Your Blogmeister’s Desk
A lot of people are deliberately misunderstanding what we mean by “rigged system.”
Elections are for the most part procedurally effective but substantively ineffective means to affect political change. If Jane Doe gets more votes than John Smith to be dog catcher of Podunkville, Jane Doe will be dog catcher of Podunkville. We know there’s a lot more voter fraud out there than anyone cares to admit, but it does not affect the outcomes of most elections. And even in the matters where the marginal leverage of fraud does change the outcome, it changes the outcome in an ultimately substantively inconsequential way. And even if fraud doesn’t happen, so what? It’s the dog catcher of Podunkville; While it matters greatly to both John Smith and Jane Doe who draws the public salary for the next four years, and whether John Smith’s best friends’s pet store or Jane Doe’s cousin’s animal feed distribution warehouse gets the public contract to provide dog and cat food to the Podunkville city pound, I can assure you that the historians of two millennia forward won’t care about who won the election to have responsibility over the animal control agents in Podunkville, USA.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume that there was enough fraud to get Baraq Obama re-elected four years ago, and but for it, Mitt Romney would have won. Would anything really be that much different with Romney being President rather than Obama? Romney’s antics since losing have provided us the answer of mostly not.
Here’s another example: St. Louisans will remember the 1991 SLPS school board elections, and I know one of you reading these words was a candidate on the neighborhood schools slate, (btw, hi Earl), and that slate won off of legitimate votes, but voter fraud made the difference. In that instance, we know there were very drastic differences between the people that won only because of fraud and the people that won off of legitimate votes. The problem is is that even if our side won that slate in 1991 and therefore attained a majority on the SLPS board, the actual substantive long term good it would have done would have been very little. The Federal courts wouldn’t have ended deseg any sooner than they otherwise did, (and, because of AFFH, it was a moot point anyway), the SLPS student demographics were what they were, and trending the way they were, no matter who sat on the school board, and that said, you know who would have gotten the quasi-official blame for every real or supposed failure in the SLPS after April 1991. Just the fact that our slate got to five out of twelve board members, some people (cough cough, Hattie Jackson, cough cough), still used that as a crutch even as late as the late 1990s. Our people running the SLPS board would have resulted in more honest graft-free crony-free contracting, but that only affects/-ed a small percentage of the total district budget. Hardly civilizationally consequential.
Here’s yet another far more recent local example: House-78-D, Bruce Franks versus Penny Hubbard. Because it was black Democrat versus black Democrat, the Hubbard family machine’s fraud was noted, discovered, adjudicated and corrected. The problem is that no matter who occupies the seat of the 78th district representative in the Missouri House of Representatives, it matters not one whit to what the State House does. Most votes in the State House are party line votes, and in the next two years, Bruce Franks’s voting record will be virtually 100% identical to what Penny Hubbard’s voting record would have been, and almost always on the losing side of the question. Same goes for anyone that could win election out of House-78 any time this decade, whether the name is Bruce Franks, Penny Hubbard, Mickey Mouse, or Donald Duck. That district will, considering the relevant range of gerrymandered geography and the current decade, elect a solidly left-of-center Democrat. Whether that Democrat is black or white or something else, (and out of the current H-78 boundaries, it would usually be black), young or old, man or woman, whatever or whatever else, it doesn’t matter, because it will be a liberal Democrat voting the party line liberal Democrat way on measures that go against liberal Democrats by a more than 2-1 margin. The only politics of H-78-D this primary season and the bonus court-ordered election were whether that face attached to the hand casting those votes is that of an upper middle aged black church lady or a young black man who is a street activist slash comic book aficionado.
Neoreactionaries, like of the sort I have become, will go one step further and make the case that the idolatry of plebiscites has in and of itself affected negatively societies that engage in such idolatry. That said, we hear “voter fraud” and think “redundant.”
Barring that, what we mean by “rigged system” is everything that happens in the realm of sociopolitics and public policy formation other than punching holes in cards on election day that pretty much makes the hole punching moot.