Monday, July 31, 2006

When people care about elections

Unlike Gore, who gave in timidly, and Kerry, who did not even entertain the idea of a fight following the Ohio fraud, here's what happens when a candidate stands up. The scene (picture from the New York Times) is a rally addressed by Lopez Obrador, the candidate who says he was cheated f victory by election fraud.

What if Gore and Kerry had been more like Obrador
? This is the title of an article some weeks back by Terry Curtis Fox. A great piece which makes the point that leaders are supposed to lead. Leaders of the people are supposed to lead people, not talk at them from behind a phalanx of focus group runners, ad mavens and pollsters. Fox makes the point that, even if Gore's public rallies, protests, boycotts, etc. had failed and Bush ended up becoming president anyhow, it would have chastened the administration. As it was, the meek concession spurred them to on to greater levels of brazenness.

An old article by Niranjan Ramakrishnan, "The Silence of the Lambs", written shortly after the 2000 elections, makes the same point. Democracy flourishes when people demonstrate that they have a stake.

No comments: