Inspection- Let’s Talk About It: Elections
As of now the recount has been stopped by a judge who says Stein hasn’t a chance of winning. True, but that shouldn’t be the point. In fact Stein’s recount misses many points that need to be addressed, and “solutions;” like Help America Vote, have only made it worse, added more ways how the vote can be corrupted. After I wrote this I heard about one senator has suggested doing what I am about to recommend, but only regarding Russian hacking. That’s a mistake, and will solve nothing, for the most part because it only addresses one partisan issue with voting and will be seen as such. We need to do far more than this. Far more.
So now, once again, we start to return to our impenetrable fortresses after all sides have made all kinds of claims, accusations and provided little to no proof. The media’s not going to help. They’re either too afraid to do their jobs, or too invested in supporting one side or another. So, once again, despite both sides having problems with how we vote, there’s a big push to ignore all that and move on. Of course moving on is always temporary. The bitching train will arrive again in 2018, then 2020… each time it may just run over us again. But, meanwhile, eventually the topic of integrity of the vote will be dropped like a stone left in an oven for many days. We won’t talk about it, or do much about it.
My mother died of cancer. During that time there was a lot of in family discussions cut short by, “We don’t talk about it.” There were so many clues, like an argument with a doctor that led to the cancer spreading. Then relatives wondered why she wasn’t getting certain tests, treatments. My mother, very religious, during this time always seemed to be trying to pray it away. Meanwhile, my father was turning into a skeptic and an agnostic, at best.
You can be damn sure there’s something going on we should be dealing with when people say, “We don’t talk about it,” or “Let’s move on.”
Just like you can tell there’s something else going on when pols and their supporters make a lot of claims about rigging and fraud, but after the election the winning side no longer wants to talk about it, many in the losing side want to move on. Post every election since 2000 I swore I’ve heard some version of those words again…
“We don’t talk about it.”
Going back, for a moment, to my more personal side to this topic, some of this was repeated with my wife’s family, some I admit I’m guilty of. Once, when I mentioned some what looks like an approaching serious situation, I was told I was just imagining it. Another time I was told it wasn’t that bad. With my own brother-in-law’s risky behavior I too simply ignored the approaching freight train. So I claim no purity here. Far from it.
Each one of these situations led to someone’s death, just like not talking about my father’s increasing problems with diabetes ended his life.
As I think of the past election and the recount I sense the broom about to sweep again, I hear the demands that we stop talking about it, the sharp criticisms of anyone who dares to think any of this should be looked into are certainly plentiful. The death of a person is a lot like the death of representative governance. If you listen sometimes you can hear the freight train approaching. Representative governance is stuck between the tracks of different visions, different accusations, and about to be maimed by that damn train that returns every two years. Soon, if we don’t address all the issues we won’t have a representative leg, or arm, to hold ourselves up with. All due to…
“We don’t talk about that.”
Here is what we would be sweeping under the rug out of mere political convenience. I don’t agree with all of these, but not the point. Each of these could contribute to destroying the “free” in a “free society…”
1. The right, and Donald Trump, claim millions of voters are voting twice and/or voting illegally.
2. The left has a long litany of accusations, actual quotes from Republicans, and Crosscheck efforts that eliminate voters with similar names in different states with no proof they are the same person, millions of votes not counted, miscounted. This also included active attempts to hide ballots, proprietary electronic machines that flip who you vote for, can’t be verified, or verified well… there’s one hell of a list here, not limited to what I’ve already listed.
3. Provisional ballots. Are they ever counted, or do people just claim they will be? If they are counted, who decides when and why? Are they just placebo ballots that do a walk around the voter who might sue, or organizations who might sue, for wrongfully denying someone the right to vote? Is it only people who bring no ID who get provisional ballots? What about those challenged by highly partisan poll watchers? If the voter’s right to vote is questionable should they be given anyany ballot? Are there any consistent standards here, nationwide? If not, is this a case of unequal protection?
4. It has been declared by at least one justice there is no right to vote. Is that true? If so citizens need to know, and if they wish to push for that amendment that should be their right and know for sure they need to.
5. Gerrymandering amounting to severe caging.
6. Hacking; especially, but not limited to, another country
So many of us believe our concerns are righteous, the other concerns bogus. It doesn’t matter. Until we look into it all: together, until we give a fair and respectful hearing to all, until everyone is allowed to place their cards on the table: prove their case, the vote is like a guy stuck on the tracks. Every two years the train further maims representative governance. Soon it won’t have a leg to stand on, or an arm to pull itself up with.
If only one side is doing the “rigging” it will continue.
If both sides are doing the “rigging” it will continue.
If the system is just screwed up, without consensus regarding how to fix it, it will only get worse.
I see no other way out of this maze without all sides trying to make it better by respectfully looking into it all. What I am about to suggest here most likely wouldn’t change a damn thing regarding the 2016 results. In South Africa they examined their past without the push for revenge. I think when it comes to the vote we need something like that.
No one who truly respects representative governance wants illegal aliens voting, or dead people, or voting more than once.
No one who truly respects representative governance wants people to lose the right to vote because they belong to some group inconvenient to one side.
No one who truly respects representative governance wants voting machines that break down, or not enough voting machines in some politically inconvenient precincts, or machines that flip the vote, or machines with proprietary software that can’t be verified.
No one who truly respects representative governance wants people being told the wrong day or precinct, or be denied the vote due to caging.
No one who truly respects representative governance wants gerrymandering so radical it guts the votes that go to one side.
No one who truly respects representative governance wants other countries to hack our elections, or anyone for that matter.
Anyone who would want any of this is flying their agenda into the towers labeled representation and freedom. They are supporters of tyranny. They are anti-American. Their intellectual brethren flew the planes into New York and Washington on 9/11.
I suggest we have a nationwide event where we examine all of this: together, put our cards on the table, prove what we can, and if we can’t prove it yet, well maybe there should be a permanent bipartisan commission who has the ability to rule and enforce that citizens can bring their concerns to. One with more power than any commission we may have now. When there are questions they have the power to investigate, to regulate and to enforce. Representative governance is worth it, and certainly a hell of a lot better than many of the other options.
Otherwise we have reached a point where no one trusts elections anymore. We need to stop what has become the norm: two sides pointing and blaming it on everyone but themselves. This why soon we may not have nice things: like real representative governance. It’s why we may eventually slip into any of the various forms of “isms” that no free person would want to live under.
All the sweeping under the rug until the next election and “we don’t talk” doesn’t work, makes it worse. And frankly I’d rather throw the damn rug away and let the light shine on it all. Let’s examine and fix what’s wrong with how we vote in America.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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