18 years ago today, the Supreme Court ruled in Gore V. Bush, effectively naming George W. Bush the 43rd President of the United States.
It was an extremely hard fought election, including five weeks of intense court battles.
We may not have realized it at the time, but it was a beautiful day in American history.
They system worked, and both sides accepted the outcome with class, grace, humility, and patriotism.
Al Gore said that night that while he was deeply disappointed and disagreed with the Supreme Court decision, ”partisan rancor must now be put aside.”
“I accept the finality of the outcome, which will be ratified next Monday in the Electoral College” he said. “And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.”
George W. Bush said:
“I thank you for your prayers for me and my family, and I ask you to pray for vice president Gore and his family. I have faith that with God’s help we as a nation will move forward together, as one nation, indivisible. And together we will create an America that is open, so every citizen has access to the American dream.
An America that is educated, so every child has the keys to realise that dream. And an America that is united in our diversity and our shared American values that are larger than race or party.
I was not elected to serve one party, but to serve one nation. The president of the United States is the president of every single American, of every race and every background. Whether you voted for me or not, I will do my best to serve your interests, and I will work to earn your respect.”
Civility and class by both the winner and the loser.
It will take work, but we CAN return to that place.