Throughout the Democratic primaries, Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders railed against a system rigged against the voter. He fired up the voting base with his impassioned pleas for the electorate to get out and vote in order to try and overcome the massive hurdles he knew he’d have to overcome in the face of corporate media favoritism, a rigged system, and compromised voting machines.
The Democratic primaries were a stark reminder that a rigged election is quite easy to pull off if a candidate has the wide support of local and state officials. Even Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren let her displeasure be known about a rigged system that favored the “big guys” in 2015 before either Bernie or Hillary had announced they were running for the Democratic nomination.
Washington is rigged for the big guys – and no person has more consistently called them out for it than Jon Stewart. Good luck, Jon!
— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) February 11, 2015
It appeared that she might endorse Bernie, but just two months before the Democratic Convention, she endorsed Clinton. After the Democratic Convention ended, Warren and Sanders threw their support behind the very system they had criticized, alienating millions of progressive voters.
When Donald Trump began to accuse the Democratic Party of potential election fraud and rigging the system against him, mainstream media laughed in his face. Rolling Stone magazine is heavily pushing a piece about just how difficult it is to rig an election. President Obama told Trump to stop whining and then Elizabeth Warren told Trump to “put on his big boy pants” and denied election fraud.
It's not rigged, @realDonaldTrump. You're losing fair & square. Put on your big-boy pants because this is what accountability looks like.
— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) October 19, 2016
In a follow-up tweet, she claimed that accusations of election rigging were a long tradition of the GOP to try and delegitimize Democrats.
What our elected Democratic officials still have not grasped yet is that internet mavens, on the whole, are not stupid. We do not forget. We remember. We use Google, and sometimes even Bing (although few will admit to that). Succinctly, we fact check. Everything. If I don’t get to it, someone else already has, and that is the beauty of the internet.
At a news conference where the New York Times reports Obama chastised Trump for whining, some quick thinking folks discovered a video from eight years ago of the then-Democratic nominee telling a crowd how fortunate it was that Democrats controlled the voting machines in Ohio. It was meant to ease concerns about election fraud, but it’s now coming back to bite him. In a single ill-conceived moment, Obama revealed that yes, an election can be rigged, but it is OK if the right party does it.
“Well, I’ll tell you what. It helps in Ohio that we’ve got Democrats in charge of the machines. But, look. I come from Chicago, so I want to be honest. It’s not as if it’s just Republicans who’ve monkeyed around with elections in the past. Sometimes Democrats have, too.”
He made a prescient statement directly after, telling the crowd of women voters that those in power have a tendency to tilt elections in their favor.
Speaking of Chicago, proof that the Democratic primary election was rigged against Bernie came out in a series of videos. Election workers testified that they had seen election officials erasing or changing paper ballots to match the rigged machine tallies.
In May, I wrote that the infamous Nevada state Democratic convention appeared rigged against Bernie from the start, with last-minute rule changes that favored Clinton. WikiLeaks has released thousands of emails, many of which detail how the Clinton campaign colluded illegally with pro-Hillary SuperPAC Correct the Record, the mainstream media and the DNC to ensure Clinton won the nomination.
RT reported that in New York state, 125,000 voters had been disenfranchised due to irregularities. These people couldn’t vote either because they were kicked off the roles without explanation, had their voter registration inexplicably changed, or they did not register as a Democrat six months prior to the primary.
And in July I wrote about how Howard Dean discovered the ease with which one can change votes in a voting machine in the 2005 documentary, Hacking Democracy. The full-length video, which has since been removed from YouTube, showed Dean watching as hypothetical votes were changed in a computer system.
A seven-minute clip of the documentary shows a Diebold machine printing the results of a mock election, where the votes were flipped in what is called the “Hursti Hack.”
Despite all of this proof of how easy it is for officials to commit election fraud, and despite proof (thanks to WikiLeaks) of a rigged primary process against Bernie Sanders, the Democratic party and the mainstream media have chosen to gaslight the American public with ridicule and yowling denials against the very idea that our election process could be rigged against any opponent of Hillary Clinton. This includes Donald Trump, the Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein and Libertarian party candidate, former governor Gary Johnson.
Bernie Sanders has managed to stay above the fray in all this, alluding only to Trump’s voter fraud allegations with a tweet that challenges the myth that it is widespread.
We have virtually no voter fraud in America. What is the fraud is that people are changing laws because of so-called voter fraud.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) October 23, 2016
Voter fraud and election fraud are two different problems. What happened to Bernie during the primary race is a clear example of election fraud or a rigged election. Ballotpedia defines voter fraud as “illegal interference with the process of an election.” It’s mostly used to accuse improper voting by individuals, whereas election fraud describes the more institutionalized and systematic efforts to “tilt” elections in favor of the desired candidate by party officials.
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) October 21, 2016
So, while voter fraud is relatively rare, election fraud by officials is, indeed, more widespread. President Obama, Senator Warren, and everyone else who is ridiculing Trump for bringing attention to it are being disingenuous, for they know exactly what they are talking about, and they know what Trump is talking about in terms of a rigged election. So Democrats, please stop gaslighting the American people.
[Featured Image by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images]