Will voter fraud be the magic bullet that kills democracy? Republicans keep firing away.
In 2012 it was pretty clear that President Obama would win reelection. But there was one very real concern that cast doubt: voter suppression, especially in communities of color. While some states did try to suppress the vote by cutting early voting days, have polling places that were ill-equipped to handle large turnout causing long lines, and demanding more and onerous voter ID laws. President Obama won, but the strategy to hold voting down in the districts with minorities who tend to vote Democratic remained a viable strategy.
Fast forward to 2016. While voter suppression could very well have cost Clinton the election, even more serious is the unfounded accusations by Trump and his surrogates that voter fraud occurred.
With Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by some 2.5 million, Trump, through a feckless media, is purporting the lie that he lost the popular vote because of voter fraud. He has announced that California allowed millions of illegal immigrants to vote and accused other states he lost, like Virginia and New Hampshire, of allowing people not eligible to vote cast ballots. There is absolutely no proof to these allegations, and here is the inherent danger.
Donald Trump’s base believes it, the media repeat as if there is some merit to it, and despite no facts to back up his claims, Trump keeps repeating it.
In the 1930s, Nazi Germany kept telling the “big lie,” like Jews control the world’s financial industry and they were the reason “regular” Germans were out of work. When a lie, especially a terrible lie, is told over and over, it eventually finds the mainstream of society; more and more people begin to believe there is some validity to it.
The continuing diatribe that elections in this country are not held properly has already pierced the armor of our democracy.
We are in a critical time. People in some western countries are questioning whether democracy is the best form of government. This can be dangerous for our conception of good government and our way of life. And it will take the will and vigilance of all of us to battle this kind of propaganda, a poison fruit on our tree of democratic principles