columns and news pieces, from both the left and the right, have been
dedicated to the 'great divide' that this election somehow proves.
They show us the red and blue map, and point to you that Bush won this
cross section and Gore won this one, and with various numbers and data
try to prove to you that we are this close to territorial war or some
other alarmist nonsense. It's what happens when the media has too much
free time between outbreaks of new chad stories.
I have heard arguments saying that Gore received the "kiddie porn
buyers type votes" and Bush receiving the "gun loving Klan
type votes," and quite frankly, this is telling me that this
election needs to achieve closure and quick. This sicko portion of the
population is going to vote for somebody, and who they end up voting
for has no bearing on the quality of the candidate.
Once again, the media is trying to find deep spiritual meaning in
nothing. Of course, Gore won the big urban areas and Bush won the
rural areas. Although they treat as some kind of new phenomena, it is
not. This is the typical GOP and Democrat split. There is no deep
meaning in this, every Presidential election shows the same type of
divide. It is the split on where the base of the parties reside.
African Americans, Jewish voters, and the artsy types live
predominately in large cities. Farmers, church goers and family
values types live in rural areas. Suburbia is the key to Presidential
elections. It's always been the key. There is no news here, nothing to
see, please move along.
Regardless of what goes on in Washington or the Internet chat rooms, we
are not a partisan nation. The population is about one-third
conservative, one-third liberal and one-third mushy middle, with very
few of us identifying exclusively to one party. Each party has it's
base and they will turn out in numbers for the party. The mushy third
decides the election. It's been this way for years, the only
difference in this election is that the middles in Suburbia spilt, you
guessed it, down the middle.
Presidential elections are no longer about ideology, no matter how
much we wish they were. Elections are about candidates, and this one
featured two particularly weak ones. If this election was between
Ronald Reagan vs. Al Gore, Reagan would win in a landslide. If this
election was between a pre-scandal Clinton vs. George W. Bush, Clinton
would win hands down (post scandal Clinton is debatable).
Without a national crisis on our hands, Americans were asked to vote
in a popularity contest. For as many nonpartisan voters that were
charmed by George Bush's folksiness, an equal number were turned off
by his command (or lack of it) of the English language. For those who
appreciated Al Gore's 27 years of governmental experience, they were
offset by those who didn't want a President who talked down to them.
There isn't a new divide among this country, there is an old one. This
election wasn't about the conservative rurals vs. the liberal city
folks. It was about the suburban families trying to decide for change
or status quo. Seems we are still waiting for them to make up their
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© The Cynic, 2000
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