2000-11-25 / Columnists

On The Beach

As we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, it is a time to contemplate and reflect upon all that one should be thankful for. As a nation, we live in somewhat peaceful and prosperous times, we keep making advances in medicine, and we have evolved into a much better nation than we were. As for the presidential debacle, perhaps we should also be thankful that neither of these two guys have won!
  I don't know about you, but I always thought that Chad was a place in some remote part of the world! And now the presidency of the most powerful country hangs in the balance and is to be determined by a "chad" or a "dimple".

They're laughing at us in Zwahili. I'm not at all surprised. After the past decade that has just given us the O.J. Simpson trial, and the impeachment of President Clinton, where the law and the English language were ripped to shreds, I believe that what we have seen is a political meltdown to the core. No, we are not fighting a war at our borders. We are, however, fighting a war of corruption that has attacked and breeds in every pore of our existence. The chaotic situation was inevitable.

Many say the media was culpable for calling the election too early; but I believe what we are seeing is the result and fault of the two political parties. Although there are seemingly marked differences between the candidates, it is their similarities that are more disturbing. In their party's quest to put up a candidate they can call "their own", we are now faced with the frightening scenario that one of these guys will actually be elected. At least with "W" we know he can always "phone home" for answers to questions like who is the president of North Korea...Don't forget, this past decade has also produced the movie "Dumb and Dumber".

Regardless of the resolution in Florida, our country will still be divided and our process tainted. If you don't believe that, then you should remember how Bush fought to keep McCain off of the New York ballots and how the "election commission" excluded Ralph Nader from attending the debates.

I happened to run into Councilman Stabile at the Ram's Horn Diner last Sunday and he said something that very much pin pointed why we are enduring such a razor-thin race and he went to the heart of the matter by saying that it's because there isn't any passion in politics anymore. "Candidates don't sweat", he said. Gone is a fervency for the sport. All that matters is winning. There's so much riding on the race and many futures will rise or fall on the outcome. One can only wonder what would happen to the one who lost. If Bush loses, he'll probably just go to the bar! If Gore loses, I think he'd jump off a bridge. He'd be thoroughly destroyed mentally and politically that he'd have nowhere to go. He is such a caricature who is wound so tight that I really believe he would just self-destruct.

Whomever the winner will be, I hope the other will bow out gracefully. There has been one redeeming aspect to the entire scenario and that is that we have witnessed the best and worst of our political system. For young and old alike, we have been given an education on constitutional and election law. We've seen where our fractures lay and perhaps we can now make the systemic changes that will remedy it. Hopefully, democracy, as our forefathers intended, will prevail; and for that, we would be thankful.

***Congratulations to Alana Klein on her Bat Mitzvah. Alana is the daughter of Sylvan and Rose Klein and the granddaughter of Anne Levine. She is also the niece of Robert Levine, CEO of Peninsula Hospital, whom I thank again for all the personal attention he gave while Owen was in the hospital.

***Celebrating his birthday this week is Patrick Smith. Congratulations to Dr. Geraldine D. Chapey on her honorary doctorate in humane letters from Dowling College.


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