Bush wins! Wait, hold on a second, Gore wins! No, that's not right. After the recount, Nader wins!
Can't you just see it? Come inauguration day, Gore and Bush will engage in a battle to the death, the only thing that will solve this controversy once and for all. I haven't done all my research, but this has to be one of the only times in anyone's recent memory when a column can be written without fear that by the time it actually gets printed, it will not be outdated.
According to CNN.com, with 100 percent of the precincts in, the difference in votes received for Gore and Bush in Florida is over ten times less than the one half of one percent necessary for a recount. In other words, in one of the most populous states in the country, the only thing keeping Gore from winning is an amount of people smaller than the size of the seniors and juniors at Dartmouth put together.
So Gore was prematurely named victorious in Florida, then Bush was prematurely named victorious, then I went to bed, deciding I'd see who the new president would be in the morning. But even then I was forced to wait even longer, making me frustrated and less concerned for who actually wins than the simple fact that someone wins at all.
And somebody will win. If the ballots don't ever say so, then Katie Couric will proclaim herself president in a hallucinatory fit after being awake for days of coverage. Someone will be leading this country, and in what is becoming a dismal trend, the man who is will be doing so with less than half of the country's mandate. The controversy will be far from over when the dust settles is Florida.
But being at Dartmouth would make you feel differently. Immediately after being frightened into thinking Bush won Florida, students start blitzing out about an anti-Bush protest on the Green (for the love of God, I hope that didn't pan out). Professors in class offer gratuitous slam after slam at Bush, propaganda terrifying enough so that not a single person in a huge lecture admits to supporting Bush. Example after example leads one to believe that no one on campus is a Republican; if Bush is such a moron why is the election in doubt at all?
Well, I have some logic for you. Bush won New Hampshire. With the magnitude of the get-out-the-vote campaign on this campus and others, it's reasonable to assume that a majority of students voted. Since we all know how sparsely populated this state is, it's also reasonable to assume that Dartmouth votes were the majority of votes in New Hampshire (believe me, I checked and rechecked the numbers). So, by that logic, half of the people on this campus who voted did so in favor of Bush.
Okay, maybe you don't buy into that logic, but as a proud Republican (though a reluctant Bush supporter), I know that there is a Republican presence on this campus. I know that many people care that Bush wins. However, with the fanaticism of the Democrats, the denial that as big a moron as Bush could ever win, it seems impossible to believe that anyone wants anybody but Gore to win.
This seems to be almost purely a Democratic phenomenon. A woman with a script calls everyone to proclaim why Democrats need our votes without giving any reasons why we should vote for them (did I ever have fun playing with her!). Jokes circulate about how Republicans are supposed to vote on Wednesday, not Tuesday. Messages in many organizations' blitzes promote Gore and bash Bush. Not to mention the insane number of automatic replies, overwhelmingly for Gore, distorting facts to discredit Bush. Even my beloved Simpsons did it!
Reality check, folks: half the country feels Bush is a better candidate than Gore (or at least a less bad candidate). Texas overwhelmingly supports him; if all the bad things said about his leadership were true, why would they? The fact of the matter is that, at least during the closing weeks of this campaign when Democrats really started freaking out, Democrats overwhelmingly resorted to attacks, cheap claims without basis in fact, tricks, and intimidation to support their candidate, and continue to do so even though there's nothing left to be done, as if one must be a fool not to be a Gore supporter. Meanwhile, Republicans increasingly used reasoned arguments, calm claims, and facts to promote their candidate. This trend was especially evident at Dartmouth, which I'm taking to be evidence of its existence since I presume that, for a college, Dartmouth is relatively conservative (that does not at all mean that it is predominantly conservative, however!).
Why the necessity for Republicans to remain closeted? Even at a relatively conservative institution, Gore propaganda is so strong that it seriously does make Republicans fearful to admit their affiliation. This is something I've experienced ever since I first complained about it in the D last fall. Republicans remain the ones calmly and coolly looking at the facts and remaining hidden in the woodwork, not making a scene, quietly supporting their candidate, while Democrats increasingly are the ones using obnoxious phrases like, "Bush is a moron! Our country will go to hell if he becomes president! If he gets elected, I'm moving to Canada!" Let me ask Democrats something: do you actually like Gore, or will you persist in the attacks and the franticness right up to Bush's inauguration?
Democrats, for all their claims of being the intellectual party, have appeared throughout the entire campaign season to be nothing more than political snobs. The resorting to trickery and to making people feel uncomfortable and stupid for thinking anything else hurts Gore's appeal rather than helps. If Dartmouth were the sole indicator of who would become president, there'd be seemingly no question in Gore's victory, but that's why we have the election in the first place. If Bush wins, it will be legitimate and there will be nothing that a mob of people in black shirts can do about it. Either move to Canada or get over yourselves and get in touch with reality. If Gore wins, hopefully it won't be a result of obnoxious Democratic tactics. Either way, someone will win and life will go on.
Democrats undoubtedly will disagree with me, but this is my perspective and it has an undeniable basis in reality. But now to return to the waiting game. If you don't like the ultimate outcome, don't blame me--I'm not part of the problem. I didn't vote.