Editor's Note: This article first ran on Nov. 15, 2000, during the Gore-Bush Florida recount. It rings just as true this election. I hope this article will not be needed in 2008.
We may be watching the deconstruction of democracy in America. Yes, you can put me down as an alarmist. The streams of relativism, irony, ignorance, ridicule, ahistoricism, media fatuity, excessive lawyering, hyper-partisanship and power-lust have formed a mighty river of deconstruction that -- before our teared eyes -- is washing away, at a frightening pace, 200 years of American self-government.
Academic deconstructionists take pride in disassembling the parts of a whole in order to reveal that the whole was never a real thing -- but only the pointless object of our pathetic effort to invest meaning into the meaningless. Deconstruction reveals our juvenile faith in reason, truth and the knowability of things.
We fools thought that votes could be fairly counted, that elections measured and formed the popular will, and that the law was a shield to protect our elections, not a sword to shred them. We thought we were most Americans. But others, dangerous strangers, people alien to our sense of ourselves, have homegrown in our midst. They have usurped us in our own country. They are Americans by birth, but they might as well be Martian reptiles for all the moral kinship they have with us.
Al Gore and his band of terrorist lawyers are plundering our innocent laws, and are cynically using those very laws to render meaningless the election those laws were meant to protect. In the past week it has become quickly fashionable to claim that we have plenty of time, that they just want a full and fair count of the votes, that no harm can come from these little manipulations of the process. But to paraphrase Albert Camus: No one should think that an election victory torn from such convulsions will have the calm, tame aspect that some enjoy imagining. This dreadful travail will give birth to a monster.
Defensively, inevitably, as Al Gore has tried to use the law to defeat the election, the Bush camp has responded in kind. What else could they do? Sit by while their victory was stolen? And yet, we now have two bands of roving lawyers, both attempting to game the system. George W. Bush has been forced to imitate Al Gore in order not to die politically. But the Bush camp, in its effort to defeat Mr. Gore's growing electoral power, risks mutilating its own honor.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.