Interfering in Elections — a bad thing, right?


In the News: Distortions influence our election process!

yanks-to-the-rescue-in-russia

Yanks “to the rescue” in Russia, ’96.
When WE mess with voting, it’s fine!

Russians, they say, are hacking our votes. That’s … alarming!

On this topic, however, before we’re all overcome with xenophobia, just maybe … we should take a look in the mirror!

The U.S. might not sport the Number One healthcare system in the world, but it seems we do lead the globe in our ability to interfere with and alter elections — both here and abroad.

Statistics and history for this abound, so this is hardly speculation. Across the globe and for over a century.¹ Haiti, Greece, Italy, Iran, Chile, VietNam, Guatemala, the Philippines, among others, come to mind. Whatever WE do to others…is right, right?

Not only have we done it, we seem to be proud of it! Just check out the 1996 Time cover story about “Yanks” helping elect Yeltsin.

How dare we pretend to be so serious about our own hypocrisy?

Do local forces ever “interfere” here, at home? Hmm?

Domestically, do not some of our own forces play games, deciding who here gets to vote … and how? Or even whether those votes actually get counted? Practices such as gerrymandering of districts and the very Electoral College itself serve to distort and dis-serve the desires of those of our citizens who even come out to vote (the media works hard to keep many at home). Add to that, there are machine “results” that are often unable to be verified.

And that’s only the start. The Monopoly of the Duopoly (D’s & R’s agreeing behind closed doors) affects many diverse aspects of hearing and knowing about the true concerns and wishes of our citizenry (a process often referred to as ‘democracy’). They include:

  • How election laws are made and whose interests they serve
  • The number of signatures and dollars needed to get onto the ballot can vary by party — & each state is has its own laws that often differ widely. This is called “state rights freedom” by some, and a clear lack of democracy by others
  • Who gets to vote? Varies by state. WHY? WHO can honestly say any variation should occur, especially when we are voting for president or other national offices?
  • Which candidates…and parties…are allowed to be heard in public forums and debates
  • Why there is no Free Time for candidates on TV, as there are in so many countries
  • Why do we lack Proportional Representation, which allows  different opinions to have a voice, if they represent a significant minority (See FairVote.org)?
  • Why don’t we always elect our presidents and other officials with a Majority Vote, 51%+ of the voters … to be truly democratic. But we don’t in the U.S.! How do we justify that? Easy ways to fix this include:

— Ranked-Choice Voting — an easily adopted system that always produces this majority … and in just one voting session, without the need for a runoff election! (See FairVote.org).

• A corollary to this is: “binding NONA”. Nona? Yes, an official “None Of The Above” ballot entry so you can actually vote “NO” to ALL the candidates if you like none of them.
A “binding” NONA means that if, after counting votes, NONA should actually “win” the majority of votes, then that part of the election must be re-done … to end up with a majority winning human!

  • Why don’t we free up televised debate rules taking control from the “two major parties” (the Duopoly to many), to allow other significant Voices & Choices in our so-called Land of Free Speech and Opportunity? We should do that, if for nothing else than to bring out voters who might otherwise stay home! The League of Women Voters used to run them, but the Duopoly resolved to take them over, to the detriment of any other voices … or choices … that may be out there seeking support.
    — NEWS FLASH! Wearing an American flag lapel pin does not automatically make you a patriot defending the Constitution.
  • The way many such diverse factors can come together to distort an election, can be clearly seen in Greg Palast’s film The Best Democracy Money Can Buy which describes Florida’s role in determining the 2000 presidential race. Having the President’s state campaign representative also be in charge of the state’s voting rules wouldn’t create any conflict, would it? The Presisdent’s brother being the Governor would not have any connection with that either, could it? Sounds pure 3rd world!

MOST of these measures must be dealt with if we ever wish to have Free and Fair elections here in the USA.

The changes required to increase fairness and representativity (essential for democracy) have been actively opposed for decades by a number of institutions and well-heeled individuals,  some of whom are mentioned above. In other words, to say that there is active, full-time opposition to measures to improve elections here, is no exaggeration whatsoever.
— If some forces (largely of the top 0.1%) do not want to change electoral practices to better represent people right here, just imagine how they are willing to ignore … or even destroy … such practices in other lands.

The Voices and Concerns of The American People are barely ever considered in this process we label “elections” and describe as Democracy. We are then told we send our young to fight and die abroad to defend these practices — even in lands where our policies have disrupted other peoples’ elections, even toppling democratically-elected governments. We must be more than concerned about how elections are perceived … and run.

This is no laughing matter. As a “collective” force, our nation is getting very good at this. And now, just as we can see our civil police importing and using the uniforms, materials and practices of our overseas armed forces on our own people, so it seems are we using similar practices regarding the relationship of the population to their ability to voice their preferences in a way that keeps them in charge of their own government, as expressed in our Constitution.


Elements to be considered:

Media – constant presence, “direction-ing”  impressions, pushing certain issues and candidates, while ignoring and excluding others, when not cynically distorting facts; creating a strong influence on the nature and intent of public “debates”, all in all, impeding anything resembling a truly well-informed public. THAT … is the opposite of journalism!

Electronic Voting, how those “providing the service” got selected, how their machines and internal circuits work, & what secrets they might hold which can effect results. How and by whom are we hampered from checking those results?

U.S. Influence in foreign elections. As we have seen, there is a long history of U.S. Influence … both mild and Major … in other countries’ elections — from sponsoring candidates, supplying money, troop training, arrests of candidates, media campaigns, toppling elected officials … and even invasions. Iran, Chile, Indonesia, VietNam, Guatemala, the Philippines, Nicaragua, to name a few.
• We have shown we can do it abroad — just how many of these “shenanigans” (and outright crimes) have been practiced right here?

Citizens United … perhaps the BIGGEST lie of them all. Corporations with the “rights” of citizens.
• Huge, UNKNOWN quantities of money and influence from hidden “donors” being called “Free Speech.” With all that money, might they not influence myriad elections, in a way that serves the donors more than the voters?? Hmmm?? Could they?

The Russian Factor. Given the above information for STARTERS, to talk of “Russian influence” on our elections — given these huge and constant influences that are regularly “part and parcel” of our own so-called “system” — is really a joke!

— No matter what and how much Russians might or might not have actually done, they could never begin to approach the ongoing and long-term effectiveness of, say, a Dow Chemical, Exxon, Pfizer, Goldman-Sachs, or a Koch brothers group, in altering our very own election results. Then, there’s the RNC & DNC themselves, with media and lobbyist connections. Let’s face it — the American Experience with Voting is hardly “free.”
— But we have been “taught” that somehow all that “stuff” is NOT interference with expressing our free will through voting. Oh, yeah, … really?
— So, by all means, let’s blame someone else, for what we created and permit to continue without question.

• Are we blind? Can we really no longer SEE … or have we lost the ability to judge and interpret?


Democracy, … it is not.
It is time to get off our butts, talk about it, then fix it, … while we still have a chance!

¹ As even the Washington Post & Huffingtonpost explain: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-us-has-been-meddling-in-other-countries-elections-for-a-century-it-doesnt-feel-good_us_57983b85e4b02d5d5ed382bd
and
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/10/13/the-long-history-of-the-u-s-interfering-with-elections-elsewhere/?utm_term=.17dc08102dba
and
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/07/30/100-years-ago-the-u-s-invaded-and-occupied-this-country-can-you-name-it/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.6257a88fed05

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