ARE WE CAPABLE OF GOVERNING OURSELVES? By Dan Turpen, The Herald-Times November 18, 2004 It seems determination to conduct a fundamental component of our government according to democratic, representative principles is on shaky ground. Result of the recent election, while yielding a majority of popular votes for President Bush, remains questionable by those insisting the election was rigged or Senator Kerry would have surely won. There is no other plausible explanation, according to this faction, why their candidate, their beliefs, didnt prevail. The election was fixed, has become the rallying cry of the dissatisfied who seem determined their cause must prevail regardless of the truth. Among those who insist Senator Kerry was the only logical, rightful choice, George Bush will NEVER be accepted as the undisputed leader and divisiveness will continue. It is likely some votes in some precincts throughout the country werent counted properly. It is also likely that possibility cuts in both political directions. Whatever problem or error causes a vote to be miscounted or lost is unacceptable. We have a duty to evaluate and improve our voting process while avoiding irresponsible tactics that erode and threaten to weaken the system that has served to preserve our freedom. There was a time, once an election was over, winners went about their business, and losers licked their wounds, tried to find new jobs for their in-laws and began planning to prevail at a later date. It seems the outcome of this election wont be acknowledged by some without prolonged wrangling centered on disbelief and hostility toward those who didnt support the loser. Senator Kerry offered a gracious concession speech that evidently wasnt heard by some zealous supporters. A self-proclaimed, unelected leader recently proposed our elections should be monitored by a disinterested party. The United Nations was suggested by this individual as a referee to make sure we conduct fair elections. What an insult to our heritage. The U.S. is involved throughout the world trying to advance democracy and free elections, and we are told we arent capable or trustworthy to do the same for ourselves! This remedy seems to follow the do as I say, not as I do rule. It will be a sad day for our country when we must rely on certification of election results from any entity outside our borders. Would necessity of such a measure indicate we are becoming incapable of governing ourselves and beginning to crumble from within? Voting irregularity isnt a phenomenon peculiar to our time. The 1960 presidential election, decided by 118,574 popular votes, eventually exposed the Democrat Party machine of Cook County, Illinois, conducting a masterful irregularity that resulted in the states electoral votes going to John F. Kennedy. Election fraud, in any guise, is an effort to undermine and overrule the will of the people. Election fraud didnt originate in the 21st century, but it must never be tolerated. The unwillingness or inability to accept the outcome of this election reminds me of a cowboy movie I watched years ago. The stranger in this adventure wandered into a ramshackle town and found his way to the saloon. While posed at the bar drinking a warm one to cut the trail dust from his throat, town loafers congregated and began to taunt the newcomer to fight the local tough, Duke. Duke, bragged his chums, had never lost a fight. After several attempts to avoid trouble, the stranger slugged Duke senseless and returned to the bar for another sarsaparilla before hitting the trail. By this time, old Dukes clique reconvened around the stranger and began grumbling there was no way their man lost the fight. They just couldnt accept what was before their eyes. There lay Duke, unconscious, bleeding from his mouth, and his ragamuffin followers wouldnt concede their champion had been whupped. Dukes gang didnt let the stranger leave town without a beating, but it required all of them to gain revenge. I suppose they felt better about the disturbing incident after getting a few unfair licks in themselves, but Duke didnt participate. Like it or not, a majority of The People rejected Senator Kerry and elected President Bush. The majority has spoken.