I'm guilty. I voted for Perot. I've regretted that decision ever since. If I and others who voted for Perot hadn't we might not have ever suffered through the embarrassment of the Bill Clinton Administration and the threat of a Hillary Clinton presidency. Imagine that. Now that we are faced with two unqualified candidates for President, I am once again tempted to cast my ballot for the third party choice, Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party. Dare I?
The election of '92 was a crazy affair. George H. W. Bush should have won. Few imagined that he wouldn't. Teddy Kennedy didn't believe he could be beaten. That's why Kennedy refrained from throwing his hat into the ring. He was going to wait for the end of Bush's second term when he'd have a chance of winning. Yes, Bush was that popular. His coalition of nations had not only chased Saddam Hussein and his minions scurrying back into Iraq, but also reminded the world of America's supremacy. The Pax Americana established by this nation's ascendancy over the evil empire of the Soviet Union was reaffirmed. No other President had such high approval ratings at the end of his first term.
If you read the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, you're familiar with Calvinball. It's a game in which a young child changes the rules to favor his chances of winning regardless of what happens.
Now imagine life were like that. Imagine the frustration of teenagers returning home and being punished because parents changed the curfew without telling them. Imagine the frustration of waiting for delivery of a product or service you ordered and paid for only to learn that the terms of the contract changed without notice. Imagine the frustration of being jailed because the law you obeyed no longer applies and it's been replaced by a new version.
Traditionally, Presidents enjoy a brief period following their election and inauguration during which they get a pass. No one complains. Criticism is held in abeyance. Why? Probably because we're exhausted. The campaigns are over. Everyone is tired of arguing. The loser has conceded. We give politics a rest. Not for long. Just a while. When has any honeymoon lasted more than a couple of weeks?
Normally, that happens. Sadly George W. Bush didn't get one. Instead of throwing rice, the opposition threw hanging chads and went to court (and I don't mean courtship). The case went all the way to the Supreme Court and even their wisdom couldn't put the conflict to rest. Indeed, the wrath of the opposition fell on their heads as Candidate Gore and his followers accused the Justices of playing politics. Thus, even before his inauguration, Bush was named the “President-Select”, and the acrimony never ended, even after he was sworn in.
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