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The Decade
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I have been ruminating about the past, the past decade.

Several personal items stand out: The trip in 2009 with Sue along the Danube. The knee pain, caused by cholesterol reducing medication, that nearly crippled me. Buying a new car in 2002. N's two major hospitalizations, one in 2002 and one this year. Becoming a member of Emerson UUC.

But what came to mind first, when I thought of the decade now fast coming to an end, was the Bush vs. Gore debacle at the start of the decade.

In my opinion, the legacy of that election fiasco, that failure of the system, will remain with us for a long time to come.

The vote came down to Florida ballots. Recount. Recount stopped by the Supreme Court, deciding in favor of George Bush.

I believe the legacy will be that Americans no longer believe in the voting process. Before then, even when the outcome went against their choice, the American people accepted the victor as an honorable winner. Even when the margin of victory was barely perceptible.

But the ending of the disputed vote count and the handing of the presidency to George W. Bush by a divided Supreme Court proved to most people that our voting system can be manipulated, coerced, and bought by corporate power operating in the background.

Republicans regularly whip up a frenzy over claims of widespread voter fraud; Democrats accuse the GOP goon squads of systematic suppression of voting by poor and minority people. Powerful people trade on fear, fear which paralyzes.

Now we know the ugly truth: elections can be--perhaps routinely are--stolen, not won. One person, one vote? Don't believe it.

To my mind, the worst violation of the public trust in the political structure was the loss of faith in the Supreme Court. My generation was taught in high school Civics Class that our government is strong because of the separation of powers and that everyone is subject to the laws which are passed under the framework set by the Constitution. The ultimate appeal to the Supreme Court would set things right.

The Supreme Court was to be placed above petty politics, dispassionate and fair. Justice was blind to power politics and personal favoritism.

The Supreme Court is not any of those things. Whom can we turn to for justice?

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