When the Supreme Court officially ended a recount that was leaning dangerously close to having a competent President, rewriting the Constitution by appointing George W. Bush to the Presidency, most Americans closed the book on that election. Sure, a few newspapers did their own recounts and found a clear mandate from Florida for Al Gore – despite the elimination of 20,000 voters from the rolls because their names were vaguely like those of convicted felons in other states – all 20,000 being from Democrat-voting areas. But after all, didn’t LBJ win a Senate seat in a tained election? Wasn’t Chicago, well, Chicago for all those years? So Democrats did it too. That somehow made it all right that Republicans stole one election. It was making up for LBJ’s Senate seat.
Evidence for the theft of the election kept piling up – but precious few Americans had access to it. The BBC ran a complete exposé along with the confession of one of the election thieves, and as noted newspapers did a recount later, discovering that Gore really did win the election (no matter how the ballots were recounted), but that was old news. The election was over and we were told to get over it. After all, the Republicans wrote an election reform bill. That would fix things.
Then, we had 2004. The newspapers told us that everything was just fine so we went along with it. Now we know that the voting machines in Ohio and other battleground states were rigged. Exit polls, before accurate to within a fraction of a point, suddenly veered off-track by 5.5%, and always in the same direction. Massive quantities of non-Republicans suddenly chose to vote Republican while all Democrats seemed to stay at home in some districts. Some areas ended up with more voter than voters. But Kerry, in an attack of gutlessness which thankfully he never showed in Vietnam, let it go, and the people agreed. Sure, we had the uncomfortable knowledge that one voting-machine company head had proclaimed he would do whatever it took to get Bush re-elected; and the evidence to show that he had fulfilled his pledge. Sure, we knew that most election-machine makers conformed to no laws in testing and operating their equipment, and that some were run by convicted felons, and that all were faithful to the Republican Party. But the election was over and the losers were being whiners. Get over it.
We have another election in 2006. We can expect the same dirty tricks we have gotten in the past: voting machines in poor districts suddenly moved without any notification, people thrown off voting rolls if they happen to be the wrong color or party, and of course those great, unaccountable, uncontrollable electronic voting machines. And I’m sure that no matter how it turns out, anyone who protests will be told to get over it.
So I ask my fellow conservatives, even those who continue to vote for Republicans knowing that there are practically no more conservative Republicans on a national level, — when will it be enough? When the Republic is declared obsolete? When the Constitution can be rewritten at will because there are no real votes? When there is a single party?
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak out for me.
— Martin Niemoeller
To put it another way, do you believe in democracy only if you win?