Election’s din dims nation’s holiday glow

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 12, 2000

President Bill Clinton lit the national Christmas tree on Monday, &uot;a sure sign of the holiday season,&uot; according to one television newscaster.

Yet, the symbolic gesture that once might have claimed at least more than a passing comment on newscasts pales in comparison to the news of the day — legal battles over the election of a new president.

And, with Christmas less than two weeks away, holiday spirit seems overshadowed by political partisanship.

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According to an Associated Press analysis this week, our country — voters, congress, even the courts — seems divided nearly down the middle on this issue — an issue that is at once vague and complicated.

And, depending on which side of that divide you prefer, this debate represents either legal manipulation of an imperfect but long-proven system or an all-out battle to protect the foundations of democracy.

Unfortunately, for either side of the divide, the debate offers little hope of healing, peace or unification.

Even as President Clinton lit the Christmas tree, lobbyists were organizing their &uot;for the cameras&uot; protests and political spinmeisters steadfastly offered their soundbites and biased insight.

Somewhere in the middle, millions of voters wait for a resolution. We wish for a unifying decision from the U.S. Supreme Court and for a spark of leadership from the candidates themselves.

And, in living rooms throughout our country, the debate — and undoubtedly the frustration — over this election saga continues to grow, even in the light of Christmas trees’ glow.