The air is thick with the upcoming Presidential elections and the ongoing Primaries. It was February 2000 and the atmosphere was similar. President Clinton was finishing his second term and Al Gore and Governer George W Bush were the contenders for the White House. I was a FOB (fresh of the boat) then, did not quite understand or care about the elections. By the time it was November 2000, I was actually living within 10 miles of the White House. The 2000 presidential elections became famous or infamous for a variety of reasons. After the bitter battle, George W was declared winner and the rest is history.
On December 13 2000, Al Gore conceded his defeat. I remember watching Al Gore’s Concession Speech on CNN. This was my first experience to true “Americanism”. Even today this speech resonates well and talks about the essence of a true Demoratic Nation.
The next day Thomas L. Friedman voiced his opinion with an incredible article. Cannot remember when was the last time so little words made so much sense.
Read it here.
“Which brings us back to Mr. Gore and his concession speech. It was the equivalent of taking a bullet for the country, because the rule of law is most reinforced when — even though it may have been imposed wrongly or with bias — the recipient of the judgment accepts it, and the system behind it, as final and legitimate. Only in that way — only when we reaffirm our fidelity to the legal system, even though it rules against us — can the system endure, improve and learn from its mistakes. And that was exactly what Mr. Gore understood, bowing out with grace because, as he put it, ”This is America, and we put country before party.”
If Chinese or Russian spies are looking for the most valuable secret they can steal in Washington, here’s a free tip: Steal Al Gore’s speech. For in a few brief pages it contains the real secret to America’s sauce. That secret is not Wall Street, and it’s not Silicon Valley, it’s not the Air Force and it’s not the Navy, it’s not the free press and it’s not the free market — it is the enduring rule of law and institutions that underlie them all, and that allows each to flourish no matter who is in power. “
Whenever I leave this country for good, along with the material things I would take with me, its the exposure, understanding and seeing these values being put to use – is what would make the time I spent in this great nation worthwhile.