Amid all the media prattle about the white working class, the rejection of the status quo, and the great divide in the US, there remains one simple, but exceedingly dangerous, truth which none dare speak: the US election was stolen.
Now, before temporal arteries start bulging with rage, allow me to make clear that this assertion is in no way an attempt to promote the criminal warmonger Hillary Clinton or make a case for her taking a seat in the Oval Office. Indeed, were one to need evidence of my loathing for Clinton, see any of the more than dozen articles I wrote this election season slamming her for a laundry list of crimes ranging from corruption to wholesale mass murder (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and many others).
Instead, bringing into the open the fact that the election was stolen is an attempt to highlight the illegitimacy of the incoming Trump Administration which, like the Bush Administration before it, will have taken power based on a massive fraud perpetrated against the American people, and will pursue an extreme right wing agenda with no legal right to govern.
This is directly relevant to immigrants and other minority groups that will be targeted by Trump who, in recent days, vowed to deport 2-3 million immigrants, many of whom are legal residents. It is directly relevant to the poor who, despite being hoodwinked into following the Mussolini of Midtown, will pay the price for his economic policies which amount to extreme trickle-down economics that make Reagan look like Mother Teresa (Trump’s tax plan would give nearly $3 trillion in tax cuts to the top one percent). It is directly relevant to the entire planet as Trump moves to reinvigorate the coal and fracking industries, two of the dirtiest technologies which will poison the water, pollute the air, and accelerate climate change.
And, on an intangible level, the stealing of the election is relevant because the claim to democracy is, in essence, America’s claim to global leadership, to the righteousness of its own hegemony. To call the democratic façade into question is to undermine the very notion of “American Exceptionalism” which both Wall Street parties so ignominiously proselytize as gospel.
The Data Screams Fraud, But No One is Listening
It is interesting to note how many people dismiss the notion of election fraud out of hand, without ever having even scrutinized the data. This sort of blind spurning of the claim of fraud is akin to the scornful rejection of anything labeled as “conspiracy theory.” Indeed, this is precisely the argumentation many have used to reject the thesis of a stolen election. But sound analysis and investigation requires an examination of data and facts, not the feelings and emotions so raw in these post-election days. And a look at the data reveals a much different story than the one the corporate media is telling.
Jonathan Simon, author of CODE RED: Computerized Election Theft and the New American Century and co-founder and executive director of Election Defense Alliance, compiles the exit poll data and final vote data for US elections. According to the exit poll data compiled from 28 states where data was available, nearly every single race where there was a discrepancy between exit poll and final vote data went to Trump.
Especially noteworthy are the following states: Ohio (8.5 percent discrepancy), North Carolina (5.9 percent discrepancy), Pennsylvania (5.6 percent discrepancy), Wisconsin (4.9 percent discrepancy), Florida (2.6 percent discrepancy). In these states, each of which was considered essential for Trump to win the election, the discrepancies between exit poll data and final counts were enough to flip the state to Trump. In other words, had the final results roughly approximated the exit poll data, Clinton would have won each of these states (Ohio was essentially tied). Put simply, the variance in the final counts gave the election to Trump.
With that in mind, consider the fact that exit polls are by far the most reliable barometer of election outcomes because, unlike predictive polling, they measure what has already happened – a vote cast a minute earlier – rather than voter opinions about what they will do in the future. And while there has long been a corporate media campaign to discredit exit polling as inaccurate and invalid as a measure of election results, this baseless assertion is at odds with many experts whose PhDs and experience with polling and election integrity issues certainly carry more weight than the ravings of mainstream liberal media hacks.
And of course, if exit poll data were so wildly inaccurate, perhaps then the US Government should answer for why it uses precisely such data to verify and validate elections in the developing world. As attorney and professor of political science, Bob Fitrakis, astutely noted in an interview with CounterPunch Radio, “If this election occurred outside the United States, our government would not recognize it as legitimate.” Indeed, considering the enormous discrepancies between the exit polls and final vote counts, had this election been in Latin America or the Middle East, the State Department would not accept the results, thereby resulting in a political crisis. And yet, not a peep here in the U.S. Why?
When one researches the issue of exit polling and its reliability as a measure of final vote counts, one often encounters interviews with Joe Lenski, executive vice president of Edison Research, the company contracted by major media outlets to conduct exit polling on US elections. Leaving aside the obviously biased nature of the source – a real journalist would not simply rely on the word of energy company executives in a story about the negative environmental impact of fracking – one must carefully scrutinize exactly what Lenski says.
For example, in an interview after the New York primaries (they too showed a statistically improbable discrepancy in exit polls versus final vote counts in favor of Hillary Clinton against Bernie Sanders), Lenski stated, “In emerging democracies … the exit polls are designed specifically to catch any manipulations of the vote count, and also to bring some transparency so voters can trust the vote count.” Interesting indeed.
And yet, when discussing U.S. elections, Lenski conveniently explains “[our polls are] just not designed for that type of precision. They’re surveys, and like any other survey, they have a margin of error. The precision that a lot of these people are talking about just doesn’t exist with our polls.”
Perhaps Mr. Lenski should elaborate on why Edison exit polls “catch manipulations” in foreign countries, but simply cannot do so in the US? It’s unlikely Lenski would be able to answer the question truthfully because in doing so he’d reveal that this assertion is based on political considerations and complexities rather than methodological ones. Perhaps Lenski could also explain why he invokes the “margin of error” argument when he knows perfectly well that the results in Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Florida are well beyond the margin of error. Is this deliberate obfuscation? It certainly seems that way.
And then, of course, there’s the burning question of why exit poll data is “adjusted” ex post facto. In other words, Edison massages its exit poll data once the official vote counts have been released to align the exit poll numbers with the electronic vote totals. Naturally, this should rightly not be called an exit poll as it is simply not a poll, but rather a final number calculated in a totally opaque, and blatantly dishonest way.
And isn’t it interesting that Edison’s Leski, and the corporate media McCarthyites who vigorously denounce any questioning of US election results as “conspiracy theory,” seem to not pay attention to any of the experts who assert that exit polls are, in fact, the most reliable method of detecting electoral fraud short of complete audits which are impossible in the US given the private and proprietary nature of the voting machines.
Maybe these sniveling media ghouls should take a look at Eric Bjornlund and Glenn Cowan’s critical report Vote Count Verification: A User’s Guide for Funders, Implementers, and Stakeholders prepared for Democracy International. In the report, Bjornlund and Cowan correctly state that, “Exit polls have long been employed in developed countries to quickly predict the outcome of elections. If conducted in countries with a history of democratic elections and in which citizens have reasonable confidence in their own safety and security, then well-designed exit polls can serve as an effective method for projecting election results.”
And despite Lenski’s protestations that exit poll data become “more complete” as time goes on, the reality is that the opposite is true: exit polls are most reliable when unaltered and in the short time during and immediately after polls close. As Alan Gilbert, professor of International Studies correctly noted:
In all cases, the exit polls are complete and set a range of fair results, once the pollers have spoken with randomly selected voters and the polls close. In their place, Edison wrongly substitutes machine “results,” often without a paper trail, and…often with sloppy arithmetic. What Edison and the media consortium do is not exit polling as a test; instead, what is [sic] misnames “polling” is a manipulation by officials to sanctify machine “results.”
Are Bjornlund, Cowan, Fitrakis, and many other experts unafraid to tell the truth rightly point out, exit polls are indeed the most accurate method of determining election integrity. And, without any means of effectively auditing the results of U.S. elections, exit polls remain the ONLY method.
What Does This Mean and What Do We Do?
First and foremost, it should be made clear that the electoral fraud that has taken place MUST NOT be used as a vehicle for attempting to remove Trump from the presidency or for installing Hillary Clinton. She too benefited from massive electoral fraud in the primaries and is as implicated as anyone else in this criminal endeavor. And despite the weeping and wailing from liberal Democratic Party loyalists – I throw up a little just typing that phrase – Clinton is just as illegitimate as Trump.
Instead, the people of the United States need to use this information to achieve five important goals that would go a long way to (sorry Donald) actually making America great. These include:
Opposing the illegitimate Trump Administration and undermining its attempts to impose its extreme right wing agenda. Proving that the presidency was, yet again, stolen for the Republican would provide an important foundation for organizing and mobilizing against the regime. Moreover, in a perfect world, it would provide a legal framework for nullifying presidential actions on things like immigration, energy policy, etc.
Providing a basis for a full investigation and auditing of the entire infrastructure of U.S. elections, from the voting machines to the rampant voter suppression and much more. Such an investigation should also target the individuals in charge of the companies manufacturing and “servicing” the voting machines in the U.S. Just the mere possibility of being arrested and thrown in prison for tampering with elections might have a chilling effect on the small clique that manipulates the results. Moreover, it would expose the level of corruption at the heart of our voting system.
Nationalization of the voting infrastructure. Proving the election was once again stolen would bolster the argument that it is a threat to democracy to allow private, for-profit companies to be in charge of our voting system. Instead, the system should be in the hands of public officials, with full transparency, including the ability to audit all election results. While not without problems, such a reform would go a long way to eliminating, or at least reducing, the potential for tampering.
Building progressive political and social movements. Had the Democratic primaries not been rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders would have been the nominee, and in all likelihood, President of the United States. As such, the movement for which he was the figurehead would have grown into a massive progressive political bloc that would fundamentally and irrevocably alter U.S. politics for the better. By removing the obstacle of rigged elections, the true will of the people might finally be heard.
Bring the United States in line with the rest of the developed world (and much of the developing world) as it relates to elections. As the Electoral Integrity Project’s 2015 Year in Elections report noted, U.S. elections are less transparent, and less democratic, than those in South Africa, Rwanda, Tunisia, Brazil and Argentina. The U.S. system is considered worse than that in the UK, and much worse than Denmark, Sweden, and other European countries. In short, the U.S. has the worst electoral system in the developed world. Perhaps this might also convince millions of Americans that the notion of “spreading democracy around the world” is as hollow and meaningless as when the President-elect says “We’re going to make America great, believe me!”
Trump is a fraud, as was Clinton. The point is not to replace one fraud with another, but rather to transform a system that makes fraud into an essential component rather than a rare anomaly. In doing so, we might begin to transform the political system as much as is possible through elections.
I’m the last person in the world to argue that elections are the optimal vehicle for bringing political and social change, only people-centered movements and revolutionary politics can truly do that.
Still, having fair elections certainly wouldn’t hurt.
Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City. He is the editor of StopImperialism.org and host of CounterPunch Radio. You can reach him at [email protected]