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Well that was fun. Did you stay up? I had to, and I wasn’t
pleased about it since the networks blew the coverage big time by
projecting Florida for Gore and then pulling the projection and watching
in embarrassment as Florida gave the presidency to George W. Bush.
Dimwits are running the media. Oh yeah, I’m one of them.

OK, so what did we learn from the closest presidential race in
history?

Here’s the headline, and you can take it to the bank. The financial
divide that is increasing in America is now overwhelming both the
Democrats and Republicans alike. Americans who earn less than 35,000
dollars a year are voting Democratic, and those who are over that
benchmark tend to vote for the GOP.

This is not good.

Poor minorities went overwhelmingly for Al Gore. They believe the
Democrats will help them more than the Republicans will. In theory they
are right. In practice the federal government cannot help any
individual American very much.

False hope is what politicians have to sell, and millions of
Americans buy it again and again. Black Americans love Bill Clinton
but he did little to improve their lives. Although black unemployment
is down, that is a byproduct of the high-tech revolution that Mr.
Clinton had nothing to do with. Not only that — he doesn’t even
participate in it since he cannot type thus rendering the computer
keyboard useless to him. Crime is also down in many poor neighborhoods
because more people are working and have a reason not to jeopardize
their futures.

But most inner-city public schools are still a disaster. Drug
addiction, alcoholism, and broken families are still rampant and
hopelessness can be found on nearly every corner. Government programs
will not help that — only a change in attitude by the poor themselves
can turn things around.

It was interesting to see the inner cities of New York, Pennsylvania
and Michigan vote overwhelmingly for Vice President Gore. Gov. Bush
didn’t even bother campaigning there for the most part. This, I
believe, was a symbolic mistake. The governor may not have won many
votes because suspicions about the Republican Party will die hard, but
he could have carried a message into enemy territory. And that message
should have been “Hey, we’ll help you but you have to do it yourself.”

As president, assuming he’s elected, Mr. Bush has to try and connect
with Americans who are not keeping up. We are living in a fast age, a
time of prosperity for those who have skills. If you don’t have
education and discipline — you will be brutally left behind in modern
day America.

The United States is a divided country right now and George W. Bush
will have a tough time combating that. For decades our society has
made it acceptable for people to fail. We make excuses for them,
coddle them and sympathize with them. But we don’t really do
anything to help them.

Welfare reform was a good first step. But now Mr. Bush needs to
launch a personal responsibility campaign. He has to give working
Americans the tax break he promised because the Republicans control
Congress. This is another good step. Working men and women need to
keep as much of their take home pay as possible. Entitlements are
necessary for some Americans, but the vast majority of us are strong
enough and smart enough to provide for ourselves. We need to be weaned
off the entitlement and excuse culture.

This will be bad news for Hillary Clinton — the queen of the
government handout. It doesn’t take a village, Hillary — it takes
strong individuals who have discipline and motivation. The village is
fine for the holidays and for encouragement. But we have to do
it ourselves and we have to start young.

This was a fascinating election. Both Gore and Bush waged spirited
if not bold campaigns. But Americans will remain a divided people
until the country goes back to what originally made it great — a deep
suspicion of central authority and a burning desire for a better life
derived from hard work and honorable behavior. If George W. Bush can
somehow get that theme into the culture — he will be a successful
president.

Al Gore and Hillary Clinton tell us that more tax money will solve
the problem but even they know this is nonsense. Discipline and
accountability and good pay for good teachers are the answers. We
didn’t hear too much about school discipline in the campaign did we?



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