03.20.2012 0

The thin veneer of democracy

By Rick Manning — America’s democratic republic depends upon the basic belief by the governed that those who represent them were elected through fair and honest elections.

While the losing side in an election contest can be disappointed, if they know that they lost “fair and square” then that disappointment is tempered by thoughts of what they could have done better, or how they might work harder in the next go-around.

However, if the voter and opposition party believe that the outcome is as straight as San Francisco’s Lombard Street, the very heart of democracy is ripped out.

Voter fraud is as old as the very act of voting has existed, and history is replete with examples of dubious election outcomes ranging from Kennedy’s victory over Nixon in 1960 to the Bloody 8th Congressional District in Indiana in 1984, where Republican Rick McIntyre won a recount by 484 votes only to have the results overturned by the Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, to the Washington state governors race in 2004, when Christine Gregoire’s team forced multiple recounts until they finally got into the lead and could secure the victory.

And who could forget local Florida officials desperately trying to interpret voter intentions and hanging chads in the 2000 Bush v. Gore election.

Through all of these isolated instances, however, the basic principle that voting counted and the outcomes were not pre-determined has held by a thread.

In other countries this is not the case.  In 1984, while travelling in Mexico, my tour guide asked what I did for a living.  I replied in my best Spanish, that I ran political campaigns for a living.  The tour guide, steeped in Mexican politics, replied, “Why bother, it is all fixed.  They should just give the money to the farmers.”

That comment keeps ringing in my head as we head into the 2012 election season.  For the first time, we have a U.S. Justice Department that is actively opposing basic voter identification measures that would ensure that only eligible voters participate in the process.

This is the same Justice Department that chose not to prosecute, over career staff objections, two Black Panther Party members who were swinging a sword at a polling place to intimidate white voters from participating.

At the same time, far left billionaire funder, George Soros has been busily funding the campaign war chests of the state elected officials who oversee the election process.  The Soros Secretary of State project has been successful in electing the officials who oversee the balloting in the electorally key states of Ohio, Iowa, Nevada and New Mexico among others, all with an eye toward controlling the vote counting process.

One of the continuing jokes in politics is to vote early and often, and stories of graveyard voting in Chicago, Philadelphia and New York City are part of the political lore of those cities.

No matter how quaint those tales remain, the modern day equivalent threatens the very fabric of our nation.

If America loses faith that the political system is anything more than a dog and pony show, a Soviet-style election, the government loses its moral authority to lead, people choose to not pay taxes, others choose to not serve in the military, and ultimately, the nation falls.

With so many decisive and divisive issues at stake, let’s hope that doubt about whether the outcome of the upcoming election is legitimate does not act as the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back.

Otherwise, in 2014, many people may be joining my Mexican tour guide by saying, “It doesn’t matter, just give the money to the farmers.”

Rick Manning is the Communications Director of Americans for Limited Government.

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