There are preliminary indications that this week's election was stolen on behalf of The Donald and The Senate Republicans. This is the consensus of a loose group of election integrity activists with whom I have been connected since the (clearly stolen) 2004 election.
We didn't expect this. We watched during the primary season as one state after another showed evidence that there was a thumb on the electronic scale favoring Hillary over Bernie. In the Republican primaries, there was no indication of this kind of manipulation. So the story we told ourselves was that whoever controlled the vote-counting process was behind Hillary. We told ourselves that Trump was an outsider, an undependable ally to the bankers and the defense contractors and the neo-Con cabal that held America's political system in thrall. In this story, The Donald was being allowed to prevail because he was likely to be the only Republican that Hillary could beat.
So we came into Tuesday's election expecting (as everyone expected) that Hillary would pull out a victory, and we expected that any electronic vote-shifting would favor Hillary.
But that's not what happened. The Donald won the electoral college, and there is a modest but suspicious pattern in the exit poll numbers that suggest he benefited from electronic cheating. The gap was larger in swing states, and key Senate races showed the same pattern suggesting manipulation of the voting machines.
So now we begin to glimpse a different reality. Maybe the Republicans were behind the cheat that gave Hillary the nomination. Maybe she was being promoted by the neo-Cons because they knew that Bernie would trounce The Donald, if the people were given that choice.
We'll know more as we crunch the numbers over the next few days.
The take-home message: It is absurd that we are reduced to statistical forensics! The citizens of any democracy worthy of the name have a right to see our votes being counted in an open, public process that is manifestly unbiased. We must demand hand-counted paper ballots.