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The ghost of Al Gore went down to Georgia

The wrong way to contest an election and why we have a national ethics crisis

If you've never heard of Norm Eisen, that's probably a good thing. The former Obama White House ethics chief has a lot to learn about living up to the title he once held.

By declaring that Brian Kemp should not be treated as a "normal" governor, Mr. Eisen demonstrates his inability to distinguish between the concepts of legal and ethical.

There are legitimate reasons for complaining about the results of the Georgia gubernatorial election results. Whether the purging of voter lists or the draconian nature of the state's "exact match" inequitably brought Brian Kemp into office are matters open for debate. But the results of the election are not.

Questioning the election process, challenging a candidate's character, calling to change the law or overhaul the system -- you can do any of these from a position of principle. What you cannot do is impugn the legitimacy of the results when no laws were broken, even if you believe that the law itself facilitated a miscarriage of justice.

When the Supreme Court eventually ruled in favor of George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore graciously accepted the results and disappeared into the night. It's an example we all should follow.

Yes, fight to improve the law, protest against violations of the spirit of the law, and never give up the campaign to make the legal system more ethical.

But don't denounce the system of law itself in your pursuit of justice. That is the road to anarchy, a system in which everyone loses.

Photo Credit: Tom Raftery via Wikipedia

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