It was very sloppy.
Some couldn't get to the polls. Others stayed home, too confused, too worried and yes, maybe too afraid, to bother with the polls.
The structure for polling? Try virtually no structure at all. People voted in bombed out buildings. Others in leaking tents.
They never calculated turnout. They didn't even know how many eligible voters there were. They complained that the process would be long and tedious and that the first step was just getting people out.
No, I'm not talking about Iraq (search) today. I'm talking about Germany nearly 57 years ago. Another country ravaged by a tyrant, trying to rebuild.
Devastated by World War II (search), it had taken three long years to get to this clumsy point. It was a country being rebuilt slowly and being politically reconfigured even more slowly.
There were fears of old Nazi loyalists cropping up in different guises.
Some feared a far right party with ties to the old party.
The European press was rife with criticism: That this was a U.S.-led effort — even a U.S.-led boondoggle and that the Marshall Plan was too much a U.S. plan and a bad plan at that.
Costly and big. Slow and tedious.
We know now, it was costly and big and yes, oftentimes slow and tedious. But we know now, it worked. That again isn't me saying that.
Look at Germany today.
Look at Japan today.
Then ignore the naysayers today.
They were wrong then. I'm optimistic enough to bet that they're wrong again now.
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