If there is anyone who is busy deconstructing his own nation in front of a bewildered world it has to be Donald Trump. This rule has to be the fastest ever to descend a perfectly fine country into complete devastation. Just two events that happened in the last week are simply mind-boggling. Trump’s Voter Fraud Claim and Feud with Mexico. Let us talk about these two from the perspective of a person who has grown up in a democracy and has had the opportunity to see US from the “outside”.
Voter Fraud Claim: An express consent of the governed is central and fundamental to the success of any democracy. Everyone should be able to vote and take part in the elections and every vote that is counted should be a genuine one. Article 21, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 says:
If Voter Fraud is proven to be false, the American President loses his credibility. If the Voter Fraud is proven to be true, then American democracy loses all credibility. There is no come back that helps this nation from this point!“Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. . . . The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”
In a Republic, the rule of law – as it is operative via the rights and duties of the citizens – is the basis of governance and not the whims of the rulers. No matter how big and accomplished you are as the President or anyone else, you are governed by the same set of rules and laws as an ordinary citizen.
Earlier this week, in a meeting with the Republic and Democratic congress people, Trump again spoke of how he had not lost the popular vote by ~3 million, but rather won it since between 3-5 million votes were illegal.
When this came out – Trump’s claims were correctly called Lies! Numerous studies – major one being from the Pew Center on the States which has been cited differently said that although there were invalid registrations and dead people on the rolls, but those registrations were never used to cast votes. In fact, the author of the study David Becker tweeted to clarify it as well.
But that did not stop Trump, rather he went ahead and doubled down on the whole controversy even stronger via his tweets.
This now truly and surely is snowballing.
And all this started from two tweets by an unheard of person from an organization VoteStand – Gregg Phillips.
This morning, CNN’s Chris Cuomo had a one-to-one with Gregg Phillips. This is how it unveiled. Look at the circular logic and ways of Phillips – who claims he knows the number of illegal votes, but cannot release the findings for he is still validating them. On top of that he also seems to suggest that the work he and his friends are doing can be done faster by the Government.
This is the exchange.
Trump, apparently listens to CNN and not his intelligence briefings, so he tweeted about the whole interview right away.
Here is the thing – If it is proved that Voter Fraud is indeed a hoax and a lie, then Trump will lose his face and credibility. For a US President to be a man of little credibility is a dangerous thing for people start to “work around” your whims and shoot your own follies back at you when you go around “promising things”.
If however it is proved that the voter fraud of that magnitude actually happened, then that completely demolishes any claim of US as a democracy and completely delegitimizes Trump’s own Presidency. How come 3-5 million voted illegally – who knows which side – and resulted in a Trump win and he is still a legitimate President?
More importantly, this will be the end of democracy as a valid form of governance in the West.
US was the origin of modern democracy. To come out of this self-dug hole will take forever. Establishing credibility by a nation of its democratic credentials is not an overnight job. It takes decades of consistency and error-free electoral process. And, here we are – where the President of the US is bent upon establishing that 3-5 million votes – which is roughly 4% of the votes cast – were fraudulent. And if these votes were cast fraudulently this election, then logically this would have been going on for many decades. For, as someone who comes from another democracy would know – such a HUGE amount of fraudulent vote count cannot be built in a day or even in one cycle. It takes decades to get to this level.
Voter Suppression campaign from Voter Fraud hoax
Everyone who knows the fetish of Republicans to work against the Black and minority voters throughout the country. They have worked very hard to stop black voters from voting in the elections. And the new Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been a champion of suppressing the black voters.
“Senator Sessions’ past record demonstrates that he is capable of carrying out the kind of faux fraud prosecution contemplated by the president,” Clarke said, pointing to Sessions’s troubling record on voting rights, including his failed 1985 prosecution, as U.S. attorney in Alabama, of black voting rights activists over baseless accusations of voter fraud.
There are ways to stop specific people from voting, one of them being the elimination or restrictions on Early Voting and also having complexities in Voter IDs.
In Wisconsin, for instance, which Trump won by 22,000 votes, voter turnout hit a 20-year low as many poor and black residents stayed home. But while that’s undoubtedly the result of a complex set of reasons — not the least, deepening disillusion and a lack of enthusiasm for the available options on the ballot — Wisconsin was also one of 14 states that this year implemented new voting restrictions for the first time, including photo ID requirements and restrictions on early voting. Those voter suppression schemes are likely to multiply as states seeking to restrict access to the ballots are emboldened by the President’s statements.
Voter Suppression tactics have been used for decades by Republicans to gain advantage. RollingStone’s article discusses it as GOP’s Stealth war against the voters.
Already, voter suppression is a serious thing and a blot on American democracy. To further work to create suppressing more votes of blacks and minorities will make any future elections meaningless and inherently flawed. How is it any different from say, Pakistan, where minorities find it hard and tough to vote? Honestly. And we are taking of huge numbers in every state and election. Here is an example of just Wisconsin:
In 2014, Wisconsin passed a strict photo ID law requiring voters to show specific, restrictive forms of identification at the polls.4 It is significant that only 27,000 votes currently separate President-elect Donald Trump and Secretary Hillary Clinton when 300,000 registered voters in the state lacked the strict forms of voter ID required.5Wisconsin’s voter turnout was at its lowest level in two decades.6 Voter turnout in Milwaukee, where 70 percent of the state’s African American population lives, decreased by 13 percent;7 this meant 41,000 fewer votes. Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Neil Albrecht reports that the voter ID restrictions depressed turnout, saying “We saw some of the greatest declines in districts we projected would have most trouble with voter ID requirements.”
When a major part of your population is disenfranchised, elections are not fair at all. Democracy stands compromised. That has been happening for decades though – although it has not been brought up much. This will be taken to a whole new level in the coming years!
When Minorities Push Back
When minorities are pulled down and made voiceless, and their rulers start creating laws and rules that suppress their futures – there comes a time when the push back happens. And that moment of push back takes the society to a level of divisive state where one trigger can take it to complete chaos. Right now, Black Life Matters has been a pan-African American movement which caters to this feeling of discrimination.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an international activist movement, originating in the African-American community, that campaigns against violence and systemic racism toward black people. BLM regularly holds protests against police killings of black people and broader issues of racial profiling, police brutality, and perceived racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system.
There is a strong understanding of what is happening and why. And that why – the reason for discrimination is not being eliminated but being accentuated and grown further. If some foreign power intervenes and does what Russia did in the elections via fake news and propaganda to the movement of black Americans, it is not a stretch to imagine that things can get out of hand very quickly. In India, we have seen this scenario being played out so many times. A society like India has over centuries handled and absorbed the impacts of riots and such chaos. But for a society like US, which is so structured and strictly law based, it will take decades to come out of this situation.
Suppression of minorities is never a good thing. It is ironic that one has to reiterate this verity to the US itself. The champion of such “truths” to the world. How all that talk seems to banal now, doesn’t it?
We will talk about the feud with Mexico in our next post.
Featured Image: Flickr