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Color blind

BioMed Central
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Genome Biology 2004, 5:119 co m m ent review s repo rts depo sited research interactio ns info rm atio n refereed research Comment Color blind Gregory A Petsko Address: Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research Center, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454-9110, USA. E-mail: [email protected] Published: 26 November 2004 Genome Biology 2004, 5:119 The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at © 2004 BioMed Central Ltd By the time you read this, the result of the 2004 US Presi- dential election will be known - assuming, of course, that there isn’t a repeat of the travesty of 2000, when the Supreme Court of the United States, by a vote that split along the lines of which political party had appointed which particular judge, awarded the election to George W. Bush by the slimmest of margins (less than 1,000 votes) in the state of which his brother was governor. Contested ballots notwithstanding, I never cease to be amazed when I cast my vote on election day. After the cacophony of the seemingly endless campaign, on election day a curious quiet descends on the country. No bands play. No troops march. People waiting in line to vote tend to speak in hushed tones, almost as though they were in church. I didn’t see a single cell phone in use. The transfer of power in what is arguably the most powerful nation in the history of the world happens softly, like a whisper in the dark. That’s the wonder of democracy. Contrary to what many Americans think, democracy wasn’t invented here. It has a long history, going back at least to ancient Greece. And, especially if we have another disputed election this time, I would have trouble arguing that it was perfected here either. But if not the practice of democracy, I think the concept of democracy may have reached its zenith on these shores, in the city of Philadelphia, in the month of June, in the yea

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