By Scott Costen
DONALD Trump wants Americans to believe their voting system is “rigged” against him.
He levelled these charges, without any supporting evidence, during the 2016 election campaign. And he’s doing it again this year.
Enter the explosive new book ‘How Trump Stole 2020’.
Written by Greg Palast and featuring comics by Ted Rall, it reveals how the system has been cynically and repeatedly manipulated to benefit the president and his party.
Using a multitude of shady political manoeuvres, Republican operatives have suppressed the votes of traditionally Democratic-leaning constituencies: people of colour, the poor, and the young.
“In 2016, Republicans had a problem: there simply weren’t enough white guys to elect Donald Trump,” Palast writes. “So there was only one way for the GOP to win in 2016, and the only way they can win in 2020: eliminate non-white voters.”
Palast describes Trump as an “an orange-stained, gelatinous bag of malicious mendacity, a snorting porcine pustule of bloviating bigot hinged to grasping little griplets, a bloated ball of gracelessness and cry-baby petulance.”
And he claims the president’s 2016 victory was illegitimate.
“Trump didn’t win in 2016. And I’m not talking about Trump losing the popular vote,” he writes. “Trump lost the Electoral College. That is, he lost if you count all the votes burgled, jacked, swiped, shoplifted, purloined, filched, fiddled and snatched from citizens not of a whitish orange hue. And unless we wise up, 2020 will be déjà vu all over again.”
Some of the methods used to disenfranchise voters – strict ID laws and reduced early voting opportunities – are predictable.
Other tactics – such as purging voters who fail to return post cards, failing to process voter registrations, and deliberately creating line-ups at voting locations in Black neighbourhoods – are downright shocking.
“Voting suppression is class war by other means,” Palast writes. “It’s economic; race is merely the marker of underclass in America.”
And this war on marginalized voters may have changed the course of American history.
Palast points out that George W. Bush won Florida in 2000 thanks to the groundless rejection of more than 70,000 ballots cast by Black voters.
And he observes how, in 2016, Trump won a nail-biter in Michigan through the nullification of Black votes and narrowly captured Wisconsin through the suppression of student votes.
Part of the problem, as Rall points out in the book’s comic section, is that states are responsible for managing elections.
“The constitution does not federally guarantee your right to vote,” Rall writes. “Leaving elections to the states was a major screwup.”
Although he’s a fedora-wearing, truth-seeking, shoe-leather reporter of the old school, Palast does not ignore recent innovations.
He and his 20-person investigative team embrace data journalism, using it to build a thorough and compelling case.
What they’ve uncovered is both astounding and infuriating.
Millions of votes are blocked or go uncounted because of the machinations of a small group of people determined to silence Black, Hispanic, Asian, poor and young voters.
During the 2018 gubernatorial election in Georgia, one of the Black voters turned away was 92-year-old Christine Jordan.
She had voted in the same location since 1968, the year her cousin, Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated.
‘How Trump Stole 2020’ is a must-read indictment of the American electoral system and the political and economic forces that control it.
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