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Jewish World Review Nov. 13, 2000 / 15 Mar-Cheshvan 5761

Don Feder

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Voters should be committed! -- BASED ON the results of the 2000 election, it's clear many voters are so deeply disturbed that -- for their own good as well as the national welfare -- they should be confined to an institution, someplace where they will wear hospital johnies and bunny slippers, and be kept away from sharp objects.

Commitment papers would cite the following bizarre and erratic behavior on the patients' part.

Missouri voters elected a corpse -- Gov. Mel Carnahan, who died in a plane crash weeks before the balloting.

Prior to Carnahan's death, incumbent Sen. John Ashcroft was ahead in the polls. Surveys taken after Carnahan died indicated that if the governor's widow had been on the ballot, she would have lost.

Still, out of sympathy verging on the maudlin, Missourians voted the graveyard, thus opting to let Gov. Roger Wilson choose their junior senator. (He's promised to appoint the widow).

Condolences are fine, but wouldn't a floral wreath have sufficed?

In New Jersey, voters allowed Jon Corzine to buy a Senate seat. Corzine spent $60 million of his own money to win the race. The state's voters favor campaign finance reform (limiting the impact of money on politics), but they are unperturbed by a multimillionaire purchasing a seat in the world's most powerful deliberative body.

Nationally, women voters backed the vice president by a margin of 10-point. Single mothers endorsed a candidate who refuses to give them a tax break.

Soccer moms, concerned about violence and the degradation of women in the entertainment media, backed the candidate of Hollywood. Vice President Al Gore was also endorsed by Paul Cambria, lawyer for Hustler publisher Larry Flynt. At a New Orleans convention of the smut industry, Cambria urged pornographers to post pro-Gore messages on their adult websites. You go, girl!

Union voters were equally clueless. At the behest of labor bosses, in states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, the socially conservative rank and file, many Roman Catholics, embraced Gore, who would like to take away their guns, enshrine partial-birth abortions and give us the legal equivalent of gay marriage.

A reality disconnect reached across the political spectrum. The good progressives who cast their ballots for Green Party candidate Ralph Nader in effect voted to have Gov. George Bush make the next three Supreme Court nominations. Gore agrees with them on most issues, but with scorn for lacking the anti-business gusto of their candidate.

By 60 percent of the vote, Massachusetts approved a hefty reduction in the state's personal income tax, then gave Gore (who'd cut off his right hand before he signed an across-the-board tax cut) the same percentage of the popular vote.

Over 90 percent of black voters went for the vice president, who vows they'll hold Olympic bobsledding competitions in Hades before poor black children have the option of fleeing decaying public schools.

By better than 80 percent, Jewish voters endorsed the Democratic ticket. While the vice president did have a Jewish running mate (who praised Louis Farrakhan), the president in whose shadow Gore stands has been a nightmare for Israel -- insisting that Palestinian terrorists and Israelis fighting for their existence are morally equivalent.

And then there are the voters of the Empire State, who desperately wanted to be represented in Washington by Hillary Rodham Clinton, who had no ties to their state (never lived or went to school in New York, thought the Yankees were boys in blue who fought the Confederates) before she began to covet Daniel Patrick Moynihan's Senate seat. If she'd lost the race, a for-sale sign would have been up at her Chappaqua, N.Y., home in less time than it took Monica Lewinsky to flash her thong bikini.

But a mere out-of-towner wouldn't do. New Yorkers demanded a power freak mired in corruption -- an obvious case of banana republic-envy.

For much of the electorate, the voting booth is a doorway to another dimension. I would not be at all surprised if exit polling indicated that a significant number of voters based their decision on the input of a neighborhood dog or claimed to have received voting instructions when they were beamed up to the mother ship.

JWR contributing columnist Don Feder's latest books are Who is afraid of the Religious Right? ($15.95) and A Jewish conservative looks at pagan America ($9.95). To receive an autographed copy, send a check or money order to: Don Feder, The Boston Herald, 1 Herald Sq., Boston, Mass. 02106. Doing so will help fund JWR, if so noted. He is also available as a guest speaker. To comment on this column please click here.


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© 2000, Creators Syndicate