What comes next will be test for all

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 4, 2000

Live photos of a rental truck carrying election ballots,followed by a caravan of lawyers, police and government officials,bring us to a new low in the news coverage of the race forpresident. It was reminiscent of the slow-speed O.J. Simpson chasealong the freeways of Southern California.

Thankfully, crowds did not form on the streets to cheer or jeerthe ballots as they passed.

Despite the circus atmosphere of the past few weeks and thefrustrating nature of the legal battles between the lawyers forboth Bush and Gore, what we have witnessed is a fascinating lookinto the inner workings of our democracy — a kind of sausagemaking if you will. It’s not necessarily always a pleasant look,but a look that reveals the strength of the system we have.

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When it is all said and done, the final legal challenges made,the electoral tallies completed and a president selected, the realbattle for democracy may have just begun.

With an almost even split between Republicans and Democrats inboth the House and Senate, it will be interesting to see thedirection our country takes. The political battles between theliberals and the conservatives will be forced into the middlebecause compromise will force moderation. Special interest will beset aside for public interest.

No matter what the issue, extremism is never the best answer.Too much of anything is bad. Drink too much water and you willdrown!

So despite all the shenanigans on both sides, despite the numberof flags a person can stand in front of, and despite the threats ofa constitutional crisis, when all is said and done we could end upwith a stronger legislative and executive branch. Both will beforced to work harder to find compromise in the legislation theywish to pass.

Key to that work will be Senator Trent Lott. His position asSenate Majority Leader will test his ability to lead. Onceconsidered a presidential contender, his political stock has beendamaged in recent years. A strong showing of leadership on his partwill bring him to the forefront. That’s something that would begood for both Mississippi and the nation.