rigged-elections

Rigged Elections Worries Causing “Dangerous Energy” Nationally?

Two Bush loyalists claim that Donald Trump undermines Democracy by warning of rigged elections.

Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt don’t think Donald Trump should be filling people’s heads with thoughts of rigged elections:

Look, Stirewalt needs to address the actual issue: Are we obligated to tell lies in order to preserve American stability or not? Because, as far as I can tell, denying rigged elections in America means ignorance or lying. Does Stirewalt subscribe to a revisionist view of American history in which all elections were honest? Because all mainstream historians say otherwise!

Consider this excerpt from an article published by the Independence Institute:

[An] interesting topic for speculation is what might have happened if the votes had been counted honestly in Kennedy’s first election—and if Vice-President Nixon had been as persistent in demanding a recount in 1960 as Vice-President Gore was to be in 2000. There have been widespread claims of theft in several closely-contested American presidential contests (1824, 1876, 2000). The election of 1960, however, was the most likely to have been stolen. The vote counting in both Illinois and Texas was deeply compromised (this is no longer a matter of dispute), and the switch of both states’ electoral votes would have prevented Kennedy from becoming President.

Newt Gingrich eloquently addressed the issue:

In his book, Modern Times, Paul Johnson says that Nixon did not contest the election results because he didn’t want to undermine the faith of Americans in the presidency. This seems noble except that maybe Americans would have been better off understanding the nature of the government. Later, Nixon’s crimes were used to shock Americans. But Kennedy’s were worse.

The Hillary Clinton campaign certainly believes that there have been rigged elections. They think Obama pulled that off during the 2008 Democrat primary. According to the Daily Caller,

Two attorneys with close ties to the Clinton family believe then-Sen. Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign “flooded” the caucuses with “ineligible voters,” according to leaked emails.

Emails hacked from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta cites two attorneys and “old friends of the Clintons,” James Lyons and Michael Driver, tasked with “caucus protection, election protection and to raise hard $” for the 2016 Colorado caucus.

We would never have learned this if Wikileaks had not gotten hold of the emails.

When Paul Johnson wrote of Nixon not making an issue of Kennedy’s fraud, he assumes Nixon was being noble. But one could also argue that he was willing to let the Americans believe a lie for his own interest in power. After all, he didn’t give up on becoming President. If he had undermined the Presidency, he would have been undermining his own ambition.

And Dana Perino’s assertions about how the Clintons, Bushes, Obama, and Carter are all friends (and Gore too) is also open to a very negative interpretation. If these rivals tried to bring about rigged elections to win the presidency, they would have a shared interest in not revealing the sordid details to the American public. Better to lose the contest and try to win the prize later than to end the people’s faith in the process.

That’s why I don’t think any administration is going to end elections in this country. Elections are the rite that gives moral legitimacy to the government. We can expect increasing efforts to manipulate them, but the regime can’t afford to end them.

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Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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