Florida Presidential Election 2000 Update
O.K., so, maybe the British monarchy wasn't such a bad idea after all. After all, no matter
how this electoral circus pans out, we'll still wind up with a transfer of power via
bloodlines. Whether it's ex-president George Bush Sr. anointing his son George Dubya
(W) Bush or whether it's Senator Al Gore Sr. anointing his son Al Gore Jr. the result is
still government in the hands of American royalty - political power passed from father to
Now, I have no particular problem with nepotism - I just wish I had some relatives in the
I don't even mind if this whole brouhaha carries on for another few months past the
inaugural date, as I'm a big fan of Bill Clinton; I think he's been a great president and I'm
happy for him to carry on, so to speak. (Even though I'm gonna get whacked on the head
with a frying pan, by my wife, for saying so.)
In fact, the whole fiasco is reassuring in a way - it should help to quell the paranoid notion
that the United States is secretly run by a well oiled and efficient military industrial
complex or the Tri-Lateral Commission conspiring to undermine the tenets of democracy
with their undue influence and surreptitious power brokering and manipulation. If this
election was the best they could do, we've got absolutely nothing to worry about. You
see, what it all comes down to is...
The chads! Yes, it's the chads! The suicidal 'hanging' chads, the wife swapping 'swinging'
chads, the oops-I-forgot-to-pull-out 'pregnant' chads, the always adorable 'dimpled'
Oh, the chads. The scads of chads! In fact, it's turned into a MAD CHAD FAD!!!
If you must know, the whole episode has made me a tad sad. :o( ;o)
There's been some talk about blasting off the bit just under Georgia and letting Florida
float away across the Atlantic, maybe bump into and become part of Cuba.
Notwithstanding the fact that my big sister Erica (who I remain fond of, despite her having
fed me dog food as a kid) lives there with her family, I'm not sure this is such a bad idea.
Remember, aside from about 100,000 lawyers filing lawsuits and briefs, there are real
alligators roaming around this place, eating chickens and the occasional house pet.
Mickey Mouse is a venerated senior citizen (he regularly gets a few thousand write-in
votes for president). In fact, Goofy is head of one of the county canvassing boards, and,
of course, Cruella DeVille became Florida's Secretary of State. As long as Florida, a
protruding peninsula, remains connected to the mainland, there's always a real risk,
especially in light of global warming, that these man-eating lawyers, alligators and Disney
characters will begin migrating north, wreaking havoc on the rest of the contiguous United
States. This is some cause for alarm.
At some point, who wins becomes moot. As this entertaining scenario unfolds, the
present political dialogue, itself, will do more to change the nation than the particular
policies of either potential president. In some strange way, the close contest has forced
both sides to begrudgingly acknowledge the existence of the other. It's as if we grabbed
two fighting toddlers and threw them into a room together until they finally learned how to
play nice with each other - or at least as long as the grownups are watching them.
The most refreshing part of all this is getting to watch even the most learned and
respected politicians and analysts, on both sides, lie and misrepresented consistently and
straight faced along strictly partisan lines.
This is a reminder to all of us that reality is purely subjective and the state of our lives has
more to do with our individual perspective on it than it does with what's actually happening
at the time...
In other words, by applying this profound principle, I am financially secure, respected by
my peers and rewarded by society for my creative contributions. And, I get invited to all
the best parties!
This is not, strictly speaking, the case; but, by relying on perception instead of mere
facts, I'm able to fashion a reality that more comfortably suits me.
Until I'm overruled by the Supreme Court (or the I.R.S.) I'll stick to this optimistic view of
Meanwhile, don't worry - we survived O.J., we survived Lewinsky, we survived Elian... or
did we? Hmmmm... Could it be that in some strange metaphorical way just as all
northerners eventually retire to Florida, maybe all media extravaganzas eventually retire
to Florida too, and we're finally reaping the results of our own media mania as each
scandal exerts its influence - via issues of
race/class/gender/age/religion/morality/idealogical chauvinism - on the most basic
expression of our cherished democracy - the presidential election.
In any case, compared to what might have happened, the Florida fiasco is, as far as I'm
concerned, a non-event. Why? Because, remarkably, counter to generations of
deep-rooted, cultural anxieties, the fact that Gore's Vice Presidential running mate Joe
Lieberman is a Jew, appears to have had absolutely no negative impact in this election.
This is reassuring. It means, assuming I can get one tiny misdemeanor overturned, even I
could run for president, or, well, maybe dog-catcher. Actually, that wouldn't be such a
bad idea; I could let the dogs have the run of the neighborhood, ticket them and then tear
up all the tickets! Hmmmm...
I'd have to start a committee, raise funds to fill my campaign chest, cozy up to the local
party machine, kiss lots of babies...
Maybe next year.
Meanwhile, enjoy Earth's atmosphere while it's still around. Take care of yourselves and
don't watch too much CNN.
Dean Friedman - Non-Candidate for Dog Catcher and Town Music Supervisor
PS: Don't forget - Only three more weeks to shop for the Holidays! And, if you live in
Westchester, NY and like to eat potato latkes, order your tickets now for the annual
Chanukah Concert for Kids at the Yorktown Stage Theater on December 24th at 2pm.
ORDER CHANUKAH TICKETS
REALLY BORED WITH NOTHING TO DO