Column: Political playground |

Column: Political playground

by Claire Fortier, Tribune opinion page editor


Please, Mr. Gore, concede. Enough is enough.

This post-election fiasco has turned into a school-yard brawl between two immature toughs dressed in grown-up power suits.

Whether it’s Gore’s tiresome legal end run or George W. Bush’s presidential-candidate-as-victim swoon, Election 2000 will be forever remember as the election where two spoiled white guys attempted to rumble while hiding behind their parties’ shirttails. It has been an emasculating and expensive game of chicken where each side fought more like “girls” than shrewd, highly financed political operations.

This was no high stakes chess game where the world watched with tensely. It was a preschooler’s version of “Shoots and Ladders,” with Gore screaming “Cheater, cheater” and Bush feigning insult.

But now it’s time to call this thing before someone really gets hurt – like, say the American people. You know, those imbeciles who didn’t realize until a month ago they could impregnate a chad.

Frankly, I took little pleasure in casting my ballot this year. Both candidates were everything I have begun to hate in my generation – privileged products of their parents who seemed to offer little more than an ability to

attend the right schools, parties and power lunches.

Neither seemed men of substance, any more than they seemed men of sincerity.

But I shouldered on, listening to the pompous speeches, piecing through the voluminous b.s. to try to find a real platform and keeping a straight face as both of these products of prep schools fratinized with the underprivileged de jour.

Surely, one of these men, had some redeeming qualities that rendered them presidential. But even as I cast my ballot, I stood there, eenie-meenie-minnie-moing my way to a choice.

It’s enough for me to fervently wish I had voted for Ralph Nader.

As it is, I am flabbergasted at the arrogance with which both Gore and Bush have ignored the only clear mandate that came out of the 2000 election. That mandate was that neither candidate held sway over the American people.

Obviously we “the American People” didn’t like either one of them enough to pick a clear winner. And as days pass into weeks, we like them even less as they fight like sissies in courts of law over chads, hand counts

and recounts.

Now it’s time to call the bickering. It’s time for Gore to concede and let the American people get back to their trivial work-a-day worlds that pay for the high-stakes game of presidential “Shoots and Ladders.”

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