Saturday, August 16, 2014

America, America.... From William Jefferson Clinton to the Unstoppable Ralph Nader -- What on Earth Happened?

Well, I am cleaning out my hard disk and found this unfinished posting, a then intended persiflage, dated November 20, 2000. But what has happened since?
____________________________

AND THE WINNER IS...
envelope please...
(gasp?)
and the winner..is...
William Jefferson Clinton.

Using his favorite motto, "Let's go out and win it", Bill Clinton, the consummate politician, had done it again, to the marvel of his supporters and the chagrin of his many detractors.  It was the year 2004 and Clinton was still President of the United States. What on Earth had happened?

It had all started rather harmlessly on a grayish autumn day in November, 2000. The ballots had been cast and the supporters of the Gores and the Bushes had eagerly awaited the results of the now legendary "1st count".

Beaming faces filled American homes.
Everyone was confident that "they" would win.

There was good reason for this boundless optimism.

The Presidential election had been held according to proven systems and methods which had prevailed for hundreds of years.

As the good old boys are prone to say "We've always done it this way."

Additionally, each candidate had sworn a future of milk and honey.

Taxes would be reduced for all...the rich...would get richer.

Equality would spread like wildfire...the poor...would also get richer.

Everyone would profit, in the spirit of the capitalist system.

But wait.... was there a flaw in the soup?

Was the country really READY for THIS development?

Although the American dot-com generation had been preaching modernity to the rest of the world for years, and although there was little doubt that the digital age had begun, very little had been done to bring the people of the country themselves into the 20th century.

So, the 21st century REALLY caught the nation by surprise.
It was the Y2K problem in its worst manifestation.

An electoral college designed for an America of the 1700's, a punch-card system first introduced in the 1800's, and political views, attitudes and methods firmly entrenched in the beginnings of the 1900's had finally caught up with the outdated political system, to the amusement of the rest of the planet.

Americans had begun to find out that someone driving a vehicle made in 2000 was in deep trouble if the motor was nothing more than an antique. And antique it clearly was.

In the course of the "1st count" it became clear that the country was polarized, 50-50, with one half represented by the industrial and high tech centers of the West Coast and the Northeast and the other half represented by the broad provincial masses of the "extended" South, including the Midwest, the Southwest and the Rockies.

It was, as Abraham Lincoln would have stated, a country divided against itself, much along the same lines as the Civil War, 140 years previous.

The vote was so close that the media, who in previous years had "called" the election in the first few wee hours of voting -- and had thereby led the people to believe that their vote was irrelevant -- now suddenly found itself in a dilemma of not knowing who won. ONE VOTE counted.

First they called for one candidate, then the other.

In the end, the media declared the election a stalemate.

As the outcome of the election became less and less clear, the candidates holed up in their castles, and sent out their emissaries....

___________________

Never finished, the preceding material, or what was its beginning, was written on November 20, 2000.

Ponder what has happened in the interim.

It is now 2014, and the winner is ....

Ralph Nader ?!!?

Unstoppable.


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