You know who didn't win the election. Do you want to know who won?
The winners were the folks in the streets all year who called for
"no more business as usual." As the politicians duel over counts
and court orders, and go tit-for-tat on TV, no one could say this
Consider the scene behind the tired-looking TV reporters in Florida.
On November 8,
African-Americans, Haitians, Central Americans, Jews, labor unionists,
students and seniors rallied for voter justice with hand-lettered,
not Democratic Party-printed, signs. In predominantly black and Jewish
West Palm Beach, the idea that "butterfly" ballots might have thrown
their votes to Pat Buchanan brought people out, if not in hives, then
certainly in droves.
This isn't politics as usual.
At the New Birth Baptist Church in Miami on November 9, an overflow
crowd packed the pews and then spilled into a nearby school hall,
connected to the congregation via large video screens. In a letter
to friends, Catholic activist Mari Castellanos described the scene:
"It felt like Birmingham. People sang and prayed and listened. Story
after story was told of people being turned away at the polls, of
ballots being allegedly destroyed, of NAACP election literature
being allegedly discarded at the main post office, of Spanish-speaking
poll workers being sent to Creole precincts and vice-versa."