By Ron VandenBoom
Back during the 1970s, when I was just a pup attending Northern Montana College, I wrote a column for the college newspaper that I called the "Tweedle Dee Tweedle Dum Demolition Derby."
The column was a satirical look at the two presidential candidates as each tried to demolish the other during one of the presidential debates. Little did I know at the time that the title of the column would more accurately reflect the election of 2000.
Indeed this election year has become the derby to beat all derbies. Opposing forces have repeatedly crashed into one another trying to disable the other candidate's chances of being president.
I never imagined prior to election day that just a few weeks before Christmas we would still be wondering who the next president would be.
The events of the last few weeks have indeed been historic and for that matter, a little bit hysterical. Never before has a presidential election been so close. Never before have we seen so many counts, recounts, and court cases all working to resolve a suggested Constitutional crisis.
Constitutional crisis my foot. The only constitutional crisis that's developed so far is the one suffered by the lawyers that miss their daily constitutionals while trying to fatten their reputations and pockets. And believe you me, when it comes to daily constitutionals, nobody needs them more than this batch of lawyers.
This gaggle of legal eagles, each arguing their own particular brand of political correctness, has done more to disillusion the American people then if Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh were the candidates and Hulk Hogan was asked to choose the winner. Of course I shouldn't say that too loud or some Florida lawyer might think it's a pretty good idea.
I think one TV news commentator hit the nail on the head when he suggested merchants throughout the country would suffer this holiday season if they didn't find some way to get all the high priced lawyers currently in Florida to go home and start shopping.
Meanwhile, I find it interesting that average Americans seem not to notice, or even care, what happens in Florida. To most the demolition derby is little more than another boring news story that interrupts "Tool Time" right in the middle of the good part.
Americans have a tremendous resilience when it comes to politics. They know that regardless of what happens in Florida little in their day-to-day existence is going to change
While lawyers, and the news media, mine gold in Florida, I predict the only issue that will really impact the people is the issue of one man one vote. People have come to realize what the Electoral College really is and opinions on that issue are likely to spill over into less hectic times.
Americans however are notorious for their short memories and forgiving attitudes remember lying to the grand jury, impeachment, it's all about sex, Whitewater, TravelGate, Monica, Jennifer.
Nothing currently happening in Florida will do any lasting damage to the people or the Constitution. Unfortunately, it won't even hurt the lawyers.
It would be my hope however, that following the debacle in Florida, all states will take a look at the way they conduct elections.
Montana too should check to make sure that all counties have a uniform and reliable system for casting and counting ballots and that a workable system is in place in the event of a contest. It would also be a good idea to check Montana law to insure that procedures for a recount are adequate and uniform throughout the state.
What has happened in Florida will probably never happen in Montana our three Electoral votes are just not that important. But just because the outside possibility exists, it's my opinion that we should be prepared and take precautions.
After all, failure to be prepared could mean all those lawyers would come to Montana heaven help us.