Joseph Cotto, 8/9/2016 [Archive]

The Rigged Process that Gave Us Hillary

By Joseph Cotto

"Democracy works, but we gotta want it -- not just during an election year, but all the days in between," Barack Obama told a refreshingly receptive audience at the Democratic National Convention.

He also mentioned that Americans "don't fear the future. We shape it, embrace it -- as one people, stronger together than we are on our own."

The President included a shout out to the less-than-satisfied devotees of Hillary Clinton's chief primary foe: "If you agree that there's too much inequality in our economy, and too much money in our politics, we all need to be as vocal and as organized and as persistent as Bernie Sanders's supporters have been."

Obama would not forget to tell aggrieved Sanders supporters this: "Don't boo. Vote."

The majesty of democracy seldom fails to fill the teleprompters of many a seasoned politician -- irrespective of party affiliation -- whenever things go their way. When these folks are happy, you can be certain that our nation's true leaders -- those who fill politicians' campaign coffers and establish helpful political action committees -- are pleased as well.

All the jazz about democracy sounded great, but few dared ask how the DNC was able to unfold as it did.

Election Justice USA has some answers, but they are probably not what most people would like to hear. The nonpartisan electoral watchdog group formed earlier this year due to apparent shenanigans in presidential primaries.

"Witnessing state after state experience long lines, voters removed from the rolls, registration tampering, targeted closing of polls and large statistical irregularities in the results, we felt that action must be taken to restore the integrity of our democracy," EJUSA says on its website.

In a report published late last month, the group determined that there is "evidence for various types of fraud and targeted voter suppression impacting the outcomes of the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries."

The 96-page report chronicles "Targeted voter suppression", "Registration tampering", "Illegal voter purges", "Exit polling discrepancies", "Evidence for voting machine tampering", and "The security (or lack thereof) of various voting machine types".

Not very democratic behavior from those Democrats who found Bernie unacceptable. Perhaps this should fall short of surprising, though, since the independent socialist proved a bit too democracy-minded for their Democratic tastes.

"Election Justice USA has established an upper estimate of 184 pledged delegates lost by Senator Bernie Sanders as a consequence of specific irregularities and instances of fraud," the report continues. "Adding these delegates to Senator Sanders' pledged delegate total and subtracting the same number from Hillary Clinton's total would more than erase the 359 pledged delegate gap between the two candidates."

Just how was this conclusion reached?

"EJUSA established the upper estimate through exit polling data, statistical analysis by precinct size, and attention to the details of Democratic proportional awarding of national delegates," the report says.

American democracy is truly unlike any other. Earth's sole comparable government -- the European Union -- could never have pulled Clinton's scheme off thanks to its ranked voting process. Bad as the EU is on responsive governance, economic stability, social cohesion, and security concerns, Brussels has us beat when it comes to actually getting candidates elected.

There are no words capable of describing exactly how appalling this situation is.,

Beyond the rigged Democratic system, we should recognize that each chant in America's global campaign for 'democracy' and 'justice' rings hollow. In fact, they echo with mocking laughter. How can Uncle Sam police the world when his own house is disordered?

Clinton, like George Warmonger Bush before her, is running fast on themes of patriotism and national greatness. The popular illusion is one of Ronald Regan's "shining city on a hill".

In reality, Clinton is running at brisk pace -- on empty slogans and promises. No shining city would consider American 'democracy' anything other than a crude joke. The U.S. of today is essentially Pottersville minus the decadent fun.

On that note: "USA! USA! USA! USA!"

Like those mindless drones at the DNC, let us cheer for our spectacularly-adorned national decline. Why not? Living in a pleasant fantasy sure beats owning up to harsh realities.

Want proof? Just observe your nearest Hillary Clinton fan.

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Copyright 2016 Joseph Cotto, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Joseph Cotto is a historical and social journalist, and writes about politics, economics and social issues. Email him at joseph.f.cotto@gmail.com.

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