Election 2000: The Last Holiday-from-History Election

"Do we have a president yet?" we laughed.


A range of pundits have been suggesting that this year's election could end up being contested, much as the 2000 election was. Let's compare then and now.

Back in 2000, America was still enjoying the "holiday from history" that followed the fall of the Soviet empire. Military spending was at a post–World War II low of just 2.9 percent of GDP. Unemployment in October 2000 was 3.9 percent, a 30-year low. The dotcom bubble was still buoying the stock market. Around 20 percent of both Democrats and Republicans had "very unfavorable" views about the other party. (By 2016, that had risen to 55 and 58 percent, respectively.)

The major candidates, Al Gore and George W. Bush, were both conventional politicians. The big issues of the day were Social Security and school vouchers. In an October 4, 2000, New York Times article reporting voter sentiments at a neighborhood presidential-debate-watch barbecue in Atlanta, host Bobby Milstein said: "This is definitely an election of the lesser of two evils." He added, "Clinton, he had a vision in a way. Gore doesn't have that. Bush doesn't have that. In the end, either of them are probably capable."

As we now know, the 2000 election was closely contested and its outcome ultimately depended on which candidate was awarded Florida's electoral votes. I won't get into the details. Suffice it to say that votes were counted and recounted; court cases were filed, decided, and appealed; and on December 12, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5–4 for Bush. Gore graciously conceded the next day.

During that November, my wife Pamela and I were vacationing with a group of college friends in Virgin Gorda. As we were enjoying the white sand beaches at the Baths and Savannah Bay, we were basically out of the reach of regular media. Whenever we saw someone new to the island, we would lightheartedly ask, "Do we have a president yet?" After being told no, not yet, we would return unconcernedly to our rum punches.

2020 is way different.

During the presidential candidate debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump on Tuesday, moderator Chris Wallace noted that eight states have laws prohibiting their electoral authorities from counting mail-in ballots prior to Election Day—November 3. Wallace observed that we're likely not "to know on election night who the winner is," adding that "it could be days, it could be weeks." Trump interjected: "Could be months."

Wallace then asked both candidates, "Will you urge your supporters to stay calm during this extended period, not to engage in any civil unrest? And will you pledge tonight that you will not declare victory until the election has been independently certified?"

Instead of making that reasonable promise, President Trump once again suggested that if the tally doesn't go his way that he will challenge the election results in the courts, and perhaps the streets.

Come to think of it, it might not be a bad idea to be out of the country after I vote this November too. Assuming, that is, that anyplace would accept travelers from the COVID epicenter.

NEXT: Do Car Seat Mandates Reduce the Number of Children Families Have?

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  1. Yeah we all know who's doing the rioting, and who will continue. And it ain't Trump supporters. But nice try shifting the blame onto others there.

    1. Trump made them riot. It is his fault.

      This is what Ron actually believes.

      1. Bailey doesn't believe it. None of them really do. Their just signaling clique membership.
        I'm actually a little more disappointed with Bailey pushing out the lazy orangemanbad homilies than I am with the others, because I thought he was more of a heterodox and critical thinker than people like ENB or Suderman.

        1. I don't know that any of them sincerely believe anything.
          They're just drones whose programmed emotions generate thought dictated by leftist central groupthink.

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    2. "Yeah we all know who’s doing the rioting, and who will continue. And it ain’t Trump supporters. "

      Maybe it's because Trump supporters are not committed enough, or loyal enough. Willing to buy guns and ammo in record numbers but unwilling to use them as god intended, to ensure a second term for their leader. If Trump supporters are not going to match their enemies, Trump needs newer and more committed supporters.

      1. No, Trump supporters just aren’t as psychotic as you.

      2. Since Gamaliel Harding and Herb Hoover wrecked the economy and filled the nation with angry communists, Republicans learned to wait until the second term to bring out the death penalty for plant leaves, faith-based asset forfeiture of everything you own or death by gang lynching or shots in the back by First Responders™. Already the Don has settled on a Phyllis Schlafly clone to help impotent mystics bully girls. So if the other looters get the pelf, boodle and bribes for awhile, it's no big loss. Those too cowardly to vote Jo forfeit the right to whine.

        1. Haha. From Hoover to schlafly to jo.

          Well done. I think.

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  2. We are not the COVID epicenter. You know that Ron. The US is well down the list on per capita deaths. So why do you say something you know is not true? It is not funny if it is intended to be a joke.

    Beyond that, Trump says he will challenge results that he feels are the result of fraud. Do you think that candidates have a duty to accept fraudulent results?

    Meanwhile the Democrats have promised to stack the Supreme Court and get it to read the 1st and 2nd Amendments out of the Constitution. If they get control of the Congress and the White House, they can do that. That sounds pretty historic to me. It doesn't to you? You think that would just be no big deal? They are all the same.

    1. Georgia has never closed down. We dont wear masks and have less than 7,000 deaths while infected.

      unreason refuses to do any articles on that fact because it helps blow up their stupid Lefty Narrative that Democrats are the only savior from this super deadly virus that Trump caused.

      1. Among the states, Georgia is #5 in total cases, #6 in cases per capita, and #13 in deaths per capita. A study in what not to do.

        1. Your citation fell off.

          We have 7,000 deaths while infected. Not even a blip of death increases from normal each year.

          Georgia is an example of what to do. No shutdowns, no mask mandates, no spikes in normal annual deaths, no listening to Lefties...

          Its why the MSM wont cover the topic.

          1. Even funnier is that Lefties equate still peddle that testing positive for Kungflu is a death sentence.

          2. I'm sure that cite will be coming any time now...

            If only Georgia had mandated face diapers, shut down the economy, and forced nursing homes to take infected patients they could replicate the rousing success of New York City. Libertarians for Lockdown! Free Minds and Free Markets baby!

            (now let's ask Chipper Boring Dumbfuck if drug-resistant TB infected beaners should be allowed into the country without any screening...)

        2. I wish we had 100 people just like you in Washington. Unfortunately, we have many thousands.

  3. Instead of making that reasonable promise, President Trump once again suggested that if the tally doesn't go his way that he will challenge the election results in the courts, and perhaps the streets.

    Bailey cites a Business Insider Lefty rag page about the same nonsense unreason Lefties are blabbing about.

    Democrats are trying to use voter fraud to win an election. They have done it in the past and will do it again.

    It won't matter because Trump will win more states than 2016 and the race will be over for Biden based on the in person poll returns and early counted ballots early the next morning.

    It still wont change the fact that propagandists like Bailey are a direct threat to our Republic and trying to destroy America.

    1. >>more states than 2016

      yep. beat 'em so bad they can't cheat.

  4. Virgin Gorda...great place. Good you did the Baths, great experience.

    1. Slightly different experience to the baths you usually frequent, huh.

  5. >>from the COVID epicenter.

    you're Chinese?

    1. He doesn't want to be labeled a racist for accurately pointing out where the virus came from.

      1. dude with all the things Ron is called @Reason you'd think something would change

  6. host Bobby Milstein said: "This is definitely an election of the lesser of two evils." He added, "Clinton, he had a vision in a way. Gore doesn't have that.

    Ahh, now naive we were...

    1. Gore had a laaaawk-baaaawks.

    2. Clinton, he had a vision in a way.
      He saw himself getting a hummer in the Oval Office.

  7. For the first time in my life there is real fascist style political violence in this country. All over America Democratic mayors and governors are allowing leftist mobs to terrorize the public. The police stand by and let it happen and anyone who tries to defend themselves is arrested. That is how it worked in 1930s Germany. And like Germany, the media and all of the elites are supporting it and lying about it.

    Meanwhile people who are not cranks with no following but rich and influential talk openly about murdering anyone who dissents.

    It takes quite a fool to see all this as a holiday from history.

    1. The nation survived a civil war, the nation can survive a few cosplaying idiots in Portland.

      You know what the nation can't long survive? Demagoguery.

      1. Words are violence, and violence is peace, right cytotoxic?

        Lol. Christ you're a joke.

      2. America will survive civil war 2.0 that Lefties started too.

        1. You're going to hate me for saying this LoveCon, but I don't think it will.

          I really hope I'm wrong though.

      3. Yes they are just cosplay idiots who have already murdered one person and blinded dozens of law enforcement agents with lasers. Then there is the 1500 businesses they burned down in Minneapolis.

        But hey, they have people like you to lie for them. So that makes it better

        1. Hey John, you disingenuous fuck, how many have died at the hands of extreme right wing Trump supporters since he took office?

          1. None. If the number was above zero, you would have a link and be pointing to all of the cases.

            Go fuck yourself.

            1. Good job reaffirming my point douchebag!

        2. I think the bodycount of the Civil War was a little bit higher than the bodycount of the cosplaying idiots.

      4. "You know what the nation can’t long survive? Demagoguery."

        You keep using this word with no understanding of what it really means. Then you apply it to positions you don't like so you can dismiss them without having to form coherent opposition.

        It is not saying A, B, and C are problems, so here's what we can do within our scope so that you can be free to determine your own outcomes.

        Demagoguery is critical race theory. It's the fantasy of systemic racism and white supremacists lurking around every corner. It's politicians and the government promising to solve your personal problems and provide for you, to make you feel happy and impose your desires upon everyone else. In short: it's telling you what your problems and goals are, then promising collective effort to solve and satisfy them.

        You want to see demagoguery? Look at the 5 year plans from Stalin and Mao. Then look at the Green New Deal, promises for racial equity (not equality), Obamacare and Medicare for all, universal basic income and higher minimum wages, the woke vs deplorables.

        1. Demagoguery is critical race theory.

          LOL that is you applying a fancy word that you don't understand to something that you don't like. Kinda like "Marxism".

          Demagoguery is an appeal to emotion rather than rational judgment. Both Team Red and Team Blue do it, but Team Red has really hit the demagoguery bottle hard this election year. This is demagoguery:

          - Spreading fear that planeloads of Antifa are coming to the suburbs to burn them down
          - Spreading fear that illegal immigrants are streaming across the border stealing yer jerbs and killing cute blond coeds
          - Spreading fear that if the Democrats win, America will be destroyed
          - Spreading fear that "Democrat mayors" and "Democrat governors" and Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders and AOC and all of the other Democrats are the real problem, and that if you elect Dear Leader Trump, all of your problems will go away and you can sleep easy at night knowing that a Real Patriot(tm) is in charge keeping watch over you.

          That is demagoguery and Team Red does it in spades. YOU do it on a daily basis. In the Team Red narrative, Democrats are the Emmanuel Goldsteins. The sins of the ruling party are to be ignored or overlooked, because Emmanuel Goldstein is far worse and everything is justified in order to stop the imminent threat from the Emmanuel Goldsteins out there. That is demagoguery and that is what you do.

  8. I wish Ron would stick to his beat as the world's most scientifically illiterate science writer instead of trying to venture into subjects he somehow, miraculously, comprehends even more poorly.

  9. Remember how all the way until 9/11, it was the Democrats proudly proclaiming "Not My President!" That adjudication seasons between the election and the SCOTUS ruling had all the Democrat wackos come out. The Green Party was severely chastised for "throwing the election", and now Green Party candidates still get fewer votes than actual Green Party Members. It was, as Nick Gillespie would put it, our time of national pants shitting. At least for the Democrats.

    But the pendulum swings. This time I think it's the Republicans who are going to shit their pants over the election. And not because of hanging chads or a single county in Florida. This time they will shit their pants because more people voted for Biden. You can already see it starting. The excuse making has begun. The denial of the possibility is in full force. And we have a candidate who keeps hinting there will be problems if he doesn't win.

    This big buttery tub of popcorn would taste so much better if it weren't so tragic.

    1. You think a lot of things. Luckily you are a fucking idiot. So none of those things matter.

  10. Ronald Bailey's books on the environment were far more objective than his obviously biased anti Trump articles.

    Such a shame.

    1. I recommend Dr Trump's Butthurt Salve

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  12. The GOP officially and in Congress assembled accused the Dems of "plotting revolt" in 1878. This was after Tilden won by 20 electoral votes only to have Republicans flanked by federal troops overturn the election results "or else..." See 'A Strong Address' in
    There is no honor among looters

  13. And by "conventional politician", you mean that Al Gore was a corrupt, ignorant, fat slob?

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