ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES: CHEATING FAILS, BUT DOES
William Boardman Email address removed
Election 2012 probably doesn't prove anything.
But it provides some evidence for the hopeful proposition that: even when the game is rigged, the cheaters lose:
- MONEY. Even though the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision allowed gross amounts of money (almost $6 billion) from known and unknown donors to distort the process, few elections near the top of the ballot appear to have been bought. But the down-ballot races may be most of the iceberg.
Big money may not have overwhelmed the electoral system in 2012, but that's far from saying big money doesn't control too much of government and too many public officials.
- PROCESS. Even though hyper-partisan Republican legislators, election officials, and outside groups made a concerted effort by a variety of means to suppress voting by likely Democratic-leaningconstituencies, there was sufficient pushback from the courts, the Justice Department, and professional election officials to allow the democratic process to function pretty well.
Something like a fair and open election seems to have taken place in 2012, but the people who attacked the process mostly remain in power. Their gerrymandered Congressional districts will remain in place till the next census, in 2020. Unless these people begin to re-think their beliefs, they will continue to have strong motivation to skew the electorate in any way they can, and they will likely try.