Saturday, October 29, 2016

How To Rig An Election

My latest newspaper column:
Wanna rig elections? No problem. Here’s a primer: 
First, create a core of voters dismissive of facts and expertise. Do this by establishing a media conglomeration that includes radio, newspapers, and TV committed to misinformation. Hire people undisturbed by pushing conspiracy theories and blatant propaganda.  
Next, having created that cadre of ready, willing, and angered citizens, feed them a continual list of scapegoats: racial, religious, and ethnic minorities; immigrants, intellectuals, reporters for all but your own networks. Fan the flames of resentment. Make your views on important issues that affect those voters, like health care, social programs, environmental protection, education, disappear under a suffocating blanket of manufactured paranoia. 
Spend decades convincing your audience that government is evil, that it’s “the problem,” corrupt and in need of destroying; if not by electing people dedicated to making government (and presidents) fail, then by armed revolt. (Deny you really mean that, but don’t disavow those saying it.) 
Then – this is critical – appoint to the Supreme Court a life-long opponent of the Civil Rights Act who spent a career trying to get courts to repeal it but couldn’t unless he became the court. Brush off the fact that the day after his ruling, your party in states across the land enacted legislation aimed at suppressing votes of people likely to vote against you. Pretend members of those legislatures haven’t admitted their aims and gloated about them. 
Make sure no one on your side accepts the mountain of evidence that voter fraud is statistically a thing of the past. Insist the flood of stories of life-long voters and legal citizens being unable to get the required ID and being denied the right to vote are the price we must pay to protect that right, even though it’s only your cozenage and cynical legislation which have put it in peril. 
Appoint Justices that’ll allow unlimited and untraceable money from a handful of billionaires and corporations to influence elections. It helps when your Court can do so with the declaration that “independent expenditures do not lead to, or create the appearance of, quid pro quo corruption.” Best if they can manage to say it with a straight face. 
To solidify the indoctrination, convince people science is a hoax. (Well, maybe not when it comes to cell phones and satellites, airplanes, antibiotics, and nuclear power; just about climate change, the age of Earth, and evolution.) Appealing to biblical literalists makes it easier, as does a continuing effort to convince Christians that restricting prayers in public schools and crèches on courthouse lawns puts their religious freedom in immediate danger. In lying about it, make sure to obfuscate and disclaim the ways in which maintaining separation of church and state is, in fact, the single most important principle by which their religious freedom and that of all others (yeah, maybe don’t mention that part) is respected and preserved. That secures more votes than a Kansas voting machine. 
Now you need to discredit the most important components of our democracy: free press, quality public education, compromise, and trust in the process. Claim the other party just wants “free stuff,” that mitigating income inequality and helping the poor to escape poverty doesn’t make capitalism work better. At which point they’re ready to vote for your tax cuts for the wealthy, paid for by taking away that “free stuff,” convinced that trickle-down fixes everything, even though it’s been proven false over and over. Your efforts are paying off: by now they’ll neither notice nor care. It’s the time-tested effectiveness of constant disinformation. 
Finally – and this is what it’s all been leading up to -- you reduce polling places, voting machines, and personnel in precincts that tend to vote for the other party, and you make sure polling places are closed at the times they’re most able to vote, forcing intolerable wait times. 
So that’s it: misinform enough voters on one side and prevent votes of enough on the other. If you’re still worried, you could tell your people to show up at opposition-dense polling places, preferably armed, to intimidate or scare away voters. But no one would do that, right? Unless you’ve convinced them it was the other side doing the rigging.  
[Image source]


  1. Been meanin' to comment but the guy with no life actually had a life for a week or

    So I am on the bus today. When you get on the bus first thing in the morning on the 1st, the old timers are shopping. I always take the time to talk to whomever will put up with me.

    This morning a gal and some guy were the only ones on the bus. The ride is just short of 30 minutes w/a 5-7 minute wait at the station. You really can have a conversation.

    So politics was the subject and this gal who was 70ish was a Trump voter.

    Bill Clinton, Hillary's health and crimes. I'm like "Bill isn't running, Hillary as far as we know is as healthy as a 70 year old can be and what crimes???"

    "I see signs" regarding Hillary's health. "What signs?" I asked. "As a nurse, I can tell you that something isn't right with her health." she said. I said "Nobody knows what's in her medical file. All we got is what her Dr. and Hillary has said and I've heard nothing about Hillary having one foot in the grave. Also, let's say she dies on Nov. 9th. The VP will take over and all of the conservative voters would start a block party."

    Then it's Bill. "We can't trust him. What will he do when he gets to the White House?" She said. I said "Who cares? He'll play golf, eat McDonald's and have intern beauty pageants every year." She said "EXACTLY!" I say "How is any of that going to burn down America? This country has gone through a lot, including a civil war. We'll survive Hillary and will definitely survive anything Bill does." "I have faith in the American voter. We are going to have Hillary as POTUS and America will make it and we'll survive as Americans."

    The conversation went on. My thing is this. I have heard this same argument several times personally and many times on the tube or wherever.

    These older folks are obviously paying attention. You can't possibly make her argument the way she did if she was not paying close attention.

    My problem is that a lot of people think this lady's argument is a solid reason to vote Trump.
    My problem is that it sounds more like an excuse than a reason to vote Trump. For example...I am a stone cold racist. So this is my lame argument. Isis is going to conquer America by spreading Sharia law and Islam from sea to shining sea. Etc...

    It's hate and fear. Simple as that. It isn't ignorance. These people know the lingo verbatim. All I hear is hate and fear. You have to ignore a lot to vote Trump. It is not speculation. It's not all dog whistles. Trump is a friggin' nut case and the people that spawned this thing are equally responsible. Trump has never been, nor will ever be qualified to be POTUS. Trump has zero chance of winning and the Senate is going to flip. I mean "Trump sucks and is bringing down the GOP as a party. I will vote Trump." ugh

  2. You're exactly right, Smoove. The idea that it's about "economic uncertainty" is bullshit. It's purely fear and hate, and resentment of the changes from which America ain't going back.

  3. Sounds to me like you did a fair amount of listening, Smooth, and probably more than she did. I wonder what she thinks, and if she thinks, about the casual discussion you and she had given its contrast with the intense feelings that the campaigns have aroused.

    Nicely written, too.

  4. Uhuh...

    My thing is this...

    Don't these people realize that they contradict themselves in the same breath. Let's look at the facts.

    More states have GOP governors than the Democrats. American voters put the GOP in office. The election isn't rigged, unless a Democrat wins.

    The GOP talks about Democrats as wanting "free stuff". Trump says he gives money to politicians because he expects something in return and so does everyone else that gives money to politicians. GOP voters also expect something in return whether they donate to political candidates or not.

    The GOP talks about the Clinton's getting away with crimes of all types for decades. Trump admits to groping women and says "He can do anything because he's famous." Bill was impeached by the GOP as a political ploy. Trump as POTUS will stop groping women as the most powerful person in the world. Riiight...GOP was alll about moral character. How come we don't hear that argument anymore? The GOP moral high ground is ban abortion, keep guns and the death penalty. No gay folks, freedom of speech and religion and an end separation of church and state.

    The GOP said Obama can't run on his record. Can't win with no experience. Obama wins, second verse same as the first in spite of a full on revolt to limit Obama to one term. But Trump with no experience, no record and hides from his own shadow.

    Trump...No tax returns, not even one. No medical report. Hillary...Ad nauseum, tax returns, medical reports from the Clintons'. Yet Trump is fit to serve and Hillary is not. Because she bumped her head of course.

    The SCOTUS should not be political activists. We need balance to preserve Americas constitution the GOP says. A justice just like Scalia is our only hope for balance. 5-4 decisions favoring GOP politics from here to forever is a "balanced" court.

    The economy sucks and Obama will bury us in debt. Shut down the government and have our credit rating lowered for the first time in history because the GOP didn't want to pay the bills that they/'dubya' voted to create those costs. Welching on Americas debt to be used as a political bargaining chip for the first time ever. Putting a gun to Americas head. If debt and deficits are so important, why create a situation that deliberately ads billions in interest to an already sky high deficit.

    Label Democrats as socialist, communist or whatever. Trump praises Putin and Putin praises Trump.

    I could go on and on with contradictions. GOP voters have to save America from itself. They will do it by lying to themselves as our forefathers intended. Then and only then will America be great again? Every month w/o exception, 7 years worth of job creation. The economy sucks according to the GOP. "Recovery is slow" the GOP argues if challenged...and that positive data is rigged, Obama cooked the books etc...of course.


    The GOP had an argument until Trump was nominated. It's been a ball and chain for the GOP. Having too many GOP in office is the real problem if you look at the facts. When all the facts point to the GOP going in the wrong direction. Then "it's rigged" is the go to GOP excuse. As the GOP engages in blatant voter suppression tactics.

    There's zero reasons to vote Trump. That includes the "hold my nose" voter excuses when all else fails.

  5. "Nicely written, too."

    Thanks brother. I really try to work on that. It takes me hours to write something like that. I rarely go research something as I am writing. Like 98%-99% of what I say or write is of the top of my head.

    Your ears musta been burnin'...I wrote a follow up this morning. It took 3 minutes short of 3 hours to write. That one comment with Trumps hair demolishing the city Godzilla style took all day. All of it was written by memory. Not knowing what grammar is and I can't spell a lick which creates huge delays if I want to really get it as it appears on the page given my education and/or lack there of...Thanks again brother.

  6. When it comes to writing slowly you have plenty of company, Smooth, myself included. I've known only a couple of people who were gifted at writing. I mean the kind of word and thought artists who can sit back, reflect for a moment or two, and then perform a magical "first draft = final" that reads like music. Oh, to have that ability!

  7. Well...MSNBC has decapitated Trump. If what I heard today is true, we are going to see the mother of all scandals tomorrow.

    Maddow put the nail in the coffin and someone has been a naughty boy. Rudy...Kiss your ass goodbye! Roger Ailes? "LOCK HIM UP!" Trump is in big big big trouble. Huge big league.

    Newsweek "Why the Russians are backing Trump." on news stands tomorrow. The tease is on Maddow tonight. Exclusive Newsweek investigation report.

    This is a big deal as Joe would say. Nobody is going to remember the abuse Miss Universe and many other women endured. This is wayyy bigger than the McCarthy era BS. I'm not surprised at all.


  8. Look at these graphs and pay special attention to "vote preference among issue groups graph. Tpubs top 2 issues are corution and immigration...The Dems. top two was health care and the economy.

    Who is GOP again? I thought GOP were the budget hounds. The TPUBS only objective is keep being elected/influence and keeping America white to make it great again as we nuke people right and left.


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