Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Monday, August 09, 2004

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.
Written by: Beck

At first I read this article, and I thought maybe it wasn't true. After all, who the heck is WorldNetDaily? This seemed like the kind of thing which could easily be a mere shaky construction out of a few misconstrued quotes and a healthy dose of wishful thinking.

Now has picked up the story, and the last lair of denial has been stripped away. The United States State Department, in concert with the White House, at the encouragement of roughly a dozen fringe law makers, has invited international election observers to monitor the 2004 US presidential election. This is a terrible idea, and it is offensive to every single person who calls themselves an American citizen, regardless of political affiliation. I am shocked.

First of all, as frequent mention of the 2000 Florida recount makes amply apparent, this constitutes a tacit acknowledgement that the system failed in 2000. I disagree. The courts exist to resolve disputes like what emerged in 2000, and they resolved them. While you might not agree with their conclusions, nonetheless, the courts performed the function they exist to perform, the nation abided by the court's ruling, and we had a president.

Now, it seems, we're saying that rather than having a system which functions as intended, rather even than saying that there were problems with the Florida ballots--evidently paper is too stiff for all the elderly folks their to successfully punch holes in it--we're saying that we can't even successfully manage an election on our own. We aspire to be the world's most powerful nation--we tell the rest of the world to behave, to follow the rules, and threaten them with violence should they not fall in line. And yet we can't even run an election on our own soil.

How is our foreign policy, much of which hinges on encouraging democracy abroad, be taken seriously if we can't even run elections at home? And of course we can run elections at home without help from a gaggle of Europeans. It's a fairly simple procedure, we've been doing it for over 200 years now. As such, one can only conclude that the motives behind introducing international observers is some sort of political pandering or maneuvering of the worst kind.

The game of politics reaches a point where it completely leaves behind principle, and instead, every action and every word are scripted in an attempt to garner a few more votes and outmaneuver political opponents. We have finally reached the point where no thought is given to whether something is right or wrong, and all thought is given to how a particular scheme will play with the press.

And one final note--I'm sick of hearing criticism of Republican behavior during the recount, and I'm sick of hearing that it was an attempt to disenfranchise minorities. Gore only called for recounts in counties which were heavily populated by minorities because he knew he stood to gain the most there. The Bush camp opposed them straight up, and did not call for recounts in counties full of counties full of conservative retirees. Had the entire state been recounted, then based on the way un-recounted counties had leaned, the most likely outcome is that Bush would have actually gained votes. It was Gore who tried to lean on the politics of race to steal the election, not Bush. Furthermore, the Gore camp tried to obstruct thousands of legitimately cast absentee ballots from soldiers stationed abroad. In other words, Bush opposed a ludicrously biased recount process, while Gore opposed legitimately cast ballots. So enough with the "Republicans stole the election," whining--you're convincing everyone new, and you're causing those who've paid attention to the actual facts to lose respect for you.

As for a few of the details from the CNN article:
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was invited to monitor the election by the State Department. The observers will come from the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

It will be the first time such a team has been present for a U.S. presidential election.

"The U.S. is obliged to invite us, as all OSCE countries should," spokeswoman Urdur Gunnarsdottir said. "It's not legally binding, but it's a political commitment. They signed a document 10 years ago to ask OSCE to observe elections."
The facts: there are 55 signatories to the OSCE, but only 30 nations in 10 years have had OSCE observers. In other words, the OSCE is needed in places where interference with the democratic process is expected. They are not needed in nations where elections are handled in a routine and peaceful manner.

The United States of America is the home and heart of that nebulous principle known as democracy. Anything which suggests or implies that we are not qualified or capable of successfully executing the democratic process strikes a blow to US legitimacy and is an insult to US citizens. I cannot believe that the State Department, in league with the White House, has bent to pressure and acceded to election monitoring.

(Hat tip: The Rottweiler & Spatula City)

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