Donald Trump is accusing Ted Cruz of election fraud, of winning Iowa based on the CNN rumor that Ben Carson dropped out of the race while the Iowa caucuses were still going on. I think the rumor was really encouraged by Cruz Iowa co-chair Rep. Steve King, who went with the CNN story, tweeting, “Carson looks like he is out. Iowans need to know before they vote. Most will go to Cruz, I hope.” And “Skipping NH and SC is the equivalent of suspending. Too bad this information won’t get to all caucus goers.”
On Iowa caucus night, Carson said that his “opponents resorted to political tricks by tweeting, texting and telling precinct captains that I had suspended my campaign — in some cases asking caucus goers to change their votes,” which has certainly happened in the past, as I noted a few days ago.
“Dirty tricks” is what politics is all about, Dr. Carson. However, it was really stupid of Carson to just up and travel to Florida and decide to skip New Hampshire and South Carolina, quite frankly. That stupid decision is right up there with Jimmy Carter who conceded to Ronald Reagan on November 4th, 1980 before the polls closed on the west coast.
Nevertheless, the political world is not the world of good, charity and benevolence. The political world is the world of force, coercion, compulsion, theft, covetousness and criminality on a grand scale. Politics is a racket.
The caucuses engender that kind of fraud or manipulation more than primaries, in my view. In primaries you just enter the voting booth, close the curtain and pull the levers for the candidates you want. Or in some cases there are electronic screens or paper ballots.
The point of the primary is that the voter has privacy. No one knows how you have voted. If there must be elections, the privacy of the primary best protects the integrity of such an election.
With caucuses you have no such luck. In caucuses, you go to your precinct location, and the officials tell you, “Okay, the Clinton people gather over there and the Sanders people over there,” and so on.
In caucuses everyone knows who you’re supporting. Which for some people is a bit of an uncomfortable situation. For instance, someone might be in the minority who supports the candidate who wants to dismantle much of the unconstitutional tyrannical government apparatus as it exists today (such as Ron Paul). Meanwhile, the majority of the crowd might be for more Establishment candidates. That might be somewhat intimidating for those in the minority.
In caucuses there are more instances of pressure tactics toward those who may be on one side, who the activists and hacks want to woo over to their side. Besides outright fraud, as we saw in 2012 against the Ron Paul campaign caucus after caucus, I’ve heard of “strong-arm tactics,” intimidation and threats against people used at caucuses as though it were a union matter. Unions are known for that kind of behavior, as we have seen over the years.
And there was evidence of that during some of those 2009 Tea Party events, which we haven’t been hearing about for several years now. At one event, a black man who was selling “Don’t Tread On Me” flags and buttons was beaten by three men wearing S.E.I.U. shirts and sent to the hospital. What happened to all those Tea Party events? Have the Tea Partiers been intimidated into silence?
In some ways, presidential caucuses seem to have some similarities. Back in 2008, according to Newsmax, “the Obama campaign was breaking the rules, busing in supporters from neighboring states to vote illegally in the first contest in the primaries and physically intimidating Hillary supporters, they say.” It further notes:
Lynette Long, a Hillary supporter from Bethesda, Md., who has a long and respected academic career, believes Obama’s victory in Iowa and in 12 other caucus states was no miracle. “It was fraud,” she told Newsmax.
Long has spent several months studying the caucus and primary results.
“After studying the procedures and results from all 14 caucus states, interviewing dozens of witnesses, and reviewing hundreds of personal stories, my conclusion is that the Obama campaign willfully and intentionally defrauded the American public by systematically undermining the caucus process,” she said.
In Hawaii, for example, the caucus organizers ran out of ballots, so Obama operatives created more from Post-its and scraps of paper and dumped them into ice cream buckets. “The caucuses ended up with more ballots than participants, a sure sign of voter fraud,” Long said.
In Nevada, Obama supporters upturned a wheelchair-bound woman who wanted to caucus for Hillary, flushed Clinton ballots down the toilets, and told union members they could vote only if their names were on the list of Obama supporters.
Sadly, in 2008 the mainstream media dared not cover Obama’s union-style intimidation tactics.
And now in 2016 it appears that Hillary’s campaign workers have taken the (alleged) Obama approach on behalf of Hillary to Bernie Sanders’s dismay as Sanders believes there were shenanigans in as many as 90 Iowa precincts this week.
In 2012 Ron Paul had experienced quite a lot of “shenanigans” against his campaign. Here is just one example from that linked article:
For the first time ever, the Iowa GOP changed the final vote count to a secret location. After the caucus, results from 8 precincts (including those with colleges, in a state where Paul won 48% of the youth vote) went missing…In addition, GOP officials discovered inaccuracies in 131 precincts.
You see, that is the inherent nature of politics, in which the more dishonest activists crave those illegitimate government powers of coercion and force over others, and will do whatever they can to grab that power.
Now, as opposed to caucuses, the primaries do not seem to be very much better in terms of election integrity. Some states allow open primaries, in which non-Republicans can vote in the Republican primary and non-Democrats can vote in the Democrat primary. That’s really dumb, in my view. This invites “party raiding,” when activists intentionally attempt to disrupt the opposing party’s nominating process. One example was Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” in 2008, in which Limbaugh instructed his ditto-heads to go into Democrat primaries, if they could, to cause “chaos” in the Hillary vs. Obama primary fight.
But in 2012 I’m sure that many Democrats, liberal Independents and others who didn’t want a conservative to win the election, went into Republican primaries and voted to nominate the two-faced mealy-mouth Willard Romney. In 2008 Republicans got John “The Hero” McCain and in 1996 Republicans got Bob Dole, and so on. Did liberals and progressives play a role in all that? It’s possible.
And some states have closed primaries, in which only Democrats can vote in Democrat primaries, and so on, which is how that should be to maintain legitimacy. And that should apply to the actual candidates, too. Only in dysfunctional Amerika can a non-registered-Democrat like Bernie Sanders run for the Democrat nomination for President!
We don’t get very much coverage of the alternative parties, other than the two Establishment parties of Big Government, war, surveillance, control and tyranny, the Republicrats and the Demopublicans.
Unfortunately, many people believe that the Republican Party and the Democrat Party are a branch of the government. But wait — the Republican and Democrat Parties actually have become a part of the government. There are many laws now that protect their “majority” status, and which restrict the smaller parties’ right to have equal access to the general election ballot. And the two major parties’ having become a part of the government does nothing but maintain and strengthen the statist quo, election after election after election.
But the other parties, such as Libertarian, Green, etc., are also statist parties. So what’s the point? There are no “freedom” parties. However, there are individuals (such as Ron Paul) who, if elected, have promised to dismantle much of the governmental apparatus that is tyrannical and unconstitutional, and criminal in nature, and promised to release non-criminal prisoners from the jails. We don’t have many candidates for office like that, if any actually exist now.
Should we even have political parties? In his Farewell Address in 1796, President George Washington stated,
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.
Have the post-George Washington future generations of Americans chosen despotism over freedom and self-governance? It sure looks that way. They even cheat their way to get there!
Since the Founding and the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, there is now a big and powerful centralized regime in Washington that reaches its tentacles all over the country, all over the world, and not for good. Conservatives love power just as much as progressives, the Republicans as much as the Democrats. And it is power for power’s sake with all those ghastly statists.
As Lew Rockwell wrote just recently, “The state … pits us against each other. If one of us wins a state favor, it comes at the expense of everyone else. For one group to be benefited, another must first be expropriated.” Rockwell contrasts the state and its coerciveness with the free market.
I think that for further understanding readers would appreciate Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s great book, Democracy the God That Failed, which clarifies exactly what democracy is as a system, and why and how “limited government” is impossible.