Before I start any serious analysis of the election deadlock, I've got to get three ironies off my chest.
First I turn to Milwaukee, where the forces of Red Puritanism and the Party of the Trial Lawyers bribed bums to vote for Al Gore by giving them cigarettes. Cigarettes! That's a neat demonstration of how the Goreites balance the Urgent Imperative of Protecting the Health of the Disadvantaged against the Urgent Imperative of Seizing Power. It's another neat illustration of Goreish hypocrisy on the tobacco issue, too.
The second irony is the purported confusion over Palm Beach County's butterfly ballot on the part of thousands upon thousands of wealthy, highly educated Jewish voters. One of the news nets says a second-grade teacher handed out the same ballot to her little charges, asking them to vote for Al Gore and they all managed to do it successfully! Down the hall in the same school, a first-grade teacher reported somewhat less success: of her 6-year-olds, "only" 19 out of 24 passed the test.
What I want to know now is, what are we to make of everything we've been told about Jewish intellectual superiority? Do we throw out all the impressive evidence amassed by both Jewish and non-Jewish scholars, as well as our own mountain of anecdotal evidence, or could there possibly be some skullduggery at work in Palm Beach County?
A third explanatory possibility is Alzheimer's, which I suppose Jews fall victim to, same as gentiles. If that is the explanation, and if I were still a constitutional republican, I'd have to wonder what business such mentally disabled folks had entering a voting booth. (I'd ask the same question about those bums in Milwaukee.) A sub-irony I'll mention here is the spectacle, or purported spectacle, of all those Jews mistakenly voting for the candidate they regard as the Son of Hitler: Pat Buchanan. Once again we're into transparodistic territory, and I can only wish the folks at "Saturday Night Live" the best of luck in somehow making it even funnier.
Third irony: What old political maven would ever have imagined we'd hear a Daley, of all people, assert that real ballots have to be really counted before an election can be certified! But Gore chairman Bill Daley has asserted just that. More than that, actually. It seems that, to Daley, the more times you count the ballots, the more certifiable the election becomes. He has called Florida's eternal recount nothing less than "dimackrisy in action."
But maybe this one's only an apparent irony, and maybe it's not a gross betrayal of the Daley family heritage at all. Canvassing the cemeteries may be passé here on the cusp of the 21st century. Maybe the modern thing to do is to make sure those local election officials Jim Bob and Mary Lou Munchkin with their mortgages and orthodontist bills hear the hissing of the most ruthless and sinister big-city power-broker shysters who slither upon the Earth. And then intimidate old Jim Bob and Mary Lou into torturously interpreting every doubtful ballot as a ballot for Gore. And keep the count going until you eventually get the total you like. Certainly none would dare call it corruption. Or in other words: "Whatsa madder witchoo? Dat dere's nuttin' but doo prahcess!"
Daley is right, in a way. However we characterize his proposed remedies for the mess in Florida, the mess itself certainly is "dimackrisy in action." So is the mess in New Mexico and other states. The only reason we don't see it in action more often is that important elections usually aren't this close, so the losers aren't as well motivated to squeal about the initial count. There's nothing special about Florida or New Mexico. If we were to lift the hood in other states and poke about in the shadowy recesses, we'd find a comparable level of imperfections, errors, irregularities, and anomalies. Not to mention voter incompetence. And the more we poked, the more we'd find. You have to conclude, it seems to me, that once you dare to lift that hood, vote-counting becomes more of an art than a science, and maybe one of the dark arts at that.
We were always supposed to believe, though, that it was a science the simple science of arithmetic. It's going to be hard to salvage that old civics lesson from the stinking ruins of current events. To be sure, the irrepressible Bill Clinton has already tried, assuring us that the election deadlock and the resulting chaos prove the importance of each individual vote. But that lamest of lame turkeys lives by disseminating doublethink, and his nonsense is no longer interesting; which is to say, it no longer possesses the power to stupefy.
What the deadlock and the chaos actually prove, to a normal man who is able to see what is in front of his nose, is the worthlessness for purposes of influencing the outcome of each individual vote. If I do say so myself, never before has one of my columns been so quickly and so definitively validated by events as my last installment, written on election eve.
The "chaos" has shaken up many Americans who believe all of the old civics lessons, but those of us who believe in the ruling class can relax assuming that chaos isn't our cup of tea. Our ultimate rulers will permit the disorder in the political class to go only so far. Already we see hints of restraint: both the New York Times and the Washington Post have zinged "Dimackrisy in Action" Daley and the Gore team for their arrogance. To turn Sherlock Holmes's observation around, the Times and the Post are two dogs we never would have expected to bark in the night not even if a whole battalion of left-wing burglars and cutthroats came trooping through the garden. Think of all the times in the past those dogs have not barked. There must be some expert dog-trainers out on the moor tonight, dog-trainers impressively turned out in their Dark Suits.
I've proposed before that the Suits may prefer divided government, on the grounds that such an arrangement is easier for them to manipulate while keeping their manipulating hand invisible. A president who just barely scrambles and stumbles into office, as Bush or Gore will do, and who will face a Congress that is more or less evenly divided, is going to be especially dependent on the ruling class. It might be rash to claim that our rulers somehow orchestrated the election deadlock, but we can be sure that they'll make the most of it.
Some presidents are themselves members of the ruling class, such as Franklin Roosevelt; some are closely allied to it and respected by it, such as Woodrow Wilson. Such titanic figures are still dependent, ultimately, on the ruling class, but they are at the same time real players in the System. Their dependence differs markedly from that of pure creatures such as Jerry Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. Whoever is eventually permitted to take office on January 20 is now likely to out-Ford Ford, out-Carter Carter, and out-Clinton Clinton in terms of utter dependence. Millions of Americans including many who we thought had lost all interest in the legitimacy of their rulers will question his legitimacy. That's a problem even Ford the "appointed president" never faced.
The "winner" of the 2000 election is going to need special support (in the case of Gore) or forbearance (in the case of Bush) from the established media owned by the Suits. He will have a special need for the credibility that only "universally respected" Wise Men from the ruling class can lend him. And the attention he is going to have to devote to the wishes of Alan Greenspan in particular and Wall Street in general will make Clinton, by contrast, look like Ralph Nader.
It will be a painful comedown for either George W. Bush or Al Gore, who are both scions of the American political class and who, thanks to their fathers and their fathers' friends, already have connections with the ruling class. When they declared their respective candidacies, they didn't start out as nobodies on the level of Carter or Clinton. They were somebodies. While recognizing that they had superiors, they probably considered themselves men of respect and perhaps even looked forward to becoming junior members of the ruling class some day. It must be strange for each man to find, after a long, hard-fought political struggle, that whoever wins is going to win as a nobody.
In only a few days Bush and Gore have been reduced in stature sufficiently that the ruling class is probably not interested in prolonging the deadlock and reducing them further. It's about time, I'd guess, for our masters to quit exploiting chaos and attend instead to the countervailing dynamic: stability. The current chaos may resolve itself in Bush's or Gore's favor without further ruling-class intervention. But if that doesn't happen soon, and especially if the major market indices continue to fall along with the two candidates' stature, the Powers That Be will have to quietly take one of the two men aside and advise him to quit. Or in other words: "Enough 'dimackrisy,' for God's sake. We've got a System to run."
November 11, 2000
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