How to Steal an ElectionBreaking News
tags: 2000 election, Florida recount
We never left.
There are the little signs. The fact that everyone on every social media platform seems to have the same gif of Bugs Bunny sawing away the peninsula at the ready. The fact that the Florida weirdness evolved to anthropomorphize itself as Florida Man. The fact that, in certain contexts, the word “chad” still stings like accidentally biting down hard on tinfoil, or a grain of sand, or the wood of a popsicle stick. The way that, if you’re old enough, a pause between “butterfly” and the next word gets mentally autofilled with “ballot.”
Then there are the bigger ones. The hysterical polarization of epistemically closed media. People voting from retribution rather than for anything. A Democratic Party that will never let victory stand in the way of preserving the sort of dignity that will be immediately profaned and trammeled in defeat. And a Republican Party whose path to power steadily narrows toward apartheid.
If you were old enough at the time, the 2000 presidential election recount in the state of Florida can feel like it never left. It’s a trauma ready to be felt again with the ring of a bell; 20 years dropped away in an instant, the ground below your feet unchanged, as suddenly you realize that The Recount, rather than ever end, has merely entered its latest form and achieved yet another more perfect disunion between the people and the franchise.
That is, at least, how it feels watching Florida native Billy Corben’s latest documentary, 537 Votes.
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