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Hey, Al, I Want a Recount, Too
by Thomas A. Droleskey
November 15, 2000

The recount of the popular vote for the selection of presidential electors in Florida is going on and on and on as this is being written in Lafayette, Indiana, on Friday, November 10. No end appears to be in sight. As noted in the lead commentary in the current issue of Christ or Chaos, leftists use any and all means available to them to browbeat others into complete and total submission. Vice President Al Gore and his minions are using all manner of ever-shifting arguments to justify their effort to win the presidency by brute intimidation.

The allegations of voting irregularities in Florida are nothing new in the history of American electoral politics. The lowering of the voting age to eighteen has resulted in lots more stupid people going to the polls, joining those already in line. Addle-brained people find it difficult to follow directions in all walks of their daily lives. Many people on the roadways these days cannot follow simple directional signs, especially at toll booths for bridges or tunnels or toll roads. Others find a menu in a restaurant impossible to decipher. Lots of people live in states of continuous bewilderment.

That is partly the result of a lack of intellectual ability, and it is partly the result of the dumbing down of the American populace in our schools and in our popular culture — the cultural degradation owing much to so many Americans’ habit of letting their lives revolve around the television, which has become the new tabernacle of our secular era. And a good many such people want others to indemnify them whenever they make mistakes in their lives, an attitude that many of my college students exhibited rather predictably in the past decade or so. It was my fault, you see, that they did not read the clear directions I placed on the top of each examination. I was wrong for holding all students to one standard of competence.

The claim (not yet established as an actual fact) that some voters in Palm Beach County in Florida were “confused” by a ballot devised by a local Democratic Party election official is yet another example of people seeking to establish a right to “correct” whatever mistakes they make in life. It is frequently the case that we have to live with our mistakes. Indeed, we are supposed to learn from them — learn how not to repeat them over and over again. That is part of what we mean when we talk about the learning process.

But voter mistakes are quite a different thing from allegations of actual fraud and/or voter intimidation. Recall what happened in 1960, when it was fairly evident that Richard Nixon’s election to the presidency was stolen from him by Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., working hand in glove with Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley and Senate majority leader Lyndon Baines Johnson to manufacture the votes necessary to make Kennedy’s eldest surviving son president of the United States (and Johnson vice president). By contrast, the current situation in Florida hinges on a narrow margin between the two major-party presidential candidates produced, in part, by what appears to be simple voter carelessness. Not even Gore campaign chairman William Daley, son of the late Chicago mayor (and brother of Richard M. Daley, the current Chicago mayor), has alleged that George W. Bush’s campaign stole any votes.

Once again, the hypocrisy of the Left is on full display for all to witness. Loretta Sanchez defeated then-Representative Robert K. Dornan in 1996 largely as a result of voter fraud. Resident aliens who were not citizens of the United States were permitted to register as voters and vote for Sanchez. Republicans in Congress, eager to be rid of Dornan, did not investigate the situation vigorously, and U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno said that she knew of no specific laws forbidding resident aliens from voting. Similarly, Woody Jenkins lost to Mary Landrieux in Louisiana’s U.S. Senate race that same year. Charges of wholesale election fraud were dismissed by Senate Republicans, most of whom did not want to be seen as “bashing” another woman just five years after they’d placed Anita Hill under justifiably intense scrutiny during the Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearings on Clarence Thomas.

Actual election fraud has been a common phenomenon in the history of this nation. The stuffing of ballot boxes was common in the nineteenth century when paper ballots were used. Voters were intimidated by means of physical threats. People voted two or three times. Ballots cast for some candidates were thrown out or burned. Dead people voted, a phenomenon still to be found in certain precincts in the country. Most of the popular vote totals of the nineteenth century are merely advisory. They do not truly reflect the actual votes cast by voters.

The tradition of election fraud has continued into this century. It was somewhat attenuated by the traditional voting machine, which is much more difficult (although not entirely impossible) to tamper with than the paper ballot of yesteryear or the computer punch card now being used by a number of states. But even the old voting machine can be “adjusted” in such a way as to make it difficult for voters to vote for the candidate of their choice.

To wit, on the day of my primary election against Sen. Alfonse M. D’Amato to be the U.S. senatorial nominee of the Right to Life Party, in 1998, I received reports from all over the state of New York indicating that people who wanted to vote for me had difficulty doing so. Eleven or so people told me that the lever they needed to pull down to vote for me did not work. One man, a lawyer from the Borough of the Bronx, said that an election judge refused even to hear the complaint he brought about the situation. Several long-time enrollees in the Right to Life Party were told at their polling places that there was no record of their voter registration.

It was clear that something was happening. Lacking the resources, however, to mount any legal challenge to the results, I just went about my business, accepting the fact that it was entirely possible that the Republican machine in New York found the threat of my candidacy to be so real that it had to place obstacles in the path of voters who desired to support me in the Right to Life Party.

Frequently sloth in the counting of votes is encountered, as was the case when I served as a Republican poll watcher in a voting precinct in Laurel Hollow, New York, on election day in 1972. When official Republican and Democratic registrars came up with different totals from the absentee ballots, they averaged the differences in the vote totals and then went home! (The registrars are employed by the Nassau County Board of Elections to record the names of voters as they cast their ballots, and to count and report the results to the board; poll watchers are party workers who merely observe the work of the registrars and report back to party officials.)

I was also an eyewitness to the counting of the votes in the presidential caucus in Dubuque County, Iowa, on February 12, 1996 (after serving as a surrogate speaker in behalf of Patrick Buchanan’s candidacy). Buchanan won Dubuque County handily over Bob Dole. But the vote totals from Dubuque County were never reported to the Voter News Service by the Iowa Republican Party. The same thing happened in Woodbury County, Iowa. Knowing the extent to which careerist Republicans went to rig the process against Buchanan in 1996, I was not surprised when a similar effort was made against me two years later.

However, in light of what is happening in Florida right now, which could drag on indefinitely, perhaps I should hold a press conference and demand from Al — D’Amato, that is — a recount from the 1998 Right to Life Party primary. I could argue I lacked the resources to investigate the claims but now realize that I have the obligation to see that the vote is counted over and over and over again. If the recount showed that I had won the primary, there would have to be a new election for the seat now held by Sen. Charles Schumer. Trading on my persona as one of the better-known Mets fans in New York, I would defeat Schumer and D’Amato, taking my place in the Senate next to New York’s recently elected senator, some woman named Rodham or Clinton or something like that. If the presidential election in Florida can go on and on and on, why can’t I reopen my primary from two years ago? Indeed, why can’t the estate of the late Richard Nixon reopen the results of the 1960 election?

Vice President Gore and his minions will do anything to hold and acquire power. As is well known, I do not carry any brief for George W. Bush. Gore is demonstrating just how important it is for us to support candidates who are capable of demonstrating the extent to which the Left believes in mobocracy, not representative democracy or the rule of law. Bush fails that test. You can’t blame Buchanan for electing Gore if it turns out that the vice president prevails in the election. Most of Ralph Nader’s Green Party votes would have gone to Gore if Nader hadn’t run, handing him the popular vote by a comfortable margin and giving him Florida’s electoral votes without question. Gore has come close to winning the presidency because he was faced with an opponent who was either unable or unwilling to make the case against him in clear, articulate, and convincing terms.

The answer is quite simple: dishonesty of any sort is prohibited by the Seventh Commandment (“Thou shalt not steal”) and the Eighth Commandment (“Thou shalt not bear false witness”). A nation founded on the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ would be composed of people who understood that we can never steal that which does not belong to us, and we can never misrepresent the truth.

Yes, the only safeguard against election fraud and manipulation is a nation that lives in the shadow of the Cross. A nation immersed in the confusion that prevails all around us, you see, winds up making a religion out of electoral politics. And when politics becomes a religion, its secular foundation justifies the use of Machiavellian means to acquire and retain power. All the more reason to work for the Catholicization of our land, folks. There’s no other way out of this mess.

In the meantime, however, tell Al D’Amato I want a recount!
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