August 2020 and the Democratic state of election interference

August 2020 and the Democratic state of election interference

Democrats and the media are going full-throttle to make Americans think our election is under attack.

They’re not in charge, so they can’t say this is because they intend to win hero-points for fixing the problem they keep repeating packaged slogan-bites about.

Moreover, the only solution they seem to offer – and they offer it to address only one element of the imputed problem – is one that would immeasurably increase the election’s vulnerability to tampering and fraud; i.e., mass mailing of ballots.  If you specifically don’t want your vote to be registered honestly and cleanly, or to be counted once, lawfully, in the way you intend, mass-mailing ballot applications or ballots to everyone who ever lived at a street address including pets (and deceased pets) is the best way to achieve such a melancholy outcome.

Consider that just in the last couple of days, we’ve seen yet more talking-point barrages on the following topics.

Trending: Democrats likely to pack Supreme Court if they take power

Russian interference

In the ordinary course of things, I would have no doubt the Russians were trying to sow informational chaos into our election.  As the commercial says, “It’s what you do” – i.e., if you’re the Russian government.  We’re right at 100 years of it, and it’s still going strong.

But Russian interference isn’t nearly as interfering a phenomenon as the Democrats’ constant drumbeat about Russian interference.  Short of massively tampering with the vote itself, the Russians can’t actually have much of an effect on our elections.  At most, they can masquerade as one of many raucous voices in the cacophony of American free speech.*

Since the only thing Russian interference squads can really do is seek to amplify existing themes in American politics, that makes them like all other voices.  There’s not a single political theme that gets flogged in American politics solely because Russia is behind it.

That’s certainly the case for the 2020 poster child for “Russian interference”: the Democrat/media allegation that Russia has instigated suspicion about the Biden family’s role in questionable dealings with Ukraine.  When you hear “Russian interference,” you may think vaguely of silly memes on Facebook and allegations that Russians have hacked into U.S. voter websites.  But in 2020, what the Democrats mean is their new narrative that Russia planted bad stories about the Bidens and Ukraine.

If you don’t recall ever hearing about any evidence of this prior to the 7 August “intelligence report” that alluded to it, congratulations: your cognitive faculties are in excellent working order.  You didn’t hear anything, because there’s nothing behind this sudden Russian-interference bumper sticker.  It was obviously just made up and placed for impact in an “intelligence report,” with no background, justifying collateral references, or statement of confidence.

The purpose of it is transparently to blunt the political impact of anything that may come out about the Bidens’ dealings in Ukraine between now and the election.

Indeed, that appears to have been the real purpose of the entire “report.”  The whole thing was assembled as a frame of fluff for the suggestion that suddenly, after Biden’s and the Democrats’ connections to Ukraine have been under a microscope for more than three years, the intelligence community has – without evidence or explanation – concluded that Russia is telling whoppers about the Bidens and inserting them into law enforcement proceedings in Kyiv.

This supposed gambit of Russia’s is every bit as throbbingly absurd as the alleged Russian interference of hacking the DNC server and publishing Democratic emails in 2016.  As a method of influencing the election, it’s farcical.  (Just for starters, we’d have to swallow the premise that Russia arranged events in Ukraine years ago to inject anti-Biden probes and allegations there, long before Biden was the front-running Democrat in the presidential sweepstakes.  How the Russians got Biden to brag on video that he extorted Ukraine using U.S. aid, I can’t even imagine.)

Seriously?

The connection of this theme to “undermining the integrity of our elections” (or “undermining our confidence in democratic processes,” or whatever) is beyond tenuous.  It’s vaporous.  But the Democrats and media keep trotting it out.

They’re saying over and over again that someone – in this case, the Russians – is trying to interfere in our election.  But the voices having all of the “undermining” impact are the Democrats and the media.  They are the ones creating the sense of worry that we’re being interfered with.  It’s not the Russians at all.  Whatever themes the Russians want to foster, they have to get in line behind the Democrats.

The great postal interference caper

This is such a “Wag the Dog” endeavor, it’s hard to know where to start with the comparisons.  They’re too numerous.  The bottom line is that there’s nothing there.  It’s entirely made up: there is no plot in the U.S. Postal Service or by the Trump administration to compromise mail service for the 2020 election so that voting by mail will fail.

Wag the Dog trailer, YouTube

Mass-voting by mail is guaranteed to be as rife with problems as it already has been in the states that have tried it in the 2020 primaries.  The issue is not that voting by mail never works.  The issue is that, while it works when voters must deliberately choose beforehand to vote by mail – and thus are acting according to their own expectations – it is much more likely to be a vulnerable process, with its security neglected or not well understood, if ballots are mass mailed to people who never asked for them.

It will inevitably be even worse in the general election, which will see far more ballots mass-mailed.

(Leading Democrats have made this same point in years past; it’s hardly a sudden political theme pushed by Republicans.)

But no one in the Trump administration or the USPS has done anything to reduce postal service or its effectiveness in preparation for the election.  The postal service is not the “critical node,” or bottleneck, in the process to begin with.  The critical node is the ballot-processing facilities in the 50 states.  Curiously, the Democrats and media aren’t trying to raise alarms about ballot-counting in counties or precincts, the front lines where the confusing results of fraud would inevitably show up, and on a far bigger scale than ever before in history.

The USPS is fully funded through 2021 (see Townhall link above).  President Trump has said he won’t agree to throw more money, as requested by Democrats on Capitol Hill, at a mandatory, nationwide mass-mail voting plan that increases the likelihood of interference and tampering.

Image: YouTube screen grab

If you want to roll out a red carpet for Russian saboteurs, mass-mailing ballots is a much better way to do it than any other.  If you aren’t blinded by political prejudice, you can see that American saboteurs could take advantage of it too.  But stick with Russians if that’s the only way you can recognize the hazards of mass-mailed ballots.

Trump’s refusal to facilitate vote fraud by overfunding it is the opposite of interfering with the election.  But it’s being depicted as a form of interference in itself.

(As an aside, you know you can already request to vote by mail in your state, right?  Every state’s voter information website has a page that explains what you need to do.)

Again, the perception of fear, chaos, and interference here is being created by Democrats and the media.  They are the ones making it sound as if the election is in terrible danger.  If you think it is in danger due to “Russian interference” or the Postal Service, it’s because of what you’re hearing from them.  It’s not from anything Trump is doing; he has merely said he wants to ensure as much as possible against election fraud.

The “Trump will cast doubt on the election!” theme

So it is disingenuous in the extreme for the Democrats and media to also be wearing out the theme that Trump is going to throw the whole nation into chaos by calling the election into question.

Given the terrors touted by the Democrats and media themselves, Trump would certainly have cause to doubt the election already – if those terrors are justified.  So would everyone else.  Far from being a uniquely nefarious action on President Trump’s part, it would simply make sense if, after months of warning cries, he took election-day reports of vote tampering seriously.

Image: YouTube screen grab

But what we’re to understand from the themes of the Democrats and media is that Trump is the one person whose motive for questioning the election must be a bad one.  Facebook, we are assured, is already at work on a method for suppressing any commentary Trump may have in that regard.

There doesn’t seem to be any parallel effort to keep Biden from casting doubt on the electoral outcome.  It isn’t clear if the supporters of either candidate will have their content suppressed, should they voice concern about the legitimacy of the outcome.

But notice, again, that Democratic leaders and the media are already voicing concern about the outcome of the election.  They’re already doing what they accuse Trump of preparing to do.  (Including the Biden campaign, which has a team of 600 lawyers preparing to challenge the vote in every state.)

Unlike people who are reporting on vote-by-mail problems that have actually emerged, Democrats and the mainstream media are speculating about what “could” happen, while dismissing the reality of what has actually emerged.  They’re doing everything they can to undermine confidence in the integrity of our elections, while also arranging to blame Trump for an “integrity” problem in either case: whether he takes them up on their bait or not.

 

* Note that affecting elections is not the same thing as buying off political officials.  Russia and other foreign states and interests are trying to do that all the time, and sometimes succeeding.  Often, the principal reason for money changing hands is to pay for election expenses.  That’s a real and age-old problem of government, but it’s not as much an “interference in elections problem” as it is an “interference in government problem.”  The foreign donors’ money isn’t typically a game-changer in getting candidates nominated or making them attractive to Americans (although it may keep them viable through rough patches).  Its significance is that it makes the candidates beholden to the foreign interests, if they do get elected.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.