By Colleen O’Connor
Give credit to Dr. Jill Stein and the Green Party for a brilliant political chess move.
Challenging the presidential popular vote counts, in three states, directly challenges the legitimacy of the new king.
It started with a thought and has become an “aha” movement. Perhaps even raising the pro-environment Greens to their greatest strength and relevance since the 1960s.
First because it raises a heretofore smothered reality. Elections are riddled with fraud and have been long before the invention of the Internet, the wizardry of rogue hackers, and the stealth malware of enemy nations.
A few reminders of old school cheating:
- The Bush vs. Gore “chad” debacle in the 2000 Presidential election
- The Nixon vs. Kennedy election—where voter fraud in Illinois (Kennedy) and Texas (Nixon) cancelled each other out and Nixon yielded
- Numerous examples of “graveyard” voting, voter suppression, reduced polling places, etc.
Now consider the era of voting machines, mail-in ballots, malware, spyware, entire “hacking” conventions, blackmailing artists, denial of service attacks — and all those nations with reason, talent and resources to not just wish democracy harm, but actually undermine it.
The most recent news describes “destructive hacks striking Saudi Arabia” — specifically, government agencies and airports.
The Saudis blame Iran. The United States often blames attacks on Russia. Iran blames Israel and the U.S. for “destroying roughly a fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges by causing them to spin out of control” with the Stuxnet virus.
Cyberwar is the new-school reality. Voter fraud, by comparison, is child’s play.
That is just the obvious reason for these lawsuits. They can’t lose. The premise is a given. We are a divided and scared nation in the midst of turmoil and mistrust.
But, the vote recount demand is truly brilliant because of the unassailable subplot. Trump took the bait.
Not only did Trump predictably tweet up a late night storm about the lawsuits, but also asserted that “millions of votes” were cast “illegally” — underscoring the vote recounts premise.
Even more ironic, Trump has inadvertently helped the Green Party raise almost $10 million in about a fortnight — the most money ever raised by any third party in U.S. history — to pay for the hand recounts.
It gets better. While Trump won the Electoral College — which few Americans knew existed until now — Clinton beat Trump in the popular vote by over 2 million.
If this is a democracy, how could the candidate with the least votes win the Presidency?
Elections are no longer sacred. They can be — and are — open to fraud.
A challenge to the Electoral College has already begun.
The real stealth sucker punch is yet to come. Watch for it.
With each state proceeding with the recounts (Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan) discrepancies are certain to occur — and press coverage — and Presidential tweets galore.
So, too, are more discoveries about the “fake news” sites, including who funded them and why.
This frenzied mix of conspiracy theories and possible cheating only fuels more distrust in the press, the government, the elites, the justice system, and democracy itself.
Thus, the suits not only question the correctness of the vote counts, but in so doing, simultaneously raise the issue of the legitimacy of the President it selected.
Who was really behind the 2016 election and how did they pull it off?
Trump, himself, probably sensed the hidden agenda behind the recounts — the undermining of his presidential authority — which, in turn, caused his ill-advised Tweet-storm about “millions voting illegally.”
Possible checkmate. Brilliant.
Colleen O’Connor is a native San Diegan and a retired college professor.