#61 - Concession and acceptance speeches
Tonight we heard the concession and acceptance speeches by the top two presidential candidates this year. It only took us 36 days to get to where we thought we would be in one day (Did you catch the irony in Bush's speech on 36 ballots for Jefferson?). Both men and their camps fought hard for the prize. For those who claimed before the election that there was no difference in the two, the follow-up showed that they believe there is.
Gore gave a very good concession speech and offered a olive branch to Bush. He demonstrated himself to be a good loser in a very difficult speech. As one that has lost elections that I truly believed I was the best candidate, a concession speech is hard. He left the door open to run again. By mending the fences, he may successfully reach the prize yet. I totally agree with him that we have downtrodden people in the US and that we need to work for them. I hope that Gore does come out and fight for them and for a way for the succeed and no longer be a burden on society.
Gore made some excellent points in pushing that we need to unite as Americans. If we can do this and not keep seeing ourselves as hyphenated Americans that are different than other groups I think this country can be greater than ever.
Bush used an excellent setting to present himself as one that is going to work to bring the groups together. He named the issues that are important and expressed them in such a way that both democrats and Republicans can agree on. By having a Democrat introduce him and speaking in the Democratic controlled chamber, he has begun a push toward wanting to be a non- or bi-partisan President. He needs to get with Senator Miller from Georgia who was just elected on such a platform.
Bush accepted Gore's offer to meet next week, and I believe the two can start to work together to lead the nation. Although Gore was not elected President he is still a leader. I hope the two meet without their aides so that they can talk straight to each other.
The process we have just been through demonstrates our constitution still works. Whether the candidate you favored won or lost, notice the difference now compared to many other nations. First the military never entered the fight. Second, although there were demonstrations, they were peaceful. Third, both men will continue to live in the US and will stay active in politics. Gore has no fear of being jailed for challenging Bush. Fourth that the process we designed in the Constitution and by our laws works. This was not decided by the leader in charge in Washington or Tallahassee as it would have been in many other nations but through a court system that was often appointed by the opposite party as the executive in charge Fifth, although there were many lawsuits, and we obviously do not agree with all the decisions, the candidates and the American people accept the decisions.
Now on to the future. As Bush said in his conclusion, please pray for our leaders (Clinton, Bush and Gore) and for our people and our nation that we go in the ways that God wants us to go. Just as Gore and Bush both said tonight that there are issues we must face soon, the is one more. We must face up to deciding uniform ways to vote in this country and uniform ways to count the ballots. That way we will not have another election to be fought like this one and also to restore all Americans faith that their votes do count, and that they do vote for the people they intended to.
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