Our Republic Is At Stake
Richard M. Nixon, who is considered a genius among world opinion leaders for his Chinese detente initiative, seldom demonstrated wisdom on the national scene during his often destructive presence on the political stage.
But in November 1960 he truly showed that the republic under which we live and die was far more important than a personal victory for him in the race against John F. Kennedy.
In the past four years we have heard people from all spectrums of local and national politics complain that the U. S. Supreme Court "gave" the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush. All the recounts - both official and unofficial - have proved beyond doubt that President Bush did, in fact, get more votes in Florida than did Al Gore.
Yes, some votes which should have been counted were not. And some that should not have been counted were. Those raising the most stink were Democratic Party wonks who couldn't accept defeat. And because of these rants, thousands of partisans still scream from the rooftops that Al Gore was robbed.
What these same people forget is that Democratic Party officials in Florida attempted to discount thousands of absentee ballots cast by members of the military from overseas posts. Of all the ballots cast, these are the ones everyone should be certain are counted.
It was written in this space on August 19 that the person most likely to win this election will be the candidate whose lies and distortions are believed by the most voters. That idea hasn't changed. And the misrepresentations have increased - and by both sides.
There are even some rather startling comments being made. Some readers will presume prejudice on my part, but a couple of outrageous remarks have been made recently by those representing the Democratic Party viewpoint.
The first that comes to mind was made by Elizabeth Edwards, wife of the Democrats' vice presidential candidate. When asked if there would be "violence" in the aftermath of the balloting on November 2, she said: "Not if we win."
It isn't clear just why she would make such a remark, but evidence from right here in Frederick County and in Maryland lends credence to the idea that if the Kerry/Edwards ticket loses, partisans will take to the streets.
Large Bush/Chaney signs have been destroyed with regularity according to members of the Frederick County Republican State Central Committee, which has undertaken the responsibility for putting them up.
In Howard County, three people have been arrested and charged with destroying political signs. In one case a Bush/Cheney sign was set on fire on a wooden fence that surrounded a house - and attached to that house. Fortunately, no one was injured.
There were two incidents last Friday night/early Saturday morning which really make one wonder just what we are becoming in this country.
Sinclair Broadcasting, headquartered in Baltimore County, aired a one hour piece which was criticized by some as a blatant pro-Bush campaign piece disguised as a news program. In actuality, it was a rather soft ball program that "could" be construed as anti-Kerry. It was more mush than substance.
But the owner of a Columbia furniture store, who had purchased air time on Fox 45 in Baltimore without designating when the ads should run, was bombarded at both his home and his business by whackos who believed he was supporting President Bush and ranting against Senator Kerry because Sinclair ran his ads during that hour.
A far more troubling incident occurred on Scarborough Country on MSNBC at 10 P.M. Friday night. Former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan was the substitute host. In the first segment John O'Neill, who wrote a book about the Swift Boat adventures of Senator Kerry, was a guest, as was Lawrence O' Donnell, who MSNBC described as its senior political analyst. Mr. O'Donnell has a long resume as an advisor to Democratic office holders including the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York.
Not more than 15-seconds into Mr. O'Neill's response to a question from Mr. Buchanan, Mr. O'Donnell began screaming at Mr. O'Neill that he was a lair and that nothing in his book was factual. It went on for more than three minutes - non stop. It was embarrassing for Mr. Buchanan and Mr. O'Neill.
The partisanship of Mr. O'Donnell was quite evident. And it is conduct like his on that show which has this country on edge about the election next Tuesday.
The Democrats say they have 10,000 lawyers ready to challenge any and all results in any state where there is even a hint of irregularity. They even put out a booklet telling these lawyers to allege "fraud" even if there is no evidence of any fraud. The Republicans are countering with 4,000 lawyers of their own.
If there was ever evidence that we are headed in the wrong direction nationally, it is these 14,000 lawyers set to pounce on even the slightest of errors anywhere in the country.
Certainly there will be problems in every state. But if the margin of victory for either side is substantial, then challenges to the vote will vanish.
Now, back to Richard Nixon. The Justice Department of the Eisenhower Administration, which was still in power, went to the vice president after the 1960 election and told him there was substantial evidence of voter fraud in both Illinois and Texas. Remember now that Lyndon Johnson, of Texas, was the Democrats' vice presidential candidate that year.
To his credit and to his everlasting memory, Richard Milhous Nixon declined to rupture the American Republic by challenging the results in court.
We can only hope that whichever candidate is on the losing end next week will have that same concern for us.