The Politics Of Distraction, And Why The Republican Controlled Senate Is Doing Nothing To Protect U.S. Elections

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In and around the dawns early light, I stumble out of bed and zombie walk to the door to let my old dog out, so she doesn’t pee on the floor. It’s my morning ritual, of late, from experience of mopping the floor when I fail to recognize the urgency in her cold nose when she wakes me, that I have seconds not minutes or else she will take care of business herself, on the vinyl floor in the kitchen.

Afterwards, I wash my hands and begin the second ritual, of the making of the coffee in my french press. Next, coffee in hand, I sit down to peruse the news via YouTube, clicking on the usual suspects – David Pakman, Democracy Now!, for openers.

Now one thing has dogged my thoughts the last couple days, over and over.

After the Mueller Hearings, the one message Mueller was most passionate about, most clear, most concise, and most concerned, is with Russian election interference – looking toward 2020. He has repeated this concern, serious concern, again and again, keeps returning to, and this focus is significant coming from a man who was the Director of the FBI after 9/11.

I mean, think about that for a moment, if a person with such a vast amount of experience as he has, with access to the intelligence info he has, if he is more concerned about this than, say, indicting a sitting president of a crime, after the decades of knowledge gleaned on the job, we ALL need to be very concerned about the preservation of democracy.

The cornerstone of democracy, the very foundations on which a strong democratic government rests, is free and fair elections.

If consent of the governed is the most fundamental concept of democracy, its most essential right is that of citizens to choose their leaders in free, fair, and regular elections. Other rights are necessary to democracy; elections by themselves are insufficient. Yet the right to freely elect one’s representatives and to influence the political direction of one’s government is democracy’s indispensable political foundation.

DEMOCRACY WEB

At this moment, repeatedly, McConnell has blocked any and all legislation in regards election security, and why is that?

So, even if Trump did in fact conspire with the Russians to help him win, even if with those secured emails and such that various individuals of the Trump Campaign used to hide their interactions did reveal their crimes, even if all the lying that those campaign officials did work and successfully hid their complicit actions, while indictable, and should be pursued, if nothing is done to prevent it happening again, then democracy in the U.S. is dead and McConnell and all his GOP cronies are the architects of its destruction.

This is NO LONGER really just about Trump. We all know, even if some choose to ignore it, everyone knows that he cheated and that he won because of Russian interference. We know, while we can not say with proof that he conspired with the Russians, he did absolutely nothing to stop them, even welcomed their help, openly welcomed.

But, whatever. Charge him, don’t charge him, impeach him, don’t impeach him, vote for him, vote against him, doesn’t matter.

Because, if Americans do not have confidence in their election and the results of that election as being free and fair, than the Russians have won, and McConnell and crew are to blame. No, not Trump, not the Russians, not some hacker, not a bunch of Oligarchs, but if the senate does nothing to restore a sense of confidence in their elections than THEY are to blame, no one else.

“The odd American idea that giving money to political campaigns is free speech means that the very rich have far more free speech, and so in effect far more voting power, than other citizens.

Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

They will be the enablers of the fall of democracy in the United States of America, and all the great and lofty dreams of the founding fathers will be for nothing.

Certainly I recognize that there are some who would welcome that, and some of them are citizens of the U.S. Some I know in the U.S. want an authoritarian bully to lead them down the garden path to a fascist regime, if only because it serves their self-interests. It serves their deep-seated desires for power, for control.

For some they feel that democracy is too messy, and it can be difficult for control freaks to watch a public at large as an entity outside of their control.

To put it maybe another way, in a real sense the GOP has become enamoured with the nanny state, where they pat their constituents on their little heads, there there ignorant one, I’ll do the right thing, don’t you worry. You know, they know best, they know what’s right, and they want to ensure everything goes all hunky-dory, don’t you worry your little imbecile head.

I mean, really, isn’t that what a fascist regime is? They basically think the people are too stupid to make the right choices, and they feel they know best and its not important what the majority wants, as its much more relevant to them what THEY want.

In democracy, its more of a so what do y’all think?

Democracy is susceptible to outside intervention, and the general ignorance of the public at large is a weakness. Which of course is why education is an essential component, and higher learner is an important element for those who would pursue more complex types of jobs. Within a democracy knowledge is power, it gives the people the tools to make good choices, and good choices are easier to make when one is not poverty-stricken.

Say what you will about overly educated elitist snobs, but higher learning is the inoculation for combating disinformation campaigns and the ignorance of the public.

Fascism is not just about racism, it is about control of the populace. Racism is just one of the tools that is used to reign in the average citizen, to focus their fear and hatred towards some enemy, create a perverted quasi-tribal sect that becomes the spear point of the regime. The meat of a fascist regime is the power that they gain from that fear and hatred, as the leader becomes the hero who comes in to save them, and with that they give over certain freedoms to gain that leadership and sense of security they believe that leader offers.

The rise of fascism in Europe was ignited by whole swaths of the population who had been decimated from first the industrial revolution, and then ensuing world war, economic fear and instability that was generated created the perfect storm, and in stepped Hitler and Mussolini.

Today, and for the last few decades, the GOP has slowly moved to the far right, with extremist actors taking to the political scene and instilling their Draconian legislation in order to preserve in amber the world they fear is being lost – a white dominated world.

The result?

Terrorist attacks by right-wing extremists in the United States have increased. Between 2007 and 2011, the number of such attacks was five or less per year. They then rose to 14 in 2012; continued at a similar level between 2012 and 2016, with a mean of 11 attacks and a median of 13 attacks; and then jumped to 31 in 2017. FBI arrests of right-wing extremists also increased in 2018.

{…}

… right-wing extremism has been energized over the past decade by several issues. Some were infuriated by the election of an African-American, Barack Obama, as president. As one U.S. Department of Homeland Security assessment concluded shortly after the election, “Rightwing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda, but they have not yet turned to attack planning.”

CSIS.org

From the wilds of reality TV appears their lord and saviour on an escalator ride to the presidency. Now, while he did not create them, they certainly see him as a beacon of hope for their most violent and white supremacist ideals.

To my mind, I can come up with no other reason why McConnell would block that legislation on election security than that he knows it is the only way they are going to keep that dear leader who is going to give them the authoritarian government they have desired.

As I’ve said before, it’s all about the money, honey, and the power and control that money can provide them, the means by which they can rig the whole system to establish complete dominance over the American people and their future freedoms.

Don’t get distracted by the chaos and crisis actor at large living in the White House. Certainly he is a corrupt player and gained his position through cheating, yet, he is but a distraction, and we must not lose sight of that role he plays, as a distraction.

“Life is political, not because the world cares about how you feel, but because the world reacts to what you do. The minor choices we make are a kind of vote, making it more or less likely that free and fair elections will be held in the future. In the politics of the everyday, our words and gestures, or their absence, count very much.”

Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

And the answer? I don’t have one, and anyone who says they do is delusional. Yet, information is power and my purpose is really just to put a great big red line underneath this reality – that foreign governments interfered in the American election and that the GOP lead Senate is doing nothing about it.

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