Politics & Policy

Can The U.N. Save Florida?

A group of congressmen go outside the U.S. for the presidential election.

America is doomed to suffer ever-escalating acts of political inanity until the November election. The assault on our collective intelligence by Hollywood and the media should end then, but some Dems are planning to continue it on into 2005. To do this, they are turning to the self-appointed international arbiter of honesty and democracy, the United Nations.

The liberals’ bitterness in their defeat in 2000 hasn’t abated one little bit. It wasn’t cured by Howard Dean’s primal scream therapy or by Michael Moore’s movie. This bitterness has festered and metastasized into an anti-Bush obsession that will only end with a Kerry victory. (If Mr. Bush wins again, let us pray, we should all buy stock in Prozac-maker Eli Lilly on November 3. There will be nervous breakdowns all over Hollywood, New York, and DC.) Having failed to win the 2000 election–first by working desperately to disenfranchise the many military members who vote by absentee ballot in Florida, and then in the Supreme Court–the Dems have stooped to a new low. Seeking to group the United States among the third-world kakistocracies, a number of House Dems last week tried to set the stage for the U.N. to be the final arbiter in 2004.

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Tex.) with fellow Dems Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), Raul Grijalva (Ariz.), Danny Davis (Ill.), Corrine Brown (Fla.), Carolyn Maloney (N.Y.), Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Michael Honda (Calif.), Elijah Cummings (Md.), Julia Carson (Ind.) and Edolphus Towns (N.Y.) last week wrote to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan requesting U.N. monitoring and intervention in the presidential election. Their request cited the scurrilous report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that determined–contrary to the evidence–that “…the disenfranchisement of Florida’s voters fell most harshly on the shoulders of black voters and in poor counties….”

Set aside the fact that American elections are a model of democracy and fairness that almost none of the world’s nations come close to equaling. And set aside the fact that this election is very unlikely to be close. Historically, America’s close elections are few and far between. In 2004, the odds are miniscule that we will see a replay of the Florida Follies of 2000. But even if we did, we cannot tolerate any U.N. intervention, for to so do would be to surrender our independence and most basic freedom.

America–in our Constitution and in every state–has laws that protect the voters from interference with their right to vote. Any U.N. monitoring would violate those laws, and more. Neither the U.N. nor any other foreign organization has any legal or moral authority to enter American voting halls or to be present when votes are tabulated. If any U.N. representatives tried to do so, it would be the duty of state and local officials to show them the door peacefully or otherwise. Any discussion between U.N. “election monitors” and, say, members of the Texas Rangers or Virginia state police would be very brief and quite conclusive.

These congressional calumniators apparently believe the Dems would get a better break from the U.N. than from American voters or our own courts. In that, at least, they are right. The U.N.’s membership gaggle of 191 states includes fewer than 50 which can even arguably be said to be free. Some among those few–such as the Russian Federation–don’t really allow voters self-determination. How would the U.N. membership–the majority of which are dictatorships, despotisms and terrorist regimes–judge an American election? They would certainly do as well as the U.N. has in administering the Iraq Oil-for-Food program.

If John Kerry were elected there would be little folderol and the matter would dissolve into some congratulatory messages to our new president. He would then be able to–as he has promised–go to the U.N. within two weeks of his inauguration to “rejoin” the international body. Heartiest congratulations would come from those, such as France, which are desperate to return to the Clinton era when the American power was used more in pursuit of the U.N.’s interests than in America’s. But what if President Bush were reelected in a very close race?

The U.N. debate would be a riotous anti-American orgy. There would be U.N. commissions hearing testimony about election abuses from the U.N. observers and their supporters among the Democrats. Any U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the election would be ridiculed. Every dictatorship and despotism–and every faux ally such as France–would be breaking its pick to delegitimize the election and heap scorn on America. The EU would scold us for not living up to European values, North Korea and Sudan would lecture us on human rights, and few would bother to speak in our behalf. And, once again, we would be diverted from pursuing the war against terrorists and the nations that support them by those self same nations.

Britain, Israel, Australia, and Poland would support our right to self-determination (as might some of the other former Warsaw Pact nations whose freedom is newer, and more appreciated than that of Old Europe). Taiwan wouldn’t, for the simple reason that its democratic government isn’t allowed a seat in the U.N. There would be condemnation from all of the usual suspects, including the secretary general (to the extent he can take time away from covering up the Oil-for-Food scam). It might go so far that we would be subjected to the indignity of vetoing a Security Council resolution attempting to set aside the result, unless the Brits did us the honor of vetoing it before we had to.

It is hard to imagine a greater libel against American democracy than would inevitably come out of any U.N. debate. American freedom–all 228 years of it–is an affront to the members of the United Nations, and to the U.N. itself. Of that, among many other things, we should be very proud.

NRO contributor Jed Babbin is the author of Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe are Worse than You Think.


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