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.
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
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.
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