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Supreme Revisionism - Dec. 15, 2000

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

"If someone tells me today: 'You are a demagogue,' I answer him in this way: 'Demagogy in the good sense is simply the ability to get the masses to understand what I want them to understand.' " Joseph Goebbels, 1928.

Revisionism is a primary goal for any seasoned propagandist. Over the years, Americans have witnessed a number of attempts to rewrite the past, but efforts over the last several years seem to have taken history to new heights of altered states.

Scandals plaguing the Clinton/Gore administration have either been miraculously transformed or, with the aid of the establishment press, they have been couched within our minds amidst carefully chosen images and buzz words.

Now that Al Gore has conceded and George W. Bush has called for unity, another form of revisionism seems to be emerging from the stagnant, post-election air. There are references to moral equivalency. There are distortions of occurrences we are certain that the camera captured in a very different light. Reality is mutating before our weakened eyes.

We are being urged to succumb to a gentle amnesia, prepped to forget that at 7:00 PM on election night, the Democrat party had already retained a telemarketing company for the purposes of agitating Palm Beach County citizens about butterfly ballots.

We are being prodded to purge our memories of the "recount specialists" who instantaneously descended on Florida, and of the armies of lawyers and strategists who sought not just a machine recount, as provided by Florida law, but selective and subjective hand recounts in sample precincts with the highest percentage of Gore voters.

We are being impelled to dismiss the notion that some of these counties, including Palm Beach County and, most notably, Broward County, changed their criteria for counting when an adequate number of Gore votes failed to materialize. Never mind that in the case of Broward County, criteria for evaluating had changed five times.

We are not supposed to think about the absentee military ballots that were targeted by Democrat lawyers utilizing a five page memorandum, which was distributed throughout the state in an effort to disenfranchise the very people who defend the privilege of voting for all of us.

We are to ignore that the role of the judiciary is now being twisted beyond public recognition. Every significant evidentiary proceeding that took place in the Florida trial courts was decided against the Gore recount brigades. In each case, it was the Gore team that sought an appeal to the only forum that would accommodate its mercenary electoral requirements - the Florida State Supreme Court.

Forget that the Gore squad sought to force counties like Miami-Dade to continue counting when they had voted under their discretion not to engage in such an endeavor. Overlook the evidence that in order to force the counting to resume, the "intimidating Republican mob" hyperbole was hatched in an effort to gain sympathy for the poor county workers who had to abandon their vote-mining activities.

Yes, we are supposed to disregard that in the waning moments of the post-election madness, the U.S. Supreme Court in its final decision was actually cleaning up the mess that a lawless Florida State Supreme Court had created. If the Florida high court had acted as a review court, which is the proper role for an appellate body, it would never have fashioned the kind of unauthorized remedies that it did. Had the Florida State Supreme Court refused to hear the appeals, or allowed the ruling of the various trial judges to remain, United States Supreme Court intervention would never have been necessary.

We are being encouraged to redact from our memories the fact that the changing of the deadline in the first instance by the Florida State Supreme Court, from November 14 to November 26, was without any legal authority, and it was this action that created the time crunch which ultimately put Al Gore up against the December 12 statutory deadline. This was reflected in the unanimous decision of the U.S. Supreme Court the first time that it dealt with this case, when the Florida State Supreme Court ruling was unanimously vacated.

Lastly, we are being asked to suspend our reasoning and deny that in the final deliberation of the United States Supreme Court, seven out of nine justices agreed that the extraordinary remedy of statewide recounts without uniform standards, as fashioned by the Florida State Supreme Court, was unconstitutional.

Stop the fictitious presses. Those who recognize the swill that currently passes for mainstream news know that ultimately revisionism will not prevail, for too many people possess the authentic version. Built within our repertoire of knowledge is a firm resistance to this brand of maneuvering. Truth cannot be altered and will never be forgotten.

Reproduced with the permission of . All rights reserved

Copyright © 2000
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
All Rights Reserved