Proponents of an Al Gore victory, like Pomper, attempt to cloud the issue with discussions of voting irregularities in Florida and an estimated 50,000 votes that were not counted (Pomper, 2001). He also raises the spector of voter discrimination and corruption in the Florida electoral process (Pomper, 2001). However, if any state were subjected to the intense scrutiny Florida suffered, it is likely that some amount of voter irregularity would be identified. Ultimately, any discussion about the validity of the 2000 presidential election should come down to one idea and one idea alone.
Is the electoral college an outdated mechanism that needs eliminated in favor of the popular vote or should we leave the Constitution alone assuming that it has worked reasonably well for the last 230 years? With Bush’s popularity at a record low fro presidents, it is easy to see why people would like to believe that he is not legitimately the president. And, the relative closeness of the election in 2004, did nothing to assist with the public perception that George W. Bush should never have been the chief executive.
But for that argument to have any legal weight, the Constitution would have to be changed allowing for the president to be elected directly by the people. “The final decision was made not by the 105 million voters, but by a 5-4 majority vote of the unelected U. S. Supreme Court, issuing a tainted and partisan verdict” (Pomper, 2001). While that may not be a popular choice, it is the one laid down by the founding fathers.
The presidency has never been determined by direct democracy in action from George Washington to George Bush, every president has been selected by the electoral college, sometimes in agreement with the popular vote and sometimes in spite of it. Ultimately, the bottom line is that in November, 2000, Al Gore was slightly more popular than George Bush.
One voter of every 20 nationally thought he would make a better president. But because individual states do not ties their electoral college votes to the popular election and because the U. S. constitution does not require members of the electoral college to vote in accordance with the popular vote in their state, George Bush won the election. And, the debate should end. Was it a political maneuver instead of a matterof public vote? Yes, it was. Did the best man or even the most popular man get the office? Only history can decide the first question and the answer to the second is a resounding no. But George Bush did win the election for preisdnet according to the laws of the United States.
Any other debate should be about the need for change or the fairness of the Constitution, not who won.
Collins, Gail “Public Interests; Finally, Y2K Kicks In”, New York Times, Nov 14, 2000. http://query. nytimes. com/gst/fullpage. html? res=9C02EFDE1E38F937A25752C1A9669C8B63&n=Top/Opinion/Editorials%20and%20Op-Ed/Op-Ed/Columnists/Gail%20Collins, November 12, 2007. Eriksen, Robert S. The 2000 Presidential Election in Historical Perspective Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 116, No. 1. (Spring, 2001), pp. 29-52.
Stable URL: http://links. jstor. org/sici? sici=0032-3195%28200121%29116%3A1%3C29%3AT2PEIH%3E2. 0. CO%3B2-C, November 12, 2007. Pomper, Gerald M. The 2000 Presidential Election: Why Gore Lost Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 116, No. 2. (Summer, 2001), pp. 201-223. Stable URL: http://links. jstor. org/sici? sici=0032-3195%28200122%29116%3A2%3C201%3AT2PEWG%3E2. 0. CO%3B2-0, November 12, 2007. “Official 2000 Presidential General Election Results” <http://www. fec. gov/pubrec/2000presgeresults. htm>, November 12, 2007.