Sat Nov 3, 2012, 01:59 PM
Ghost Dog (15,376 posts)
A cure for America's corruptible voting system - Naomi Wolf
...(O)ur mystification of the secret ballot is one of the strange ways in which we treat our nation's voting system with truly weird magical thinking much like the magical thinking (about which I have written here) that often attends global warming: a defiant, seven-year-old's refusal to connect point A and point B. By now, reams of solid reporting have documented the aberrations, high jinks, missing hard drives, voting machines that weirdly revert to one candidate, voting machines owned by friends of the candidate of one party, and other aspects of systematic corruption that attend America's voting.
The dogged and deeply patriotic Mark Crispin Miller has meticulously documented masses more of these examples notably in the last election in Ohio in his masterful Harper's essay last month, "None Dare Call It Stolen."
But this is what is weird about the way we are asked to think about the vote: as if nothing could ever ever ever go wrong with it, and as if it is crazy to entertain the notion that it might. To even raise the issue, with solid documentation, as many reporters and citizens have found out, is to risk immediate mockery as Miller notes, citing 2004 headlines: "Election Paranoia Surfaces: Conspiracy Theorists Call Results Rigged," chuckled the Baltimore Sun on 5 November; "Internet Buzz on Vote Fraud is Dismissed," proclaimed the Boston Globe on 10 November; "Latest Conspiracy Theory Kerry Won Hits the Ether," the Washington Post chortled on 11 November.
Meanwhile, solid reporting on the war on voting, and on the corruption of the voting infrastructure, continues to mount, as in the Rolling Stone piece this summer on the GOP's "war on voting". and the Huffington Post notes the eyebrows raised when a pro-Romney company buys a stake in the company that makes the machines that count our votes.
Well, as a student of closing societies, I can tell you that it is crazy to ask Americans to have pure faith that the system is incorruptible, and to ask them to just drop their votes into a black hole and trust in the Lord or Diebold. If you look at weak democracies, the oligarchies that have taken undue control of them always seek to tamper with the vote. It is important for oligarchs to have elections to give their guy a veneer of legitimacy and important for the vote always to turn out "their way". Indeed, something that is never reported in major news media here is that former President Carter's voting accountability organization sees America's system as relatively flawed and corrupted compared with the systems of many other nations. That is a situation that would typically bring observers from aid organizations like his to our polling places to help us count our vote. (See what happened to foreign poll observers in Miller's Harpers story who tried to watch the vote in America.)...
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A cure for America's corruptible voting system - Naomi Wolf (Original post)
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Response to Ghost Dog (Original post)
Sat Nov 3, 2012, 06:03 PM
libodem (19,288 posts)
5. Yep, trust me
I stop trusting individuals who chuck trust me into every other sentence. And that is how we are supposed to let voting happen? Until now. Now we can't.