Friday, May 4, 2012

Bush vs. Gore

For our last research project of the year, I chose to learn about the Supreme Court case of Bush v. Gore in December 2000. I had heard a little about it from earlier years but I had never expected to find this much about the impact it had on our country. If the Supreme Court had ruled differently, Al Gore would have been the president of the United States! What impact would Gore have had if he were to be president? Why did the state of Florida have so much trouble with their ballots? And what the heck is a hanging chad?!? These were all questions I had about my topic and wanted to learn. This was a truly crazy happening in the US and will go down in history as one of the most important Supreme Court case rulings ever.
Our story begins around November during the 2000 election and both George Bush and Al Gore are the republican and democrat candidates running for the presidency. Bush has the citizens votes from the Midwestern states and the Southern states while Gore has the Northeast and the Pacific coast. It was all going to come down to the last states to give their votes to, Florida. Florida's 25 electoral votes would ultimately decide who our president would be and the stress was high on the state to choose. Each day, the media would report a new winner as one candidate gained popularity. Some days they would declare Bush the next president and then the next day they would declare it was too close. Throughout the election, Florida had gotten faulty ballots and messed up chads, the hole punch thing, so recounts were being run in the state. So, the Florida Supreme Court issued a 9,000 ballot recount in the Miami-Dade county, a primarily democratic county. I found the legal summary of the court case here at the Cornell University legal information institute.
Obviously by now the nation was getting word of the Florida recounts and the drama was high. The Florida Supreme Court had rejected the Miami-Dade county recount and decided that a state-wide recount of votes was necessary to get all the kinks out of the hose. George Bush and Dick Cheney imediately filed for an emergency stay on the Florida recount as word got to them that Al Gore was gaining popularity in the state. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Al Gore was all for the recount. I found the day-to-day conflicts of the issue here on US News. So we go to the Supreme Court. I found the actual recording of the trial right here at American Rhetoric Online Speech Bank. After many days, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to go with Bush and Cheney and do not recount the votes in Florida. This would make George W. Bush the next president of the United States. Here is how close the voting was between the two candidates, found on an external link on Wikipedia. The Florida votes on George Bush and Al Gore differed by less than 1%. Before Florida gave their 25 electoral votes to Bush, Al Gore was winning 266 to 246. One electoral college member abstained from voting. Al Gore also had received more votes in the country than Bush and had become the first president to lose the election and win the popular vote.
As we all know, our president from 2000-2008 was George W. Bush and the runner-up, Al Gore, was pegged as the Global Warming guy. One question I came in with before researching was, "What if Al Gore was president?" Obviously no one could really determine this as so many misfortunes struck in the first year of Bush's presidency, like 911. But, I thought it would be humorous to see what the Internet said so I searched it. Here I found a radical democrat's view on how Gore would have done as president on the Huffington Post. Brent Budowsky states that Al Gore could have prevented 911, avoided the war on terror, avoided debt, and clean the Earth as well. These are all hypothetical comments but this writer believes Al Gore would have been the better leader to put it lightly. On the contrary, I stumbled upon a website which actually calls Budowsky out on his opinions here on Judging by the name, the republican website simply states that coincidence ruined the Bush legacy and maybe he would have been a decent president if it had not been for 911. These were some of the more wound back comments on the 2000 election, and I found it funny to see evryone's thoughts.
So how did this crazy Florida hoopla affect our elections for the future? Well first off, the Supreme court received great criticism for their decision and the case has become an "unspoken case" to many politicians. I found this here on the New York times. The case proves that actual law is more of a guideline when making a nationwide ruling. After the Florida recounts, the Florida Supreme Court issued for electronic voting rather than ballots because for some reason, and this is quoted, "the voters did not understand the ballots". I myself am just glad Alabama did not mess up their voting. We would never be able to live that one down. My tip for upcoming candidates is to not wait for Florida to be your deciding state.

Throughout my researching campaign I learned so much about this election. I thought that this project would be dumb but I had an epiphany and finally saw the light on how much fun this was. The hardest thing about my research was finding credible sources to use, because obviously this topic is open for opinion on the Internet. I don't really have an opinion on the subject, but i believe that the candidate who has the most total votes should win. The Wyoming and Maine votes should count too. The Electoral votes make many votes unseen and I think it is a bad method of picking the next leader of this country. This project made me a lot more politically aware of voting and stuff so thanks Mrs. Lawson!

1 comment:

  1. Great Job Will! Your topic was interesting and presented in a good way.