[sixties-l] another imagine that!

From: Jeffrey Apfel (japfel@risd.edu)
Date: 11/20/00

  • Next message: David Yu: "[sixties-l] Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 20:40:29 -0500"

    An alternative view, through the looking glass.
    1.  Imagine an election in a country dominated by a political machine.
    The campaign of the self-declared winner is managed by the son of
    famous machine politican, the father having stolen a previous national
    election through vote fraud.
    2.  The self-declared winner is the son of a former senator.  The father
    was closely
    allied with one of the world's richest, most secretive and sleaziest
    businessmen, someone who made business deals with the country's
    arch-enemy and laundered the funds from the deals to fund the enemy's
    spies within his own country.
    3.  Imagine that the nation's press corps covering the elction are
    near-universally members of the self-declared winner's party, and
    downplayed any suggestion of vote fraud or other irregularities.
    4.  Imagine that the self-declared winner used political and legal
    leverage to make sure votes in only certain favorable locales were
    subjected to a recount by hand, and that the recount method maximized
    subjective discretion and political manipulation.
    5.  Imagine that the self-declared winner was second-in-command during
    the election to a leader who had perfected the art of character
    assassination (especially of of troublesome women), and that the
    self-declared winner used the same process to discredit those opposing
    him in the election.
    6.  Imagine the self-decribed winner endorsing the notion that the
    province and its subdivisions be permitted to conduct recounts under
    relevant law, then putting political pressure on subdivisions that chose
    not to conduct a recount and legal pressure on provincial officials who
    do not agree with him.
    NOTE:  I do not find the above particularly fairminded, even if I wrote
    it.  But the earlier version was also propaganda.  The main issue in
    this election is simply this: a near-tie exceeds, in engineering terms,
    the tolerances of our political, electoral and legal structures.  That
    is a big problem, to be sure, and creates a real legitimacy issue that
    partisans on both sides are doing nothing to rectify.  But the problem
    came about via an almost perfectly calibrated appeal to the political
    center, and spinning the resulting chaos in conspiratorial sixties terms
    is ludicrous.
    Jeff Apfel

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