How did we move from a voting system where you could be sure who won to voting systems where you have to trust what private companies tell you the results are?
This is good:
“Andrew Appel explores the history of voting and voting fraud as we have transitioned from paper ballots to mechanical voting machines.”
“Sen. Mike Gravel is running for president – not to win, but to qualify for the debates to push the field to the left on foreign policy and political reform.
Donate here: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/mikegravel2020?refcode=rockvideo&amount=1”
“Mike Gravel represented Alaska as a Democrat from 1969 to 1981. During his time in the Senate, he was noted for his unabashed opposition to the Vietnam War and for reading the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record, risking expulsion from the Senate.”
“Jim Crow-level voter suppression in Georgia is likely to determine the governor’s race. But this isn’t just a local crisis. These racist tactics threaten the core tenets of democracy. “
I don’t think anyone can point to any particular reason “why she lost.” I think it was ALL the reasons, and it shows why we have to be on top of ALL of them.
Voter suppression, coherent message telling voters how their lives will be better, authenticity so they know you mean it, listening to and appealing to all components and regions of the traditional Dem coalition, outreach to new voters, keeping the other side from rigging things like voting machines and voter registration lists and illegal donations and activities and interference like Russia and Comey, and then delivering for your constituencies in order to help the constituencies AND the next candidate who runs. (Thanks, Obama.)
When you look at the record the Clinton campaign and Obama admin and Democratic party apparatus failed on all of those counts and still got more votes. Imagine the landslide if they’d actually been on top of all of that.
For some reason, the public thinks politicians side with corporations. Imagine that. and they’re looking for politicians who do not.
The LA Timesreports on focus groups with voters, seeing what they think today, in These voters in Arizona are fed up with Democrats, Republicans and, most of all, Trump,
More than two dozen voters gathered in Phoenix this week delivered a bipartisan broadside against President Trump, Republicans and Democrats, dismissing the political class as serving its wealthy benefactors and abandoning everyday Americans.
… The questions largely revolved around views of Trump and Republican efforts to pass healthcare and tax reform measures. Yet in the process, participants voiced strikingly little support for Democrats nor any enthusiasm about using their vote to cast out Republicans next year.
“Democrats are doing something badly wrong,” said one Democratic-leaning voter, saying the party “should have done a better job” last year. “Democrats are flailing.”
“I think the government is totally corrupt,” said an independent voter who leaned toward Democrats in elections but disparaged both sides.
Republicans see Trump and Republicans siding with corporations. Imagine that.
Asked whether Trump sided with regular people or big corporations, nine of 10 in the Republican group said he sided with corporations. All 10 said Republicans in Congress sided with corporations. Two said Democrats sided with ordinary people. Sentiments were not dramatically different in other groups.
“They’re all the same; they’re all puppets,” said one Trump voter.
People saw government bailing out Wall Street and corporations instead of We the People, and aren’t happy,
“People in Arizona and Ohio, all these other groups in other places in the country, thought after the crash that Wall Street and big corporations were made whole again, and they were left behind,” said Patrick McHugh, the executive director of Priorities, who observed the focus groups.
“Trump made a lot of promises to address those issues. He’s now president…. He’s now responsible for fulfilling those promises.”
So people somehow sense that government sides with corporations. People might be uninformed and misinformed, but they by and large aren’t stupid. They can see what’s going on and want something done about it.
Apart from the obvious racism, Trump campaigned on an economic message. There were people who will tell you they “took a chance” and supported Trump because he promised to “drain the swamp” of corruption in government. He said he was already wealthy so he wouldn’t take bribes. He got a lot of votes from people who were fed up.
If there was a consistent criticism of Hillary Clinton it was that she was beholden to corporations, especially Wall Street, and that her paid speeches and supposed support for TPP proved it.
Lots of people supported Bernie Sanders because he obviously was not in the pocket of corporations.
Many Green voters are Greens instead of Democrats because they believe the party has sold out to corporate interests.
I wonder if there is a lesson from this?
Do we have legitimate governance, with the consent of an informed electorate?
If a voter makes a choice based on a campaign that is based on lies, disinformation, promises that are never meant to be fulfilled, incorrect assumptions and premises, psychological manipulation, intimidation, well-funded mass propaganda and the rest of the entire modern Republican operation — is there a legitimate outcome? Are votes that result from that legitimate votes?
What about a candidate who just lies, saying “what the voters want to hear” with no intention of doing what was implied in the campaign? Are those “legitimate” votes?
A “legitimate” election requires a properly informed electorate given adequate and correct information upon which to make a decision. Trickery, misinformation, lies, misdirection, manipulation, financially outshouting, and all the things we understand as modern “elections” actually mean the results are not legitimate and anti-democratic.
Never mind mass voter suppression, gerrymandering and the other ways our system has become “rigged” against allowing democracy to function. Never mind possible tampering with voting machines. Those things are also for real. But alongside those, this general non-functioning of democracy has become “normalized.” We do not even expect candidates to just tell the truth about issues that are important to us anymore, and when they do they are considered to be “outside the mainstream.”
Look at the extent to which our supposedly democratic system has been de-legitimized. This is not just about Trump, this has become systemic. Saying what is needed just to get votes is a violation of democracy and de-legitimizes the outcome. Tricking people, lying, manipulating, outspending all de-legitimize the outcome.
How can we restore truly functioning, free, informative news media combined with an attentive, educated electorate? How can we restore legitimacy to our entire democratic process? The first step is to call it out, stop accepting it, see it for what it is and say it for what it is.
Here are some thoughts on the report that Russia was trying to — or did — hack into our election systems before the election.
1) Why was this a secret? Who from? Obviously it wasn’t a secret to Russia. Maybe they’re keeping the idea that they detected it a secret? (And this tips Russia or whoever off to what we did not detect, by the way.)
The problem with impeachment is it doesn’t really solve our problem. The problem we have goes so far beyond just Trump and into flaws in the the design of our system.
George Washington established rule by “norms” when he declined to run again for President, saying we are not a nation of kings. So it became a norm that presidents hand over power. In the years since we developed a system of democratic norms instead of laws that can be enforced, with systemic mechanisms to ensure enforcement.
So now we have a president who has no interest in norms or rule of law, and we have no laws and no systemic mechanisms to do anything about it. He and his cronies are destroying our system of democracy and rule of law.
These clowns got into office illegitimately and we have no mechanisms to stop the destruction of all the “public structures” We the People own and treasure, from our public land to our public schools to our public infrastructure to our system of checks and balances to our democracy itself.
They got into office illegitimately using a corporate-and-billionaire-financed propaganda machine (and possibly non-US “dark money” funding sources) spewing lies at us 24/7/365 for decades, massive voter suppression, possible election-rigging, the electoral college designed around maintaining slave states, lies (“I will drain the swamp”) and all the other things they have done.
And beyond the presidency we have the gerrymandering lock, states populated by cows but with two senators, and other ways they maintain a grip on power when they can’t get the votes.
All impeachment does is move the incompetent, loathsome Trump out of the way, after he signs the things they want and they are through with his usefulness. But the entire fraudulent crowd will still maintain illegitimate power.
What we need is a Truth and Reconciliation Commission that can sweep away all the corruption, illegitimacy and lies and find ways to restore democracy and return Power To The People.
Over and over, Trump repeated a simple message. He repeated it and repeated it and repeated it.
Clinton is corrupt. I will bring the jobs back. I will fix Washington.
What was Clinton’s repeated message? Anyone?
The reality of this election is that this year two choices for president, and only two choices. Either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will become president.
And this election is entirely about Donald Trump. You are either for him or against him, period. There is just no way around it.
Trump will have the keys to the FBI, NSA and Department of Justice. Imagine Chris Christie as Atty General and Rudolph Giuliani as Director of National Intelligence. Maybe Newt Gingrich running the FBI. Imagine Trump with the NSA surveillance apparatus under his control. All rubber-stamped by a Republican Congress. He’s already talked about firing all the generals, imagine what happens to the rest of government. our government will become entirely a support-Trump operation — not unlike how Putin runs Russia. Do you think you’ll be safe?
Trump promises a “deportation force” that will round up Muslim and Latino families — and do what with them? Black, Jewish and “mixed-race” families obviously are in line to be on that “Skittles” list. What happens to the rights of Gays and political “politically correct” opponents? His crowds chant “lock them up” about the news media. No, if you are someone who is reading this you won’t be safe if Trump wins.
If you think this is a just exaggerated talk or a joke, everyone also thought it was a joke that Trump could win the Republican nomination, or be anywhere close to becoming President. Yet he did and he is.
This is serious shit. Bernie Sanders is traveling around the country right now to spread this message:
“The stakes are much too high. This is not a personality contest. You are not voting for the senior class president at the local high school. You are voting for the most important public official in the world. The differences between Secretary Clinton and Donald Trump are day and night.”
If you do not want Donald Trump to become president you have to vote for Hillary Clinton. If you do not vote FOR Clinton you are voting to allow Trump to become president, period. You might not be able to stand Clinton, but you have to decide if you want Trump to be president, with all the consequences that brings. Because that is what it could mean if you do not show up and vote for Clinton.
My very first blog post ever was this July, 2002 post: Ralph Nader is a Scab,
In the union movement we learned the hard way that the only way to fight the moneyed interests is to stick together. It’s called SOLIDARITY. It’s what “union” MEANS.
When unions are in a fight the members stick together, and those crossing the lines are called “scabs”.
In the 2000 election it was the usual fragile Democratic coalition fighting the usual moneyed interests. Ralph Nader broke the solidarity, divided the coalition, and lost us the election. Ralph Nader is a scab.
Even if you are in a “safe” state you still have to vote for either Trump or Clinton. Not voting for Clinton to “send a message” keeps her “numbers” down nationally which, if things are close elsewhere could leave Trump with more votes nationally but lose the electoral college — like what happened to Gore. If that happens it encourages Trump’s neo-Nazi followers to take up arms.
In 2000 people voted for Ralph Nader to “send a message.” Solidarity was broken and Bush became president. No message was received and nothing was done about climate for 8 years, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed in an illegal war that brought lasting chaos to the Middle East. And our economy was ruined. A Trump win promises far, far worse consequences.
Melissa Byrne explains one reason to go out and VOTE:
“College should be a right and not a gift from parents to children.”