Dear (can I call you Joe?),
You probably didn’t hear me last week when I was shouting at you about your comparison of Donald Trump’s rigged election campaign with the 2000 recount in Florida.
First, I will disclose to you that I am a Democrat. A leftie. A bleeding heart Liberal. A gun-toting Liberal, to be sure, but a Liberal, nonetheless.
There was a time when I flirted with the idea of voting for Reagan. Never a Carter fan, I was still dumb enough to think that there was something to that trickle down stuff.
In the end, though I couldn’t bring myself to vote for a guy who played second banana to a chimpanzee.
I wasn’t a Mondale fan, either, but by that time I suspected that Reagan might be joining the ranks of the worst presidents of the 20th Century. Turns out he was one of the luckiest guys in America, not spending his twilight years in a prison infirmary.
Our liberalism notwithstanding, my wife and I generally watch an hour of Morning Joe before getting out of bed. You and Mika are among my top 10 favorite TV couples.
Others in that group include Ozzie & Harriet, Burns & Allen, Matt & Katie, Archie & Edith and Jay & Gloria .
I even have a sister in AZ who gets up at 4:00 AM to watch you. Actually, she’s an insomniac and she’s up anyway, but she still loves your show.
I accept that sometimes you’re going to go off on a GOP talking point tirade. Emails, Benghazi, Obamacare. That’s usually when I go into the kitchen for my second cup of coffee.
It’s only when you hop aboard that trickle down train to the Upper East Side that I call you a few names that I’d rather not enumerate in this space. I take strong exception, however to the idea that Trump’s remarks are anything but extraordinary, destructive, careless and borderline treasonous.
If not treasonous, then insurgent and very anti-American.
Trump has been talking about the system being rigged since the primaries. Anything that doesn’t go his way is rigged. In the very best light, it’s the preloaded excuses of a man who can’t accept his own fallibility.
It’s more likely, though that the truth is much more insidious.
Trump insisted that he was the only one who could save America. Our generals were stupid, our military weak. We need to amend the 1st Amendment, especially when it comes to reporters saying things that he doesn’t like.
Does that really sound like someone who wants to make America great again?
Discrediting the media is a staple of the right wing, but that’s for another letter.
Calling the election itself rigged is a whole ‘nother thing. He’s telling us that our democracy is an illusion and that he will invalidate my vote if my candidate wins. It’s not surprising from a guy who says that he will put his opponent in jail if he wins.
Yes, Joe, election results have been contested in the past. This is the first time, however that a candidate has attempted to discredit the election process before the booths have even opened. That is a substantial difference.
In 2000, Al Gore got 600,000 more votes than G.W. Bush, but with Florida in the Bush column, the electoral votes went Bush’s way. What you may not remember is that Gore graciously conceded.
It wasn’t until after DNC officials in Florida reported significant irregularities that Gore withdrew his concession and the legal battle began.
It was probably just coincidental that the governor (Jeb Bush) of Florida overseeing the election just happened to be the brother of the presidential candidate declaring victory.
A very partisan 5-4 vote of the Supreme Court stopped the recount in Florida, where independent investigations revealed that Al Gore should have been the winner of Florida and the presidential election.
There may be something to Trump’s claims of election rigging, but not in the way he’s talking about it. Actual voter fraud is still as rare as an informed Trump voter.
I sometimes wonder how things would have turned out if Gore had won.
We still might have endured 9/11, but it’s possible that 1 or 2 of those suicide pilots could have been stopped. A month earlier, intelligence agencies had credible evidence that an attack on NYC was imminent. A President Al Gore might have acted on that information.
Without Cheney and Rumsfield driving the tanks, we would not have invaded Iraq. Maybe ISIS was inevitable, maybe not. In any case, the Middle East would be a more stable region right now.
After 8 years of a Gore presidency, the country might have been ready for a Republican. If John McCain took office in January, 2009, he most certainly would not have appointed Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State.
There would have been no Benghazi and no emails and Donald Trump would be down about 25 points going into this election.
The 2000 election was pivotal and it turned on ballots discarded because of “dimples, hanging chads” and bad hole punching. Throughout that ordeal though, Al Gore expressed confidence in our judicial and electoral processes.
After the Supreme Court decision, Mr. Gore conceded for the second time – probably a record for a single election – because he knew that was best for the country.
I think that you would be hard pressed to find even one example of Donald Trump doing what was best for anyone other than Donald Trump.
PS What are we doing for Thanksgiving?