The Election Rigging No One Wants to Talk About - Hint: Stop the Non-Whites & Progressives

The Election Rigging No One Wants to Talk About - Hint: Stop the Non-Whites & Progressives

There is a right-wing stranglehold on the electoral process in America. The game has been rigged, but not in the way Donald Trump claims. It's not individual people on a small, local level going and voting multiple times. There is actually almost no case of that happening on any type of large scale...not large enough to tip a Presidential election. 

No the REAL fraud is election fraud and voter suppression tactics that target specific groups of people...usually people of color. If America is going to maintain its democratic legitimacy, then these issues need to be addressed instead of being swept under the rug while our democracy is burned to flames. That's why I've written about voting several times on this site in the past (A History of Voting Rights and Why the Voting Rights Act is in More Danger Now Than Ever Before & 2-N-1: Why The Election Fraud in Arizona Matters & The Racial Double Standard in How the MSM Portrays Violence).

 The Intercept has a couple good articles that I wanted to unpack for my readers that bring this problem to light. One article is written by Alice Speri and is titled 'Voter Suppression is the Real Election Scandal.' She talks about how this election is set to be the most diverse in American history and that 1 in 3 eligible voters are non-White. This trend is not stopping and will only become more pronounced each election cycle. Republicans know this, so they know the electorate of yester-year that they've depended on for quickly diminishing.

So Donald Trump's call for his supporters to monitor the polls and "make sure everything is on the up and up" should be seen through the lens of a history of pro-White, pro-conservative voter suppression that goes back to the end of the American Civil War.

The specter of voter intimidation and growing fears of violence at the polls have led some local officials to add “active shooter training” to Election Day preparation, and the Southern Poverty Law Center has documented growing threats of “civil war” from white supremacists should Hillary Clinton win
— Alice Speri, The Intercept

Go back and read my blog entry about the history of voting rights in America that I linked to above. Now, I highly doubt there will be poll place violence akin to what was seen during the election of 1876 between Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel Tilden, but even a tiny, tiny threat of violence is enough to shake American democracy to its core.

But even with the potential for intimidation at the polls, by far the greatest challenge to this year’s election will come from state and local governments themselves. The widespread, unfounded talk of election fraud pushed by Trump has been “a distraction from the real problems that voters face in communities around the country,” Clarke said. “There are voters in certain communities that are particularly vulnerable this election cycle in the wake of the gutting of the Voting Rights Act.”
At least 14 states have new restrictions in place this year, including voter ID laws, changes in registration requirements, and cuts to early voting options. In Maricopa County, the largest county in Arizona, officials closed 70 percent of the polling sites, causing long delays during the primaries and prompting a DOJ investigation. In Florida and Ohio, officials tried to purge thousands of mostly black voters from their rolls. As The Intercept has reported, Missouri legislators even proposed changing the state’s constitution — which unlike the federal one includes an affirmative right to vote — in an effort to pass stricter voter ID laws. The proposed amendment will be on the ballot on November 8. The NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund maintains a regularly updated tally of voter suppression efforts that is more than 100 pages long.
— Alice Speri, The Intercept

One can't overstate how damaging the above quotes from the article are to our democracy. They're damaging because they're true and there doesn't appear to be a whole lot that can be done about it thanks to the disastrous gutting of Article 5 of the Voting Rights Act back in 2013. 14 states have new voter restrictions in place! Legislators in Missouri are actually trying to change their state constitution.

The message is clear and always has been clear. Very quietly, there are people in power in America who are threatened by democracy. They feel threatened by certain voters using their rights, so they seek to stifle those voters - therefore they stifle democracy. Therefore they are not democratic, but anti-democratic. 

This is the problem I have with the "don't vote" mentality. You're literally giving in to the desires and dreams of those opposed to you exercising your rights. The Republicans WANT Black Americans to feel apathetic about the process and not participate. That works in their favor!

The other Intercept article I wanted to bring to the attention of my readers was written by Jon Shwarz and is titled 'Nine Ways the U.S. Voting System is Rigged, But Not Against Donald Trump.'  Schwarz shows multiple ways the electoral process is full of more holes than swiss cheese. I'm not going to focus on each and every one, but I'll pick out certain ones to unpack.

#1. You Have To Register to Vote

Between one-quarter and one-third of American adults, up to 50 million people, are eligible to vote but aren’t registered to vote.

That’s ridiculous. Why do American adults have to take a special, extra step to govern themselves?

Many other countries, including France, Italy, Chile, Israel, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, all register everyone to vote automatically. Not coincidentally, they have much higher voter turnout than we do.

The unregistered are younger, poorer and less white than registered voters. They’re also more likely to support progressive political policies, such as a higher minimum wage and a financial transactions tax.

The good news is that five states — Oregon, California, West Virginia, Vermont and Connecticut — now have near-automatic voter registration, and many other states are considering it. Hillary Clinton has called for the federal government to push all states to make it happen.
— Jon Schwarz, The Intercept

I think people are so used to the idea that you have to register to vote that they don't stop and think about how unnecessarily cumbersome the whole process is. Why aren't people registered by default? The answer is easy and Jon points it out above, most of the 50 million Americans who are eligible to vote, but aren't registered, are in groups and communities that may largely favor progressive policy agendas. Oh No! We can't have those "far-left liberals" actually having a say and putting someone like Bernie Sanders into power! That's what the establishment likely thinks. While Hillary Clinton gives lip service to the idea of auto-registering eligible voters, I'd be shocked if she actually made it part of her agenda to push that into policy if/when she gets into office. The Democrats I'm sure are happy with the electorate as it currently exists, no need to add more progressives to the mix and know...real change.

#4. Many Felons Can’t Vote

6.1 million Americans can’t vote this year because they’ve been convicted of a felony. 2.2 million of them are African American; in Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia more than 1 in 5 black adults can’t vote.

No other country works like this. The solution here is simple: As in France, Germany, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Peru, Poland and Romania, everyone should be eligible to vote, including those convicted of felonies and even those currently in prison.
— Jon Schwarz, The Intercept

Felon disenfranchisement is something that was cooked up to legally take the vote away from Black and Brown people. We already know from sources like Hidden Colors 2 and the new documentary 13th (as well as The New Jim Crow written by Michelle Alexander) that prisons became the new form of slavery post-Civil War. We also know that the drug war was launched on highly questionable grounds at best, at worst it was a blatant anti-Black agenda meant to extend the oppression of the Black community for more decades to come post-Civil Rights. When you couple these two realities with felon disenfranchisement, you see why this is so problematic. I agree with the solution Jon Schwarz gives above, all Americans should have the right to vote regardless of felon status or not...especially those who did their time and are now out. 

#8. You Can’t Vote for the Federal Reserve

The U.S. economy is like a car with two gas pedals and two brakes. Congress controls one of each, but the Federal Reserve controls the others.

Its seven governors are appointed by presidents to 14-year terms. Even worse, the Federal Open Market Committee, which controls interest rates, is made up of the seven governors plus five members who are presidents of the regional Federal Reserve Banks. The regional presidents are chosen in a process that’s largely controlled by banks.
— Jon Schwarz, The Intercept

The American people have next to no say whatsoever over the American economy and how our money is spent. On paper, we elect representatives and these representatives are supposed to turn around and represent their constituents...but the reality is that doesn't happen very often. In reality most Americans are aware of the deeply-embedded corruption that fuels so many things in this country. For an institution as powerful as the Federal Reserve to be completely shielded from democratic oversight is basically asking for shenanigans behind closed doors. 

This is how monied interests are able to usurp American democracy. They're able to use the lack of democratic oversight to control politicians. It's at the point now where agents essentially representing major banks and financial institutions are being openly appointed to high-level positions in the White House! Yet too many people are lost when it comes to economics, so most of this stuff goes over people's heads. The establishment knows this and they use it to their advantage. So when Barack Obama appointed Timothy Geithner, a former President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, as his Secretary of Treasury...very few people were aware of what was going on. Matter of fact when progressives like Cornel West called Obama out for this, they were uniformly attacked by "Obamamaniacs" who just didn't get why that appointment was so problematic. 

Yes, there is funny business with regards to American elections. It's just that the victims appear to mostly be non-Whites and Progressives.

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