Sunday, April 24, 2016

U.S. Elections have always been Rigged

U.S. political duopoly

After voting for Presidents for 228 years, Americans still can't get it right. Maybe if there were no rigged elections, the whole process would go a lot smoother. For 228 years there have been accusations of voter fraud, and we still can't be confident in our voting process.

There's a contentious counter-argument at The Nation that goes into more detail (read through the links and reader comments); but why are we still having these arguments? Understandably, usually the ones with losing candidates will make the accusations; but why should there ever be any doubt to begin with? There never should have been a Bush v Gore in modern American politics.

With a congressional favorability rating of only 17%, if elections aren't rigged, then why are we always voting for people that we're not very happy with? Is it because of the ongoing and continuous "better of two evils" syndrome that we've been having to deal with for decades and decades?

These days, Americans can do almost anything they want online with their desktop computers and smartphones, except wash their cars and vote. And the risk of electronic voting machines and optical scanners is, they have no auditable paper trail.

So far, through the 2016 primary race, we've heard many stories about long lines at the polling stations, early poll closings, odd and confusing hours, voting irregularities, voter fraud, voter suppression, switched party registrations, missing ballots, rigged caucuses, restrictive voting rules and closed primaries. Independents, or those not affiliated with either party, can vote in some State's primaries while not in others.

For the greatest democratic nation in the world who is supposed to be spreading democracy, we do a piss-poor job of practicing what we preach.

One of New York's reasons for strict voter registration rules is for their fear of "party raiding" — and that is about as weak of an excuse for Democrats as "voter fraud" is for Republicans when passing their restrictive voter ID laws. Those rules were clearly meant to keep "outsiders" (those who don't always agree 100% with their party's platform at any given time) out of their political parties — and to keep voters from voting against their preferred candidates (up and down the line).

And when voting for a person up and down the line on a party ticket, one has no idea if that person will be a delegate (or superdelegate), or how they will vote as a delegate at their party's summer conventions (in both political parties).

Our political parties are like corporations with their own internal hierarchy. A board of directors is stacked to give themselves pay raises and promotions. Tow the party/corporate line, be loyal and be rewarded. So voters have been limited to two types of government they can have:

  1. One that corrupt, or
  2. One that is corrupt.

Because if both parties are corrupt, so are their governments.

Superdelegates don't care what "the people" want, they worry more about their own political careers. In congress, once elected, any promises are off the table. Many times, as incumbents, they don't worry about being voted out of office by their own party in the next election, because many times they're not challenged for their seats within their own party, and voters are left with "more of the same" — or voting for the other party, or not voting at all. Voters are "damned if they do and damned if they don't".

As for our politicians, they have better job security than the best labor unions in the world can offer. If you're late for work, you can be fired. But for a politician, it can take a very expensive and lengthy recall election or impeachment process to get them out of office. Even when they're caught red-handed in criminal activity, it can be a long and expensive process to get them ousted — and they also claim innocence and desperately cling to their jobs until they're almost physically forced to let go. The only apologize and beg forgiveness when they're caught.

Whenever they say they take full responsibility, they never do. And if they're ever voted out of office, they use their political connections to get lobbying jobs (and can get their pensions when they retire). The governor of Flint claims he'll take responsibility, but he hasn't yet. How has he been penalized for wrong-doing or for doing a piss-poor job? Nobody is firing him for poisoning millions of kids. But if you're 5 minutes late to your crappy minimum wage job, you could end up homeless within a couple of weeks.

A U.S. president was once impeached, and now his wife is running for President — because party rules allow this — and the taxpayers might be forced to build them another presidential library.

Both political parties gerrymander congressional districts and pass party rules and voter laws to control the power structure within their respective parties. Bill Clinton was elected in 1992, and can vote for his wife as a superdelegate in 2016 — and the party uses the excuse that, because we voted for him then, we also voted for him to vote at the convention 24 years later.

Because the Democrats are committed to dividing delegates equally between men and women, to make sure there’s "gender parity" among the elected delegates, sometimes someone with fewer votes can still secure a slot. How many other rules are there that we don't yet know about? Who is going to study both political party's playbooks and write a post listing all these ridiculous bullet points?

Both parties have complicated rules that take legal degrees to understand; and these rules vary from State to State. When people relocate state to state for jobs, they have to spend time to familiarize themselves with the voting laws for that particular State. And the rules/laws can be changed anytime, and for any reason, within the party — and might be posted in fine print on their websites as to what changes were made. The average voter doesn't have the time to research all these convoluted party rules.

It's a sham to keep the political party's perpetual power lock on the political duopoly in his country to be most favorable to their insiders. The superdelegates will vote for their own reasons, and maybe endorse a Presidential candidate with a promise for an ambassadorship to France or Japan on the taxpayer's dime (travel, lodging, expenses accounts, limos, Secret Service protection, diplomatic immunity, etc., etc.)

Both parties are rigged, and people like former Vermont governor Howard Dean knew, but he didn't want to upset his own position within the party (and because he had no chance of really making a case anyway when he ran). When Obama snubbed him for a post in his administration, Dean just went to work as a lobbyist — using the revolving door, that many use. They go work for the very same people they once taxed and regulated. But still, Dean is a superdelegate and voting for Hillary Clinton — and campaigning for her on Comcast's MSNBC cable news channel. How rigged is that?

In 2008 a deal was struck with Obama to make Hillary Clinton his Secretary of State so that Bill would endorse Obama at the convention. Although she didn't win the nomination to run for President that year, it was still a step up for Hillary, who as a U.S. senator, took the job to beef up her résumé for a 2016 run for president (and for the perks that come with the position).

After she left office, and just before running for President, Hillary Clinton spent two years traveling around the U.S, Canada and Mexico (the NAFTA nations) making speeches for an average of $225,000 each. The former pro-business conservative president of Mexico just enforced her — and he thinks Bill is a great man. The speeches she gave were to banks, corporations and lobbyists who have actively sought to sway government — by lobbying, bidding for contracts, commenting on federal policy, and in some cases, contacting State Department officials (or Clinton herself) during her tenure as Secretary of State — and she did this over the course of 2 years when she knew she would be running for President.

Most of the Democratic insiders in Congress back Hillary Clinton (despite the popular vote) because they hope to be rewarded with a VP or other cabinet position within her administration — all on the taxpayer's dime. That's NOT to bash Hillary Clinton, because that's just how all these politicians operate. People such as New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio (under a felonious investigation for fundraising violations) was firmly behind Clinton — and he and his wife were constantly on the cable news channels (except Fox News) actively campaigning for her prior to the New York primary election.

This year, it's high time for a change. The head of the RNC and DNC, when explaining their delegate systems, say things such as: "But that's the way it's always been done" or "We've been doing it that way for years" — as though, just because we didn't know about it back then, then somehow that doesn't mean that the elections weren't also rigged back then as well.

Maybe Senator Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, whose respective parties have been trying to sabotage their respective campaigns from the start, should both run as Independents against the Democrats preferred party choice and the Republican's preferred party choice . . . and let the cards fall as they may.

Otherwise, even the appearance of impropriety within the election process will make the election results very questionable — and a lot of people will become even MORE angry than they already are. And maybe this time, the village peasants really will storm the ramparts with their torches and pitchforks.

* Sign this petition if you want Bernie Sanders to run as an Independent.

Nevada's rigged election


  1. President Harry S. Truman (May 17, 1952)

    "I've seen it happen time after time. When the Democratic candidate allows himself to be put on the defensive and starts apologizing for the New Deal and the fair Deal, and says he really doesn't believe in them, he is sure to lose. The people don't want a phony Democrat. If it's a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time; that is, they will take a Republican before they will a phony Democrat, and I don't want any phony Democratic candidates in this campaign. But when a Democratic candidate goes out and explains what the New Deal and fair Deal really are--when he stands up like a man and puts the issues before the people--then Democrats can win, even in places where they have never won before. It has been proven time and again."

  2. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are exposing the rigged nature of the presidential primary process, which has existed for decades. A Harvard study found that the United States ranked the worst of all western countries in fairness of its election process.

    Add to this that the US also continues to rank poorly in the World Press Freedom Index, and you will understand why we often call the US a "mirage democracy".

    Many of the nonvoters in the US recognize this charade of politics. They don’t vote because it doesn’t seem to matter – the choices are one corporate candidate or another.

    In a recent interview, Noam Chomsky points out that the demographics of nonvoters in the US match those of people who vote for labor or social democratic parties in the European Union. The US does not have a national labor or socialist party. The closest we come to a class-based party at the national level is the Green Party.

  3. “On all 10 dimensions of election administration, the United States scores near the bottom of electoral democracies. We have been sloppy and have not insisted that our voting machines be as free from error as our washing machines. We lack uniform standards, and have devolved authority to the lowest, poorest level of government.”

  4. UPDATE:

    Bernie Sanders Facebook Groups Being Removed

    Hillary Clinton’s Internet Troll Campaign Against Bernie Sanders

  5. CNN just reported that in Pennsylvania, for the GOP, they have 81 delegates...

    17 pledged delegates (allocated by the popular vote)
    54 unpledged delegates -- who can vote any way they want.

    Democracy in action.

  6. Superdelegates are only "endorsements" right now, at don't vote until the convention in July. So it's a bit misleading for ther media to include them as pledged delegates until that time. In the 2008 primary, Obama had less popular votes than Hillary Clinton, but he picked up more delegates after the very last State had voted to win the nomination. Clinton didn't concede until 2 days later, and agreed to endorse Obama in exchange for a job offer of secretary of state, to which Obama agreed for Bill Clinton's endorsement at the DNC's convention. California, the largest State to vote with the most delegates, isn't until June 7th. In 1992 Bill Clinton didn't win enough delegates until June 2nd after California had voted. Washington D.C. (the last to vote this year) is on June 14th — about 5 weeks before the DNC convention in July. And superdelegates who are backing Clinton now can change their mind at anytime until then. So as New York Yankees Yogi Berra said, "It ain't over till it's over." And of course, there's always the possibility that Bernie Sanders could run as an Independent too. But for the time being, Sanders' surrogate Nina Turner made it perfectly clear today: Bernie is NOT dropping out of the race and he will be at the convention — because, chances are, neither candidate will have enough "pledged" delegates won by the States to put them over the top. As for "party unity", Bernie's party is already united-- but the corporate media seems to have a hard time comprehending that ;)

  7. UPDATE:

    The corporate media and the Clintonites keeps asking, and everybody keeps telling them, but they just won't listen: Bernie Sanders will NOT drop out of the race; he WILL let everyone cast their vote; and he WILL take our fight all the way to the convention. And Bernie's surrogate Nina Tuner made all that perfectly clear — and in no uncertain terms. (Nina for VP anybody? She's got my vote!) There's no party to "unify" — Bernie's party is already unified! If the Democratic Party machine refuses to nominate Bernie Sanders, then we draft him to run as an Independent. Case closed. Bernie or Bust!

    Nina on MSNBC

    Please sign....

  8. Bernie Sanders would like the Democratic National Committee to lean on all states to open up their primaries to independent voters, who have been a bedrock of Sanders’s coalition in states where they are allowed to participate.

    On his advocacy to open all Democratic primaries to independent voters: “Clearly the final decisions will be made by the states, but ... I think clearly the convention and the Democratic National Committee can change the rules and can create a scenario that makes it clear that we want open primaries in 50 states in this country.”

    On whether the party should continue to have superdelegates: "Right now, one-fourth of [Clinton’s] entire delegate count is superdelegates. That’s too much. It’s a huge advantage. It is really very hard for a candidate who does really well among ordinary people, who wins primaries and caucuses. You’re starting off with the establishment candidate having 20 percent of the delegates.”