Streetwise Professor

February 13, 2021

Democracy! Fortified With Essential Vitamins and Minerals! Eat It! Mom Says It’s Good For You!

Filed under: Politics — cpirrong @ 7:37 pm

Some days back, Time Magazine (who knew it still existed!) published a piece that admitted–in a triumphalist way–that there was indeed a “conspiracy” involving a “cabal” to affect the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. (Time’s words–not mine.). But, Time assures us, this is a good thing! It did not undermine democracy, it “fortified” it.

Whew. I was worried there for a minute.

The story can be easily summarized, although the Time article is tediously long. A group–i.e., a cabal–of corporations, unions, and political activists, including radical activists, coordinated–i.e., conspired–to change radically election laws in dozens of states. These changes redirected authority over state elections from the legislatures (as mandated by the Constitution) to the executive and the courts. Most importantly, these changes fast-tracked the most fundamental change to voting processes in the US ever adopted–a wholesale shift to mail in voting, which is inherently more vulnerable to manipulation and fraud.

In addition, the entities involved undertook a concerted campaign to disseminate “information” (aka propaganda), primarily via social media, to validate their efforts. These efforts involved extensive use of memes and graphics–and I guarantee you they spent far more money on this than did Russian troll operations or Macedonian content farmers in 2016. In addition to using social media (especially Facebook and Twitter) to disseminate their propaganda, the social media companies engaged in a concerted effort to stifle communication (on social media and elsewhere) by conservatives and Trump supporters, further unbalancing the information playing field.

The article also demonstrates that the participants in this effort planned and coordinated in advance massive demonstrations in the event of a Biden loss, and only ordered their street muscle to stand down when Fox News inexplicably called Arizona for Biden.

This last detail is particularly illuminating in light of the hysterical, non-stop fulminating about the events at the Capitol on 6 January. These people had a nationwide insurrection planned in advance. Given the experience of the summer, when many American cities burned, it is almost certain that these “protests” would have resulted in massive destruction of property and loss of life, and widespread assaults on government buildings and personnel. So spare me the breast beating about a largely spontaneous, ineffectual, and mainly farcical outbreak of violent protest at the Capitol. (To the extent that this was not spontaneous, the role of leftist provocateurs cannot be dismissed.) The people screaming the loudest about what went on in DC were completely ready and willing to unleash far worse on the rest of the country.

The effort was so extensive and so well-funded that it was almost certainly decisive in determining the election outcome. That outcome being so close in decisive states, such massive efforts to change voting procedures and reshape the information environment certainly changed the results.

Don’t want to take my word for it? Well, then take the word of the Time article, which unashamedly boasts that these efforts determined the result, and quotes participants boasting that their efforts determined the result.

The Time article, in other words, was so much spiking the football and doing an end zone dance the likes of which the NFL banned years ago.

Let me put it another way. Anyone who argues that the risible Russian efforts of 2016 elected Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton cannot credibly argue that these far more massive and less farcical efforts–which, recall, resulted in wholesale changes in US election procedures–did not elect Joe Biden.

There are alternative ways of characterizing the US political system in light of these revelations. Oligarchic and fascist are the leading competitors in my mind. I lean towards the latter, because classic fascism is essentially corporatist in nature, and involves a fusion of large corporations, labor unions, activists, and government bureaucrats to advance their interests and accumulate power–including the power to crush those who dissent. (That fusion is what “corporatism” really means.)

Such a fusion is exactly what the Time article describes. And if you don’t want to rely on the Time article alone to reach that conclusion–well, open your fucking eyes. The evidence is all around you.

Case in point, the new head of the US Chamber of Commerce said it supported Democrats in 2020 because they better represented the Chamber’s “priorities”:

Oh I know they do, Suzie Q (not Anon!).

The hypocrisy of all this just adds insult to injury. I’m so old that I can remember that campaign finance reform–which most of the cabal piously supports–was supposed to eliminate the malign influence of money in politics. Hahahahahaha. These conspirators (and again, I am just adopting Time’s phraseology) spent hundreds of millions of dollars, much donated by the likes of Zuckerberg, to influence malignly US politics.

Actually, the hypocrisy demonstrates the real agenda behind campaign finance “reform”: these “reforms” hamstring those who would otherwise compete with the Zuckerbergs, labor unions, activists, and corporations who support “fortifying” the state and themselves.

I also remember the wailing and gnashing of teeth and rending of garments over the Citizens United decision, which (per Wikipedia) “held that the free speech clause of the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting independent expenditures for political communications by corporations, including nonprofit corporations, labor unions, and other associations.” It seems that those who wailed, gnashed, and rent the most about Citizens United used the ruling ruthlessly to mount a massive “political communications” effort.

Note to conservatives: be careful what you ask for.

My dismal conclusion: government has grown so powerful, and the stakes in elections are consequently so massive, that the republic’s institutions are effectively powerless against oligarchic, corporatist, and indeed objectively fascist forces, hell bent on controlling those institutions–and on controlling you.

Which leads to my further dismal conclusion: in 2020 these forces deprived you of your political voice; in 2021 and beyond, they will deprive you of your basic freedoms. Or in the attempt, will spark an insurrection for which the events of 6 January will be at most a pathetic simulacrum.

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  1. The Left’s march thru the institutions has succeeded before our very eyes, our very eyes wide open indeed. Gradual creep has succeeded and is now openly accelerating bringing out the worst in many people, you just have to look at many TV newscasts to see this. I think we of the non-left think that others share our values and ethics, yet we are proven wrong time after time. The Left is not forgiving nor is it even-handed, just look at Pelosi and Co. The recovery cannot be a slow creep back, there needs to be a dramatic break. It will likely take another year before the sheeple wake up and then look out. In the USA you will have a choice: civil war; succession or totalitarianism. Your choice Amigos.

    Comment by Alessandro — February 13, 2021 @ 11:40 pm

  2. We won’t be given a choice in the end. Secession is a dead letter. Totalitarianism is being taken out for a spin, and I’m pretty sure the drivers are pleased with their purchase. It will be war, although the incidence, nature and outcome of it are unknown.

    Comment by Christopher L Hunt — February 14, 2021 @ 12:11 pm

  3. All very well but

    (i) Why didn’t President Trump use his powers to put a stop to it?

    (ii) Why couldn’t his lawyers build a case on “These changes redirected authority over state elections from the legislatures (as mandated by the Constitution) to the executive and the courts”?

    A blowhard asleep at the wheel.

    Comment by dearieme — February 14, 2021 @ 1:02 pm

  4. dearieme:
    The problem with the “let the lawyers build a case” approach is that courts refused to admit that the parties had any standing. In effect, as a citizen you can’t show that you have been harmed by an executive that allows non-constitutional amendments to voting procedures. At least, that’s the argument that Judges pretended to believe when those changes gave more power and authority to (wait for it…) Judges! One hand washes the other, right?

    Comment by dcardno — February 14, 2021 @ 1:17 pm

  5. As an observer from another ‘five eyes’ country, to prevent this type of wholesale manipulation of votes the USA must introduce compulsory voting. When only about half of eligible voters cast a vote, any organised group can corral the other half, the eligible but uncommitted voters, and swing elections. Compulsory voting largely removes that possibility.

    Comment by Romano DelBeato — February 15, 2021 @ 7:01 am

  6. The Time article was written because the Commie Left thought Trump would show his evidence in the shampeachment, why would he? It was not a legal proceeding.

    The Left knows they stole the election and they know Trump has the evidence (see Chris Miller’s intro of Pence at the opening of the Space Force)

    Trump will play his cards at his own choosing, sit tight, the man never walks away from a fight.

    Comment by Joe Walker — February 15, 2021 @ 12:21 pm

  7. Professor, I hope you’re not impacted by the TX blackouts. Looking forward to read your take!

    Comment by aaa — February 16, 2021 @ 1:41 am

  8. Things, indeed, look dismal if you assume they go according to the oligarchs’ plan. One sign it isn’t is, well, this Times article. How did it come about? My guess is the boasting of “yeah, we stole that election” is the Times’ sources signalling that the Biden administration owes them. Their policy goals conflict, of course, with the BLM/Antifa brownshirts’ policy goals, and so on with every faction. Putin has managed to broker this kind of situation, partly out of guile, and partly due to the centralized nature of petroleum-extraction supplying lots of bribe money. Biden has neither of these, and if infighting among factions undermines confidence that the populist/Trumpist revolt can be held at bay, the corps of bag men who stuff ballot boxes will desert their paymasters.

    Not to understate the danger: The way I see it, we have a short time-window to get the balloting and counting processes under control before state legislatures (unscathed this time around) are neutered by ballot fraud. The problem, does, however, seem to be widely understood, and Trump, in his usual fashion, has flushed out the key corrupt operators (and their RINO-enablers) with uncanny clarity.

    Comment by M. Rad. — February 17, 2021 @ 1:47 am

  9. ‘If voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us have it.’

    Said someone, somewhere.

    What’s the difference between Burma and the US? What’s the difference between the Burmese military and the US military? How much longer will there be a difference?

    Hard times coming.

    Comment by Ex-Global Super-Regulator on Lunch Break — February 17, 2021 @ 4:02 am

  10. My conclusions would be somewhat different, and not that dismal. What we see is that with all money, influence, and hatred combined, all these powerful forces of high-placed government manipulators, corporate thieves (to the extent they use corporate resources for the political ends they steal from the shareholders), ignorant journalists, equally ignorant professors, and most ignorant of all school teachers – failed to get anything remotely similar to the landslide they hoped for. They barely managed to get just a little enough to offset the massive gains of someone who they disparaged as a lunatic.

    Comment by Boris Lvin — February 17, 2021 @ 5:33 pm

  11. @9, good point, Boris. And they achieved that by enfrauding the vote. Also, here.

    I’d put in more links, but Craig’s spam demon would eat the comment, and I’m not even sure it won’t consume this one.

    Comment by Pat Frank — February 17, 2021 @ 7:25 pm

  12. Success! Here’s another link.

    Comment by Pat Frank — February 17, 2021 @ 7:42 pm

  13. I actually think they gamed it out and want a Civil War. They think they can win

    Comment by Jeffrey Carter — February 17, 2021 @ 10:08 pm

  14. I’m back all, after being without power for most of the last 4 days. As a result, I wasn’t able to attend to the comments, for which I am appreciative as always.

    Comment by cpirrong — February 18, 2021 @ 11:24 am

  15. @14 Welcome back Craig. 🙂

    You now have personal knowledge of the glories of alternative energy and a short taste of the lifelong reality to be lived by the future citizens of a GreenNewDealistan.

    One can only hope that cautionary experience will not be lost on your fellow Texans.

    Comment by Pat Frank — February 18, 2021 @ 12:06 pm

  16. @Ex-Global Super-Regulator on Lunch Break–Like many things, attributed to Mark Twain but probably better attributed to Anon.

    I agree hard times comin’. Re the military, this is my big concern, and has been for some time–the politicization of the military, and wielding against the ruling class’s domestic enemies.

    A troubling indicator. I could provide many other examples.

    Another troubling harbinger. Pelosi’s appointment of rabid partisan LTG Bo Honore (US Army, Ret.) to lead her January 6 witch hunt.

    Obama made a diligent effort to transform the officer corps, especially flag ranks and those destined for flag ranks. (I think a major reason for Vindman’s rage at Trump was that he figured he would make general under Hillary, and he saw those prospects vanish under Trump.) It is going to get far worse under the (titular) Biden Administration.

    Comment by cpirrong — February 19, 2021 @ 12:25 pm

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