Monday, October 17, 2016

Of Course the Election is Rigged

While Donald’s “sound bites” and nasty sexist video clips, his outrageous statements about everything from Gold Star Families, former POW John McCain, to a handicapped journalist, Mexicans, Muslims, etc., make him an obvious centerpiece to media reports, that excessive coverage probably won him the GOP election. There wasn’t a Republican candidate with remotely the same level of media coverage. Trump was and is everywhere.
Even Trump’s self-proclaimed (and pretty neutral) nemesis CNN thinks their obsession with covering Trump gave him an edge. “‘If we made a mistake, [it was] we shouldn’t have put on as many [Trump] rallies as we did,’ CNN President Jeff Zucker told Washington Post political correspondent Lois Romano Friday [10/14], speaking at an event at Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics.” Mashable, October 14thAll Trump, all the time. As a reality TV star, Trump is well-schooled in those sound bites. Where he is in control, where he is making knowing statements to the press, he knows how to foment coverage that is pure honey to his followers. When the statements come from places he wishes never happened, not so much. “Rigged” is his best defense.
He’s pretty much stated that if he doesn’t win, it’s because the election has been fixed. His supporters seem to agree in rather large numbers: “[A] poll, conducted by Politico and Morning Consult, also found that 73 percent of Republicans surveyed said they think the election could be stolen from Trump, while 17 percent of Democrats believe there will be widespread voter fraud.” DailyBeast, October 17th. The seeds of doubt are firmly planted. Trump’s rallies are increasingly producing voters who rather openly state that they will do their “patriotic duty” if Clinton wins the presidency to make sure she never takes power. Lots of indirect threats under the guise of “exercising their Second Amendment rights” to make sure America has the right leader at the helm. Just think of the violence that is likely to follow that election if Trump refuses to accept a probable loss! Should that happen, the United States could unravel very quickly.
“Republican leaders and election officials from both parties on Sunday [10/16] sought to combat claims by Donald J. Trump that the election is rigged against him, amid signs that Mr. Trump’s contention is eroding confidence in the vote and setting off talk of rebellion among his supporters.
“In a vivid illustration of how Mr. Trump is shattering American political norms, the Republican nominee is alleging that a conspiracy is underway between the news media and the Democratic Party to commit vast election fraud. He has offered no evidence to support his claim.
“‘The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary — but also at many polling places — SAD,’ Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
“Mr. Trump made the incendiary assertion hours after his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, tried to play down Mr. Trump’s questioning of the fairness of the election. Mr. Pence said on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ that he and Mr. Trump “will absolutely accept the result of the election.”
“Mr. Trump’s words, though, appear to be having an effect on his supporters, and are setting off deep concern among civil rights groups. According to an Associated Press poll last month, only one-third of Republicans said they had a great deal of confidence their votes would be counted fairly. And election officials are worried that Mr. Trump’s continued pressing of the issue could dampen turnout or cause his supporters to deny the legitimacy of the results if he loses.
“Last week, Mr. Trump called the presidential election ‘one big fix’ and ‘one big, ugly lie.’
“Jon A. Husted, the secretary of state of Ohio, said it was ‘wrong and engaging in irresponsible rhetoric’ for any candidate to question the integrity of elections without evidence. Mr. Husted, a Republican, said he would have no reason to hesitate to certify the results of the election.” New York Times (one of the liberal media that Trump has attacked), October 16th.
A very significant segment of Trump’s supporters actually don’t believe Trump was engaged in sexually predatory actions; they’ve written off all those accusers as part of the big rig. Using data from the Rand Corp’s Presidential Election Panel Survey (PEPS), … shows a strong relationship between support for Trump in the primaries and beliefs about the consequences of sexual harassment accusations.  Primary voters who strongly agreed that ‘women who complain about harassment often cause more problems than they solve’ were 30 percentage points more likely to support Trump than Republicans who strongly disagreed with that statement…
“Those numbers demonstrate that fewer than half of GOP primary voters, and less than 40 percent of Trump’s primary supporters, disagreed that women who complain about harassment cause more problems than they solve. By contrast, nearly 75 percent of Democrats disagreed with that statement.
“It’s no surprise, then, that 84 percent of Republicans in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll said that the 2005 videotape in which Trump bragged about making unwanted sexual advances “won’t make any difference” in how they vote for president.” Washington Post, October 17th.
But Peter, you confirmed that you believe that the election is rigged. I’ve addressed how Russian hackers are trying to influence the election… but that benefits Trump. Indeed, Citizens United gives those with lots of money a greater voice in any election than they deserve. And I have done so many blogs on the tools of voting manipulation commonly deployed, today mostly in Republican-controlled states that have very successfully be able to contain non-GOP votes.
The whack-a-mole battles with voter ID laws – courts throwing them out almost as fast as they are passed – are never-ending. Gerrymandering has disenfranchised non-GOP voters – usually older and minority voters – all over those GOP states. The courts haven’t even begun to grapple with angry, right wing polling venue monitors fomented by Donald Trump or those communities who make sure that the polling stations are only located in white neighborhoods, distant from where minorities (often without cars) live.
Sorry Donald, the election is not just “all about Trump.” There are Senators, Representatives and local officials seeking office, and yes, all of those questionable practices that have been around long before Trump even thought he should run for president… and have been rigging elections for years. One in 15 million… that’s the level of measurable voter fraud. Sorry, Trump wannabee Rudy Giuliani, your candidate is in trouble due to his own actions. Elections are definitely rigged, Donald, but not the way you are telling your gullible followers.
I’m Peter Dekom, and we have a lot of fixing that needs to happen to enfranchise voters on both sides of the aisle… or stop bragging about how wonderful our form of democracy really is.

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