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Sporting the Red, White and Blue Beads

The Dec. 27, 2007 elections in Kenya led to weeks of violence and estimates reported in the New York Times of 1000 dead and 300,000 homeless.

During the Bolivian Presidential elections in 1993, where I observed the polling while assigned to the American Embassy, the public was trusted so little to responsibly handle electoral results that on election day alcohol was banned, unapproved vehicles kept off the roads, and in-county airline travel was suspended.

Yet in the United States, even in a hotly contested and fiercely partisan election such as the 2000 Bush / Gore contest, there is no bloodshed. & Despite lingering commentary from partisans about a stolen election or the importance of the Supreme Court's vote, Gore did not run off and set up a government in exile, or try to run a shadow government from his compound in Tennessee. & Likewise, Bush did not have the four dissenting justices "reeducated" and mobs did not burn Florida election officials out of their homes.


So after a significant percentage of the people vote on Tuesday, Feb. 5, they will be trusted to go about their business and roving mobs hunting down opposition officials with torches and pitchforks are extremely unlikely.

Our freedom, signified by the debates, discussions and elections about the future of this country, is to be celebrated not mourned. & Even when the "wrong" people win, the great experiment is proven a success. & Successes need to be celebrated, and this brings us full-circle back to the 2008 convergence of election day and Mardi Gras. & Dig out the red, white and blue beads and have yourself a no-holds barred election day.