Election 2000 was a harbinger of firsts for America. The first
election tally this close. The first presidential contest of the
certified vote. The first time the “will of the people” in three
counties was treated differently than that of the rest of the country.
And it was the first time that open, unashamed, straight faced lying
became a factor in deciding who would occupy the Oval Office.
It used to be that U.S. politicians would couch questionable
statements in semantics.
Semantics is the science of creating word pictures to evoke emotional
responses. The way something is said can be more important than the
thing being said.
Science fiction writer Robert Heinlein illustrated the point in one
of his books. His character posed the question, “Which would you rather
have? A cross-section of muscle tissue sliced from the corpse of an
immature, castrated bull? Or a nice thick, juicy steak?” That is
But in Election 2000, it’s just plain lies. Calling a
constitutionally protected demonstration like the one in Miami-Dade
County a “crazed Republican mob” might be semantics.
But saying it intimidated the canvassing board into canceling the
recount is a lie. Board members have publicly denied being intimidated,
but that hasn’t stopped the contenders for the two top jobs in the
nation from saying they were.
Joe Lieberman not only told the nation the recount was canceled for
that reason (a provable lie), he went on to call it un-American. When
was the constitutional right to freedom of assembly repealed?
The Gore camp has repeated the mantra that “every vote should count”
at every turn. A lie. Instead, their actions prove they believe that
only potential Gore votes should count.
The Gore camp has mounted one legal challenge after another to throw
out votes that potentially didn’t favor Gore on technicalities. Military
votes without postmarks. Absentee ballots that were legally cast but
didn’t have voter identification numbers due to a defect in the ballots.
Any potential voter block that might favor Bush has been challenged.
Joe Lieberman made an appearance after the Sunday certification for
George Bush. He told America, “Vice President Gore and I have no choice
but to contest these actions. What is at issue here is nothing less than
every American’s simple, sacred right to vote,” he said. “How can we
teach our children that every vote counts if we are not willing to make
a good-faith effort to count every vote?”
It isn’t semantic word play to demand “a good faith effort to count
every vote” while simultaneously challenging legally cast votes that
might break for the opposition. It’s a lie.
Saying “there are more than 10,000 votes in Miami-Dade that weren’t
counted” is a lie. They were counted as non-votes, since they didn’t
indicate a candidate. That isn’t semantics. A count is a count.
James Baker explained the truth: “They’ve been counted just like all
of the other nonvotes, not only in other counties in Florida, but across
the United States of America have been counted. They’ve been counted,
and they’ve been recounted by machines. …” His statement was
immediately discounted as “partisanship.”
When did plain truth become partisan? The same time that a handful of
GOP demonstrators became a “crazed, un-American mob.”
On Nov. 15, Al Gore, when pleading his case for another recount,
promised that, if he got it, “I will abide by the result, I will take no
legal action to challenge the result, and I will not support any legal
action to challenge the result.” A lie.
What is amazing is the fact these lies aren’t being challenged by
anyone except the opposition. Few, if any mainstream media organizations
are picking up on the never ending stream of falsehoods, despite the
fact the evidence exists in their own archives.
America has had eight years of lies (“I did not have sex with that
woman”; “It all depends on the meaning of the word ‘is’”; “I didn’t know
it was a fund-raiser”) until at least half of its citizens can’t tell
It is an axiom of propaganda that, “truth is not what’s true. It’s
what people believe is true.” The Nazis raised it to an art form by
following the principle that the “bigger the lie, the more people will
believe it.” That principle is based on the recognition that it must be
true, because nobody would lie that openly. Or so it should seem.
At least half of America is fully in the grip of the propagandists
and liars who deign to occupy the Oval Office, clearly for their own
If America were their prime concern, they would not hold this nation
hostage to the interminable legal challenges. Instead, they’d just
quietly concede and let the nation go on with its business.
Instead, Al Gore, Joe Lieberman and Company have decided that, if
they can’t get elected by the voters, they’ll try and out-lawyer the
opposition and get elected by the courts. After all, who knows how to
milk the legal system better than Gore, after eight years of watching
America was founded on the principles that certain truths are
Unfortunately, in 21st century America, many Americans wouldn’t
recognize the truth if it bit them, or they’d have recognized the truth
of Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s charge that “there’s a whiff of fascism in the
Nadler was trying to lay the charge against the GOP, but any right
thinking person should be able to see exactly who the fascists were.
In 1 Timothy, Paul writes, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in the
latter times, some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving
spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having
their own conscience seared with a hot iron” (4:1-2).
Now, that’s the truth.