Murray Rothbard was no fan of democracy, and its fallacies are the subject of Hans-Hermann-Hoppe’s great book Democracy: The God That Failed. Hoppe shows that democracy isn’t a good system of government; it’s a bad one that encourages the government to sell out to the highest bidder. But there’s a type of government that’s worse than democracy, if we mean by “democracy” government by majority rule. This is a regime with fake elections. The elites stuff the ballot boxes so that they always “win,” regardless of the way people vote. This is what we have today. You can be sure that brain-dead Biden didn’t win the 2020 election, but the neocon elite that controls him wanted him to win, and that was that.
If you protest against this, you are called an “election denier,” as if this was a very evil thing to be. For example, the left-leaning news network CNN published this story on November 29: “I reached out to Claire Wardle, the co-director of the Information Futures Lab and professor of the practice at Brown University’s School of Public Health, to discuss ways to counter election falsehoods. Wardle is a leader in the field of misinformation and offers useful advice on how to spot it and how to talk with folks who might be spreading it unwittingly.
Here is our exchange, lightly edited for length and clarity:
Q: What’s the difference between misinformation and disinformation?
Disinformation is false or misleading content that is created deliberately to cause harm. That might be content designed to divide communities for political gain or influence, or to make money, or just to see if they can cause trouble.
Misinformation is false or misleading content (according to the best available evidence at the time) that someone shares without realizing the information is inaccurate and without meaning to cause any harm.
There’s actually a relatively small number of people creating and sharing disinformation. The problem is misinformation – when many of us share this disinformation unintentionally. So, to help slow down the amount of misleading information, we need to be more discerning about what we share.
Q: You’ve talked about several types of problematic information that you’ve seen circulated about elections. Can you explain more about that?
During an election, we tend to see lots of similar examples of problematic information. We often hear the phrase ‘fake news,’ as if the only problem is websites that look like newspapers, peddling false information.
But, actually, a lot of what we see is old images recirculating. For example, a stuffed ballot box from an election in Russia from previous years ago, but it gets shared in the US, with a caption suggesting that it’s actually from a US election today. Or social media posts or pamphlets giving the wrong information about how you can vote – for example, the wrong day or falsely claiming you can vote via SMS. And in this year’s midterms, we actually saw examples of videos that weren’t false – instead they showed the reality of the messiness of democracy – but this was shared as ‘evidence’ that the election couldn’t be trusted.
Q: How do you spot false information?
When you see something that makes you have an emotional reaction, for example, suddenly makes you angry, or scared or superior (as in, ‘I always knew that was the case!’), that is often a sign that you might need to slow down and take a closer look.
Check out the source by searching for them online. Do they have a website? What else have they posted? Use a domain site lookup. . . to check when the site was first created.
Put some keywords from the rumor in a search engine. Often these rumors have been around for a while, and you can find someone else who has debunked it previously. And if it’s an image, do a ‘reverse image search,’ by going to Google Images or Tineye.com and uploading the image. It will tell you if that image is an old one, and what the original context is.
Q: What’s been the effect of its spread?
Election misinformation slowly erodes people’s belief and trust in democratic systems. Over the last few years, we’ve seen so many more people state in surveys that they don’t believe that the ballots in the 2020 election were counted safely and securely. Some people believe the election was stolen. And we saw some of those same narratives emerge around the recent midterms. Having people not trust the system is so damaging because if people lose trust in the system and don’t trust the results of an election, democracy no longer functions.”
In other words, if you think there is something wrong with recent elections, you’re crazy. But are you? Let’s look at what happened in 2020. In Detroit, a video showed a wagon of votes being delivered on the night of November 4, to ensure a Biden victory. The video was quickly suppressed, and if you google it, you will find a large number of stories that claim it was “fake news.” But it was real. According to the Center Square, “Texas attorney Kellye SoRelle and members of Lawyers for Trump sent a copy of a video to Texas Scorecard of individuals moving what she claims are ballots in the middle of the night on Nov. 4 in Detroit.
In the video, a white van is seen parked in front of polling location at 2:40 a.m. A box is taken out of the van and placed into a red wagon, which is then pulled inside the facility. SoRelle video recorded and photographed the activity, which Texas Scorecard published on its website.
Another image appears to show individuals moving suitcases and coolers in and out of the area where mail-in ballots were being counted reportedly during a shift change at 4 a.m. Individuals were able to enter and leave the facility where the votes were being counted without any identification check, SoRelle claims. Because they were working in six-hour shifts, they did not need overnight luggage, she argues, suggesting that the containers were being used for something other than bringing in personal belongings.
WXYZ News in Detroit responded to the video, claiming that at least one of the individuals SoRelle recorded was wheeling in camera equipment at 2:40 a.m.
Texas Scorecard’s attempt to publish the video and information about alleged voter fraud in Detroit on social media posts was quickly taken down by social media outlets, they said.
‘Apparently reporting on someone’s concerns – backed up by video and photos – is simply not allowed if it goes against the leftwing narrative,’ Michael Quinn Sullivan, CEO of Empower Texans, wrote in an email to supporters.
According to a report by Forbes, half of President Donald Trump’s social media posts on Facebook and Twitter since Election Day have been labeled ‘false’ or ‘questionable.’
Of President Trump’s 22 posts on Facebook and Twitter, 11 have been labeled as false or misleading, Forbes reports, including claims about winning states and asserting election fraud is taking place.
Twitter has hidden some posts on the president’s timeline, warning users that ‘some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process,’ and restricted their ability to like or retweet his tweets.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas also tweeted examples of his tweets being censored. A tweet he posted on Thursday of a Philadelphia poll worker describing voter fraud was taken down by the social media giant.
Conservative political commentator David Rubin asked, when trying to retweet Cruz’s tweet, ‘Why is Twitter repeatedly censoring this video? Including when @tedcruz shared it? The video literally disappears from Cruz’s feed. (Video in follow up tweet.) This man speaking is a Democrat.’
Cruz led a Senate hearing on social media censorship one week before the election.
On some of Trump’s Facebook posts, Facebook officials warned users that ‘final votes may differ from the initial vote counts’ or ‘elections officials follow strict rules when it comes to ballot counting, handling and reporting.’ Forbes notes that users are still able to reply to and share his posts.
While Facebook is removing some conservative political posts, its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, also gave $300 million to a nonprofit organization that gave grants to election officials in primarily Democratic districts where ballot malfeasance is allegedly ongoing, another report has found.
Two Democratic representatives, David Cicilline of Rhode Island and Gerry Connolly of Virginia, have called on Twitter to suspend Trump’s account.”
Of course, as we know, Trump’s Twitter account was indeed suspended.
Election fraud is still going on, and this isn’t just something imagined by “election deniers.” For example, in Philadelphia, a federal indictment has been filed against someone for a ballot-stuffing plot. Hans A. von Spakovsky, a legal analyst for the Heritage Foundation, describes what happened: “Philadelphia has a long, unfortunate history of election fraud, so the latest federal criminal charges of election fraud against Marie Beren, a former staffer for City Council member Mark Squilla, are no surprise.
They are probably also a disappointment to opponents of election reform who constantly claim there is no such thing as election fraud.
Jennifer Arbittier Williams, the acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, has filed four counts against Beren, including voting more than once in a federal election, conspiring to illegally vote in a federal election and to deprive persons of their civil rights, and aiding and abetting the submission of fraudulent ballots.
According to the criminal ‘information’ filed in federal court, Beren was recruited and appointed to be an official ‘election judge’ responsible for overseeing and managing three different divisions (polling places) inside the 39th Ward in Philadelphia by a political consultant and former elected official identified only as ‘Consultant #1.’
Beren served in this position from 1988 to 2015. She officially stepped down in 2015 to become a ‘certified poll watcher’ and installed someone else to take her position. But according to the criminal information, Beren still ran things behind the scenes through 2019, continuing ‘to effectively run all three Divisions.’
In fact, Beren recruited and installed all of the election officials working in those polling locations.
The way this fraud unfolded, according to the Justice Department, is that Consultant #1 would give ‘Beren directions to add fraudulent votes to candidates supported by Consultant #1, including candidates for judicial office whose campaigns actually hired Consultant #1, and other candidates for various federal, state, and local elective offices.’
After getting her instructions from Consultant #1, Beren would ‘cast fraudulent votes’ in her polling places ‘on behalf of voters she knew would not physically appear at the polls.’
Beren would also give Consultant #1 reports on how many ‘legit votes’ had been cast as Election Day was progressing, and then either add fewer fraudulent votes if regular turnout was high, or more fraudulent votes if turnout was low.
Consultant #1 would also tell Beren to ‘shift her efforts from one of Consultant #1’s preferred candidates to another,’ depending on how voting was going during the day.
Beren would ‘also permit and encourage individual voters … to cast ballots’ for absent family members and would tell them which candidates to vote for. With the help of her installed staff—the officials working in the polls—she is alleged to have falsified registration lists in each polling place to record that the voters she was submitting fraudulent ballots for had actually appeared at the polling places.
This election fraud scheme is said to have been carried out in both primary and general elections and involved local, state, and federal candidates. No wonder Philadelphia officials were so hostile to poll watchers in last year’s election. . . for anyone who doubts that fraud occurs in our elections—particularly in Philadelphia—this should be a wake-up call to the seriousness of this problem.”
The great historian Paul Gottfried draws the appropriate lesson from the vote-fraud scandals. If we don’t want to be under the permanent control of leftwing mobs, we must do everything we can to combat election fraud. In a story that appeared in American Greatness on December 10, he writes: “In ‘The Republican Struggle with Defeat,’ Conrad Black lays out the situation that the Republican Party confronts after its unexpectedly disastrous midterm elections. Despite Joe Biden’s unpopularity and the range of problems he and his party have caused—from broken borders and inflation to the cultural radicalization of both the military and public education, and debacles abroad—the Democrats did unexpectedly well at the polls. Unlike during the Obama Administration, Biden’s party won the Senate, several governorships, a number of state legislatures, and held its defeats in the House to a minimum. . .
A major cause for the midterm results, argues Black, ‘is the apparent inability of the Republicans to master the harvested ballot. Trump correctly warned in 2020 this would be used to rig the election, but he was completely inadequate in the counter-measures he took to prevent that.’ In my view, one can’t stress enough the games that the Democrats have mastered in changing electoral procedures. From vote-harvesting and voting without personal identification to election outcomes being determined by insecure mail-in ballots sent in more than a month before scheduled in-person voting, these Democratic ‘reforms’ should have met unrelenting Republican resistance.
Unfortunately, they didn’t, which raises the question: How would the elections in Arizona, Nevada, and Pennsylvania have turned out if these states had the voting laws that are in force in Florida? In Philadelphia precincts, both convicted ballot-counting cheaters and unidentified in-person voters have been shown to skew the election results.
For obvious reasons, Republicans are hesitant about contesting questionable ballots. They quake at the thought of being accused of election denial or suppressing minority votes. This hesitancy puts them at a disadvantage against a radical leftist party that shows no compunctions about cheating or election denial. The fact that Democratic Party organizers and politicians can engage in their legerdemain with unfailing media protection makes them even more brazen.
The solution to these problems for Republicans is to ignore the righteous accusations and to challenge unwaveringly suspicious ballots. It would make even more sense to get voting to take place on election day and in a precinct station under bipartisan surveillance. It is just plain dumb for conflict-averse Republican leaders to tell their constituency to learn to do mail-in voting months ahead of Election Day. Most Republican voters cast ballots, as they should, in the assigned places on Election Day.
Democratic strategists act differently for transparent reasons: they prefer mail-in ballots for the same reason they oppose voter identification. Democratic operatives can use non-in-person voting to increase their opportunities to cheat and can call in a fixer like Mark Elias to contest any challenge to these arrangements. Thanks to mail-in voting in my state of Pennsylvania, ballots are sent out and submitted many weeks in advance of the election, so elections go on continuously. The greatest amount of mail-in voting happens to coincide with junctures that favor Democrats, e.g., shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in its Dobbs decision. Is this continuing, long-in-advance form of voting the direction in which our elections should be moving? Obviously not!”
We must act now. We may not have another chance. Let’s end “ballot harvesting” and voting without proper ID immediately!
About the Author
Article cross-posted from Lew’s Blog.