* Much to the surprise of Democrats, the Republicans were very gracious in accepting victory in this presidential election (Dec. 14). George W. Bush was almost as dignified in his acceptance speech as Al Gore was in his concession speech. All Americans should be proud of Gore and Bush. They both rose to the occasion and convincingly asked Americans to come together, and we will.
But the Democratic victory is yet to come. We need to secure for all Americans a more accurate and fair election process. We need to know who has won an election, without questioning the Jeb Bushes, Katherine Harrises and the Supremes as to the fairness of, and their involvement in, the result. This was not a victory for anyone.
JAMES K. FENWICK
If the Gore who made this concession speech had talked like this during the campaign, he would have won. Without doubt. For the first time, he sounded real, he sounded honest, he did not talk down. For the first time, he sounded like one of us, which, now, he is.
Welcome, Al Gore, to the real America. You'll like it.
Noticeably missing from Bush's uninspired acceptance speech was a big thank you to the members of the Supreme Court for elevating him to the presidency, for he could not have won without them. Popular majority of votes? Who needs that when you have a court stacked with Republicans deciding the election? Gore never had a chance.
Talk about a sad day for democracy! Meanwhile, the hate groups rejoice.
Listening to the politicians and pundits talk Wednesday night about the need for healing in our nation, I felt like a mugging victim with the mugger bending over me solicitously, earnestly advising me that I should do something about those cuts and bruises.
I voted for Gore and I wish he were going to be president, but I think what we've seen is the brightly painted mask ripped off the political process: Questions of who gets to vote and whose votes are counted, along with a robeless Supreme Court in their partisan skivvies, have not been a pretty sight.
There's a lot that needs healing and a lot more that needs fixing in our political process. Platitudes won't do it. Politicians won't do it. People can. Organized, informed and involved people can. And, I think, after what we have seen, we will.
I think Gore should be commended and thanked for steadfastly pursuing the recount of election ballots in certain counties of Florida, even at the risk of being branded a sore loser: His effort highlighted to the rest of the nation the need to not only reform the way campaigns are financed but the way we prepare and count our ballots. In fact, he would have done the country a great disservice if he had not taken that course.
VICTOR W. MONSURA
Gore's concession speech was a fitting flower on the Clinton/Gore farewell cake. Gore, having learned damage control at the foot of the master, is now being called gracious? Since when is an adult having a monthlong temper tantrum regarded as gracious?
Actions do speak louder than words, Mr. Gore; now go sit in the corner.
SCOTT A. TUCKER
If Bush is truly sincere, he'll heal the nation by using the promised tax refund to provide standardized voting machines nationwide.
America has completely lost the moral and intellectual authority to preach democracy to the rest of the world. The candidate with more votes overall was compelled to concede to the candidate with fewer.
I was disappointed by Jesse Jackson's message on television that was juxtaposed with Gore's concession and Bush's acceptance. The juxtaposition was stark: The country is bleeding; Jackson rubs salt in our wounds. Bush holds out an olive branch and Gore accepts, but Jackson takes a flamethrower to it.
Interviews were shown of people from all walks of life, from all over the country. Many expressed regret that all the Florida votes were never counted. Yet all fervently hoped for national reconciliation--except Jackson.
It has been articulated that Jackson is a demagogue inciting racial animus where it need not be. Query: Are these people the people who subscribe to the same reasoning that Martin Luther King Jr. was a communist, Gandhi an agitator and that Frederick Douglass was out of place?
For over 200 years, I have descended from a peculiar institution, for over 50 years I have had to live separate and unequal and the last 50 I have been fighting the problems wrought by the previous 250. In an election in which my people turned out in record numbers to take part in a system from which we historically had been excluded, why were there record numbers of errors and problems with the machines we used to cast our ballots?
There are some who say "it happens," but why does it continually happen to me?