By Diane Perlman, Newtopia Magazine April, 2005
Few Americans know about the historic event that happened on January 6, 2005, the official date for counting electoral votes. For the first time since 1877, congressmembers challenged the electoral count. Representative Stephanie Tubbs-Jones of Ohio, accompanied by the lone senator, Barbara Boxer of California, led the challenge of the Ohio vote count. Although massive fraud was reported around the country, only Ohio was officially cited.
It is curious that an issue so profound and consequential is barely on the radar screens of most Americans, especially those who voted for Kerry.
Though we are not certain of the actual outcome, statistically impossible discrepancies exist between results of exit polls and official counts in counties without paper trails. Also documented are patterns of anecdotes about corrupted procedures and accounts of strange behaviors, phenomena and illegal interventions in Ohio as well as other places. Many say there is fraud in every election, but there was far more in 2004 than in any previous year, and if the errors were random, about half would go in Kerry's favor. Virtually all went in Bush's favor.
But rather than demanding a thorough investigation, the American people seem eager to forget the incidents and put the election behind them, thus implicitly supporting such corruption.
A Political Psychological Puzzlement
Under what conditions do millions of allegedly "free" people knowingly acquiesce to being deceived, dominated and deprived of their own political will? How is it that even those who were politically engaged for the first time resign themselves to an unjust fate, refusing even to consider what happened to our country? Why do progressive citizens actively dismiss and even malign a small group of courageous, devoted people working day and night on their behalf to uncover, calculate, analyze, and evaluate the extensive, varied forms of criminal sabotage that undermined their democracy? How are Americans becoming complacent with escalating fraudulent activity? In other words, how do so many people live with the knowledge that they have been tricked before, were just tricked again--and then submit to life under the power of those who tricked them?
Why were hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians out for days in the freezing cold, refusing to accept fraud, while Americans are helplessly colluding with forces of domination? Granted, we face a conspiracy of silence in the media, a propaganda campaign discrediting exit polls (which are accurate in counties with paper trails and other countries), and a dismissal of those who challenge the vote as nuts, sore losers and "conspiracy theorists." Censorship, brainwashing and intimidation create an environment of passivity and fear in subtle yet powerful ways that keep the system going with the complicity of those who have been robbed.
We must wonder what is going on in the collective psyche that allows the systematic and progressive usurpation of power.
The Dance of Domination
The psychology of electoral domination has two parts--what is being done to people and how they allow it.
Psychological techniques, used deliberately, allow many tricks to go unnoticed and unchallenged. For example, "mystification" is a plausible misrepresentation of reality in which forms of exploitation are presented as forms of benevolence. Like magic and the use of distraction, the issue of voting reform was manipulated and misrepresented, so people felt calmed by the illusion that the problems are being corrected. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Elements of the Help America Vote Act, HAVA (a name as Orwellian as the Clear Skies Initiative, more accurately should be called "Hide America's Voting Anomalies"), includes intrusive identity checks, the introduction of the "provisional ballot" most of which were not counted, and the use of electronic voting machines. Each of these was brilliantly misused for the opposite intention--to corrupt and deny votes to Kerry in ways people wouldn't notice.
The subterfuge was successfully accomplished with use of censorship, illusion, distortion, brainwashing, propaganda, misinformation, disinformation, mystification, intimidation, shaming, and domination. As Bush might say, it was a "catastrophic success."
These techniques combine to form something like a collective hypnotic induction, which creates an illusion of a consensus that cannot be challenged. Few have the insight, training or tools to see through the manipulation. Even fewer have the courage to take on the challenge. For many, responses to domination may include learned helplessness, psychic numbing, fear, cowardice, conformity, denial, cognitive laziness, disbelief, avoidance, and submission to authority. These items are inter-related and the lists are not exhaustive.
Before the psychological explanations, it is necessary to acknowledge a basic factor: the overwhelming ignorance of the facts that most Americans have(though subliminal awareness and lack of desire to know the facts can exacerbate this). Of course if the facts were accurately reported in the mainstream media, the collective psychological climate would be conducive to a healthier public response. People accept fraud for reasons which may be conscious or unconscious. Some of the ways that they do this are described below.