Democracy under assault, I know this because the media told me so!

While Democrats and the mainstream media manufacture the meme that Republicans and conservatives are engaged in an all out assault on democracy so dire that the Republic itself might not survive, it might be helpful to consider their own record on the matter.  It was less than a year ago they undertook a revolution in voting, and that’s just the beginning…

According to CNN, numerous experts, and the President himself, American democracy is “under a relentless, multi-front assault from pro-Donald Trump Republicans” and we’re about to learn “whether it is strong enough to save itself.”  Further, “Such a premise would have been considered absurd through much of history. But since Trump left office after destroying the tradition of peaceful transfers of power in a failed attempt to steal the 2020 election, it has become clear that his insurrectionism was only the first battle in a longer political war.”  Or, at least, so says CNN’s resident propagandist, Stephen Collinson in an “analysis” helpfully entitled “American democracy is about to show if it can save itself.”

According to Mr. Collinson, the “mechanisms of American institutions that barely survived Trump’s attempt to illegally stay in power are still being manipulated by Republicans to make the country less democratic.”  These assaults are described as “staggeringly broad,” including such atrocities as “efforts to shorten voting hours, crack down on early and mail-in balloting and to throw out legitimate ballots.”  Mr. Collinson is also concerned that former President Trump can still send out “daily statements pulsating with lies and incitement that percolate on social media.”  Even worse, Trump plans to resume in person rallies next month and that will “bring that anti-democratic stream of falsehood to a wider audience.”

Trump isn’t Mr. Collinson’s only concern.  Also, “in the US Senate, Republicans will use filibuster rules — which critics see as the antithesis of democracy — to thwart Democratic legislation that seeks to combat all those efforts.”  Yes, the noble Democrats are the only one standing between the poor American populace and autocracy, and that rascally filibuster is their lone impediment to saving us all.  If only we could eliminate this “antithesis of democracy” once championed by no-less-than Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Chuck Schumer themselves, all might be well in the world.

Incredibly, Mr. Collinson’s isn’t some lone maniac screaming at the world from a rubber room.  His is the mainstream view in most of the media.  Greg Sargent from The Washington Post wrote a similar piece recently, blaring about “A frantic warning from 100 leading experts: Our democracy is in grave danger.”  He warned that the stakes were high and on “the line is nothing less than the future of our democracy itself.”  Even President Joe Biden has gotten in on the act, claiming this past Tuesday that voting itself was at risk, “This sacred right is under assault with incredible intensity like I’ve never seen …with an intensity of aggressiveness we’ve not seen in a long, long time.”  He framed himself as the protector of America, putting the country above party, and even asked Vice President Kamala Harris to lead an effort to protect these sacred rights, apparently he hopes it will be more successful than her effort to secure the border.

Of course, time is short and we need to act now, as in, according to Mr. Collinson again, the “time is short to reverse democratic rollbacks by Republicans that are already causing fears that GOP officials could overturn future elections if their candidates are rejected in a majority vote.”  “By the time we get to the 2024 election, my fear is that election will be sent to the House of Representatives to decide if there are disputed electors,” Daniel Ziblatt, Harvard professor and co-author of the helpful book How Democracies Die, told CNN’s Jake Tapper.  “You could very well imagine a situation where the 2020 and the 2021 January crisis was a dress rehearsal for what’s to come in 2024.”

Wow, this all sounds very serious, serious indeed, pulsating lies, assaults, crises, and all that. The country itself, or at least their progressive vision of it, is at stake and we must act now by passing their favored legislation, country above party so long as the outcome is what the party wants.  Where have I heard that before?  Of course, it would be a lot easier to believe any of this if Democrats and their left-wing allies haven’t been busy undertaking a relentless assault on democracy of their own for the past five years or if some of what they are proposing didn’t spring into existence under false pretences just last year.

Unfortunately, these are the same sorts of people that bragged about a “cabal” and a “conspiracy” to rewrite election law and influence the outcome in 2020, but now they are suddenly very, very concerned about the future.  Yes, they met on secret Zoom calls, they bundled hundreds of millions if not billions in private funds (over $400,000,000 from Mark Zuckerberg alone) to surreptitiously advance their goals, conspired with social media companies, and even engaged street activists to change the way America conducts elections, but that was all for the good of democracy.  As Time Magazine described it, “A well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information” succeeded in undertaking “practically a revolution in how people vote.” 

In other words, the attack on democracy already occurred at their doing; now they want to keep their ill gotten gains in place to continue the assault, in perpetuity.  What else are we to think when they admit the 2020 election was conducted in a completely different manner than 2016 and all that came before it, and that these changes were all implemented because of what they themselves describe as a conspiracy?

It’s not as if this cabal hasn’t repeatedly lied about their motives already, both then and now.  If you remember, the urgent need for mass mail-in voting was supposedly prompted by the dangers of the pandemic.  Here’s USA Today on June 15, 2020, “A deadly pandemic renders mail-in voting even more important, particularly as epidemiologists warn of a possible second coronavirus surge come fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that where possible, mail-in voting be encouraged.  Casting ballots after waiting in long lines unquestionably carries risks.”

Of course, that was a lie:  Time Magazine revealed the conspiracy was actually launched in October 2019, long before coronavirus hit our shores.  The conspiracy itself was led by a shadowy Democratic operative, Mike Podhorzer.  Lest there was any doubt on where Mr. Podhorzer stood on Trump in particular, he wrote in a secret memo, “Trump has made it clear that this will not be a fair election, and that he will reject anything but his own re-election as ‘fake’ and rigged.”  This memo was written on March 3, 2020, prior to the lockdowns and the fears of coronavirus or the talk of mail-in balloting.  Podhorzer was anti-Trump, not pro-democracy, meaning the plan all along was to oust Trump at all costs.

That’s mighty convenient, don’t you think?  Yet, according to the mainstream media and Democrats, this is democracy in action.  Of course, it never occurs to them to consider exactly what our Founding documents say about Presidential elections, as in what does our actual democracy proscribe for the conducting of the vote itself?  Amazingly, it’s right there in the Constitution, “The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.”  Is it just me or is the part requiring early voting, mail-in balloting, ballot curing, ballot harvesting, unattended ballot drop boxes, and automatic registration oddly missing?  I’m not a Constitutional scholar or anything, but it strikes me as strange that there’s not a word about any of that anywhere and yet, all of a sudden, those practices are a requirement for democracy to function and without them we are doomed.

At the risk of repeating myself, all of this would be easier to believe if many very same players didn’t hold the opposite opinions on these issues prior to 2020 itself.  Members of the Democrat party objected, formally and informally, to every Republican election victory since at least 2000, if not before.  For example, after Bush’s victory over Kerry in 2004, CNN reported, “Alleging widespread ‘irregularities’ on Election Day, a group of Democrats in Congress objected Thursday to the counting of Ohio’s 20 electoral votes, delaying the official certification of the 2004 presidential election results.”  At the time, the current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was completely onboard, “Today we are witnessing Democracy at work. This isn’t as some of our Republican colleagues have referred to it, sadly, as frivolous. This debate is fundamental to our democracy.  The representatives of the American people in this house are standing up for three fundamental American beliefs.”

Wow, what changed?  That’s not the only thing that changed, either.

Back in December 2016, after Trump’s victory over Clinton, the Associated Press was reporting that voting machines are, in fact, subject to rigging.  “Like many electronic voting machines, they are vulnerable to hacking. But other machines typically leave a paper trail that could be manually checked. The paperless digital machines open the door to potential election rigging that might not ever be detected.  What’s more, their prevalence magnifies other risks in the election system, such as the possibility that hackers might compromise the computers that tally votes, by making failures or attacks harder to catch.”

Now, all of a sudden, these voting machines are as secure as Fort Knox.  Positions on mail in balloting itself have changed as well.  In 2005, former President Jimmy Carter led a commission on the proper conduct of elections and concluded that “Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.”  Of course, in 2020, he completely changed his story, claiming like many another, that coronavirus was an unprecedented occurrence.  Because there were “serious impediments to holding safe, secure and inclusive elections in November” and “the health risks involved in going to polling locations will be unacceptably high,” President Carter urged “leaders across the country to take immediate steps to expand vote-by-mail and other measures that can help protect the core of American democracy – the right of our citizens to vote.”

All of this prompts an obvious question, of course:  Why should we believe any of these people at this point?  They’ve lied, they’ve changed their positions at their own convenience, they participated in and supported a conspiracy, reaped the political benefits of it, but somehow we’re supposed to trust them in this new role as the guardians of democracy itself, even despite that democracy as they describe it didn’t exist less than a year ago and was brought about under false pretenses?

Incredibly, it’s even worse than that:  Voting isn’t the only part of our democracy Democrats and progressives want to revolutionize.  They’re also taking aim at the filibuster, the makeup of the Supreme Court, the number of states, the definition of infrastructure, and the very idea of borders.  It’s almost like the only aspects of democracy they care about are the ones that will bring them more power and control, but that couldn’t be what’s driving all this, could it?

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