Thursday, November 09, 2000

Civics lesson

Great drama, but no combat

        People got stomachaches. They cheered and they prayed. They slept with their television sets on.

        Then they woke up to — omigod — still no president.

        Could it get any better than this?

        We have a near tie for the highest office in the land. We're experiencing great political drama; and yet, not one person had to drive his bulldozer through Parliament.

        Nobody had to miss work to start a riot or take over WLW radio, although some of us fantasize about that.

        Instead of soldiers storming the Capitol, we have lawyers scrutinizing numbers.

        Instead of candidates stuffing ballots, we have Floridians making excuses. “Oh dear,” they're saying, “I may have accidentally voted for Pat Buchanan!”

        This is America's democracy, and we're so fortunate to have it.

        Granted the process needs tinkering: No president should be elected on technicalities that supersede the popular vote.

        But this can be fixed. Meanwhile, voters are acting like sports fans, only nicer.

        Consider Tracey Ross, a Covington dentist and Gore supporter. For weeks, she had been urging colleagues to get registered. Then she discovered most were voting for Mr. Bush, including one man who hadn't cast a ballot in 22 years.

        When she woke up yesterday morning, she thought, “Oh, well, maybe I shouldn't have been so encouraging.”

        Recalling this, Ms. Ross chuckles. She has the luxury of good humor, because this is America. Every four years, we get another chance.

        Karen Sxamples is the Enquirer's Kentucky columnist


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Enquirer waited all night long for winner
Tristate rides election 'roller coaster'
Ohio turnout called disappointing
BRONSON: A nation divided
PULFER: Women voters
HOWARD: Black voters
- SAMPLES: Civics lesson
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