Books and Movies Reviews

Film Review: Steal the Vote, Fahrenheit 911, Amazing Grace and Bulworth

Andrew Gumbell, the U.S. correspondent for the United Kingdom's Independent newspaper, and Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 911 are similar in that they both discuss the role of fraud in American elections.The difference is that whereas in Fahrenheit 911, the fraud examined is that of the 2000 Presidential elections, with an argument that this is a new phenomena in American politics, Steal the Vote shows that fraud has historically been part of our election system.
Gumbel traces the role of election fraud in American elections from the eighteenth century to the present.He focuses on the Hayes versus Tilden election of 1876, the vote buying that was prevalent in the Gilded Age, and the history of black disenfranchisement that has been rampant in post-Reconstruction South.The final part of the book highlights the 2000 and 2004 elections.According to Gumbel, the Florida election issue of 2000 and the resulting decision by Supreme Court Justice Scalia in Bush v. Gore is the epitome of the state of free elections and voting rights in the United States.According to the decision, "the Constitution does not per se guarantee a right of suffrage."
Gumbel's point is that the confusion and cheating that occurred in Florida are not unusual and, to prove his point, he shows numerous state and local elections that are met with the same type of criticism.Further, he shows that both political parties are equally as guilty.
Fahrenheit 911, on the other hand, spends a majority of its time focusing on the corruption in the Bush administration, particularly as to the war in Iraq.Although this film is much less objective than Gumbel's book, it does touch on the role of election fraud as an argument for how the Bush Administration started its legacy of corruption.Moore's central argument is that because of the disenfranchisement of African American votes, Bush was able to steal the 2000 election, t…

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