Environmental Ethics
and Public Policy
Ernest Partridge, Ph.D

HOME PAGE                             
    Philosophy and Religion
    Ethics, Moral Issues, the Law
    The Environment

On Politics
    The Crisis
    Foreign Relations, War, Peace
    The Media
    The Elections
    Civil Liberties and Dissent
    Republicans & the Right
    Democrats & the Left
    Lies, Propaganda & Corruption
    Culture War & Religious Right
    Coup d'Etat, 2000

Published Papers

Unpublished Papers

Reviews, Lectures, etc.    

Internet Publications


Lecture Topics

Conscience of a Progressive
    (A Book in Progress)

A Dim View of Libertarianism

Rawls and the Duty to Posterity
    (Doctoral Dissertation)

The Ecology Project

For Environmental Educators

The Russian Environment

    (Critiques of Post Modernism)

Notes from the Brink
    (Peace Studies)

The Gadfly's Bio Sketch

The Gadfly's Publications

The Online Gadfly: Editorial Policy

The Gadfly's E-Mail: gadfly@igc.org

Classical Guitar:
"The Other Profession




The Gadfly Bytes -- January, 2001

On Coping with "Post Democracy"

Why We Refuse to "Get Over It"

By Ernest Partridge
"The Online Gadfly"



The People have spoken: all five of them.

Mark Russell


Let's face it, compatriots: we are living in a Post-Democracy. Our votes can no longer be counted on to decide elections, and the established laws and precedents can no longer be relied upon to protect us. If we are to return to a government of laws, of, by, and for the people, we will have to take it back. We have the means to do just that. Whether we will do so is quite another matter.

Lest we forget: George II lost the popular vote. Despite a deliberate and orchestrated smear of Bush's opponent, and the media's consensus not to elaborate upon Bush's manifest disqualifications, Al Gore gathered more votes than Bush. (See "The Hijacked Election" and "Post Modern Politics," this site). But never mind that: according to a Constitutional quirk that we have never bothered to correct, a candidate can be elected President despite losing the popular vote. Had Bush legitimately won a majority of the electoral votes, we would have accepted that result with regret but without protest.

Trouble is, Gore also would have won the Electoral vote, and the Presidency, if only the vote count in Florida had continued, as designated by state law in Florida and thirty-four other states, including Bush's state of Texas. But no, the Supreme Court set aside, not only the will of the people, but also established precedent and law "making law" on the spot, so as to install their favored candidate, George W. Bush. So now, not only popular will, but also the rule of law has been "vacated" by the political supporters of our new Usurper-President. "Post Democracy!"

If all this seems hyperbolic, then read our collection of critical commentary, "We Dissent," and also Vincent Bugliosi's blistering and brilliant critique of the Supreme "Gang of Five," "None Dare Call it Treason," in the February 5 issue of The Nation.

The election was a disaster. The Supreme Court decision was much worse. But worst of all has been the acquiescence of the media and the public to this massive betrayal of our political system, and their acceptance of this illegitimate regime. Our democracy and our rule of law have been taken from us, and we seem not to care about it. 

What, then, is to be done?

First of all, the shell of Constitutional law and order remains, however betrayed and besmirched by the incumbent and his party. The opposition should work within Constitutional constraints, thus displaying a respect for our political institutions that was conspicuously absent in the behavior of George Bush and his minions, including Brother Jeb and his Florida allies, and above all the Supreme Court Gang of Five. The betrayed franchise remains the best avenue toward the restoration of democracy and the rule of law.

We must recognize and proclaim a distinction between the institutions of the Presidency and the Supreme Court on the one hand, and the unworthy individuals who temporarily hold these offices on the other hand. These are worthy offices which must now be rescued from the present incumbents. Out of respect for the Presidency, we can foresee no "rescue" of that office sooner than four years from now. However, in two years we have our first opportunity to strike back at the Usurper-in-Chief and his Party.

The Congressional Democratic Party, however enfeebled and accommodating, is the best available instrument of resistance against the President-Select and his Selectors on the Supreme Court. That Party must be given a clear message: hold the line on the new Supreme Court nominees. Unless a nominee offers a clear promise of restoring the Supreme Court to its traditional role of protecting the Constitution and the civil rights of the citizens, that nominee should be rejected. If by the retirement of a member or two, the Supreme Court is weakened, that may not be a misfortune, given the current condition of the Court. Hopefully there will soon come a time when an authentically honorable Court can be selected and restored. We must work constantly and energetically to bring that time about.

For the most part, the mass media will be of little help in the struggle for the restoration of democracy. The media conglomerates that are absorbing and thus stifling independent and divergent voices are owned by the same interests that have purchased the Presidency and the Congress. Dissent might best be expressed through the support of independent NGOs such as Common Cause, People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, etc.

And finally, this new medium, the internet, has yet not been silenced. Through it "The Restoration Movement" can communicate, organize, and act. 

For our part, The Online Gadfly will strive to keep alive our collective outrage over "the betrayals of Election 2000." We will keep on site our protests, and the collected protests of others (cf. "We Dissent"), and we will direct our readers to information, opinion and organizations allied with us in the struggle to restore the government of the United States to its citizens.

Throughout World War II, the American battle cry was "Remember Pearl Harbor."  And remember we did.

Let ours be "Remember Bush v. Gore!"

Copyright 2001 by Ernest Partridge


Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He has taught Philosophy at the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He publishes the website, "The Online Gadfly" (www.igc.org/gadfly) and co-edits the progressive website, "The Crisis Papers" (www.crisispapers.org).  Dr. Partridge can be contacted at: gadfly@igc.org .