By Ramin Mazaheri and cross posted with PressTV
The US obsession with mail-in voting is incomprehensible to the rest of the world, but the true reason behind this nonsense is never openly admitted: Mail-in balloting has been a way to ensure that the elites of both parties can contest the election if they lose, thus giving them a way to deny ultimate responsibility for their loss via presenting a way to question the integrity of the election.
Of course this phony debate should be incomprehensible – there have already been dozens of major elections worldwide in 2020 already. The data available to the US is clear: safe in-person voting is easily assurable despite the minor challenges. There has been no correlation between elections and a post-Covid spike, and some elections have even been able to increase voter turnout despite the pandemic.
Therefore, the hysteria which swept the United States in March is not at all logically supportable in October: the need for mail-in ballots, much like the alleged mortality rate of Covid-19, was wildly overstated back then.
Yet the horse is out of the barn: nearly 40% of the US electorate (going by 2016 totals) has already voted early, and this will have a catastrophic effect on the United States because it seemingly guarantees that they will have a disputed election.
To be concise: nobody should expect a declared victor on the night of November 3rd because of the difficulty in counting all these slow-arriving and even late-arriving mail-in ballots, which are already tainted with dispute anyway. Furthermore, we should expect perhaps 1 million ballots to be thrown out for errors, which will obviously create further disputes – mail-in ballots will be an update of the “hanging chads” from 2000’s disputed election.
This is on top of the reality that the US general election is merely a statistical fun fact, anyway, as they vote for their president indirectly via an electoral college: look at five of the eight key “swing” states and polls show the lead of either Donald Trump or Joe Biden is 3 points or less, which is within the margin for error. Furthermore, US pollsters have also likely not solved the “hidden/shy” Trump voter issue, making polls perhaps as unreliable as 2016’s polls obviously were.
Given the certainty of this already equally-divided electorate, increasing the logistical challenges posed by mail-in voting, which will only increase the number of spoiled ballots, made no sense.
But that’s true only if we analyse it from a perspective which gives primacy to the average American citizen – it made perfect sense if we look at mail-in balloting from the point of view of the very elite of Washington’s most-privileged politicians.
Russophobia was hurriedly concocted after the fact – Mail-in voting nonsense was proactive
What mail-in voting does is give the party elite “plausible deniability” – if Trump loses he will say the election was rigged because of mail-in balloting, and if Democrats lose they will wildly allege that mail-in balloting has drastically reshaped how this election must be counted. This way, no matter who loses the party elite do not have to relinquish power as a result of being genuinely voted out due to their terrible policies, results and platform.
Democrats, for example, will have to make exactly as many changes at the top and concessions to the rising Bernie Sanders faction as they did after 2016’s loss: zero. The Clintonista faction, Nancy Pelosi and their coastal media sycophants all now have a way to achieve the only thing they want – to cling to their privileges.
The accuracy of this analysis is proven by the Russophobia campaign they concocted to deflect blame for Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016. If they would waste three years of America’s time on a phony “Russian meddling” campaign – which concluded with a “Mueller Report” that indicted zero Americans on charges of collusion or election conspiracy – how less preposterous and how less energy-consuming is making constant exhortations to vote by mail?
How much easier is it to instruct lower-rank party officials to keep sending Americans unsolicited government letters encouraging them to vote by mail, or which even chide citizens for not having voted by mail yet? I do not lie when I write that at the very point of submitting this article for publication I got an email from a food home delivery service – a totally apolitical entity, seemingly – asking me, “Want to vote early?” and offering to help me do so. That is how widespread and deep this unnecessary, destructive mail-in balloting campaign has gone in today’s US culture.
Republicans insist that voting by mail is more susceptible to fraud, and while this is true on the surface, the reality is that proven voter fraud is exceptionally small in the US. Republicans oppose mail-in balloting probably, I would guess, because they would secretly like to keep as many of the aristocratic vote restrictions America is founded upon as possible. However, they are far more cognisant of the problems posed by mail-in balloting than Democrats.
The reality is that Donald Trump is by far the loudest Republican objecting to mail-in ballots precisely because he, too, needs a reason to contest the election and deflect blame for a possible loss.
Trump, even though his “outsider populism” – which proved to be fascist (pro-corporate) in nature rather than a genuine and patriotic populism – has been swallowed up by the Republican Party “Washington Swamp” extremely effectively, has actually on this issue reverted back to the early-2016 assertion that his interests are actually quite in opposition to those of one-half of the duopoly which is quite clearly prescribed by the US Constitution – the Republican Party. This open opposition is a huge reason he won the 2016 election – that he is a political outsider who will drain the Swamp – and if Trump does lose a large reason will be that he too-tardily remembered this cause for his original victory: seemingly not until the 2nd and final presidential debate two days ago.
Studies prove that mail-in balloting does not lean Democrat or Republican (at least prior to 2020), so Trump has joined with the covert cause of the Democratic elite to fabricate mail-in balloting into an issue where there was none. Again, it is not a true issue after so many other countries have held successful elections in 2020.
The mail-in balloting controversy makes sense for all the wrong reasons: because the US system prefers to focus attention to issues which are of no consequences to their lower classes, who are also hurt by rabid American capitalism-imperialism; because Americans have a short attention span, and also one guided by sensationalism since the 1960s; but mainly because the very elite factions in power in Washington do not want to give up power if they lose as a justified consequence for their terrible records as public servants.
Even though 2020 has forced us to accept as “normal” so many things which are not normal, we must remind ourselves that a disputed election is not some minor occurrence. And yet there is an acceptance of this inevitability here, mainly because – appallingly – there is very little public discussion permitted of just how bad a disputed election is for any society. (Again, this is precisely because the US elite – uncertain of the outcome – actually wants a disputed election.)
A disputed election necessarily has enormous financial and economic ramifications due to the instability it provokes; it has equally important political ramifications – we cannot understate how many Americans were permanently alienated from the system via the handling of the 2000 disputed election, and how at the same time it also deeply polarised those who remained politically engaged; and it also has huge, long-term cultural and social impacts due to the way it provokes so much rawness on such a personally-sensitive topic.
A disputed election is akin to a bloodless, short-term civil war.
A civil war is easily defined as when brothers fight brothers – a disputed election will make late November’s Thanksgiving national holiday a decidedly unpeaceful affair in many households… and for reasons of no profit to anyone but the US elite, sadly.
Lastly, when we grasp why the US elite desired and orchestrated a disputed election we understand how they have to try and cover their tracks, somewhat. This reality explains the ridiculous, pathetic, preposterous assertion stunningly made on the very eve of the 2nd presidential debate: that Iranian operatives are secretly posing as far-right “Proud Boys” to intimidate Democrats in four states into changing their party affiliation, a scam as obvious as it was insignificant as it was ineffective (thankfully). It’s really a shame Iranian diplomats and journalists have to spend a half-second discussing such absurdities – adults have better things to do – but the reality is that Washington’s elite wants to blame other countries for shaking domestic confidence regarding the integrity of the vote when this confidence has been shaken entirely because of domestic flaws and issues. Of course, concocting the mail-in ballot faux-dispute is merely one of the many integrity-questioning events. Iran is very, very powerful no? They were discussed just 20 minutes into a history-deciding debate even though the US is in the middle of an unprecedented social and economic catastrophe, but this what the moderator/journalist Kristen Welker (widely touted as the “winner” of the final debate) foolishly and irresponsibly chose to focus upon, or was ordered to focus upon. What a shame that such propaganda genuinely does lay sinister groundwork for deadly war (like with Iran), or cold war (like with Russia since 2016), and is not a laughing matter. Welker and all the other US journalists who discussed this laughable and (as usual) unproven propaganda at length should consider how deadly their behavior truly is.
Mail-in balloting has unnecessarily guaranteed election chaos in a year which continues to be economically and socially devastating to the United States, which just started an 8th month of uneven, ineffective and economically unsupportable Great Lockdowns. It’s an utter debacle which the US political and media elite pushed into place – we should understand fully these real reasons why, none of which are hinted at in their mainstream or government media.
Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.