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OpEd: Stolen Votes and Stolen Elections

By ~Mark E. Smith  Posted by Tony Forest (about the submitter)     Permalink
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OpEd: Stolen Votes and Stolen Elections

 I've been accused of dissing the election porn industry, the people like Greg Palast, Mark Crispin Miller, Bev Harris, and others who investigate, analyze, document, and publicize stolen elections while encouraging people to vote. Most of them claim that by carefully monitoring an election, it is possible to deter or prevent vote theft. Even if that were the case, which it is not, since no matter how closely you observe an election, you cannot prove that a vote was stolen until after it has been stolen, it would not prevent election theft.

That's because there is a big difference between protecting votes and protecting elections --vote theft and election theft are not the same thing at all. The election fraud industry concentrates on protecting votes. Even if that were possible, it could not deter or prevent stolen elections. So when they tell you that the election is going to be stolen again and that if you vote, you're going to be screwed again, and then they tell you to vote and suggest that you monitor the election and video yourself getting screwed, what they are suggesting can only be described as election porn.

Here's an analogy. You've probably heard about shoplifters and store robbers who work in groups. They go into a store and one or more of them creates a disturbance to distract the store owner and security guards, while another one robs the store. That's how I see the election fraud industry. They are creating a disturbance to focus everyone's attention on the theft of votes, so that nobody will notice that it is the theft of the elections, not the theft of the votes which really matters.

No matter how many times I point out to them that in their own words they have freely admitted that Bush was sworn in both times, in 2000 and in 2004, before the votes were counted, they persist in trying to focus attention on whether or not people are allowed to vote, and whether or not their votes are counted accurately. I keep pointing out that even if every eligible citizen was allowed to vote, and every single vote was counted accurately, it would not prevent elections from being stolen by simply, once again, swearing in the President before the votes are counted.

And that decision, to swear in a President before the popular votes are counted or without regard to the popular vote, is not up to voters, to elections officials, or to lower courts. The Constitution gives the sole power to make that decision only to Congress (however the Supreme Court, since no matter what it does its rulings cannot be appealed, has the same Constitutional power as it demonstrated in Bush v. Gore 2000).

So I don't see the election fraud industry as raising public awareness. I see their focus on vote theft as distracting people from the real danger and thereby consciously or unconsciously aiding and abetting election theft, or in other words, I see them as an essential part of the shoplifting ring, rather than as being opposed to shoplifting.

They are all very clear on the distinction between voter fraud and election fraud, voter fraud consisting of rare cases of individuals attempting to vote when they are not eligible, and election fraud consisting of widespread voter suppression and election rigging by elections officials and voting machine programmers. But none of them, brilliant as many of them are, seem to understand the distinction between vote theft and election theft. Or perhaps they do, but in the service of the wealthy elites and the political parties, which need the popular vote in order to claim the consent of the governed, they are only pretending not to understand.

The election fraud industry and groups like VoteStrike and True Majority advocate that people vote, allow the election to be stolen, and then protest the stolen election. Would they tell you that the way to protect your car from theft was to park it in a bad neighborhood, leave the doors and windows open and the keys in the ignition, stand nearby and watch it being stolen, and then protest vigorously that your car had been stolen? It is obvious from the fact that they advocate that people protest the stolen election afterwards, that they know that the election will be stolen. So why are they still urging people to vote?

I really wouldn't advise protesting. Our government happens to be a military superpower and it has given billions in crowd control gear and training to Homeland Security for the purpose of suppressing civil dissent. Our government happens to have a lot of experience suppressing civil dissent because it was often the case that when we stole elections or assassinated democratically elected leaders and installed dictators favorable to U.S. business in other countries, their citizens protested vehemently and violently, if, in most cases, futilely. The bullet or the ballot is a false dichotomy often used by political party operatives trying to get out the vote.

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Simply not voting and then refraining from violence is the real key to ousting an illegitimate government. Once it cannot demonstrate the consent of the people obtained through elections, a government can still govern, but only as a tyranny, not as a legitimate, democratically elected government. Such governments find great difficulty in getting support from free nations. That affects their credit rating, which means that they have problems paying their mercenaries to suppress their populace. And mercenaries who don't get paid, don't work.

By not voting, you establish that the government is not legitimate. Then you just have to lay low so that they can't shoot you until it collapses for lack of support.

The central tabulators that tally 80% of all U.S. votes (whether cast on paper or on machines, at the polls or by mail), are so unreliable that they are akin to flush toilets, but that is not the point, that's just a distraction. The point is that since the Constitution does not grant us the right to vote directly for President and Vice-President, the popular vote is not the sole determining factor in who becomes President, as it would be in a democracy or a republic. In both the 2000 and 2004 elections, the President was sworn in before the popular vote was even counted, so whether or not it was counted accurately is irrelevant.

Constitutionally, it doesn't have to be counted at all.

And of course in a top-down system like our government, the people at the top can make decisions which cannot be appealed, so the rest of the ticket is irrelevant. If The Decider or Deciders at the top decide that there will be a bailout, it doesn't matter at all if 90% of the citizens of that government disagree. We the people have no voice. Most of us, including myself, thought that at least we could select those who would make the decisions. We cannot. We can vote for them, but our votes do not determine who they will be. Decisions such as who will be on the ballot, how many votes the central tabulators should allocate to each candidate, and who will actually be sworn into office (usually before the votes are even counted) are above our pay grade.

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Whether or not our votes are counted accurately, the Constitution did not grant us the final say. Not only are we Constitutionally barred from voting directly for President and Vice-President, but the Constitution makes Congress itself the sole and final judge of Congressional elections. So when you go to Congress with solid, documented, and indisputable evidence that your election was stolen, as several Congressional candidates did in 2006, Congress can dismiss your case without even bothering to look at the evidence, which is exactly what it did in every case.

There's a big difference between a vote and a voice in government. If our vote was a voice in government, I'd still be a voter. And in that case it would be critical to ensure that our votes were counted accurately, something I spent years fighting for before I realized that it wasn't the real problem or the biggest danger. Election integrity efforts fight the symptoms instead of the disease. Monitoring and documenting the theft of votes can do nothing to prevent the theft of elections. They are separate, different, and unequal problems and it is the theft of elections which requires our attention. Protesting a stolen election afterwards can't get it back.

Unless we can prevent it from being stolen, we are stuck with the outcome for another four years. Would you allow your car or your wallet to be stolen if you were guaranteed that in another four years you would be given an opportunity to try to get it back?

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