Electoral Shock | Sojourners

Electoral Shock

At press time our nation hung in the balance. Evenly split between opposing sides, we waited to see what the outcome would be, and prayed that our divisiveness would somehow resolve into a clear choice between "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" or "Survivor II."

Coincidentally, the presidential election had similar problems, which by now have all been worked out, resulting in the Oval Office being occupied by one of the following:
• a tickled George W. Bush ("Say, is this Corinthian leather?" Staff: "Sir, pay attention, please!")
• a confident Al Gore ("My first priority is to kiss my wife." Staff: "Actually, that's no longer necessary, Mr. President.")
• or, and I speak with the hope of an entire nation, it could be...Alexander Haig ("I TOLD you I was in charge!")

As I write this, vote counters in Florida are still painstakingly tabulating—in many cases, by hand—the numerous flecks of vitriol spewing from the mouth of Republican spokesman James Baker. Additionally, officials in at least six Florida counties have been unable to account for the mysterious loss of several inches of height from Democratic spokesman Warren Christopher.

The fear, of course, is that no matter who wins the presidency, he will be ineffective in leading a bitterly partisan Congress unable to achieve anything of significance. No wait. That was last year.

This whole electoral mess was, in my opinion, caused by the state of Florida which, geographically speaking, has always been the one kid in class who'll do anything to get attention. While the other states nestle closely together in relative harmony, Florida sticks its neck out, looking like a complete doofus trying to touch the equator. ("I can almost reach it!") Let's face it, Florida is the unwanted uvula of the continental United States, the little hangy-down part of our electoral discontent.

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Sojourners Magazine January-February 2001
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