Leftist Makes the Case for Election Rigged by Corporatists
(CounterPunch/Draitser) If the title of this article sent your blood pressure into the stratosphere, then you’re much too susceptible to clickbait titles and knee-jerk politics. Yes, Trump is a right-wing populist using a not so finely blended cocktail of reactionary rhetoric, Reaganomic policy prescriptions, xenophobia, racism, and a sometime isolationist sometime belligerent foreign policy.
Of course, none of this is worthy of support, though by his mere questioningof the holy writ of NATO scripture, Trump is the first presidential candidate in decades to substantively raise the issue of America’s military power projection in Europe and around the world. Still, Trump’s cynical questioning of NATO should not be taken to symbolize a move away from imperial policies and war, as I’ve noted repeatedly.
But, for most liberals, Trump could argue in favor of puppies and kittens, and they’d proclaim that puppies and kittens are out of control and must be exterminated. Because anything Trump says or does is automatically offensive, paranoid, or just plain wrong. Trump said it, ipso facto it is wrong and crazy.
However, beyond the superficiality of liberal talking points there lies a dirty secret, a specter haunting the dreams of the corporate liberal collective mind: sometimes Trump is right.
[STUDIO AUDIENCE GASPS IN HORROR]
No, it’s not just his correctly railing against the disastrous effects of Clintonian trade policies which hath wrought the economic devastation of NAFTA and the soon-to-be-be corporate wet dream of the Trans-Pacific Partnership; Trump’s attacks on Hillary’s trade policies are one of the few truly noteworthy aspects of The Donald’s campaign. No, it’s not Trump’s stated desire to work with Russia rather than antagonize the Kremlin in the Strangelovian nightmare that is Hillary’s vision of a foreign policy.
Instead, it is Trump’s assertion that the election is rigged, and that the outcome is not something to automatically accept as valid, that is fundamentally correct. And while the liberatti of the corporate media’s Ministry of Truth wax obnoxious about the mortal danger of Trump’s lack of faith in the sacred cow of US elections, they studiously ignore the material reality of the entire electoral system from the infrastructure to the polling and financial architecture.
Taken in toto it’s hard to argue with the simple fact that the country that spreads democracy around the world at the barrel of a gun has merely the hollowed-out husk of a democracy at home. And whether it’s Trump that says it, or a talking unicorn that shoots rainbows from its eyes, the fact remains.
Trump’s ‘Irresponsible’ Conspiracy Theory? 100% Confirmed
Trump being a reprehensible degenerate real estate vulture does nothing to change the fact that US elections are undeniably manipulated. And so, when President Obama in his characteristic disregard for reality, proclaims that there is “no evidence at all” to support Trump’s allegations that the elections are rigged, one has to wonder whether Obama is merely lying, as per usual, or if he genuinely believes that. Either way, it epitomizes the self-satisfied mytho-religion at the heart of the established order in the United States; the myth that the rulers rule with the consent of the governed.
Of course, Obama would prefer to lecture Trump and millions of Americans about the “basic traditions” of America while calling for a “peaceful transition of power,” rather than acknowledge what countless investigative journalists, well respected institutions, filmmakers, and observers have noted for years: the US has one of the least transparent, most corrupt and unreliable electoral systems in the developed world.
Take for instance the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s School of Law which released a damning report entitled America’s Voting Machines at Risk which found that voting machines currently in use are outdated and run the risk of catastrophic failures. Among the many conclusions in the report was the following:
The majority of machines in use today are either perilously close to or exceed [the expected lifespan for the core components of electronic voting machines]. Forty-three states are using some machines that will be at least 10 years old in 2016. In most of these states, the majority of election districts are using machines that are at least 10 years old…Several election officials mentioned “flipped votes” on touch screen machines, where a voter touches the name of one candidate, but the machine registers it as a selection for another.
According to the findings of the Brennan Center – an organization widely seen as being liberal – there is ample reason to be concerned about the integrity of the ballots and vote counts. So why then does Obama and nearly every other Democrat (and Republican!) feign outrage at Trump’s suggestion that the election results are not to be believed? Perhaps it’s because elections are the principal mechanism by which the ruling class is validated.
Obama said that Trump’s assertions regarding the validity of elections were “based on no facts.” I guess Obama did not read the Brennan Center report. I suppose it’s fair to also assume that Obama did not watch the video [since conveniently removed, see here] released by researchers at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University which showed how easy it is to manipulate vote counts on voting machines; it only takes a few minutes.
Obama must also have missed the work of investigative journalists Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman who wrote in April 2016:
There is no way to verify the official tally on the electronic machines on which the majority of Americans will vote this fall. Nearly all the machines are a decade old, most are controlled by a single company (ES&S, owned by Warren Buffett) and the courts have ruled that the software is proprietary, making the cote counts beyond public scrutiny.
Got that? There is NO WAY to verify any of the vote counts, nor to evaluate the actual operation of the software, including auditing its mistakes. Stanford University’s David Dill, a computer scientist and founder of Verified Voting Foundation, explained in 2012, “If you have a machine collecting and recording votes with an electronic ballot box, there’s no way to go back after the fact and see if the machine made a mistake, whether through malice or simple software error.”
Indeed, this is part of a long tradition of election rigging in the United States, one that goes back decades. James and Kenneth Collier’s Votescam: The Stealing of America documents the trajectory of undemocratic elections leading us to this point in 2016 where anyone with even a cursory understanding of how the electoral system actually functions, and who controls it, is left with no choice but to doubt the validity of the results.
Of course, most of us recall how both the 2000 and 2004 elections were stolen for George W. Bush. Mark Crispin Miller’s landmark book Fooled Again: The Real Case for Electoral Reform presented in painstaking detail the conclusions of multiple investigations into the results of the 2004 election, particularly in Ohio, which demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that, once again, the presidential election was stolen.
So why is it so hard for liberals to accept the idea that US elections are undemocratic? Sure, it’s rather easy for liberals to proclaim from the mountaintops their opposition to discriminatory practices such as voter ID laws because those laws target primarily people of color who mostly vote Democrat. It has little to do with a concern for the truth and for the validity of elections, but is rather about anger that the other team is not playing fair.
But when it comes to doubting the entire electoral system and the results of any given election, liberals don’t want to hear that. They don’t want to discuss it. They certainly don’t want to debate it openly and honestly. Why?
And why won’t they discuss the fact that Trump’s claim that the polls are establishment/corporate media distortions is, on the whole, accurate. Consider the Wikileaks release of emails from Democratic Party hack extraordinaire, and current Clinton campaign Chairman, John Podesta, who openly described the need for “oversamples on polling” to “maximize what we get out of our media polling.”
Essentially, he’s suggesting the tried and true tactics of hucksters and con men everywhere – stack the deck in order to achieve a desired outcome. By deliberately over-representing certain groups, and underrepresenting others, once can mold the poll results to any preconceived, politically expedient result. For instance, a few extra Black and Hispanic voters in a sample of 100 or 500 likely voters might skew the poll results by a few percentage points, thereby giving the appearance of more support for Clinton than she has.
And, naturally, liberals backing the Queen of Chaos have conveniently ignored the release of DNC emails proving that the Democratic primary was rigged in favor of Clinton and against Bernie Sanders. There’s far too much cognitive dissonance created by simultaneously recognizing the reality of how this election has already been stolen, and still supporting Hillary Clinton. Orwellian doublethink seems to be a prerequisite for being a card-carrying liberal Democrat these days. Not only must they ignore how Clinton stole the nomination from Sanders, they must also ignore the steaming piles of evidence proving the entire election is a sham; Debord and Baudrillard would be so proud.
On October 17, 2016, just a few weeks before the presidential election, Trump tweeted, “Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day. Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!” And he was lambasted for it. Republicans and Democrats came together in a show of bipartisan criminality, and denounced Trump for his ‘irresponsible’ assertions about elections, polls, etc.
Unfortunately for the elites of both parties, millions of Americans agree with Trump. Worse still, Trump is right.