katherine Harris and Theresa LaPore. First there were bogus felon lists that contained a list of names of individuals that were convicted of felonies in Florida as well as neighboring states. Any person with a similar name was listed as a felon and denied the right to vote, especially minorities with similar surnames such as Jackson. It is estimated that 173,000 names were purged from the Florida voter registry by the office of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. Florida was the only state that payed a private company that promised to “cleanse” voter rolls.
Then there was the butterfly ballot. In America by legal statute the Republican candidate is listed first on the ballot and the Democrat is listed second. On the butterfly ballot, on the left side where the presidential candidates were listed, first was Bush and second was Gore. However if you punched the second hole you were voting for Patrick Buchanan since the butterfly ballot placed Buchanan on the right side of the ballot which made a punch in the second hole a Buchanan vote. According to the Green Party:
Butterfly ballots are the most prone to voter confusion as it is not clear which hole goes with which candidate. Palm Beach County, the one county in Florida that used this system, is a predominantly Democratic-leaning county yet extreme conservative candidate Pat Buchanan had a phenomenal showing there…
Pat Buchanan himself has admitted that most of his votes in Palm Beach County were meant for Al Gore, saying he "did not campaign and bought no advertising there." He added, "I would say 95 to 98 percent of [the votes] were for Gore.”
An investigation by the Civil Rights Commission also found that Governor Bush had a multi-pronged voter purge on November 7th, 2000.
TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Jeb Bush told a panel hearing complaints of voting irregularities in Florida that he had no plans to order his own investigation into the Nov. 7 election although he has the authority to do so.
Bush answered questions from the U.S. Civil Rights Commission looking at allegations of voting problems, including complaints that registered voters were turned away from the polls, election equipment in poor precincts was outdated, state police put up roadblocks near polling sites and non-English speaking voters weren't helped to cast their votes…
By day's end, commission members appeared frustrated by state officials -- including Bush -- claiming that local authorities have control over Florida elections…
Peaceful transition of power?
Even with all the election tampering on the part of the Jeb Bush Administration and the GOP, Al Gore still won Florida. In spite of a media collectively claiming that Bush had won along with Gore’s DNC hand-picked war hawk Vice Presidential candidate, Joe Lieberman calling for Gore to concede the election, the allegations of widespread corruption in Florida reached Al Gore who requested a recount of the votes.
The Florida Supreme Court, who had sole jurisdiction over the election ordered a recount of the votes in Florida. As the recount began the GOP organized what was called the “Brooks Brothers Riot” that would violently attack the people counting the votes, threatening their lives, shutting down the recount operation.”
After the Miami “Brooks Brothers Riot” – named after the protesters’ preppie clothing – no government action was taken beyond the police rescuing several Democrats who were surrounded and roughed up by the rioters. While no legal charges were filed against the Republicans, newly released documents show that at least a half dozen of the publicly identified rioters were paid by Bush’s recount committee.
The payments to the Republican activists are documented in hundreds of pages of Bush committee records – released grudgingly to the Internal Revenue Service last month, 19 months after the 36-day recount battle ended. Overall, the records provide a road map of how the Bush recount team brought its operatives across state lines to stop then-Vice President Al Gore’s recount efforts. The records show that the Bush committee spent a total of $13.8 million to frustrate the recount of Florida’s votes and secure the state's crucial electoral votes for Bush.
In addition, as the “Brooks Brothers Riot” was taking place, paid goons were bussed into Washington to surround Vice President Gore’s residence at the Naval Observatory and scream “get out of Cheney’s House.” Due to the escalating violence, the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in, even though they had no statutory authority to do so, and five Republican justices overturned the will of the voters and installed George W. Bush as POTUS.
Al Gore steps aside for the “good of the nation.”
Al Gore is credited with stepping aside and allowing the loser of the election to assume the office of the presidency. But was it for “the good of the nation?” Hardly, within nine months of assuming office the 911 attacks took place. Could the attacks have been avoided under a President Gore? Yes. The first action of the Bush Administration was to throw out the recommendations of the Gore Commission on aviation safety and the Hart-Rudman Commission’s recommendations to protect the country from terror attacks. Bush appointed Vice President Cheney to conduct his own study. Sadly after the 911 attacks Jake Tapper wrote about the deep remorse felt by the Hart-Rudman Commission co-chairs:
Sept. 12, 2001 | WASHINGTON -- They went to great pains not to sound as though they were telling the president "We told you so."
But on Wednesday, two former senators, the bipartisan co-chairs of a Defense Department-chartered commission on national security, spoke with something between frustration and regret about how White House officials failed to embrace any of the recommendations to prevent acts of domestic terrorism delivered earlier this year.
Bush administration officials told former Sens. Gary Hart, D-Colo., and Warren Rudman, R-N.H., that they preferred instead to put aside the recommendations issued in the January report by the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century. Instead, the White House announced in May that it would have Vice President Dick Cheney study the potential problem of domestic terrorism -- which the bipartisan group had already spent two and a half years studying -- while assigning responsibility for dealing with the issue to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, headed by former Bush campaign manager Joe Allbaugh.
Before the White House decided to go in its own direction, Congress seemed to be taking the commission's suggestions seriously, according to Hart and Rudman. "Frankly, the White House shut it down," Hart says… "We predicted it," Hart says of Tuesday's horrific events. "We said Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers -- that's a quote (from the commission's Phase One Report) from the fall of 1999."
On Tuesday, Hart says, as he sat watching TV coverage of the attacks, he experienced not just feelings of shock and horror, but also frustration. "I sat tearing my hair out," says the former two-term senator. "And still am." Hart says he spent 90 minutes with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and an hour with Secretary of State Colin Powell lobbying for the White House to devote more attention to the imminent dangers of terrorism and their specific, detailed recommendations for a major change in the way the federal government approaches terrorism. He and Rudman briefed National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice on the commission's findings…
Back to the Future
Once again we have a candidate that is a threat to the military industrial complex. Presidential candidate Donald Trump is being pilloried by the press for refusing to accept the outcome of the 2016 election before it has even occurred. Trump has called the election “rigged” and refuses to accept the preordained conclusion of the vote count. In 2000 Al Gore stepped aside when he couldn’t garner the support of his party. Should Donald Trump for “the good of the nation” pledge to accept the corrupt election results that are in before the first vote is cast?
We, as Americans can only look back at history and decide, what will be the consequences if we decide to accept the outcome of another fraudulent election? Will another Fractured Fairy Tale be written in four or eight years to explain why America went to war with Russia? Only we hold the answers.
By Patricia Baeten