Let's Look at the Bright Side

On this dark, dark day in American history, I prefer to see the next White House as half-full instead of half-empty! That's just the kind of kooky optimist I am.

Instead of brooding over the antics of our Supreme Court Jesters, I'd rather focus on what makes this country great. Such as all that hooey our 7th grade civics teacher told us about how ANYONE can become President of the United States. She was right! It's true! ANYONE just became president. Let this be a lesson to my younger readers -- listen to your teachers!

You know, I always like it when life is a win-win situation. Gore won the "popular" vote, so I guess that means George W. won the unpopular vote! Everyone goes home with something.

OK, put away that Gillette double-edged razor and flush those sleeping pills down the toilet -- tonight is a night for celebration! It's time to count our blessings, to thank the Lord for what we have been given, to reach out and touch someone, to....

To make a list! A list of all the silver linings in this cloud on its way from Austin to D.C. Yes, there are a number good things that will come out of all this madness.

Consider these silver linings:

Silver Lining #1: Ralph Nader QUADRUPLED the Number of Votes He Got in '96!

Continue to ignore his supporters, continue to trash him, and the Democrats will lose AGAIN in 2004. If there is one lesson that had better be learned after all the acrimony dies down it's that the Democratic Party can no longer elect a President without the millions of disgruntled voters who demand an end to the death penalty, a law that provides free health coverage for all, prison time for corporate crooks, a doubling of the minimum wage, a cut in Pentagon spending, and a host of other issues. You don't have to agree with all these positions, but if you choose to ignore them, you do so at your own peril. These last five weeks have done more to turn off millions of Americans to BOTH the Republican and Democratic parties than a hundred Nader super rallies on C-Span could ever hope to do. Trust me, Nader will quadruple his vote again in 2004. That's 12 million voters next time. Count on it.

Come home, Democratic Party, come home.

Silver Lining #2: Someone Is Going to Count Those Votes in Florida.

That's right. Thanks to one of the best Freedom of Information Act laws in the country, any citizen or media outlet in Florida may demand to have the ballots hand-counted. The Miami Herald has already filed their request. If they don't do it, I will. Within the next month or so, this one truth will be proven and revealed: Gore got more votes than Bush in Florida. Gore won. Which will lead us to our next silver lining...

Silver Lining #3: The Bush Presidency Will Be Crippled.

The nation will know Baby Bush only as an illegitimate president. He will be nothing more than an illegal squatter in the Oval Office. Not only will he have no mandate, he will have no business being there. He will get little or nothing done. Put a fork in his administration. It's cooked before they even have the parade.

Silver Lining #4: George W. Bush Likes Naps, Video Games and Taking the Day Off To Go Fishing.

Just in case the hubris of Silver Lining #3 is slightly off, we can be sure that Bush is just lazy enough and just dumb enough so that he won't find the time to do too much damage to the country or the world. The people to keep an eye on will be the cabal he brings to Washington with him. They will require the rest of us to give up napping or going fishing. The video games we keep.

Silver Lining #5: Strom Thurmond Is Not Long for This World.

I say this with absolutely no animosity or disrespect. I hope he lives an even longer life. But I think even Strom would agree -- if you make it to 98, you get the brass ring, and you also know that your days are numbered. Whether forced to retire due to ill health or having to leave the Senate because of a higher calling, when Thurmond goes, the Democratic governor of South Carolina is going to appoint a Democratic senator and that will give the Democrats a 51-49 majority. When that happens, more chaos for Bush, more roadblocks, more trouble for his agenda (though not THAT much trouble, considering that the same rich guys who fund Bush also fund most of these Democrats).

Silver Lining #6: Thank You, United States Supreme Court!

By being so blatantly partisan, you can bet that a post-Thurmond Democratically-controlled Senate is sufficiently ticked off to stop any Bush nominee who is too extreme.

And, thanks to this week's 5-to-4 blunder, you have been tricked into doing something none of us ever thought we would get you to do. You have taken a stand against "states' rights!" Yes, that evil concept that the founding fathers agreed to in order to keep the slave states happy has just been dealt a death blow -- by you! We expect to hold you to this new standard. You also made clear your strong support for the equal protection clause in the Constitution. Great! You can prove your new allegiance to equality for all by ordering an investigation as to why one in three black voters in some Florida precincts were not allowed to vote.

Silver Lining #7: We Will Now Have a Nationwide Uniform Ballot.

No more chads, no more Karnack. No more the rich getting the foolproof high-tech vote scanners, and the poor getting antiquated machines that don't work. May I make a radical suggestion? A piece of paper and a Number 2 pencil that one uses to mark an "X" in a square, and then a cardboard box with slit on top that you put the piece of paper into! That's the Canadian way. Last month, they hand-counted thirteen million paper ballots in under 4 hours! We look like idiots. This has to be the first bill passed by the new Congress.

Silver Lining #8: Everyone Finally Knows the Awful Truth: "One Person, One Vote" Is a Lie.

Good. Now we can do something about it. We need a system of proportional representation. That would guarantee that everyone's voice is heard. Remember that other civics lesson -- "majority rule, minority rights"? Proportional representation means if your party got 10 percent of the vote, you get 10 percent of the seats. A number of local governments in the U.S. have switched to this much fairer and representative system. In the meantime, we have our best chance now to dump the Electoral College (or, at the very least, reform it so that every states' electors are proportioned to the percentage each candidate got).

Silver Lining #9: We Will Never Have To Look at James Baker or Warren Christopher Again.

'Nuff said.

Silver Lining #10: With Bush In the White House, Evil Has No Mask.

From now on, unlike during the Clinton/Gore years, when the poor are forced into greater hardships, when the innocent are executed, when our First Amendment rights are stripped from us, when our family's jobs are shipped to sweatshops overseas, when a record number of personal bankruptcies continues to rise, when abortion remains unavailable in 86 percent of the counties in the country, the liberals and Democrats will not sit silently by. It's hard for them to organize any real opposition to a Democrat in the White House -- "I mean, he's one of US! At least he's not a REPUBLICAN! We MUST support him against those EVIL REPUBLICANS!"

And then he does nearly everything a Republican would do -- and gets away with it.

Bush won't get away with it. Liberals and Democrats will be forced to finally take a stand. All will be well until the next election.

Sleep tight, my friends, and don't let the bogeyman scare you. It's only a dream... it's only a dream...


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